The Light Behind the World
Chapter 29: Gathering

Copyright© 2010 by Sea-Life

That evening at home, I got Dad caught up to date on what was going to happen, and let both Mom and Dad know that I was continuing to develop new skills. I told Mom we might have to put her bread warmer in a museum some day, and then I lifted the salt shaker off the table and moved it in a little circle in the air above it to demonstrate what I meant.

We got a call from Cyrus at 8:30, to let us know Grandpa was coming in pretty much right on schedule, at 9:00. We decided to head out to the airport to meet them.

Grandpa and Cole looked no worse for the wear after their day in the air, and I did get to take a quick peek inside the Citation. In some ways it was not as impressive as the King Air. It was certainly faster, but far more effort had gone into making the King Air a luxury ride. The fact that I was now very close to having my private pilot's license had something to do with my perspective, I'm sure.

"Welcome to California," I said to Cole as I shook his hand. As we loaded their things into the van, I let Cole know that he had a patient to see tomorrow, but he would be seeing him at Grandma And Grandpa Carson's, so he was not going to have to make quite the house call I had originally anticipated. This seemed to relieve him greatly, to Grandpa A.J.'s amusement. Grandpa introduced me to Brian Conroy, who had taken Cyrus' place on Grandpa's staff. He was not quite the specimen that Cyrus was, but he had that same look about him that I saw in Cyrus when he was 'working'. With everyone greeted, we let them get on their way, it had been a long day after all, we were quickly headed for home and a good night's sleep.

I was awake at dawn, showered, dressed, made a pot of coffee and poured myself a cup. I filled a thermos with the rest of the pot. I had a quick and quiet breakfast, then I just sat for a little while, enjoying the quiet, and the cool morning air in the back yard while I finished my coffee. Finally, I stood and stretched and moved myself through a jump point to Meadow.

"Good Morning Davey." I heard from Construct a moment later. "Will Ginny be joining us for meditation this morning?"

"Its a little earlier than normal Construct, but let me check."

I reached out to with my senses and found Ginny. She was sitting at her own kitchen table in a bathrobe, drinking a cup of coffee.

<Ginny, can you hear me?> I thought to her.


<Jumping in to see you, okay?> I felt the agreement in her mind before she could say it, and I was there.

I had a warm, cloth-wrapped bundle of beautiful in my arms in a heartbeat, and a very satisfying kiss later, pulled back a little and thought at her

<Get dressed sweetie, we're meditating early this morning before we go to get Eru.> I jumped us into her room as I said it.

Ginny dressed quickly, slipping on a chamois shirt and wiggling into a pair of jeans. To describe the jeans as painted on didn't do them justice. After all, you could describe the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as painted on too, and both statements were a seriously criminal misrepresentation of the true glory they contained.

I jumped us to Meadow. Dare went on ahead to Taluat to await Eru's arrival. We wound up not spending any time in meditation, instead we spent the next hour just catching Ginny up on what had been happening while she was in Los Angeles. Finally I felt Dare's low throaty rumble echo in my mind.

"Eru is approaching his cabin. Its time for us to go.".

I moved Ginny, and I through to the porch of the cabin, just in time to see Eru turning the last corner of the trail.

"Good Morning Davey!" Eru said at the bottom of the steps. I translated for Ginny, as she had missed the most recent sessions, and had only a halting understanding of the most basic phrases in Taluatu.

"Good Morning Eru. I've brought someone else with me this morning to greet you. This is Ginny."

"Good Morning Eru. Its so nice to meet you."

"Good Morning Ginny. I always enjoy meeting beautiful young women."

"Ginny is..." I started.

"Davey, you do not need to explain Ginny further to me. I was young once and had a center to my universe. Her name was Madia."

Ginny giggled when I translated this. "I see why you like Eru so much Davey."

Eru entertained us briefly with the story of breakfast with his daughter Muri. The meal itself sounded like some sort of cornmeal batter or polenta that was fried and eaten with butter and fresh blackberry preserves. The entertaining part was Eru's description of Muri's demands for his behavior during his "little trip". It sounded like a mother sending her child off to camp for the first time. When I asked Eru if she had sewn name tags into all his clothing he started laughing so hard he had to sit on the steps to recover. Pearl flew down at that point and landed on the railing next to him and squawked

"Laughter is magic. Laughter is light!
Laughter keeps the monsters away at night."

This made us all chuckle a little, especially when Eru recovered enough to say it was part of an old nursery rhyme Taluat mothers had been reciting to their children at bedtime for as long as anyone could remember.

"This seems a good start to the day, and to the adventure I have agreed to undertake. Perhaps it is time for it to begin?" Eru added, once we had all recovered.

"Yes, it is time." I said, and reaching out, I moved us all through to Meadow.

I let the experience sink in for a moment, giving time for the new scenery to register.

"We call this world Meadow. It appears to be uninhabited, or at least this portion of it. We have detected no electronic communications of any kind, nor any signs of habitation by anything but wild animals. We use it as a staging area of sorts because it is the first world I was able to move myself to. Construct has a story to tell which explains much. Before he tells that story, there is a morning ritual of meditation which Ginny, Construct and I have been following recently which we have delayed this morning. During this meditation we spend time seeking each others thoughts and memories. It was in this way that I learned to speak Taluatu very quickly."

"And learned to speak it very well Davey, very well indeed. There is only the slightest trace of an accent, and mostly it is a tendency to speak in too formal a manner. Not surprising if you gained your knowledge from me, as I am constantly accused of speaking with too much of the old, formal ways myself."

We sat then, under a picnic canopy that we had brought through and erected, mostly to have a sense of location, more than a need for shelter. We had seen little rain here so far, though today's sky seemed to threaten it. I closed my eyes and with that newly found sensitivity, reached out, folding Ginny's thoughts warmly into Dare's and mine. I felt the silvery thread of Construct as his thoughts joined ours. When I reached then to Eru, I was surprised and a little awed at the smooth, well ordered pool into which it seemed I dived. I heard with my mind's ear the slight rustle of wings, and knew that Pearl too was with us. Wrapped together, we thought as one for a little while, until a stray thought, or an itch, or a moment's uncertainty brought us, breathlessly apart into our own minds again.

"Wow! That was new!!" Ginny uttered.

"Yes, it was!" Eru said, "I have heard that this was something the Spirit Masters could do, but never imagined I would be a part of such."

I tilted my head for a second. Ginny and Eru had understood each other perfectly.

"Ginny, can you say something in Taluatu?" I asked. She opened her mouth, but all that came out was a frustrated squeak. When I asked Eru to say something in English, he was equally frustrated by his failure.

"This matches the experience that Construct and I had. The mind learns how to understand before the body's muscles learn how to make the sounds. We too were able to understand before we could speak Taluatu," there was agreement amongst us that this made sense.

I found the thermos that I had brought that morning, in the excitement of the day it had sat untouched. I found a package of disposable cups in the pile of odds and ends we had in the Argo's trailer and poured Ginny and Eru a cup, filling the thermos cap for myself.

"This is coffee Eru, I do not know if you will have an equivalent on your world, but its a stimulating beverage that can take some getting used to. Ginny is already wishing she had milk and sugar to add to hers."

Eru inhaled the smell rising from the cup and exclaimed "Bahc! Thank the Gods, I assumed I would have to do without my bahc while I was here. We companionably sat and sipped our bahc for a little while. Finally I looked at Construct as I spoke to Eru.

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