This story is fictional and may contain descriptions of gay sexuality or acts (b/b and M/b). If this is not to your taste or is illegal where you are situated you should not continue.Some characterisations are based on the ideas and themes of the Pern series of Anne McCaffery. No infringement of her copyrights are intended and no references are made to any of her characters or plots.
HERE BE DRAGONS
Daniel held Will in his arms, looking over at the collapsed figure of Will’s attacker lying further up the beach, waiting for Gerald . Looking back towards the beach house he saw Gerald sprinting along the beach with Maureen and Jennifer close on his heels. He gave a quiet groan.
What is it Daniel, Will asked through his sobs.
Our mothers are following your father. I think we could do without them.
Oh, yes. Will sobbed again, leaning against his boyfriend.
I think I need to see if I can get rid of them, Daniel said. He projected a thought towards Gerald and saw him stop his headlong run towards them and turn back to the two women. After what seemed a short but fairly heated discussion, Gerald resumed his run towards the boys and the two women stopped, and after staring at Daniel and Will, turned and slowly walked back towards the house. Beyond them Daniel could see Ginny and Robbie standing on top of the first dune peering along the beach.
“Will,” Gerald panted as he came up towards the boys, “are you alright?” He reached over to the boy and gently prised him away from Daniel’s embrace. Will shuddered and cuddled into his father’s chest.
“I am now, Dad,” Will said, struggling to stop himself sobbing. “But it was pretty horrible.”
“What actually happened?” Gerald asked, and then, looking at Daniel, “Why did you want me to stop your mothers?”
Show him Will, Daniel ordered.
Gerald gasped as the images flooded into his mind. He cringed for his son as he felt the terror Will had felt as the hands of his attacker pawed at him. He could smell the breath of the attacker; and could see the lust in his eyes. He strengthened his grip on the boy, hugging him tightly, leaning down to kiss him gently on the top of his head. He looked at Daniel.
“Was there nothing you could do?” he asked.
“Not immediately,” Daniel replied. He heaved a sigh. “I didn’t know at first what was happening because Will panicked and his thoughts were blocked. Then as they started to clear, and I could understand what was happening, he suddenly appeared just in front of me.” His eyes widened as he grasped the implication of what he had just told Gerald.
“Good God!” Gerald exclaimed. “Does that mean what I think it means?”
“I think so – in fact Gerald, I am certain it does.”
“What are you talking about?” Will broke in.
“Teleporting,” Daniel said briefly.
I did! Will was astounded.
“You did!” Daniel exclaimed. “Well, at least I think you did,” he said, more quietly.
“So we won’t be taking chummy over there to the Police, will we?” Gerald asked.
“No,” Daniel replied.
“So? What are you going to do?” Will’s father asked him.
“We’re going to have to modify his memories,” Will said to his father, finally quieting his sobs.
“Are you sure that’s what you have to do?” Gerald asked.
“I don’t think we have any option,” Daniel mused quietly, turning and surveying the ocean, his eyes scanning just beyond the line of breakers. His shoulders suddenly flexed as he spotted the dolphins, just outside the breakers. For some reason they seemed to be looking at him, and he suddenly heard, or rather felt, the strange whispering..
“Look at that,” he said, pointing out to them.
Gerald and Will followed the direction of his pointing hand.
“What is it?” Gerald asked.
“Those dolphins,” he said.
“What about them?”
“I think they are trying to communicate with us,” Daniel replied. “Can you hear them, Will?”
“Like a soft whispering?” his boyfriend asked.
“I don’t hear anything,” Gerald said, “what does it sound like?”
Will reached up and put his hand on his father’s brow and Gerald’s eyes widened as his son opened his mind to let him hear the sound.
“Good God!” Gerald exclaimed. “Do you know what they are saying?”
“Not yet,” Daniel answered him. “Right now, we have a more pressing problem.” He looked at the prostrate figure further up the beach. “Chummy, as you call him, Gerald, will be awake shortly. We have to ensure that he does not recall how Will escaped from him.”
Gerald and Will nodded.
The three moved off up the beach in the direction of the slumped figure, Gerald with his arm still around Will’s shoulder, and, on the other side, Daniel holding Will’s hand. As they approached the figure lying on the sand he started to move and they heard a groan, Daniel stepped out a little quicker and, stopping just short of the man, looked at him intently.
Show your father what I am doing Will, he ordered.
Will nodded at him, and taking his father’s hand, opened his mind to allow Daniel’s thoughts flow to Gerald. Gerald gave a muffled gasp, but did not otherwise say anything.
Daniel probed around in the man’s thoughts, his face reflecting the revulsion felt at what he found.
“This guy’s a real pervert,” he muttered to his companions. Both Gerald and Will grimaced a silent reply to him. Delving into the mists of the man’s consciousness, he caught a glimpse of a thread and followed it into the morass of the man’s thoughts.
“Here it is,” he said quietly.
“What?” asked Gerald.
“The thought about the teleporting.” Daniel probed a little deeper. “He is trying to figure out how Will disappeared from just in front of him, only to appear simultaneously a few hundred metres along the beach, next to me.”
“Can you erase that memory?” Gerald asked.
“Oh, yes! That I can do quite easily,” Daniel said with a savage grin. “Watch!”
His thoughts indicated to Will and his father the memory thread in the man’s mind. They focussed on it and as they did so, they thought they saw it harden into a twisted rod, and then start to disintegrate. Amazed, they watched as it crumbled into dust, and the fragments were swirled away by the mists of the man’s consciousness.
“What just happened, Daniel?” Gerald asked. “Did that memory really just dissolve away like that?”
“No, it wasn’t quite like that, Gerald,” Daniel replied. “What you saw was the only way I could describe the effect of what I was doing in terms you could understand. Will understands.” He said, smiling at his boyfriend.
“I know what you did,” Will smiled back, “but I don’t think I could achieve it.” He looked at his father, and then back at Daniel. “Are you going to look at his behaviour?”
Daniel’s eyes unfocussed and the others became aware of the thoughts of the man lying at their feet. They could see that Daniel was guiding them around the periphery of the consciousness, just slightly ‘above’ what they knew must be the unconscious part of his brain, In their minds the area seemed composed of grey, swirling mists punctuated by coloured threads, twirling and spiralling in the mists. Suddenly Daniel focussed on a dark brown thread which seemed to shy away from his approach, but which he sharply restrained and prevented from moving away from his touch. Neither Will nor Gerald could see how he accomplished that. Daniel’s thoughts seem to absorb the images and emotions which were contained in the strand and as each one became apparent to him he relayed it to Will and Gerald. Through it they caught images of boys and of the feelings of lust the man felt towards them. The boys’ ages ranged from 4 or 5 up to late teens. Although most of the emotions associated with each image were “light” - merely reflecting an admiration for the boy, particularly his face, and sometimes his legs, a few had much more stronger feelings attached to them and in some cases Will could feel his penis erecting, so strong and so erotic was the memory about the boy. Even Gerald was responding in a similar way. There were several images for which the memories and emotions were so strong they became violent and the the three explorers felt the experiences of violent assault and even rape. One thought – one emotion - was so strong that Gerald gasped:
“The lose-lose game!”
“What?” Will gasped in reply.
“He’s playing the ‘lose-lose game’.” Will and Daniel both looked puzzled. “If he can’t have that boy, he is not letting someone else have him.”
“That strand and wherever it comes from is what we have to get,” Daniel muttered. He seemed to move his hand up the strand a little and all three could see an image of Will, his face quivering in horror, and then, suddenly, a feeling of stunned amazement emanated from the memory as the image of Will abruptly disappeared. The man seemed to give a gargle of surprise when his sight shifted and an image of Will appeared beside Daniel, a long way down the beach. Then, startlingly, the image disappeared and everything appeared to go black.
“That must have been when I hit him,” Daniel grunted.
As if pulling them by some sort of safety line, he started to lead them along the strand, diving deeply into the mists of the man’s unconscious. As they slid along the strand, they glimpsed memories of scenes, some violent, some loving and caring; and shuddered as they encountered one in which a boy was killed. As they ‘slid’ deeper, other strands became thicker and one, a deep red in colour emanated such strong emotions that Daniel grasped it with his left hand and suddenly stopped. Memories of the man’s childhood flooded into their minds - a man, a woman, other boys, and then, surrounded by a red haze, abuse of the man as a child such as the three had never experienced, or even contemplated: thrashings and rape - painful anal rape. The three explorers could feel the pain and anguish felt by the young boy, and then the hatred that built as he was brutally assaulted after the rape. The last memory Daniel allowed them to glimpse was the boy attacking his father with an axe,
Cutting off the memory, but still holding the two strands, Daniel sank lower and lower through the mists of the man’s mind, as though he was swimming through a viscous soup drawing his two companions down with him. They caught glimpses of the memories - abuse intermingled with visions of boys and young men, and occasionally scenes of lust as the man attacked or seduced one of the visions. Finally, they seemed to reach a spongy morass, from which the two strands seemed to emerge.
“This is it,” Daniel muttered.
“The centre of his memories?” Gerald asked?
“Yes, and the source of his desires, I think,” Daniel replied.
“Can you alter it Daniel?” Will asked, his voice sounding a little querulous.
“Well,” Daniel said, “I can certainly cut off his memory of you, Will.”
“How?” asked Gerald.
“By snapping that strand,” Daniel said, indicating the darker strand.
“What about ‘curing’ him?” Will asked. “Do you think you can stop him doing it again?”
“I think so, Will.” Daniel thought for a moment. “I think I can break that other strand which will cut out all those awful memories. Then I think I can ‘dig’ out some of that stuff around the base of the strands, which should remove the hatred and lust which seems to be causing his problem.”
“Do you think you should?” Gerald asked.
“What do you think?” Daniel didn’t seem too sure. “You’ve seen his memories too.”
Yes, I think you should,” Gerald spoke softly. “You know, you have a wonderful future as a psychologist.”
“And go though this shit everyday?” he expostulated, vehemently! “No, thank you very much!”
Gerald smiled, and nodded, understandingly.
As the other two watched, Daniel snapped the two threads and then appeared to burn the area around the point from which they had emerged - as though using a laser knife. After a short while, he seemed satisfied and, grasping his companions’ minds, pulled them out of the morass of mists and back to the real world. He shook himself, as though waking from a deep sleep.
“Gerald, I can reattach the memories,” he said, looking at his boyfriend’s father, “but I think the ‘digging’ I did is irreversible.”
Gerald looked at him with a kindly expression.
“I don’t think you’d want to reverse what you excised, Daniel,” he said, thinking, “but I’m glad those memories could be restored because they are the sort of things that could become important in a forensic examination.” He stopped and thought again. “Don’t let’s go down that path.”
He was stopped by a groan from the man who was still prone on the damp sand.
“Time to leave,” he said.
The three turned and then, rather hastily, started walking back along the beach. In the distance they could see Maureen and Jennifer peering in their direction. Robbie and Genny seemed to be hovering on the dunes at the back of the beach. As they got closer to the women, Gerald waved, followed by waves from Will and Daniel. The women started to walk towards them and Will quickened his pace, starting to jog towards his mother.
When Daniel and Gerald caught up with him he was tightly hugging Maureen and they could hear muffled sobs.
“What happened?” Daniel’s mother demanded.
“Will was attacked, Mum,” Daniel told her. “That guy lying on the beach tried something on.”
“Police!” she stated emphatically.
“No, Mum,” Daniel said to her. “No police!”
Gerald put his hand on Daniel’s shoulder.
“Jen, a couple of things happened which we cannot allow to come out,” he said.
“What?” she demanded, belligerently.
“Mum!” Daniel gently expostulated. “You know there are some things we can’t reveal about ourselves to others.”
“Yes,” she interjected, “but that is a criminal up there!”
“Not any longer, Jen,” Gerald told her.
“What do you mean?” Daniel’s mother was not going to let her belligerence subside.
“Mum,” Daniel said, “Will did something to get away from him that we didn’t know could happen.” Daniel looked at his mother and continued, “Will used some method of escaping from that man. I don’t understand it yet.”
“What do you mean?” his mother asked. More calmly now.
“Well,” he thought for a moment, “I think it might be teleportation.”
“Is that possible?” she queried.
“Must be,” he replied, “because it happened. One instant the man had hold of him, and the next instant he was in my arms.”
His mother looked stunned.
“That’s not all, Jen,” Gerald put in. “Daniel has modified the man’s memories so that he won’t remember Will or this whole incident.”
“Hmph!” Jennifer grunted. “He is still a criminal. What if he tries it again?” She paused, thinking. “Who else has he attacked?”
“Well,” Gerald replied, “we know some of his history.” He looked at her and before she could interject continued, “Daniel did more than just erase the memory. He found the root of the man’s problem and eradicated it from his subconscious.” He looked at Daniel. “He would make a brilliant psychologist!”
His mother didn’t say anything else, but reached out and gently touched his hair, smoothing it and smiling at him.
“I think he’ll be brilliant whatever he wants to be,” she said quietly, smiling at him.
Gerald nodded. He looked over at his wife holding his eldest son. She was gently rubbing his back, his sobs subsiding with the loving ministrations of his mother. She looked at Gerald, her face wearing an enquiring expression.
Daniel looked at Gerald, who nodded, and Maureen’s puzzled expression gave way to one of understanding as Daniel showed her mind the events of the last few minutes.
“He flew?” she asked.
“No,” Daniel chuckled - and Will let out a tiny giggle. “No, it was...” he thought for a moment or two, “it was more like he dived into a tunnel which ended at me but had no length. It just happened sort of instantly.”
Maureen, who was still holding Will, looked at the two other adults and Daniel.
“You mean, this is something else we now have to keep secret?”
“Oh yes,” Gerald said. “Even more so now.”
“Mum,” Will looked at his mother, “we don’t really know everything we can do yet. Daniel doesn’t know how this happened yet, but I bet he will work it out.”
“I will,” Daniel said with certainty.
Looking back along the beach they could see that the unknown man was now on his feet looking around himself with a puzzled air, and staggering slightly. The five, almost simultaneously, turned around and started walking back to where Robbie and Genny were sliding down the sand hill and, taking them in tow, they crossed the dune back to their temporary home.
Later that night, as Daniel and Will snuggled in bed with each other, Will struggled to repress his memories of the event. Daniel held him closely.
Do you want me to try to erase them Will?
No! I think I need to hold onto them, his boyfriend replied. No, Daniel, I’ll cope. It is not really a problem but I can’t get rid of the awful thoughts he was having.
I know what you mean, Daniel said, but at least we now know why.
Yes, Will commented thoughtfully. Are you sure you don’t want to become a psychologist? We could call you a telepathic surgeon! He giggled.
God! No! And help sort through all that shit! Daniel shuddered. That would be like a municipal worker having to spend all his days working in a sewer. No! Thank you very much. He shuddered again.
However, he mused, we do have to try to sort out how you teleported yourself.
Yes, Will replied, you do!
Oh, you’ll help too, Daniel retorted. Then smiling at his boyfriend he said, I am just so tired Will. You must be exhausted.
Will nodded. And yawned.
He snuggled closer to Daniel and mumbled into his chest. Daniel squeezed him and then, relaxing, let Will quietly slip into sleep, using his abilities to nudge the exhausted boy’s upset mind into a more relaxed state. As Will slipped into deeper sleep, Daniel, despite his tiredness and finding himself unable to fall asleep, started gently probing Will’s mind, his thoughts moving around in Will’s subconscious mind until he found the strand he was seeking - the one that contained the memory of Will’s sudden and abrupt movement. As his perception moved around he could ‘see’ some strands seemed more solid in appearance than others, the colours ranging from misty grey to dark blue. One strand, in particular, looked solid and navy blue and Daniel, thinking about it, moved towards the it. Grasping it with his ethereal hands he started to slide down it, sensing Will’s emotions as his ability to teleport started to manifest itself. The final emotion the strand contained was one of immense relief and Daniel knew that if he searched in the immediate vicinity he would find the memory of his abrupt appearance in front of Will as his boyfriend executed his first teleportation. Working his way down the dark blue strand Daniel could feel his understanding of how Will teleported himself beginning to develop. At the node where the strand joined the amorphous mass that was Will’s collective mind, Daniel could sense some sort of energy process. As though it were a mathematical expression, he could see the parts of an equation: the need to move; the place to move to (sort of like “coordinates”, he thought); the “time of departure”; the “time of arrival” (“Huh!” he thought “– they’re the same. Why distinguish them?”); the energy required for the transport (“Strange,” he thought “- it is an exact amount!”).
He thought about the “equation”, all the time watching the parameters swirling around in Will’s mind. Why does it need the two times? Where does the energy come from? Searching a little more around the root of the strand he could see the “relationships” that calculated the energy the move was going to require, and how long it might take to extract. Extract from where?
And then he saw it. Simplicity itself! He gasped! “It is just so simple,” he thought. The energy is drawn from almost every cell in the body: it starts to flow at the moment transfer commences and, because the flow rate is finite, the transfer will take a finite time. “So that is why an arrival time is also part of the equation,” Daniel thought.
But enough energy out of the cells? No! Not entirely! Daniel could “see” some sort of process which could tap other energy in the surroundings. “Ha!” he thought triumphantly, “now, at last, I think I understand Anne McCaffery’s gestalt processes. Or at least, how they can work in the real world”.
For the next few minutes Daniel continued to work his way around in Will’s sleeping mind, examining all aspects of Will’s recollection of the events, and the processes by which he had achieved the teleportation. At last he felt he understood what happened, and how it happened. He thought hard for a few seconds and concentrating – found himself in the living room. He looked around, and then suddenly realising he was naked, exercised his new power and found himself, apparently instantaneously, standing in their bedroom looking down at his sleeping boyfriend. As he watched, he saw Will stir, reaching around in the bed, trying to find his missing partner. Daniel realised that his peregrinations were, effectively, instantaneous, and that Will was only just then sensing the removal of the warm body that just moments before had been beside.
Daniel sat down on the edge of the bed and reaching out, gently stroked Will’s shoulder, calming his restless movements. “I wonder what else we are capable of?” he asked himself. He thought for a moment and then, concentrating on the heavy desk with their computers on it, tried to lift it mentally. The desk shook, but, even with sweat standing out on his brow, he could not get it to move and, after a few seconds, he ceased trying. The strain was all too evident – he felt as he might have done had he been struggling to raise it physically. Again he examined the processes he was using and his memory of the “energy” parameter in the “equation” in Will’s mind. He reached down and turned the bedside light on. Curling his hand around the power cord he once again concentrated on the desk, but this time included the power cord in his thoughts. He “felt” energy flow out of the cord through his hand and looking back to the desk saw it start to rise. At the same time, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the light of the bedside light grow dim. He gently guided the desk back to the floor and as he relaxed his hold on it the brightness of the lamp increased back to its original intensity.
“Yes!” he thought. “That’s it! That’s the energy I’ve been looking for.” His eyes suddenly widened as a thought struck him.
“When we get on top of this we’ll be unstoppable!” He grinned to himself. “I wonder what Gerald will think about the moral implications of that?” he asked himself.
“Well,” he said to himself, “tomorrow is soon enough for that.” Pulling down the covers he slid in beside Will. Using his powers he switched off the light, and snuggling up to Will, he fell into a deep sleep.
Oran ran along the sand, the soft, silky material squelching between his toes as he sprinted towards D’nel and Farth. The green dragon cocked an eye at him, the orb slowly spinning with warm yellows and browns. The dragon sighed gently and contentedly. Leaping at his lover, Oran wrapped his arms and legs around the young dragon rider, giggling as they tumbled to the sand. Rolling over, he came to rest on D’nel’s chest, staring into his eyes. D’nel smiled at him, and Oran, lowering his head, gently kissed him on the lips.
“I do love you D’nel,” the young harper whispered.
“Hmmm!” D’nel hummed contentedly. A hum from his dragon echoed his. In the distance, surf rumbled as it broke on the shore, the roaring and drumming gradually penetrating through the consciousness of the two boys.
Oran nuzzled D’nel’s neck.
Is A’van coming today?
No. Why? D’nel looked a little puzzled.
“No reason, really,” Oran replied.
“Yes there is!”
“No, no there’s not!”
Are you jealous of A’van?
“No!” Oran replied, vehemently. I could never be jealous of A’van, D’nel.
“I guess, well… maybe I am a little.”
It’s because you get to spend so much time together. Oran looked downcast.
“Oh, Oran!” D’nel hugged him tightly. “You don’t need to feel like that. You know that he loves you as much as he loves me.”
“I know that, D’nel,” Oran said with a sad little smile. “Oh! I don’t know. Maybe it’s because you have your dragons as well.”
You don’t need to worry about us, the warm fruity tones of Farth interjected. A’van and D’nel love you equally. And so do Moranth and I.
I know that Farth, it’s just.....
It’s just that you don’t need to worry, Farth interrupted him.
Anyway Oran, D’nel butted in, it’s not as if you don’t see us regularly now that we are assigned to Harper Hall.
But is it the same for me as it is for you and A’van?
Better Farth interjected.
Yes, D’nel said. Better. Because we have a relationship and mind interaction that even the dragons can’t use. Isn’t that so Farth?
Yes, it is. The boys could almost hear Farth sigh!
They sat in silence for a while, just listening to the sound of the surf and the wind sighing softly across the dunes. It was a warm day and the bright sun made them drowsy. As they relaxed they became aware of a distant whispering. Gradually it increased in intensity and seemed to form words or thoughts.
Suddenly D’nel sat up - and Farth raised her head, swinging around to look intently at the waves
“What is it, D’nel?” Oran asked.
“Did you hear something?” D’nel asked his friend.
“Yes. But I’m not quite sure what.”
“Did you hear my name?”
“No, but I thought I heard mine.”
You both heard your names, Farth told them. But I don’t know where it came from or who was saying them.
“I think I do, Oran said, pointing out to the surf.
“Where?” D’nel asked. “What?”
“I’m not sure, but I think it may be those shipfish.”
“See! Just outside the surf?”
“Oh, yes. I see.” D’nel looked a little puzzled. “Why do you think it is them?”
“Because I think we have heard them before – when we have been here.”
“But we are too far away from them to be able to hear them.” D’nel still sounded puzzled.
“Yes I know, but I wonder....” Oran’s voiced tailed off in puzzlement.
Yes, oh! Oran sound a little amused.
Are you laughing at me? D’nel demanded.
Of course not, Oran giggled, but we are communicating telepathically right now! Why shouldn’t they be able to?
No reason, I guess.
“C’mon,” Oran shouted as he sprang to his feet. “Let’s get closer.”
He raced off down the beach, racing towards the white water playing on the wet sand.
“Wait for me!” D’nel called as he hastened after Oran, hobbling on his game leg.
“D’nel! I am so sorry,” Oran said as he stopped and waited for his friend to catch up. “I forgot in my excitement.”
I know, D’nel whispered in his friend’s mind. I understand Oran. The whispers are getting louder.
“Yes, they are. But if it is telepathy, being closer shouldn’t make a difference, should it?”
“I wouldn’t have thought so,” D’nel replied. “Perhaps it is because they realise we can hear them.”
“You could be right.”
The boys approached the edge of the sea and, as they gazed out beyond the line of breaking waves, they could see the fins of several shipfish moving steadily backwards and forwards, maintaining position directly out from where they stood. As the white water swirled around their ankles, one of the fins moved closer to them.
Hello Oran and dragon rider D’nel.
The boys heard the voice clearly in their minds.
Hello, Oran replied. If I may be so rude? Who are you?
I am Etosh, leader of my pod.
How is it that you can communicate with us, Etosh?
Many skills have been lost by man over the eons since we first came to Pern, Oran. One of the skills was what you call telepathy. You, D’nel and A’van are the first to recover the skill. We are so happy because now it will be possible for us to talk to men over long distances again.
But no one else seems to have the ability, Etosh, D’nel said.
True, D’nel. But you know only too well that the vestiges must have been there because you use it to talk to your dragon.
But only to their dragons, Etosh, Oran interrupted, not to each other.
The trouble with Harpers, Oran, is that they are too literal! Etosh gave what sounded suspiciously like a chuckle.
Do you have any idea how D’nel, A’van and I have suddenly developed the talent? Oran asked.
No we don’t, Oran. The shipfish hesitated. But we think it may have something to do with the love you have for each other.
You are aware of that? Oran sounded stunned.
Oh yes, Harper. We are aware of that, and many other things.
But we have only just started to communicate with others of your type in Southern!
We are aware of that too, young Harper, but we know much and have waited long for you to make the attempt again. Now, at last, we think the other skills are returning. The shipfish sounded jubilant.
What other skills, Etosh? D’nel asked.
You already have telepathy, and you have shown that you can teleport yourself - just as your dragon can move herself. You should be able to show Oran how to do that. And you should be able to develop the skill of telekinesis.
What is that Etosh? Oran interjected.
Moving things by the power of your mind.
Oh yes, D’nel said. We can do a little of that – at least we have managed to prevent some people hurting us. Can you do that? he asked.
Of course! Look at that large rock behind you.
The boys turned, looking at the boulder Etosh referred to. As they watched it rocked, seemed to shudder, and then, suddenly, rose into the air. The boys could feel the effort that Etosh was putting into moving the object. Both let out the breath they had been holding as the boulder dropped gently back onto the sand. Oran let out a startled gasp.
That’s incredible, Etosh.
Hardly, the shipfish replied, you’ve just seen it happen, so it must be credible.
Oran gave a great shout of laughter.
And you called harpers too literal? His giggle seemed to be echoed from the fish. He thought for a moment. What would you like us to do? he asked.
Oran, the shipfish replied, I note that you asked what we would ‘like’ you to do – not what we ‘want’ you to do.
We have long awaited your coming, young harper.
Because we knew that it would take a man with very special qualities to understand us and to start to rebuild the relationship between men and us. The great fish hesitated, obviously considering what to say next.
We can help you develop those skills, Oran and D’nel, and your other partner, A’van. We would like to meet with the three of you at a cove that is a little further along the coast from here, so that we can tell you about the history of your people that has been long forgotten, and of the relationship that used to exist between our peoples. Then we would like you to introduce us to your Masterharper, and to A’van’s and D’nel’s Weyrleaders.
Why them? D’nel asked.
Because we have observed that they appear to be the most intelligent and open-minded of your people.
Why do you think that? Oran wanted to know.
They accepted your relationship and powers didn’t they?
That’s true. Oran thought for a while. Do you want us to make a time to meet with you?
That won’t be necessary. We will know when you can meet with us again. The boys felt the fish give a mental giggle. We are, after all, only a thought away!
Oran and D’nel both laughed, and felt Farth project amusement from behind them.
Etosh gave a loud squeak and whistle that was clear even over the noise of the surf.
It has been wonderful to meet with you two and with your dragon, D’nel. We will meet again soon.
Foretelling the future? Oran wondered.
We don’t need to foretell a certainty, the shipfish replied.
Will shifted in his sleep and, stretching, started to surface from his dream. As he woke, he could feel Daniel moving beside him, and, rolling onto his side, facing his friend, he opened his eyes to see Daniel watching him, a look of love mixed with wonderment on his face.
“Did you dream that too?” he asked Will.
“That was incredible, Daniel.” He thought for a bit. “Did you dream it all.” He opened his mind, allowing Daniel to see the dream.
“Oh, yes.” Daniel chuckled and projected his thoughts back at Will.
“You shared it all with me, then?”
“I think so.” Daniel hesitated. “That’s the second time we’ve really shared a dream, Will.”
“Do you think it has something to do with what happened yesterday?”
“I don’t know Will – perhaps, but, well….” he hesitated. “Perhaps.” He waited for a while, looking deep into Will’s eyes.
“What?” Will exclaimed, feeling a little uncomfortable with the deep scrutiny from his boyfriend.
“You don’t know what I found out last night,” Daniel exclaimed.
“What?” Will repeated, a little more brusquely.
Daniel just grinned at him.
“WHAT!” Will shouted.
“Don’t blink,” he said.
“Why?” Will was sounding exasperated by now – and then suddenly gasped because Daniel was no longer on the bed beside him – but standing leaning against the window sill.
“How….” His voice petered into silence.
“What you did yesterday when you were attacked, Will.” Daniel smiled at his mate.
“Did you go peeking after I went to sleep?”
Yes, and this is what I found. Daniel opened his mind to Will his thoughts flooding into the other boy’s mind. Will’s eyes glazed over and, suddenly, widened, staring into Daniel’s.
Ah, I see, he thought.
Yes. Easy isn’t it?
Daniel, that must be what Peter Reidinger in the talent series does when he uses…what was that word?
“Yeah. That’s it,” Will looked stunned. “So?” he asked, “we can pluck energy just about out of the air.”
“Pretty near.” Daniel grinned at him. “But that’s not all!” He looked around the room, walking back to the bed. “We can use it for telekinesis.”
“Like the Shipfish said in our dream?”
“You got it.” He looked keenly at Will. “See that big desk?”
“Well, think about the energy flow in that “equation” I figured out of your head, and lift it up.”
“Oh Will! Don’t be so dumb. Just concentrate and lift it.”
“Oh, OK!” Will concentrated on the desk, sweat breaking out on his brow, just as it had on Will’s forehead the previous night. The desk gave some shudders, lifted a small distance, and then bumped back onto the floor.
“Ouch!” said Will. “That’s hard work.”
“Yep! It is!” Daniel looked at him and smiled – well, smirked, really. “Now, turn the bedside light on, and wrap your fingers around the cord.
Will did so.
“Now,” instructed Daniel, “try to lift the desk.”
Will frowned, and then concentrating, watched as the desk slowly rose to it’s own height above the floor. With a wondering look on his face Will slowly set it back down. Only to hear footsteps thudding up the stairs. There was a knock on the door and they heard Gerald’s agitated voice.
“What on earth are you two guys doing?” he shouted through the door.
“Come in Dad,” Will called with a chuckle.
The door burst open as Gerald pushed his way in.
“What did you do?” he repeated.
“Why?” Daniel asked.
“One of the auxiliary power circuit breakers just threw itself out,” he replied. He looked at the boys, who were grinning like Cheshire cats.
“What is it you two?”
“Gerald, I figured out how Will managed to get away from that guy yesterday,” Daniel said.
“Well, it actually takes quite a lot of energy.”
“I think I can understand that,” Gerald said, a note of exasperation in his voice. “What has that to do with it?”
“Well,” Daniel continued, “it needs more energy than we can get out of our cells – at least, for a major shift.”
“Again, I can understand that,” Gerald replied.
“The energy has to come from somewhere!”
“Ah!” Gerald’s face began to show some comprehension.
“Yes, Dad,” Will broke in, “but there is more to it than that.”
Gerald looked at him.
“We now know how to harness energy for other things. Watch!”
Will pointed at the desk, and then grasping the power cord to the light, caused the desk to lift half a metre off the floor.
Gerald’s jaw nearly hit the floor and he stood, stunned, looking at his son.
“You… you…. You…” he spluttered. “You can do that?”
“Much more, I think, Gerald,” said Daniel. “Much, much more.”
Copyright© 2005 ilb3000.
If you wish to reproduce part or all of this story please contact the author at email@example.com for permission. All credits should be retained in any reproduction.
I offer my sincere thanks to my good friend Tom who has undertaken the task of editing these chapters for me. It is a largely thankless task because an editor needs to offer advice on mundane topics such as grammar and spelling, and to ensure that the story flows without obvious flaws, but cannot seek to change the story in any way. I am grateful for the care and effort he puts in to the task.