Friends and Enemies

  Among the Enemy The night is quiet, except for the sound of gentle waves. I wake once to find that the Feldin treat me as one of their own, sleeping tightly against me, even on this warm night. Makish lies next to me, where she fell asleep, and Shazira and the children sleep nearby. I wake again at dawn when the Feldin get up to return to the sea. The Heelu fly in a circle above me, as the Feldin enter the water. When the last of the Feldin are gone, the Heelu quickly follow. The city is quiet, except for the occasional bird song. Mayla joins us a few seconds later. “Did the Fiklow find us during the night?” “No, and they’ve recalled all their probes, back to their ship.” I let go of a long breath. Siksa is still safe this morning. The Fiklow honor their promise,…

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Wrapped in Storms

  Shields We walk together on the mountain, enjoying the cool breeze. Berek stops and looks confused when I remove his energy shield. “Why did you dissolve the shield, ina?” he asks. “I can’t fly without it.” “Your next practice will be without a shield, but you won’t be doing much flying.” I take him up five hundred feet. “When I release you, let yourself fall for five seconds.” “Then what?” “Connect to the web to stop your fall.” “Hover in place for a few seconds, but don’t move.” “Then rise to where you started.” “Disconnect, count to five as you fall, and repeat.” “For how long?” “Hundreds or thousands of times!” “Do it until I tell you to stop.” “That will take hours.” “That’s right.” “Get started.”

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