Hooman Probe II: Salvation – New Fiction Writing by C. C. Brower
The sentient wolf-pack that had saved her when she crash-landed back on Earth was being torn apart by internal power-struggle, and a motley feral wolf pack invading its secret valley – to kill everyone in it as revenge.
I saw Teacher laid out on her side, panting heavy and rapid. As if asleep, but it was the Probe effects.
The Female hunters and cubs were wary of stepping into the circle.
But I knew something needed to be done. So I rose and went to Teacher, kneeling by her side. I put one hand on Teacher’s chest and found her heart was racing. The other hand I pushed into the thick fur around the neck, until I felt the back of her head where the neck joined it.
I closed my eyes and bowed my own head.
Teacher’s dreams became mine.
– – – –
It was a swirling mixture of dreams. All nightmares I had seen while Teacher slept before. But now, they were just the fast clips of being caught or captured or shot. And each time there was a hooman ending that life. One after another, over and over. Teacher was dying again and again at some hooman’s hands.
I listened to Teacher’s heart beat and made my own match it. Then I calmed my own breathing and so slowed my own heart, and Teacher’s heart matched it. The clips started to run in stop-motion. One clip cut to the length of a heart beat. And then only a single image for each clip. Finally, I saw Teacher in the white space, sitting again in front of me, eyes closed and the images flashing between us.
I remembered my Grandmother’s mental tricks she had taught me on the Moon colony. Of creating an imaginary umbrella to ward off bad thoughts.
Waving my hands in front of me, I play-acted as if I had an invisible umbrella in my hand. And slid one hand up the shaft to find the sliding connection while the other held the handle. Making the fabric white and the details visible, the umbrella became as real as the pictures. I inserted the white dome to my left between us, so that I interrupted the pictures from flowing by. I then moved forward on my knees so that the umbrella was protecting both me and Teacher.
The pictures turned to rain.
Teacher opened her eyes and looked over at me. “Nice weather we’re having, isn’t it?” she sent with her mind.
I smiled at this. “How can I help you today? You’ve helped me so much, but I don’t want to leave you here in the Probe again,” I sent in reply.
“Ah, the Probe. Yes, I’d become lost in my thoughts,” Teacher returned.
“Did I give you helpful memories?” I asked.
“Maybe a bit too much. Or it reminded me of too many experiences with hoomans that did not go well,” sent Teacher. “Those became my nightmares.”
I sent to her, “I will go with you through these dreams. And I can speak for you or help you with the hooman talking you want to have.”
Teacher smiled again, and our beating hearts slowed to a pace of deep sleep…