‘So you guys don’t even have a theory?’ Hector asked.
‘Not really,’ said Chergoa. ‘Why? Are you saying that you two whelps do?’
‘Oh, uh, no,’ said Hector. ‘Or at least, I don’t.’
‘We were only teasing you about forgetting to explain something,’ said Emiliana. ‘We didn’t think there WASN’T an explanation.’
‘Hmm,’ said Garovel. ‘Well, anyway, it looks like we’re going to be here a while. We should try to keep ourselves entertained. How have you been, baby sister?’
‘Oh, I’ve been good. Apart from the whole almost-dying-thing, today’s been lovely.’
‘Mm. And Emiliana, how are you?’
‘Wonderful. Anyone up for a game? I’m thinking of a number between one and six hundred billion. Take your time answering. No rush.’
Chapter One Hundred Twenty-Five: ‘Diligent souls, abide...’
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Ultimately, the conversation kept going back and forth between serious contemplation of their circumstances and fanciful distraction when no great revelations were uncovered.
At length, even Garovel and Chergoa began struggling to keep talking. Hector had kind of stopped listening a while ago, and without anything to pay attention to, time began to blur into itself. Strangely, it was the realization that no one was talking anymore that brought him back around. Somehow, the silence had become odd.
‘I guess I’ll just meditate,’ he threw out there.
And it took a second, but then Emiliana said, ‘Good idea. I will, too.’
‘Alright,’ said Garovel.
‘We’ll try not to leave without you,’ said Chergoa.
Hector tried to focus. Instinctively, he wanted to take a deep breath, but he couldn’t. He wanted to close his eyes, but he didn’t have any. It hadn’t occurred to him how much of a role his own body played in meditating before. This was different. And not altogether comfortable, either. It was almost too easy. He felt like he might lose himself here, like he was falling asleep on the edge of a cliff.