Mairi overheard Taren on the bridge. “I wouldn’t want to be her,” he said. Wasn’t the first time she had heard that. Really didn’t bother her anymore, at least that’s what she kept telling herself. Still, what choice did she have. Who else could she be? Where could she go to escape herself? She knew the answer. She knew the answer because she had asked herself the question a thousand times and the answer was always the same.

“Shen, you look troubled. Do you sense the Vollmonds? Have they picked up our trail?” asked Taren.

“No, something else. Something much closer to home. I can’t put my mind on it, but all is not as it should be,” replied Shen.

“Danger?”

“Not sure. But something is moving. Could be the female. I sense activity near her quarters, but the energy signature does not match,” said Shen.

Mairi turned toward her holographic wall. “Springtime, mid-morning please,” said Mairi. As the colors of the wall came to life, Mairi stepped out of her normal bodysuit. Reaching beside her bed she picked up her prized Jasperian cloak. The garment’s lush softness against her smooth bare skin eased the stresses of the body, which in turn calmed her mind.

“What do you mean the energy signature does not match?” asked Taren.

“I mean, the energy pattern does not match any of the Hynerians,” responded Shen, half paying attention to his young pupil and half floating on the aura of this unknown visitor.

“Kulmyk?”

“No. That is clear.”

Mairi reached out with her hands as they appeared to melt into the holograph. The warm light, morning springtime sun, made her a bit sleepy but perfect for sliding into a deeper meditation. She closed her eyes and allowed the sound of the breeze to lift her mind on its gentle currents. She could feel her heartrate start to slow. So too the flood of thoughts begin to abate or so it seemed.

“If its not Kulmyk and not the Hynerians–“

“Taren, I’ve never felt a force like this before. Focus. Do you feel it?” said Shen, trying hard to conceal the excitement in his voice. Mairi was the find, but this, whatever this was, was an order higher. Intoxicating in the possibilities.

“Too far away for my abilities,” said Taren.

“One thing concerns me,” said Shen, ignoring Taren’s disappointment. “Whatever it is, its moving toward Mairi. Get a detail to her quarters now!”

Categories: Story, Mairi, Taren, Shen, Paintings

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