Legends of Amacia: Mysteries of Tiamat

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Lynxian Telepathy between Mates

Hannibal awoke in his bed with a yawn, wearing only his sweat pants. When his eyes focused, he saw the little digital clock on the nightstand next to the bed reading 10:03 am. He looked around thinking that the night before had been just a strange dream. He rubbed the side of his face with his hand, immediately realizing someone was in the bed with him. Selina lay right next to him in the nude, cuddled up against his side with a soft purr rumbling out of her chest as she breathed. Her arm draped across his chest and her hair covered part of her face. He sighed, realizing it was not a dream, but that it actually happened. He had actually gotten married to Selina and she was sleeping next to him as his wife. The sight instantly reminded him of the previous night where they wrestled with some of their deepest fears. Then he thought of the night Selina spent giving him the purr therapy the day after he woke from his Teacher-induced coma. A soft smile crept across his lips. He put his arm around her and she shifted position, rolling towards him and laying her head on his shoulder while still asleep. Her arm drifted across his chest as she laid leaning against his side. The silky smooth feel of her furry chest and belly pushing against his bare side and chest as she lay against him enchanted him. It felt so pleasant.

Hannibal gazed at her and marveled at the events that brought him to share his life with such an imposing and beautiful creature. He gently stroked her silky hair and smelled her scent. It was a pleasant odor resembling wildflower perfume, but it was unlike anything he had ever smelled before. Her purr seemed to reverberate within his chest and was very relaxing. He laid there for a half hour, soaking up her purr and considering what new things he would learn from her. Pondered how she would do under the stress of the expedition he was about to undertake, Hannibal rubbed her back gently with his left arm while he caressed her arm with his right hand. “God you’re beautiful,” he whispered. “How did I ever get so lucky to find such a priceless treasure?” She suddenly shifted her weight as a growling yawn rose from her. Hannibal looked down as she opened her beautiful bluish-green eyes from her position at his shoulder. “Good morning, princess. How did you sleep?” he asked.

“Wonderful!” Selina answered. “I haven’t slept that good since I was a child. It seems that therapy session last night about our fears really worked wonders for me. I feel so at ease right now lying here with you. Thank you so much for helping me with that. I’ve been so insecure about my looks since I was mauled in that attack. Now, I feel I can cope with it.”

“You’re most welcome,” Hannibal cooed, giving her a gentle squeeze. “And thank you for helping me let you in.”

“You’re welcome,” Selina purred happily, laying her head on Hannibal’s scarred chest over his heart after shifting directly on top of him while straddling his left leg. “I love you so much.” Hannibal blushed deeply, becoming concerned at her position. Pressing her ear to his chest, she heard his heart beginning to thunder. “Calm down, Hannibal,” she purred wrapping her arms around him. “Nothing’s going to happen. Just relax.” Her purr rumbled and Hannibal’s eyes grew wide as the purr penetrated his chest instantly, slowing his racing heart. “That’s it, my prince,” she cooed upon hearing his heart calming down. “Relax. I just wanted some intimate physical contact with you. That’s all...not to mate. We’re not allowed that luxury yet.”

Hannibal embraced her with a relieved smile. “You caught me a little off-guard with that move,” he confessed, stroking her back gently. “I’ve never held you like this before. Your skin and fur are so soft and silky that it gives me shivers. It’s actually quite extraordinary. Makes me want to hold on and never let you go.”

“I thought you’d like it,” Selina replied, looking up into his face. “But it seems we still have some work to do with those fears of yours, don’t we?”

“I guess we do,” Hannibal admitted, “By the way, when I woke up, you were purring in your sleep. Is that something you do all the time or is it something you have to will to do? I only ask because I remember the last time we shared the same bed when you purred all night for me to help me recover from the hit the Teacher gave me.”

A surprised look crossed Selina’s face. “Really; I was purring in my sleep?” she asked with a hint of surprise in her voice.

“Yes, you were,” Hannibal answered. “I woke up about half an hour before you woke up and you were definitely purring while you slept. It was very nice, very relaxing. I loved it.”

“Huh…I didn’t realize I was doing it,” Selina replied. “I don’t know for sure why I do that. I just can. Most of the time, my purr will subside sometime after I fall asleep, even if I’m providing purr therapy for someone. I didn’t realize my purr could last all night while I’m asleep. Maybe I’ll ask dad about it. He might know why.” Selina rolled off Hannibal to his left, lying on her side with her head on the pillow and her left arm resting on her side and hip in a seductive manner. Her right arm lay curled against her bare chest and belly.

Hannibal rolled toward her on his side, laying his head on the pillow. He stared into her eyes with a warm smile, loving what he saw. “God; you’re so very beautiful,” he murmured, stroking her cheek with his finger, “and loving, intelligent, and so fun to be around; it’s amazing. I love every second we’re together. I can’t believe I was so afraid to let you in.”

“Same here,” Selina replied. “By accepting me as I truly am, scars and all, you redeemed me from a life of self-imposed isolation and fear. And it seems that sleeping nude with you finished driving that fear away. Thank you so much.” She took his hand and placed it over her heart, holding it firmly to her breast. “I’ll love you forever for that,” she declared.

“You’re welcome,” Hannibal answered, smiling broadly as he felt her heart pounding through her breast. “And may I add that you can do the most amazing things. You talk to animals, and that purr of yours is wonder that never ceases to astound me.”

“Talking to animals is nothing. You just have to know how to understand them like I do. I bet you could learn to do it too,” Selina murmured, letting go of Hannibal’s hand. “And the purr is just a little thing common to all Lynxians. It’s nothing really special.”

“What else can you do?” Hannibal asked with some curiosity, withdrawing his hand from her chest. “I remember you said not too long ago that there were some things I still didn’t know about you. Don’t you think that maybe it’s time to share some of it now that we’re married?”

Selina smiled and shifted her position, sliding right up to him, throwing an arm and leg over him while continuing to lie on her side. While looking him in the eye, she said, “Yes, I suppose I should. Here’s another thing I can do since we’re such a perfect match.” She stared at Hannibal and he became lost in her eyes. Suddenly, he heard her within his mind. Can you hear me? she thought. I’m telepathic. I can see into your mind and speak to you without physically speaking.

Hannibal’s eyes grew round as a look of amazement crossed his face. Oh my god; I can hear you clearly, he replied in his mind. Can you hear me?

Yes, my love…I can, Selina thought. This is truly unusual for your species to be able to respond in this manner. Apparently, you have abilities you’re completely unaware of.

Wow. This is unreal. I’m actually communicating with you telepathically, Hannibal thought as they stared into each other’s eyes. I haven’t been able to use telepathic contact since.... He trailed off, almost afraid to say it.

“Oh my,” Selina murmured, truly surprised by his reaction. “It seems we still have more fear therapy to go through. Maybe I should see why.”

“No, don’t do it,” Hannibal insisted fearfully. “You have no idea what you’re going to see. It’s too gruesome and evil.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” Selina said boldly, penetrating deep into his mind, into his memories. She surfed through his memories and suddenly came to that one group of dark memories that caused the problem. Selina watched that group of memories and saw the torment and destruction he caused when he had incredible psychic powers because of his demonic possession before he became a Christian. She gasped in horror, tears welling up in her eyes as she witnessed the incredible sorrow, pain, and torment Hannibal endured at the hands of the demon prince Dezarcus. Hannibal tried to block access to those horrid dark memories but he was unable to. Selina had natural telepathic abilities far beyond what he had even at the height of his psychic power. He became an open book to her that he could not shut. She began to sob at what she saw, finally breaking contact with Hannibal’s mind, unable to stand the horrid memories any longer. She bawled and Hannibal comforted her with a gentle embrace.

“I tried to warn you,” Hannibal murmured. “You saw what I was and what I’ve endured didn’t you?”

Selina threw her arms around his neck and embraced him tightly. “Oh Lord; you’ve endured so much pain, sorrow, horror, and terror. No wonder you were fearful to use the telepathic contact. You’re afraid it would draw them back to you,” she replied softly after composing herself. “You caused so much grief and destruction because of them. You must never forget where the Lord brought you from, never. Truly, His infinite mercy has delivered you from the hands of an evil and a hell I can’t even imagine. I had no idea how much damage they did to you even after seeing all your scars. It’s a miracle that you didn’t just end it all. Now that I’ve seen what happened to you, I know we’re truly destined for each other. Furthermore, after what we did last night, it would be inappropriate for me not to share with you in like manner. Would you like to see my hurt?”

Hannibal hesitated for a moment, pondering her request. “How?” he finally asked. “I don’t have telepathic ability like you do. Not even at the height of my psychic power did I even come close to your ability. Plus, I lost all that power when I was delivered.”

“Don’t be afraid,” Selina urged. “Demons and the legions of evil aren’t the only ones who can give psychic ability. Our Lord also gives it, but only to a select few who can use it to His glory. Psychic ability given by the Lord isn’t learned by witchcraft or mental exercises. It’s a gift to be used only within His Will. Those select few are often hardwired for it from the day they were born without realizing it. I’m apparently one of those who have had this ability hardwired into them since birth. My father also has this ability. So don’t be afraid. I know what I’m doing. Trust me.”

“Okay, I won’t be afraid,” Hannibal returned hesitantly as they locked eyes again.

Selina re-established contact with his mind. Can you hear me? she thought.

Hannibal answered, Yes, I can.

Good. Now exercise your gift and follow me, she thought as they linked hands in their minds while doing so physically. Selina then led Hannibal deep into her memories, revealing her greatest triumphs and tragedies. They passed by recent events, going back to the time of her rescue from the supernova, passing by it into memories of Kaitia itself. Hannibal saw the incredible beauty of Kaitian sunrises and of the planet itself. She led him into her deepest recess and showed him her greatest losses and sorrows. He saw exactly how much he and she were alike in their lives. He saw her childhood; how cruel her classmates in school were to her. Repeatedly, he saw betrayals by those who pretended to be her friends. He saw the loss of her mother and her twin sister, who looked almost exactly like she did and how it devastated her. He saw the love of her father as he tried to compensate for the loss of her mother and sister. Then she hesitated before going any farther.

“What is it?” Hannibal asked aloud.

“It’s the event of my mauling,” Selina replied. “I’m scared to reveal it because of the pain it holds.”

“Do you want to show me how it happened?” Hannibal asked.

“Yes,” Selina replied. “But I don’t know if I should. I don’t think I’m ready.”

“I think you actually are since we’re having this conversation,” Hannibal declared. “Otherwise, you would have never brought me into that part of your mind. You want me to see it so together we can conquer the ghosts that are haunting you. You’re tired of fighting it. I can see that. I’m here to help, but you have to show me everything no matter how bad or ugly it may be. Only then, we’ll deal with it together. As you said a few moments ago, trust me. I’m asking you to do the same. You can do it. I believe in you.”

“Okay,” Selina whispered in a fearful tone, pulling Hannibal back into her memories. “But be warned, it’s gruesome; the worst thing to ever happen to me.”

“It can’t be any worse than what I’ve been through with Dezarcus,” Hannibal affirmed. “We’ll fight this thing together.”

Selina nodded and finally opened her most hideous memory to him.

A much younger Selina along with a dozen Lynxian children of varying ages huddled in a cargo hold of a star cruiser under attack by an enemy of the Kaitian Empire. The ship was nothing more than a moderately armed merchant vessel traveling between Kaitia and a colony outpost at the edge of Kaitian space. Explosions rocked the ship as the enemy vessel attacked, followed by the enemy ship latching on so the attackers could board the Kaitian ship. Selina had brought the children on the ship to a secured cargo hold and barricaded the entrance at the order of the captain. She and three of the older children carried plasma blasters. The unarmed children cowered behind the crates while Selina and her three armed assistants pushed against the barricade as something pounded on the door from the outside so hard that buckled it with each hit. “Hold fast!” she shouted urgently to those helping her. “We can’t let them in.”

“We’re trying, Selina!” a male Lynxian of thirteen years replied fearfully.

Selina flashed a smile at the boy. “I know you are, Eric,” she acknowledged.

Without warning, the ship shuddered violently from a massive explosion in another portion of the ship. Selina and the children barely kept their feet because of the shaking. The pounding attack on the cargo bay door suddenly ceased, leaving the bay eerily quiet.

“What’s going on,” another Lynxian boy of fourteen asked in a trembling voice. “Why did they stop?”

“Maybe they decided that there’s nothing in here they wanted,” a Lynxian girl of thirteen suggested. “Maybe they decided to leave us alone.”

“I doubt that,” Selina replied in a concerned tone. “That’s a Zoarian ship that attacked us. They never leave Lynxians alive in their wake.”

“So what do we do?” Eric asked.

“We keep our heads down and pray the captain can send us some help before the Zoarians break in here,” Selina stated.

“I don’t want to die,” the Lynxian girl said, shaking with fear.

“We’re not going to die, Christina,” Selina said firmly. “Help will come.”

“What’s that?” the second Lynxian boy asked, hearing something outside.

Selina listened closely, putting her ear to the bulkhead. Her face fell dramatically. “RUN!” she shouted, sprinting away from the wall. Before she or the other children had moved three steps, the bulkhead door, wall, and barricade exploded, catching them in the blast. Selina dove for the floor but caught significant shrapnel in her chest and back. The force of the explosion smashed her against the nearest stack of crates fifty feet away, almost knocking her out. Selina scowled in agony, forcing herself to her feet, her blaster ready. As she looked around, she saw Eric’s body blown into three pieces while Christina lay unconscious nearby with serious burns and lacerations. The other Lynxian boy staggered to his feet, leaning against the crates to her left. Blood gushed from his ripped side and right arm.

“No,” Selina moaned as she choked on the smoke from the explosion. “I have to protect the children.”

In the blink of an eye, four alien invaders ten feet in height wearing heavily armored weapons suits stormed through the breech, looking for victims. The helmeted suits thudded loudly as the invaders entered. “Search the bay!” the leader barked. “Take the cargo, and kill anything Lynxian!”

The wounded Lynxian boy uttered a cry of rage and desperation, rushing the invaders, firing his plasma blaster. He felled one of the invaders with his blaster before two of them opened fire with their weapons, blowing the boy to pieces with a barrage of fifty shots in twenty seconds. The boy’s limbs flew in every direction as the heavy caliber weapons of the enemy ripped him to pieces.

Selina, flushed with rage and adrenaline, opened fire killing the two invaders who had slain the boy with expertly aimed head shots. The leader scowled upon seeing Selina kill his comrades and opened fire with a pulse cannon built into the arm of his suit. Selina dove out of the way, but again became caught in the ensuing explosion that impaled pieces of the floor and crates into her chest, abdomen, and arms. The blast flung her against the bulkhead and before she could regain her wits, the leader pounced on her. Grabbing her by the throat, he smashed her into the wall seven feet off the floor, partially crushing the back of her skull and fracturing her spine. “Stupid little Lynxian bitch,” the leader growled, lifting the visor on the outside of his face shield to look her in the eye. “You dare attack a Zoarian special forces commander and his men? I’ll teach you to mess with us!”

Selina stared hatefully into the reptilian eyes set in what appeared to be fusion of cat and lizard, spitting blood onto the face shield as she tried to pry the metal hand of the suit off her neck.

“Time to die, Lynxian vermin!” the leader snarled. A set of four claws two feet long spanning eight inches shot out of the forearm of the armored weapons suit. He rammed the blades into Selina’s belly until they stuck in the bulkhead behind her. She shrieked as he let go of her neck, lifting her high off the floor with the blades. Blood gushed from the wounds as the leader threw her against the nearest stack of crates. Selina crumbled from the hit, rolling to the floor. The leader rolled her over on her back with a vicious kick and then stomped her right leg, snapping it before slashing her from the right shoulder and breast diagonally across her belly to left her hip. Another gurgling cry escaped her lips with the hit. “I’ll have your head, bitch!” he roared, grabbing her by the hair and lifting Selina off the floor. Spinning the blades sideway, the leader pulled back to decapitate her. Before he could blink, several blaster pulses hit him simultaneously, coming out of nowhere. The first pulse sheared off his bladed arm above the elbow while a second pulse blew off his arm at the shoulder. Three more pulses hit him in the side as two well-aimed pulses struck him in the helmet, exploding his head in a spray of metal and brains. The Zoarian leader’s headless body fell like a tree next to Selina.

Just before the darkness closed in on Selina, she saw a bloody Nathanael hovering over her with great concern as five other Lynxian soldiers watched warily. “Please, don’t die, Selina,” he begged, cradling Selina in his arms. The ship’s doctor knelt down beside her, giving her a sedative that pushed her into unconsciousness.

Hannibal wept at her tragic, vicious mauling. “Oh Selina, Selina, Selina,” he sobbed, gently embracing her as she wept. “What a horrendous thing to happen to you! No wonder you were so fearful about showing me these memories. It’s a level of violence you should have never experienced. It’s appalling. But you needn’t fear it any longer. You may have been gravely wounded in that event, but you survived it. Not only did you survive it, you saved those other children. You saved them, didn’t you?”

When Selina calmed down, she nodded. “Only after I woke up a month later in the hospital did I find out that Christina and the other children who were hiding at the time escaped serious harm,” she whimpered. “I was very happy to hear it, but felt responsible for letting Eric and his friend die. I never really got over it. They weren’t just under my care; they were my friends. It was the first time I’d ever seen death so up-close and personal. The hate that Zoarian had for my people and me still boggles my mind. It makes me ill even thinking about it. I hope something like that never happens to me again. I don’t want to ever be responsible for someone else’s life.”

“I truly hope it doesn’t happen again either,” Hannibal stated. “Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that it won’t. And I hate to say it, but the level of hatred that guy had for your people is something I am very familiar with from my dark days. Seems hatred like that must span the known universe. We just have to deal with it when it rears its ugly head. As for your guilt over letting your friends die, it wasn’t your fault. I’m sure they don’t blame you for their deaths. You shouldn’t either. Let them rest. You made up for it by drawing the attention of the commander away from the other children. That has to account for something. You did remarkably well under the circumstances and saved many lives. You should be proud of yourself and the scars you received doing it. I’m sure your father is. Now that I’ve seen what happened, I know these scars are a badge of honor. Don’t let anything or anyone tell you otherwise. You made a difference that day; a big difference.”

As Hannibal spoke compassionately about her trial, Selina felt the fear, grief, and guilt of that day melt away, giving her a great peace. “Oh Hannibal,” she purred, embracing him fondly. “You’ve done it. You showed me the way out of my prison! How can I ever thank you?”

“No thanks are necessary,” Hannibal replied, kissing her gently on the lips. “I suspect that we both have a lifetime of events that still imprison us and together we shall slowly break the walls down on these prisons. Healing starts by acknowledging the problem to begin with. By sharing this most potent tragic episode of your life with me, you’ve taken the first step in healing. Now we can take the next step together. What else do you have that you wish to share with me?”

“Just a little more,” Selina replied softly, wiping the tears from her eyes. “It’s the last event that pushed me into that hermit status.”

“Then by all means, show me, princess,” Hannibal said softly, holding her in his arms. “I’m here to help you. Together, we can conquer our fears and our own dark hearts.”

Selina reestablished the telepathic connection with Hannibal. With the newly found peace about her mauling fresh in her mind, her courage rose. She showed him the only true friend she had on Kaitia and how close they were. Tears again welled up in her eyes as she revealed her deepest fears and secrets to Hannibal. He saw the incident Nathanael had spoken of where the shuttle her friend was on was destroyed and what the officials did to cover it up. Hundreds perished on that shuttle and when Selina found out the circumstances of her friend’s death and why he died for no reason, Hannibal saw how she closed off everyone except for her father from getting close to her. She finally led him out of her memories and back to where contact had been first made. Hannibal wept for her losses and hurts.

We have just bonded in a very special way, Selina said in his mind. We have shared our innermost being with each other in a way that no one can comprehend or take away.

Yes, we have, Hannibal replied telepathically. The Lord has allowed us this special connection that most people don’t even contemplate having. He’s so good to us. Selina broke full contact with his mind. Hannibal held her in a firm, yet gentle embrace, still weeping for her losses as he rocked her.

“I had no idea we were so perfectly matched. We each heal the wounds the other has received during our lives. You were so right. We are indeed soul mates,” Hannibal declared in a humbled tone. They lay there a few moments and then Hannibal asked her as merely a confirmation of what he saw in her mind, “Do you regret the terms of our marriage?”

Selina gazed intensely into his eyes. “You saw what I believe and I saw what you believe,” she replied. “I wouldn’t even think of violating that vow and neither would you.”

“I’m glad to hear that. I would never jeopardize those terms either. The Lord has given so much to us. I just wouldn’t be right to violate those terms no matter how much we would like to,” Hannibal stated. “In fact, I have absolutely no desire at all to do it either. The Lord will prove us first.”

Selina laid her head on his shoulder and gave him a loving squeeze. “I’m sure He will,” she purred pleasantly. Her face suddenly became subdued as she abruptly remembered the horrid nightmares she’d seen in his mind. “Hannibal, can I ask you something personal?” she asked.

“Sure,” Hannibal replied. “What is it?”

“I saw the nightmares you’ve had recently,” she admitted. “They’re atrociously bad, but one of them really stands out.”

“You saw the mutation nightmare where I got turned into a woman by force, didn’t you?” Hannibal asked in a troubled tone.

“I did,” Selina whispered. “It bothers me that you’d keep having such a dream. What does it mean?”

A troubled sigh escaped Hannibal’s lips. “I wish I knew,” he replied, his voice trembling. “That recurrent dream has haunted me since I first had it the night after Gabriel showed us what we were facing. It rattled my cage big time when it first happened, but now, I don’t know. It’s not like the other dreams. I’m sure you noticed that.”

“I sure did,” Selina stated. “They felt more like memories than dreams. Why would you have a dream or memory of being mutated like that? Moreover, who is this strange Lynxian woman that keeps showing up in your dreams? She’s obviously not me, yet feels strangely familiar.”

“What; are you jealous of a dream?” Hannibal chided.

“No, of course not,” Selina returned. “But it puzzles me why you keep dreaming of this Lynxian woman. You’ve never met anyone like before, have you?”

“No,” Hannibal replied. “You and Nathanael are the only Lynxians I know about. I have no idea who this strange cat is, but like you, she feels so familiar and I don’t know why. It’s a bit infuriating.”

“I agree,” Selina declared. “And what about that gold draken that you keep dreaming about; what does the draken have to do with anything? Who is he; what is his purpose? I didn’t think drakens even existed. The only thing I get from that creature is that he’s not hostile and may be as old as time itself. It’s very strange.”

“You’re definitely asking the right questions,” Hannibal replied with a wry smile. “I wish I could answer them, but I can’t. I don’t know what these screwed up dreams really mean. One thing I can safely say is that I hope and pray that mutation nightmare is just that…a nightmare. I don’t know if I could handle being mutated like that for real. Still, there’s something going on there that I’m not completely seeing. That strange woman in the machine eye in my nightmare always mentions that I need to be a completed soul, implying that I may not be whole. It really bothers me. I hope the Lord sheds some light on those screwed-up dreams because I’m batting zero on their meaning right now.”

Selina clearly saw the dreams had rattled and continue to rattle Hannibal. She patted him on the chest lovingly and said, “Well, I guess we’ll have to wait for His insight on them. I don’t have a clue as to what they mean either. But you don’t have to bear that burden alone now that you’ve shared it with me. I’ll help you carry it. And if, God forbid, that supremely messed up mutation dream really comes true, I’ll not desert you. We’re soul mates. Even if you were magically turned into a female or even an animal, you’d still be my husband and soul mate. We just have to believe in each other and find a way to reverse it.”

“It relieves me to hear you say that,” Hannibal admitted. “Being mutated like that and you not wanting me because of it became a terrible fear the moment I had that dream. Thank you for the encouragement. It helps.”

“You’re welcome, my prince,” Selina chimed, cuddling close. “Anytime; what are soul mates for?” Hannibal stroked her back gently with a new appreciation of her and her abilities.

After a few minutes of silence, Selina said, “You know something. As much as I would like to just lay here with you and just enjoy your company, we both know we’ve got work to do.”

“You’re right. We do have to get up,” Hannibal agreed. “Maybe later you can show me some more of those special things you can do.”

“Sure,” Selina answered as they got up and dressed themselves. She first put on her white satin teddy as underwear. Selina then dug into her duffel and found her work clothes: a pair of jeans cut off just below the knees, a short sleeve T-shirt, socks, and a pair of sneakers. She quickly dressed, putting on the jean shorts and T-shirt on over her teddy before pulling her hair back and braiding it into a ponytail while Hannibal dressed in his usual jeans, long sleeve work shirt, and steel-toed boots. Minutes later, they sat the cafeteria eating some fruit and cereal. The cafeteria bustled with activity as they ate. Nathanael and Harry showed up as they finished eating, sitting down across the table to them.

“Dad, can you tell me why I purr when I’m asleep?” Selina asked after Nathanael sat down. “Hannibal said I was purring while dead asleep this morning. I didn’t even know that I could do that.”

Nathanael chuckled. “Don’t worry about it, princess,” he chimed. “All Lynxians do that, even me. It’s just one of the ways the body helps to relax and heal itself. It’s commonplace.”

Selina nodded as Hannibal asked Nathanael, “Are all Lynxians telepathic?”

Nathanael’s eyebrow raised a little. “You and Selina merged, didn’t you?” he queried.

“Is that what you call it when two people share their innermost being and memories telepathically with each other?” Hannibal asked.

“Yes,” Nathanael answered. “Merging is one of the most intimate acts a Lynxian can do with their mates and can be of great value to their relationship. Even though most Lynxians have a latent telepathic ability, not many of them can successfully accomplish it.”

“What do you mean ‘merged’?” Harry asked.

“Selina is a highly skilled telepath,” Nathanael explained, looking at Harry. “She has been gifted with it since she was born. Merging occurs when contact is made between two skilled telepaths where every thought, memory, and desire is shared; in essence, they share their innermost being with each other as Hannibal suggested. But it’s rare because only true soul mates can accomplish this and you know how hard it is to find two skilled telepaths that are also soul mates. It’s an intimacy that’s far beyond anything that can be shared physically.” He then turned to Hannibal and asked, “You’re a skilled telepath? How’s this possible?”

“Apparently, by the grace of God is how,” Hannibal answered. He then gave Nathanael an abbreviated version of his days as a master wizard. After telling the story of his occult days and his conversion, he said, “I haven’t had or used any kind of psychic phenomena since then because of where the power originated; however, something has changed. We made contact this morning and apparently, I had not only the ability to respond, but also to merge with her as you say. It was so easy to do it too, not like when I was a wizard. Before, I would have to struggle and really work at getting the psychic powers to manifest, often paying a very painful price for its use. It actually seemed to me the longer our minds were linked the easier it became to do it. It’s totally strange. Selina suggested that I might actually be hardwired to handle telepathy, but I just don’t know for sure. All I know is that I couldn’t do it before this morning and now I can.”

“You don’t suppose the incident in the Library had anything to do with your telepathic abilities becoming more active, do you?” Selina asked; giving voice to a thought that had just occurred to her.

“I don’t know,” Hannibal admitted. “But it may have been a factor. All of the knowledge the Teacher dumped into my head, even though it faded away right after it happened, is slowly coming back in bits and pieces. As you all know, I can actually read and speak the Stone Language fluently now without the need of a computer. It’s almost second nature now.” In order to demonstrate his boast, he spoke a couple of sentences in the Stone Language.

“Impressive,” Nathanael returned. “What does it mean?”

“I said that your name is Nathanael and that you have a very beautiful daughter I’m honored to call my wife,” Hannibal replied. “I don’t know how I can do that, just that I can do it.”

Nathanael scratched his head and leaned back in his chair. “This is an interesting development,” he murmured. “You have dormant abilities becoming active because of the incident with the Teacher. Selina, be sure to stay with him and help him to deal with this. There may be more unforeseen consequences to that incident which may crop up. Who knows what else may come out of that event.”

“Right, dad,” Selina replied. “I’ll keep a close eye on him.”

“Good; now to business,” Nathanael said formally. “When do we need to be ready for the expedition to leave?”

“How close are we being ready with the preparations and supplies?” Hannibal asked.

“We can be ready to go in eighteen hours,” Nathanael answered. “There are a few minor items we’re still gathering but most of what we need has already been placed at the portal.”

“Good…good,” Hannibal answered. “It looks like that fateful day has finally arrived. We’ll go in three days.”

“Very well,” Nathanael said as he rose to leave. “We’ll be ready.”

“Oh, Nathanael, I have something I want to talk to you about later,” Hannibal said. “Could you come by about eight tonight?”

“Sure,” Nathanael answered. “I’ll see you later.” He turned and left the cafeteria.

“This is it, bud. Everything is a go,” Hannibal said, turning to Harry.

“Looks like it,” Harry said. “We talked about it so long. Now the time has finally come.”

“Go and be with your family. This may be the last time you get to be with them for a while,” Hannibal ordered.

“I will. But I have some things I need to do first,” Harry answered as he got up to leave.

“All right,” Hannibal returned, watching Harry walk away. He glanced at Selina and thought, This is going to be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. I hope he can do it.

Selina smiled and responded, You’re a natural at telepathic communication. I’ve never encountered anyone who had it come to them so naturally. He’ll be fine.

Hannibal smiled at her response and said aloud, “I’ll try not to let it go to my head.” His face suddenly fell and a concerned look came across it. He looked into Selina’s eyes and she felt his concern. “Something’s going on. I think we need to go to the core,” he said tensely.

Selina didn’t argue, sensing his worry. “Lead the way,” she said as they stood, going to a waiting golf cart and speeding away.
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