One way or another Bertrand Steen would not live another day in cell thirteen. It was his destiny. And so he understood that in as much as he wanted to leave Reprogramming alive, there was a good chance he would not. The possibility of his demise was stronger now. Even more than when he’d sat with Mirage two years prior listening to the protocol, attentively absorbing the details of the plan as he’d asked her to repeat herself, to remind him again of the consequences if things didn’t work out as planned, the word reverberating from her mouth in one mighty birth of sound, the waves nearly visible as they cut through the air: Evaporation!—but even then he didn’t fully understand, couldn’t completely conceptualize what was on the line. He did now though. He understood entirely, could feel it deep into his flesh, and knew that today might be the day.