Midway between. Balanced between the lion’s world-spanning wings and the sear of cosmic rays; she should be dead. Colleen marvels: she should be dead. Through vacuum exposure, through radiation.
They find space soothing, the two of them. There is little here, so little to number, to count. The great lights in the sky are many, but are slow-moving targets. They need make no constant comparisons, do not need to scrabble after the numbers, always the numbers. Here they count atoms, measure volumes. Peace far from the hectic grandeur of Earth’s crowded reification, far from the unknowable chaos of the nuclear court.
Still. She counts the stars, names their names for absent friends. Antares, Sargas, Shaula, Girtab, Alniyat, Lesath. Hell is nowhere, Heaven everywhere; they journey on, their passage mapped by no equation, following no sane trajectory. Their king, mighty rationalist, lies always and forever beyond the realm of reason, exiled into nonsense.