coffee at her.
“Good morning, love.” He put his mug down and moved to sit on the edge of the bed.
She reached up slowly and stroked her hand softly down his cheek. “Have I been sleeping long?”
“A couple of hours. Are you alright?” Tony returned the gesture by pulling her up into a sitting position and
running a hand across the top of her head and then down the back of her neck.
Maya smiled sheepishly. “I was able to fall asleep as soon as I took a complete inventory of myself…inside and
out.” She cuddled into his chest and held him tightly.
Tony wasn’t surprised by Maya’s need to touch and have close contact with him after a traumatic experience. A
few times it had lead to some wonderful lovemaking. “Helena wants to see you in Medical as soon as you’re
able.” He stated, anticipating her next question.
Maya simply nodded into his chest. “Is Tirzah alright?”
Next anticipated question. “Yea, she’s alright…considering.” Tony stroked her hair down her back. “Helena’s
got her wired up to the monitors to have constant surveillance of her brainwave activity.”
Maya untangled herself from Tony’s arms and pulled her legs up and around him, until she was sitting alongside
of him. “Has she woke up at all?” She looked down at their hands intertwined on her lap.
“No.” Tony spoke slowly and softly. “Helena says that there’s minimal brain activity, just like any other coma
patient she’s seen.”
Maya lay her head on Tony’s shoulder. “I need to see her.”
Neither one of them moved.
“But is there a way to wake her?” Maya followed Helena around the Medical Center.
“No, Maya!” Helena nearly yelled. They had been going around in verbal circles for over half an hour and
Helena was getting exasperated. “She’s just like any other coma patient I’ve treated. You just have to wait until
they wake up on their own!”
“You must have something that you could try, Helena, please!”
Doctor Russell spun around to face her friend. “I’m not sure that I’m understanding what it is you want, Maya.”
She folded her arms across her chest. “Not long after I find you and Tirzah, LOCKED into some sort of mental
connection and both suddenly in physical and potentially mental distress...and after sending Tony with the
message that she must not be allowed to wake up…you are suddenly adamant about her being conscious!
Why the sudden change of mind?”
Helena waited impatiently for the other woman to gather her thoughts and explain.
Maya spoke carefully and tried to keep the anxiety out of her voice. “I didn’t mean that she should never wake
up. She has to wake up eventually. I just didn’t want her to be awakened before I was able to get here.”
“Well, we’ve managed that for you.” Helena turned away and instantly hated herself for such a biting remark.
The Psychon woman put out her hands and pleaded with her friend. “She didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She
started to channel Taylor and I didn’t want either of them to get hurt so I sort of…stepped into the middle. It may
have been foolish, Helena, but I had to stop her! It wasn’t her fault!”
“We’ve established that, Maya.” Helena resumed with the ‘fussing’ she had been doing this entire time. “But
whether you believe me or not…at this point, with her brain activity as low as it is, I couldn’t bring her out of this
coma if I had every drug in the universe at my disposal!”
Maya turned desperate and pleading eyes on Tony and John, who were standing out of the way of both women,
before turning back to the Doctor. “But you said that she was alright. You said that…”
Helena sighed loudly but kept her voice low as she cut her off. “I said that she was stable.” She handed a tray
of instruments to be sterilized to a waiting nurse and then turned slowly back to her friend. “Maya, she’s very ill.
We all have to wait until she wakes up on her own before we can help her with this.” When she saw Maya about
to speak, she rushed on. “We are going to help her. We are doing everything medically possible to help her
recover fully from…this…incident.” She looked over at Tony and made a quick gesture toward his wife. “The
best thing for you to do now is to go home and wait. I’ll call you if she wakes up or if there’s any change in her
condition at all.” Helena moved around the other side of Tirzah’s bed to check the stats.
Maya nearly leaned over her niece with sudden and fresh anxiety. “She mustn’t wake up unless I’m here! I
have to be here!”
Helena turned on the other woman sharply. “Why, Maya?!” She rounded the bed slowly. “What is it that you
think will happen if she wakes up and you’re not here? What can you do that, as a physician, I can not?”
Maya saw the flash of accusation in the Doctor’s eyes. Tony had moved to his wife’s side and she looked up at
him, desperate for his support.
Tony wrapped an arm around Maya’s shoulders and elaborated on what she had only hinted at to the doctor
earlier. “Maya’s concerned that when Tirzah wakes up she’ll latch onto the first person she comes into contact
with and attempt to morph into that person.” He sighed heavily. “It’s become like a drug…an obsession if you
will, that Tirzah can no longer control. Maya feels responsible for teaching her this much without seeing the
Tony looked over at Koenig when he noticed him inching closer. “Apparently, a Psychon like Tirzah won’t ever
be able to metamorph. She wouldn’t believe Maya and became obsessed with trying to make it happen. It
physically and mentally drains her every time she starts.”
“If I can connect with her again when she wakes up,” Maya took over from her husband, “then I might be able to
help her. I’m hoping that I can get into her memories with her and show her that my brother was only training
her! He had no idea that she would ever be a healer! If he had, he would have shifted her training…” Her
voice trailed off and she looked over sadly at the young woman on the hospital bed. “…like I failed to do.”
Tony’s grip tightened and pulled her attention away from Tirzah. “So, can you do that, Helena? Keep everyone
away from her, if she wakes up, until Maya can get here and try and help her through this?”
Tony’s compromise and the explanation of the circumstances, relaxed the doctor’s anxiety. “IF she wakes…I
might be able to keep her mildly sedated so that she can’t be any harm to herself or others…and I’ll make sure
no one comes near her.”
Maya jumped forward and hugged Helena tightly. The Doctor could feel her shaking from the stress of the day.
“Go home for now, Maya. I’ll call you if there’s any change.”
The two women let go of each other and Tony took his wife’s hand and led her out of the Center.
John Koenig put a hand on Helena’s shoulder and rubbed it gently. “Are you alright?” When she nodded and
smiled, he kissed her cheek. “Be careful…and let me know if anything changes.”
Helena placed a hand on his. “I will. Thank you for being here, John.”
“Any time.” He kissed her again before heading out the door and back to work.
Alan Carter stood and stared at the tiny engine part in his hand. Having been sent away from the Medical
Center by Dr. Russell, with the assurance that he’d be called if there were any change in his wife’s condition, he
had decided that work was the best therapy for waiting.
But as he stared at the part in his hands, all he could see was his wife, again laying near death on a hospital
bed and his little boys face, crying from the fact that his mother’s illness had touched him just before Maya had
“Why?” Alan breathed out softly in desperation. “How…?”
“Hey, Mr. Carter, is that part ready to be installed?” A young technician entered the lab, breaking in on Alan’s
Carter snatched up his comlock and replied by name before realizing that it hadn’t gone off and replacing it. He
looked at the younger man beside him quizzically. “Huh? What?”
“The part, sir? Is it ready?”
He looked down at his hands. “No. No, I haven’t got that quite done yet.” Alan picked up a nearby screwdriver
and bent over the part.
The technician inched closer to see what he was doing and found the pilot frozen and staring into space again.
He cleared his throat softly. “Um…Mr. Carter…sir…”
“What?” Alan looked up him, startled. “Yea, can I help you, Tommy?”
The technician took a tentative step closer. “Mr. Garforth sent me in to get the timer-release pin for the
experimental engine…sir.” He pointed at the part in Carter’s hand.
Alan looked down at the part and then up at the man. “Right. Just finished with that now.” He made two minor
adjustments before handing it over. “There you go, Tommy. Tell Pete that I’m sorry about the wait on that.”
“Yes, sir.” He snatched it delicately from the pilot’s hand and turned toward the door.
As he was leaving the lab, Bill Fraser greeted him on his way in. “Hey, Rick, how’s it going?”
“Fine for me, Mr. Fraser, but I don’t think Mr. Carter’s well. He keeps staring off into space and calling me
Tommy.” The two men glanced back at Alan who now stood near a window that looked out into the eagle bay.
“Yea, he’s under a bit of stress right now. You get that to where it’s going and have them double check that
before it’s installed.”
“Yes, sir.” The two men shook hands before parting.
Fraser approached his friend and spoke good-naturedly. “Well, mate, we’ve just bumped into the richest, cushy
planet you can imagine!” When Carter didn’t respond, he continued. “Every mile and half there’s a good
English pub and each has a dozen serving wenches, just waiting to do your bidding!”
Still no response, so he slapped his friend lightly on the back. “Lets say, you and I go down and do an extensive
survey to see if the rumors are true?”
Carter stared at him blankly for a moment and then down at his comlock before he responded with a slight jerk.
“Sure! Yea, I’ll get on that just as soon as I’m finished here.” He looked around himself and moved to the bench
he’d just been working at. “Now where’d I put that timer-release pin I was just working on?”
Bill put his hand between Carter’s shoulder blades and steered him toward the door. “Time for you to go home,
“I have to finish this part. Pete needs it right away.” He tried to turn back to his workbench but Fraser grabbed
his arm and pulled him forward.
“It’s on it’s way to Pete now and you’re going home to be with your son.”
“How? I didn’t give it to Pete?” Carter questioned.
Bill stopped a moment and faced his friend. “You gave it to Rick Hastings; who you kept calling Tommy; a
minute ago. He’s taking it on to Pete and the rest of the techies to have it checked and installed.” He pulled
Alan down the hall again. “You’re not doing any good here. I’m going to walk you home.”
“Right.” Carter relented. “I should go pick up Taylor and make him some dinner.”
“Annette has him today, doesn’t she?” Bill spoke cheerfully.
“Annette? Yes, Annette!” Carter forced his memory into action.
“Good!” Bill pushed a button on the wall and waited for the lift doors to open. “Then how about you and I going
over to the cafeteria and picking up dinner for all of us, as a surprise, and you can have dinner with us tonight?”
Alan looked at him for a moment. He didn’t want to be alone and it would be good for Taylor to not come home
to an empty apartment…without Tirzah.
Carter nodded sadly at this last thought as it rolled around his head endlessly.
“Alan?” Bill bumped his friend’s arm.
Carter snatched up his comlock again to acknowledged, then looked up at Bill questioningly.
“I said…what do you say to that?”
“Yea, that would be good…for both of us.” He replaced his comlock back onto his belt as the two men entered
“Yes, Helena!” Maya was on her feet and heading for the door before she even answered her beeping comlock.
“She’s awake, Maya, but her readings are still too erratic that I don’t want to take a chance with sedating her and
forcing her back into a coma again.” She never got anything more out.
“I’m on my way!” Maya nearly yelled into the comlock before shutting it off and returning it to her belt.
She wrung her hands from anxiety and a small amount of fear as she waited for the travel tube. Maya forced
herself to calm down and beat back the desire to change into a bird in order to fly there faster. Tony had gone
back to work with the promise that she would call him as soon as she heard anything about Tirzah, but Maya
debated with herself now as to whether she should do that. She wanted him with her, but she didn’t want him in
any potential danger.
The tube dropped her at her destination while she was still wrestling with that decision and she snatched up her
comlock as she rounded the corner to the Medical Center.
“Tony!” Maya nearly dropped her comlock as she fumbled to put it back on her belt. “When did you get here?”
“Just now. Helena called John just after she spoke to you. He’s inside with Helena, in her office.” He responded
to her unspoken confusion at the Commander’s whereabouts and then took her by the elbow to help calm her.
“Are you ready to go in now?”
“Yes.” Maya breathed as she stared at the Center door.
Tony grabbed his comlock and activated it. “Helena, Maya’s here. Would you open the door please?” Maya
looked at him questioningly as Helena responded and he replaced his comlock. “No one in; no one out.”
Maya twisted her arm back and took a hold of Tony’s as the door opened and he stepped up alongside her.
“Wait here for a moment.” She looked at her husband a moment before she turned back and stared into the
Tirzah lay on the hospital bed with her eyes closed. Maya inched forward and noticed that her eyes were still
very dark, but that some of the color had returned to her face. She glanced back over her shoulder at Tony
and noticed that John and Helena were now there with him.
Maya turned back to the young woman on the bed and, as she reached the end of it, she spoke her name
softly. She avoided direct eye contact with her niece as Tirzah’s eye’s fluttered for a moment and then opened
“Maya.” Tirzah tried to smile and her throat felt like she’d eaten a bowl of sand. “Where’s Alan?”
“He’s on his way, dearest.” Maya moved to a nearby dispenser and brought the young woman a glass of water.
Her hand trembled slightly when Tirzah sat up and reached out to take the cup from her.
Tirzah looked up at the Psychon woman a moment before she took a sip of the water. “I don’t blame you for
being frightened. I’m sorry if I hurt you.” She took a couple more sips before she shakily put the cup on the side
table. “I didn’t mean for that to happen.”
“I know.” Maya sat carefully on the edge of the bed near Tirzah’s feet.
“Is Taylor alright?” Tirzah looked down at the blanket she twisted nervously in her hands. “I think he may have
been nearby when I connected with you.”
“He’s fine.” Maya cleared her throat. She didn’t want Tirzah to upset herself, but it was her son and she had a
right to know. “He knew something was wrong and it frightened him a bit, but Alan got him calmed down and
explained part of what was going on.”
Tirzah began to cry softly. “I’m so sorry, Maya. I never meant to harm anyone…especially not my son!”
Pity for the young woman overwhelmed her and Maya twisted around to face Tirzah and wrap her up in her arms.
Neither of the women heard the small gasp from Helena standing in the doorway with the men.
“It’ll be alright.” Maya cooed. “We’ll work this out and make you well again.”
“You’ve been so kind and generous, Maya. I don’t…” Tirzah’s voice dropped off for a moment and her eyes
glazed slightly. “I’m fine, darling.”
“Tirzah, no!” Maya pushed on the young woman’s shoulders and turned her face toward her.
“I’m all right now.”
“No!” Maya took Tirzah’s face in both of her hands and forced the other woman to look into her eyes.
Three more shouts of ‘No!’ never reached Maya’s ears as Tony, John and Helena raced forward to stop her.
Maya looked around the room. She was in the Carter’s quarters. A whisper behind her made her look around
sharply, but no one was there. She was all alone. She speculated that it must have been the link with Taylor
that propelled her to this place.
Another whisper made her whirl around again…still no one there. Then, the faintest breath of a word made her
“Mommy?” The whisper suddenly seemed to come from everywhere.
Maya whispered back. “Taylor?”
“Mommy?” His voice was louder now, almost as if it were homing in on her.
“No. It’s Aunt Maya.” She looked around the room again. “Taylor, go back. You shouldn’t be in here.”
“But I live here.” Taylor giggled.
Maya whirled to see the 2 year old child standing just to her right.
He moved around the room freely. “Why did mommy bring us here?” Taylor stopped and turned to his Aunt. “Is
mommy alright, Aunt Maya? Is she still sick?”
Maya was flabbergasted at how articulate he was in here compared to how he normally spoke. “Yes, she’s still
sick, Taylor.” Maya moved purposefully forward and took the child’s shoulder. “Taylor, where are you right
now? Where’s your body, dearest?”
“It’s at the Fraser’s.” He smiled cordially. “How much longer will mommy be sick, Aunt Maya? Daddy and I miss
her terribly and Daddy’s sad all the time now.”
“I know that you do, Taylor, and we’re all trying so hard to help your mother get well again. But right now you
need to go back. You can’t stay here, it’s not safe.” Maya looked around herself nervously and wondered
where Tirzah was.
“It’s always safe in mommy’s mind! Whenever I’m frightened or even just nervous, mommy takes me to a safe
place in her mind! Sometimes it’s her…ouch!!” Taylor suddenly grabbed his hand.
“What happened?” Maya knelt to examine his hand. It seemed fine, but the boy looked at it strangely.
“Ouch!!” He snatched his hand away from Maya and rubbed the back of it as he looked around for the source
of the pain.
Realization struck Maya. She’d seen Alan do this to Tirzah when she and Taylor were sharing in order to let her
know that he was there and it was time to come back. “Taylor, that’s Al…your father’s trying to call you back!”
“Why would Daddy hurt me? I haven’t even been bad.” The child looked around while rubbing the back of his
“He’s trying to get your attention. You have to go back and see what it is that he wants! Alright?” Maya smiled
at the lad anxiously, willing him to go before Tirzah came around.
“Alright, Aunt Maya. I’ll go and see Daddy and then I’ll be right back!” Taylor bounced enthusiastically.
He began to fade away from her, when Maya thought of a way to get a message to the outside and called him
back. “Give your father a message from me, would you please?”
“Oh, yes, Aunt Maya!” He waited patiently.
Maya chose her words carefully. “Tell your father, ‘Aunt Maya says sedate me.’ Can you remember that?
“Yes. I can!”
“Repeat it back just to be sure.” Maya prompted.
“Aunt Maya says, sedate me.” He beamed up at her, knowing that it was correct.
“What does ‘sedate’ mean?” The child looked up at his aunt curiously.
“I…your Father will know what it means!” Maya smiled. “Run along now and give that message to him.”
“Alright! Love you, Aunt Maya!”
“I love you too, Taylor.” She spoke as his image faded before her eyes.
Taylor awoke to his father and the Fraser’s anxious faces above him. He smiled sweetly. “Dad! I see Aunt
“You did?” Alan attempted to hide his confusion. “How is she?”
“Happy! Aunt Maya says, tell you!” Taylor sat up on the bed they had lay him on.
“Tell me what, son? What did Maya say to you?” Alan inched closer still.
Taylor thought for a moment before turning back to his father. “Aunt Maya say, sibate me!” The child smiled
broadly at having completed his mission.
“Sibate me?” Each of the adults said the words aloud.
“Sedate me?” Annette questioned.
“I see Aunt Maya!” Taylor began to close his eyes when the adults all yelled at him to stop.
Alan grabbed his son’s shoulders. “Did she say ‘sedate me’, Taylor?”
“Yes…sibate me!” He said proudly.
“Why would Maya want him to be sedated?” Annette asked innocently.
“So he can’t go back into Tirzah’s mind!” Carter cried out and startled them all when he suddenly yanked his
son into his arms and raced out the door toward the nearest Medical Center.
“Tirzah? Are you here, dearest?” Another moment passed.
Maya inhaled sharply when the lights dimmed around her suddenly.
“Is Taylor alright?”
Maya stepped back quickly as Tirzah suddenly appeared next to her. “He’s fine. He’s with his father.” Maya
noticed that the young woman looked the same but seemed to have a strength about her that she didn’t have in
“Thank you.” Tirzah breathed as she took a step forward to hug Maya.
But Maya stepped back out of her reach. “He was here, but I sent him back. Tirzah, this has to stop…now.”
Her voice was forceful, but quiet.
Tirzah let her arms fall at her sides. “I know, but it’s what Patermakua wanted! Oh, please, Maya, try and
understand!” She pleaded.
“Prove it.” Maya’s statement startled the young Psychon.
“I…I don’t…understand.” Tirzah took a step back. “How?”
“Take me to him.” Maya stated simply. “Take me back to your earliest memory of your Grandfather.”
Slightly startled by her request, Tirzah nodded slowly. “Alright.”
Tirzah stepped forward and took Maya’s hands lightly into her own and both women closed their eyes. They
opened them to the Psychon village, on Norlou, as Tirzah remembered from her childhood. They stood directly
in front of her parent’s home and could see her mother Partyka in the kitchen through the open door.
“Where’s Odysseus?” Maya looked around herself.
“There!” Tirzah pointed behind them and Maya watched her older brother walk up the slight hill in the nearby
She never tired of Tirzah’s memories of Odysseus and Tona. Tona had been Maya best friend on Psychon and
when she had found out that Tona’d become part of her family, by Bonding with Maya’s brother on board the
ship that carried them to this planet, Maya had openly wept.
Odysseus and Tona had passed away when Tirzah was only 8 years old, so the few memories the young woman
had of her Grandparents were precious to both women.
A small squeal behind them caught their attention away from the older man and they watched 2 year old Tirzah
toddle out of the house and head toward Odysseus. “Pata!”
Maya teared slightly as she watched her brother kneel down and open his arms to the child. “Come on, little
It took her awhile to get to him, but the child fell into her grandfather’s arms, giggling. “How’s my little Tirzah?”
Odysseus took a moment of effort to get back up off the ground with the child in his arms.
Little Tirzah clung to his neck and showered his cheek with kisses as she spoke. “I well! Mommy an’ me make
Maya wiped a tear away as the two entered the house and she turned her attention back to Tirzah. “Now take
me forward a couple of years.” She gently commanded the other woman. “Let me see the two of you when you’
re a bit older and Odysseus has started your training.”
The air around them thinned slightly and the village darkened as if the sun had suddenly gone down, and then
they stood again in front of Tirzah’s parent’s house. This time Odysseus sat on the bench outside the house,
with 7 year old Tirzah on his knee.
She looked as if she’d been crying but was now listening intently to her grandfather’s words. “This is something
very difficult, Tirzah. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Why, some Psychons never learn to do it!”
“But I want to…so very much!” Tirzah whined.
“I know that you do child, and I want you to be able to as well, but perhaps you just won’t be able to…like your
father.” Odysseus ended on a sad note.
“No! No!” Little Tirzah yelled and jumped off of her grandfather’s lap. “I will learn! I will master it!” The child
squinted her eyes and stared at a nearby flower intently.
“What do you feel, Tirzah?” Odysseus indulged his granddaughter. “Where does its energy come from?”
The child spoke slowly and deliberately. “I can see it’s blood coming up from the ground slowly and mixing with
the sunlight that it’s drinking in from the air.”
Odysseus sat up straight, the smile gone from his lips. “See, Tirzah? You see that?”
Little Tirzah looked up at her Elder. “Yes. Did I do it wrong? Is that why I’m not as good as Tomas or Kara?”
Maya whispered to the adult Tirzah. “He knows that you see the inner workings of the flower instead of feeling
and identifying it’s molecular structure.” Tirzah started to protest, but Maya took her hand. “Show me the next
time that you and your Patermakua had a lesson alone.”
“It was only a week later.” Tirzah whispered in her confusion.
The light around them dimmed again and this time they found themselves in someone else’s living room.
“Where are we?” Maya looked around herself as Odysseus led little Tirzah in by the hand.
“This is Patermakua’s house.” Tirzah smiled.
Odysseus sat on the couch and moved little Tirzah so that she stood directly in front of him. “Why are we
training in here, grandfather? Aren’t we going to be with the others? Kara will wonder where I am.”
“No, little one, just you and me today. I have to teach you in a different way than the others now. I have
something special to tell you first and then you’ll understand.” Odysseus reached for a little foot stool and
moved it so that the child could sit and listen to him. He told her about the special Psychons; the ones that had
very special powers; and explained that their unique talents made them the most valuable people.
“But I don’t want to go away from you!” Little Tirzah cried out in the middle of his story. “I want you to be my
“I will, child, but I can’t teach you all that you will need to learn. I can only start your education.” Odysseus tried
to explain. “It will be up to Chandra to take over your lessons when you’re ready. She’s a great Healer and will
teach you wondrous things!”
“No! No! I won’t go with Old Chandra! I won’t! You must be my teacher, always! You can’t make me go!” Hot
tears rolled down the child’s face as she stomped her foot and then ran out the front door.
Everything faded at once and Maya felt herself fall backward onto someone’s arms. She looked up into Tony’s
worried face and smiled.
“Did it work? You two were in there for so long, that we were beginning to worry.” Tony pulled a chair around
and sat his wife more comfortably than the edge of the bed that she had nearly fallen off of.
Maya blinked steadily to return the moisture into her eyes. “I think so.” She looked over at Tirzah, who was now
holding onto Alan tightly and sobbing quietly into his shoulder. “I think that she’ll begin to heal now.”
Helena was on the other side of the bed from the Carters and the Commander stood off to the side, observing
everything. A thought suddenly struck Maya. “Taylor!” She looked up at the Doctor. “Where’s Taylor? Is he
Alan Carter looked at her and nodded but Helena explained for him. “Alan got your message, from Taylor, and
rushed him down to the nearest Medical Center as fast as possible. Ed sedated the child and then Alan came
right over here to find the two of you……”
“Linked.” Maya finished for her.
“And I was pretty mad, let me tell you, that I wasn’t told that she was awake or anything!” Carter looked around
the room firmly at his friends and family.
“That’s really my fault, Alan.” Maya reached out to comfort him, but she was sitting too far away. “I didn’t think
that Tirzah should have any contact with anyone she might be able to attempt to change into. The fact that
Taylor was pulled in was an accident! I had no idea that they would reach out for one another almost the
moment she woke up!”
“I am her husband, Maya! I have a right to know when there are changes in her condition!” Carter took a
couple of deep breaths before he looked back at Maya and spoke softly. “I do appreciate the message that you
sent through Taylor. I wouldn’t have thought of that to keep them apart until she’s better.”
Tirzah’s tear stained face suddenly came up from her husband’s chest. “Oh, yes! Thank you, Maya! I do feel
so much better knowing that Taylor’s safe.” She tried to control her sobs as she spoke, but they overcame her
again and she clung to Alan even tighter. “I didn’t know!” They heard her repeatedly cry softly into her husband’
Helena rounded the bed and examined Maya. “How are you feeling now? You two gave us quite a scare.”
“I’m alright. I’m sorry, Helena, but it turned out well. By all of us going in together, I was able to see and hear
everyone normally…just like you and I are now.” Maya started to rise and she found two sets of hands
“Hey, are you sure you’re well enough to be moving?” Tony had his arm around her waist and a hand at her
Maya giggled at him and pat his hand. “I’m fine, Tony. I’m quite fully recovered.” She stepped away from him
and Helena and placed a sympathetic hand on both of the Carter’s shoulders, but she spoke to Tirzah. “Do you
understand now? He never intended to teach you to metamorph……never.”
Tirzah nodded and managed to suppress her sobs enough to speak. “I hadn’t remembered that. My friends
and I were always so afraid of Old Chandra, that I suppose I blocked out that memory.” Tirzah smiled slightly.
“The thought of being taken away from my family and living with that scary old woman was too much for my little
Maya smiled knowingly back at her niece. “I knew Chandra! Sometime, I’ll tell you what my experience with her
“But for now, Tirzah needs to rest…and I think that you should get some rest too, Maya.” Helena interjected
Everyone nodded and began to gather themselves to leave. They said their goodbyes to the Carters and
headed out the door, ushered by Commander Koenig, who turned quickly and gave Helena a quick kiss before
Dr. Russell turned back to her patient and was about to evict Alan when he spoke up. “Could I just sit with her
for a bit, Doc? Taylor won’t be awake for hours! Dr. Spencer’s promised to call when he comes around.”
Helena couldn’t deny the sweet desire to be together that was reflected in their faces. She gave her consent
and then took a few moments to check the monitoring equipment while Alan pulled up the chair Maya had sat in
When they were both settled, Helena commanded that Tirzah was to rest and she left the couple alone.
Alan Carter was almost a permanent fixture at his wife’s bedside for the next few weeks. He would only leave to
work or take time to be with their son in the evening hours. When Helena had finally given her consent, Taylor
was allowed to visit once a day with the condition that Tirzah and the child were not to link up. It was hard on
both of them, but Tirzah agreed that it was for the best.
Maya and Tony would also visit occasionally. They stayed away for the first few days but, shortly after, Maya
would visit Tirzah and test that her mental blocks was still keeping Taylor out of her mind until she was fully
At the beginning of the third week, Tirzah was almost back to her original strength and Maya’s visits were more
professional. She would sit with the younger woman and work on meditation techniques and talk about her
abilities and how to handle them. Tirzah also received coordinating sessions with Dr. Mathias.
By the start of the fourth week, Tirzah was pacing the large Medical Center room that she now shared with two
other crew members who were recuperating; one of which taught her how to play solitaire so that she would sit
still occasionally. She questioned Helena at least once a day about her release and only found peace when
friends or family stopped by to visit.
Maya’s visits were now conducted in private. Helena would coordinate with Maya’s schedule and a nurse or
intern would come and collect Tirzah with the excuse that she had some test to do and she would be led next
door to an empty quarantine room; so as not to frighten the other patients as Annette had been; where Maya
would meet her.
The women would work together on developing Tirzah’s skills. Maya had no idea how a Healer did what they
did, but she questioned Tirzah extensively about the experience she had within her own body on the day they
were linked forcibly, and even allowed Tirzah to take her on “tours” of her internal body functions to better
understand the young woman’s talents. Eventually, Maya and Tirzah explored Maya’s mind and memories and
Maya began to truly comprehend just why a Healer was so valuable to the Psychon community.
She showed Tirzah the Psychon of her childhood and then what it had become after the devastation of volcanic
activity. She was careful to pick and chose memories that she would allow Tirzah to inspect, but introduced her
to images of her family, including Odysseus as a boy.
When Tirzah was soon to be released, they asked Helena to sit in on and monitor one of their sessions as
observer and physician. Maya put up blocks in her mind for Tirzah to get around, in order to view the memory of
Maya’s last day with her father. This was one of Maya’s most painful memories and she gave the young woman
no help in trying to see what was behind the wall.
Helena monitored their brainwave activity during the session until Maya’s anxiety levels shot up as Tirzah had
managed a small glimpse into his fiery death. The Doctor poked Tirzah’s hand with a dental pick in order to gain
her attention to release Maya from the link. Both women collapsed from minor exhaustion and Maya, who had
begun crying, turned away immediately and buried her face in the nearby pillow.
Helena rubbed her friend’s back for a moment until she regained control and Tirzah waited, with a tear stained
face, until Maya would look at her again.
“I’m sorry.” Maya apologized. “Even after all these years, his death is still incredibly painful.”
Tirzah grabbed her and pulled her into a tight hug. “Oh, Maya…you poor dear…” Tirzah couldn’t think of any
more to say, for what her only living relative had endured that fateful day.
Near the end of the sixth week of Tirzah’s confinement in the Medical Center, Helena arrived to check on her
patient and announced that she would be allowed to leave the following day. The Doctor was confident in Tirzah’
s progress, and she had conferred with Dr. Mathias and with Maya about the young woman’s mental stability, so
that she would be allowed to finish her convalescence at home.
Tirzah broke the news to her family herself when Alan brought their son to visit that afternoon. Having been
alone in the Center for over two days, she was beside herself with joy at the prospect of getting out and being at
home with her family.
“Mama, we fix ‘partmen’!” Taylor stated happily, pointing at his father with pride.
“You did?” Tirzah hugged her son tighter and smiled as she directed the next question at Alan. “What did you
have to fix?”
Alan was about to speak, but Taylor cut him off. “Prize!!” He clapped his hands and tried to wink at his father.
Alan chuckled and winked back. “Surprise!” He said slowly for his son’s benefit. “And no fair trying to guess!”
He pointed at his wife as she opened her mouth to speak.
They laughed, talked and ate dinner together for several hours before Alan declared that it was time to leave.
“We’d better head for home, cobber, so that you and your mum can get a good night’s sleep!”
Taylor nearly launched himself into his mother’s arms. “Prize for mommy tamorra!” They held each other tightly
while mother and son shared a brief moment of mental bonding.
Tirzah stood and moved swiftly into Alan’s waiting arms. They kissed passionately for only a moment before
mutually separating and pulling Taylor into their arms.
She waived and smiled at them both until the door closed behind them.
“Good, you’re still here!” Maya flew into the Medical Center where Tirzah was packing her things in order to go
back to her own quarters later that afternoon. “We need you! Come quickly, dearest!” She grabbed the young
woman’s elbow and pulled her toward the door.
“What’s going on?” Tirzah dropped her hairbrush on the floor. “Maya, what’s happened?”
“There’s been an accident!” Maya propelled them down the hallway toward the turbo lift.
“An accident? Who has been hurt?”
“Bill Fraser’s in critical condition.” Maya stopped at the tube doors and hit the button on the wall hard. “His co-
pilot’s a little bumped and bruised, but Bill wasn’t strapped in when the experimental engine malfunctioned and
the eagle crashed.”
“That’s awful!” Tirzah cried as they jumped into the travel tube and she watched Maya program their
destination. “But why do you need me?” She sat down to steady herself against the motion of the car as well as
to catch her breath.
Slightly agitated, Maya watched the lights flash across the wall and the map on the control console show their
progress. “He’s very badly injured and we’re hoping that you can help him.”
“Me?!” Tirzah almost jumped to her feet. “What could I possibly do?”
Maya looked at her for the first time since dragging her from the hospital room. “We’re hoping that you’ll be able
to heal him, Tirzah.”
It was Tirzah’s turn to be agitated. “Oh, but I don’t know enough! I can’t…I wouldn’t know how…what would
Maya looked her niece squarely in the eyes. “It was Annette that sent me to you.”
“Oh, Maya, no! She can’t want me to help!” Tirzah pulled back slightly as the tube stopped and Maya grabbed
her elbow again to lead her to the lift.
“Maya, please…!” Tirzah begged as she was hauled down the hall. “I can not do this!”
Maya was relentless in her stride and pulled Tirzah along as quickly as she could. “You must, Tirzah, we have
no one else.”
“No, Maya, please…I can’t!”
Maya stopped abruptly at the lift and, after hitting the button, turned to face the younger woman. “Bill Fraser is
near death. Helena and Ed have done everything that they can to save him, but his life is ebbing away from him
slowly.” She reached up and swept a few strawberry blond strands behind Tirzah’s ear. “He will most certainly
die if you don’t try. I know that you’re frightened…we all are right now. But there’s a dying man not very far
away who you might be able to save with your unique abilities!” She tried not to show her impatience while
Tirzah took a few seconds to think about her words. The lift doors opened and Maya held them for what felt like
“I will try, Maya.” Tirzah said meekly.
“Thank you.” Maya took a moment and locked eyes with the woman before she took her hand to pull her into
the lift and take her to the Frasers.
The door to the Medical Center opened to an eerie silence and all eyes turned expectantly on the two women,
now framed in the doorway. Maya had to pull Tirzah forward to the bed where Bill lie.
Tirzah took an involuntary step back when she saw the man cut, bruised, swollen and seeping blood from his
injuries. Images of the shed that she’d been dragged to as a child on the Norlou planet in order for the natives
to cut her Psychon markings from her body, were replaced by the memory of Alan laying in a Medical bed in a
similar state after crashing an experimental eagle into the moon’s surface in a fit of mental instability.
Tirzah shuddered involuntarily and her hands shook uncontrollably. She looked around pleadingly for a
moment at the several nurses and doctors in the room before landing her gaze on Maya. “I can’t.” She
whispered hoarsely and backed away from Bill’s bedside again.
Maya caught her around the waist and held her in place. “You can try.” She whispered.
Tirzah shook her head quickly but Maya whispered to her again. “He’s dying, Tirzah! Please, see if you can
She tore her frightened gaze away from the man in the bed and stared at Maya for a moment. The voice from
across the room, from someone who’d been hidden by everyone else, startled her.
“You can do this, Tirzah. You’ve worked hard to become what your Grandfather had hoped you’d become.”
Tirzah turned slowly to find who had spoken and was surprised to see Alan Carter laying in a hospital bed.
“What are you…?”
“That doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that Bill is dying and you may be able to save his life.” He
Annette began to openly weep at the foot of her husband’s bed, drawing Tirzah’s attention back to the badly
Tirzah took a tentative step toward her friend. “Are you sure you want me to try this, Annette? I don’t want you
to be frightened of me again.”
Annette Fraser wiped her nose and nodded. “Please Tirzah, if you can, save my husband.” She broke into
quiet tears again and one of the nurses helped her to a chair.
Tirzah took one last look at Alan and Maya before nodding and moving forward shakily and slowly. She
concentrated on the man in front of her. She drew on the memory that Maya had shown her, of Old Chandra on
Psychon, tending to Maya’s mother Geya, when she was taken ill.
Tirzah stretched out her hands and willed them to stop shaking as she placed them tenderly on Bill Frasers
head. She placed them carefully so that she wouldn’t touch any wounds and then, taking a deep breath and
calming her own nerves, Tirzah closed her eyes and tried to link her mind with the man in front of her.
It felt like an eternity to the others in the room as the young Psychon stood over the dying man, simply touching
his head. Tirzah inhaled deeply again and stood a bit more rigid.
“I think that she’s made some type of contact.” Maya announced to the assembly in the room.
Tirzah placed her hands on Bills head and waited a moment while her own heart stopped racing. She reached
out to his weak life force that she could feel in her touch and tried to ‘see’ his blood flowing through his veins.
Mental contact came in the form of an old memory that they each shared. Pictures flashed in Tirzah’s mind of
the first Psychon party she had held on Alpha. She had invited her new friends to a traditional Opatasale party
and Alan had brought Bill and Annette Fraser, who had been teaching Tirzah English. Images of happy
conversations and game playing and teasing made her smile.
Then the images faded and Tirzah felt a sense of acceptance to his own death come from his mind. She
inhaled deeply and quickly placed her hand on to his chest, spreading her fingers to touch his heart and lungs.
She could see the slow blood flow and the weak beating of his heart and she followed it through his body
methodically, all the while finding and viewing images in his memory with him, of happy times that he had shared
with friends and family…anything that would make him want to hold onto life.
‘That’s wrong.’ Tirzah scowled as she came across a clot of blood holding up the progress of the blood flow to
part of his leg. She immediately abandoned the memories to see how she might move the obstruction.
She concentrated on that one spot while searching Bill’s other internal workings for some hope of how to remove
the clot so that he could get the necessary blood he needed to his brain. Help came in the form of a burst of
saline that had been released with other medicines by the computer to help in Bill’s recovery.
It thinned the blood as it mingled slowly into the bloodstream and made way to where she waited impatiently. It
finally made it’s way slowly to the source of the clot and, working with the blood vessels themselves, she and Bill’
s body helped the saline to dilute the clot enough to pass it through the blood stream without any more harm.
She moved on internally to search other areas of Bill Fraser’s body to see what else may be causing him to not
heal himself. Tirzah was happy to see that the blood was moving a bit faster now, but she knew that it still wasn’t
fast enough. The appearance of a second clot in the spinal column caused her to stop and wait for more saline
to thin the blood a bit more and allow Bill to pass this one as well. When that was fixed, she was confused when
she couldn’t find anything more than what Dr. Russell had already put back and mended to wait for it to finish
healing itself. Other than the two clots, she could find no other reason this man should be dying…yet his body
was still giving up.
Tirzah felt a blow of sadness strike her hard and she immediately sought out the source in his mind. Memories
of Bill and Annette assaulted her when she neared that center of his brain. The massive amounts of sadness
intertwined around the electrical impulses of the memories were almost overwhelming to the young Psychon.
Being careful to not disturb this process, Tirzah followed a thin stream of subconscious thought that moved back
and forth between the memories and another source. It was larger and stronger in certain places along the way
and then would thin out again as she followed it backward…or was it forward, she wasn’t sure…to it’s other end.
Tirzah froze when she saw what was on the other end of the stream. The area of Bill’s brain that she stared at
was damaged so badly, Tirzah didn’t know where to begin to help. Not knowing what Helena could or could not
see with her medical instruments, Tirzah Carter, took in everything around her.
One of the first things that she realized was that the stream of subconscious was ‘talking’ to Bill about how bad
the injury was and triggering memories as a side effect. This was also triggering the sadness and acceptance of
death. Tirzah thought hard and fast but couldn’t think of a way to help him, until she tried to actually talk to him.
Not getting any response from him at all, Tirzah moved close to the stream and reached out slowly to touch it.
She could feel the electricity tingle as she got closer and closer.
“No blood. No air. No water. No food.” The stream repeated over and over.
Startled, Tirzah moved back quickly. After a moment, she recovered and moved closer again. It repeated its
lament over and over, each time getting a bit weaker in volume.
Tirzah tried to ‘talk’ back to it to see if she could find the source of the damage, to correct it, but it simply
repeated the lament again. She took a moment to think and moved to find out if the very beginning point of the
stream held any answers.
Dr. Ed Spencer and Maya barely caught the younger Psychon as she came out of her trance with Bill Fraser.
Alan was out of bed and at his wife’s side on the floor, where Ed and Maya had eased her down to, before
anyone could stop him. “Tirzah, love, are you alright?”
She looked up at him and smiled weakly. “Brain…” Tirzah whispered as her eyes fluttered closed for a moment.
Alan strained every muscle in his own bruised body to help her to a sitting position. “What was that, darling?”
He moved so that he was using his own body as a backrest for her.
Tirzah opened her eyes and waived Helena closer, even though she was also on the floor with the others.
“Brain broken. No blood. No air. No water. No food.” She repeated the lament to the Doctor.
“Where, Tirzah? What part of the brain?” Helena leaned forward even closer.
Tirzah smiled. “Earthling…not Psychon.”
Helena looked up desperately at Ed. “Get me the most detailed picture we have of the human brain!”
Ed ran to the permanent room divider where they kept a small medical library on the shelves. He pulled a
couple of them down and leafed through them before finding what he wanted and hurrying back to Tirzah’s side.
There were several pictures showing different parts of the brain and Helena turned the pages slowly until Tirzah
lifted a shaky hand and pointed to the area of the brain she’d found the damage in.
Helena turned the book so that she could look at the specific area Tirzah indicated and then shook her head
sadly. “A section of the cingulate cortex. Tirzah, I can’t get in there easily. If I try and operate there, I could kill
An anguished sob escaped Annette and she buried her face in her hands and cried harder.
But Tirzah smiled and summoned Helena closer again. “Me. How do I fix?” Her eyelids drooped shut again for
“No, Tirzah, you aren’t strong enough to go back in.” Helena stated in astonishment.
Tirzah opened her eyes and nodded. “How do I fix?” She whispered a bit louder this time. She stared into
Helena’s eyes and transferred to her the feelings of the stream in Bill’s brain. “He’s dying.” She said simply.
With a slight tear in her eyes, Helena slowly turned the book around and pointed to the damaged area of the
brain. Slowly, she talked Tirzah through the process her instruments would perform in order to correct the
“Be careful, Tirzah.” Helena closed the book and took the young woman’s hand. “This part of the human brain
controls many nero…” The Doctor smiled weakly. “…many different, important functions of the brain.”
When she was finished they all helped the young woman to her feet and stood her next to the bed. Maya
explained that, as soon as she was steady on her own feet, no one could touch her while she worked with Bill.
One by one they backed away.
Alan was the last one and he whispered to his wife. “I believe in you. You are a very special person, Tirzah.”
She smiled at him lovingly and then turned back to the patient.
Tirzah connected with Bill much quicker then before and she immediately went to the source of the brain
damage. Playing back the instructions Helena had given her one by one, Tirzah used Bill’s own body; the white
blood cells, lymphocytes and antigens of his immune system; and Helena’s drugs that the computer pumped into
his body to mend the most damaged areas first and then continued outward as the stream eventually grew
quieter and smaller; until it faded out completely.
She was somehow aware of how long she’d been working with Bill to fix his injuries, but Tirzah was suddenly
filled with a new type of energy and happiness that she knew was more than just satisfaction of a job well done.
Tirzah awoke confused in her bed in the Medical Center she’d been in for the past six weeks. ‘Perhaps a
dream?’ She pondered silently. She was about to sit up when she saw Alan sitting in a chair alongside the bed,
his head rested on the mattress, and he was asleep. She softly ran her fingers through his blond hair and
swept it away from his face.
Tirzah gasped to see the large bruise under his eye and a small gash on his forehead with stitches in it. She
pet his head even more carefully as she tried to wake him. “Alan…darling…please wake up.”
She moved her hand to his shoulder and shook it lightly. “Alan?”
The Australian moaned and inhaled deeply as he fought to wake up. “I’m staying here, Helena. Don’t even
think about making me get into that bed.” He spoke groggily and cleared his throat in the middle.
“Alan? Are you awake?” Tirzah touched his head carefully again.
Alan exclaimed as he nearly shot to his feet. “Tirzah!” He leaned forward in the chair and grabbed her hands
and then her face, played with her hair and then grabbed her hands again while he spoke. “Are you alright,
love? Should I call Dr. Spencer for you? Are you hurt anywhere? Do you want me to call Maya?”
Tirzah shushed him lovingly and reached out a hand to his face. “I’m alright. Really, I’m fine.”
He stood up and they hugged each other but, when Tirzah squeezed a little too hard, Alan inhaled sharply and
cursed under his breath.
“Alan, what happened? Why are you injured? You were in that eagle with Bill, weren’t you? You promised that
you wouldn’t go up in that thing!” Tirzah grilled him.
“I’m fine! Really!” Alan chuckled at her skeptical expression. “I know that I told you that I wouldn’t but, I was
sure that it was safe and there really wasn’t anyone else to go.”
Tirzah sat up straighter. “Alan Carter…!” She narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips. “Look me in the eyes
and let me see if you’re telling the truth.”
Carter laughed hard and held his ribs from the pain. “Alright…uncle…I surrender!”
Tirzah gasped loudly and her hands flew to her chest. “Bill! Oh, dear, how is Bill?”
He sat on the edge of the bed, becoming more serious. “He’s doing fine. Helena said that they’re very hopeful
he’ll make a full recovery. It’ll be awhile until they know for sure, but what you did, made a significant difference.
You passed out as soon as you were done fixing him and they brought you here.” Alan smiled at her then. “On
a happier note, Helena said that she’d be back when you woke up to check on you and see if you can still go
home today. I let Taylor stay up until we knew for sure.”
Tirzah forgot her argument with her husband and looked around the Medical Center. “What time is it? How long
have I slept?”
“It’s around 20:00 hours. You’ve slept nearly 8 hours. Maya said that it was normal for something this extensive
and for someone as inexperienced as you.” He took her hand and smiled into her eyes.
Alan nearly jumped off the bed suddenly. “Oh, gosh, I almost forgot! I was supposed to give this to you as soon
as you woke up! Maya said that it wasn’t as good as having apponge juice, which is what the Healers drink on
Psychon, but that it would have to do.”
“What is it?” Tirzah took the cup from him and sniffed at the liquid; making a small face.
“Maya didn’t give it a name, she just said that it would help you to recover faster.” Alan explained.
Reluctantly, Tirzah drank the liquid down. She was just finishing it off when Helena and Maya entered and
Tirzah nearly jumped out of bed. “How is Bill? Did I fix him ok? Will he be alright?”
Helena smiled as she physically restrained the woman from rising. “He’ll be fine. No matter what happens, he’s
alive and on the mend.”
This didn’t seem like a very positive response, but she allowed it to drop from the tired eyes that the Doctor
turned toward her. Tirzah nodded and swung her feet off the bed. “Am I well enough to go back to my family,
Helena smiled at her formalities. “That’s what I’m here to find out!”
Maya gave the younger woman a quick hug before Helena started her exam.
As soon as the examination was over, Helena laughed out loud at the three expectant faces that greeted her as
she turned around to face them. “She can go home now.”
The trio took turns hugging each other with joy and included Helena as well until she began to laugh again.
“Take her home right now, before I change my mind!”
They all laughed with her and then gathered Tirzah’s things and left.
They arrived in front of their door and Tirzah inhaled with excitement as she reached out a hand and lightly ran
her fingers over the engraved plaque on the door. “The Carters.”
Alan and Maya stood on either side of the young Psychon as the door opened to an apartment sized room with
two smaller side rooms. Tirzah gasped again as they stepped inside and she saw the homemade banner with
“Welcome Home, Mommy!” written across it.
Tony, Taylor and Annette stood under it and yelled in unison. “Surprise!!”
Tirzah looked around herself in amazement. She hadn’t paid attention to the journey to her quarters; enjoying
being out of Medical and the company of family. She hadn’t noticed that they had taken her to the larger family
apartment level. Tears began to flow freely and she felt Taylor push at her mind to be allowed in, but she only
allowed him to sense her feelings and know that the tears were born of joy and happiness.
Food had been laid out in the dining area and they all eventually made their way to that section as soon as
Tirzah had been dragged on a tour of the apartment by her son. Alan then carried him to the table and set him
in a chair before taking a small cake from the mini-fridge and presenting it to his wife.
Tirzah looked around the table at her family and friends as the tears began to fall again. “Suat auh amitur
fidopa lida sal ci eeawan. May we always be together, in this life and the next.”