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Szalinski

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Re: The Nymphs - Chapter 5
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2015, 08:03:07 PM »
Don't worry, no one gets stepped on.  :)

The Nymphs
by Doctor Szalinski
   


Chapter 5


I know it flew off this way, Zandra said to herself. Normally she wouldn’t have dared to hunt prey this large, especially alone. However the hawk appeared to have been badly wounded as it was flying very strangely; erratically, as if it were trying to fly on a lame wing. Zandra wasn’t sure, she had only seen it in brief glances but it almost looked like the one that had taken down Eros. That thought alone was enough to inspire her to continue this insanely risky hunt. Of course the chance of it actually being the same beast was slim if it existed at all. Most likely not, it did look a lot more tattered, but then months of trying to navigate with only one eye would have led to mishaps...

Crap, why was she even considering this? The chances of that particular bird still being alive after all this time were too ridiculous to even consider! Besides, it looks as if it had managed to give her the slip anyway. Still moving stealthily, just in case, she made her way to the waterfall which was the last direction she saw it headed in. A cool drink would do her good right now anyway.
 
As she approached the cliff she heard a sound, like a big slab of meat being dropped onto the table. Instinctively she dropped into a crouch, spear drawn, just as a large creature fell in front of her amidst a shower of stones. It was a hawk! Holding at the ready, Zandra watched, wary of the slightest movement, but after a slight twitch or two it lay still. Cautiously she approached it. Birds don’t usually ‘play dead’, but that didn’t necessarily mean this one was dead, and as long as it wasn’t it was still dangerous. Reaching it, she jabbed the supposedly deceased animal hard with the tip of her spear and jumped back, but it didn’t move. Zandra relaxed, it was dead.

Casually she walked around the carcass. To her amazement it was missing its left eye, and the wound looked to have been healed for some time too. Lacking its depth perception it must have misjudged the distance to the cliff and hit it head on, killing itself. Damn! Could this possibly have been the same hawk? No wonder it was so tattered looking, it must have been banging into things ever since she took its eye out way back then. So she had delivered a killing blow after all; it just took a little longer than usual for the beast to die. “Ha!” Zandra smirked to herself, smiling broadly. “Whaddaya think of that?” She felt very proud of herself.
 
Suddenly her celebration was interrupted by another noise, and this one  didn’t sound wounded! Quickly Zandra backed away, trying to do so while not attracting attention. How stupid could she have been, she was in the wide open! Carefully crossing around the pond she flattened herself against the cliff and tried desperately to look like a rock as the giant creature approached. It looked uninterested; perhaps she had been doubly lucky today and had escaped detection. May Gaia continue to feel so generous! But the beast wasn’t a beast at all, it was one of the Others; a boy from the looks of him. Good, children aren’t usually as observant as adults were, at least not amongst her people. Hopefully the same held true for Others and if she stayed still he may not notice her.
 
Although Zandra knew well of the Others, and had even suggested an allegiance with them, she had never really seen one in person before, at least not this close. Despite his youth, he was  huge , standing four times her height at least! He was lightly muscled, as was to be expected for a boy, but still well toned with no ‘baby fat’, perhaps an adolescent? Strange, he looked a lot like the boys in her own tribe, except of course much, much bigger. And he wore an inordinate amount of clothing considering how warm it was. Protection, perhaps? Just what would someone his size need protecting  from ?
 
The boy walked up to the waterfall and removed what looked like a bladder from off his shoulder. He had probably just come here for a drink as she had. When he reached the pond he stopped. Reaching down he picked up the bird  Hey! That’s mine! she thought, rather ludicrously. Yeah, as if she were in any position to argue with a giant about property rights! He turned the bird over examining it. Then brought it up to his nose and sniffed. Shrugging, he took off his pack, placed the bird inside and slid his arms back into the straps. Picking up the bladder, he went to fill it from the falls.  Just a few moments more…
 
Suddenly he froze, and to Zandra’s dismay he was looking straight at her. Bracing herself she prepared to flee, but to where she had absolutely no idea. Perhaps she could evade his grasp but there was no direction she could go that didn’t involve running right past him.

Gaia help us, we're all going to end up as dinner! Alexis’ thought came back to her in the worst prophetic way. Whatever had she been thinking?

But the boy didn’t attack; in fact he made no move at all. And most importantly he didn’t seem to be preparing to strike. He just stood there, his lips parted slightly, eyes widened in amazement. Well, why not? Considering the lengths her people have gone to in order to keep themselves hidden, what were the chances of someone of his apparent age having ever having seen one of her kind?
 
Finally he came out of his stupor. He whispered something to himself then spoke something else more loudly, this time apparently to her. Or at least she assumed it was speech, it was just a garbled grouping of sounds as far as she was concerned, but it sounded like some kind of speech. Well, why should she understand? There was absolutely no reason to believe they would have both developed the same language, is there? As she hadn’t seen any sign of aggression she relaxed somewhat. Well, whether Alexis thought it the proper time yet or not, first contact had been made, so like it or not I may as well try and make the best of it. Zandra thought.
 
“Hello?” She asked tentatively trying to enunciate loudly enough to be heard without sounding like she was shouting, which might be mistaken as aggression “Can you understand me?”
 
The boy said nothing, just twisted his head slightly, scrunching his face up slightly, as if trying to understand. Maybe they were intelligent, at least enough to communicate. However verbal language lessons took way too long, first common meanings had to be established, each had to learn what the other’s words meant, and then came the hard part: concepts, ideas, complex thoughts that couldn’t be demonstrated simply by pointing at an object and saying a word. Fortunately, her people had an easier way around that particular obstacle.
 
But were the Others even capable of hearing her?

Heaven help me, I have been dating a real human female.
.........And enjoying it!

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Szalinski

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The Nymphs - Chapter 6
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2015, 11:14:20 PM »
The Nymphs
by Doctor Szalinski
   


Chapter 6


"Are you really a Nymph? A real live Nymph"? Levi asked in amazement.

She didn’t say anything at first, but looked to be examining him. When she did say something her voice was soft and sorta high, almost like a little girl – well, she was a ‘little’ girl, at least in size. He couldn’t understand her words, but the way she spoke them made what she said sound like a question. Her voice trembled a little too. Well, why not; after all who wouldn’t be scared? I'm at least four times her height if not more, and therefore probably dangerous!

Hoping to put her mind at ease, Levi backed away a step or two. Then slowly he lowered himself to the ground. Making sure he leaned backward, so it would be obvious he was not crouching in preparation to attack, he gently sat down and crossed his legs in front of himself; the least possible threatening position he could think of. Once he was seated he saw the Nymph relax somewhat. Good, he thought. At least she knows I don’t want to hurt her. He smiled, trying his best to look friendly.

- - - - - -

“Hello?” Zandra asked “Can you understand me?”

The boy looked at her a moment, then slowly backed away and sat down, crossing his legs in front of him. A wave of relief swept over her. He wasn’t going to attack, not seated like that. In fact for all intents and purposes he looked as if he had just seated himself in front of the fire and was waiting to hear a tale! Did that mean he wanted to communicate? Taking a deep breath, Zandra prepared herself to attempt the insane. Alexis is going to kill me! She thought. ”Gaia help us…”

Relaxing, she probed for the boy’s consciousness, seeing if she could even connect with him. Having seen no sign that they possessed any ability to communicate by other than by the spoken word, it was safe to assume they have never shared another’s thoughts before. Reaching out she found his mind. She proceeded slowly, gently. She didn’t want to startle him, especially as she had no idea how he would react. He may flee, or worse, attack. Fear of the unknown was impossible to predict.

- - - - - -

Levi sat there, watching the Nymph. She didn’t speak again, but instead lowered her spear to hold it at ease and gave a sigh. Good, she understood he didn’t want to hurt her at least. Then her expression changed strangely; her eyes sort of glazed over, as if she were daydreaming. Levi didn’t move or say anything, he just waited. Maybe she was trying to figure out what to do next?

As he sat, waiting, the strangest feeling came over him, like the one you get when you think someone was watching you. Slowly he turned his head and looked around, but there was no one there, save for himself and the Nymph. He shrugged it off, but the feeling didn’t go away, it got stronger. Someone was there, he knew it. Then a sudden realization came over him, it was the Nymph! Somehow he could feel her presence, like she was inside his head! Yet for some reason he didn’t feel threatened by this 'invasion', quite the opposite, he felt both excited and reassured. Now he really wanted to make friends with the little woman standing in front of him!

- - - - - -

As Zandra reached out, she detected the boy’s presence. This just might work she thought, and adding a feeling of ease to her probe she delved deeper into the young man’s consciousness. When she saw his eyes light up she knew he could sense her, at least. Through the link she could feel that he offered no threat, nor did she sense he had any desire to harm her, only an eagerness to make friends. Was this common to all Others? Or just the enthusiasm of a young man in the face of something exciting and new? Every mind was its own individual self, but beliefs were usually formed by the way they were brought up. So she went with the belief/hope that his friendliness was a result of having lived with a peaceful people. She added a desire to be friends, and felt a similar response from him, as well as a feeling of eagerness. He too wanted to be friends. So empathy was possible, at least. OK, Zandra prepared herself, here goes nothing, and proceeded to project her thoughts.

- - - - - -

“Do you want to be my friend?” Levi finally asked. Then, to his surprise, he knew that she did; even before he had formed the words for his question! She hadn’t said anything, but in his mind he heard it. Yes! I want to be your friend. And somehow he knew it was her response to his question, just as he knew her name was Zandra.

They can speak without talking, without using their mouths like we do. It was true! The legends were actually true!

It’s called mindspeak. Levi realized.

Can all the Nymphs do it?

Yes, of course they can, they have been able to from time immemorial.


Levi was enthralled, never had he experienced, never in his wildest dreams imagined anything like this! Not only could he understand her, but he knew her feelings to; He felt them, they were his as much as they were hers, yet he knew the difference, he knew which feelings came from who. This was wonderful, he couldn’t wait to tell his friends!

Zandra felt his enthusiasm; then realized he was perhaps just a little too enthusiastic! She should have figured on that. He was still just a boy, and this was a whole new exciting experience for him. No! He mustn’t tell any of the people in his village! Not yet. Not until after she had told her people, prepared them. If a group of his villagers were to suddenly come looking we would be terrified and would surely run to where we couldn’t be found, and then he and she would never be able to be friends. She must let the other – Nymphs - know about this meeting first, what she had learned about your people so when the time comes they will be ready and willing to meet. He must keep this a secret, for now.

Zandra sensed the concern in Levi's mind, He wanted to be her friend; he didn’t want to lose her, lose this wonderful gift she brought. Mentally Zandra breathed a sigh of relief as she knew he would keep his promise, he wouldn’t tell anyone until she let him know it was safe. He would wait until the Nymphs were ready and then he would prepare his people when we were ready to approach them.

But would they want to? To ease his worry Zandra sent a feeling of reassurance that she would do her best to tell them about our meeting, about how you didn’t threaten her but wanted to be friends. She felt his reassurance in return; his people were nice and that even if they were to find out the Nymphs were real that they wouldn’t do anything bad like try and hunt them down and eat them. She was too much like them and that would be very wrong; they didn’t eat people.
   
Zandra blushed, had she let that slip through the link? Possibly, since Alexis’ remark was so high in her thoughts at the beginning he could have picked it up. However it seemed that while “Nymph” and Other (“Human” they called themselves) obviously were able to communicate with each other, it was only because her people were able to. Zandra was doing all the ‘work’; she had to send her thoughts and feelings to him, and then ‘listen’ for his reply. For while Levi could ‘hear’, she could tell he couldn’t ‘speak’, at least not yet; perhaps the ability was latent, and might develop later.

They conversed a little longer, Zandra learning more about them. Then they decided it best each return home, lest their respective peoples come to worry. Would he still be able to hear her? No, probably not, even amongst her people there was a limit as to how far mindspeak worked. No, he wouldn’t be able to feel her either, it wasn’t that sort of connection, and once she broke it he would be as before. She felt his sudden anguish. Do not worry, they would get together again, she promised, be brave. They agreed to meet here after the next new moon, to check on her progress. If things did work out between their peoples then hopefully they will be able to forge a more permanent bond.

Yes, she liked him too.

No that’s all right, I really didn’t need it; you can keep the hawk
Heaven help me, I have been dating a real human female.
.........And enjoying it!

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Szalinski

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Re: The Nymphs - Chapter 6
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2015, 11:35:05 PM »
The Nymphs
by Doctor Szalinski
   


Chapter 7


Levi reluctantly waved good bye then turned and walked away, heading back home. As he departed he felt Zandra gradually fade from his mind. Even though she had told him this would happen, the loss still shocked and to an extent even frightened him a little. Quickly he turned around. Looking back to where she had stood but he saw no trace of the Nymph. She had already dissapeared. ”POOF, Just like smoke!” Levi sighed, he missed her already. It isn’t that kind of connection. She had told him. Was there another kind? He wondered. Perhaps one that was always there? Even when the person wasn’t? He hoped so. Now more than ever he wanted his people and hers to meet and get together. Never in his life had he wanted anything so much. Turning back he made his way into the woods and headed home, having found what he came for and more; oh, so very, very much more!

After the next new moon, she had said. That would be fifteen days from now. A whole fifteen days, almost an eternity it seemed! How could he ever wait that long, not knowing what her people would say? And would he be able to keep quiet about something this marvelous from his own people? He had had no problem keeping secrets before, and this time he didn’t even have to worry about being asked. As far as anyone knew or cared all he had done was gone out to find some feathers for his new arrows. Since he was coming back with an entire bird, a hawk at that, any excitement he displayed was to be expected and would not be questioned. It wasn’t as if they would all be asking him about Nymphs.

The real challenge would be Alex or Ali, both of whom being so young they did still believe in them, even if everyone else thought they were just kiddie-tales. Could he keep from telling them? Normally he would say yes, but what if they brought the subject up? Would he be able to resist the temptation? YES! Oh yes and they're more that you ever imagined! That, he decided, would be the tough part.

And if, no when, he insisted to himself, Zandra did say it was alright, how could he tell everyone so that they would believe him? He knew Alex and Ali would have no trouble, but that wouldn’t really matter because no one would believe them either, since they too were only kids. But, he thought suddenly, what about their Grandmother? Was she too, just going along with their ‘fantasy’ because they were just kids? Or did she really believe in Nymphs herself as Alex had claimed? Could she have even, he wondered, experienced what he himself had? Maybe he should find out, if only because there was a slightly better chance they would believe him if she backed up his claim, and she was serious about it, not just doing so to humor him.

But if she really had, how could he approach her on the subject without tipping her off that he too had seen a Nymph, and had actually ‘spoken’ with one? And that they even wanted to be friends! This was something he would have to really think about.



“So how did it go?” Terrel asked as Levi walked through the curtain and entered the room. “Were you able to find what you were looking for?”

“I think so.” He replied, smiling. You have no idea! But of course he didn’t say that. Instead he took off his pack and reached inside. As if to explain away his excitement he pulled out the dead hawk and, feigning uncertainty, asked “Will this be enough?”

Terrel’s eyebrows rose, obviously quite impressed. “Yeah, I think that just might do it.” He replied, playing the game. Then asked. “Nice bird! Where did you manage to kill this little bounty?”

“I didn’t kill it, it was just lying under the small cliff. Y’know, the one with the spring flowing from the side?” Levi confessed, and Terrel nodded that he did. “I think it mighta crashed into the cliff and killed itself, see? It’s missing an eye.” Turning the bird over to reveal the empty socket he handed the hawk to his father.

“Well I’ll be. So it is. You’re probably right, without two good eyes it can’t really judge distance, can it?” He nodded affirming his son’s verdict.

“I think it musta happened just before I got there too,” Levi added “or not to long before. It doesn’t smell, so it can’t have been there too long.”

Terrel brought the bird to his nose and sniffed cautiously, confirming what Levi had said. “Hmm, Seems to be ok, but we can’t really be sure until the meat is exposed.” He warned. “But first, let’s get those feathers off for your arrows, shall we? After all they’re fine, regardless of the meat. And they are after all what you went looking for in the first place, right?”



“Nice shooting!” Alex shouted as the third arrow thwacked almost dead center into the red spot they had painted onto the side of the tree. Levi had removed the red metal hunting tips and replaced them with pointy stone ones for target practice, getting used to his new bow as well as testing the accuracy of this fletching job.

“That’s three out of five.” Kassandra exclaimed, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically for such a hit-miss ratio, “You’re a natural born killer, Levi!” and ran to the target to retrieve his arrows for him.

Levi and Alex looked at each other, rolling their eyes and holding back a giggle. Making sure Kassi wouldn’t notice, of course. Levi knew, as did most of the folks in the village, that Kassandra had a perhaps a little too serious of a crush on him. For the most part, and to her utter frustration, he ignored it of course. Oh she was a very nice girl and definitely very pretty, Levi was certainly mature enough to appreciate that. She was about his age too. However at his age he was still more interested in becoming a good hunter and wasn’t as yet ready to waste his precious time fooling around with girls!

“Here ya go!” She said as she ran up to him, smiling, and handed him the collected arrows.

“Kassi!” He started “Didn’t your parents ever tell you not to run while you’re carrying weapons?”  Her smile disappeared and she looked like he had slapped her, so to soften the blow he added “I wouldn’t want you to get hurt.” Well, they were friends, after all.

Yet he couldn't help but wonder what would happen between them if they and the Nymphs did get together. Naturally he kept this to himself.
Heaven help me, I have been dating a real human female.
.........And enjoying it!

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Poly

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Re: The Nymphs
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2015, 01:58:29 AM »
Very nice!  I can't wait to see what happens.  :)  :thumb:

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Re: The Nymphs
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2015, 01:28:04 PM »
This is the first SW story I ever wrote that is totally lacking in any sexual content, either actual or suggested (so I hope that's not what you're waiting for ^-^ ). I'm glad you're enjoying it so far.
Heaven help me, I have been dating a real human female.
.........And enjoying it!

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Poly

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Re: The Nymphs
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2015, 12:57:54 AM »
Nah, not waiting for sex . . . just the weekly installment!   :) 

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Re: The Nymphs - Chapter 8
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2015, 02:30:10 PM »
Here you go (sorry it took so long). ^-^

The Nymphs
by Doctor Szalinski
   


Chapter 8


 “You – Did – What?”

To say Alexis, as Zandra had predicted, was not happy was an understatement. She didn’t even need to be empathic; the tone in Alexis’ voice, the very fact that she was actually enunciating her thoughts spoke more than if she had simply shared her thoughts on the subject. The fact that she was doing so amongst most of the tribe wasn’t exactly making Zandra very comfortable either. The flat voice she used projected her stunned disbelief at the audacity of what Zandra had done. No, her tribe’s leader was Definitely - Not - Happy.
 
“It’s not as if I planned it, Alexis!” Zandra said in her defense. “I was cornered, literally! He had already seen me, and even if I had managed to escape…”
 
“…He would have gone back to his village and no one would have believed him; they don’t even think we exist. As far as they're concerned we're just a figment of their children’s imaginations, a bedtime tale.” She finished for her. “At least not without bringing back actual proof; like taking you with him. Or hadn’t that fact occurred to you?” Alexis stated matter-of-factly. “Or maybe you just thought you wouldn’t be able to escape a child that was casually sitting cross-legged on the ground over twelve body lengths away?” Zandra flinched at the verbal assault on her skills, but wisely made no attempt to counter them. Alexis gave a heavy sigh. “What exactly, if I may be so bold as to ask, were you thinking?”
 
Zandra took a deep breath and let it out. “I realize I may have jumped too soon. But his actions didn’t suggest hostility, only an eagerness to communicate. At the time it seemed the perfect opportunity to initiate contact.” She tried to explain, without it sounding too meager.  “If I had detected any hostility in his personality as I entered his mind then obviously I would have run. But all I felt was a genuine interest and a desire to make friends. In fact I felt no trace of hostility in his personality at all. And haven’t you yourself said that a child is the reflection of the people who have brought him up, as they not yet experienced enough to form their own beliefs and attitudes?”
 
"Don’t you dare quote me out of context!” Alexis snapped, and Zandra cringed at the reprimand. “Had it crossed you mind at all that he may have been hiding any hostile feelings from you?”
 
“He made absolutely no attempt to hide anything from me." Zandra said. "I don’t think he would have even have been able to if he wanted. As you surmised, As we surmised the Others do not have the ability to ‘hear’ as we do, not even in the slightest.” She explained. “I had to use my own mind both to send him my own thoughts and feelings as well as to read his. His mind was unable to transmit anything on its own. The utter amazement he felt when he became aware of my touch confirms that.” Zandra pointed out, her confidence building somewhat as she spoke. “That I was even able to contact him at all was serendipitous.”
 
“Serendipitous?” Asked Philo, who had been shaking his head ever since this had started; Zandra knew he liked her, and was probably trying to help in his own awkward way, but it was obvious even he was uncomfortable with what she had done. “How so? I am trying to understand, please believe me, but how is being able to ‘hear’ them in any way advantageous to us?”
 
“Well, haven’t we been trying to study them?” She said, realizing as she did so how weak that sounded, so she changed to something that they would be more likely to believe, at least. “And if you should decide to form an alliance, then being able to use mindspeak will greatly speed up understanding between us, they use a different language than we do, you know.”
 
But Alexis wasn’t sidetracked so easily. “And just how do you suppose we read their thoughts to learn about them without their knowledge? You already mentioned that – Levi, is it – was very much aware of your contact.”
 
“Yes he was, but I was trying to make a link.” Zandra countered. “Because they cannot instinctually use mindspeak, who’s to say you can’t read them without their knowledge?”
 
Alexis sighed, Zandra felt her communing with the others for a moment and tactfully decided to remain out of it. When they were done Alexia again turned toward her. “OK.” She said. “Since it seems you have essentially initiated the first contact, and from what you say they seem to be peaceful, you shall also be the one to meet with their leaders, assuming they have leaders, and suggest to them this alliance you believe in. Of course you may find you will need to convince them that they will benefit from it as well.” She added in a not too confident voice. A feeling that Zandra sensed she honestly believed.

“Also, after you leave on your mission, we shall immediately move to an undisclosed location, leaving no sign of where we have gone to nor that we were ever here in the first place.” Zandra’s mouth dropped, but through their link she also knew the reason and rationality of why, so she said nothing. “That way, should their intents prove not so benign after all, then at the least you will not have endangered the rest of us, as you and therefore they will have no idea of where we are.” Before anyone could say anything she held up her hand, then continued. “Since Philo here seems to share in your belief he will accompany you as well, consider him your ‘diplomatic partner’. Should you be successful, then return here and send us the news of your success. We will let you know where we are.”
 
Zandra nodded, but Alexis wasn’t finished yet. “Since you approached us with this, may I assume you have also made arrangements with your ‘boy friend’ to discuss a meeting with his people?”
 
“Yes.” She replied. The day after the new moon he and I are to meet again at the waterfall. There I am to tell him how it had gone with my own people and we will proceed from there.”
 
“Very well then.” Alexis concluded. “At least you had enough of your wits about you to choose a neutral location. Let him know of our willingness to discuss an allegiance, but you are to say nothing, do not even think anything about our plans here.”
 
"Thank you” Zandra bowed respectfully. She was both relieved that she was at least willing to try, as well as scared about how she would be able to pull this off, if she can pull it off, that is! “I hope I will not fail you and that this shall prove beneficial to all.”
 
“One more thing,” Zandra looked up at her again. “If your talks should go bad, if you do not or can not return after three days, if they decide to hold you captive, if anything at all goes wrong, do not expect us to attempt a rescue or even try and contact you; for the safety of all our people you will have to be shunned, forever.”
Heaven help me, I have been dating a real human female.
.........And enjoying it!

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Re: The Nymphs - Chapter 9
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2015, 10:29:55 PM »
The Nymphs
by Doctor Szalinski
   


Chapter 9


Levi couldn’t remember when it had taken so long for a mere fifteen days to pass. He was, as far as he could tell, able to keep his secret; there was no talk about Nymphs other than the occasional story to the toddlers by their parents or older siblings. He had certainly made no mention of them. Zandra hadn’t indicated what time of the day she wanted to meet him again, just at the cliff spring after the night of the new moon. So he took his best guess and timed it so he would get there a littler earlier than when they last met. He just hoped neither had to wait so long they would assume the other wasn’t going to show up!
 
Levi got some water bags, some snacks and gathered his new bow and some arrows, mainly so it would look like he was going out on a practice hunt, and headed out in a general direction more or less towards the Cliff Spring. There were a few people going on with various chores in the village, he waved at a few, they waved back and sent him wishes for a good hunt. Soon he left the boundaries of the village and headed into the woods. Although no one had shown any interest in following him, Levi took a few practice shots, at squirrels and such, just to make sure anyone who may still see him had no doubt that hunting was truly his intent; although he couldn’t for the life of him figure out why he should have such a guilty feeling.



Alexis' tribe had packed up their belongings and brushed away any sign of their having habited the cleft in the rock face. “I still believe you have acted rashly” Alexis said. “But, I can see the point of your argument and I always have; if I hadn’t I wouldn’t a risked good people to find out what we could about the Others.” She lowered her head “You are aware that one of us was almost caught while investigating the contents of one of their hunter’s packs, I assume?” Zandra nodded gravely. “Good. So I may also assume you will do everything to keep our people safe, even if it means losing all?”

Zandra swallowed the small lump of fear in her throat. She had been second, third and even fourth guessing the wisdom of what she had started by contacting that youth. As no one had come looking for her or her people she could only presume (hope!) that he had kept quiet as he had promised her, and that certainly weighed heavily on both her comfort as well as those of Alexis and the rest of her tribe. But there had been no such restrictions amongst her own people, and by the end of just a few days almost every tribe in the valley knew about what she had done and had been put on alert. Some had even taken it upon themselves to go into preemptive hiding rather than wait. She felt as if every eye and mind of her entire race had been scrutinizing her since she had first reported what she had done. If this worked, she could end up a hero of her people, if it didn’t, well she’d best not think about that. “You may assume that safely, Alexis. Should I be proven wrong, should I sense any threat from the Others I shall take any knowledge I have of my people to my grave.” And may I not have to wait long to do so either should I have to, she added, but only to herself.
 
“Good.” Alexis nodded. “Philo, are you ready?” She asked, and he nodded, nervously. They had already cut all mental contact with the rest of the tribe in preparation for their departure. On the appointed day of their return Alexis would listen for the Zandra’s or Philo’s mental call, but would send nothing until they heard all was good. Philo looked at Zandra with the most uncomfortable expression on his face – he had never been completely out of contact with the tribe before and he found it terribly unnerving. He felt Zandra’s gentle urging that it would be OK; she was still with him and that Levi was a good kid and all he knew about his people indicated that they were as well. They would all soon be back in touch again, but while it eased his worrying, it didn’t alleviate it. She bowed respectfully to her leader. Hoping her smile didn’t appear too weak she took Philo’s hand in hers and headed out to the waterfall. Behind her she could hear her people beginning their move to their undisclosed (even to them) location until they hear the hail.



Levi arrived at the spring, and again in order to appear as benign as he could, sat down cross legged near the small puddle at the base. Closing his eyes he tried to feel her, even thinking her name ‘out loud’ in his head, as if he could call her. But if she was there she had not yet decided to make contact. He hoped she would, that the rest of the Nymphs would let her. He so wanted to once again have that wondrous experience of another person in his head! He was just starting to worry that he had either missed her or she wouldn’t come at all when he saw a slight rustling in the tall dry grass on the other side of the puddle. As she emerged he once again felt her presence in his mind. Then his eyes widened when she saw that she wasn’t alone!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Philo didn’t emerge until after Zandra had initiated contact. When he saw that the Other was sitting calmly and making no move he walked out after her. He consulted as privately as he could with Zandra. Should he contact him as well? Could the Others really hear them?? She assured him they could and ‘motioned’ for him to wait while she re-initiated contact. Who was her friend? Levi wondered, and found out his name was Philo, and that he had been trying to court her before their meeting pretty much put a hold on her life. Again Zandra was amazed at just how well he could ‘hear’ her, she hadn’t intended to give him that much information, but he had heard it anyway. Levi apologized; he hadn’t meant to pry into her personal feelings. And he wouldn’t mind meeting her ‘boyfriend’ at all. He cringed at his use of the term boyfriend, how presumptuous of him. Zandra smiled it was OK, she understood, and urged Philo that it was OK to attempt contact, Levi wanted to get to know him.
 
Philo hesitated, then reached out and found the mind of the lad, raising his eyebrows as he did. Amazing. he related to Zandra he is so much like you! Almost at the same time she got a similar observation from Levi about Philo. They continued to share thoughts, each learning about the other. They were just about ready to start ‘discussing’ about how they should meet with the villagers when Philo suddenly interrupted their communication. Someone else is here! I thought you were the only one who knew about us, were you followed?! Levi turned around to see if or who was there.


 
“Wow! They’re real! They really are real!
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noquiexis

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Re: The Nymphs
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2015, 07:12:17 AM »
     "Busted!" Levi and the nymphs must both be wondering if he was in deep trouble. Hopefully this was a child who followed Levi out of curiosity. This serial reminds me of the cliffhangers in The Perils of Pauline. I am waiting on the edge of my seat for the next installment!

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Re: The Nymphs
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2015, 11:08:41 AM »
I have always liked stories or chapters of stories that leave one hanging. So naturally I tend to do the same in my own writings. I promise I won't leave you in "repose perimitered" too long this time.
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Re: The Nymphs
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2015, 09:52:54 PM »
Thank you for continuing!  I am enjoying this story very much.   :thumb:

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Re: The Nymphs - Chapter 10
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2015, 09:33:12 AM »
The Nymphs
by Doctor Szalinski
   


Chapter 10


She knew there was something going on with Levi. Something she just couldn’t put her finger on, but as far as she could tell it started sometime in the past few weeks. At first she thought some girl may have caught his fancy, he did sorta have the type of silly smile boys wore when they were smitten. However he wasn’t giving any of the girls any special attention that she could see, and he wasn’t sneaking out of the village any more so than he used to, so it couldn’t be any of the girls in any of the neighboring villages either. Yet the look on his face clearly said that he was harboring some very special secret, something that was giving him great joy. But as to what it was she couldn’t for the life of her figure out, and Levi wasn’t giving out any clues either. Whatever it was though, she was determined to find out.

So when he ventured out of the village again she followed him. She was careful to stay out of view, although she was almost caught once; but fortunately she was able to look as if she were walking elsewhere on some business and gave him a friendly wave as he left towards the woods. From that point on she stayed further back, keeping him just barely in sight. The women of the village weren’t expected to hunt, so like the other girls she wasn’t taught stealth. However she liked to pride herself with the thought that girls are instinctively stealthy anyway. Maybe she was right, because he never showed any sign he saw her.

She saw him act the hunter and even shoot some arrows, but at what she couldn’t see. However he never picked anything up other than his arrows, so either he was just playing a part or else he needed a lot more practice than he had shown at the village. It even looked like he was using the target tips, not the hunting ones, although she dare not get close enough to tell. Even if she wasn’t actually seen he might inadvertently mistake her for possible game. After a while he stopped ‘hunting’ and walked with more determination. It looked like he was headed toward the cliff spring. But he couldn’t be thirsty already, he had taken two full bags of water with him and she hadn’t seen him take but a swallow or two. And it was barely midday. Maybe he thought there may be more game there? But there was no place to hide there; it was all grass. Just how good a shot did he think he was? Maybe he was meeting some girl there. She followed, carefully.

As she approached the edge of the woods she hung back a bit in order to better conceal herself in their darkness. She saw him sitting there by the small pond where the water from the spring collected before wandering off on its meager course. But there was no pond anymore; it was too late in the year. Now it was just a puddle and most of the water just soaked into the sand. Levi made no motion to get any water, he just sat there. Was he eating lunch? His periodic motions didn’t give the appearance of eating, more like he was talking to someone, but there was no one there that she could see. Nor could she hear anything being said, and she was certainly near enough to at least hear voices if not discern actual words. She decided to creep closer.

Suddenly he sat upright, and looked around – directly at her; she’d been spotted. Oh well, I guess the game is up, she thought, and stood up. That’s when she saw them. Yes, them. He had actually been talking to two people, and she also realized why she hadn’t been able to see them before either as neither of them would have stood higher than her knee! Her jaw dropped, they were Nymphs! They had to be! She was so amazed she could barely get the words out.

“Wow! They’re real! They really are real!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Kassandra!” Levi cried. “What are you doing here?” Then he turned around and putting as much assurance as he could into his thoughts he told both of the Nymphs that it was OK, that she was OK, and to please please stay so he could talk with her! He got real scared when he saw them back to the edge of the grasses on the other side of the puddle, but they reassured him they would stay, so long as they deemed it was safe. Levi got up and went towards Kassandra.

“Kassi, listen to me, if you care at all for me please listen.” He begged. “Yes, they are Nymphs. Real. Live. Nymphs.” Fortunately she stood there and didn’t try and run, but as he reached her he grasped her upper arms anyway, forced her to look at him, as she kept glancing past to where Zandra and Philo were warily standing.

He dare not let her run back to their village - she would ruin everything! “The woman’s name is Zandra, I met her on the day I found the hawk. The man’s name is Philo. We are trying to arrange a meeting between their people and ours, but they’re still a little scared of us so don’t go running off and telling the villagers, do you understand? You must keep them secret until the time comes.”

Kassandra nodded numbly, then looked intently into Levi’s eyes. “But why you? Why now?” She asked. “They’ve been a part of our legends since before anyone can remember. Why haven’t they contacted us before?”

“Because they were scared.” Levi repeated, smiling. “I mean, how would you react if you knew there were people roaming around that were four or five times taller than you were?”

“I guess I’d be so terrified that I would do whatever I could to stay hidden.” She sighed with resignation. “OK. I get it. I won’t tell anyone. But I would still like to know how you got to be the lucky one, and since I am in on it now, I would like to stay too,” She looked past him to the barely visible Nymphs “if that’s OK with them.”

Levi relaxed, and turned his head in the direction of the two Nymphs, which he was glad to see had come back to their former spot by the puddle. As he saw them he knew they were alright with the deal. After all, they had come as a pair, why not a pair of Others as well? Turning back to Kassandra he said “It’s all right, they said you can stay.” Smiling again at the puzzled look on her face, he motioned her toward them. “C’mon over and introduce yourself.”

Kasandra looked at him as if he had gone loopy. They hadn’t said a single thing, how did he know it was OK? Then as she sat down next to him and faced them again Levi almost laughed aloud as a look of absolute astonishment came over her face.

Hello, Kassandra, it’s nice to meet you.
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Re: The Nymphs - Chapter 11
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2015, 11:52:11 AM »
The Nymphs
by Doctor Szalinski
   


Chapter 11


As they walked back toward the village, Kassandra couldn’t decide what she liked more, speaking to Philo ‘in her head’ as he sat upon her shoulder or the feel of Levi’s hand in hers as they walked. Had their unintended teaming up finally given him a reason to notice her? All she knew is that she finally understood that silly grin he had been trying to hide all this time; understood it completely, because she was now wearing that exact same smile!

Although having two Others showing up wasn’t planned the additional input proved serendipitous. They had ‘talked’ for over an hour, discussing how would be best to present themselves to the villagers. Finally they had decided the best way would be to just that: Simply present themselves, or rather have Levi and Kassandra do so. As that way they would not only be able to present the Nymphs as friends but also provide protection just in case something did go wrong. And both Nymphs knew now that that the two Others would do so with their very lives, if necessary.

She could feel his weight as Philo sat on Kassi’s right shoulder, her hair wrapped around him like a harness as he held on to it. There was no need for her to walk with any extra care, he assured her, he would easily be able to move with her, seeing as he knew exactly how she was going to move even as she did so. Kassi marveled at this link between herself and the Nymph. Well Nymphs actually, because Zandra was making her thoughts public as well.

And secretly she relished the assessment that had been given her about Levi: As Philo had commented about how much Levi and Zandra were alike, so did Zandra concerning Levi and her. What were the chances? She wondered. And actually being able to know in advance that two people were ‘made for each other’, how cool was that? That fact alone had convinced her that an allegiance between Man and Nymph had to succeed!

As his hair was not as long as Kassandra’s, Zandra didn’t sit on Levi’s shoulder. Instead she placed herself on the top of his pack with her legs wrapped around the strap and tucked down betwixt it and his shoulders. This easily held her firmly as she rocked in perfect synchronicity with the motions of his stride. This, she thought, was going very well. The sudden appearance of his friend had actually given even more evidence of the benign nature of Levi’s people. Neither Nymph had sensed any threat in her either; especially after a link had been formed. In fact both of the Others had become quite protective of herself and Philo, and neither Nymph even had to ask for this, it just came upon the Others naturally! Yes, this bode very well for their mission, if the rest of their people were like this she may have found the solution of her tribe’s diminishing numbers, and the possible salvation of her entire race!

We would never let anyone hurt you. came the warm assurance from both of the Others. Philo looked at Zandra and raised an eyebrow. They were so much more receptive to our thoughts than they had ever believed. she reminded him. Would they possibly be able to form actual Bonds? She heard him wonder. And just how strong would it be? That was something they would have to find out, eventually. First things first though. There, that must be their village. Zandra noted as the woods began to clear out they saw the small cluster of the structures – mostly split wood and thatch huts – came into view. Both nymphs braced themselves for whatever reaction the Others would have when they saw them.



“I don’t believe it!” Daniel gasped aloud, his mouth hanging open in amazement.

The ruckus they caused as they strode nonchalantly into the village carrying the two Nymphs was unforgettable. The other younglings were playing on the edge and saw them first. Daniel’s comment had alerted the twins Alex and Ali, and when they saw the Nymphs they screamed with joy and started jumping and dancing about “See? You seee? Told you! We told youuu!!” then commenced to run throughout the village repeatedly shouting, “They’re real!” “Levi and Kassi got Nymphs! They’ve got Nymphs!” “Real live Nymphs!!” And somehow they managed to alert the entire village yet still be back in time for Levi’s and Kassandra’s now grand entrance.

Somewhat unprepared for this degree of enthusiasm they held back, holding their hands out to prevent the amazed crowd from overwhelming the tiny ambassadors until the village elders were able to calm everyone.

“Well, I guess I, I mean we, were wrong about the Nymphs after all.” Daniel finally admitted; a tone of amazed respect in his voice. Apparently satisfied with his ultimate admission of defeat, the twins stopped tugging on his sleeves and stood there, eyes wide and filled with all the wonder that only children were capable of as Levi and Kassandra told the village elders why they had brought their tiny guests to the village.



Zandra and Philo used Kassandra and Levi as translators until they could converse in a proper ‘tribunal’ setting. There, after being forewarned by their guardians the two Nymphs formed a link with the astonished elders so the transfer of ideas could take place with complete understanding. Levi had to hide another smile at the looks that crossed their faces, forewarned or not. Inwardly he doubted he would ever tire of the reaction people had to the realization of suddenly being able to hear another person’s thoughts within their own head.

Although Zandra had been right in her assessment of the Other’s – Human's, she corrected herself – benign nature, their willingness to form an alliance still had to be won. While they had no trouble comprehending the Nymph’s need for protection in order to help stop their species’ diminishing population, they still had to be convinced that such a union would be mutually beneficial to all. This was even more important to the Nymphs, otherwise they would prove to be little more than pets, providing friendly companionship and little else.

Then Zandra hit on an idea. We have observed – yes, we have been covertly watching you for a while to be sure of our safety – that you restrict your hunting to the wooded areas. We surmise this was because you are too large to remain as well hidden in the grasses. Very well, tell us, how do you communicate with the others in your hunting party in order to coordinate it while still remaining hidden?

Solon looked at his wife Sophia and raised his eyebrows. “This ‘mind speak’ sure is useful in speeding up discussion.” He said, and then turned back to the Nymphs. “The truth is, all we have at the present are hand signals, and while they have proved to be rather effective the motion can still alert game. Are you proposing what I think you are? Of course you are.” He added, having already ‘heard’ the answer as he phrased it. “I’m going to have to get used to this.” He chuckled. “Yes, being able to ‘speak without talking’, especially over a distance would definitely have its advantages.”

Naturally the discussion itself was accomplished entirely using mindspeak due to the language difference. But Levi, Kassandra and the elders also spoke aloud for the benefit of others in the room. An audience wide link, were it even possible would be far too confusing with so many untrained minds all ‘speaking’ at once. “The other benefits your people have come to use this ‘mindspeak’ for also is appealing – just the idea of long range communication could prove to be a boon – just how far away can you speak to us, do you know?” Sophia asked, her voice soft and polite.

“With Humans?” Kassandra replied, giving a voice to Philo’s thoughts (as Levi did for Zandra) “That is anyone’s guess. Before Zandra had connected to Levi we were unaware that mindspeak with your people was even possible. As it is, you cannot contact us, yet. That may change in time as your minds become attuned to it, but for now we must both send and receive. How this will affect range we do not know. Amongst Nymphs verbal communication is possible for a distance of….” She paused a few moments as Philo had given her some information that required a little refiguring to equate to human scale. “…as best as I can figure from what Philo says, about two thousand paces. That’s our size, meaning humans, not the Nymphs.” She added. “Emotion, being much more basic, can be felt farther away. We can only hope the same will hold true between Nymph and Human, as humans do not have the ability.”

Solon and Sophia spoke softly with each other for a moment, and out of proper decorum the Nymphs didn’t ‘listen in’. Then they turned back towards their audience. “How do you” Sophia asked, her arm sweeping to indicate the rest of the adults in the room (Levi and Kassi being the only underage members there) feel about this? What are your opinions about, um, ‘joining forces’ with the Nymphs?”

After getting a pretty universal response of assent, Sophia turned back towards the dignitaries “Would it be possible to speak with a larger contingent of your people, perhaps if – yes you do have a  – with – Alexis? – As well?” She asked, interrupting herself as questions were simultaneously answered mentally as they were asked. However to the rest of the audience who had yet to experience a link it must have sounded strange, even comical at times.

“We believe so.” Levi spoke for Zandra. “I was sent here mainly to initiate contact, and then to bring back what I had learned to my people. They would base their decision on what knowledge I brought back.” Levi smiled as he ‘heard’ “I can say, considering what we now know about you, that it will be very likely we will talk.” After saying this he turned towards Zandra and gave her a feeling of intense excitement and happiness at her announcement.



Zandra and Philo had spent the night in the Human’s village, Zandra staying with Levi and Terrel, Philo with Kassandra and her family. Terrell positively beamed with pride at what his son had done. Now the two Nymphs were again astride their friends’ backs and were headed back to the cliff spring. But when they parted ways this time, it would be with the knowledge that when they met again it would very likely be as a people.

“Lad,” Solon said with his hands on Levi’s shoulders and an undeniable tone of pride in his voice. “I know not what you have borne here, but I cannot help but feel that people will look back on this as a significant turning point in our history.” Then, smiling, added softly “And I can understand your enthusiasm as well. That ‘link’ of theirs is truly amazing.”
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Poly

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Re: The Nymphs
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2015, 11:46:41 PM »
Very cool!

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Re: The Nymphs - Chapter 11
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2015, 12:17:08 PM »
 ^-^


The Nymphs
by Doctor Szalinski
   


Chapter 12


 We have been successful, All is good! Zandra and Philo hailed their people together. They had been dropped off at the waterfall and each people had gone their own way, happy in having achieved their goal. Now all they had to do was give what they had learned to their people, and they could arrange a meeting with the Others, that is, Humans. Even as Zandra received acknowledgement, she knew in her heart that a new day was dawning, for both of their peoples.

The two ‘dignitaries’ broadcasted their entire experience with everyone in their tribe using mindspeak, so all could experience it as they had, undiluted by the inadequacies of words.

Many of the Others, 'Human’ is what they call themselves, were amazed. they told the crowd. After all, up until now all we have been to them was a legend! But without exception all welcomed us; there were no hostile thoughts or feelings from any of them, they are a peaceful people, as we had hoped!

Then came the questions. No, Humans cannot use mindspeak, so it’s logical their minds never learned how to hide thoughts or feelings, of course they can't, they've never had to. So as soon as a thought, idea or emotion was conceived we could read it. No, we didn’t 'speak' to all of them at once, that would have been too confusing considering their lack of mental control, but we were open to everyone’s emotions the entire time we were there, and there were no ill or threatening feelings from any of them.

More questions. But do we have anything to offer them? Other than our becoming talking pets, that is? Well, yes of course we use mindspeak to coordinate our hunting parties and speak to the other tribes…oh, we see, that's right they aren’t able to communicate using mindspeak, but with us with them they could. Yes, we can see how they would see that as a boon.

Alexis 'spoke' directly to Zandra now: So they do wish to discuss an alliance. That is good. You have done well Zandra, I apologize for my earlier doubts. Word will go out to leaders of the other tribes in this valley. They will confer with their people, and those who want to join with the Oth – Human kind will contact us and we can then arrange a meeting with them. Dare I ask if you had tried to see if a permanent bonding could be formed with them? It would certainly be better than having to form temporary links every time. No? Zandra could feel relief from her, she wasn’t that impulsive, at least. Well, you probably will be the first. Assuming you found anyone with a mind like your own, that is.

Zandra didn’t tell her, but she had already found such a mind. Perhaps that fact may have even played a part in this from the very start. It couldn't have been mere chance that Levi and her just happened to meet, and she had decided to make contact rather than run, could it? And that Philo, who had found her to his liking, was also attracted to Kassandra, who it seemed was herself vying for Levi’s attentions? Gaia can be funny in that way sometimes. Were Humans also able to tell when they had found a compatible mate the same way they were? How young did they pair up anyway? She hadn’t thought to ask. Perhaps, if she and Levi did bond, assuming it was possible to that is, she would know. She certainly wasn’t going to push it, she wasn’t that headstrong! Besides, she should make Philo work a bit if he really wanted her, at least, she grinned inwardly.



Philo lopped off the top half of the tall grass that held the seed heads that were just now starting to ripen in the Plains. It had been almost a year exactly since he had heard the news about what had happened to Eros. Watches had been doubled; someone was always observing both the sky and the land for signs of danger. But it was still dangerous being out in the open like this. How would that change? Philo thought to himself, when the Humans were around? Would they even have to gather grain on their own? Obviously they could help the hunters, but would it still be necessary to gather fruit, vegetables and grain anymore? Humans were capable of harvesting and carrying so much more, and it didn’t really take a whole lot of skill to sneak up on a plant! How much would things change? And would all the changes be for the better? There was a saying about things that sounded too good!

One thing he was sure of, joining Zandra on their mission to the Man village had certainly done no harm to their 'relationship'; the fact that the Kassandra woman was not only a mental match for him, but was also attracted to Levi was just too serendipitous to be ignored. He hadn’t sensed anyone else in the village that he liked. Perhaps that may be one ‘mutually beneficial’ thing that he could personally take advantage of! Reaching up he lopped off another handful of grass heads idly. What was it that the Humans called it? ‘Wheat’? Shaking his head, he got his mind back to the job at hand, and placing the ‘wheat’ in his basket, he tried to keep his mind on the job as he lopped off another bundle. It was in the hands of the tribe leaders now.



A few days later the word came back from all the other tribes; they were agreeable with the idea of an alliance, but desired to wait and see how well it worked out with Alexis' tribe first before entering into it themselves. They would remain hidden, watching. If any liked how it was working, and if there was a man or woman that they found mentally compatible, then they would approach that person. Did you wish to attempt to Bond with the Man-child named Levi? Alexis wanted to know, And what about Philo? He says the girl (‘Kassandra’, was her name?) was the most compatible he found amongst them.

Zandra considered this awhile. Just how would an actual, permanent Bond, or for that matter the inability to form one, affect their allegiance with the Humans? Obviously they would be even more protective of us if we were mentally joined, but judging from their reaction at the tribunal they would probably be every bit as satisfied with a simple link. For them that alone was already a wondrous thing.

I will attempt a Bond with Levi when we meet again, if he is willing. She made her intent known to Alexis, but she would have to ask Philo if he also wished to make the attempt. We had said we would meet again at the waterfall tomorrow. We will tell them that the rest of our tribe will meet their people the following morning. Hopefully their people and ours will find enough in common for all.

Despite her confidence, Zandra’s heart was pounding.

Please let this work.
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.........And enjoying it!

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