Naka was adrift with no means to focus, but accidentally starting a tremor in her hometown lets everyone know what she is and sentences her to confinement. The Citadel sends a representative to take her away, but the information that he is given will make sure that she finds no friends off Resicor.
Her life is no longer her own, but her talent begs to be used, and on the planet of Piq, she finds something very wrong. The empty world should not be empty. Its mind has been stolen and lodged in the moon. In his efforts to escape, the living mind of the planet has almost ripped his old body apart. With skills she didn’t know she had, Naka steps in to carry one mind back to its home. She hopes she will survive the process.
Naka spent her afternoon working on her small, personal garden. The only foods she could identify easily were herbs, so that is what she planted.
She was on her way inside when her suit spoke to her.
“Naka Gwyn, please report to the entrance. You are being recalled.”
“What?” She blinked at the herb garden around her.
“Report to the entrance immediately. You are being moved to another holding area.”
Naka looked around to see if one of the others was using a voice talent to throw her off. There was no one near her plot.
She washed her hands quickly. No sense having dirt under her nails when she went wherever it was that she was going.
Wahli was in the lane when she walked past. A sobbing young woman was leaning against her. “Naka, where are you off to?”
“I just got a notice from my suit that I am needed at the entrance. Something about being reassigned.”
Wahli stopped in her tracks and stared, “Are you sure?”
“I haven’t been here long enough for the walls to talk to me. It has to be my suit and that means the guard. Either I will be gone or I am facing a move, not that I have heard about any other facility on Resicor to house physical talents.”
Wahli frowned. “There isn’t. Can you wait?”
A voice emanated from Naka’s suit. “Naka Gwyn, report to the entrance immediately!”
Naka winced. “He sounds pissed. A hug for good luck?”
Wahli put her charge aside and gave Naka a quick hug. Her huge eyes got even wider as their skin connected arm to arm. “That explains it then. Good luck and long life. You deserve it.”
Naka grinned and waved goodbye as she passed the first and last talent to greet her in the dome. The archway was ominously silent. She entered the narrow hall, reaching the electronic curtain swiftly. Her touch on the screen let her hand pass through, and closing her eyes, she rushed the rest of her body through the tingling barrier.
When she was in the normal air again, she opened her eyes to see a world-weary stranger waiting for her. Behind her, the barrier whined into full strength, so she stepped quickly into the antechamber where she had protested her lack of physical talent for the last time.
She stared at the man, his horns reflected the minimal light in the space. His skin was deep red, hair black and woven into minute braids tipped with silver bands. She didn’t look at the half dozen guardsmen that had guns trained on her, this stranger took up all her senses.
“Are you Naka Gwyn?” The man was impatient. His sensuous lips were flattened in displeasure.
“I am.” Her instinct was to curtsy for some reason, but she held back and lifted her head.
“Come with me. We have a ship to catch.” He held out his hand, and the dark robes he wore slid back to expose a heavy metal cuff on his wrist. It had an ornate pattern on it that she would have loved to explore, but his impatience was palpable.
With a feeling of finality, she placed her small, pale hand in his larger burgundy grip, and he closed his digits around hers, turning and simply walking away from the dome.
She felt ridiculous as he hauled her along the barren flats toward a shuttle. Her mind screamed a thousand insults at his back during their journey. She hated being treated like a child.
When they entered the shuttle, she noted that it was geared for his body, his height, the breadth of his shoulders, everything was meant for someone of his physical presence. She felt like a child in the seat next to the pilot’s controls, but she let him buckle her in place for the journey.
Her life had ended the moment that they put the suit on her, so wherever she was going now was bound to be an improvement on jogging through a dead city to keep her mind out of the planet’s crust.
It had been such a little earthquake, after all.