By Dolores J. Nurss

Volume VII: The Burning

Chapter 1



I base this on all that I know from dreams soon to come.  I did dream of the view, though, of a sea of clouds with peaks jutting up like islands.  And I dreamed of a report of a sugar-ship at Sargeddohl Harbor on December 28 (the dream specified the date quite clearly, inconveniently enough) and that rebels would have to target this ship.  I remember it having twin stacks.

Of course the neurological enhancements that Deirdre refers to happened in three very intense dreams in two nights of my teens.  You can read about them in "The Poison Gamble".  At the time I considered it, on one level, as story material, and on another, as coping with my guilt-feelings for having "stolen" my intelligence, being of the wrong race, class, and gender (according to society at the time) for it.

Yet new research has shown me another level, that my body knew long before science confirmed it.  I have a host of physical ailments now linked to high IQs—allergies, asthma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia—all products of the body overreacting .  Thank God I've been spared Lupus at least!  Tests have shown that I have hyper reflexes, as well (not that they're much good with arthritis!)  Greater susceptibility to PTSD also comes with the package, somewhat but not completely ameliorated by greater ability to self-psychoanalyze.

This is what teachers miss when they call IQ one's "potential" and condemn practically all "geniuses" as "underachievers".  One's potential also includes one's mental and physical health.  What set apart Leonardo DaVinci was not his intelligence alone, but also his freakishly robust health in combination with it (in his prime he would bend pokers in two for a party trick, and lived to old age in an era not known for it.)

I wrote the Cherone parts based on what made sense.  He's a mountaineer.  He loved his Aunt Soskia.  And he's not cowardly, just in shock from things outside of his experience.  Climbing down to the rescue of her remains would cover more familiar territory than trying to become a warrior.  It also fits with the timing.

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