“I hate this place, Suby.” Azure was calm, matter of fact when he spoke, but it startled Suby as if Azure had suddenly shouted in his ear. “I don’t hate it because of you or anything. Don’t think that. No, I hate it because it just is. It sucks you in and doesn’t let you out.”

“Is it the Warriators?” Suby asked.

“No. Yes. I guess maybe a little.”

“I know. They scare me too.”

“What?” Azure was puzzled.

“The Warriators. They scare me. Don’t they scare you? I hate the way they fly the canals and zoom the grid. Once they crashed into our cabin and I had to find a new place to go. I heard no one ever came for the body, only the unbroken parts.”

“The Warriators don’t scare me.”

It was Suby’s turn to be puzzled. “They don’t?” Puzzlement turned to awe.

Azure was finished speaking. Suby hated when he got like this because it meant Azure was done with him. But Suby soldiered on.

“Is it the Bookkaddees?” No answer. “Cause I don’t like the Bookkaddees either. They’re mean to people like me. Not to you though. I know that. I know they’re not mean to you.” But then, no one is, Suby didn’t say. “Do they let you look at the cyclopedes? I always wished I could see the cyclopedes. Are they as beautiful as your circles?”

“They’re not beautiful.”

“What? How can you say that?”

Azure’s eyes rolled white. Another trance began.