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to do with the kung pao sitting uneasily in his stomach. It felt more like a hot wind in his skull, followed by a contrasting cold that lingered.

He'd felt it before, just before walking into Lyta's trap. He'd felt it on Mars, seconds before a terrorist bomb had depressurized his office.

There was an old exercise for picturing how gravity worked. You imagine space as a sheet of rubber, extending in all directions. You put a ball bearing on the sheet, and it creates a small dimple. You place a cannonball on the sheet, and it makes a large one. Place the ball bearing near enough to the cannonball, and it rolls down the large dimple to join the cannonball. The lesson is that mass warps space, and that the "attraction" of gravity is merely a by-product of that warping.

Bester had long ago used that same visualization to think about telepathy, with the ball bearings and cannonballs and what-have-you representing minds. A normal made a tiny dimple, a P12 a deep one. But it was more complicated than that. The older a telepath got, the more experience he acquired, and the more he learned from his instincts, the stronger his telepathic gravity became and the more the plane of thought curved around him. The deeper his imprint became, so to speak.

At the same time, he became more and more sensitive to other perturbations on the imaginary rubber sheet. Yes, real telepathy, the transfer of coherent ideas from one mind to another, depended upon proximity and, ideally, line of sight. But there were older senses that telepathy could engage, senses that worked below the level of rational thought.

He had felt Lyta, that day. Her Vorlon-enhanced abilities had made a huge dent in the fabric of psi-space, and his back-brain had fairly shrieked Get out! What he felt now was no
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