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When I woke again, it was quiet in my head.  I knew I hadn’t imagined it—I could still feel myself listening.  There was just nothing to hear.  Toby’s bed, at least, was empty; I didn’t know where everyone else might be.

I sat up in bed.  Maybe I could find out?

I tried listening harder—

I started hearing what sounded like patches of white noise.  I couldn’t really tell what that meant or how far away they might be.  I figured I’d have to learn a lot about this ability.

Normal demihumans—at least, so I’m told—can generally reach somewhere around a mile’s radius telepathically, though at that distance it’s kind of like shouting and hearing far-off shouts.  The comfortable range is rather smaller; communicating with your neighbors next door wouldn’t be a problem, assuming you were fortunate enough to have neighbors who were demihumans like yourself.

How far was I reaching? I had no reference point, and I could see I was flying blind.  I got out of bed, got dressed, and thought about where to find people—the house seemed empty.

…of course, that was ridiculous, the house was never really empty.  The body of a forty-foot giant was always in the basement.  And I hadn’t reached him when I’d tried, so either I had no decent range or I was doing something wrong.

I ran down to the basement, sneaking in quietly so as not to disturb Toby’s poor body, and I listened.

What I heard was unmistakably the giant’s mind, a mixture of the large body’s dreams—they break my heart, even now—and the link coming in from his projected body.

I listened harder and I could see Toby’s viewpoint, walking through the supermarket with Rouss. But I knew that was his telepathy, not mine.

I focused on the giant’s mind and took a few steps back.  I held the focus, and went upstairs and outside, still hearing it—and I kept going.