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Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #romance, science fiction

PowerofLearning (2 page)

BOOK: PowerofLearning
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Yavil wrinkled her nose. “That sounds remarkably unappealing.”

“Your requirement for photosynthesis has been taken into account, and the suit has been made to your measurements.”

The tiny Tebr spaceport appeared out of the jungle as they turned a corner to see the defoliated area. A question rose in Yavil’s mind. “How did they get my measurements?”

Hosh grinned. “I am fairly good at spatial recognition. I sent Fixer the information, and she provided the suit. Citadel instructor robes are also waiting for you.”

She twisted her lips. “So, what do you teach at the Citadel?”

“Practical application of first aid. I have several lifelike mechanical mock-ups that enable the students to truly grasp the horror of battle wounds.” He shrugged. “It is something that they need to learn if they are going to a world with a tech restriction.”

“Very practical.” She kept talking. Her nerves were getting the better of her as they approached a shuttle with the small Citadel icon on it.

“I think so. It encourages the Citadel students to think of the races that they are visiting as living beings and individuals with specific requirements.”

Security scanned Hosh while Yavil submitted a blood sample. The officer smiled at her, the skin around his dark eyes wrinkling in pleasure. “So, you are the
I have heard good things about you.
It is a shame you are leaving Tebr.”

Yavil inclined her head. “My siblings encouraged me to seek a life of my own. It was time.”

The machine chirped confirmation of her identity, and the security officer waved her through the small checkpoint. “Have a successful journey, Instructor Rikhana. Enjoy your new life.”

She smiled brightly and lifted her cleared bags, carrying them on toward Hosh and the shuttle that awaited them.

Her stomach flipped dramatically when she stepped onto the shuttle. She surrendered her bags to Hosh, and he stowed them, bringing her a parcel. “Here is the uniform. You might want to put it on before we take off. I will run the pre-flight checks and get takeoff authorization.”

She bit her lip and followed his gesture to the small lav. Her Tebr clothing fell swiftly to the floor, and with only a little effort, she worked out which direction was front on the bodysuit. Yavil had never worn this much clothing, and as she worked it up over her hips, she fought panic. She felt suffocated, confined, and only repeating endless rounds of trivia to herself in her mind enabled her to tug the fabric up over her shoulders, sealing it across her breasts.

The fabric fought her for a moment, but then, the claustrophobia eased as it settled against her skin.

She looked at herself in the mirror, and the vibrant blue of the suit matched her eyes and complimented the pallor of her skin. It was a very complimentary suit.

Chapter Three

Absorbing light with the suit in the way was not nearly as awkward as she had anticipated. Watching Hosh walk toward her to settle in the pilot seat wearing a full uniform and wishing that he was still wearing the Tebr hip wrap was far more nerve wracking than it should have been.

“Are you ready?” He smiled as he buckled in and flipped toggles.

“I am as ready as I can be.” She shivered and rubbed at the unfamiliar fabric on her arms.

“How does the suit feel?”

“Peculiar. Like cobwebs brushing against me constantly.” Yavil deliberately gripped the arms of her seat.

“Do you think you will get used to it?”

“Time will tell. For now, I will simply say maybe.” She held her breath as the shuttle shuddered and they began to leave her home.

“Pardon the rough take off, piloting is not my primary skill.” Hosh smiled at her, his teeth white against the deep green of his skin.

“I am sure it’s fine. I just don’t have anything to compare it to.” Her fingers curled around the armrests, and she concentrated on breathing as they began to make their way through the sky that had seemed so familiar while she was standing on the ground. Now that they were in the air, it was a whole new universe.

Her mind started to catalog events and descriptions of what she was seeing around her, and she let the imminent brainstorm feed itself as they left Tebr behind.

She was so busy with her absorption of the new information that when the first flicker in location occurred, she blinked in surprise. “What was that?”

“A jump. I wanted to see how you would handle it, and you seem to have done fine.”

Her mind started to whirl with all the calculations that had to be handled to make the jump, and when the second one happened, it gleefully confirmed what it was thinking. Having her mind acting as a separate being was something she was used to. It was simpler for her to keep the tasks of feeding and clothing herself while the brainstorm took over her analytical thought.

It was easy to relax as the brainstorm enjoyed feeding itself with calculations as to the distance and composition of the stars while Yavil tried to keep her mind completely blank.

Leaving home still hurt, the ache in her chest was going to be there for some time.

Hosh spoke, and his voice made her jump. “We are almost there. One more jump and we will be in the Morganti system.”

“How long after we enter the system?”

“Six hours. Less time if Starbreaker is in the vicinity. She avoids housework by towing shuttles in for a landing.”

Yavil was startled into laughing. “Housework?”

“Not really. I just wanted to see if you were still in there. Your face was frighteningly blank.” He turned to face her, and a dark lock of hair slid in front of one of his eyes.

He blew it upward and flicked his head, reminding her of her riding beast. A smile crossed her lips and stuck there.

“May I ask what species you are, Hosh?”

He chuckled. “Wyoran-Ebaer. We are a Wyoran colony and have shifted away from the standard skin colourations to transform into this lovely shade I am wearing now.”

Her mind brought all the Wyoran facts up to her, including some intimate details that made her blush. “What are the differences between a colonist and someone born on Wyora?”

He chuckled. “We have far better senses of humour, are more aggressive and more straightforward. I have done an unscientific study, but it seems that voluntary colonies have a very specific mindset.”

“How so?”

“It takes a bit of aggression and optimism to leave one’s home in search of a better world. That comes through in the subsequent generations, though sometimes, the origin of the reasoning is lost over time.”

She nodded. “I have seen examples of that in my research.”

“How do you learn everything that you lecture on?”

They went through the final jump while he spoke.

“I read about something and find all information relating to that something. When I have compiled enough information, I run an experiment and try to quantify the information. Once that is done and I feel I have a grip on the info, I file a lecture request with the education centre, and they book a date for me to speak.”

“So, before you teach…”

“I reach an understanding of the subject matter. I can only teach theoretical stuff though. I have tried practical applications, and I can’t keep my students focussed if I act it out.”


She shrugged. “Not really. I am sure that you have already figured out my talent based on your personal experience.”

“I do seem to recall fading into a receptive state while you spoke. When you were done, I heard a sharp clap and I was filled with knowledge of the topic.” Hosh grinned. “Like that?”

“Yes, it is my voice that makes folks receptive. It opens the learning centre of the brain, and I communicate directly into the waiting portion of the mind. A few minutes after I release you, it settles in your mind, transferring from Tebr to Alliance Common.”

Hosh was piloting them toward an inviting planet with moderate cloud cover and a plethora of defensive weaponry aimed directly at them.

“What are those guns for?”

Hosh looked at them and smiled. “Morganti is home to some of the most privileged researchers and the newest technologies. It needs to be protected at all costs.”

She nodded. “It makes sense. Do you have a code or a signal to keep us from being blasted?”

“Our shuttle is registered as are our life signs. I mean mine is. Yours is going to be dependent on a visual confirmation, oh, here it is.” He flicked a flashing toggle, and the face of a woman with a metal band framing her face filled the view screen.

“Hello, Instructor Ender. How was your trip?” The woman’s voice was polite, but her eyes spoke of something involved going on behind them.

“It was fine, Relay. This is the newest member of Citadel Morganti, Instructor Yavil Rikhana.”

Relay stared at the spot where Yavil was sitting.

Yavil raised a hand and waved. “I am pleased to meet you, Relay.”

Relay’s eyes focussed entirely on Yavil. “Amazing. I can’t see a thing, not even the bodysuit. Her body is actively repelling technological recording.”

Hosh asked. “Did you hear her speak?”

Relay shook her head. “No. Did she?”

Yavil frowned and pulled a data sheet in front of her. She typed in a greeting and sent it along the com frequency.

Relay blinked. “Oh, hello. So, you can use tech, but it can’t see you. This is an exciting development. I know you are contracted to the Citadel, but if you are willing to let us, we would love to have you at the base to test some of our detection technology.”

Yavil typed in that she would be happy to. “This is going to get old really fast.”

Hosh laughed. “Relay, we are on our way in. Do you want to run the medicals on us there, or shall we report to the infirmary at the Citadel?”

“Come here, of course. Fixer will meet you on the tarmac. I look forward to greeting you in person, Instructor Rikhana.”

The screen went dark, and Hosh looked over at her. “That went well. I knew she wouldn’t be able to resist direct contact. Your ability to deflect tech is one thing that has made a good portion of the folks on Morganti intensely curious about you.”

She snorted. “I am used to being stared at. It is par for the course as an

“What does that mean, exactly?”

She laughed. “Once in every few generations, a baby is born alongside the twins, this child is invisible to technology and lives a life of solitude. Normally, we are considered oracles or wise women, but in our current age, I am considered a mutation. I don’t know what is better, ancient throwback or modern mutant.”

“I don’t know how to answer that.” Hosh piloted them to Morganti without another word.

“Welcome home, Yavil. It will be your base as long as you wish it to be. Your new life begins now.”

Yavil looked around at the atmosphere so unlike Tebr’s, the lack of jungle and the open spaces. “Yay.”

Chapter Four

A woman with dark rainbow hair was waiting for them on the tarmac. “Hello, Instructor Rikhana. I am Mala or Fixer if you prefer.”

Yavil walked forward and winced at the dry air burning her lungs. “Call me Yavil, please.”

She extended her hand, and Fixer took it.

“You must be parched. Instructor Ender told us that you came from a high-humidity environment. Come with me.”

The woman walked into the shade of the open hangar. The moment that Yavil passed the threshold, she sighed in relief. “Oh, thank you.” Warmth and moisture wrapped around her.

“You are welcome. I just attached a field generator to your suit. Your quarters at the Citadel have already been fitted with a larger version.”

Yavil smiled weakly. “You did all that for me?”

“It was the least I could do for what I will ask you to engage in.”

Yavil looked at her wrist, and sure enough, at the edge of the cuff, a tiny device now blinked. “It’s so small.”

“It is as big as it needs to be.” Mala grinned. “I got right back into development after my son was born.”

“You have a child?”

“Three. Two girls and a boy.” Pride of being a parent was evident on her face.

Yavil chuckled. “Well, if you ever need some tutoring, I can get through to just about anything.”

Mala nodded. “I might take you up on that. The girls can be a real handful.”

Fixer was fiddling with some items on her workbench when Hosh came in with Yavil’s bags.

Mala smiled. “Hello, Instructor Ender.”

He inclined his head. “Fixer. How are you and the family?”

“I am fine, the family is crazy and I think Isabi is hiding.” Mala looked at Yavil. “My husband.”

“Oh.” She blinked and looked around her, her mind cataloguing frantically. The problem was that she didn’t know what the objects were.

Mala grinned. “I brought you here first before you hit medical so that I can try and capture you on vid with some new scanners I developed. In case you were wondering, I consider you the best challenge I have had in the last five months.”

Yavil wasn’t convinced that Mala was serious until the woman rubbed her hands together and positioned Yavil in front of a neutrally coloured substance.

Hosh took a seat next to the workbench and settled in with his arms crossed over his chest.

Mala had a serious expression on her face, and she aimed one device after another at Yavil, muttering and cursing in between each attempt. “This is incredible. You actually reject the signal.”

Yavil was tired and getting hungry. “I can give you a hint if you like.”

Mala perked up. “What?”

“You can’t see me, but you can see where I have been. I leave a heat signature that isn’t blocked by my personal aura.”

Mala got excited. “Walk around please.”

Yavil paced and came to a halt. “This is the last one today. I am rather tired after my trip, and I know Hosh is.”

The male in question was snoozing lightly with his head propped on his fist.

Mala blushed. “I am sorry. I get caught up in an experiment, and your particular secondary talent is far too tempting for me to play with.”

Fixer aimed another scanner at her and nodded. “You are right. You leave a heat trail where you walk. I wonder if you leave anything else behind.”

BOOK: PowerofLearning
10.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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