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By Venlataranan

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Extra resources for At the Speed of Light

Sample text

This was a different Kilarion: reflective, brooding. I smiled and said, “Don’t be so hard on yourself, Kilarion. Just try to think things through a little before you act, all right? ” But still he stared down and pushed pebbles. Sadly he said, “You know, when we were picked, I was sure that I would be the leader of our Forty. I’m the strongest. I have great endurance and I know how to build things. But I’m not clever enough to lead, am I? The leadership has to go to someone like you. Traiben’s even cleverer than you — he’s cleverer than anyone — but he’s not a leader.

But in the face of the actual fact we looked uneasily at each other. The grezbor seemed to think it was all a game, and went trotting around from one of us to another, nuzzling against our knees, accepting our caresses. Then Narril picked up the knife and said, “Well, considering that it’s a skill of my House — ” “No,” said Muurmut brusquely. “Not a Butcher, not for this. ” And he took the knife from Narril before Narril realized what was happening, and held it aloft, and waved it solemnly toward this side of the room and that one.

He looked to her and there was a desperate expression in his eyes. Perhaps this was the very ghost he had embraced here long ago. No doubt she still had some magic over his soul even now. I kicked sharply at his leg to get his attention and pointed up ahead when he gave me an angry glance. “Keep moving, Kilarion,” I said. ” He muttered something under his breath. But he understood what I was saying, and walked on, eyes averted. After a time I looked back. The ghost-witch, for surely a witch of some kind was what she was, was still beckoning sinuously to us.

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