Juin and I travelled to a small base on a moon not far from Einndias. There were a few alien races, but I more than pleased to have Viirra join us. I let out a cry as she stepped into the sterile and empty main hall. “Viirra.” I wrapped my arms around her.
She let out one of her short laughs. “Oh, Rilas, you’ve aged. Then, so have I.”
“How were you able to leave the hive?” I asked as I pulled back to look at her. Her once sharp defined features blurred, and loose with age, and pink hair and eyes bleached to barely colored shades.
Viirra stepped back out of my grasp. “I won’t live much longer, I trained the one who would inherit and left the hive. Besides, I needed to see you one last time friend. We have spoken many times, but I wanted to see you with my eyes.”
I understood why she stepped back. She needed to distance herself from the Empath I was. Her emotions all a jumble, and she didn’t feel the need to drag them out in the open. “I glad I get to you see as well.” I remember Juin. “This young man is here to learn his talents, his named Juin.”
Viirra switched her gaze to him. “You are in wonderful company. Rilas is a strong, brave, and wise woman. Unfortunately, she’ll not handle your training directly; she and I are too old. But, she will be around any time you wish to talk. I already heard about this arranged to make sure they don’t try to get rid of her.”
None of it surprised me. My standing in the Go On Don did not go very high, and my association with the Jirth didn’t help me. Viirra’s ranking was quite high, and she didn’t take ‘no’ very well. “Thank you for this Viirra.”
“Oh, um, thanks. I’m glad I won’t be alone.” He glanced down a touch of pink to his cheeks. “I don’t know her very well, but Rilas seems very nice.”
Viirra sent me a thought. “What prompted you to help this boy, exactly?”
“I’m tired, Viirra. My life is lonely, my friends are nearly all gone, and my life is nearly over. I’d be nice to have one person to remember me fondly.” I let my emotions curl around the words.
Viirra patted me on the shoulder. “Let’s get you started young one.”
I followed both of them into the lobby. Like many of the Go On Don bases the lobby was filled with comfortable furniture in a variety of races could use. A race called the Tarvey stood waiting. The dark brown fur, large almond eyes, and feline faces unmistakable. He bowed. “Greetings Juin and Rilas. I’m Rerrro. Rilas will not able to train with you, Juin. If you need of comfort during our sessions or any other time I shall summon her. Does that suit?” The muddled accent told me he didn’t use a translator. He must have some ability that allowed to learn languages at an accelerated rate.
Juin shot me a look filled with apprehension the color drained from his skin. “I guess.”
I rested my hand on his arm. “You’ll be fine. I doubt you’ll suffer any. It might hurt on occasion, but no more than a needle.” I motioned toward Rerrro. “He’ll guide you, feel free to share anything with him. Or with anyone here, it is a safe place.” Go On Don could be ruthless, but with trainees they always gentle.
“Okay.” He swallowed hard. “I’ll talk with you later, after my session.”
Rerrro bobbed his head up and down. “Come now, young one we’ll test your abilities. You know enough about the world for us to do that now.” And, he let the young man away.
Viirra and I sat shared our sorrows, and emotions for a while without speaking. She grieved as much as I for At, and her companion had died some time ago. The wound of such a loss never healed. The centuries rolled by and we lost everyone we knew, and things we remembered. I’ll be the first to say there are benefits to a long life, but the sorrows weigh on a person. “How are At’s kin?” His children did not join the Go On Don so we hadn’t met.
She tugged a stray white-pink strand behind her ear. “Fine, thriving. Same for mine. I can tell you never had any your own. Why didn’t you?”
I considered the question. In the end I could never find any of my people who interested me enough to have children with. Not to say I never had any relationships, but they never led to any place deeper. “I could never find love, I suppose.”
Viirra gave me a look I couldn’t decipher her emotions said it was something between annoyance and amusement. “I doubt you truly looked either. Your only true love was the plight of the Einlari. Do not deny it.” She held up a hand to make sure I didn’t even try. “Now, you have done all you can. You still have around a hundred years to live, will you still do it alone?”
“It seems too late, I’m old now.” A memory surfaced about how I wasn’t likely to have children in my old age based my test long ago.
Viirra wiggled into her chair. “Your mind contradicts you. What about this boy? Are you interested in him?”
“No,” I hadn’t thought about it. Juin came around at the right time, and I was lonely.
Viirra smirked at me. Apparently, she sensed something I did not. “Oh, if you say so.”
“Viirra.” I frowned at her.
“Oh, alright.” She narrowed her eyes in contentment. “I’m not sure why, but that boy is interested in you. I’m surprised haven’t picked up on it, as an Empath.”
“I worked to not read the emotions of Einlari. It unnerved them, and often it has been easier to not know how afraid of me they were.” A thought struck me, “Why would a young man be interested in an ancient thing like me?”
Viirra shrugged, and as her nature changed the topic. “Did you the bizarre choice for official Go On Don’s representatives’ outfits? I couldn’t believe my old eyes.” And the next few hours were filled with gossip.