The Healer
by  Patricia Marie
John Koenig saw the room around him go black slowly and felt empty air around himself, as if floating off the
ground.  This lasted for a few moments before he felt the air around him become denser and it was as if light
was filtering into the room once again.  But instead of finding himself in his office, surrounded by his friends, he
stood in the Psychon village where they had rescued Tirzah years before.

The Commander looked around himself in amazement.  Nothing had changed.  The debris and broken homes
stood just as they had seen them when they first arrived to deliver Tirzah back to her parents after her
imprisonment and escape from her Norlou captures.  He took a few tentative steps and heard a twig break under
his feet.  A soft breeze came up and ruffled his hair as he took another step.

“Welcome back.”

He whirled around to see Tirzah standing a few feet behind him.  “How did we get here?”

“We’re not really here, Commander.  It’s actually an illusion of your mind.  You’re still sitting in your office on
Alpha.”  She smiled at him.  “This is what I do.  This is all that I can do…take you places one of us has seen and
felt before.”

“One of us?”  He stepped back to her and reached out purposefully to grab her shoulder.

Tirzah giggled when he made solid contact.  “We’re not ghosts.”  She stepped around him and pointed to the
other end of the compound.  “That’s my parent’s home……do you remember, Commander?”

He stepped alongside her and nodded.  “Yes, I do.”  He looked around again.  “This is amazing.  It’s like I’m
really here again.”

“Now, let me show you something.”

He watched her close her eyes and within a few seconds, the village shimmered and changed slowly.  One by
one, houses were new and clean again, windows glistened with the midday sun and the tall grass was replaced
with gardens.  Koenig watched with utter amazement as Psychons appeared around him.  They talked and
laughed with each other while they worked, small children happily chased each other back and forth, while small
groups sat with an elder Psychon as if taking a lesson.

Tirzah opened her eyes and allowed a tear to fall as she looked around at her home.  She scanned the villagers
slowly until one person in particular made her stop and stare.  She pointed without looking back at the
Commander.  “Tirzah.”

John Koenig turned to see a small strawberry blond haired child of about 6 years old, laughing and running far
behind a group of children much older than her.  She stopped and looked around only when she heard her
name called by a much older man of about 60 years.  He reminded John of Mentor, Maya’s father.  He shook his
head.  That wasn’t possible, Mentor had died on the planet Psychon; it would be impossible for him to be here.

Tirzah pointed again.  “Odysseus.”  She said plainly, but with love in her voice.  “He is the father of Partyka,” She
pointed to a younger woman of about 35 years old.  “…who is the mother of Tirzah.”  She choked up slightly on
the last phrase.  “This was my home, Commander.  This is what I thought I was coming home to.”  She watched
the scene before her for a few more moment before turning back to the Commander.  “This is what I can do.  But
you must be willing…I can’t come in if you don’t allow it.  Sometimes I can hear thoughts, but I don’t always know
who they’re coming from and I can feel a person’s emotions when I make eye contact...not just with Taylor;
everyone’s emotions.”

Koenig looked around himself again and he watched little Tirzah enter her parent’s house with her grandfather.  
When he spoke it was almost a whisper.  “This is beautiful, Tirzah.  Maya eluded to some of this, but I thought
that it was the same as what she can do.  I had no idea that it was this complicated.”  He focused on the young
woman in front of him.  “But you don’t feel our emotions the same way you do with Taylor, is that it?”

“Yes.”  She nodded.  “And when I’m in here with someone, as we are now, I’m very vulnerable.  I have no sense
of my body, or of what’s happening to my body in your office.  I’ll only know that something’s wrong if we’re
suddenly torn away from each other.”  She took a deep breath and waited while he took everything in.

John looked around the beautiful scene again before looking back at Tirzah.  “How do we get back to our

Tirzah laughed good-naturedly.  “We’ve never left them!”  She made deep eye contact again, and again the
world around him dimmed to black and he felt weightless for a few moments before the air became denser and
his office lit up around him.

Koenig blinked several times before he was able to see clearly.  Helena was at his side, with his wrist in her
hand, taking his pulse.  “John.  Are you alright?”  Her tone was professional as she turned his head to make him
look at her.

“Yeah, I’m fine.”  He wiped the water from his eyes and looked over at Tirzah, who was having a similar

Carter smiled at him.  “Beautiful; wasn’t it?”  He had an arm around his wife and he turned back to her without
waiting for an answer.

“John, what happened?”  Helena’s concerned voice almost startled him.

“We visited the Psychon village on Norlou.”  He stated, with a bit of confusion.  “Tirzah.”  John leaned across the
desk, ignoring Helena’s efforts to examine him.  “Will Taylor be able to do this?”

“No.”  The young woman looked at him sadly.  “He might be able to morph like Maya, but he’ll never have my
abilities.”  Tirzah glanced at Alan, but he smiled encouragingly and hugged her tighter.

Koenig stood and moved slowly around the desk until he was right in front of the Carters.  “Some people are
frightened of what happens between you and Taylor.  I think that you have been very well advised to keep that
information within the family.”  He glanced over at Maya and Tony, who still leaned against the bookshelf.  “I’d
like you to continue doing that as much as possible.  I know that Annette Fraser was very upset by what she saw
in Medical that day, but I’ve asked her, and the medical staff, to only speak about it with the base psychologist.”  
He sighed heavily.  “Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to stop the first rumors, but they should die down soon.”

John leaned back on the edge of his desk.  “Are you alright now?”

Tirzah smiled up at him.  “I’m well, Commander.  How are you?”  She looked at him quizzically.

“Honestly, I’m still a bit confused, but I’m alright.”  John glanced back at Helena and nodded to reassure her and
then turned back to the Carters.  “Go home and take care of your son.”

Alan and Tirzah stood and Alan shook Koenig’s hand before they headed for the door.  They were stopped just
as the door was opening.  “Tirzah.”  John called to her but paused for a few seconds.  “Thank you.  Thank you
for sharing that with me.”

“You’re welcome.”  Tirzah smiled at him and allowed Alan to lead her out the door.

As soon as the door closed tightly, Helena rounded the desk and stood in front of John.  “John, what
happened?  You and Tirzah were like statues!  Completely catatonic…except for your brain activity.  John, you
both had highly elevated brain activity!  If I had hooked you up to a monitor, you probably would have been near
dangerous levels!”

“I’m fine, Helena.”

She let out an exasperated sigh.  “You may be now, but…”

“I’ll explain everything.”  He looked over at Tony and spoke calmly.  “You knew about all of this, didn’t you?”

“Yeah.”  The security officer uncrossed his ankles and arms and took the few steps to the desk.  “Maya’s kept
me up to speed on what she can do.”  He smiled back at his wife and rubbed the back of his neck.  “I had no
idea that she was going to do that with you, though!  I’ve never seen it before.  What did it feel like?”  He took a
half step forward and crossed his arms across his chest.

John smiled.  “For a second or two as we went in, it was like floating in space alone.  It was black and
thin……then we were back in the Psychon village on Norlou.  We could move and touch things…”  His voice
faded out for a moment and he looked across the room dreamily.  “Then she changed it……she took me back to
her own memories.  I saw her as a little girl and the village was clean and beautiful!  And I saw Maya’s brother.”  
He looked at the Psychon woman who had stood and joined the group.  “He looks a lot like his father!”

Maya smiled and nodded as she bit her lips to suppress the tears that the memories invoked.

Koenig put an arm around Helena and drew her in closer.  “It was one of the most intriguing experiences of my
life.  I could feel the breeze and smell the grass.”  He smiled down at her.  “I could have sworn that I was actually

For a long while, the Carter’s lives were anything but normal.

Maya had reassured Tirzah that it would soon settle down and everyone would go back to normal; just as it had
been for her when she first arrived from Psychon and everyone had been leery of ‘the new alien’.  The most
disheartening for the family was how some people almost seemed to be afraid to be in the same room with them.

As Taylor grew stronger, Tirzah began to take him on outings to the Bio-Sphere or to the pool.  Tirzah tried not
to allow the anxiety of those around her to filter to her son, but eventually he would become fussy and nervous,
so she would just take him home.

Sue Crawford had become a welcome ally to the family, as she was sympathetic to their predicament, having
lived through something similar.  Her memories of her child’s transformation were erased when Jareth’s people
had recaptured him, but Susan had spent months without knowing why some people were nervous around
herself and her son.  It wasn’t until the entire story had been revealed to her; through her own insistence; that
she understood.  Sue would babysit Taylor and often bring Jackie over for “play dates” as Taylor got older.

Several months elapsed before tensions seemed to calm down and slowly, everyone on Alpha was used to, or
had forgotten, the bond between Tirzah and her son.

It was no surprise to the family, or those close to them, that Taylor exhibited slightly higher intelligence than most
children his age.

“Who could believe it!?”  Doctor Russell pulled the stethoscope out of her ears and smiled at the child.  “One
year old tomorrow…and he’s getting much stronger.”  The doctor reassured the doting parents that stood
anxiously alongside their son.  “He’s in fine health.”

Helena pet Taylor’s hair while she continued.  “Is he eating and sleeping alright?  Any problems with
coordination……other than the obvious, walking for the first time, issue!”

All of the adults chuckled and Alan spoke up.  “Nah, he eats like a horse and sleeps like a log!  And he’s walking
like a champ now, Doc!”  The proud father seemed to puff his chest out.

“Well…!”  Helena put away her instruments and joked with him.  “If he starts behaving like a little boy, let me
know!”  Helena continued her exam.

“He’s been great, Helena.”  Tirzah spoke up.  “He only has problems with steps still.”

“That’s normal.”  Helena took a pen from her pocket and, getting the child’s attention, watched him follow it with
his eyes wherever she moved it.  “He’s lucky there aren’t very many steps on Alpha.”  She lifted him down off the
table and stood him on the floor.

Taking a couple of steps back, Helena knelt down and waived her fingers at the child.  “Come here, Taylor.  
Come and give Doctor Helena a hug.”

Taylor smiled at her and tottered into her arms willingly.  Everyone smiled proudly as she gave him a quick hug
and then turned him toward his parents.  “Go see your mother.”

Tirzah knelt down and opened her arms to receive her child.  He nearly ran back into his mother’s arms and
hugged her tightly.

Helena nodded as she stood and entered another statistic into her computer.  “That was very good, Taylor.”

“Ca…”  Taylor waived at the doctor from his mother’s arms.

“What was that?”  Helena looked from Alan to Tirzah for interpretation.

Tirzah’s eyelids fluttered for a moment and her voice took an almost hollow sound.  “I want candy.”

Helena froze for just a moment before she smiled and shook the child’s hand.  “Now ask again without using your
mother.”  She insisted.


“Very good!  For being such a good boy today…and because it’s your birthday tomorrow…you may have two
slices!”  Helena opened the door to a nearby cabinet and took out a small plastic container.  “Tirzah, how are
your sessions going with Maya?”  She opened the container to reveal dehydrated orange slices, which she
offered to the child.

He took them greedily and nearly had both in his mouth when his mother stopped and scolded him.  “One at a
time, Taylor or you’ll choke!”  Sheepishly, Taylor pulled one from his mouth while he chewed and sucked on the
other.  Tirzah then addressed the doctor.  “We’re working hard.  I don’t like blocking Taylor out, but I know that it’
s important sometimes.”

“Come on, cobber.”  Alan lifted him up into his arms and then looked over at Helena.  “Are we all set then…clean
bill of health?”

“Clean as a whistle.”  Helena smiled back at the family.

“Outstanding!  Let’s go, crew!”  He started to usher his wife toward the door.  “Thanks, doc.  See you tomorrow?”

“We’ll be there!”  Helena called back.

Once in the hall, Alan shifted his son so that he could take a hold of his wife’s hand.  “How about running off to
the cafeteria to meet Uncle Tony and Aunt Maya for a bit of lunch before your ol’ dad has to go back to work?”

“Unca…!”  Taylor cried happily and stuffed the second orange slice in his mouth.

“That sounds fine.”  Tirzah agreed.

The Carter’s were greeted by several people as they traveled to and then entered the cafeteria.  Tony was the
loudest.  “It’s about time, mate!”  He waved them to his table.

“Where’s Maya?”  Tirzah inquired as they approached.

“She’s on her way.  You know how she is when she’s in the labs…I had to call 3 times before she’d even answer
my page!”

Tirzah and Alan chuckled as they settled Taylor into a chair with a specially made booster seat that they kept in
the cafeteria.

“How are you, little man?”  Tony tickled the child before resuming his seat.  “As soon as Maya gets here, we can
go over the finalization of the birthday party.”

“Sh-h-h-h!!”  Tirzah waived at the Italian.  “Not in front of the child!”  She hissed and made rapid eye movements
toward her son.

Tony smiled patiently at the young woman.  “Tirzah…if you know all about it, then Taylor knows what’s going on.”

“That’s what I keep trying to tell her!”  Alan nodded, happy to have an ally.

Tirzah looked at each of them indignantly.  “As a matter of fact, I have been working with Maya to block thoughts
to and from Taylor.”

“I see.”  Tony said, sarcastically.  He turned purposefully to the child.  “Taylor?  What happens tomorrow?”

Taylor Carter threw his fists into the air and smiled broadly.  “Ca-ak!”  He cried.

Tony look at Tirzah with a smug expression.  “I rest my case.”

The adults laughed and ate, occasionally wondering what was taking Maya so long.  They finally decided to go
over the birthday party plans without her, in order to complete them, and even had a bit of dessert while they
waited.  When it became clear that she would not be joining them, the Carter’s gathered themselves together
and bid Tony goodbye, with an assurance that they would see him and Maya the following day.

At the nearby lift, Alan kissed his wife and son and waived goodbye at them until the doors closed.

“How would you like to see how mother’s cassishua plants are coming along?  If they’re ready…and they should
be…we can pick some for the party!  Would you like that?”  Tirzah prattled on as she headed for the travel
tube.  “Perhaps Connie’s working today and she’ll let you dig in the dirt!  You always like that!  And then after
your nap, we’ll start setting up for tomorrow!”

Taylor’s birthday party went smoothly.  The Carter’s closest friends and family gathered in an old observatory
room on one of the upper levels that had been decorated especially for the occasion.

Everyone had brought a gift, but the Alphans grew uncommonly quiet when they watched Taylor open the
Crawford’s gift.  Jackie had agreed to give him a toy that he’d outgrown a few years before, that had been made
to resemble a fire engine.  It had been made by Victor Bergman when Jackie turned 2 years old and it lit up as
well as making several fire engine noises.

Tirzah, Taylor and the fire engine were the only sounds in the room for nearly 2 whole minutes.  John Koenig
was the first to speak.  He pet Jackie’s head and smiled at the boy, with a hint of a tear in his eyes.  “That’s a
wonderful gift, Jack.”

“Yeah, thank you both.”  Alan nearly whispered as he looked at Sue and her son.  “This is very generous.”

The room went silent again for a moment as Taylor hit a button and a truck horn echoed around the room.

Tirzah looked around the assembly curiously at the pride and sadness pouring from her friend’s eyes.  “Say
thank you to Sue and Jackie, Taylor.”

“Tank!”  He pushed a button and the engine’s siren wailed.

Tirzah purposefully placed another package under Taylor’s eyes.  “Who’s this from?”  She read the tag.  “Uncle
Tony!  Open this one, sweetheart.”  She watched the others relax and begin to enjoy the party again when
Taylor pulled on the sting and cloth to reveal the present.

All total, he had received two new outfits, the fire engine, a small mock comlock and a handmade clay
dinnerware set.  The party was winding down and everyone was helping to pick up, when they heard a tapping
on the door frame and someone clear their throat.

Everyone looked up in astonishment to see Bill and Annette Frazer standing in the doorway.  There was an
awkward silence and a few people looked at the Carters before Alan stepped forward, and around the children
sitting on the floor with the presents, to greet his friend and co-worker.  “Bill!”  The two men shook hands and
Alan put a hand on Annette’s shoulder.  “How are you, Annette?  Come in!  Come in!”  He pulled his friend into
the room.

“We…”  Annette’s voice came out sounding shaky.  “…I’d just like to apologize for my behavior in the past
and…”  She looked around the group before settling her eyes on Tirzah.  “…and I hope that you can forgive me
and we could be friends again.”

Tirzah never hesitated.  She moved smoothly around her guests to greet her.  “There was never a time we were
not friends……and there is nothing to forgive.”  Tirzah threw her arms around Annette and held onto her tightly.  
“You are always welcome, my friend.”  The two women clung to each other for another moment before Bill bent
to whisper in his wife’s ear.

At her consent, Bill made an announcement as he moved back toward the door.  “We come bearing gifts!  We
had a little help with this, and it wasn’t finished ‘til about an hour ago, but we hope that Taylor will like it.”  With
that, Bill stepped out into the hall and reappeared with a 4 x 1½ foot eagle on wheels with a seat in the middle.

Everyone crowded around it while Bill showed it off.  “For now, he can push it with his feet!  But as he gets
bigger, you can remove the extra cushions and make the seating area bigger for him and…”  He reached up
under the seat and pulled on a bar until it snapped into place.  “…he can pedal all over Alpha!”  Bill reached
under the seat again, to release the lock and pushed the wheels back up under the seat.

“That’s ingenious!!”  Alan exclaimed, slapping his friend heartily on the shoulder.  “I was thinking of something
similar but the guys kept saying that it would be impossible!”

Bill chuckled and pat Alan on the back.  “That’s because we were already secretly making it, mate!”

Everyone laughed as Alan lifted his son and placed him in the seat.  Taylor immediately grabbed the yolk while
his father strapped the lad in and carefully steered the mock-eagle out into the hallway.  He was bent over the
back of it and about to push his son down the hall when Bill stopped him and bent over the back of the eagle,
lifting a piece of it up and then in toward the seat, producing a handle to push with like a pram.

Alan chuckled deeply.  “Oh, you fellows are clever, mate!”

The party was suddenly extended while Alan drove his son up and down the hallway making spaceship noises,
the men all inspected the riding toy and Bill showed everyone how to remove the extra seat cushions and
expand it so that Jackie could ride it around.

The boy ran to his mother when he’d taken several rides in the new toy.  “It’s wonderful, Mother!  The handle…”

“Yoke!”  Bill and Alan called back to him simultaneously.

Jackie smiled at them before he continued.  “The yoke moves the wheels so that you can turn the corners!  And
the faster you pedal, the faster the eagle goes!  What fun!”

Sue hugged her son.  “I’m glad you had fun.  We have to get going now, though.  Can you tell the Carter’s
goodbye and thank them?”

Jackie stepped away from his mother and extended his hand to Tirzah.  “Thank you, Mrs. Carter, I had a
wonderful time!  The food was very good and the new games were fun too!”  As soon as Tirzah thanked him as
well, he moved off to Alan as his mother said her goodbyes.  “Thank you, Lieutenant Carter.”  Jackie stuck out
his hand, which Alan immediately took.  “I had a wonderful time!  Perhaps I could come over and play with the
eagle when Taylor’s not using it?”

Alan chuckled and shook the boy’s hand warmly.  “Of course you can, cobber!  And pretty soon you’ll be old
enough to be up in one of the real ones, flying like a pro!”

This statement made Jackie feel very proud and he stood up straighter and shook Alan’s hand a bit more
vigorously.  “Yes, sir!  I will, sir!”

Sue gathered her son and gave Alan a warm hug goodbye before they left.

Everyone took that as a cue, and since the room had been put back to its original state, they said their
goodbyes as well and left, leaving Bill and Annette Frazer behind.  They had hung back and waited until
everyone else had left before approaching the Carters.  Bill grabbed a few items and put them in the seat of the
eagle to help Alan out.  “We really want to thank you for allowing us to stay.”

“Don’t mention it, mate.”  Alan said absently.

Annette helped Tirzah place personal items and some of Taylor’s presents in a crate.  “I’m so sorry for the way I
acted, Tirzah.  I’ve been foolish and…I know that I can’t make up for my actions, but I truly hope that you’ll let me
be your friend again.”

Tirzah stopped and looked up at the other woman.  “Annette, I’ve never held onto anger for you.  You saw a
frightening scene in Medical that day!  I was frightened too!  Your actions were normal for someone seeing that
for the first time.”  She stepped around the crate and pulled Annette into her arms.  “Believe this…you are my
friend.  You haven’t done me, or my family, any harm.”

The men had stopped to watch the exchange as Annette started to pull away from the embrace.  “That’s so good
to hear.  I’ve felt so guilty for so long!”

“No more guilt.”  Tirzah grabbed onto her friend’s shoulders.  “We are finished speaking of this.”  She nodded at
Annette and went back to the packing.

Bill spoke up so that everyone could hear.  “You want help carrying this back to your place?”

“That would be great!”  Alan grabbed the crate that Tirzah had just finished packing and pointed to the eagle.  
“You take that and I’ll handle this.  Deal?”


“Are you alright?”  Maya lay a hand on Tirzah’s shoulder and waited.

Tirzah took some more deep breaths as Maya paced slowly around the room again.  “Yes.”

“Good.  Try and relax and then we’ll begin again.”

Tirzah nodded and then leaned forward to rest her head in her hands.

“Are you sure you’re alright?”  Maya inquired again.

Tirzah nodded and spoke into her lap.  “I’m well.  I want to do this Maya, just give me another minute.”  She sat
up after a few more minutes, with more color in her cheeks than before and looked over to the older woman.  “I’m

“Very well……concentrate……use the sound of my voice to center in on me, without actually looking at me.”  
Maya continued to move slowly around the small quarters she and Tony shared.  “Find my mind……explore my
molecular structure piece by piece……don’t look at me!”  She scolded the other woman when she looked up.  “If
you have to close your eyes, then do so, but just search with your mind, and spirit…not with your eyes.”

Maya and Tirzah had been working for months; now that Tirzah could successfully and fully block Taylor from
her mind; to teach the younger Psychon how to tap into another being’s life force, break down the molecular
structure, and be able to identify whether or not there were any abnormalities or illnesses.  Since Maya had
none of her father’s books that she, herself had learned from, she was forced to talk Tirzah through every step
and process of this.  It had been a long, and sometimes frustrating, road but Tirzah was a passionate student
and her willingness to learn it all spurred both women to achieve their goals!

Maya stopped directly behind Tirzah’s chair and took a deep breath.  Her whispered voice suddenly felt so very
loud in the quiet room.  “Yes!”  Maya breathed.  “Do you feel that?”

Tirzah smiled broadly and nodded.  With her eyes closed, she tilted her head slowly and then started to scowl a
bit.  “What is that?”  She whispered back to Maya.

It was Maya’s turn to smile.  “You tell me.”

“It’s almost like…”  Tirzah tilted her head the other way and closed her eyes even tighter.  “It’s like a……there’s a
definite……do you smell that?”  The young Psychon suddenly grabbed her head.  “Ow!”  She cried out in pain
and then inhaled deeply.

Maya moved around the chair slowly and sat on the edge of the bed, across from the other woman, with a look
of exasperation on her face.  “It serves you right.  I said molecular structure……nothing else.”

“Did you have to put up the barrier so quickly?”  Tirzah looked up at her while she rubbed her own temples.

“Yes!”  Maya stood up, indignantly.  “You have to learn to concentrate!  I know that you didn’t mean to, but you
can not go looking around in my memories or my mind!”  She sat back down on the bed and took Tirzah’s hands
as she spoke excitedly.  “You can do this!  This is the first time that you’ve truly managed to get a proper
connection!  I’m very proud of you for that!”

Maya stood and went to the bathroom to get a cold compress for the young woman’s head.  When she returned
to the bed she handed her the compress and sat back down.  “I will tell you what it is that you couldn’t figure out.”

Tirzah looked up expectantly.  She must have done well for Maya to be willing to give up information she hadn’t
actually found herself.

“That…was the brain stem.  If it were to be damaged or……or removed, we would cease to exist.”  Maya
continued.  “Every living creature has a similar, if not exact, part of their bodies.  The brain stem carries
messages to and from the brain and the rest of the body.  It’s the central core, so to speak, of the entire physical
makeup.  Every tiny movement, every seemingly insignificant process of the body passes through this stem to
and from the brain.  Hundreds of thousands of messages pass through the brain stem every second in order for
us to do anything that we do.”  Maya took the woman’s free hand.  “Always locate that first!  It will allow you
access to the entire molecular structure, from the inside out!”

Tirzah smiled at her Aunt for this generous piece of information.

“Come up here and lay on the bed for a short while to get yourself rested and recharged before you head for

Tirzah gladly took the older woman’s hands and allowed herself to be tucked in.

Tirzah was startled awake by shouts of laughter and rapid movement around her.  She sat straight up and then
was forced back down into the bed by her son’s body colliding suddenly with her own.  “Mama!”  He smiled down
at her and planted a rather wet kiss on her cheek.  “Sleepy, Mama!  Why are Mama sleepy?”

“Mama is sleepy…”  Tirzah tried to correct his grammar.  “…because she’s been working with Aunt Maya and it’s
very hard work.”

“Mama, we see Da?”  Taylor bounced off his mother’s stomach and tried to get under the covers.

Tirzah helped him as she grabbed her comlock to check the time.  “Your father won’t be finished for a while, my
darling.  Will you tell me what you did today without me?”

Taylor happily snuggled into his mother’s arms and threw a small arm across her chest.  They each closed their
eyes and leaned a bit more into one another until their heads were nearly touching.  Neither spoke as they
shared their mental bond by reviewing his memories of the day.

Having been forgotten by both, Maya picked up Taylors pack, setting it out of the way, and straightened the
furniture, putting the chair back into the living area and cold compress back in the bathroom.  When it was all put
right, Maya sat at her small lab area, which consisted of a microscope, a few Petri dishes, various samples and
slides and a small Bunsen burner.  She turned on a small computer display that sat nearby, checking her
previous calculations and crosschecking that with the new data from earlier that day, when she suddenly felt a
tiny tickle on the back of her neck.

Expecting to see that Taylor had crept up behind her, Maya turned and looked down.  When no one was there,
she looked up and around the room and, after a moment, her eyes fell on Tirzah.

The younger woman sat in the bed, staring in Maya’s general direction but not actually looking at her, with a
slight smile on her face.  “I can see you.  I can see the blood flowing and each muscle move.”  A smile crept
across Maya’s face as Tirzah continued.  “I can see your heart beating and your lungs taking air and……you just
wiggled a toe!”

The smile faded from Tirzah’s face and a small scowl appeared.  “This is the place.  This is where everything
comes and goes for each and every part and even some…”  She stopped suddenly and looked up at Maya, who
was now also serious.  “I’ve stopped now because there were some thoughts going through there as well.  That
would be considered an invasion of privacy as well, wouldn’t it?”

Maya nodded and ran a hand across the back of her neck quickly before rising and crossing the room.  “It
would, if you had continued to pry.  If you had, you would’ve had another headache.  I allowed it, this time,
because of how well you were doing and so that you could sense the difference.”  She sat down next to Tirzah
and took her niece’s hand.  “Thank you for not going any further.  I truly don’t like putting up a wall and hurting

“Is this what you see and feel when you morph, Maya?”

Maya took a deep breath and looked down at the floor where Taylor now sat playing with a toy top.  “Not all of
it.”  She looked back up at Tirzah.  “I wasn’t sure until today that you would be able to see or feel everything the
brain stem does, so when you started to sense a desire brought on by the fact that I was a bit hungry, I put up a
wall, so that you couldn’t go any further into my mind.  You must never look any deeper than you just
experienced with me, unless you have that person’s permission.  Do you understand, Tirzah?”  

Maya’s adamant expression and severe tone reminded Tirzah of the talk they’d had after she and Alan had
shared one of Tirzah’s memories by mistake.  They had been wrestling in one of the workout rooms in the Rec
Center when she and Alan had ended up on the floor, practically nose to nose.  Unexpectedly to both, Tirzah
had locked eyes with the pilot and they shared a memory from her childhood before she realized what was
happening, broke the connection and raced out of the Center.  As soon as Maya had a chance, she had made
sure that Tirzah understood the severity of invading another being’s mind without their consent.

“Yes, I understand.  I don’t do it on purpose, Maya.”  Tirzah stared at her hands in frustration.

“I know you don’t, dear.”  Maya bent forward to get her to look up.  “I just want you to always keep your guard up
against any possible……mishaps.”

Tirzah smiled mischievously and imitated Tony as well as she could.  “Yes, Aunt Maya!”

Both women laughed and Tirzah went into the bathroom to freshen up before she left.

She kissed Maya goodbye after Taylor did and, with her son in tow, headed back toward her own quarters.  
Allowing Taylor to walk instead of being carried took longer for them to reach their destination, but Tirzah didn’t
mind the slow pace.  It gave her a chance to mentally reach out to the other Alphans as they passed and search
for their molecular makeup.

By the time they reached the travel tube Tirzah was a bit more tired than when she’d left the Verdeschi’s, but she
was exhilarated at what she’d accomplished in this last session with Maya and now couldn’t wait to share it with
Alan.  She’d never gotten this far or this deep before and it was almost like a drug to her.

Without truly realizing the drain that it was taking on her, Tirzah arrived at the Eagle hangers where Alan was
working that day, smiling expectantly.  

A co-worker nudged him and pointed to where his wife and son stood in the doorway.  Alan wiped his hands on
an oil cloth as he crossed the room to meet them.  “You’re a bit early, but come see what I’ve been working on!”  
He scooped his son up into his arms and turned his attention to Tirzah.  “Hey, are you alright?”  He put Taylor
back down on the floor and then wrapped an arm around his wife to lead her to a chair.

“Of course I’m alright.”  She smiled as if she had a secret that no one else knew about.  Alan’s concerned face
took some of her excitement away.  “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“You’re awfully pale, darlin’.  I’ll call Doc Russell and have her look at you.”

“No!”  Tirzah grabbed his hand as he reached for his comlock.  “I’m well.  I promise!”  She glanced around at the
curious, sideways looks they were getting.  “I was working with Maya today, and I guess that I’m just not fully
recovered.  But I am well.”  

Husband and wife locked eyes for a moment before Alan nodded.  “You sit here for a moment then and I’ll be
finished soon, and then we’ll go home.”  He turned to find his son in the arms of his co-worker, who was showing
him the part he and Alan were working on.  “There you are, little cobber!  Seeing what the old man’s up to and
making sure it’s done right, I see!”

It took him only the few minutes that he had promised Tirzah, and Alan Carter put away his work and took his
family home.  Once they were alone on the travel tube, Tirzah explained to Alan what had happened with her
session with Maya and why she’d shown up looking so pale.

“If it’s that difficult, you shouldn’t be doing it that often……not ‘til you’re used to it at least.”  Alan argued quietly.  
He rubbed her shoulder and back for a moment before he continued.  “So, does this mean that you’ll learn how
to transform like Maya does someday?”

“I don’t know.  I’ve only just mastered the feel of another person’s molecular structure.  I don’t know how long or
even if I’ll ever be able to do that!”  Tirzah looked at him with large excited eyes.  “My
Patermakua was trying to
teach me when I was a child, but he said that I was still too little to actually change!  But I remembered today, that
feeling of being able to see and feel another beings body functions, as soon as I did it!”  She suddenly hugged
Alan tightly and stroked his hair.  “It’s like having him here with me……I had to keep doing it, so that feeling
wouldn’t go away.”

Carter hugged his wife tightly as well.  “Yea, I know what you mean.  But you mustn’t do it to the point that you’re
making yourself ill.  That really scared me today, darlin’.”

Tirzah smiled up at him as the tube slowed.  “I won’t.  I promise.”

The doors opened and Alan picked up Taylor before taking Tirzah’s hand and leading her home.


“You aren’t going to get this for a very long time……if ever at all.  You need to relax and rest longer in between.  
I’ve warned you about this.”  Maya moved around the chair and sat on the bed to face the younger Psychon.

“I have to.”  Tirzah’s pale face and dark eyes looked up into the concerned face of her Elder.  “This is what
Patermakua wanted me to learn.”

“Odysseus never meant for you to harm yourself in the process.  What you’re describing isn’t something that we
can do.”  Maya shook her head slowly.  “I can’t see or feel the things that you’re describing to me.  I can see and
feel another being’s molecular structure, right down to the molecule, but I can’t actually see inside their bodies or
see their organs moving or see blood flowing.  These are thing that only you can do Tirzah……because you’re

“That shouldn’t matter.  I’m a Psychon!  I can learn to transform.”  Tirzah argued.

Maya’s voice became harsher.  “Your body can’t do what you’re asking it to do!  Have you seen yourself today?  
I’m surprised that you even made it here.  If Helena were here, we’d both be in trouble.”

Tirzah smiled weakly.  “Alan too.”  She closed her eyes for a moment.

“Please, Tirzah, believe me.  You must stop.”  Maya stood and pulled on the other woman’s elbows.  “Now, come
and lay down in my bed until you’re strong enough and then I’ll take you home.”

Tirzah allowed herself to be put into the bed but, as she lay her head on the pillow, she grabbed Maya’s hand.  
“We must do this.  This is what he wanted me to learn.”

“I understand.”  Maya withdrew her hand and pulled the blanket up over Tirzah’s shoulder.  “Just get some rest

As soon as she was sure that her niece was asleep, Maya grabbed her comlock and stepped out into the hall.

Tony stepped into his dimly lit quarters and found Maya on the other side of the room.  He glanced at Tirzah as
he passed.  “I see Alan’s not here yet.”  He whispered once he’d reached her side.

“Not yet.”  She accepted her husband’s hug willingly and held him tightly for a moment and then they each put
an arm around the other and looked over at the sleeping figure on their bed.  “It took a bit to get her to lay
down.”  Maya whispered.  “She’s absolutely obsessed with being able to transform.  I don’t know what to do,

“Don’t worry, we’ll make it right.  Did you call Helena?”  A light on both Maya’s and Tony’s comlocks started
flashing to indicate Alan was on his way soon.  Both of the Verdeschi’s moved toward the door to greet him.

It wasn’t long after they opened the door and stepped out into the hall, that Alan Carter came hurrying around
the corner and down the hall.  “How is she?”  He shook Tony’s offered hand, but was stopped from going inside.

“She’s not well, Alan.  She’s obsessed with learning the art of molecular transformation.”  Maya volunteered
quietly.  “She insists that my brother Odysseus wanted her to learn it, but I’m not sure if she’ll ever actually be
able to.”

“Why not?”  Alan looked from one friend to the other.

Maya sighed heavily.  “Alan……I’ve never heard of a Healer that could actually transform.  Their minds are
beyond that.  She’s on a higher level; a higher plain, if you will; than most Psychons.  We can’t even imagine
what a Healer sees or feels.”

“But that doesn’t mean that she can’t.”  Alan argued quietly.

“I doubt it very highly, Alan.”  Maya replied sympathetically.

“Yea, but maybe she’s…”

“Different?”  Tony finished for him.  “I think that’s the point that Maya’s trying to make, Alan.”

Maya reached out and took the pilot’s hand in hers.  “At this point, Alan, she needs to rest and stop trying.  She
very ill from overtaxing herself with the effort!  She’ll burn out her mind and her body if we can’t convince her to

Alan looked at his friends sharply.  “How bad is she?”  

He started forward, but the Verdischi’s slowed him down.  “Go slow, mate.”  Tony whispered as he stepped back
slowly through the doorway.

Alan nodded and they allowed him to pass into the room.  He sat on the edge of the bed and touched Tirzah’s
shoulder to roll her onto her back so that he could see her face.  Her pale skin and dark eyes caused the
memory of Taylor’s birth to slam firmly into the front of his mind.  Alan looked up sharply at Tony and Maya and
didn’t bother to whisper.  “We have to get her to Medical.”

He was on his feet with comlock in hand before either of the couple had a chance to speak, but it was Maya’s
quick reflexes that stopped him from making the call.  “Wait, Alan.  There’s nothing Helena can do.”

“Nothing Hel……are you crazy?  Look at her, Maya!  She looks half dead!”  Alan tried again.

Tony shushed him, but Maya simply shook her head and spoke quietly.  “She’s doing this to herself, Alan and
unless we can convince her to stop, no amount of medicine will cure her.  She needs to stop trying to overtax her
mental and physical systems.”

“But how…?”  Alan looked down at his weak and fragile wife.  He felt the same as when he’d arrived at the
Medical Center nearly two years ago; helpless, worried and anxious.  “We can’t just do nothing.”  Alan pleaded

Maya touched the Australian’s shoulder.  “Right now, we just have to wait for her to wake up…then we have to
convince her that she could be killing herself by continuing to try to transform.”  Maya stepped up to the bed and
straightened the covers.  “Sit with her for a bit, while Tony and I make some tea.”

Alan nodded and took a hold of Tirzah’s hand as he sat down.

It was hours before any noise or movement came from the sleeping woman.  Tony had gone out to the cafeteria
and brought back food for them, and the trio had finished eating and were having coffee when they heard Tirzah
moan and move for the first time.

Alan was the first one at her side, calling her name softly.  He rubbed her hand and wrist as she moved slowly
under the covers.

“Alan……Taylor.”  Her scratchy voice shot fiery hot needles through Alan’s memory.

“I’m here, love.  Taylor’s safe too.  He’s at the Crawford’s, darlin’.”  Alan inched forward and moved hair away
from her face.

“Alan?”  Tirzah tried to open her eyes, but it was as if they were glued shut.  “Alan?”

“Yes, love, I’m here.”  Alan placed a hand on her face and gently rubbed a thumb across her cheek.

Tirzah leaned her head into his hand and kissed it before she attempted to sit up.  “Where am I?”  She had
managed to get one eyelid open, but it wouldn’t stay open.

Maya gasped and started to step forward to make her lay back down, but Alan was already gently forcing her
back onto the bed.  “Don’t try and get up yet, you’re still weak.”

“Where am I?  Where’s Taylor?”

“Taylor’s safe with Susan and you’re in Maya and Tony’s quarters.”  Alan stroked her head slowly as he spoke.  
“Do you remember coming here?”

Tirzah blinked a few times, willing her eyelids to stay open and she scowled as she remembered.  “I wasn’t
feeling well in the Bio-Sphere today, so I went to Connie and told her that I needed to leave.  I went to Maya’s for
help with my…”  Her voice faded for a moment.  “Am I still at Maya’s?”

“Yes, dearest.”  Maya answered.  “Are you feeling any better?”

Feeling guilty, Tirzah looked away from the area Maya’s voice was coming from.  “Yes, a bit.”  She placed a hand
over Alan’s.  “I’m very thirsty.  Can I have some juice or water?”

Alan looked up expectantly at Maya, who nodded affirmatively.

“I’ll get it, mate.”  Tony offered before Alan could get to his feet.

Alan flashed them both a grateful smile before turning back to his wife.

Tirzah continued to blink, trying to clear her eyes, so Alan carefully reached up and gently wiped his thumbs
across her eyelids to help.  He was startled when Maya suddenly appeared at his side with a warm washcloth for

Tirzah washed her entire face with the cloth as well as cleaning any sleep from her eyes.  She thanked Maya as
she handed it back.  “I’m sorry to be so much trouble.”

Alan scoffed at her.  “You’re not causing trouble.  We’re just worried about you, darlin’.  You’re awful sick,
Tirzah.”  Alan finished seriously.

“I know.  I’ll be more careful.”  She struggled to sit up, so Alan helped her and she accepted the cup of juice that
Tony offered and sipped at it.

Maya sat down at the foot of the bed.  “You have to stop for awhile, Tirzah.  You have to stop all together, or you’
ll never recover.”

Tirzah looked up at her with panic in her eyes.  “Stop!  I can’t stop!  Oh, Maya, you don’t understand what this
means to me!  I can’t stop now!”

“I do know what it means, Tirzah.”  Maya spoke sharply with concern and love in her voice.  “I know that your
Patermakua would never allow you to continue with this if he knew that it was killing you!”  Maya jumped up and
grabbed a hand mirror off of her nightstand.  “Look at yourself!  You’re causing your mind and body to over work
themselves!  You have to stop, Tirzah…or you’ll die.”

Tirzah was near tears as she looked at herself in the mirror.  “Then what will I do?  I have to master it!  It’s the
one thing that he ever wanted for me.”  She looked back up at Maya.

Maya took the mirror and put it back on the stand.  “Well, to start with, you’ll have to stay home and rest for a few
days.  I will explain the situation to Connie and Alan can have Helena come and look in on you, to make sure you’
re getting better.”  She sat back down on the end of the bed.  “When Helena says that you’re cleared to go back
to work, then we’ll start our sessions back up and go much slower this time.  Alright?”

Tirzah sighed heavily and looked down into her cup.  “Alright……but not too slowly.  I would like…”  Her voice
trailed off and she scowled and blinked several times.

“Are you alright?”  Alan sat forward and took the cup from her.

“I would li…”  Tirzah’s voice slurred a bit and she blinked hard again.  “I no tired…no sleepy.”

Maya inhaled sharply and jumped up.  “She’s completely open!  She’s channeling Taylor!”  She pulled Alan up
off the bed and sat in his spot.  “Tirzah…block him out, dearest.”  Maya’s voice raised in pitch.  “Tirzah!  Block
him out.”

“No.”  Tirzah pouted and pulled at the blanket.  “No sleepy.”

“Tirzah.”  Maya spoke harshly as she tried to get the blanket out of her hands.  “Block him out, Tirzah.”

“Maya, why are you worried about Tirzah’s bond with Taylor?”  Alan stepped forward.

Maya looked up at both men as her panic level rose up a bit higher.  “She’s very vulnerable right now.  Her bond
with Taylor may be overpowering and cause some sort of relapse or……”  Maya shook her head.  “I don’t know.  
But since it’s apparently all one sided right now, I’m sure that he’ll do more harm than good.”

Maya’s fears were suddenly realized when she felt a tickle on the back of her neck.  “Tirzah, no!!  Stop!”  Maya
nearly leapt forward and grabbed Tirzah by the shoulders to shake her.

As soon as she made physical contact with the young Psychon, it was as if a bolt of lightning shot threw Maya’s
and Tirzah’s bodies.  The men watched in fascinated horror as both women inhaled quickly and deeply, and then
appeared to hold their breath.  Their bodies went rigid and their eyes locked onto the other’s without ever

“Maya!”  Tony stepped forward quickly, but Alan stopped him and pushed him back.

“No!  If you break the connection too quickly you could hurt both of them.”

“Well, we can’t leave them like this……Maya said this could kill her!”  Exasperated, Tony ran a hand through his
hair.  “And how do we know what it’s doing to Maya!”

Alan nodded.  “Wait!  Let me try something.”  He looked around and then turned back to Tony.  “A fork!  Do you
have a fork?

“What?”  Tony stood still for just a moment, before racing to the other side of the room to Maya’s lab area.  “Will
this work?”  He handed his friend tweezers.

Alan poked the back of Tirzah’s hand enough to make a small dent and then stood back and waited.

After a tense moment, Tony spoke up.  “What’s that supposed to do?”

“It’s a signal that Tirzah and I have.”  Alan tried it again.

Tony began to pace his quarters and, when he couldn’t wait any longer, he challenged Alan again.  “I’m going to
break the connection.”

Alan stepped between them when Tony moved forward.  “No!  Maya’s strong.  So long as we don’t break the
bond too quickly, she should be alright.”

“Should be?!”  Tony stepped into his friend, staring at him for a moment.  “I’m calling Medical.”  Tony suddenly
turned and headed for the compost.  “Helena may know what to do.”

Alan nodded his agreement as he turned back toward the women.

As soon as she touched Tirzah, Maya’s mind suddenly took a rollercoaster ride through her own body.  The
journey was as if she were a traveler on a boat as she careened through her blood stream at lightning speed
and she knew exactly which part of her body she was in at all times.  She called out Tirzah’s name several times
but the young woman either couldn’t hear her or couldn’t communicate for some reason.

She knew that she was entering her own heart at one point and, just as quickly, came back out and entered the
lungs before being shot back out and down toward her abdomen.  Maya traveled and saw the internal workings
of her own body for quite a long time when she suddenly understood that she was now headed for the brain.  
She moved along much slower here and it gave her a bit of time to reflect on what might be happening to her.
She felt sure that she was just an observer, but Tirzah was no where in site as she had been when they’d shared
memories of their families and Maya was a bit frightened that she may not be able to get out.

She didn’t have long to think before fear and anxiety from this strange experience turned into a strange
fascination when she entered her memory pathways and watched coils of electricity jump back and forth over
her; each with blurred images and sounds.  She heard conversations from her adult life, all the way back to her
childhood.  The deeper she went, the louder the noise became, the more clumped the coils became, until it was
one mass of noise and she was happy to finally exit that portion and move on to other areas.
To Maya it felt like an hour or more inside portions of her own brain before she had the realization that she was
moving onward and out to the brain stem.  She suddenly tingled all over and she knew that she was getting
closer as bolts of electrical impulses shot past her faster and more often.  She reached the epicenter of the
brain stem and her journey had slowed considerably, but this was a place that Maya suddenly feared the most.

She called out again for Tirzah and tried to reassure herself that she had nothing to fear; that she was just an
observer; as she moved slowly forward toward the tangle of rapidly moving electrical pulses.  Thousands of them
cluttered the epicenter before moving off to their destinations, but thousands more came in to take their place.

She watched in rapt fascinated as she moved closer still and Maya thought that she actually felt the tingling of
the electricity pass through her.  This time she screamed for Tirzah, repeatedly.

When no answer came back, Maya looked around herself.  Thoughts of what might happen to her own body if
she were to pass through the brain stem and potentially damage it caused another layer of anxiety to set in.  
She panicked slightly at the thought of causing her own paralysis or organ failure while passing through.  She
tried to make herself move backward, away from the epicenter, but she was part of the stream moving toward it.  
One more thought, even more distressing, suddenly crossed her consciousness.  “What if I cease to exist by
passing through the stem?”

Maya was close enough now that she knew she was about to pass through and was about to call out again when
she heard Tirzah’s voice echo all around her.  “This is the place.  This is where everything comes and goes for
each and every part and even some…”  

“TIRZAH!”  Maya screamed hysterically.

A blinding flash of light from the thousands of electrical impulses caused her world to go white and then Maya
was plunged into darkness.  She hit something hard but couldn’t see what it was or where she was.

Hearing her name called by several people, Maya made an attempt to move or speak, but was powerless to do
either.  Tony called to her repeatedly and she heard Helena’s voice cut him off.  “She’s alright…she’s
alright…she’s just going to need a moment.  Make her comfortable, but don’t move her.”

Maya felt something being placed against her back and she realized that she must be on the floor due to the
hard surface.  She made an attempt again to move any part of her body but was unsuccessful.

“How’s Tirzah?”  Alan whispered.

Maya heard the doctor sigh heavily and hesitate before answering.  “She appears to be in a coma, Alan.  I need
to get her to Medical so that I can find out what we need to do for her.”  Helena moved to the compost to make
the call for a gurney.

“Maya?”  Tony grabbed her shoulder.  “Maya?  Can you hear me?”  He looked up at the doctor.  “She moved
her fingers!  Maya?”

Maya was a little surprised herself.  She didn’t think that she’s managed to move anything so she tried again.

“There!  Did you see that?”  Tony called out excitedly.  “That’s my girl!  Come on, Maya.”

She heard Helena’s scanner close to her ear and she worked harder at responding to them.  It didn’t take too
much longer and she heard Tony’s laughter that she’d moved her lower arm along the floor.

Without warning, Maya’s entire body suddenly convulsed and she inhaled sharply.  She opened her eyes and
looked up into Tony’s concerned face.  “Tony!”  She whispered and reached out to him.

He didn’t wait for the doctor’s consent, Tony scooped his wife up into his arms and they held each other tightly.  
“Are you alright?  We had no idea what was going on.”  He rubbed her back as she began to cry.

Maya shook her head slightly.  “I was so frightened.  I wasn’t able to see Tirzah and then I couldn’t move.”  She
cried for a moment more before she began to get herself under control.

The door buzzer sounded and Alan and Tony helped Maya off the floor near the bed and put her in the chair.  
She watched Helena fuss over Tirzah, who lay motionless on the bed.  Maya wiped her tears away but fresh
ones took their place.  “Did I hear Helena say that she’s in a coma?”

“Yea, as soon as Helena knocked her out, you both collapsed in different directions.”  Alan stood wringing his
hands and paced the few steps between the sofa and bed.

“Helena knocked her out?”  Maya pulled Tony even closer to herself and dropped her voice to a whisper.  “Tony,
how long were we actually in there?”

“Not long.”  He was seated on the arm of the chair and he leaned in closer.  “2, maybe 3 minutes before Helena
arrived and tried to examine you and only 2-3 minutes after that.  Everything was alright, until Tirzah’s brain
activity suddenly spiked even higher and your heart rate increased.”  Tony stood for a moment to see if the
nurses needed any help putting Tirzah on the gurney, but Alan rushed forward at that moment and reached
across the gurney to assist them.

Maya grabbed Tony’s arm to help her stand but Helena rushed to her immediately.  “You stay here.”  She then
turned to Tony.  “Make sure she stays in bed for another hour at least and I’ll be back to check on her as soon
as I have Tirzah settled.”

“I’m fine!”  Maya insisted as she stood up shakily.

Helena smiled at her friend.  “You can barely stand.  There’s nothing you can do right now, anyway.  Promise
you’ll take some time for yourself so that you’re well enough to help Tirzah?”

The Verdeschi’s nodded their agreement and, within moments, they stood alone in their quarters.  Tony
wrapped an arm around his wife and, with Maya’s urgings, told her what had happened while he helped her to
change and get into bed.  “You both just sat like statues.  It was even more disturbing than when Tirzah did it
with John, because your mouth was still open slightly from yelling at her.  I wanted to separate you right away,
but Alan was afraid that we’d hurt both of you if we did, so he tried to call her back by poking her.  When that
didn’t work, I called Helena.

Tony sighed and pulled the covers back for her.  “It felt like a lifetime before she got here.  But even after she
arrived, she didn’t find anything abnormal in the two of you compared to Tirzah and John’s experience; even
though we had told her how you’d been sucked in!”

Maya suddenly looked at him curiously and he shrugged as he sat on the edge of the bed next to her.  “Well, I
didn’t know how else to describe it!  One minute everything seems fine and the next you’re yelling and grabbing
at her……and then you both just froze and went silent.”

“From that moment, how long before Helena administered the sedative that separated us?”  Maya nearly

“Just 4 or 5 minutes, maybe a bit more.”  Tony messaged her shoulder.  “Did you feel or see anything?”

“Well…”  Maya exhaled all of her air quickly and ran a hand across her forehead slowly.  “It definitely felt longer
than 5 minutes!”  She explained her experience to her husband and shuttered when she came near the end of it,
as well as how she could hear everything going on afterward but without the ability to move or respond in any
way.  “I kept telling myself that I was just an observer…that none of this could possibly be real.  But it felt so real,

Tony moved forward and pulled her into his arms, shushing her sweetly.  “It’s all over now.  We’ll get it all
straightened out and have Tirzah on the road to recovery before you know it.”  He waited until she was ready to
let go before he moved.

“You lay here and relax for awhile, maybe even sleep, and I’ll go check on Tirzah.”  Tony started to stand but
Maya grabbed his hand and pulled him back.

“She didn’t mean to hurt anyone, Tony.  She lost control of herself and didn’t know what she was doing.”

“I know, Maya.  She’s not to blame for what happened.”

“Tony.”  Maya hesitated, almost frightened by what she needed to say.  “Don’t allow her to wake up.”

“What?  She’s in a coma.  Why…”

“She can’t stop herself from trying to connect with another being and trying to transform.”  Maya shook her
head.  “I’ve only ever seen it happen once, when I was young, before everyone had left Psychon.  I’d seen a
man being taken into a vehicle that I’d never seen before.  He kept changing and shifting into people and
animals that he had seen or touched.  My mother said that they would take him to a special place.”  Maya
shuddered at the eerie memory.  “Tirzah’s doing something similar.  She knows that she’s harming herself, but it’
s like she’s addicted and she won’t be able to stop herself.”

“You mean it’s almost become like a drug?”  Tony nodded.

“Something like that.  But don’t allow her to wake up until Helena lets me see her……it’s important, Tony.”  She
spoke intently.

Tony pat her shoulder and leaned in to kiss her.  He ran a hand across the side of her head gently and kissed
her forehead as he stood and then moved toward the door.  “I’ll be back as soon as possible.”  Tony dimmed the
lights again and headed out the door toward the Medical Center.
Part III
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