Goliath and the Girl


“That was incredible,” 231 said, following her back into the yard.  He looked back at the windows of the second-floor hallway where they had stood, surrounded by the images of her past.  A breeze pressed against them as they stepped outside, coming from the direction of the telepad.

Sophia looked behind her at the abandoned orphanage.  “Yeah,” she said.  Her eyes lingered on something, and 231 followed her gaze.  A blank spot on the wall just inside the entrance.  Or perhaps a blank spot on the floor.  As 231 looked at it, he found his attention being drawn elsewhere.

“Do you see something?”

Sophia stared a moment longer, then shook her head.  “No.”  She turned and walked toward the street.

231 caught up to her.  “Do you need a strong mind to do that?”

“The memory thing?  Yeah,” Sophia replied without a hint of pride.  “They said some psions can’t even do it.”  Her voice was nearly monotone.

The Goliath barely noticed her melancholy.  “That would be so useful for scouts.  Have them show the squad the terrain ahead.”

Turning onto the sidewalk, the girl shook her head at 231.  “You think about fighting a lot.  Is that all you think about?”

231 shook his head back.  “We don’t always have to fight.  Sometimes all you have to do is get ready to.”

Then, the question occurred to him.  “Who said that?”


“That you have a strong mind?”

Sophia was about to answer, when she suddenly stopped walking.  Her eyes went wide and stared, her head slumping forward.

231 mumbled every curse he knew.  Someone important must have told her that.  Someone.

“It’s people.  Someone doesn’t want you to remember people.  Your friends faces.  Whoever told you you had a strong mind.”

She had recovered by the time the soldier had finished his thought.  She started walking again.


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