He walked to one rail and could see the night sky. There, dragons and three-horned unicorns fought a pitched battle with no real objective. Below, he could barely make out the dense traffic of an immense unfamiliar city. He walked to the rail on the opposite side and could see a vast courtyard stretching almost to the horizon. It was filled with the elderly in wheelchairs, with drunks from city streets, with wild-eyed denizens of the night talking vividly to voices that were only in their heads. It was filled with children, normal save their rhythmic motions and self-contained postures. It was filled with millions who had become lost in their minds, in some spots entire families, in other places generation upon generation of a common, foredoomed bloodline. Interspersed with them were guards, tall and thick, dressed in purple, holding two-headed beasts that even from Charlie’s high vantage point seemed enormous.
He had found the Source, and, in the distance, a small figure looked across from a glass-enclosed tower and scowled. Charlie, in his anger and despair, and for the very first time in his young life, had unleashed the full expanse of his mind, and walked unbidden directly into the deep, hidden mind of his nemesis, Siri. He was dreaming, fully awake, consciously guiding his mind to that place beyond consciousness. The dark one was surprised, angered, and extraordinarily frightened. Charlie had done what many had tried, but none had accomplished, and he had done so with just a whisper of a wish. Across the myriad miles that separated them, the two met eye to eye, and Charlie smiled.
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