Nov 29, 2022 8:40 PM
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The room was as her mother had described it. She had fasted since breakfast yesterday, aside from one apple and a little cheese, both of which she lost into the void wall; her mother had been right about that too.

Once that was over she went to the door, remembered her mother’s parting advice — with a mana stock inadequate to bar the door against an unfriendly ant or burn a hostile bumblebee she had best follow it. She used the tip of the dagger her father had given  her to open drawers — nothing in them. Nothing under the bed.

Next the cafeteria, letters to deliver and a friend to meet. Best to keep her pack on her until she could secure her room. Out the door. Her room number was 512, easy to remember but her mother had told her to write it down, so she did.

The hall was full of people all moving the same way; she joined them. More than she had ever seen in one room — the record for that was seven, when she visited Mari in her enclave. Probably more than she had seen in her whole life before. One thing that would be different.

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