Alex speaks a dream: “The land is beneath me and I hang, unsuspended, in the air. I look down upon the green tops of the trees, the nodding, shaggy heads of the cedars.” Idzukar nods, runs his fingers soothingly through his hair, one massive thigh firm under his neck. “I met there the voices of the air, the chattering djinn, that know many things and have no wisdom.”

“I too have known men like this,” murmurs Idzukar in a voice like a hushed avalanche, “and women, too.”

“They asked me where I was bound, and I said home; that is, North and West.”

“Auspicious destinations all.”

“And they asked me, what is the point of this gift of flight if you just trace the accustomed  routes? Be free, man, (they said) you are no longer just of earth.”

“As you said,” murmurs Idzukar, “much knowledge, but little wisdom.” His face, awful in its size, is gentled by the firelight and the stars.