Monthly Archives: April 2013

Planet of Jirth, Part 9

The weeks following were filled with moments of sheer elation, and utter terror. Some days I felt better than I had in years. Others I felt bogged down by the weight of the world. A strange time when Viirra and At consoled me. My powers grew, both of them claimed. I even managed to put my own mental barrier.

I spent most my time learning how to control my body. The old injuries still ached. I desired to live without pain.

At stood across from me, his temper getting higher. His teeth showing in a grimace as I panted. “Rilas, you need to spiral down to your core. You can’t affect it from the outside.”

“I don’t know what that means. I said that last time. Why don’t learn to listen with that big brain of yours?” My temper wasn’t feeling much better either.

A throaty grunt as he slammed both furry fists onto the arms of his chair. “Focus inward. Try that.”

I swallowed my next words and did as he asked. I knew I shouldn’t be so snappy, but my body ached as well as my head. I cleared my mind, it took a while. Soon it was blank, white wall. I let my mind drift down, and away from me. I pretended I was in my heart listening to its beat. I became a blood cell being tossed down my veins. I expanded outward, my mind was my body. I was one. I willed my body to grow, and repair my old breaks. A searing pain awoke me from my trance.

I fell out of my chair onto the floor. The pain radiated from every joint. I let out a yelp.

At kneeled beside me. His hands hovered above me. The pain lessened. “Rilas, you did it!” His voice high pitched with excitement.

“Why does it hurt so much?’ I could barely speak.

He lifted me up in his gentle way. After getting me settled in my chair again, he knelt beside me. “You told them to heal, and they did, but to fast is all. They’ll hurt more than usual for a few days, but soon you won’t have morning aches anymore. I’m proud of you.”

I wasn’t sure what prompted him to say that. At didn’t seem the type to burst out emotionally. “I don’t understand why you should be.”

“You calmed yourself. I realize you are prone to staying mad. Then, you managed to do as I asked. You have only been training a few weeks. It is quite impressive. You never are stopped by adversity. You are worthy Go On Don.” At pronounced.

To that I managed a weak smile. At believed the Go On Don were the best the galaxy had to offer. To him it was a wonderful compliment. From Viirra I learned they were as flawed as everyone else. Still, he meant well, it is all I could reasonably ask. “Thank you, At.” I coughed a bit.

“I’ll help you to your room.” He started to help me up without waiting for me to respond.

I shook him off. “Let me try out more powers. I have the ability to convince my mind I’m well, right?” I thought that was how he described it to me earlier.

At nodded. He looked nervous shuffling from foot to foot. I ignored it. It took me several minutes to connect with my center. I became each separate heartbeat. I told each one I felt fine. The pain was nothing. It meant nothing. Each time I repeated the phrase I started to feel better. I opened my eyes with triumphant. “Okay, I’ll walk back to my room myself.”

With a reluctant shamble At got out my way. “I think perhaps you are too stubborn. You might hurt yourself.”

“I’m too old to be mothered.” I said as I made my way out the door.

 

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Planet of Jirth, Part 8

Author’s Note: This post is a bit longer than normal, I couldn’t find a good place to stop the story beforehand.  

A few days passed as I avoided everyone. I no longer doubted them, but I needed time to accept everything. A message arrived announcing the time, and place for the test. The excitement, and fear warred within me as made my way there. The divide inside me was quite clear. Some part of me wanted it to be true, to be special, a thing unlike my people. One part could not believe it, how could someone like me be anything at all? And the final part, the smallest, quietest part, feared it.

I met At by the strange cylinder machine. He showed his teeth, in his frightening, but at least familiar smile. The strange elongated head bobbed up, and down. “Come lie down. The machine will scan you, and allow your mind to open, so we may awaken whatever powers you may have.” At’s nose wiggled. “Do not worry, it will not hurt. It may be a bit overwhelming is all.”

That I could believe. My old knees creaked in protest as I hauled myself up the metal slab. I rested against it, as it subtly formed to my body. I nearly bolted out of the room right then. I hoped, if anything, this procedure would cure me of my constant fear. I was growing weary of mastering it. I preferred other companions better.

At furry fingers caressed my arm. “I wish you had less fear, Rilas. I mean you no ill.”

“Has the…” I trailed off unable to summon up a word for it. “The barrier failed?”

At tilted his head back and forth. “No, your fear is strong enough to leak through. Viirra makes strong shields. I can sense her in this one. She dotes on you.” He hooted. “She likes few, that in itself proves you are something other than simple Einlari.”

I failed to see the humor in it. “I’m ready.”

At turned his fingers clicking on a side of the machine. A hum filled the air as I rolled into the cylinder. It is a small relief I didn’t mind small spaces. A warmth filled the air, as a faint yellow light filled the space. The color kept changing to a deep rose, to a pale blue, and to a deep green. The hum increased, and faded over time. The light, and sounded faded. An intense something filled my head. It pounded, and kicked the inside. And, even now I could not describe it to you.

I sat up, and realized I was outside the tube. I gripped my head as the feeling increased. It seemed to burst inside. The world spun as I held the bench with a tight grip. Each beat of my heart seemed too loud. My veins were on fire. As suddenly as it began, it was over.

Rilas. Are you well? I am worried. You have not responded to anything I have said.” At asked his voice strained.

I lifted my head. “I think so. I don’t think I want to try to stand.” Everything seemed too much, and too little all at once.

At kneeled making his massive height only a bit above my own. “Are you hurt?” His wide eyes nearly big as saucers.

“No.” I didn’t feel any pain. “I feel.” I chuckled. “Overwhelmed.”

He hooted in response a bit of his worry, and fear dissipated.

It occurred to me I could feel his worry, and fear. I blinked rapidly. “Think something.”

At voice boomed around me. “You are a strange, and curious creature Rilas.”

Instinctively, I knew his mental voice was strong. I attempted to think back at him. “I’ve changed. How much have I changed, At? How much?”

At’s face split in half. “A great deal, my friend. We need to get next testing room. “

“I thought we were in the testing room.” I pushed myself up and my knees didn’t lecture me for my trouble.

At patted my leg, before standing. “Yes, but there is another one for testing abilities.”

The details of how we got to the other room were vague at best. But, we arrived. This machine was tall, and it seemed like I could stand in it. I moved over there without prompting. A click and the contraption turned on without any input from me. A ding sound resounded from the side.

With his large strides At stared at the screen. “It appears we have much training to do.”

“Why?” A thrill of joy blazed through me. I wanted to know what I could do.

At clicked something and a neat sheet of paper printed. “Let’s go somewhere else to discuss. It will be a long talk.”

We choose to lounge in the room I had first entered. Full of comfortable furniture and open to space I enjoyed it a great deal. I settled in a round chair, as At sat across from me. He held up the list. “I’m going to show you the list, then you ask questions probably will be a lot easier than trying to do this any other way.”

My hand snapped out fast. At apparently had the foresight to print in Larin, my home tongue.

 

Subject 01289

Race: Unknown in Database – simple in structure to Mammalian Origin

Age: Mid Range based on Biological Factors

Health: Comparable – based on estimates

 

Abilities

Powerful Expressed Physical Manipulation

Powerful Expressed Cognative Restructuring

Strong Expressed Telepathy – Full

Weak Expressed Empathic Absorbtion

Strong Repressed Psychic Presence

 

The words meant nothing to me. They produced elation regardless. I did find the dour assessment of my physical self to be a bit off putting. It made me grin. “Tell me what is Physical Manipulation?”

“That is a bit hard to explain. It is a rare ability. I need a moment to compose how I would explain it.”

I waited, my heart aflutter.

“Some believe it is a form of moving objects on hearing it. And, you can do that to a certain extent, though not well. Generally, we would call it telekinesis if that was the case. This instead is having complete control over your own body. Having complete control does mean you can change everything. Ah, I have already run into a quandary.” He paused as I felt him gather his immense thoughts. “You can change your body to the limit of your body. You can be the best you can possible be.

“For instance you cure yourself of your common bone aches. Or, make yourself look young again, and repair the internal damage of aging. Eventually you could no longer repair yourself and you would die. Your life span could be significantly increased. How far is somewhat in unpredictable, and the extent in which you change yourself will change the biological factors within your body. We would need to do further testing before you start meddling with anything. If it is truly powerful as the machine predicts you could live many of your races lifetimes. The few Go On Don who have it live up to ten times their base race.” He paused to hold his hand out. He could clearly read my ardent interest. “There is a cost, typically. I must rephrase it.”

The ability alone, even if I didn’t use it to live such a long time had been worth the journey. And there were four more abilities on the list. “Cognitive Restructing?” I was eager to learn more.

At wiggled his nose. “It is an ability my people have. You can force your mind to repair itself, or make new channels to fill it with more information. It is likely you have been using it already to survive all the new information you have gotten. It is a great ability to have. Your mind can never be harmed by another, and you can never fill your mind to capacity. A passive ability mostly, you merely need to practice.”

“If I had a brain fever, or damaged my head, would I be able to repair it?” One of the people in the village had died from brain fever. It had been terrible. Ever since that day I desired to avoid such a fate.

I felt a probing sensation emanate  from At. “You would be able to sense it coming, and stop it. You could heal an injury to the head as long as half of it was intact. Otherwise there would be no way to reroute it. Also, the repair might not return all your faculties to normal.”

“Telepathy?” The word meant a little to me. I could speak to one with words in the head, not with the mouth.

“You can speak to others, you can broadcast your thoughts, but you can also hear others who are not telepathic. A common gift in the Go On Don. Many races have it, and some only are telepathic. Still, a gift is a gift.” At race must be telepathic I thought. He seemed extremely unimpressed with it. Among my own people I would be the only one.

Only two abilities left and already I was satisfied. I moved down the list. “Empathic Absorbtion?”

“You can be other’s emotions. And, you can feel what they feel.” At opened his lips enough to run his long, supple tongue across them. “You can take fear, and with your restructuring have it not effect you. It is weak, you can cure any strong emotions, but you can lessen the panic of a large group of people. We will train with it, and learn the edges of your skill.”

A flicker of regret as I wished I had more power. I thought how useful it would keep my people calm as the Jirth claimed my world as their own. I grew angry at myself for thinking to have more. I already had so much, I needed to be grateful for what I did have.

I handed the paper back to At. “Tell me about the final one.”

He rubbed the paper between his fingers. “The ability is currently dormant. I will have to call in a specialist to activate it.” He sat the paper beside him. “The ability will allow you to sway others to your will. When you speak you will sound logical, even when you’re not. When you seek to persuade you’ll have a greater chance of it working. It makes you a leader people will beg to follow. Pirfectia have the ability in abundance. Unfortunately, Viirra does not. I would not bring it up to her. It is a source of great shame for her. She has to rely on the force of her personality, which is considerable.” His dark eyes pierced me. “She does not enjoy pity either.”

I stifled a laugh. “I couldn’t imagine she would. She seems like a proud woman, very regal.” I could see her presiding over a court in a royal court with a fine wrought crown.

“Take a few days to rest. Your power will awaken over the next few weeks without training. Once it is over, we will start.” At shot a look I could not or sense.

I resolved to withstand several for of inner turmoil.

 

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Planet of Jirth, Part 7

Viirra showed up, half way to my room. “I sensed your anger, Rilas.”

“That’s delightful.” My teeth clicked together on the rest of acerbic reply.

Viirra pink eyes widened a touch. She pulled at a strand of matching hair. “I cannot read your mind, Rilas. You must tell me what is bothering you.”

“I’m not interested in talking right now.” In truth I needed to cool down, and collect my thoughts. Part of me realized they were doing the best they could. Rationality and reasons had little to do with my emotions.

Her brows pressed down flattening her eyes. “You need to calm yourself. I’m sure your emotions are radiating across the whole ship. Runnil are very sensitive, and I’m the least. You are most likely making the base quite uncomfortable.”

“Am I suppose to get rid of my emotions in order to not discomfort you?” Against my desire to stay calm my words exploded out of me. I threw my arms back in disbelief.

Viirra eyes narrowed to pale pastel silts before she threw her head with a laugh. “No, my apologizes. I came here to offer you a way to stop projecting your every feeling, and emotion for everyone.”

The next burst of anger paused, as it took me a moment to consider her words. Did she mean that I been sharing my feelings with everyone? My face felt hot. “What?”

Viirra smirked. “May I have your hand?”

I held it out.

Her fine white finger wrapped around my older, weathered hand. Her skin radiated heat. The muscles felt too soft, almost limp as she pressed down on my hand. A cool breeze reached out spreading from my hand, into the rest of my body. A shroud covered my mind. The anger, irritation, worries were all there, but protected from the outside. She let go. “It is temporary. If your evaluation goes well, you’ll be able to make your own.”

“Thank you.” I dipped my body in brief bow. I can be gracious.

Rilas,” Viirra’s tone caused me to lift my head. “Why are you so troubled? You should speak to someone about it.”

“And, why should I pick you? Or, anyone here? You probably have your own agenda. I’m the only one of my kind. I have no one to turn to, and no one to trust.” There was more honesty in the statement, than I originally had planned for.

Viirra shrugged. I noticed a black figure detach from the wall. Her protector, the strange insect creature who always followed her. “I should not tell you this. In truth, Rilas, you have more in common with the Go On Don, than your people. Mentals are the same regardless of the race they hail from. There are exceptions, the Runnil for instance, are all Mentals.”

“How can I be more like a bunch of strange creatures, who I barely understand?” The idea seemed absurd.

“I am more like you than my kin.” Viirra held out her hand to me. “Take my hand, I will show you my life, and my heart. There is no risk to you, I assure you.”

The soft, white hand felt like a snake poised to strike. I closed my eyes, and banished my fear. It would not win. I took it my eyes still closed.

My mind flooded with images, scents, and sounds I could not recognize. Viirra’s voice spoke to me, telling me to stay calm, and wait. Having little choice, I did as she asked. A quiet, shorten version of her life came to me. In her beginning of her life, she was promised to run Hive Tirkite. Her power glowed as if a beacon to the Krickiktar. As she grew older she resisted with her heart, and body. She ran away many times. But, other’s who had been chosen drew her in. They could see beyond life as it was, see horizons not yet imagined by other of the Pirfectia. She bonded with them. With her mind kin she learned more, and cared deeper than even with her birth family. Then, she met a Go On Don representative and knew true peace. The meeting memory filled with feelings of happiness, acceptance, and understanding. They spoke mind to mind. And her world, which was already expanded, grew to know more. She knew, if I allowed myself, it would be my fate as well.

I let go and opened my eyes. “I believe you. Still, I do not know if it will apply to me in the end. Perhaps, I am not a Mental. And, even if I am I’m probably not strong enough to stand with them.”

She covered her mouth as sweet, and high sound emerged. A laugh I could only assume. “Oh, Rilas, you could have not absorbed all you have if you were not. Your ability to absorb new information is beyond comprehension. A lesser mind would have floundered long before.”

“Maybe.” I still did not believe. “I guess we’ll see, when my testing arrives.”

Viirra retreated a bit. “And you will see I am right. I know it.” She inclined her head before leaving with her shadow.

I entered my room, and got some well deserved rest.

 

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Planet of Jirth, Part 6

I slipped into a loose pair of pajamas. My skin still tingled from very powerful shower. Showers were one thing that I appreciated, which I had no mixed feelings about. I felt quite hungry.  I headed out to find the kitchen.

Down the hallway the slug-lizard creature called a Tarvin met me. The short little arms waved at me, as colored lights flashed up, and down his body. There was a stutter in the translator before words came to mind. “Greetings, Administer Rilas of Einlari, Jirth Teacher. I am Kall en Drein of Tarvin, as it circles Tar.” The lights faded as his huge eyes flicked around the area.

“I greet you as well.” I blushed. “Sorry, I don’t know to respond formally to your greeting.”

A few seconds passed a few more lights flashed as he responded. “Do not worry. I am not as formal as other as Tarvin. I wonder about you, Einlari. I hear your people are primitives. You seem very civilized and At has nothing, but praise for you.”

For some reason the statement seemed ridiculous and I laughed. “Maybe so. Can you show me where the kitchen is? My stomach is rumbling.”

A few lights flashed, as he slithered past. “This way, Rilas.”

The rest of way neither of us spoke or flashed lights at one another. The hallway opened up into a large room filled with chairs, and tables. A long metal counter filled with glossy silver packets. “Rilas, pick up a pack labelled Einlari, and take it around the corner. One of the Runnil here will cook it for you.”

The words on each packet were confusing. I ran my fingers over several before picking one up, and going around the corner. A Runnil took the packet, and waved me back to the room. I sat next to Kall, who seemed to be resting on a cushion rather than sitting on a chair. “Are you not hungry?”

A fast flicker of lights, green, and pink it translated to a hearty chuckle. “Tarvin only eats once a week. Our metabolisms are quite slow, I wear an environmental suit always, to maintain temperate, and other factors.”

“You are wearing a suit? I do not see one.” To be clear, I wasn’t sure what an environmental suit was.

One of the small hands, pulled on his skin, a clear layer pulled up. “Our people developed suits long ago, skin tight. Without them, we could not leave our home moon.”

“Home moon?” The concept confused me, though an inkling of understanding stirred.

A quick flashes of light for a laugh. “My people did not evolve on a planet, but a moon of a gas giant. Along with the Tarvey. Knowing other life existed in the universe changed the course of technology for my people.” A sadness conveyed in pale purple. “It will be same for your people I suspect, but not nearly as enlightening.”

I thought of the statement. The food arrived. I started to thank the Runnil, but it waved its fingers before trotting off. I lifted a short, squat spoon from inside the bowl, and tasted. Bright, warm, and comforting. I ate a few more bites. “Why?”

Kall acted as if there had been no pause. “Jirth are not accepting of the ways beside their own. You already know them taking over your homeworld.”

My lips pulled up as anger flooded my thoughts. “Yes. They informed me of my duties, to make sure my people are pliable.”

“Ah.” He paused. “They didn’t tell you the rest?”

“What rest?”

Kall lights glowed a pastel for a few seconds. He shifted uncomfortably. “It is not my place to say, I think.”

Even as a small child, I detested when people would say something, and then back off. “Are you honestly not going to tell me?”

“I should have not spoken. Perhaps, if your testing goes well. Go On Don must be careful about getting too involved in politics.” His face shifted as his silted eyes widened, and shifted color to a pale orange. “I will say, the Jirth are not to be trusted. They care too much about what they call ‘greater good’.”

I swirled my spoon around in my food. My spoon clattered against the bowl. Finger’s pressed against my temple as I rubbed them. “Fine. When will the testing begin will you at least tell me that?”

The strange bobbing motion as his body flickered many colors in rapid succession. “I am not certain. You need to have your mind at ease. Once, your mind is calm the testing will begin. You are new to lots of information. One can only absorb so much information at one time. If we push too fast it will harm you. We do not desire that.” Another flash of warm light indicated a smile. “I do not think you want that either.”

“What I want is to stop being dragged around, kept in the dark, and told everything is for my benefit.” My people may be savages who lack any technology or sosphication, but I wasn’t an idiot. I resented the fact they seemed to think I was.

He lifted his hands, and bowed. “I am sorry. I have nothing to ease your annoyance.”

I grunted. The spoon dipped, and lifted as I finished off my meal. The silence didn’t seem to upset Kall. Then again, it is not like I knew enough about him or his people. The last bite tasted delicious. “I’ll be in my quarters. Trying to calm myself.” A snap to my voice. Part of me felt guilty Kall and At had only been kind to me.

No response from Kall as I headed back to the room.

 

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