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.Trevor James Corwin, T.J.to his friends.It was a dizzy-making place.The man was smart: smarter than any three people I could name, and a LOT smarter than I was.There was a strength to him, a will that could bend iron with a thought, tempered by sadness, by love lost.I saw the face of a beautiful Japanese woman with pale, almost silver eyes.In his thoughts, I knew she was also a mage: a wu jen, one of the Japanese wizards.I could feel the pang of loss, and knew that he still loved her, even after eight years had gone by since he’d seen her last.He still wore the ring he had planned to give her on a chain around his neck.For an instant, I loved her with the same intensity he did.I saw a rash of split-second images from his apprenticeship under Sydney Chomsky, and understood in a heartbeat why he had idolized the man.The grief of his loss hit me, then the anger at whoever had done it ripped through me all over again like a firestorm.I felt the beauty of magick when it was wielded right, in harmony with the will of the mage, and with its own will.There was a Zen quality to it when he worked a spell just right, and somehow, things just flowed.Then I was sailing back into my own mind.My head snapped back, and I blinked in surprise.Tears ran down my face as I experienced the loss of the woman he loved again in a whole new way, as his love for her became something separate from me, and I was once again Chance, a boy who had never felt what he had felt, or experienced what he had, a home where both parents were there, and could be trusted.I knew then what it was like to be…pure, whole of body and spirit, and never to have known pain so intense that it made me hallucinate.I knew what it felt like to be free.Not only to be free, but to have always been free, never to have bowed my head to someone I didn’t trust or respect.To have had my dignity intact my entire life.To see all that, and end up back in my own head made me feel even worse.The fleeting moment came when I understood, in the half of a heartbeat when Dr.C’s awareness and mine had passed each other on their respective ways back to their own resting places, that he had seen everything I had endured, and would never see his own freedom so casually again.I heard the anguished cry from Dr.C, and saw him stagger up from his chair, hands over his eyes as he stumbled against the corner of his desk.He fell back against the chalkboard and pulled his hands down, staring at me with tears of his own streaming down his face.After walking around in his brain, I almost couldn’t avoid knowing what he was thinking.He had seen the eight years of Hell on earth that I had suffered under Dulka, felt the betrayal of my father and casual cruelty of the demon and my father as they had used me and treated me as something sub-human, a tool for their own ends.I got to see myself through his eyes: a young man standing between darkness and light; a young man with potential…touched by evil, tainted by it, but not ruled by it.He also saw the boy who had been abandoned by the Conclave, and then condemned for the results of that neglect.“I’m sorry,” he said.I shrugged.The people who should have been apologizing probably never would.He slumped forward a little and began to take measured breaths: in through his nose, out through his mouth.I leaned into the backrest on the chair, trying to sift through the complicated mess I’d seen while he did the same thing.Dr.C had seen some pretty crappy stuff in his life, but I figured I won the “Sucks to be you!” award hands down.It was going to take him a little while to get a grip on what he’d just seen.After a couple of minutes, I was able to think clearly enough to get past the fading memory of TJ…no…Dr.C’s mind.I looked over at him and cleared my throat.“Uh, Dr Corwin?” I asked.“Could you take these manacles off?” He looked up at me with distant eyes, then around the room.I saw his pupils dilate, and he started trembling, as he flinched back and brought his arms up.“Crap,” I thought [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]