Tag Archives: Historical Figures

Planet of Jirth, Part 10

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.”

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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 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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Planet of Jirth, Part 5

I should be more upset to leave Jirina, but the planet was hot, muggy, and dark. And, the Jirth were hard to understand. At told me about the other people in the enclave, which I learned was a small space station orbiting Jirina. Two were Runnil, one his mate, and his other brother.

One called Viirra was a Pirfectia. At allowed me to look up the profile on her. She seemed much like my own people, but very pale, white skinned, with pastel pink hair, and eyes. Short, with a very slight figure, but the profile also noting she had many companions. “Companions?”

At gave me a grim nod. “Pirfectia are a blended race these days.”

“Blended race?” I knew the meaning of both words, but I had no idea how they could relate.

“They live, and work with another race called the Krickiktar, who are instectoid race, who breed in huge hives, and are controlled by a queen. However, a disease swept over their race, killing most of the queens. Pirfectia have great mental control. They took the place of the queens for hive control. And, since the Pirfectia have been having many genetic problems, the Krickiktar help out with it.” At nose wiggled, which I had come to learn it meant he was disturbed.

The whole thing puzzled me. “How do they breed with insects?”

The laugh from At threw me off, I had grown used to the hooting, but I wasn’t sure why it was funny. “They don’t. They just control the hive. Without a voice to tell them do anything the lower level ones, do nothing. It’s somewhat complicated, but the two races need one another, but not for breeding.”

“I’m not sure, if I’m understanding, but her companion is a Krickiktar?” That, at least, I could follow.

At gave me a consoling pat on the shoulder. “Yes.”

The next alien called a Tarvin called Kall. It looked as if someone had blended a lizard with a slug. The upper body, had two tiny arms, toward the bottom of it’s torso, a long bulbous tail, and no legs. The head had a long narrow face, with large ball shaped eyes. A line of circles ran down torso, and down it’s back. “Tarvin. That is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Tarvin’s are strange, even to me. I might have to adjust your translator, because they don’t talk in the traditional sense. They use chemcials to flash light on those circles to communicate. Let me know how it works when we get there.” At responded as I could see the station getting closer.

I was already missing the Jirth.

After docking I walked out into a large, gray room filled with a variety of furniture. Viirra stood in room. In person, she seemed even shorter. Her pale pink hair braided, and she wore a matching skin tight suit. A glance over her shoulder, before striding over to us. A black tall creature covered in thick black plates, moved a few feet behind her.

“Hello, I’m Rilas.” I blurted out before anyone else could talk.

Viirra gave a cool nod. “I am Viirra of Hive Tirkite, of Kiruck.” She motioned toward the black figure. “That is my companion, do not address him directly. All of us have heard about you. At has said, in a couple of days, he hopes to do the procedure to activate your latent abilities.”

“A what?” I gave At an incredulous expression.

He ducked his eyes. “I was going to talk to you about it first, of course. It was an idea I had is all. If it works, well, let’s get you settled in first.”

Viirra seemed to stare at him with utter focus. “I see. Yes, I agree, let’s get you settled before we start messing around in your brain.”

“Thanks.” It didn’t seem to right response, but it was all that occurred to me.

She smiled. “I apologize, we are used to being in each other’s minds. But, all of us have same Mental abilities. There are many different kinds.”

“At explained to me, some of the varieties, but not in great detail.” I gave him a suspicious look. “He worried it might be too much absorb in my current state.”

Before our discussion could grow more heated, two more of Runnil ran in. Tall, furred, with strange elongated faces they made yipping sounds. Other than no words were exchanged as they hugged in one huge pile. I figured, without being told, it’s because of their telepathic ability.

A snap of fingers caught my attention. Viirra waved me toward her. “I’m sure, his forgotten your existence for now. I’ll take you to your room.”

I swallowed, but went along. Some of the old fear beat against my skull, but I pushed it down. Once again, I reminded myself I’d seen things that a few months ago I couldn’t have imagined. A little worry and fear were an easy price to pay for it. With new resolve I made it to my room without breaking down crying. What an accomplishment.

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Planet of Jirth, Part 4

The next three weeks were strange, and wonderful. At would ask me bizarre questions such as, “If there are fourteen stars in the sky, what is the meaning of the fifteen?” I would stumble around them at first, but over time they became easy to answer. I had machines hooked up to me, as I ate different foods, looked at pictures, and listened to music. I couldn’t tell you why we did any of it, but I felt a hidden place in my mind open up.

The first thing I noticed, the Jirth hated it. Priest of Jirth, the one who I had first met, would flush various colors showing its level of distress. Priest of Jirth did not like how I even enjoyed At’s company. It would linger after our testing sessions, if he stayed more than an hour, there would be always be a reason for me to leave. It even mocked tests, and how unusual they were. One day, I confronted it about it.

“The questions make no sense. How many grains of sand are in a mountain? There is no purpose to it, Teacher of Einlari.” Priest of Jirth grown swished back and forth as it paced. The skin around it’s spots deepening a soft brown.

I grinned. “Maybe. The questions don’t really matter. It is a way to of thinking.” My mind raced to find the right word. “Reaching for answers outside anything you would usually think about.”

Priest of Jirth skin flushed pink over the brown. The right eye blinked at me. Still, a race with such a flat, two sided head confused me at times. “Teacher of Einlari, you do not need to understand such things. You will teach Einlari, Go On Don is a distraction from your duties.”

A few minutes ticked by before I could get my temper under control. My duties, as far as I could tell, was to help peacefully enslave my own people. The worst part was there was no way for it not to happen. There was no law anywhere against a more advanced race taking over a primitive one. By the standards of the galaxy, the Einlari, Gelinil, or any of the people on our planet were primitive in the extreme. “Explain to me your problem with At?”

Priest of Jirth clamped the three finger hands together. “Ambassador of Go On Don only interferes with your duties. Your anger at the situation is fine, but if you do not help Jirth things will be much worse for Einlari.”

“I know.” As much as it angered me, I knew it to be true. “But, being a Mental isn’t in competition with my desire to help my people. At insists it is why I am able to understand, and deal with such huge leaps in knowledge. The more I can learn about being Mental, the better I will be able to cope with it the future. To that end it serves both our goals.”

“I desire to forbid At from Jirina.” Jirina is what they called their planet.

“Do it if you feel you must, I cannot stop you. But, then I will contact the Intergalactic Council, and announce we do not bow to Jirth.” Priest of Jirth’s complexion faded to a gray. “If other races wish our planet, I don’t see why I should let you have it. Being Mental will let me help my people, if you will not allow me, I’ll give them every chance to find a better race.”

“Other races may not be better, Teacher of Einlari.” It fidgeted the distress showing in the jerking motions of its hands.

“If you will not allow me to take care of them, then I will risk it. That’s all I ask.” I feared for our future. Our whole planet was about to be subjugated underneath the Jirth. They had restricted what I could learn on their network. I needed unbiased data, and powers beyond what I already had.

A hooting laugh broke the tension. At stood in the doorway. “Come now, Priest of Jirth. You see she must go to Go On Don enclave nearby, and start her training. She indeed, a very powerful mental. Agree to it, and agree you will allow us to look for more Mentals, whenever we wish, among her people, and we will not oppose you.”

“How do you know our conversation?” Priest of Jirth words came in a rush.

“I’m a Runnil, I hear everything, always. Agree or no?” At spoke his eyes gleaming in the light.

“Take the Teacher of Einlari, Leader of Jirth must discuss the rest of your proposal.” Priest of Jirth seemed to collapse in on itself.

At sent me a smile. “The ship will be ready in a few hours, and I need to brief you on who you’ll meet.”

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Planet of Jirth, Part 3

As we walked around the strange gray grounds my nerves eased. At moved beside me in quiet. The pieces in my mind clicked together as time passed. Finally, I was able to talk. “Tell me.”

“The Jirth did not believe in or support the Go On Don. It goes against many of the fundaments their society is built upon.” At paused.

“In what way?’ I did not understand much of the Jirth. If this Runnil could explain their society, it would be beneficial.

Silence prevaded as quiet thud of our feet filled the air. “Jirth society is based on giving up all individuality for the benefit of the group. There is no one person, or thing, everything is joined in a single unified goal. Their race is descended with an insectoid race, so it does not surprise me. People of great mental ability, or more commonly known as Mentals, are very low percentage of their race. And, even the ones they have been quite weak.”

The concept of insectiod still a bit strange to me. People who are insects, I shook my head. “Why aren’t they powerful Mentals?”

At gave me a look I could not decipher. “Genetics.”

“Genetics?” The term was completely unfamiliar to me. A single thought could not be summoned in relationship to it.

The strange hooting sound returned, as At slapped his leg. “The Jirth did not tell you about genetics.” He shrugged. “I suppose they didn’t need to know about being a ‘teacher’.”

“What does Teacher mean, to the Jirth, exactly. I have a vague idea, but I don’t understand the full depth of it.” It was disconcerting to be called a title, which you didn’t really comprehend.

At paused for a second. His glossy black nose wiggled. “I’m not sure if I can easily explain it. Jirth have many different castes, or groupings. The teacher is generally someone higher up in the hierarchy, but is exclusively involved in educating younglings, or youths. They aren’t expected to have advanced knowledge of any kind. Jirth realize that other races do not have everyone assigned to a specific job. Generally, when they encounter someone, or try to add them to their society they pick whatever role they performed that has highest ranking.”

I glared at the thought. Personally, I had always found the fact I ran an entire district my greatest achievement. Not teaching children how to use their figures, and words. “Educating young children hardly seems higher rank than administer.”

“To you perhaps.” At grinned with all his sharp teeth showing. “But, since Jirth only live for society, educating children to serve is a great honor.”

I made a disgruntled snort. “Okay, explain genetics.”

At clicked his tongue for several minutes. “I’m not sure I can.”

“Try.” I smiled.

“’Genetics is what makes everything what it is. A flower knows whether or not it’s purple or pink, because of it.” He rubbed his forehead, and came to stop. “I’m probably over simplifying it.”

Hmmm.” I patted his arm. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll research it later. But, genetics are different for everything. And, that’s what makes a Jirth a Jirth, and Einlari, an Einlari?” My mind reeled a bit from the implication. I swallowed down the bile that had risen in my throat.

At huge eyes blinked. “Don’t let it upset you. But, you are a Mental, I’m certain. The Jirth won’t approve of it, but I would like to run some tests with you over the next couple of weeks, and stay with you as the Jirth continue to educate you, if that is acceptable to you?”

“Let me think about it.” I could not explain how relaxing it was to talk to someone who seemed to think more like the people I came from. Yet, it was hard to grasp I might be something other than an Einlari. A Mental, the word disconnected from my old knowledge, and my new. How could I have a great mental ability? My father was a farmer, and my mother an innkeeper. What if it was true, that was the real question? I ran into this situation, and accepted it. I would not let go of an opportunity, because it scared me.

The door to the office wasn’t far away. I turned to At. “Might as well find out. I’ll be glad to take your tests.”

At sharp teeth flashed. “I’ll inform the Go On Don, and I’ll look forward to spending a few weeks with you.”

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