In Between Minds: Awe and Shock

The song, lacking any specific source, flowed around and through me with an ethereal beauty that awed me. It seemed impossible that the many thousands of voices that this choir seemed to comprise could produce so perfect a performance.

I was intimately familiar with the lullaby: Mother and Father sang it to Alik and me many times when we were children. In spite of the hatred that I still felt for my parents, the lullaby comforted and reassured me. My emotions calmed, allowing me the space to think clearly once again. The song had the same effect on her and she relinquished my body and senses back to me.

The sensations returned in a rush: a painful wound in my upper left arm, oozing blood; the fire burned down to coals; Grandmother unconscious on the ground on the opposite side of the fire, battered and breathing shallowly; a man, also lying on the ground, his neck twisted at an unnatural angle; and—worst of all—still at his hand, a weapon that I had hoped to never lay eyes on again—an MP-448 Skyph.

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