"You've been silent for the past while, and you put markers around your thoughts. Care to talk?"
Yal-hune hovers over me as I lie on the couch. Her beauty and essence are always welcome but I have been preoccupied since we returned to our home.
"I've been thinking."
"Anything I can assist you with?"
"I'm cool with it all. An intergalactic criminal knows who I am - and doesn't like me - or any 'human' for that matter, the Confederation has a nemesis out there that's apparently very powerful and whom only some gigantic white beings can handle - but whom rarely help. Yal-hune I know bad guys. It's, well it was, my job to know bad guys. Bad guys like him don't give up. He'll be back and he'll be faster. I can't help but think that we're toast...and Earth is next. And I don't even know what in heck that thing was he was trying to summon from the netherworlds and what or who it was intended for."
Yal-hune looks at me and doesn't speak. She knows I'm not finished yet.
"I need to be debriefed. I know the way this game is played - the 'need to know' game. Well, after what we just went through I realize I need to know. I need to know what's out there, who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. I need to know if my selfishness at wanting you here is jeopardizing the entire Earth. I've seen things go horribly wrong. Missions where whole teams get taken out because of a lack of intel. One careless mistake in a crisis and sometimes millions pay the price. Your Confederation may be very powerful and well intentioned, but if it is a political organization it has the same fallibility our UN does - which means...well it means it's a farce. You can't count on the UN to save anybody and I'm afraid I'm getting the same vibes from this Confederation. I've been insulted by all sorts of aliens and I can't help but realize humanity and Earth is on a galactic target list. That's why I need to know where the land lies."
"Those were the thoughts you felt you had to marker off?"
"Yes...I didn't want you to know I even entertained the possibilities of letting you go."
"Are you afraid? Is that what this is about? Are you afraid I wont be able to protect you from Lal-atha and others like him?"
"No! I'm not afraid...I'm just concerned. I don't want to have you as my 'protector' and, ideally, I would rather not need any protection at all. I keep getting this feeling that you're holding back something important. And I don't know what it is you're withholding, but it bothers me somewhat."
"And if you were a human woman, I'd be afraid you would take all this the wrong way and simply split. That's why I hesitated to mention it. With you I feel I don't have to suppress or hide my feelings and thoughts. Go ahead - read my mind. Dig deep into all the various thought trains and offshoots. You'll understand why I'm saying these things."
Yal-hune looks at me and she enters my mind. Deeper than she normally resides, I feel her sifting my thoughts and reviewing them. She does this faster than I can even think.
"I reviewed your thoughts and at the center of most of them is the recurring fear that you are somehow jeopardizing humanity for your own needs."
"Am I not? I need you. I quit SDAI because of you and the changes you have brought about in me. Now some heavy-hitters are paying us a visit and threatening me and the Earth. I can't help but think my desires are putting EARTH at risk."
"You are not responsible for the Earth. You are not responsible for the actions of others. Lal-atha is responsible for his actions. You are for yours and I am for mine. Once you truly understand this you realize how foolish it is to think you are responsible for jeopardizing the Earth.'
"I know you're right. But I still need to know more. Will you debrief me?"
"Yes. I will. But we are going to need to visit my brother. Your neurotransmitter has certain limitations. We will need to help you process some of this data. Get some sleep. Tomorrow we will begin your lessons.