-  Fiction - A Permeable Fortification









In Memory
Sean Pettibone



A Permeable Fortification

Following his lead without question required an unexpected level of trust that was difficult to maintain. The other pair walked behind him with some trepidation but kept to his instinctive pace, determined not to fall behind. Their deliberate pace showed they were somewhat reluctantly allowing his command while implicitly trusting his general direction, unsure sure precisely where his path would lead. His carefully-measured excursion proceeded et a deliberate pace and he was careful not to get too far ahead, in order allow us to keep him in plain sight, without getting lost. The grassy field began to grow slightly more untamed as he moved farther out, while the three of us held our place, uncertain whether to proceed deeper into the field. I had a general idea where he was headed and couldn't wait to see the unfermented waves and tides lapping against the shoreline in quiet circumference. Anticipating the ocean's cool refreshment, I felt myself grow increasingly impatient when they motioned me to hold in place. He walked deeper into the field, unaware that we weren't following him, only taking a few marginal steps in his direction to keep him in sight. Eventually, he seemed to realize that he wasn't being followed and stopped in his unrelenting forward movement. Turning in our direction he looked at us with a mixture of confusion and angst, shaking his head with unexpected ferocity. He seemed upset and sprinted back towards us suddenly. As he approached us, he seemed to have gotten perturbed and shouted loudly. He wondered, with justifiable anger why we suddenly didn't trust him, he asked us if we doubted his abilities or motives. She didn't answer while Gemine looked on silently, neither offering an articulate explanation.

He found the lack of audible response from then unsettling, His normally constrained emotion burst outward with unexpected forcefulness. His arms became more animated and began thrusting his arms in the air with sudden urgency. Pointing at the sky, he swirled his fingers around in pivoted circles and urgently pointed out that the daylight wouldn't last forever. He asked repeatedly, with increasing anxiety what invisible force was holding us back, keeping us distance. He sensed the frustration and wondered why we'd suddenly lacked confidence after travelling across such extensive lengths without encountering under timed impositions or perilous conniptions.  Sensing that he hadn't eased their doubts, It only took him a minute to remind us of his underlying mission. Sliding his hands across the jacket quickly, he reverted to his original motivation. He patted the portrait within his suit to emphasize its importance to him and appeared to grow increasingly anxious. This appeared to ease the tension, she waved in approving manner to reassure him that she still felt a strong bond, while Gemine quickly acquiesced. His uncertainty diminished rapidly. His furtive pace no longer defensive, he resolved his demoralizing concern that we were ignoring the portrait's prominent function. We reiterated that we understood the force deriving the motivation propelling his emerging mission. She pointed directly at the portrait with determined motions. This worked immediately to counter his discouragement. Revealing her subconscious  sensitivities and comprehension allowed them to achieve an understanding. She calmly explained to him that she understood his motivation, she no longer needed additional assurance before proceeding alongside him. Reiterating that she held his considered intuition in high regard and never doubted his intentions, she thrust her arms outward to embrace him, he was reluctantly in the mood for her re-approachment. Forsaking her offer, he attempted to maintain a detached, deceptively calm exterior. He deliberately maneuvered himself into her convergent arms but worked carefully, never letting her surround him completely.

Taking a determined step away from an unnecessary confrontation, he inhaled deeply several times to regain his diminished composure. Regaining his admirable distance. he respectfully waved away her unreciprocated hug. His arms brushed past her without making contact. Insisting nothing was wrong while looking away from her, he began walking towards Gemine stridently, simultaneously unwilling to accept her offering. Standing silently without further enunciation. It was evident that she was unprepared for his sudden evasion. She retracted her arms in surrender, sliding them downward impassively and stared at him uneasily, watching his steps nervously for any further disconnection. This created an uneasy breach between them that neither desired to break. Sensing the growing, impulsive divide would serve no purpose, she quickly apologized to him for any unnecessary discomfort she might have caused. He nodded appreciatively and told her not to worry, apologizing that their modest disagreement had arisen from a simple misunderstanding,

Relieved by their hurried resolution, I returned focus to the immediate surroundings and resumed a curious inspection. Surveying the constantly shifting atmosphere above took sustained effort but its unstable surface revealed unexpected details when I examined its winding clouds closely. Their inconsistent pace a clashing colors indicated a narrow destabilization occurring within the immeasurable rows of cloudy formations. Their narrow paths swirled around each other, converging and splintering incoherently, Their stratified appearance reflected each others' forms, their strident illumination imprecisely filtered beneath the suns' glowing surfaces. Obscuring their energy slightly, created an unstable rift in the atmosphere that emboldened the growing sense of distance between the formations. A relatively narrow space created incoherent gaps that occurred sporadically, separating themselves into narrow surges as the vacant space appeared to widen. The Navigator's prescient face took in the magnificent distraction before he released himself from its broadening hold. At this point, his underlying certainty wavered then nearly dissolved. It appeared the culmative pressure was catching up to him, overwhelming his inner stability.

He began showing discouraging signs of a burgeoning, yet unspoken stress. His tranquil features became uncertain as his face started wrinkling and crackling under his apparent anguish and persistent uncertainty. It was impossible to know what extent the composition might have undermined his confidence, but I sensed that there was a high probability it might be holding him back. Looking away from the skies and down towards the field seemed to surface a clandestine worry he held within. Briskly patting his suit in fervent motions, he clasped its lapels in each hand in order to regain equilibrium. At this impassable point, he transformed into an unexpectedly sympathetic figure. He disconnected from the surroundings and seemed to have become dislocated within the grass-strewn complex. Without any visible landmarks, it was neatly impossible to map out a clear path..Frustrated, his hands continued to float across his jacket, moving vertically in recurring gestures signifying a formenting confusion. She watched him protectively, ready to assist him but keeping her distance, in order to allow him to find his own way. He persisted with his approach for an extended interval, attempting to find his bearings. This technique met with negligible results and seemed ineffective. Realizing that he needed to attain a stronger foundation to regain composure and balance, he referred back to her for assistance, She responded by extending her arms and swinging them wildly, attempting to convey a tangible solution.

It didn't appear that he understood what she struggled to indicate from that forlorn distance. Reiterating his determination, he began pacing nervously in erratic paths along uneven circles, striding across the field in unconsecrated patterns, while they kept a mute watch. He finally came to a halt before inhaling the fresh air, calmly exhaling after a short period. It was a relatively simple technique that quickly worked to rejuvenate his inner composure while restoring his confidence. Unable to explain her reluctance to blithely follow his lead, she decided to take a firm grasp of their deteriorating position. Instead of merely talking, she decided it would be more effective if she could demonstrate precisely what she was seeking to refract her increasing uncertainty. Unraveling the sleeve of her cloak and uncover her machine with a measure of resignation and reluctance, she displayed her machine plainly for him to see. He seemed taken by unexpected surprise when she revealed it to him. He commented that this was different than he remembered, a bit longer and narrower than he remembered, with additional buttons and extra switches. Precisely what functions they controlled and what reactions they elicited was something she guarded closely, keeping this aspect to herself.

Respectful of her work to an elevated degree, he decided not to demand a thorough erudition or interfere carelessly with her determined functionality, he instead changed tactics and wondered if her current machine was the same machine from their previous encounter. She answered carefully, with some evasiveness, that she might have, possibly, added to what she putatively named her convergent light machine's construction. She didn't go into more detail before elaborating that she was constantly determining new enhancements that she could implement seamlessly. Her hands worked quickly to build new enhancements, working silently to avoid exterior detection or unwanted attention. Taking a reticent approach effectively contained his simmering anger while swaying his fearful aversion into an overly-cautious defensiveness. She built up enough courage to uncover it again and adjusted its dials intuitively until her machine reached the correct balance. Holding. It upward into the sky before pointing its center directly at towards the sun. At this point, the machine produced a narrow beam of faint light swirl outward and converge into a narrow line that pointing eastward, in direct, almost completely mirrored opposition to the directional heading he was previously travelling. Taking a careful step while moving at a determined measure closer, I noticed reflexive symptoms as it began shaking slightly in her hand. She ticked one of its dials carefully and clicked several of its switches in rapid fashion.

Her furtive adjustments didn't produce immediately tangible response at first, but something began happening as she patiently allowed it to complete its elaborate formulations. Her machine began glowing in a translucent blue color that solidified until it appeared to surround the entire machine. Balancing it firmly allowed it to stabilize until its beam began narrowing, the pointed directly to a specific point at the divergent section of the field. It drew an unexpectedly forceful line that traced across the field, tracing a narrow beam across the surface until it connected with a small sapling peering just above the shy grass on the other side of the field. Half-expecting it to commence building some type of doorway or entrance, but was slightly disappointed when it only illuminated and highlighted the tree's outer branches and went no further. Perhaps, she'd only partially energized her machine. This represented all the reinforcement she needed. She quickly turned off her machine and began jogging towards the indicated tree, motioning for us to join her quickly.

Convinced by the insinuations of unconstricted flexibility and consistent stability her machine's elaborate display provided, Gemine placed herself behind the flowing dark cloak, gliding across the field until she was almost jogging alongside her. Holding back and looking around the permeable field I surveyed the surrounding area carefully before running ahead over its connotative growth, I looked towards the mysterious figure a recurrent signal but he remained still, seemingly shocked by the sudden change in perspective she provided. Looking in my direction, the Navigator appeared genuinely puzzled nu her inexplicable actions, He asked me, with a sense of befuddlement, if I'd ever seen her machine perform that way. He deduced that it seemed to him that her machine's surfaces resembled an elaborate mirror, when lit revealed previously unseen aspects within a seemingly innocuous object, like a small, relatively defenseless sapling swinging inconspicuously along a modest breeze at the perimeter of a serene field. A seemingly unimportant figure gained unexpected resonance when viewed from a divergent perspective, imbued with an unlikely resplendence.

He appeared puzzled but curious by its inner contradictions, how she held her machine's power in check. He sounded impressed when he further observed that it fastidiously obeyed her commands without exceeding her instruction. Before he could ruminate further, he dashed ahead unexpectedly, in order to gain an adjacent vantage. Unwilling to be left behind, I ran ahead across the field, disregarding my underlying caution. It didn't take long for me to reach the standing point, indicated with a small point embedded or carved on the narrow tree trunk. It would have been difficult to find on its own, but a prescient illumination from her machine alerted me to its presence, making it easy for me to locate. The other stood just outside its perimeter, awaiting for an unknown arrival. Conversing with each other quietly, they expressed some trepidation with the sudden change in direction her machine pointed toward. Eventually deciding to allow her to take the lead, the looked ahead with a mixture of anticipation and nerves.

Just beyond the tree, a narrow embankment stretched downward. This would entail traversing an irregular path, with a rocky surface, descending alongside a steep cliff. It wouldn't be easy to work through the impediments. The sharp points extruded outward consistently, alongside undefined structures and gaping holes. The cavernous encampment was outwardly intimidating, demanding that we remain careful and move slowly to avoid slipping. Nobody wanted to take the lead upon our uneasy view. It didn't look particularly welcoming and none of us seemed to have stored up enough courage to work our way through its improbable angles and inconsistent slopes without assistance. We needed to consider that its slender path left no space for anyone to stand at our side. Conversely, it was still bright enough to allow us a clear view of the excursion, but we realized the suns' illumination wouldn't remain vibrant forever.

If we decided to hike the long way down, we knew it wouldn't be an easy task. Expecting a rough journey deep into the cavern meant the challenge wasn't something we could take lightly, but it seemed one of us would have to make the leap based mostly on instincts. The others appeared somewhat fearful, unable to proceed beyond the diminutive sapling. I decided against allowing further indecisiveness to take hold. Looking at the others, revealed that I held an advantage since I was smaller and skinnier than my taller companions. This gave me just enough confidence that I'd be able to maneuver across the intangible route successfully. Imbued with a sudden infusion of confidence, I skipped ahead of them, quickly walking past them. Jumping somewhat impetuously over the grass, I landed on a narrow bridge at the top of the canyon.

In my excited state, my uncontrolled feet carelessly knocked a couple of tiny stones from their place but they rolled gently and fell over for the most part. My first impact didn't appear to cause excessive disruption, and I stood up and looked around my tangible placement in order to gain perspective. Immediately encountering a short line of shallow stairs leading downward, into a seemingly fathomless breach. Walking cautiously expended surprisingly little effort. I quickly found myself in front of a intact, yet occasionally splintered bridge. Its wooden planks creaked loudly as I crossed the extruding boards, but they didn't bend or submit to my weight. Traversing over its surface, I felt surprisingly stable, withstanding a mild breeze that blew from the recesses far beneath my feet. Keeping my balance and focus meant avoiding distractions, with allowed me to follow several flights of uneven rock-strewn steps inexorably downward. I felt a change in the atmosphere as I continued following the cavernous structure's undetermined dents.

The atmospheric winds inconsiderately accelerated, heedlessly thickened and impetuously combined into a singular gale, immobilizing and merging into the flowing currents seeping downward far above my location. Its diminishing pace seemed to evolve into something more deliberate. Its thick layers built a hidden barrier that discouraged to temptation to proceed recklessly. Looking above briefly, I realized the suns' predominance had faded beneath the cloudy vantage, as the atmosphere rapidly condensed. This created an inexorably thickening layer that blurred the surrounding area, impeding and interrupting clarity. As I ventured farther into the stratified roadway, its challenging maneuvers grew increasingly complex. It drew increasing angled paths that twisted in unexpected directions. Issuing an inconsistent journey, the unrelenting surface didn't prevent me from moving ahead. I was determined to uncover what awaited us.

Keeping a steady, measured pace allowed me to work my way down the undulating paths at a steady rate. I realized that I wasn't taking the conjecture entirely alone, when I heard distant steps above me. Following my lead, I heard them crossing the bridges and curved paths at steady pace, their feet cascading on top of scattered branches, cruising past the strewn stones and unforeseen objects quite a bit easier than I thought they would. Taking a more direct path than my cautious expedition, allowed them to catch up to me quickly. Forging a prominent path through the diffused walkways and bridges allowed me to venture ahead at a relatively expedient pace. I remained careful not to become overly confident, keeping a humble awareness of the potentially dangerous surface high throughout the exploration.

After undergoing a somewhat tiring excursion alongside the steep cliffs, I found myself close to arriving at a location nearing the plunging valley's deepest point. Nearing the bottom, the heightened steps began to straighten and flatten, allowing me to take longer steps. The surrounding area worked conversely and its cloudy surface thickened further until it resembled a dense fog that made it extremely difficult to pass through. Encountering the ethereal barrier caused me to stop in my tracks for several minutes while I figured out how to proceed safely into its distempered, gasping breach. My unanticipated involvement allowed the others to catch up to my location. Slightly elevated several feet above the bottom, we could see the outlines of its surface but not the precise details. Reluctant to leap into the building fog without a clear path, I waited hopefully for the layers of fog to lift, irrationally anticipating that they'd eventually be burned off by the distant sun's glare. I said a small prayer for assistance from far above but my entreaties went unanswered. Looking towards the three of them plaintively seeking advice but they lacked productive insights or tangible advice. After thinking about the perplexing situation carefully, the Navigator arrived at a conclusive determination I didn't anticipate.

Inspired by a sudden invocation, he sprung up nearly instantaneously and began speaking feverishly. Without undue fanfare he quickly explained the reasoning behind his simple yet ingenious idea. He suggested that I should adjust my viewpoint. He'd arrived at a disarmingly simple technique, He explained that all I needed to do was carefully follow the ground. I needed to tilt my eyes downward occasionally and follow path at our feet. I hadn't considered taking that counter-intuitive approach but when I tried his technique, I found his conclusion surprisingly accurate and effective. Walking across the narrow steps, I was able to use the ground's visible foundations as a guide with surprising effectiveness. Gradually realizing that the lower reaches hadn't succumbed entirely to the threatening fog. This phenomenon occurred naturally and I commenced carefully plotting my next steps using the ground itself as a tangible compass with its natural shadows forming directive arrows. This technique let me systematically avoid hidden cracks and gaps and walk around embedded boulders and stones. After exhausting myself constantly changing my view, I knelt down and proceeded ahead, taking a mainly-crouching stance that was much simpler and easy to maintain. The lower equilibrium allowed me to find a quicker path. Walking at a noticeably efficient and consistent pace through the murky environs. I was able to make inroads. Scrunched beneath the cloudy permutations revealed a path that remained clouded while adequately visible. Implementing his idea brought a surprising relief and instilled a reinvigorating confidence. Regaining momentum quickly, I managed to move past the remaining steps unimpeded, stopping occasionally to map the immediate area. Drawing closer to the encroaching surface with each step intensified my determination. An unspoken convergence of the disparate elements converged, Its strength served to fortify and guide me the remaining distance. The length ahead of me rapidly diminished until I arrived at the cavernous formation's lowest point.

I was met along the path by the Navigator who concealed the portrait carefully beneath his jacket but determined not to become fixated by its mesmerizing force, Indistinctly placed alongside other papers, its folded edges were vaguely visible but didn't predominate. Standing at the absolute bottom of the pervasive canyon, I stood up and watched the others as they climbed down the stairs, carefully moving towards the encampment we managed to carve at the surface. The clouds seemed to have dissipated to a tangible degree, but their forms remained slightly unfocused from that distance. Waiting for them with some impatience, he looked over the surrounding area above the surface warily. He looked around and saw no indication of where we should head next, Settling beneath the clouds, I could see the outlines of what appeared to be a river seamlessly flowing in the distance. The area beyond the horizon wasn't immediately visible but its lively waves appeared to represent a tangible signal indicating that we were pointed in the most efficient direction where we wouldn't need to waste time wandering around the unmarked surface aimlessly for an extended period.

Looking west into the opposing angle revealed a empty space in the divergent path, seemingly abandoned. I began tracing the river in my mind but was reluctant to forge further on my own without assistance. Standing in place, its flattened surface felt stable and firm, its clean surface uninterrupted by hidden rocks. Holding position, I heard a clasping noise as they finally made contact with the surface. They didn't stop for long once the reached the cavernous formation's smooth outer edge, and quickly sprinted toward us. Marking distance quickly, they pair effortlessly arrived at our location and began surveying the situation. Examining the surrounding area , they intuitively arrived at the same conclusion I'd reached. Gemine spoke first and signaled that we should head eastward and follow the river's stream without hesitation. The others nodded in agreement and began walking along its banks precipitously. Marking space efficiently, our consistent pace picked up momentum as we ventured further from the humid, foggy air into brighter conditions. The river's current retained its culmative energies accompanying the washing form's voluminous pace. its undiminished currents and consistent flow acting to motivate our proficient excursion.

Its outwardly gentle disposition belied an enduring strength that propelled its unstoppable waves ever onward. This inspired us to keep moving. The suns' strong beams reappeared, burning through the final remnants of the foggy shadows. Clarifying the atmosphere allowed a different perspective to emerge. An insistent rhythm continued from the nearby river but something about its structure seemed unsettlingly forced, predetermined with a precise rate that didn't deviate. Pivoting toward the other side of the river's stringently undulating waves. I was surprised that its accompanying shoreline on the opposite side of the carefully-embedded river appeared strangely constrained without the expected uneven barriers and extensions jutting erratically from its embankments weren't visible. Without stray rocks, eroded sands or uncontrolled clashes where they converged, the adjoining portions seemed unusually reticent It took on an unusually precise form, emerging smoothly from the interior. The shore's steady transition and mannered slope caused created an unusually smooth transition. Its boundaries appeared predetermined, taking a heavily-ordered, fastidious transition from land to water. The dutiful river's nearly-mechanical implementation and unwavering appearance might have concerned them, but they seemed to overlook its meticulously-arranged confluence. Instead they carefully aligned their eyes until they were invariably occupied, completely focused on the unfolding path ahead of our tenuous position.

She looked around and instinctively noticed that I was holding back to a significant degree, my pace slowed from examining the subdued forms on the periphery. She appeared exasperated with my diffused attention and took a moment to remind me that we were on a journey, not an expedition. She forcefully advised me to regain my resolve and avoid squandering my energies on insignificant distractions. Her Somewhat ashamed and discouraged, I bowed apologetically and nodded in her direction, disappointed that I allowed myself to lose concentration. Reconsidering the over-arching objective, I knew she was correct, and resolved to regain a proportionate response. The route ahead had flattened and cleared but I couldn't allow myself to become too comfortable. I looked straight ahead and ignored the periphery, keeping pace as we rapidly moved deeper towards our nebulous objective. She ha flawless instinct, because soon afterwards, the river's route began shifting. It's surface started bending, discreetly at first until predominantly turning in more complicated directions. Following it required a greater concentration on my end, but I managed to keep a steady pace as its twisting path rolled further upstream, mirroring the increasingly unpredictable directions ahead.

Continuing across the surface required a permeable stamina that required as to rely on instinct, there were no tangible signs directing us where to go. We had to rely on the increasing erratic river's flowing waters and its inconsistent flows for a sense of guidance. This uncertainty seemed to undermine Gemine's inspiration, and her hesitant pace stilted as she tried to keep herself centered. Trailing behind with her majestic black cloak, she didn't seem to mind its uncertain path, instead enjoying a somewhat conversant journey with the surrounding area and the newfound freedom the dissolved clouds provided. Quietly following along passively and observing the surroundings without elucidation, he didn't much effort though it seemed his caution was more due to his reluctance to wrinkle or defray his suit. Walking behind them from a close angle, I remained somewhat guarded, and looked around nervously in order to counter any further unforeseen intimidations.

We began imperceptivity descending, walking ever deeper alongside the rolling waters, descending at a shallow angle while our eventual objective remained out of view. The immediate circumvention dispersed much of our expectations, causing us to follow a languid, deliberate pace. Slipping overhead past their peak, the suns' hold further weakened, shifting the inherent hue from a brightly filtered illumination towards a deeper hue. The skies converged and clarified as its blustering winds inexorably shifted. The  atmosphere filled with an strange violet hue mixed with slots of grey, coursing overhead in formative fashion. Streaking across the suns' surfaces, the lingering clouds dissipated slowly, merging to form a convergent violet backdrop that appeared wash their trails from view. Looking across the vibrant landscape, Gemine seemed impressed by the elaborate display at that point. She stopped for a moment and looked around carefully, letting the colors wash in. Soaking its resplendent hues, she further responded by circling her hands around, then squaring them until they formed long partitions, framing the surroundings quickly allowing herself to memorize the transient moment in her mind, even as the ethereal remnants scattered beneath the swirling skies.

Assuming a stoic posture, The Navigator resolved not to become thrown-off by the encircling waves of color. He steadfastly ignored the per mutative encircling skies and concentrated solely on the path ahead of his. Looking straight ahead, he kept his distance from the skies above, walking steadily across the stone path, taking a defiant stride that measured his pace, keeping time with tithe accompanying waves as they slid past him. His unwavering determination worked to inspire our excursion with renewed conviction. We made a pronounced effort to refocus their attention. Following suit, we shook off the over-washing environment and its magnetic colors, shielding our eyes from its mysterious glow. Resuming our journey, we forcefully walked past the incoherent bubbles of color above and waited for their churning motion to subside. Intuiting that we needed to keep attention on the horizon directly ahead yielded a steady rate as we followed his lead. Our concentrated perspective was proficient for an extensive interval, and the landscape flattened. A quick glance upward revealed the atmosphere had stabilized, retreating into a solid form. The chaotic colors were passively overwhelmed by a DE saturated purple that faded back into a relatively neutral state. No longer distracted by the swirling mists above, we were able to forge ahead fearlessly. The bending path straightened as its erratically bending paths straightened in a predictable manner.

Maintaining an incomprehensibly redolent pace, he kept a determined vantage that didn't respond to the sporadic crunches and cracks his feet made occasional contact with objects on the ground. Those scattered detriments provided no barrier to his fixation on unraveling the portrait's firmly-embedded mysteries. He never lost sight of his primary objective, walking across the surface undeterred by anything that might cross his path. We kept our silent observation as we walked a respectful length behind him, unwilling to interfere with his efforts. Eventually arriving at a narrow place protected by resplendent branches from the simmering suns' glare we took a short respite. This opportunity provided enough space for us to recalibrate our objective and replenish stamina. I closed my eyes and unexpectedly found myself sliding off into an emergent doze, before involuntarily falling into partial slumber. This didn't last as long as I thought it would, as I was manifestly awakened with an unexpected alarm.

 Opening my eyes without prompt, working instinctively, the pronounces shift was accompanied by an incrementally pulsating sound. Gemine's voice echoed through the cavernous breach, effortlessly calming the growing uncertainties. She kept herself unexpectedly stoic, not immediately concerned by the temporal disruption. Comprehensively intrigued by the fermenting conniptions, the continual reverberations shook the surrounding section. Gemine and the Navigator held their balance with a measure of caution, moving towards the objective slowly. My blurry, unfocused eyes couldn't immediately comprehend what had elicited her involvement. I couldn't see anything directly ahead of us and found myself initially confused. Without premonition, her disposition changed immediately. She jumped up suddenly before steering our attention eastward, sliding presciently through the gasping fermentations. The convergent atmosphere surrounding us began invigorating itself with renewed conviction. I was unable to locate the source of its power until I looked at her steady gaze held intently on a firm position, Tracing her directions quickly and instinctively, I turned my eyes across the breach for several uneasy moments until an unmistakable form emerged from within the elusive contours of the murky,recalcitrant environment.

- Michael Palisano