“Kaleb!” Chest heaving, she held out her hands, her voice coaxing. “One dance.”
“I can’t dance,” he said, even as he rose to walk to her.
“I’ll teach you.” Taking one of his hands, she placed it on her hip. “And”—a slender hand on his shoulder, the fingers of the other intertwined with his—“I won’t even try to get answers to math problems.”
Kissing her smile until it was in his blood, he processed her telepathic instructions with the brain of a Tk for whom movement was like breathing and took the first steps. Sahara gasped in delight, and then she was fluid lightning in his arms, their bodies forming a single unit as they moved across the grass.
On the horizon, the first rays of a dazzling dawn splashed the sky with color.
AS DAWN BROKE on a new day, former Councilor Kaleb Krychek, his mind linked to a mysterious woman identified as Sahara Kyriakus, told the PsyNet that Silence was no longer the guiding protocol of their race.
The Arrows, the guardians of Silence for over a century, stood by him.
The ragged remnants of Pure Psy, scattered across the planet, vowed to fight the fall to the death, to destroy the world and seed it for a better one.
Hundreds of thousands of fractured Psy went to their knees, their hearts breaking at the freedom to be what they had always been meant to be. Others huddled in confusion, waiting for someone to tell them what to do. And the weakest, they struggled not to break under a wave of change that threatened to drown.
There will be those who seek to exploit this time of change, read the decree that blazed with a single platinum star at the top, bracketed by two smaller emblems representing Nikita Duncan and Anthony Kyriakus, and underlined by a black arrow, but we will respond with deadly force against anyone, regardless of status, rank, or ability, who attempts to seize control of any part of the Net.
Our people have survived one civil war. A second will not be permitted.
The statement of authority, of control, was a beacon not only to the weak and the confused, but to those who hoped for a better future. It gave them a structure to cling to, the violence of Kaleb Krychek’s power a paradoxically stabilizing force. No one, whispered men and women from one end of the globe to the other, would dare stand against him.
For another people, such knowledge might have made them fear for their freedom, but as birds who have had their wings clipped cannot fly, no matter how wide the sky, a people trapped in bondage for over a hundred years cannot be given total freedom without a fatal cost. Structure, power, discipline, this was what they needed, Kaleb’s steel hand the only thing that halted a deadly wave of shock from ending the lives of millions.
The transition will not be easy, ended the decree, and it will not be without cost. But we are not cowards to hide from the powers that define us. We are Psy and we are capable of greatness.
It is time to step out of the dark.