The Solar Towers

By Materia_Blade All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Scifi

The Helios Array

The first class of the day was astronomy, as it had been since as far back as I could remember. I sat in my usual seat near the front right side of the room. Occasionally I’d been able to sneak in on Mr. Bales mid-lecture without him even noticing!

Of course he would usually notice a few minutes later but that was irrelevant. If I’d succeeded then, I’d already won for the day.

The classroom held about forty students, a bit larger than most. The school was pretty much the only place for a solid hour drive in any direction for a teacher to work though, so the staff could handle the large influx of students.

Classes in school were lined up A through R division this year. More letters were added as needed and groups were separated into classes of about thirty to forty students, who would usually stick together from freshman year until senior so I knew all of these people pretty well.

There were a few deviations, of course, particularly for the electives after lunch, but for the most part, everyone knew their first hour astronomy class, and a significant portion of their backstory by senior year.

A few of the others waved at me, one of them holding up one of Gavin’s papers and clapping his hands twice to get my attention.

“Hey Brandon, is it true? Did you really walk out into the sun for this girl?” Asked John Warner. He was a tall, athletic boy with a spitfire tongue. Mr. Bales liked him too, but the boy had a habit of talking about people behind their backs. He was a basketball player, and apparently a pretty good one. I wouldn’t know.

“That’s so romantic!” Gabby Ellen chimed in. She was a short blond girl who truly lived up to her reputation as a gossip. In her hand was a copy of the elastic newspaper, clicked over to the my article instead of just the front page. When she waved it in my face, I went a little green.

It was a picture of me with boils on my skin, hovering over a hospital gurney that presumably held Clara, but she was hidden from view by a doctor. I looked about ready to fall on my face, skin scabbed and burned, but I appeared to be staring down at the gurney like a concerned boyfriend. I hardly remembered that mad run for the Nurse’s office, holding the unconscious girl.

I was a little surprised some of the other students were only hearing about this now. I’d been out of class for the remainder of that week being treated for my own burns, light as they were. Last week I’d tried to keep to myself, and largely succeeded with the noticeable exception of blowing up on Haley.

Gavin’s article appeared to have changed all that.

“I heard he’s visited her every day after school since.” Someone whispered loud enough for anyone in the room to hear.

I bristled, irritated. I had goddamn nightmares about that girl and her bubbling skin, and these people were trying to romanticize it?

“It wasn’t like that, okay? It definitely wasn’t romantic. Can you just drop it already?” I asked, more to the room itself than any individual.

“Touchy, touchy.” John replied, with a grin.

John was a bit of an ass. I’d never really liked him. He was the type of kid who flunked every class in school and seemed like he already had a cell lined up for himself after he graduated. If he graduated. It was a surprise to even see him here to be honest. There was probably a basketball game tonight.

“No, he’s right. It isn’t romantic at all. He was seriously injured because that girl is a lunatic! Its heroic if anything,” Haley said, and beamed at me. I think she expected me to smile back at her but the words only made me more disgusted with her.

Apparently Brenda’s “We feel guilty,” didn’t actually include Haley.

How dare she!?

I wanted to snipe at her somehow. Tell her I knew it was her fault Clara had tried to… to kill herself. Tell her she should be ashamed. Or just… something! But I didn’t have the words. I couldn’t even come up with a subtle attempt to make her feel guilty. I was never good with snappy comebacks.

“Whatever,” I said nonchalantly as I sat down in my usual seat. We probably wouldn’t be at the desks for long, but I pulled out my book anyway. I’d finished my homework, and actually felt pretty good about it for once.

Monroe had remained silent through the whole exchange, and most of the class seemed to realize that I didn’t want to talk about it. April, my other close friend along with Monroe, shot me a concerned look. I waved at her and gave her a sad but accepting grin.

My little bout of fame will blow over soon enough, I’m sure.

As if my sitting had prompted his appearance, Mr. Bales glided into the room, his long mustaches blowing like living things. Pushing either his upper forties or early fifties, Mr. Bales was a stately, sophisticated sort who had a soft spot for pretty much every student he taught. He wore a brown suit every day no matter how hot it surely was, and kept his graying hair cut short. He was a stickler for the rules but he wasn’t unsympathetic to a few tardies or even a few skipped classes if he felt you were adequately accomplishing the coursework.

He was one of my favorite teachers. The type of person who was usually much smarter than everyone else in any room he walked into, but never really held it against anyone. Why he spent his time here teaching when he could probably have my Mom’s job ten times over I never understood. Perhaps that was just the sort of person he was.

“Ah, it seems everyone has beaten me here today. Oh, except Mr. Kincaid. Hmm well that’s alright. Good good. Well, its Monday. You all know what that means. Right. Assignments here, and to the telescopes,” he made a gesture to a basket on the front of his desk and a few groans followed his announcement. Mine wasn’t among them for once. My homework was done.

I pulled the folded paper out of my book and smoothed it on my desk before following the majority of students as they got up to hand in the weekend’s assignment and then made my way to the backside of the classroom where the twenty odd telescopes were arrayed.

The back of the room was a long desk lined up against the wall on all three sides. Each station had its own protrusion that looked sort of like a pair of long binoculars sticking out of the wall. Each student could look in those eyeholes and see through their telescope arrayed on the outside of the room, and adjust the angle by inputting astronomical coordinates in the small keypad on the desks.

All fifteen astronomy rooms on the third floor had a similar set up. The world needed as many eyes as possible on the sun, after all.

I arrived at my own, telescope number 17, and was surprised to see that Chase Kincaid, my partner for the month, didn’t seem to be here today.

A sudden memory hit me like a truck. Last Friday, Chase had been talking about getting new tires. He drove a beat up older Ford that probably wouldn’t do well in a breakdown.

He’s got a cell phone and its early morning yet. The buses could get to him easy if he had trouble. I’m sure he’s fine…

Even so, Chase wasn’t the type of person to skip classes unless he had to. Try as I might I couldn’t stop the niggling worry that crept into my gut. But Mr. Bales didn’t seem worried and it was his job to worry. I assumed he probably knew what Chase was up to, and put it out of my mind.

“Alright. Nothing unusual today. Keep your eyes open. Now tomorrow we’ll finally be starting on the inner planets and getting closer to the sun itself at the end of the semester, but you all know your assignments for today,” Mr. Bales said as he sat down at his desk and began looking over the papers we’d handed in.

I was rather proud of mine. Last Friday we’d been assigned to write a short essay on the changes the Helios Array had made to planets other than Earth, and use observations to supplement the essay.

It wasn’t like any of us were actually expected to find anything new. I’d long suspected that the thought process on teaching Astronomy for all four years of high school was a hope that some new genius would come out of no where and be able to understand Sunsoul in the same way the nearly-legendary Dr. Fontaine had.

That was just unlikely. The number of people who could even see Sunsoul was miniscule, and that was practically a requirement to work in any of the upper positions of Tellroan. Though every now and then a few students with particularly insightful essays got picked up for a job, or one of the other power companies that were working to create the Towers.

Or, obviously, the students who could see Sunsoul, which could only be tested if students actually spent time looking.

Most students usually just took assignments like this one as an excuse for an easy A. All you really had to do was mention how Mars was turning green, and pepper in little factoids to reach the five hundred word count requirement. I liked astronomy though. Iactually thought I might’ve discovered something this time, though it was just a little thing. I had a theory that the rotational speed of asteroids was slowing down. I had no idea why but it did seem to be true.

Maybe the knowledge would help one of the geniuses figure out how to reverse the process the Helios Array had started. I couldn’t even see Sunsoul. Apparently it was a genetic thing, and while the number of people who could was small, there were more and more each year.

I personally thought the whole process was stupid. A bunch of old people, completely unwilling to see that they’d made their bed and were trying to avoid lying in it. The sun got hotter, but it hadn’t significantly changed in the past ten years. It was over and done with now. Why did they want so badly to return the world to how it was before? Was this really so bad?

It didn’t seem like it to me. But then, I didn’t really remember living with anything else.

“Miss Westley! Could you come see me for a moment?” Mr. Bales’ low alto voice called out over the small discussions between lab partners. I watched Haley give me a sad, confused look before she turned and strode back up to the teacher’s desk.

I wondered idly what he needed her for. It wasn’t any of my business anymore though, so I decided to get to work.

I turned back to my telescope and aimed it at the sun, slipped on my visors and took a peek…

…and almost fell out of my chair.

“H-holy shit. Holy shit I found it!” I exclaimed, giving the astronomical coordinates, breathless as I took another look.

Conversations ground to an instantaneous halt as students began rapidly inputting the coordinates I’d chosen at random.

“Oh my god, its incredible!”

“Mr. Bales! Mr. Bales, Noonday’s found the Array!”

“The Helios Array…”

Set against a grim red background cast by the sun and filtered through my deep shades and the telescope’s own protections, the Helios Array was a massive space station, placed into orbit before I was even born.

“What!?” Mr. Bales barked. “Someone’s found it? Truly? This isn’t another false alarm is it? Brandon?”

I could hardly take my eyes away from the sight. In real life, I’d only ever managed to catch a glimpse of it four years ago. Another student had found it at another school a few states North. It had vanished only seconds I’d gotten my turn at the scope. Even with only those few seconds though, seeing it had made my entire freshman year!

Pictures just didn’t do it justice. Hell I imagined even seeing it through the scope didn’t. It was… breathtaking.

“Its the Array. I’m sure of it!” I replied, feeling a rush of excitement as I studied the station, trying to take in every shady detail, every contour of the lost station.

It would be years before I could see it again.

He came to my telescope and gently touched my shoulder. It was like peeling off my own eyelids, pulling myself away to let him take a look.

Fortunately he didn’t stay long.

“Bless my soul…” He breathed, stepping away before taking down the coordinates and walking to his desk. He opened a separate flap next to the fire alarm before punching in a few numbers and then hit the large button. A loud but almost pleasant alarm blared. Above the door, the display which was reserved solely for this, lit up with those same coordinates, as they did throughout the entire school. Within an hour, hundreds of similar lights and telescopes would be tuned to the point I had just found. In two, every lens in the states would be trained on it.

The Array. Its… like finding a Unicorn or Leprechaun. One in a million.

Instead of conversation, the room was now filled with hushed whispers. Mr. Bales flipped the lights off and the Array came into even clearer view for us. Even John seemed reverent of the… sanctity of just looking and the only words I could make out from the quiet din were complaints when someone thought their partner had taken too long.

And then I abruptly realized that, majestic as it was… this wasn’t really all that special. I still couldn’t see it. Same as those few seconds I’d had four years ago. It was just… smudges. Black in the shape of a great station, with a deep red background. Once I got over the shock, I was disappointed. Some people had developed the ability to see Sunsoul between viewings of the station, and I’d hoped I’d be one of them.

I tried not to feel bitter.

“God, to get the chance to see it again. Wonderful work, Brandon. Wonderful…”

“He’s our Noonday!” Someone called.

I flushed a little, but refused to let their conversation distract me. Maybe if I could see it from a different angle…

I don’t even know why I wanted to so badly. I had no intention of working for Tellroan, going to the academy. Maybe I just wanted to feel special.

“Twenty years ago, before the sun began heating up… that station held all our hopes and dreams. Sunsoul was believed to be a miracle,” Mr. Bales’ words almost drew me away from the telescope. “I remember wild theories that it could get us to other solar systems. Help us colonize other worlds. Even make worlds habitable. Some even believed it could turn back aging. The Helios Array was going to find out what it truly could do.”

I did pull my eyes away now. His story had a feel of personal experience, that seemed more interesting than just seeing the station, sitting about twenty million miles away from the sun.

“I even saw the Array in person. Well part of it. They assembled it in space before it began its journey towards the Sun, but launched the parts here on Earth. The nose and the fuel tanks. They launched them from Florida. Heh. It was the first manned mission that would take humanity significantly closer to the sun instead of further away….”

He seemed… bitter.

“When… when we lost contact I…” The man’s lower lip trembled, and his eyes were suddenly wet.

“Mister Bales?” Haley asked tentatively. “Are you okay?”

“Ah, I’m fine,” He said while scratching at red eyes. “Just a few bad memories. Every time they find the damn thing they send out radio transmissions, hoping they’ll get some response. Never do. The station always disappears before anything can reach it. Besides, its been two decades. Any hope for finding a member of the crew alive has been abandoned by this point.”

Haley’s eyes widened, along with the entire room’s. “M-Mr, Bales. Did you know one of the astronauts on the Array?”

The man nodded but didn’t comment further.

“Oh my god, Mía Bales! I never even realized!”Jessie Baker, a tomboy who would be the most beautiful girl in the class if she wanted to be, exclaimed with sudden shock.

“Mía… Sir, you were related to–!?”

“If you would kindly drop the subject of my late wife, I would appreciate it.” Mr. Bales said in a cold tone that made goosebumps rise on my skin.

“S-sorry sir. Its just… wow!”

“Would you like to hear my story, or not Ms. Baker?”

“Shutting up!” She squeaked.

Mr. Bales gave a small chuckle, his tone lightened as he got over whatever memory that had assaulted him so suddenly.

Most of us knew the names of the crew aboard the Helios Array by heart. Mía Bales had been mainly in charge of the station’s maintenance though admittedly all thirty three members of the crew had a list of fields they were experts in, each longer than the essay I’d just turned in.

Mr. Leonard Bales was Mía Bales husband? It was legitimately difficult not to ask questions about it. I almost had to physically bite my tongue while he took his time deciding how to pick up his story, and I saw April doing the same as me. Monroe seemed oddly content. Had he already known?

“As you all know, the Helios Array went out of contact when it was almost thirty million miles from the Sun. A little closer than Mercury,” he paused for breath. “About an hour after we received the last transmission from Mr. Brown, the Array… jumped. At the time, we’d thought it had simply vanished. Had it burned up in the sun’s heat? Implausible. The Helios Array was top of the line, the product of billions of dollars, Euros, Yen, Rupees. You name the type of currency and you can bet someone spent it on the hopes of the Fontaine’s Folly. That it could burn up, even as close as a meremillion miles to the sun was difficult to believe. But at the time, that was all we had.”

His jaw seemed to tremble a little. His fingers twitched.

“Three years later, a lucky scientist found it. Impossibly out of line with any of the plans or trajectories for the original mission, the Helios Array was only five million miles from the sun. The hour and thirty two minutes it remained visible before jumping again was the worst hour of my life. For a brief moment, I had hope again. And then it was just… gone. It was worse than giving her up the first time.”

I was caught up in the story. I think our whole room was. Something I’d only heard about in dry, textbook form, was suddenly being made into a real event. Something that had happened, that had affected someone I actually knew. It was… humbling in a way.

“The Array wasn’t even supposed to stay out there for a full year, so the chances that any of the crew were alive was negligible even during that first rediscovery, but wehoped. We sent radio signals, and transmissions through every known channel. Hoping. Praying that by some miracle someone might still be alive.”

He seemed lost in memory as he spoke to the darkened room, lit only by the small lights of the sunlight glittering through telescope lenses. I was torn between glancing at the ship again, and keeping my eyes riveted on Mr. Bales.

“The station vanished of course, as it has ever since. Vanished again, into thin… well. Thin space, I suppose.” He laughed, a small bitter semblance of a laugh. “A global search was mounted for the station, which led to the early morning classes you now have to suffer through with me, and things like this.” He said pointing to the coordinates displayed above the door.

The class chuckled along a little. I didn’t think anyone really found it funny though.

Those coordinates had probably made it all the way to the International Astronomical Conglomerate by now. For me, looking at the station was merely a chance to stare at something amazing, and maybe find out if I could see Sunsoul. For people smarter than me though, who knew what they could glean from it? The station had never been further from the sun than it was now; did that mean it was trying to leave the Sun’s orbit maybe?

Mom would probably know better than I would.

“It was snowing. I remember it was snowing when I first found out the Array had been spotted. Do any of you remember seeing snow?”

I didn’t, but April piped up. “Once I visited Montreal and it was snowing about three years ago. But it melted as soon as the sun came out.”

Mr. Bales smiled a sad smile.

“Yes. It hasn’t snowed much anywhere since. You almost have to go to the poles to see real snow these days. Or the very high mountains that can still stay frozen,” He paused then, his tone becoming nostalgic. “Hmmmm… The Rockies just don’t look the same anymore.”

I don’t care about snow!

To be honest, I almost didn’t believe in snow. Rain sure. Frozen rain? Harder sell. And yet there were pictures of entire plains covered in the stuff. The idea that it used to snow here in Missouri seemed impossible.

Almost out of spite, I turned back to look at the station again, flipping through filters to see if I could get a clearer image. None of them were really much better than the first.

“It vanished before I could see it that first time. Jumped they call it now. There isn’t much more to tell really. We have received no contact from the Array since that last transmission, and now somehow, the station warps to different places in orbit of the sun. No pattern has emerged that anyone has found yet so there was no way to predict where the station might show up next. No way to send a message, and no clue as to the number of times it has jumped between findings. It’s… all a mystery.”

He gave an exasperated sigh. “Over and done with. I remarried almost seven years ago now but… sometimes it’s still hard to forget.”

A pang of sympathy welled up in me, but I felt embarrassed when my feelings were emoted by a deluge of “awws” from some of the girls in the room.

Mr. Bales seemed to take them in stride. “Oh enough of that, or I’ll give you an essay twice as long.” That stopped the pity dead. “Now, classes are surely going to be cancelled at least until the Array jumps again. Feel free to make any observations you can. Remember, if you can see the Sunsoul, please let me know immediately. For those who can see it, it is clearest around the station’s main solar panels. I’m told it looks like a vaguely green mist that sparkles. Just barely visible on the opposite side of the station. Look sharply now, and don’t be disappointed if you can’t see it. There are very few who can, after all.”

I secretly quashed the sadness at that. I’d heard the descriptions of Sunsoul a hundred times. A thousand times. Some people could see it just on the edges of the sun itself, but it was easiest to see on the Array.

I tried not to feel disappointed.

“I… I think I can see it!” John exclaimed, staring down into the telescope, April sitting next to him, impatiently waiting for her turn. I didn’t envy her unlucky partnership with John for this month. She disliked the guy as much as I did. He normally let her do all the work, but now he was hogging the scope.

But… since classes were technically canceled and Chase wasn’t here…!

“Dammit.” Monroe murmured a little further down, and his voice was echoed from a quarter of the class. Half of them stared jealously at John, myself included. I shook myself out of the tiny bud of resentment and waved April over to my empty partner’s seat with a smile.

She blinked, noticing Chase wasn’t here and then grinned, standing to leave John to his own exclamations of excitement.

Stupid prick will probably get a cushy desk job at Tellroan now for no work whatsoever. Some people get all the breaks.

“M’lady,” I joked, then gestured to the lenses. “Have a gander?”

“You’re an idiot,” she scoffed at my mock chivalry, but then brightened. “And sure!”

April Lloyd was my closest friend. Closer than Monroe by a pretty large margin. She was a short, mousy girl with freckles and a ponytail that no one could remember ever seeing her without. She wore a pair of tan sweat pants and a T-shirt today. A wide face framed a pair of wider eyes and a small mouth. Her hair was a shade of midnight black that contrasted her shiny blue eyes.

She put those eyes to the two holes that connected to the telescope. She inhaled sharply, but I only barely noticed. She hadn’t even gotten to look before. I spared another moment to glare at John.

“You will probably only have about ten or fifteen minutes before the underclassman will be coming up to look and see if they can also see the Sunsoul. Make sure you use them wisely.” Mr. Bales called helpfully. I’d almost forgotten about that.

“I can’t believe this! I can actually see it! It’s faint but… wow! Hey, Eric, can you see what I’m talking about?” John was yelling wildly, completely oblivious to the glares half the class was throwing at him.

He was so distracting that I almost didn’t notice April’s fearful, whispered words.

“I’ve never seen it sparkle so clear…”

“What!?” I breathed, shocked. April jumped as if unaware she’d just spoken.

She can’t! She couldn’t!

“April! Can you see the–?”

She shook her head immediately, flushed and a little surprised.

“No!” She barked almost before I could finish speaking. “No, of course not. I… I saw the Array back in sophomore year remember? I can’t see Sunsoul.”

Right. Of course… of course she couldn’t. Why would she lie about that? She was just talking about the Array itself. That made sense.

I was privately horrified a little by how strongly I’d reacted and turned away from her, embarrassed. I realized suddenly that I’d been staring at her as if she’d grown a second head.

If she could see it, then I should’ve been happy for her. Seeing Sunsoul meant she could get a job, a very well paying job, at any of the companies working on building the powerplants. If she was skilled she might even be allowed to handle Sunsoul directly.

But it also meant that she would leave high school and go train at the academy. I didn’t… want to lose her. It bugged me more than I cared to admit. Until that moment I hadn’t even realized just how much it bugged me.

The truth was that I dreaded graduation. I had friends here in high school. Lots of them, and good ones, that I wouldn’t see nearly as often afterwards, if ever again. Sure, plenty of them would stay here in the West Steppe, and probably come to the Hub to work for the rest of their lives. It was what I intended to do as soon as I finished college, conveniently located only about a mile away. I wanted to be a teacher. Always had, and I loved nowhere more than home.

Perhaps that was odd, as most of my classmates seemed to want to explore the world. Go north. I’ve heard that the Sun is only barely dangerous at noon in the far North of Canada. Even New York and Chicago aren’t as dangerous as here. I could sort of understand the appeal, but I wanted no part of it.

I didn’t want to leave my friends and family at all, and April was one of my closest friends. I only had seven more months with her and Monroe left, as it was. She planned to move up to St. Louis for College, while Monroe was going for his medical degree in Illinois. To cut that short early…?

“Alright.” I told her, willing myself to believe, even as she made that cute twisting fidget that she couldn’t seem to help when she lied. “That… that sucks. Sorry. I imagine it’d be great if you could.”

She beamed at me though, happily for some reason.

“Yeah,” she agreed, every bit as relieved as me, before she joked, “Yeah, it would be nice if I could, I guess. But you’d be lost without me after all. And Monroe.”

I would not! I’m not that attached!

Except that I kind of was and by the way she was laughing, my reaction was all the proof she needed. I flushed a little. I knew how much she wanted to work at Tellroan. She had a dream of seeing Telilro one day, though god knows why. It was the exact same as Tellroan but bigger. Not to mention smack in the middle of the scorched lands, where a stray beam of sunlight meant holes burned in your skin.

My expression showed my thoughts and she laughed at my expense, so brightly that I couldn’t help but join her.

“Well. Maybe a little lost.” I admitted. For some reason her smile grew even wider.Some girls were just strange.

I stood then to look around the room, in part to get away from April’s smirk, and in part because I wanted to know if anyone else could see the Sunsoul. From the disappointed looks on my classmates’ faces, excepting John, I didn’t think anyone else could.

“No luck, Brandon?” asked an elephant of a girl, Emily, with a smile as wide as her cheeks. I hadn’t associated much with her, and knew she occasionally took some flak for her weight. She had a forceful personality so it rarely mattered, but I made a note to watch Haley around her too. After hearing what the girl had said to Clara, I didn’t want to know what she might do behind my back, with an easy target like Emily.

Then again, my first thought of her was that she looks like an elephant. Maybe I’m not so innocent myself.

“I wouldn’t say that,” I replied. “I did find the thing after all.”

“So what?” Phillip, Emily’s partner and one of my friends from the Track Team, asked me a little snidely. He was clearly disgruntled at the fact that he couldn’t see the Sunsoul, and whining about it. Unlike me, of course. “It’s not like there’s any prize forfinding the Array.”

“Sure there is. A hundred new people working on the power plants. A hundred new people who might be able to figure out what’s wrong with the Sun.” I lowered my voice a little conspiratorially. “Though I doubt John manages to become more than a janitor, no matter how well he can see Sunsoul.”

Emily barely stifled a giggle and Phillip smirked.

A knock came at the door, before it opened to admit Mr. Faraday, a thin, lanky man who stood head and shoulders above me, despite his slouchy posture. Behind him I could see the faces of anxious juniors, all waiting impatiently for a chance to see the Array.

“Mr. Bales. I’d heard someone from your room found the Array this morning. Brought my class up as soon as I could. Has your class gotten the chance to look?” He asked in a clipped tone that had always annoyed me. I was glad I didn’t have to deal with him anymore. He’d been my teacher last year.

“Oh, I’d say they’re all about finished,” our teacher replied, to a smattering of grumbles from us. “Mr. Warner over there might want to spend a little more time looking; he claims he can see the Sunsoul.”

Mr. Faraday blinked, running a finger through his trimmed beard. “Already? What a lucky class.”

He turned back to his students and stepped out of the doorway allowing them to walk in. A few of my classmates grumbled as the younger class moved in to usurp their telescopes. Soon the room was filled with gasps of amazement. For some, this might’ve been the first time they’d ever seen the Array except in pictures. The telescope rooms for high schools all over the states were a relatively new thing after all.

Class days like this were rare but we all knew what to do. The room needed to be free for the lower grades of students that would be brought up one class at a time, so we began to gather our books and leave the room. We’d be able to come back later and look again if the Station hadn’t jumped by then, but they wanted to find as many people who could see the Sunsoul as possible.

There were usually only one in ten thousand who could.

If John was one… the chances that April could too were about as bad as the chance of me finding the Array in the first place. That assured me a little. She had to be telling the truth. After all, why would she lie?


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