"We don’t want you to try anything specific," Athena said, pulling one of the helix-shaped crystal rods from her ever-present belt pouch. "For now, for today, we want you to just... play. Listen to the crystal, sing to it, if you want. Let it speak to you. It might take days of listening and perhaps even dreaming -- Vivian often made her greatest healing advances after she had studied and experimented and worked herself into headaches, and then everything came together in her sleep. In her dreams. She often said she had a friend who visited in her dreams, and then you had an imaginary friend very young--"
"Carmen." Ess surprised herself as the image of a little girl her own age at the time seemed to pop into her mind, like stepping from behind a thick screen. She had a momentary sensation of having been spun around, or the room had suddenly expanded in size.
More proof, perhaps, that memories had been blocked just like Uly's had been? She made a note to confer with her brother, to find out how he felt when memories and bits of his life returned to him.
"Yes." Athena blinked away a sheen that hinted at tears. "Vivian wrote to me of your friend, how glad she was that you... well, that is neither here nor there. Yet it does rather reinforce my theory. Your mind works enough like your mother’s, I’m hopeful you inherited that gift as well."
Ess took the rod and pressed it between her hands, to keep it from picking up the deliciously fearful shivers vibrating in her breastbone. Ford stood and opened the door, then waited until Athena and Dr. Sylvia stepped outside.