Skuuinja is staring at me from across the room. Her eyes are very powerful and I can practically feel them boring into me. And while they leave no physical scars, my mind is impacted. She has a force of mind that makes humans appear scattered and unfocused. I know what it is too. She shares it with as I meet her eyes. People who have never been overshadowed have more focused minds and their personalities can take full form.
Yal-hune has orchestrated this all. My only other Norchan encounter was with Ketta-nu-ma and it left me with a rather heavy negative bias towards all Norchans. Here I see another side, a markedly softer side. However Skuuinja is clearly more aggressive - though maybe aggressive isn't the right word. It's an assertiveness. Her mind asserts itself and pursues its interests with less restraint.
There's something about her, something I can't quite put my finger on, that fascinates me. It's not just a gender thing either. There is something about her eyes and her mind - both are mysterious and attractive. I wonder if part of it is seeing something of myself in her. And here she looks at me and knows how I looked before. She can see the differences, make mental notes about the various changes in my appearance, personality and demeanor.
"You're more scattered."
"See. That's exactly what I mean. You were extremely integrated and your thought trains were very intricate structures with architecture that many Norchans admired and resented. On Earth you're but a shell, intellectually, of what you were. You're FAR less intimidating."
"Thanks. That makes me feel much better."
"It should. You were all work and no play. You were the guy who everyone doesn't want to talk to because you made them very uncomfortable. I know - you made me very uncomfortable. You think my gaze is penetrating? Your eyes burned holes through people who came to you and they left patching up what was left of them and leaving as fast as they could."
"It sounds like I was a real piece of work. Perhaps Earth was exactly what I needed?"
"Yes. You are a much nicer and compassionate person here. It becomes you enormously. I may miss the intellectual prowess, but the trade-off is worth it. Here you are sweet. You care about me - even though I have just, all of a sudden, dropped into your life - and I now regret all the very bad things I used to think about you."
Her words and her thoughts trigger memories in me. They are very vague, but very powerful feelings and include nanosecond glimpses of a world far away and far different from this one. And I know the person she is talking about. A version of me, that I don't like to look back on. A self-focused individual who loses the common touch and becomes isolated from friends, family and co-workers. I have had those same impulses in this life, but have fought them. This is why Yal-hune brought her here. She is a window to that past and a reminder, for me, of the me I am trying to evolve away from.
Skuuinja gets up from the couch and sits in front of me on the floor.
"When you died, I never got a chance to talk to you. Never got a chance to say goodbye. I know why you did it, you didn't want to see me and make it harder to fight the regeneration machines. I see now it was all for the best. Here we are again, but you are different..."
"And you are different too."
"You are remembering aren't you?"
"Yes. It's becoming clearer and that frightens me somewhat. It has qualities of a nightmare one has awoken from and which linger into the now. But you were different. You were very aggressive and intense. I was too. Everyone was so intense - not a lot of fun and laughter. Not a lot of hugs and kisses."
I take Skuuinja in my arms and hug her. Her soul reaches out, and her arms, and she embraces me in return - tightly. A quick deja-vu occurs and somehow I knew this was going to happen just as it has. Skuuinja gives me a kiss on the cheek. It carries great force with it. She looks in my eyes with her black, as the Arizona night sky in the middle of nowhere, eyes and there is a real connection between us. Her mind, her soul fascinates me and I find her compelling. There's an urgency about her and at the same time there is this very calm, collected and cute person.
"I'm sorry I overshadowed you."
"I'm sorry I was such a monster. I know I pushed you, controlled you and made your life difficult. I can feel it."
I see her cry...not now but then. She had approached me about something and my words left her leaving in tears. I was a pushy bastard.
"You forbade me lots of things for my own good. I did those things anyway to spite you. You hated me for it. You made me feel worthless. I hated you for that and I hated the me I had become as I fought you."
"I'm sorry Skuuinja. I may be less intellectual - but I am smarter now."
"Yes, you have benefited greatly from the assimilation of basic energy principles and using them to bring more balance in your life."
She crawls up from the floor and sits next to me. She has had her skin treated and now she no longer looks as blue. Her lungs were modified so as to accept more oxygen and her blood is now more reddish than before. Her hands are warm and she grabs my hand and places it in hers.
"This is good."
I am inclined to agree. We can make amends for past mistakes and balance huge payloads of imbalanced thoughts, actions and feelings. We can be far closer, here, then we ever could be there.
The fire is burning strongly in the hearth. The flickering flames dance endlessly. Outside the wind has kicked up and leaves are also dancing in the streets and across the cement to the music of the wind. This Holiday Season is shaping out to be one of the best, and coziest, I can remember.