The Humanity of Reversals


This too shall pass.

He shifted under her, but he was firmly immobilised, and quickly gave up.

"How -"

She smiled widely, savouring the power she had over him. "Surely you should know never to ask a magician her tricks."

"Very droll. However your situation is unchanged -"

The shutter closed again, and they were back to blankness. But not in Astarlane's mindspace. This was Tenever's.

Ordered rows of knowledge marched off into the distance, patiently awaiting retrieval. Interesting but useless. Lower down a dull bronze glow caught her attention.

Shutter. Shut - Shutter.

There was no transition, no warning sign. It was a purely binary flip between the surface layers of patiently sorted cool intelligence and a consuming fire beneath.

Surrounded by flame and flying shrapnel, Astarlane watched in awe as memories passed of friends burning and dying in hallways that had known only meditative calm for hundreds of years.

This was a fury worth appreciating.

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Inspired by (sequel to):

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The Tenderness of Humanity
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