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Arcta lounged against the bottom curve of an alcove wall – low-ceilinged, cushioned, and comfortable. It was just her inside, lit with a nice medium-level glow. She tugged a scrap of paper out of her fitting sleeve. Snuggling into the curve, she read.

a space on the other side
one form or another
near enough to touch
one way or another
what makes the bridge?
what do we seek?
is the bridge what we seek?
what hunger or call brings us here
to the swaying path?
I sense the desire to be known
by something that wants to know us.
we’re drawn to this pursuit,
danger seems to signify its value.
myself likely closer than most
for various reasons –
can almost touch it,
if I knew what touch meant here

({warping, trying to hold onto a memory of a physical form, but there’s something nearby that’s different; the memory is held together, but in a way that keeps changing it. hold on or hope})

There was something more about what was on the paper, some lingering experiential feeling transmitted that wasn’t in the words. She would take one of these from the stack, that Raev had written in odd moments. When he said maybe he’d write a poem about it – when she busted him out of stillfreeze – she said she’d read it. He gave her all these, that he’d written to make sense or nonsense of it. This was just the right kind of time to have a little of his presence. In full self-honesty, she wasn’t expecting much more of it.

These explanations of amorphous, bodiless experience had some scent of critical information. Reassuringly, none of it seemed like anything she could do anything about. She was just the only one who’d expressed any interest. Maybe nobody could do anything about it, at this point. All of this had been in his mind when he came out of stasis. Raev had experienced or seen a lot, somehow, during that time.

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