“You need a distraction,” Ford announced.
He had to shout, because at this altitude, the wind whistled past the many bracing wires that turned the open observation deck into a birdcage. Most people tended to find the constant whistling and moaning irritating. Ess couldn’t understand why. She liked the background sounds. Something about it held a promise of turning into music, maybe even words. If she listened long enough, she thought she might finally have the key, or the code to decipher what the music of creation tried to tell her in the ethereal, high-altitude song. Maybe it was just her imagination, but the sensation of memories poised on the brink of bursting into consciousness confirmed her aching suspicion that her memory had been tampered with just as her brother's had been.
Besides, she found the song of the guy wires and the wind actually helped her remember more clearly what she had just read. The song, more felt than heard, seemed to open up deeper recesses of her mind and assisted in subconsciously sorting the information. Athena wore a thoughtful expression just last night over dinner, when Ess told her why she preferred studying in the chilly observation deck, rather than the forward lounge. When that tiny vertical line formed between Athena’s elegant brows and her eyes took on a distant look, Ess had learned she could expect something interesting.
“I don’t need a distraction,” she said, scooting around to find a more comfortable nest among the pile of seat cushions and five blankets she had brought up with her. The gray clouds threatened rain, and she looked forward to discovering just what changes rain would make to the song of the air. “I’m up here to avoid distractions.”