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question for the hundredth time, Alex said dismissively, "No! No, I was not having an affair with Sheila!"

Then his head snapped around and he looked squarely at Lyta, as if daring her to contradict him. Her eyes narrowed as she delved into his mind, getting a sense of him and his veracity....

[Look there....]

... And she is back in hyperspace, in the tumultuous rolling red and orange insanity of that area in-between. There are many cases of people unable to traverse hyperspace without going mad, and for a brief moment she is suddenly afraid that she is one of the insane. For she sees something that is impossible, that is dark, that is far away and must stay faraway lest a universe fall, and she hears something as well. A faint chime and it is beckoning to her, trying to seduce her away from her concerns...

She gathers herself, like a swimmer kicking off from the edge of a pool, and propels herself away from the vision....]

She pulled herself back together, looking at the suspicious face of Alex and the eager expression of Leo, searching for vindication after all these years. "Well? Is he telling the truth?" Leo demanded.

Lyta paused a moment. She'd been so rattled by whatever the hell it was flashing through her mind, that she had to double-check just to be sure. Then she gathered her wits and nodded in confirmation. "He's telling the truth."

Clearly Leo couldn't quite believe that he'd heard her properly. "I'm sorry. What?"

Alex drew himself up, his shoulders squaring off, his confidence in Lyta complete. With his habitual smugness, he leaned forward and said, "She said I'm telling the truth. What part of that sentence didn't you understand?"

Clearly, Leo's world-a world based on deception, being misunderstood, and victimization-began to teeter.
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