“Lower!”

The helicopter bucked and dipped in the volcanic wind. “We’ll be torn apart!” Jesse cried.

“Lower, damn you!” Lowell slipped out of his harness and into the cargo hold, sliding the door open.

He could see her on the low slope below, lit intermittently as lightning arced from the dark clouds overhead.

“Anne!” he cried.

She shouldn’t have been able to hear him over the whirring blades or the death throes of Kjeho’s peak. But Anne looked up, her soot-streaked face breaking into a frightened smile.

Lowell was down on his stomach, hand outstretched, as Jesse brought the chopper as low as it could go without landing.

For a moment, Anne seemed torn, as if she were considering leaving herself to die rather than take Lowell’s proffered arm. Then her hand was around his wrist, and they were airborne.

Seconds later, the ground collapsed as the side of Kjeho blew out, rushing toward the sea in a massive pyroclastic flow.

“Hang on!” cried Lowell, as Anne dangled from his grasp over a scene of unparalleled devastation.