By Dolores J. Nurss

Volume VII: The Burning

Chapter 24



          I wrote the battle’s aftermath based on the awareness that Kiril is a telepath.  Yet I also tapped into a dream about the earlier Duerlongh mission, where Merrill, of all people, drank a psigenic that made even him capable of telepathy, and used this to lead a decisive battle that ended a war before it had fully begun, knitting all of the soldiers together.  I also dreamed of Deirdre limping from a toe injury, back in the lowlands again.

          The first Duerlongh dream was the one that saved my life.  I was eighteen years old.  I had a suicide plan plotted out to the last detail and planned to execute it in the morning.  But that night I dreamed of being Deirdre trying to keep Merrill from a reckless action by plying him with a cordial that, strangely enough, he accepted, even though he normally hates to drink.  I only gradually became aware that it was also intensely psigenic and mind-altering in an unexpected way.

          But it was more than that. It crossed world-barriers in its properties.  For an instant Merrill looked at me, fully aware of me as Dolores dreaming of being Deirdre, and I realized that in fact he had laid this trap for me, the dreamer.  I woke up, the next morning, thoroughly, goofily sedated, and remained that way all day, not at all inclined to die, and by the time it wore off I had gotten over the bad patch.

          The parts on the open seas just came up that way.

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