November 17

With each sweep of the broom, he thought back on the last month. Daniel had been right, in that he’d had a major impact in understanding Alex’s refusals; on the other hand, Mirielle was right, too. Rob had already been one of the few students, across both of the programs, who looked to be most suited for a third project. Where Blue Streak was open, and where Twilight Wings was inclusive, the project code-named Deep Magic was a mystery, even to him. Chloe hadn’t spoken much about it, but at the meeting that day, she had announced that, in the coming year, it would be coming online.
Phillip wondered briefly if it was connected to why Alex collapsed on that night. Officially, Detective Sabretti had determined that Alex had just passed out drunk. Unofficially, everyone knew the story was bullshit. Mirielle’s protests that Alex was a teetotaler went unheard; the Breathalyzer test results were fabricated; and through it all, Phillip had the feeling that the wave of drowsiness he’d felt that time was familiar. When he told a nearly ecstatic Katherine about it, she made some strange clucking noises and told him that he was probably just imagining it.
He knew, of course, that he wasn’t. She would know he’d know that, too. So why would she tell him to forget it, in as many words? Over the past month, he’d tried to answer that question, and he’d not come any closer than when he’d started. It made no sense. Well, he admitted, it makes no sense to me; Katherine probably has some perfectly logical explanation for it. Or, he added, she’s completely nuts. It’s not outside the realm of possibility.

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