Thoughts From Within

Characters: Ryath Oaks

Ryath sat in her bridge waiting for clearance to leave the Phoenix, and felt empty; it was as though all she had done over the last few months meant nothing. All she had gone through had no real meaning. Why?

Her trying times came after her run-in with the Centauri with Shadow tech in his head. It had somehow stimulated her telepathic abilities into life. From then she had no idea who, or what she was.

Before then she had known that Techno-mages were originally the slaves of the Shadows; until the Shadow war a thousand years ago when the Shadows were defeated, and the Mages fled, making a life for themselves. With each generation the Shadows have had less influence on their lives; except in the fact that they make and program the Tech.

And being a telepath meant that somewhere in her family history the Vorlons had played a part, manipulating the DNA. So she had become Darkness and Light for a time. Both battling over her body and mind for control. Now, now she knew she would always be darkness. Kim had had a hand in that, even if she didn’t know it. Kim had found the Vorlon part of her, and told it to take control. But the Shadow part wouldn’t go without a fight, and it eventually won.

Now, Ryath had the remains of Vorlon influence in her head; she could feel others emotions, could occasionally get an image from them. But Ryath wasn’t equipped to deal with the emotions of others, she wasn’t equipped to deal with her own! That was one area the teachings of the Techno-mages seriously lacked. Most of the time, it is only after the fact does she know for sure that the emotions she feels are hers or not. Dunstan being a prime case.

She had met him first when she was blind. She felt his compassion, even some sympathy for her. She knew those weren’t her emotions; all she felt at the time was anger and fear, and complete exhaustion. Then as he had tended to her, she had felt nothing from him but compassion. She had treated him with distrust and even threatened him, yet he still only felt the need to help her. She thought it had something to do with his past, but was changing her mind on that.

Eventually she had become too tired to fight him, and allowed his emotions to overwhelm her. Even so, her stubbornness put her into his arms; which embarrassed him. An emotion she later discovered wasn’t completely all his. She also felt his guilt, and shame at being alive. This was an emotion she struggled with. One thing Olyn had impressed upon her from the beginning of her training was that all life is precious, and do good where you can.

She hadn’t done any good for Dunstan so far; she must put that right!

She had told him to let it go. But at the time thought she meant the guilt and shame. As she thinks on it now, she might have meant drop the barriers.

After she had woken, she had found him in her bedroom, and felt peace with it. Once again there was embarrassment, but this time only from him. She had felt comfortable telling him about Peter, her brother. Even though the dark side of her saw a trap where one wasn’t. It had been his caring and honesty that had calmed her. It had been the programming in the Tech that sent her mad with pain in the corridor, and yet still he came to her aid. Even after she had broken his nose he didn’t leave her. He stood and watched, making sure she would have help getting to her ship.

She felt sick. She had been treated well by this man. Who in turn had been through his own hell and back. And she had started to send him back there again. She would make sure she didn’t complete the journey for him next time they met.

She thought of Darquin. He brought back memories of Galen, and how alike they are in some ways. She smiled. She felt nothing but peace within. Both these men were friends to her now. Darquin always was, she had just transferred her feelings for Galen onto him. Galen was because his heart was with another, and Ryath knew she couldn’t take her place.

She thought once more of Dunstan, and realised even as she thought of Darquin and Galen, he had not been far from her thoughts. She would have to find out more about this man. Would have to figure out if what she felt was residual emotions from him; but somehow she didn’t think it was.

Copyright (c) 2003 Niki Hipwood. All rights reserved.