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The Princess hadn’t given herself time to think for a while, but at least she was still conscious, if barely. She’d been hoping a horizon would arrive before she knew it. Since that wasn’t the case, forebrain awareness resurfaced in the way one would think to check the time. She wasn’t yet a third tired, and when she reached tiring, she could bring herself up again. There weren’t any hours in this process, and if there were they might even function differently, like space and motion. So she measured herself against herself.

Soleil became better at this sojourning. If she wasn’t where she wanted to be, she could look for a way onward, finding it somewhere between the elements that were now becoming familiar. Remembered songs arose more frequently in her concentration, chaining themselves one after another like a musical channel. She would clear her thoughts when they became too loud, quieting the mind until she desired new guidance. It was both refreshing and grounding to picture it like bringing her boat to the riverside as she traveled on down. She began to imagine a sunrise – then shook herself back into the reality of blackness and stars.

The songs coming to mind were like guidances in that they weren’t strictly self-selected; they were connected to the phenomena she was observing. Their hearkenings and correlations went unexpectedly from one to the other, from moment to moment in her life that gave her the next idea where to go. It was anything you could hold onto out here.

Sometimes, she let herself and the music stop. Silence of motion. When it came time to move, she moved.

Her imagined music grew in detail and volume; she began to trust it. The Princess even smiled, perhaps for no good reason. She dialed down her pace and turned a third spent to a quarter, having seen no signpost.

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