Prologue

They were standing there as if judging her, though she was a competitor no longer. Nothing she could do, except try to keep her feet planted and remember to make eye contact with each in turn. The one thing that kept her going was the knowledge that none of them were qualified to judge her.

Sridhar, the outer avatar of LD, leaned forwards across the table. “What makes you think that you are qualified to join us?”

She stood up straighter. “In all truth, there are others as qualified to lead.” Ritual modesty…in actuality she was sure she had made it.

The avatar of Interpretation was shaking her head. “And is that all?” Melinda asked. The former competitor sensed she was being given an opening.

“I know that this is no reward but a burden. But the reward is in the journey, and so the seeking counts for more than the gain,” she replied, taking a bit from one of her own compositions, “Wisdom cannot sit forever, like a jar of peach preserves.” At this she shifted her gaze over to Liz.

The inner avatar of LD, for once, did not speak, but just stared back. The former competitor dropped her eyes. Shoot…that’s going to cost me a couple of speaker points.

Melinda spoke again. “I see nothing at fault here, and frankly, we’re going to need fresh ideas.” The two LD avatars stirred at this.

But the last avatar, Gary of Impromptu, was clearly in agreement. “Yeeaah!”

Finally (reluctantly?) Liz nodded. “Youhavebeenaccepted.”

The former competitor felt a slow grin spread over her face. Now she was on an equal level with the others, and did not have to bother with the worldy confines of her older form. She had become Caroline, the Avatar of Platform.