Ethereal space is delicate, lighter, thinner, weblike, with physics different from Earth.
Alpha's aggressive sting moves through the space, unfolding moment by moment. Each moment an eternity, each moment a complete world, each moment that the deadly needle moves closer to his heart, Gyre shakes with laughter, laughs until the space itself is laughing, laughing so hard even the sharp point of the stinger gets round.
Gyre folds the time back up and tucks it into Alpha.
Alpha, breathing in, then out slowly, then in again, paralyzed by attachment, stinger tamed, finds himself in complete surrender. Alpha doesn't have logical, intellect, or emotional responses but is aware of sensory input and has a strong survival instinct. Gyre soothes the savage beast, sending food through the fibers, adjusting poorly wired neural circuits, and amplifying self-control. Speech centers are stimulated, higher sensory awareness introduced, and Alpha realizes, after all the years of living an animalistic existence, he is about to wake up.
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