breath. His senses were sharp enough to detect that this place, wherever it was, was enormous like how he imagined a wide-opendesert to be. Maybe it was the way the air moved, maybe it was thetiny echoes of faint sounds reaching distant walls, but Troy knew that, despite how big he felt the space was, he was inside something. Troy had once been on a vacation to Orlando with his dad andbrothers. Their hotel had an incredible, ten-story atrium thatencompassed the lobby, the hallways between rooms, and tworestaurants, and at least ten of those could have fit in here. Maybetwenty. Troy tried opening his eyes again to see if the light had faded,and found that, if anything, it was brighter. Could human eyes adjustto this kind of intensity?"Can—hear—?"He jerked. His eyes snapped open involuntarily, and he quickly forced them closed again to avoid going blind."—have—calm—!" called out the voice. What direction was itcoming from? It seemed like it was coming from everywhere.He knew the voice wanted him to calm down. How was hesupposed to do that? He couldn't remember how he'd gotten here,he had no idea where "here" was, and he couldn't see anything because it felt like ten thousand spotlights were shining on him."What is this?
Where am I?!
" he screamed as loud as he could, andeven then he feared it wasn't enough to break through the blaring white noise.
replied the voice. It was so loud it rattled the insidesof Troy’s head."Calm down?" he asked. "Fine, okay…" How was he supposedto calm down in the middle of all this?He clutched at his chest, felt the hammering beneath the dark green t-shirt, and tried taking long, slow breaths."Yes, good—more," said the voice, a bit more soothing now. Was it a female voice? It was too high-pitched to be a guy.