But it was the shore itself that held their attention.
"Nice beach," Garibaldi said.
Lyta nodded, mute with horror. The lake had a border of bleached bones around it, mixed and piled like driftwood by the waves.
Garibaldi bent and picked up a skull. "Poor Yorick," he said. "I don't think I knew you at all."
"It looks Human," Lyta said. Behind her, one of the four telepaths they had brought along bent double, vomiting. Garibaldi was pleased that none of his security forces followed suit, but even the most seasoned of them looked a little green. Hell, he was having trouble holding his lunch down.
"Sort of Human," Garibaldi said. "I'm not an expert, but it looks too small."
"Maybe it was a child."
It's not a child.
The voice buzzed inside of Garibaldi's skull.
"Stop that, Lyta," he muttered, studying the empty white eyesockets.
"That wasn't me, Michael."
"Then who..." but then he saw him, a thin figure leaning on a cane, hobbling his way from one of the structures.
"Hold it right there!" Garibaldi said, drawing his PPG. Behind him, his security men were already locked and loaded.
I mean you no harm.
"Get out of my head!"
"Michael," Lyta whispered. "That's him. That's who I've been sensing."
The man was a few meters away now. He was incredibly old, his skin like ancient brown parchment, his skull nearly as visible as those on the beach. His hair was whiter than snow, and hung in a queue that trailed him on the ground. He wore a suit that would have looked out of date on Garibaldi's grandfather.
I... "I-" the spoken word came reluctantly from the old man, like an antique petrol engine trying to start after a long period of rest. "Sorry," the stranger went on. "I haven't spoken aloud to anyone in .. well, in