Yal-hune is removing the crystalline device from my face. It takes a moment for my eyes to focus. They do and Yal-hune looks very happy.
"I should be happy. The process of transfer was successful and without incident. How do you feel?"
"I feel great."
"How is the new knowledge settling in?"
"Very well. Konaja."
"Ah...some of the linguistics elements were not omitted I see."
"It is unbelievable."
"Yes, you were repeating that word throughout much of the transfer. We were a bit concerned because the word is not really an appropriate response. Fascinating, amazing, incredible or some such word would have been more fitting."
"I understand you more. Both of you. It's an honor to be here with both of you. The training. The commitment. The risks and sacrifices you both make to travel to other solar systems - it's unbelievable."
"Hmmm....I think I liked him better before." Tho-rey laughs and Yal-hune joins him.
"Yes, and there's that word again." Yal-hune is smiling as she thinks this and for the first time I notice that she has no incisors on either the top or bottom. I have learned the various molecular, anatomical differences between many sentient races. Yal-hune is a respected emissary who has been assigned to several worlds and has actually moderated and negotiated the joining of new member planets. She graduated in the top 1 percent of all emissary and planetary diplomatic students on her world. I see her now in a more fleshed out form. Her amazing beauty is understandable - because it is the natural expression for someone whose mind and abilities are equally beautiful. Tho-rey looks at Yal-hune then rolls his eyes, and I keep forgetting my thoughts now are broadcast as if I am speaking aloud. But I don't mind...I'm just happy to be in their presence.
"Okay. We're going to leave soon."
I would ask for a tour, but I am now familiar with the basic layout of this ship - a ship which makes Earth's wildest fantasies seem tame. They actually grow the crystalline substance used in much of the hull.
I extend my arm in a gesture/salute used by the space fleet of Htra-deg and Tho-rey returns the gesture.
"Thank you both. And Yal-hune, you need not worry. Although I realize many, many worlds live far more wonderfully than we do on the Earth, I have no desire to run away to them. Living on Earth, with this knowledge, is a magnificent opportunity to strengthen myself, work out my less constructive pasts and express more infinitely in the process."
I realize my thoughts are completely free on this craft. The obsessing entities and the worlds that overshadow can't breach the fields of starcraft. I am me without the self-doubt, the insecurity and inferiority complexes. I know what I want, who I am and what I want to do and right now I want to meet this ships Sensory Officer.
"Why?" Yal-hune asks.
Tho-rey smiles. "He's a human male. Do I need to draw you a picture?"
A 'Sensory Officer' is stationed one to each star ship of the Confederation. They are almost all women and as the name implies have highly developed skills. They possess some of the most powerfully balanced minds and are essential in keeping crew's minds on equilibrium so the ship doesn't explode as it travels faster than light along emf fields. They are the epitome of equilibrium in all circumstances. From what I have learned, they are some of the most empathic, sensitive and yet integrated beings to be found traveling around space. One of my most difficult challenges on Earth will be to remain balanced. This type of knowledge on Earth is alien and I must find that balance to integrate it within the culture. I think meeting this ships Sensory Officer might help me and polarize some things and to have another attunement point for my mind when I return to Earth.
"Very well. The Sensory Officer is already on her way here."
In less than a moment, a wall seems to dissolve and a woman walks over to where we are standing. She is almost 7 feet tall and has the same pink-hued skin tone of Yal-hune. Her mind is indeed powerful beyond belief and I feel her mind effortlessly and seamlessly enter mine as soon as our eyes meet.
"Greetings. My name is Pota-sha and I am very pleased to share mind with you." She walks right up to me and her eyes are the most beautiful shade of pink. Her intellect expresses in her eyes and every feature of her face. Every nuanced movement of her body seems to follow a thought. For the first time I truly realize I am in front of a mind - that just happens to control a body. Her mind entered the room and brought along this body in tow. Her mind is easily developed enough to support ten or twenty bodies all at once. Her mind is a pervasive presence - and so completely balanced. All my human emotions, already minimized here on the ship, fade away completely when her mind is interfaced with mine.
"And I am pleased to share mind with you. Your presence has helped me to gain more perspective and insight and I feel will serve me well."
She is a very dominant presence. Her mind is unlike other minds and her aura I can feel extending out not only throughout this ship and to every crew member, but even to the space surrounding the ship. Her mind is interfacing with the EMF fields. In a real sense she is part of the 'drive' of the ship.
"Yes. My mind must perform many tasks simultaneously and interface with many beings. No, I do not lose myself in this process. This interfacing is part of who I am."
I feel, first hand, her balancing effect on my consciousness. It is powerful and all thought seems to become more coherent and purposeful. All the adjectives I wish to use to describe her would imbue emotional garments to things which are truly devoid of such emotions. She is beautiful, but I understand it and it ceases to be something that generates some imbalanced over-positive response. She is almost god-like in her presence and mental development and yet even this fails to arouse any emotional output in me. I see, indeed, just how powerful a Sensory Officer is and this has been a priceless experience for me. I now see the future of human sentience and mental development. From this position my entire life looks so imbalanced. The Earth looks...
...like some large planetary asylum.
Yet I do not bias it negative, I feel not a whit of frustration nor even any desire to change it. It is perfect. All things on Earth are inter-relaying perfectly according to their own structures.
"You are the first human I have had the pleasure of meeting in a face to face manner. I appreciate the opportunity to experience the different sentience you possess and add this experience to my collected body of knowledge and experience. Yes, as you have guessed, interfacing with new sentience and new experiences brings me a unique joy. Sentience is most precious. As my mind walks alongside yours, I understand the challenges you face and why you wished to have this encounter with my person. I must leave now and return to my other duties, but I leave you with a part of my consciousness to turn to when you are in need of it."
I feel her mind saturate mine completely. She leaves an indelible mark upon it and I realize she has indeed left a portion of her consciousness behind for me to learn from, utilize and turn to when necessary to function more balanced in any situation.
"Thank you Pota-sha - for everything."
She smiles a smile I will never forget and turns and leaves the way she came - through a dissolving wall.
Yal-hune and Tho-rey exchange an energy farewell and in another instant I am back on Earth with Yal-hune.
Instantly, I feel a multi-pronged attack from both overshadowers and discarnate entities....and it bounces off completely. This balanced state of mind is very effective and provides almost no routes for these forces to latch on to me and have access to my consciousness.
"So...how are you."
Yal-hune suddenly exerts a stronger force of mind than she ever had before. I realize now she was holding back and now that I have interfaced with a Sensory Officer - the cat is out of the bag and I now have a more realistic view of the mental disparity between our two worlds - yet I am not intimidated or cowed by this large disparity in our respective development. I understand it and it ceases to have any emotional impact.
"I am fine. Thank you Yal-hune. I suspect I am more fine than I have ever been in this lifetime."
"I see that and I am very pleased for you. Meeting the Sensory Officer was a very intelligent move on your part. You were clearly inspired."
"I Love you Yal-hune."
I say the words with new and ever greater meaning. I realize how many times that word is thrown around with hardly any true conception of what it means.
Yal-hune's mind joins with me and I realize that her mind is equally as pervasive as Pota-sha's when she no longer restrains herself. I get to know a new type of Love as she teaches it to me, with her thoughts, actions and body.