-- You're right, the story ain't over. She could still do it at some point!
(You sound almost as if you're rooting for that outcome!
) As for Ryzal -- it might have been noisy, but it was also quick. I think that section suffered from my unfortunate tendency to describe everything in slower-than-real-time. Once he started firing, he was through almost instantly -- it just felt longer to him because it hurt so bad. I'm going to take a look at that section though, and see if there's anything I could have done to make that more clear. (If nothing else, I can always fix it on Ad Astra since that's where this story is "archived.") As always, thanks so much for reading, and for the great feedback.