She still stood on the weathered stone of the tower heights. She knew that. The star-response only altered her consciousness to make her think she was somewhere else.
What did that matter? Here, at last, was the answer to her years of empty prayers. She floated alone in a universe of her own, surrounded by a million stars, sensing their energies. She hung there, drawing it in, reveling in the power flowing through her.
Then one presence began to pull at her attention. The one she had longed for all her life. She reached out and it answered, setting her body ablaze with glorious energy. Her whole flesh expanded outward into the heavens and everything else fell away.
For a moment, she was too startled to react. Star-response still sang along her bones, but then caution tempered its giddiness. She realized she was blind, though whether from darkness or light she could not tell. She only knew she had arrived at a threshold of some sort.
She was standing on the edge of a great precipice.
Everything inside her wanted to take the final step forward, but she held herself in check, her mind struggling with sudden wariness. This was star-response. She recognized it by its sense of rightness, its sense of unity. This was the thing she longed for.
Why, then, did she hesitate?
The answer whispered inside her head, becoming louder as she realized the truth. This was not Freya. This was not her star.