No matter how tired I felt, I called very slightly on my gifts. The null links to my pets were quiet. Two ponies slumbered in their barn. Two cats cuddled together dreamily in the loft above. Anything else was very small, or very far away. Perception? The only thing I worried about was the Namestone. There it was in my den, almost impossible for me to find behind its quarter inch of impervium shielding. And I knew exactly where to look. No one else would ever find it. The Namestone. I have it. Not the League of Nations. Not the Lords of Eternity. Me. Eclipse! I have the Namestone. In my home! It’s mine, all mine!
The healing matrix was fixing me, but…oh right, healing matrix. I should have remembered that already. I said I’m a bit dazed, didn’t I? I summoned the glyph for Medico, its associated rules engine. Nothing in violet. Nothing was killing me despite the matrix. Of course, the matrix is supposed to drag me conscious if I am dying, and it hadn’t. Nothing blue, long-term near-death threat. Red warnings? Let’s see. Three broken ribs, stitched by telekinesis. That’s why I was on my back, the lousy sleeping position Medico told me to use. My right shoulder? Nothing broken, but bits of force field are holding things where they belong while the matrix forces repairs. Internal bleeding from high-impact collisions? Cured. Gold – a black eye, a few bone bruises, but I’ve been here before, just not so many ways at the same time. Green – slices, scrapes, abrasions — my skin is being returned to perfection as I lie here. My face was cleaned up by the Namestone before I faced the Martyr, but the rest of me was my problem. My healing matrix is fixing everything, way faster than I’d heal naturally. I still need a couple weeks to recover.
Home! That’s the keyword. I’m home and safe. I dropped my mind out-of-body. Astral projection is decidedly not my strongest gift, but I can pull it off. If I am very careful. Actually, the preset didn’t give me any choice. Some time back I did mind control on myself, so that whenever I was in a serious fight, escaped, and got back home safe, I would go out-of-body, whether I wanted to or not. If someone planted mind controls on me, I probably break them when I leave my body behind. I stepped out from my body. The preset grabbed my gifts and ran a scan, fast as thought, to see what trojans might be lurking in my mind-space. Yes, the scan runs at the speed of thought, but it has a lot of mind to scan. Meanwhile, I hovered above my body, looking into my momentarily sightless silver-gray eyes and platinum-white eyelashes, listening to me breathe, ever so slowly.
I have read the series. Rereading the opening makes me realize how fine a balancing act this is. The impressionist first-person depiction lets you imagine a lot of subtext and avoids ponderous infodumps. Nicely done.