I shouldn’t have felt grateful that a work crisis forced my mother to fly home a day early. Not only was that bad news, but I’d been glad of her help as I settled in. Apart from that one interrupted conversation, she’d refrained from saying anything about CM, and got along well with Liesel.
But in the end, I was still a college freshman, and ready to get out from under the parental wing.
Liesel and I headed off to orientation, which someone with a sense of the dramatic had decided to hold at the campus monument. As memorials to First Manifestation went, it was tasteful: a circular plaza of dark green marble, edged with three grey arches for the three branches of the psychic sciences. No lists of the dead, or of cities burned; just the seals of the countries that had signed onto the Cairo Accords after the chaos died down. It should have been bakingly hot, but a pleasant breeze blew steadily — so steadily that I wondered if it had magical help.
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