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Jun 05, 2020 9:39 AM
Bruce Banner as Vanyel, from end of book 1 of "A Song for Two Voices"
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"We need to get you indoors where it's warmer," the girl is saying. "Hey, you – what's your name? I'm Shavri. Do you know him and did you see what happened–" She breaks off, blinking. "What? Sorry, what, why can't I bring him to the House of Healing? I don't – fine, nevermind, I won't. Hey what's-your-name, where does he live?" 

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Mardic says something inaudible but the girl seems to catch it okay. 

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However, now she's yanking at his shoulder, trying to pull him into a sitting position. "Can you ride? It's supposed to be really easy to ride a Companion and that's the fastest way to get you somewhere more comfortable than this." 

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He tries to help her pull him up, remembers the last time someone tried to pull him somewhere and bursts into tears.

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"Shh, hey – am I hurting you? Sorry. I'm trying to be gentle." The girl gets his arm over her shoulders and hauls him up, she's stronger than she looks, and directs Mardic to wrestle his leg up over the white mare's back. 

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"Sorry--it's--sorry . . ." And now he's clinging to a Companion again, but she's not Gala because Gala's DEAD and 'Lendel is DEAD. He tries not to fall off because that's at least maybe achievable, tears washing tracks through the mud and blood on his face.

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Hanging on turns out to be achievable, at least as far as their destination, which is currently dark and unlit but Mardic runs in ahead of them and unlocks a door and then candlelight is shining and he's holding the glass door open. They're back at Savil's suite. At the bedroom that he and 'Lendel had, before. 

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Abras is, if possible, even more overwhelmed by memories. Part of him is expecting 'Lendel to walk in any minute and say "Gods, Abras, what have you done to yourself now?". But he won't, because he's DEAD DEAD DEAD.

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"Heat us up some blankets," the girl called Shavri barks at Mardic, somehow managing to sound very authoritative despite being, at most, thirteen. She turns back to him and her voice is softer as she drags him off the Companion's back. "Hey. Abras – that's your name, right? It's just a few steps and then we'll be inside. You can do it. Lean on me, that's it – shh, hey, are you in pain? Your friend isn't sure what happened but I'll figure it out and I'll do something about it, I promise, just need to get you out of the cold first. Come on." She's talking to him very loudly and slowly, sort of like he's a small child, but it does make it easier to understand. 

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If he had more room for emotions he'd be embarrassed that he needs to be talked to like a child and grateful that she's making the effort. "Hurts," he says. "Something hurts. Don't know what. Tylendel's dead." Oh, he said that last bit out loud.

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"Who's that, sorry?" Then she makes a sound. "Oh. I see. I, um, you're really wet, let's get you undressed and in bed and then I'll try to figure out what's hurting so I can help – thank you, Mardic!" He's brought over a pile of blankets. 

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He finds a moment or two to be embarrassed about being undressed in between memories of 'Lendel undressing him, but being out of wet clothes is better than being in them and being horizontal in a bed is better than any other state reachable from this one. He might fall asleep again if people stop asking him questions.

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Shavri starts asking Mardic questions instead - about what just happened, and Mardic is fumblingly trying to explain about wyrsa and a Gate and he’s sorry he doesn’t know what he did wrong - but they keep their voices low.

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Then Bruce is just going to follow his incentive gradient away from pain and right out of consciousness bye.

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He wakes up because there are people talking at his bedside, although it's unclear if they're talking to him – also it's unclear if all the things that he's hearing are actually being said out loud. There's an adult Healer there, and...Queen's Own Lancir? 

And now they're talking to him! "Abras?" Lancir is saying. "We're trying to figure out what happened, I just need to look at something, but it might hurt if I'm right about the problem. Can you let us know if it's too bad and Gemma here can keep you unconscious for it?" 

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Ouch, looks like he's conscious again. Wow there's a lot going on, and the Queen's Own is here, what's all this, ah shit he forgot to answer the question again. "Okay?" That's probably a logical thing to have said. 

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And then suddenly it's like someone is jabbing him in one of the places that hurts, the ones that don't feel like they should exist anywhere in normal space, and Lancir audibly sucks a breath in between his teeth.

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Nope nope this is not okay actually! "Aaaaaa!"

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“Goodness. Gemma, on reflection, please do keep him under for this.”

And then everything goes away again. 

When the world comes back, there are still people in the room and they are still talking. There even seems to be a new person and her voice is familiar... What is Queen Elspeth of all people doing in his bedroom.

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That's a good question! He has no clue! Maybe if he holds very still she will not notice he exists. Probably this plan is doomed because if she hadn't already noticed he exists she wouldn't be here, but it's the best plan he's got.

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Unfortunately for that plan, it does in fact seem to be a conversation about him. It's hard to follow, though; it's a very confusing and nonsensical conversation, there seem to be several worried monologues happening interspersed and sometimes overlapping with it and it almost sounds like people are speaking over themselves. Gifts are mentioned? Something something Gate. Savil's name comes up. Now Lancir is talking about Tylendel and the worried monologue that also sounds like Lancir is on about lifebonds. 

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Why are people talking over each other? Why are people talking over themselves? It makes sense that the world doesn't make any sense with Tylendel not in it but he hates it. 

Wait, some of them are talking without moving their mouths. Is he hearing people's thoughts. Oh gods, he is, isn't he, he's eavesdropping on people's minds and they don't know it. He should tell them. That means talking. He gets as far as saying "Um. Hello." out loud and then realizes that everyone's going to think he's being ridiculous, because he isn't a Thoughtsenser and he's just been injured and from the amount and confusingness of the resulting pain he can't be sure he wasn't hit really hard on the head.

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Unfortunately now everyone is paying a lot of attention to him. 

”Abras! You’re awake?” Lancir is saying. “Can you talk to me? How are you feeling?” He sounds apologetic. And sad, guilty, regretful - no, he feels that way, Abras is sensing his feelings? “I’m sorry Yfandes can’t be in with you. She’s trying not to Mindspeak you, doesn’t want to hurt you. But she’s thinking of you, I promise, and you’ll have a chance to see her soon..”

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"I'm reading everyone's minds on accident and I don'tknowhowtostopsorry." He doesn't have words for the sucking corrosive pit of grief at the center of his brain; he also doesn't know he's wordlessly projecting it everywhere.

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“Are you? I’m sorry, we must not be being careful with shields. Here, I can put mine on you.” He touches Abras’ forehead and the monologues cut off. 

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