Approx. 4200 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
written by SJ
Lana Lyu LaFong stood staring at two Eldar Jetbikes. Back a little further was a Vyper, mounting a recently-fired starcannon, the pilot standing between the two Jetbikes, all of them looking at her. She was so shocked, she couldn’t move. No Terran had ever been this close to an Eldar before.
In the ice cave, she had fallen and hit her head fairly hard. As her adrenaline began to wear off, she staggered and fell down into the shallow snow. The standing Eldar quickly moved forward and picked her up with both arms, cradling her, then quickly walked back to his Vyper and gently placed her in a place behind the seat, where he deftly entered and took his seat, then closed the cockpit.
Behind the pilot’s seat, there was a place for an extra rider; as Lana sat back comfortably, it felt like she was surrounded by some kind of energy field, holding her still. For some reason she didn’t feel like a prisoner. When the Eldar vehicles sped off, she fell peacefully to sleep.
As Lana slowly awoke, she felt warm and comfortable. She couldn’t see clearly yet, and didn’t seem to care. Someone was massaging her temples, and it felt nice. She had had head injuries before; awaking usually meant grogginess and/or a headache. She felt neither.
The lighting around her was soft and gentle. When her eyes began to focus, she saw a man’s face looking down at her from behind, smiling, obviously the person massaging her temples. Then she recognized him--an Eldar! And she began to remember...the Chaos creatures, the cave, the Jetbikes and the Vyper, and...
She wanted to jump off the table, but couldn’t find in within herself to do so, the place she lay was so comfortable. Also, someone seemed to have a hand on her stomach, massaging, his soft hands gently brushing up against her breast, between them, then against the other breast, then down across her abdomen. When she lifted her head, at first she thought she was naked, then realized she had panties on, but that was all.
All of a sudden a feeling of sexual uncomfortableness came over her as her eyes widened, her mouth open. The Eldar males touching her were young and good-looking, smiling at her with tight clothing, slender bodies, and light-colored hair. The Eldar behind her began rubbing her shoulders and arms, while the second one rubbed his hands down across her hips and onto her legs.
Then someone appeared off to her right, stepping gracefully, not hardly making a sound. Lana turned, not changing her wide-eyed, open mouth, expression.
The Eldar woman looked young, but mature. She had long, ash brown hair, delicate eyebrows, and a thin, kindly, face. She wore a vivid-blue, robe-like, dress that had yellow, rune-like, designs on the top, and thin white designs on the bottom, where it graced the floor.
She stopped one step away from Lana’s table, and slowly turned her head to one side, seemingly confused. When the Eldar male in front of her began rubbing both hands up her legs, then across her lower abdomen, she gasped slightly, gasping again as he continued across her stomach, against her breasts, then back down along her sides. Her eyes became wider as she lay feeling paralyzed, not knowing what to do.
Then the woman spoke, smiling, saying her words slowly and precisely, using Terran Galactic Standard. “You don’t seem to be enjoying your healing hands.”
Lana answered, but her words came out garbled, not knowing what to say.
The woman then spoke to the two men in Eldar, the tone of voice sounding like she was thanking them as they bowed slightly and left.
Lana felt relieved as she sat up, covering her breasts, looking up at the woman, a timid look on her face.
“Oh, I see, you are a little shy.” The woman seemed to understand. She continued. “You had some wounds on your head and face. They are gone now. I am happy to see our healing hands worked as well for you as they would for us.” She smiled. “This will be something I can bring to the Counsel to show them we are all alike as living beings in the Universe.”
She had a look of concern as she spoke again, holding out her hand in the direction where the two men had gone. “Our Healers said you had a wound here as well,” she pointed at her own abdomen, the very same place where Lana had been shot during the assault at the Cornucopia Marine base. “They said it has not healed.”
When Lana didn’t seem to understand, the Eldar woman explained. “When we are wounded, we suffer an injury to our physical and spiritual self. To heal one but not the other, would still leave a wound unhealed. I hope one day you can find a way for this wound to heal.”
Lana suddenly understood what the Eldar woman was talking about; she had not gotten over Annie’s death, and didn’t know if she ever would. But, the fact that this woman understood, and seemed to actually care, made her begin to feel comfortable in such an overwhelmingly strange place. She slowly let herself relax, letting her hands drop by her side.
The Eldar woman smiled at seeing Lana being more at ease. Then she introduced herself: “My name is, Ar’sharel. May I ask your name?”
The Space Marine delayed, then answered formally. “LaFong. My name is Officer LaFong.”
Ar’sharel remained smiling. “Shirley you have a less formal name?”
“Lana. My first name is, Lana.” She smiled back.
The woman smiled brighter. “Lana. I am a member of the Alaitoc Farseer Counsel. I would like to ask if you would speak with us for awhile?”
Lana was shocked.“Me? You want to speak to me?”
“If you would, please?”
“But, I’m not a diplomat...”
“I know.” Ar’sharel looked happy. “That’s a good thing.”
Lana waited, not knowing what to say.
Then Ar’sharel moved away and toward a nearby cabinet, opening the door. Inside was Lana’s clothes and Scout soft armor. “Please. Get dressed. We washed and cleaned them for you.” She gave Lana a clever look. “As our Healers washed and cleaned you.”
Lana looked surprised, then put on that shy smile of hers. “Uh, thanks.” Then she sighed, thinking they had gone through too much trouble for her. “I must’ve been very dirty.”
“They were happy to do it.” She kept her clever smile.
Her eyes got a little wider, then she smiled shyly again, realizing she must’ve been washed while she was unconscious.
“Oh, Lana.” Ar’sharel smiled brighter. “I know I am going to like you. My best friend, Te’lyn is also shy. I think shy people are the most friendliest, kindest, people in the Universe.” She leaned over to the cabinet and picked up a silvery robe with blue trim, handing it to Lana. “This is made from one of our softest fabrics. I would like you to have it. Come. Put on your clothes. You may wear the robe to the Counsel if you wish. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” The Eldar woman slowly left.
Lana put on the rest of her clothing, fatigue pants, and boots. She was thinking about the robe, but decided against it. That’s when Ar’sharel returned.
With her was another Eldar woman dressed similar to her, with shorter, lighter, hair..
Ar’sharel introduced her: “This is Te’lyn. She wanted very so much to meet you.”
The shorter woman smiled shyly, composed herself, then spoke, her speech struggling to say the words correctly. “I am veery glad to meet you, Lana.”
“I’m very glad to meet you, too.” Lana tried smiling her best. “Ar’sharel says you are her best friend.”
At Lana’s second sentence Te’lyn looked confused.
“She is still learning your language.” Ar’sharel mentioned, then looked at the shorter woman and translated what Lana had said.
Then Ar’sharel spoke sincerely, referring to Te’lyn. “I think she is the best Farseer of all the Eldar.” She smiled. “But, she would disagree.”
Te’lyn said something to the taller woman, then left.
Lana thought a second. “What is it the Farseer Counsel wants me to talk to them about?
Ar’sharel began walking as Lana followed along side, answering. “Just whatever is on your mind.” She stopped. “You do not have to tell us anything about your military. Does this set your mind at ease?”
They began walking again as Lana answered frankly. “Actually, I wasn’t thinking about that.” She looked up at the taller woman. “I assume you already guessed I was a Space Marine by my clothing.”
“Yes, those are things we can see from the outside.” Ar’sharel turned down a corridor. “We would like to know about you, who you are, inside. But, you may talk about anything you wish.”
“I wouldn’t know what to say. Nobody’s ever met an Eldar before...until now.”
“Do you think your people fear us?”
“I don’t know.” Lana sighed. “I don’t think so. It’s just our leadership. I think they fear you can read their minds...because they believe you to be telepathic. Some think you might able to control our minds.”
Ar’sharel stopped, then spoke as honestly as she could. “We are telepathic, yes. Those like me of the Farseer Counsel are usually the MOST telepathic.” She smiled. “But we cannot read your minds. Your people are not telepathic. We cannot read the mind of a non-telepath. It would be like trying to listen to the words of someone that has no ability to speak. And we cannot, nor, even if we could, ever try to control someone's mind. I hope this information will put your leadership more at ease with us.”
They started walking again, and the taller woman began leading Lana into another room, like a large, spacious, balcony overlooking part of the Eldar city. “I’ll try to tell them that. But, I don’t know if they’ll listen to me.”
“I have trouble getting others in our leadership to listen to me as well.” Ar’sharel understood.
The room had a number of other Eldar men and women dressed similar to Ar’sharel, some sitting, others standing, all watching them as they entered. Lana quickly recognized Te’lyn sitting on a small chair in the corner of the room.
Ar’sharel announced Lana’s presence to the others, then turned to announce herself and the others to Lana. “We are the Farseer Counsel of the Alaitoc Eldar world. We are glad you can join us.”
The others bowed slightly, then Lana was led to a chair, where she sat down. Ar’sharel stood and looked at the others in the room, pacing, almost like she was giving a speech...only she said nothing.
Te’lyn got up and joined them, but stood a little distant from the others.
Lana remained in her chair, but felt uncomfortable, the feeling rising little by little. It was like being in a noisy room, everyone talking around her, not understanding what they were saying. But, the room was quiet, no one saying anything.
The Eldar in the room began facing each other as the silent noise continued. Lana started not to feel well. Eventually, she looked down and took a deep breath to feel better, which worked a little. When she looked up, Te’lyn was looking at her. When they made eye contact, Te’lyn quickly turned away and faced Ar’sharel, then pointed at Lana, which caused Ar’sharel to look, staring curiously, intently focusing.
Lana was unconsciously frowning slightly, trying to ignore the silent noise. Ar’sharel continued to look at Lana, like someone making a discovery.
Then she turned to the others, suddenly speaking to them in Eldar, like she was asking them to do something, imploring. Slowly the silent noise died down, and Lana began to feel better. Ar’sharel looked at Te’lyn and smiled, like she had just given the group a great gift, then turned to face Lana, stepping closer.
When the silent noise rose again in Lana’s head, Ar’sharel glanced over her shoulder to each side, and it was gone. As she stared at Lana, it was like she didn’t know what to do, trying to think of something, then she smiled, acting like she had just said something.
Lana stared back, not understanding, not knowing what was happening. Ar’sharel then seemed to think of something else, then her smile changed, becoming a smile like someone would give to a small child.
Lana stared back. She could’ve swore she understood something, like someone saying a simple “hello.” But she didn’t know what to do, or how to do it.
Ar’sharel then tried again, her mannerism more imploring.
“Hello.” Lana understood it again, responding automatically, like a child would, returning the “hello.”
But, neither woman spoke a word.
Ar’sharel gasped as in great wonder, stepping back. It was as if she was trying to control herself, hold back deep emotion as she turned to the others in the room.
Lana frowned as the silent noise rose again. She looked and saw Te’lyn, who had her hand over her mouth.
Ar’sharel began speaking to the others in Eldar, and the silent noise diminished once again. The others then began whispering to each other using language this time, some of them showing the same wonder as Ar’sharel had earlier.
When the Farseer faced Lana again, she wiped a tear from her eye. She spoke, “Lana, Lana,” as if she was trying to saying something.
Then Lana heard something in her head, not a language, but a thought, bursting in her mind, “do-you-understand-me?”
She responded like before, with a “yes,” not consciously, and without speaking a word.
It was like the others in the room became immersed with revelation.
“Oh, Lana, oh, Lana.” Ar’sharel was overcome with emotion, “you are telepathic, Lana.” She smiled brightly. “Did you know your are telepathic?”
The news was a surprise to her, even though she knew she must’ve done, or said, or thought, something. “Uh...no. I didn’t know. I don’t know--”
Lana spotted Te’yln with tears in her eyes, then as she ran from the room.
She looked back at Ar’sharel. “What’s wrong with Te’lyn? Is she alright?”
“Imagine, Lana.” Ar’sharel began explaining. “A child growing up in a world where no one ever spoke to her. When this child became an adult, would she ever be able to use the gift of communication with words?”
Lana thought, then answered. “No. No, I guess they wouldn’t.”
And now yourself, given the gift of telepathic communication. But, no one ever spoke to you, and the gift was lost. How very sad.” She sighed as she looked at the door Te’lyn ran though. “She grieves for you.”
“I’m sorry,” Lana truly was. She then explained, “but, how can I miss something I never knew I had?”
“I know, Lana. Te’lyn will be comforted by those words.”
“What’s going to happen now?” Lana wondered.
“The news that we found a telepathic Terran will shake the Counsels of the other Eldar worlds.” The Farseer seemed to hope for a brighter future. “The main reason the Eldar have not spoken to the Terrans is because of mistrust. They believe a race without telepathy would be unrestricted in their lies to each other. And if they would lie to each other, how is it we could trust them not to lie to us.”
“I don’t know what I can do about that.” Lana said, then thought a second, asking, “am I hearing an echo?”
Ar’sharel laughed, then explained. “Yes, you might perceive it that way. As you and I speak, I am translating by telepathy what we are saying to the other Counsel members. Does it bother you?”
“No. It’s alright.”
Next the Farseer translated a few questions from the other members of the Counsel: There was a question about Terran government organizations, which she simply stated there was Federal, Corporate, and Planetary. As for Terran trade, she just said businesses manufactured and sold stuff, hopefully trying to make a profit. When she tried to tell them she didn’t think she explained either one very well, they seemed to understand. When she got a question about family, she hesitated. It looked like Ar’sharel was about to tell her it was okay not to answer, then Lana simply said her family had all died when she was very young, and it would be better to ask someone else if they wanted to know more about a normal Terran family.
At that point if was as if the Counsel fell silent, almost like they were in morning. Eventually, Ar’sharel looked at her sympathetically; after a sigh, she spoke. “We of the Counsel are sorry.”
“It’s okay.” Lana tied to smile. “I have friends in the military; I think of them as my family. There are these two big Marines...they kind of adopted me.” She shrugged and smiled.
Ar’sharel spoke frankly. “We are happy to hear how you have coped with your loss, and how the others of your race have endeavored to help you.”
When Lana continued to smile, Ar’sharel seemed to have another question, thinking about how Lana acted when she was being given healing hands. She thought a few seconds, trying to word her question carefully, eventually just asking. “How is it that Terrans have sex? I’m sorry. Let me explain. The most simplest and most automatic form of telepathic communication is when we have sex, making known to our partner our most secret desires quickly and easily.” She smiled, waiting...
Lana sighed shyly, then tried to explain. “Well...we basically talk and use body language.” She thought of something. “And when we’re young, we learn how to do this in school...in sex education.”
“How interesting.” Ar’sharel remained intrigued, as did a couple others as they listened carefully. “It would be almost like a mystery unfolding together, in passion and love.”
The others seemed to agree.
Lana rolled her eyes and smiled shyly again.
When one of them asked her if the Terran leadership had any questions about the Eldar, she told them, at first, she didn’t know, then she remembered something Taliaferro had told her, about what Yarrick said. “One of our commanders tried to say that you were in league with the Tyranids, that you sent them to the Thanatos solar system.”
Ar’sharel looked confused, then mentioned a name in Eldar, a word she didn’t understand. Then she asked Lana. “Are you talking about the life forms on Ly’riax, the ones that may have the appearance of big insects?”
“Yeah, the Tyranids.”
“Ah, I see. You call them, Tyr-a-nids?”
“Yes. But we can’t communicate with them. You probably can’t either, right?
She began explaining. “The Queen and other high level members of the Tyranids can communicate by telepathy. We have spoken to them.”
“You have?” Lana was surprised.
Ar’sharel continued. “It is hard to explain. It is like the Tyranids are speaking a completely different telepathic language. We can communicate with them, but only in the most simplest way.” She smiled. “They have always been most amiable. In the past, we have told them things like, ‘we are here, on this world, or in this star system’, and then, they tell us, ‘we’ll go here.’” Then, she seemed to remember something. “Oh...” She frowned sadly. “I remember long ago, a conversation with them. They mentioned the star system you call, Thanatos. We only told them, we are not there.” She sighed. “They must’ve of took it to mean it was okay to go there. I am sorry. I hope you have not had any conflict with them.”
“Uh, no.” Lana assured. “I mean, we’re kind of afraid of them. Right now, they are on Thanatos-5. We’ve had no trouble with them...as far as I know.”
“I hope you can get along with them peacefully. They’ve told us about you. They called you the ‘Silent Ones.’ Ar’sharel seemed truly concerned. “They say you will not answer them. Of course, you can’t. You are not telepathic. If I can ever convince the Counsels to have better communication with your people, maybe we can speak to them on your behalf.”
“That would be great. I’ll mention that to my leadership, but, you know, my word may not be very important to them.” Lana sighed, then continued. “Right now they’re worried about what you will think of the Chaos spaceships.” She thought of something. “If Chaos attacks you, well, they’re afraid you might blame us. So, they’re concerned.”
Ar’sharel listen carefully, thought, then spoke. “I think you are taking about the Dark Terrans. The two spaceships that have the aura of the WARP.” She smiled. “No, Lana. We understand. None of us would blame you for what the Dark Terrans do.”
“Really? I’ll tell them that.”
She smiled, saying, “we understand,” then frowned sightly, “more than you can know.”
When Lana was asked were the Terrans were planning on exploring, she wasn’t able to answer them; she simply didn’t know. Then she started mentioning the Centaurus solar systems, where the ruins of an ancient civilization was found. As she did, she was led over to a holographic star chart. Ar’sharel seemed concerned, then became more so when the solar system locations were confirmed, five of them.
Ar’sharel seemed very sincerely concerned, almost afraid. “Lana, you must tell your people to leave those worlds. Those planets are...” She searched for a word, then came up with, “haunted.”
“That is the only Terran word we have for them. There might be great danger. They are the haunted worlds.” She shook her head. “We never go there. No one should ever go there.”
Lana didn’t know what to say, but mentioned only what she knew so far. “I was told they are dead worlds. I think there are researchers studying the ruins on Sol6 1Centaurus right now. They’ve never reported any danger, though.”
“Please, Lana. Tell them to leave. I don’t know how to explain it to you other than to say--those worlds are haunted.”
“Okay...I’ll tell them.” She shrugged. “But, I don’t know if they’ll listen to me.”
Eventually, it seemed like the meeting was ending, at least for Lana. Ar’sharel spoke, sincerely: “I want to thank you so very much for being with us, Lana. I hope we can enlighten the members of the other Farseer Counsels so that one day Eldar and Terrans can be friends."
Lana looked back at Ar'sharel, not knowing what to say.
“But, I fear we will all have to be patient.” The Farseer concluded.
Lana waited for more...
Then Ar’sharel asked, “are there any other concerns you think your leadership might have with us?”
The Terran woman shook her head, then thought of something. “I hope this won’t sound silly, but, you are called Farseers. You can’t see into the future, or anything, can you?”
Ar’sharel smiled. “Yes, all Farseers have that gift.”
Lana’s eyebrows popped up.
She continued smiling, then tried to explain. “But, it is not what you think. If we see something in the future, a disaster, let’s say, how is it we can use our vision to stop it? How would we know if it were the actions we take to prevent it, would be what causes it in the first place?”
Lana seemed to understand.
She continued. “If we have a vision, as soon as we start to think of ways to alter it, the vision is no longer valid.” She smiled. “You see the dilemma?”
Lana nodded, yes.
But, Ar’sharel continued. “And if the events of the vision are ordained by the Universe, what right do we have to change them?”
“So, your visions are useless? You can’t do anything?”
“I didn’t say that.” The Farseer explained, then proposed an enigma. “Tell me. How is it we can do something about a vision, yet not do anything at all?”
“I don’t know.” Lana pondered. “I wouldn’t have any idea.”
“That is the dilemma of being a Farseer.” She stared at Lana closely. “I saw you. And I did nothing. Yet, here you are.”
Lana smiled, thinking she understood just a little.
“Please, go get the rest of your clothes and equipment.” Ar’sharel seemed sad to see Lana go. “Wait there. A Jetbike pilot will come and take you back. I want to return you quickly. Your friends must be very worried about you. Tell them I’m sorry for taking you.”
As Lana turned to leave, she heard something in her head, “good bye, Lana.”
She stopped then turned, realizing she had just returned the goodby automatically, and smiled.
Earlier, Lana had been taught a couple simple Eldar words.
Ar’sharel had to then say “goodby” and “thank you” in Eldar.
Lana then said them in return before turning to leave.