At hovered over me the next few weeks, but I shooed him whenever he interfered too much. My learning moved at a much quicker pace without his presence.
On my way back to the testing machine I ran into Viirra. I spoke to her mind to mind. “Viirra, why do you think At seems to throw my training off?”
She tugged at her pale pink hair as I could feel her mind considering. “I’m not certain. His mind is vast perhaps it distracts you enough to slow down your progress.” She switched to speaking. “Why are you going to the testing facility?”
At first I didn’t want to tell her. At would have had a fit if he knew. On the other hand I might be taking too much of a risk. Viirra seemed to me the type who cared for the convention. I felt it made her a good person to measure one’s actions against. “I spent the last night in a trance. I think I can now access the ability to lengthen my life. From my reading the testing machine can a sample of my DNA, and map my abilities to give me an idea of the cost of doing so.”
“There is only one thing I feel obligated to ask.” The tendrils of her mind linked to me. “Why do you want to live longer?”
The question was reasonable. A had a lot of nebulous reasons, but maybe I needed to talk them out. “Can we go somewhere and talk? My life has been altered so much; I think I need to clear my head a bit.”
A motion with her fingers as we strode down the hallway to the lounge. She settled on one as the chitin covered guardian kneeled beside her chair. I sat across. “I have several reasons.” Among the Go On Don pleasantries aren’t as observed. I suspect they spent too much time in each other heads for it. “The reason that sticks with me is that I finally know what is out there. I know things I couldn’t even have conceived of. I need another lifetime to even start to understand how it all fits together.”
As Viirra’s tendrils still touched my mind, she absorbed the information in a minute or two. “I feel your desire is genuine. And, I acknowledge it. Do you believe this is enough? Everyone you know and love will most likely die. Things you found comfortable and familiar will fade. The culture of your people will twist, and change.”
“Do you think your point is relevant to me, Viirra?” I tightened the connection between her mind and mine. She let out a gasp.
The images of how everyone I loved, my family at least, had died. I never loved a man, or was loved in return. I had accepted it, but the scars remained. Everything about my life had already changed, shredded to pieces by the Jirth. And, likely my people would change before my eyes in a normal life, because of them.
Viirra shook of my grasp a touch. “Still, you must have other reasons.” She didn’t ask, because she could feel them floating around my head.
“I worry for my people, Viirra.” The words came out a bit raw filled with emotion. I didn’t trust the Jirth. “What are they going to do them? I’m the only one who has these powers, as far as I know. From the records I know my powers are strong, and from At I know the Jirth Mentals are rare. If I live long enough to protect them, it will be worth it.”
“You don’t feel as if you owe the Jirth? They did introduce to this world allowed you to access your powers. Without them you would have been as ignorant as the day they found you.” I pushed my hurt aside. I knew she didn’t ask to harm me. She needed to oppose my desires, and pluck at my secret shames.
My thoughts travelled for a while. “In a way, I do. But, they didn’t take me to do me any favors. In fact, they didn’t really give much of a choice. They showed up, dazzled me, and dragged me away. A few hour times passed from when I met them, until I left. They took advantage of me to meet their own ends.” Inside my core my resolve hardened. “I’ll not let them do the same to the Einlari or the other people of my homeworld.”
A smile broke across her face. “How did you ever get so strong, Rilas?”
“A mistake of the divine.” I stood up. “I’m going to go take the test now.”
Viirra smiled. “I’ll be around if you need anything, Rilas. Do not fear.”