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The Half Shaman in Space: The Manhole Cover

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Jeb follows the blip through the crowd, where will it lead her?
Those in the outer ring of the crowd have their heads hanging and their eyes uninterested while they pass me. Coming upon the blip, though, they separate left and right like a combed parting. Nobody seems to want to have the blip touching them. 
Which could be further evidence. I stop at the edge of the crowd, trying to make it look like I’m hesitating. “Can’t we go around the crowd?”  
Kosi does not react. 
Perhaps there aren’t any sensors nearby. I wonder how a previously human entity can live in the workings of an alien starship? 
A murmur starts in the crowd. “Jeb. Jeb. Our half shaman. You going to save us again, Jeb?” 
I see my people pepper-and-salted through the crowd. Limber. Crow. Jackal. Each one alive-eyed for the par-second it takes to answer my glance. 
“How many?” I shape the words with my lips. 
Limber blinks acknowledgement and shuffles to the border of the blip’s path, where he signs down by his waist, alerting …

The Half Shaman in Space: All About Alien Technology

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What does Jeb know about the mysterious package in the airlock? 
“Why half?” Kosi says about me being a half shaman.
“Didn’t get to finish my schooling.” I’m lucky there’s still that easy answer available. I make my voice light and my tone light-hearted though I’m thinking dark things about my mother possibly having an Earth-grown body floating about in a silo somewhere in space. “They are dead, the bodies left behind in the silos?”
Kosi knows exactly what I’m asking. “In stasis,” she says. “Don’t worry about them waking up. They can’t by themselves. Enough of that depressing subject. How can I separate the data-waving boots from the mysterious object, so I can have a good look at it?”
We have nicely circled the apparent existence in our midst of the Ark Ship. “What is the object?” I say.
Kosi laughs. “For me to know and you to find out, I think. Be more fun that way.”
Fun for who? Maybe that thought shows on my face for the entity starts into an explanation. 
“Earlier I was thinking we’d bo…

The Half Shaman in Space: Getting to Know You

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Jeb discovers a few facts about the entity ... 

I start the countdown of facts I know. “Earth-born were born on Earth …”
“Check,” she says.
“…And were picked up in a Life Lottery Street Sweep.”
“Check. Me and my friend Jack Fetcher and a couple of the EMBers chasing us escaped the data-waving, once we’d been settled in Silo Ship Number 23, my lucky number.”
I can be very stubborn when I need to be. She was with friends. All right. But, data-waving? Silo Ship Number 23? “The Earth-born like yourself arrived on Lotor as genetic patterns. They were reconstructed by Lotor using materials lying on Lotor’s crust or whatever you want to call it. Skin, maybe. Making you one of the Lotor-made.”
The entity laughs. “I’m telling you I never made it down to Lotor to be Lotor-made. I’d have a body now.” 
She sounds so wistful that I think she must be telling her truth. I rethink my idea. “I guess if you are Earth-born and were on Lotor, the planet would’ve taken you within by now. So maybe not that scenar…

The Half Shaman in Space: The Ark Ship and the Entity

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Two short scenes, the latter marking the intersection of Jeb's and the entity's lives.
My clothes re-appear. I dress faster than fast. 
Then the sensori-matting is restored. The doors too, though they stay shut even when I back up against them. 
I look up. Something is happening on the back wall. A small blue light races over the surface of the wall outlining a … my heart nearly bursts out of me with excitement … the shuttle we came in! I run there.
The outlined shuttle glides toward a scramble of lines that in no way resembles the doughnut-shaped Ark Ship I learned about in Shaman School. But why do I expect that? Any of the places where I’ve been so far, don't call to mind anything I learned about the interior of the Ark Ship, except that the small outlined ship is definitely our shuttle. 
It stops in front of me. I’m blinking tears away as I trace my call sign on it, ZA. 
The letters vibrate. The Ark Ship knows me. Now I do cry. No blood is needed. 
The blue light splits. One …

The Half Shaman in Space: Contact with the Ark Ship

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In which Jeb possibly makes contact with the Arkship.
My mind roils on. Our ArkShip was said to have been locked in a struggle with an unknown entity when it dropped my settler ancestors off on Lotor. I feel hot and cold in quick succession, hot from fright and wanting to run, cold from terror and freezing in place. What if our ArkShip didn’t win? 
I want to think it all through again in more detail, maybe find the solution already in my memories. I laugh. All this? In my memories? Even Soowei never made it off-planet. I need to explore. Find out more. 
So I’ll need to leave something in this place where I stood, to show I’ve been here already. When it is walking in circles, it is about not getting anywhere. 
I step from the path at the base of the wall into the forest. Grasp at the bottom end of a streamer of bark, to rip it loose from its tree. If I get a lot, I’ll be able to dress too. Missed it. My hand seemed to move through it. 
Try again. Missed again. 
Slowly this time. 
When my hand…

The Half Shaman in Space: Thinking Through the Problem

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Alone in the Reality that Jeb was meant to 'furnish', she analyses where she might be and comes to a conclusion only about where she probably isn't ... 
The plastic wall feels real. How would it feel if it wasn’t real? I cast about for comparisons. Back when I was in the black cell … no, forward away from there. I escaped.  
The second night after I escaped, Mongoose and I and Ant and Uncle Puma joined a larger group and we all spent the night on the second platform. Thyal, the group’s real shaman—other than me, the half shaman, I mean—despite that he had no amulet at the time encouraged me to think myself into the Totem Reality he hoped to see on the Ark Ship. 
Yes yes, I know it was an imaginary place in our minds. But. Were there any walls? 
I recall the blue sky at the top of the Totem Reality. And I flew over a deep valley with a white water creek rushing through it, at the base of the Reality. One one side cliffs, the other a steep hillside clad with low green vegetation…

The Half Shaman in Space: Make a Fire? With What?

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Can a fire be the solution for Jeb when the entity takes her clothes?
I’m standing there pressed against the glazed stone. Unclothed. No one to see me but the machine all around me, so what do I care? I step away.  
I feel the cold before I notice the goosebumps rising on my arms. The temperature is dropping? I start to shiver, more from consternation I decide than from cold. But then I start to shiver in earnest. I crouch down and hug my knees so that where my skin meets skin I can stay warm. “I’m cold.” 
“On Earth, ages ago, you might’ve made a fire to keep you warm”
“Me personally, or anyone?” While I talk, my teeth don’t chatter. 
“Anyone and especially you personally”
“My mother, whose pattern came from Earth, talked about making fires. She and her little brother used to for survival skills. Where she lived there were trees and dead wood.” I gesture with my head. No reason to wave my arm and let the cold in. “No wood here.”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure,” I shout. I expect my voice…