Chapter 3 New Directions

Queensland, Australia
Thursday, May 6, 2004
 
“I never heard of New Oz.  Why are you keeping it secret?”  Mor had read everything he could about the Teams and the worlds that they discovered and explored.  He had planned to leave home and try to join one of the California teams when he had finished high school.  Not having a Life-Mate was the only thing that he had had no idea how to overcome.  Now, he found himself the Life-Mate to one of the original Team members and planning to set up a new Team.
“Because of the location.”  Less smiled at the confusion on Mor’s face at her answer.  “It is located inside the Qoof Empire.  We do not want a Qoof ship showing up some day and finding out about the windows.  So, we do not use windows to go back and forth to New Oz.  That is why we just taught you and Sally how to step between worlds.
The shuttle landed in front of the building on the top of Rainbow Mountain.  “Rainbow Mountain was the site of the first Macphater mine.”  Willy Maclaren, Robert’s oldest brother, told Mor and Sally.  “When they told us that we needed to place a window at the top and tunnel up to the surface of the planet, some thought they were crazy, but they convinced mom so we dug to the surface.  It was a little over three hundred and fifty meters.  The hardest part was figuring out how to move the drill and explosives up to the work face after we cleared the debris.  Tommy Clarke suggested using a flyer’s anti-gravity lift to rise up the shaft.  After that the hardest part was keeping the debris from going down the mountain.”
“Why?  There is nothing there to damage.”  Mor looked down the slope.
“The ore was some of the richest that we ever found.  It paid for the work ten times over.  Wait until you see the mine on New Oz.”
 
Team Headquarters
New Oz
Thursday, May 6, 2004
The over two hundred people in the room were almost evenly divided among the five species of the Hand.  At one of the two tables at the front of the room, the Three-Fold Life-Mates sat.  At the other, JJ’s parents and Jevron sat along with representatives of the other three species.
That is Jevron with your parents.  Sally had recognized Jevron, who was the first Kin she had ever met.  Who are the others?
They are the senior representatives of the Federation of the Hand.  When the full council is not meeting, they make decision.  Mom does not usually participate since she is so busy.
 
JJ and Less led their Life-Mates to the representatives table.  They did a small bow to the representatives, then JJ realized that they had not mentioned this to their Life-Mates.  We honor the other species of the Hand by our bow to their representatives.
Sally and Mor followed their example and bowed as their Life-Mates introduced them.  We did not bow to the Three-Fold Life-Mates.  Sally questioned JJ.
We are not bowing to them as individuals but as representatives of their species.  When Jevron was with us before he was not there as the representative of the Kin, so we did not need to bow to him.  Also only Team members do this.  Claire came up with the idea.  It emphasizes that the Teams are of the Hand but not the leaders.  The Three-Fold Life-Mates lead the Teams but they represent only themselves.  They do communicate with the Group Mind of the Hand but that was so we could communicate with the Group Mind.  Now we also will help there.
 
It is true that you can communicate with the Group Mind.  O-dof wondered at the change from only the Three-Fold Life-Mates being able to communicate directly with the Group Mind.  He and his Life-Mate O-dofi were the Glazen representatives.  Do you know why that has changed?
 
We are to form a Team and we will need to be able to communicate with the Group Mind.  I got the impression that we would learn why when the Group Mind was ready.  JJ tells them.
 
Therefore, you will be operating independently of the Three-Fold Life-Mates.  Admiral Rising Wind, the representative of the Clar, states.
The Group Mind said that we were not the only ones.  Sally added.
That is something that I have never liked about how information came to us when everything started five years ago.  Fllaaazziii along with her Life-Mate Jaaiiff were the Swizz representatives.
I have had to deal with dreams through a number of lives.  O-dof and O-dofi have had to deal with it far longer.  Only Mor had noticed Alice approach the table.  To be honest, I am guilty of not full telling others everything from the start.  Partly it was because I was unsure and partly it was that I did not feel that they were ready for the information.  She shook her head.  I hope it is the latter not the former reason that the Group Mind does not tell us things upfront.
Alice, the Group Mind has only been in existence the last five years.  O-dofi reminded her.  It is the higher being that gives us information through our dreams.  The Group Mind is as young as your body.  She turned to Sally.  I understand that you have brought a new ability to the Teams.  Can you teach us?
 
We will do that later in the meeting.  Robert then addressed everyone in the room.  If you would take a seat, we will start.  We have a lot to cover.
 
Claire started the meeting.  Thank you all for coming, even those who did not need an invitation.  Claire smiled at Alice.  She then turned very serious.  Sector Master Vab-Quertz has requested help with dealing with Sub-sector Master Quirta.  Vab-Quertz is unhappy that Quirta took over the sub-sector after we made former Sub-sector Master Quwart disappear.  We expect Grand Master Qif-Weirta to arrive with a fleet that will include at least one Qoof battleship.  We are not sure of when to expect Qif-Weirta, since we are not sure where he is, or what type of priority that he will place on the request, but we know he will come.  That Sector Master Vab-Quertz asked for help is very unusual for a Qoof master.  He must know that there is something that Qif-Weirta can do that he cannot.  Otherwise, Qif-Weirta would replace Vab-Quertz even before he dealt with Quirta.  She paused.  I now open the floor for questions or comments.
 
Alice was the first to speak.  You and Nancy will have your babies before the Grand Master gets to Miratay.  That explains my dream from last night.
 
We are not pregnant.  Claire was blushing.
“No, that is what the honeymoon is for.”  Alyca called out.
Everyone including the non-humans laughed.
Will Maclaren asked the first question.  Can you tell us how you found out about this?  Is there any additional information that you have so that we can judge how much we can trust the information?
 
We have had Miratay, the sector capital under surveillance.  When we were given the report, we went and checked ourselves.  Claire’s statement created a stir.
 
JJ breaks the commotion that had been going on.  Is Miratay one of the Qoof planets adjacent to New Oz?  We noticed those worlds and the three Nartak worlds, as we were teaching Sally and Mor how to detect worlds.  No wonder you did not want any windows here.  When they had arrived in OZ, they had been practicing and found the worlds.
“I am always amazed at how much multi-tasking goes on.”  David Clarke, the former US President, smiled at his daughter Claire.  “I remember Robert teaching you the first dinner we had together.”
“What we did then was new but the Teams now constantly do it.  Some just do more.”  Claire smiled at the memory of the dinner the night that Robert and his family rescued her from kidnappers.  His mental contact when she had been in a van with her kidnappers had been an even greater shock than seeing her Secret Service team, a teacher, and fellow students killed when the kidnappers captured her.  Yes, this one is Miratay.  Claire mentally indicated the world to those at the meeting.  Many there could only recognize a world after they were shown it.  JJ, what we need you and the Team that you will form  to do is capture Grand Master Qif-Weirta as well as any other Qoof Masters that are with him.  You will need to do this either before or during the battle we will have with the Qoof fleet.  We hope to be able to capture as many of the starships especially Qoof battleships as we can.  We know that a Grand Master would be expected to arrive in a battleship but there may be more than one if he thought he needed them.
We have only started to integrate starships from the Swizz and the Glazen with ours to form a united fleet.  The new Human-Kin starships are still at the Earth system.  Admiral Rising Wind wanted those ships to join the united fleet as soon as they had passed ships trials.
 
It took us a long time to convince our ship designers that the Risari style of starship was the best to use to incorporate all of our changes.  When Risari starship designers incorporated Qoof and Nartak starship design features into their designs, they had had to make changes to allow the very different designs to work together.  O-dof had had this discussion with Rising Wind quite a few times.  The Risari style works just as well for incorporating Clar, Swizz, and Glazen equipment.
 
The Risari have a good compromise for incorporating new “alien” technology into a starship.  Not as good as a virtual big ship design but useful for when you are melding different technology.  The advance design team is working on a new ship design starting from bottom up for new starships but it will be a few years before we have the first design.  Alyca and her husband Bruce were advisors to that team which included members of all five species of the Hand.  She and Bruce had too many interest and duties to restrict themselves to just starship design.  Is that why you want to capture the Qoof battleship, so that you can consider its technology for the new designs?
 
That is part of it.  The Qoof and the Nartak have been at war for three thousand years.  The Risari’s learned a lot from the small older spaceships found here in a frontier sector.  The other is using the Qoof spaceship to cause some mischief in the Qoof Empire.  Claire did not expand on what they were considering in the way of mischief.  Kev, what is the latest status on your starships?
 
To everyone surprise, including them, Kevin Gilbert and his Life-Mate Jane had found themselves in command of the sixteen starship squadron that was the first real fighting starships of the Humans and Kin.  We have passed all the tests that the advisors have managed to come up with.  We are ready to join the main Hand fleet.
 
Were you able to meet the Risari advisors requirements for acting like Risari starships?  Nancy asked for the Three-Fold Life-Mates.
 
We had to keep our performance within that of the Risari starships, which meant slow speeds, and less coordinated maneuvers along with using only are secondary armament.  They were impressed, not as much as they were when we operated at our full capability.  They have again requested that they be allowed to upgrade the rest of their starships.
How long would it take your squadron to make ready for a long deployment and travel to Lastarna?  There you would join the main Risari fleet and make ready to come to Sub-sector Master Quirta help when he requests it of the Risari queen.  You will assist the Risari in upgrading all of their starships.  Nancy’s question stuns most of those there but not Kevin and Jane who had talked with the Three-Fold Life-Mates about this possibility.
We have prepared to join the Hand fleet so it will take only a day to finish last minute preparations.  Transit time will be just over fourteen weeks.  This will be our first long voyage.
Admiral Rising Wind did a fast estimate of the distance.  You do not have shielding to allow that high a speed along most of the way.
We have provided them with a route that is less cluttered.  Nancy obviously was considering what she should say.  We anticipated this possible assignment but that is one of the reasons that we called this meeting.  We have one more assignment change related to this upcoming battle and another unrelated.  Jason and Teresa, You will form a Team that will be responsible for detecting and eliminating any observers that Grand Master Qif-Weirta or anyone else has sent to observe what occurs.  Capturing them would be helpful especially if they are not Qif-Weirta’s people.  The next squadron of Human-Kin starships will be assigned to you to support this effort.
 
KA and Mike, you have felt the calling to journey to the Swizz worlds.  There you will find the Team that you are to join.  That Team will work to learn more about the Nartak.
 
These are of the new assignments that we have envisioned.  They support the actions that we are considering in response to the visit of Grand Master Qif-Weirta.  We have learned a lot about the Qoof from our spying in the local sub-sector and on Miratay but this is a backwater far from the conflict with the Nartak.  We have worked hard to stay unnoticed but Sector Master Vab-Quertz has become uneasy about the changes that Quirta has been making.  That most of the changes are Quirta’s will not hide the fact that through the Risari we have encouraged other changes.  We cannot let Grand Master Qif-Weirta or any other Qoof discover our actions.  We are not ready for the Qoof to focus any attention on what has been occurring.  We have started to learn about the Qoof but have learned very little about the Nartak.  That is why the work of the Team that KA and Mike will join is so important.  We must learn more about the Nartak.  Nancy nodded to Robert.
Our battle plan is simple.  The problem is keeping the other Grand Masters unconcerned about what happened to Qif-Weirta.  So let me describe the battle plan first.  We will trap the Qoof fleet between Quirta’s home fleet reinforced by all of the Risari fleets including the starships under Kev and the fleet of the Hand.  We should have the technical and numerical advantage to defeat them, but to ensure low losses on both sides; JJ will nullify the Grand Master and other significant Qoof masters.  Since this would come as a surprise to Quirta, we will meet with him and discuss how working together can further both of our goals.
 
What are Quirta’s goals?  I thought he was just trying to keep a low profile while he was consolidating his control of the sub-sector that we handed him five years ago.  John Harvey asked.
Yes, that was his original goal, but he has never been happy with the war with the Nartak.  He does not like the Nartak but he feels that the war has gone on too long and the costs have been too high.  We have gotten hints of this from things he has said to the Risari, so we paid him a visit without his knowledge.  We timed it to occur with a visit by the Risari High Admiral, who we had coached to bring up certain subjects.  We were able to monitor Quirta thoughts without his knowledge both during the meeting and afterwards when he thought that he was alone.  Quirta has begun to think along the same lines that we want to go.  We expect our meeting with him will lead to us working together once he gets over the shock of the Hands existence.
 
This is part of a vision and that is why you had the Risari help Quirta.  Dave Clarke thoughts were almost questioning as he looked at his daughter and her Life-Mates.
It is more complex than that.  Claire responds to her father.  We knew that we did not want wars with the Qoof and the Nartak.  They have been fighting for three thousand years and the deaths are much greater than the total of the populations of our five species.  One hundred and fourteen species have been destroyed or reduced to a population where they will have to have help to recover.  The only possibility is to convince both species to stop fighting.  The first vision related to this goal showed us with Quirta in a friendly setting.  Obviously, we had not kept him as a prisoner.  After he returned with the Risari, we had further dreams that showed us more of a possible future.  We evaluated the future that we saw and made changes to reach the results that we needed, but the visions are months apart and often showed scenes that we are not sure how they fit together.   
 
“You are making the same mistake that I did.”  Alice words were soft but since most of the communications had been mental, they were heard be everyone and understood by all since the Teams learned the main languages of the species of the Hand as part of their training.  “You must share the visions, so they can be understood.”
“That is why you are always telling us about your dreams!”  Fran Fusco White laughed.  “I thought you were…”  A thought from her husband Dave White stopped her from saying what she had been about to say.
The Three-Fold Life-Mates were stunned by the obviousness of what Alice had said.  “Thank you Alice.”  The three of them said as one.
“We had been warned to seek council but we had not thought to share our dreams and visions until we understood them.”  Nancy was the one that spoke for the three of them.  It will take longer than this meeting to share them with you.  We will postpone our honeymoon.”
“We can wait until you get back.”  Leslie told her son and his Life-Mates.
“No, our honeymoon is a working vacation.  We need to have your input so that we are sure that what we planned to be doing is the best course.”  Nancy switched back to mental communication.  Now we are lucking that they are few and far between.  There are twenty-five distinct dreams that we have had since we met the Clar.  Some have repeated with changes to show the results of actions that the Teams have taken or in one case did not take.  This is the first one.
 
The Three-Fold Life-Mates shared one of their dream visions with everyone at the meeting.
 
I am in your vision.  Sally was stunned.
We did not see you and Mor in the dream before.  Nancy was surprised.  We saw JJ and Less but we had not seen them with their Life-Mates.
 
I think that the memory of your dream has been changed to reflect the current situation.  O-dof commented.  I have had dreams that have repeated but not the memory.
 
But this is the first time that a dream vision has been shared with others.  Alice had understood the difference.  All of our visions that we have discussed were always described.  We never tried to share the memory.  I am not sure that we could have shared them.  I am not sure that I can do it now.
 
She can but only with Jess and mom and dad joined with her.  Robert privately told her Life-Mates.
 
She and Jess are not ready for that.  Claire replied.
Not yet but they will be, but it is not for us to be part of that.  Nancy commented as they end the private conversation.
Are there any other changes?  Dave Clarke asks.
Yes, it is like going from a black and white movie to 3-D video.  Robert tells them.  Nothing as important as the addition of Sally and Mor but many details have been added.  I can taste what I am drinking.  He paused and consulted his Life-Mates.  We think that this is not a one-time dream vision that we received.  It is a constant sending.  With more of us looking at it together, we have more ‘bandwidth’ and we receive more information from the sending.
It does not perceive time as we do.  Past, present, and future have a different meaning for it.  Jess tells them
I wish I had shared my dreams.  Alice is looking at Jess.  He turned and looked at her.  What they had lost is apparent to all.
Alice, Jess.  It does not perceive time as we do.  What continues with us from life to life is something that it more fully understands and of which we only see a small part.  Keyvan told them.  We need to think of Life-Mates as it does.
That will not be easy.  Jess gaze did not leave Alice.
Important things do not always come easy.  Alice was staring back at Jess.
You two need to get over Alice’s rebirth.  Edith added.  This is the second rebirth of Alice that I have seen, that I remember at least.  It was not easy for me when my grandmother was now my daughter, but Alice is the same person.  Jess, it was not her body that made her your Life-Mate.
 
Alice looked at her current parents, Kim and Rob.
 
There were tears in Kim’s eyes.  Go, the two of you need time alone.
 
Alice took Jess’s hand as they left.
I think that all of us need to be alone with our Life-Mates as we consider what this means.  Will turned to his son and his Life-Mates.  I think that the only part of the honeymoon you should postpone is the trip.  We will meet with you two days after the wedding, if that is OK with you.
 
The three of them are blushing.  Yes, dad that will be fine.  We are always together nowadays mentally.
 
The meeting broke up.
*******
Alice and Jess had not gone far.  They were sitting on a bench under the local equivalent of a tree near the entrance to the building.  They were by themselves but not somewhere that they could not be found if someone were looking for them.  Of course with the ability to perceive things at a distance that most of those at the meeting had they were in plain view wherever they could have walked.
“Alice, I miss you.”
Jess, use mental communications.  You have been avoiding that the last five years.  I am still me, just a different body.  It took over a year for me to realize that I did not have to go the normal newborn personality growth that I have had to previously.  I do not know what that means for the future but I am just the same me that died in that stupid accident, just with five more years of experience, during which we have been apart.  You worked hard at keeping away from me.  Alice smile took some of the sting out of her words but Jess could see it in her eyes.
How am I supposed to act to my wife who is now my granddaughter?  Jess looked away.
Well sitting down and talking with her would be one way to start.  This body is five years old.  Nothing else is going to happen between us for quite some while.
 
By then I will be an old man.
 
You have been my old man for quite some time.  So start acting like it.  Alice took his hand.  I don’t know what we will have to do to get are physical bodies back in age sync but I do not want to spend the time until then away from you.
I missed you Alice.
They spent the next few minutes talking, until O-dof and O-dofi walked up.
We have not mentioned this to you, but we have not always been in age sync.  Since we never regained our memories of past lives until we were out of childhood, we have never faced what you have but we have had many years waiting to find out where the other one was.  O-dofi and O-dof were Glazen leaders who could remember more than one hundred reincarnations.  They and a few others like them had guided the Glazen during much of that time as they also have dream visions.
Yes, you just lived more than fifty years apart.  That makes our problem seem so small.  Jess started to realize that their situation was not really unique.
We want to talk with you about what Keyvan said.  We need to consider Life-Mates and reincarnation as it sees it.
I am tired of calling it IT.  Let us call it Dreamgiver.  Alice thoughts had lost the personal feel that they had had when she and Jess have been alone.  She was now the Professor that had found the mathematics to make true her dreams of being able to step between worlds.
Yes, that is my Alice.  She may have a body of a little girl but she does not let such things get in her way.
The four of them sat and talked until hunger led them to return to Earth where there discussion continued.
*******
JJ and Sally were heading back to have lunch with Bethany, Sally’s mother.  JJ’s sisters and cousins along with their Life-Mates were heading back with them.
Sally, when we reincarnate next do you think we will remember our past lives at birth as Alice does or will we need to be much older like the Glazen?  Teresa asked.
Why is she asking me?  Sally asked JJ.
 
You and Mor are the new ones.  JJ explained.  We have discussed this topic a number of times and could not come up with an answer.
John Harvey said that O-barp is eight and that he has started to remember his past lives.  Sally retold what JJ’s father had told them last night.  They had talked about it after dinner but Sally had not expressed her opinion.  I hope that it will be later than what Alice experienced.  I would not like to be a baby and be able to think like an adult.  You are unable to do anything for yourself.  I think the only reason that Alice had to suffer through that was that she was needed.
 
That makes sense.  Mike smiled at his future sister-in-law.  Most animals take time to function fully.  I have always thought of Alice as the exception to most rules.  His comment brought a laugh from everybody.
I think your right.  KA laugh had been short.  She was really considering what her grandparents had gone through.  I think that being born into the same family is important since they can recognize you.  Having Grandpa Jess nearby later also helped Alice.  She also stopped communicating for a while after we visited the four new worlds.
 
Well the only thing we know for sure is that when the rules change, there is a need for it.  Jerome Reynolds was considering the why of the changes that they had seen.  We probably need to have a talk with O-barp to see where he will be needed.  Eric and I should take a trip to see him.  His twin brother nodded in agreement.
 
He is not on any of the worlds to which we have window connections.  JJ stated.  Dad said that the starship took five months to reach Mother with the news.
 
“Mother?”  Sally did not understand the name.
 
“The Glazen home world.”  He cousin Mor told her.
 
 
Honeymoon Postponed – Lisa and Tom Farrel, Team News Wire
May 6, 2004 – Claire Clarke announced that they were postponing their honeymoon for at least a week.  The Three-Fold Life-Mates would be meeting with Team leaders and Senators of the Federation of the Hand about recent developments.  …
The Three-Fold Life-Mates have requested a televised address to the full Senate to outline the revised plans.  The exact date has not been set.
Jenson Home
Planet Refuge
Thursday, May 6, 2004
Alyca Maclaren Jenson had JJ, Sally, Less, Mor over to her workshop to investigate the new ability that Sally had brought to the Teams.  Unlike Jess’s Fix-It-Shop, the Jensons, workshop made no pretense of being a place for tinkering.  They had advanced equipment from every species they could buy, borrow, or steal.  The only instance of stealing had been from the Nartak.  Their Team had used the spacecraft captured at Lyysssiisss when the AU Teams had saved the planet administers from an attack by Nartak silent ones.  They had raided a Nartak research station on the far side of Nartak space.
“Sally, we first want you to teach all of us to move things with our mind.  No JJ, I want her to do it by herself.  You and Less should monitor the training to see if you notice anything different but do not communicate.  I want to see how we learn it as compared to someone closely aligned to you as JJ and Less are.”  Alyca noticed Sally took her request as a criticism.  “I am not saying that you did anything wrong but that different people understand or interpret abilities differently.  It was almost a year after we had trained almost everyone that we noticed this.  We believe that some of the differences were lost when we did mass teachings.  I want to see if we can discover them in the beginning and have a better understanding of the new ability that you have brought to us.”
Our cousin has found patience in her old age.  Mary Maclaren Tohe told her twin, Brenda Maclaren Koloski.
No, I think that triplets followed by twins did it.  Brenda replied.
Since they had not kept their thoughts to themselves, everyone in the workshop heard them, which had been their purpose.  Sally relaxed from both Alyca explanation and the twins banter.
“Would it help if Sally taught me first so that you could watch?”  Bethany had accompanied her daughter to the workshop.  She had not wanted her experimented on but she was also curious about Alyca who was almost her age.
Alyca was caught by surprise at Bethany suggestion, but before she could answer, her Life-Mate did.
“Bethany, did you learn any of the abilities besides communications?”
“No, we were in meeting when it happened.  The elders said that we must ignore the witches.”  Bethany was surprised at the delight that she saw on Bruce and Alyca faces.
“Yes, Sally will teach you first.  Then we will teach you the other abilities.”  Bruce looked at their two young team members.  “I assume that you taught your Life-Mates all of your abilities.”
“We saw them as missing so much.  We didn’t think about what could be learned by teaching them.”
“Less, we did not think of it until after the meeting this morning.”  Alyca smiled at her eleven-year-old cousin.  “In fact, I think that we need to take some time to think about it.  We also need to have some other here to observe and plan.  Ask KA and Tom to join us.  I will call the others.”
They sat and chatted until the others arrived.  Bethany was amazed by Alyca and Bruce, but then she realized that JJ and Less were just as intense and dedicated to learning and doing as they were.  JJ was thirteen but had a bachelor’s degree in psychology and was working on a doctorate as well as bachelor degree in general engineering.  He raced flyers and was planning to compete in the flyer and shuttle competition at the Team competition in a few months.
“Well with Sally, the two of you have a better chance of winning, but Bam and Martha may give you competition.  You and he made a good shuttle team for non-Life-Mates.”  Alyca had maintained her interest in competition racing.  She and Bruce had won three of the four shuttle races in the Team lead category.
“I think that all of you are missing the fact that my brother and sister will be competing in a different category for the upcoming Team competition.”  KA had heard the last of the discussion as she entered the room.
“We will be Team leads by then.”  JJ smiled.  He was not deterred by the stronger competition.”
“Sally racing shuttles!”  Bethany had finally realized that her daughter was being expected to compete.
“Isn’t that great!  JJ explained about the competition on the flight here.  I will have to wait until after our trip back to Arizona before we will have time for him to let me fly but I will be ready in time for the competition.”
“Bethany, it is not so much a speed race as a rally race.  Each team has to complete the course with a number of things to accomplish.  It is not a matter so much of speed as precision.  That is why the Team leads have a separate category.  JJ and Bam were an exceptional team, but this was the first year that JJ was old enough to compete in the shuttle race.  BAM and Martha should have a good chance to win their category, but next year Teresa will be old enough to compete and she and Jason will offer them competition.”
“No, they will offer us competition.  They will be taking over AU-1.”
“Why is your family the ones that wins the competition?  Should not some of the other species also be in the competition?”  Bethany asked.
 We compete, but we only have a chance against most Humans.  The Family, especially the red heads, are in another class.  Quiet Stream’s thoughts surprised Bethany.  She had forgotten about them since they were introduced.  He and his Life-Mate, Swift Breeze, were in the adjoining Clar environment area.  They had been monitoring the conversation but had not participated.  How is it that you and your daughter are named Green but your hair is red?
 
Green is the family name.  We do not give descriptive names often.  BAM is an exception.  JJ knew that after five years there were still differences between the species that were not always understood.
I do not understand why he got that name.  Swift Breeze asked.
His father explained that as a toddler he was very strong and always getting in to things.  Many of which would fall over and go BAM.  His mother started to call him BAM after a cartoon character that she remembered as a child.  Since then it has picked up new meaning.  Bruce Jenson explained.
Yes, we have seen some of that, but we knew he had been called BAM for a long while.  What is the cartoon that we should look for?
Flintstones.  Their son is called Bam-Bam.
 
“Larry has surgery.”  Dr. Ann Lawrence Tidwell hurried in the door.  She and her Life-Mate headed up research into the mental abilities.
After introduction, Ann took over the investigation.  “Bethany, how many people that have not learned mental abilities are we talking about?”
“All of our congregation.  Anyone that had learned more than communications was scorned and made to leave.  About nine hundred adults.”
“How many children?”
“More than twice as many.  Sally would have been considered adult when she married.”
“Here we have a different rite of passage that leads us to consider young people adults.  When you find your Life-Mate, we treat you like an adult though we know that you still have much to learn.  My nephew and niece and their Life-Mates are now considered adults.  I think that I would like to accompany you when you go back to Arizona.  I expect that I will learn a lot.”
“We were thinking about going also.”  Alyca curiosity was driving her again.  “We will need a few shuttles to transport those that may be coming here on the first trip.  We will need to see what will be needed to relocate everyone.”
“Move everyone?”  Bethany had known that her family would be moving here but not the whole congregation.
“Yes, you are the largest group that we have found with Team level abilities.  Patty would love to have some of you stay and join with the Western North America Teams, but she accepted that all of you were critical to the upcoming confrontation with the Qof.”
“We are to be soldiers?”
“No, Team members.  We can fight if we have to but it is better to have the forces to ensure that you can overwhelm your opponent.  Not that I think that we will not see fighting, but you will give us a number of new Teams.”  Alyca looked at her twin cousins.  “I think that you will have to step into Team lead positions also.”
“We may not be the only ones.”  Mary replied
“That can wait until we go to Arizona and meet everyone.  Let us discuss what we want to do to learn about moving things with our minds.”
*******
They had taught everyone how to move objects with their minds.  Bethany had been taught the other abilities.  It had surprised Ann that Bethany had learned all the abilities.  She had not learned all the abilities until a couple of months later.  She and everyone there had no troubles learning the new ability but they did not expect that to be the general case.
Now we will learn more about the ability to move things with one’s mind.  This will be the first ability that we have that has a definite physical component, though viewing people and items comes close.  I will leave it to Alyca to run this portion of the testing.  Ann had switched to mental communication.
Alyca put a box on the table.  Sally, there are three balls in the box.  Raise the yellow ball out of the box and put it back in the box.  Use your ability to perceive something without seeing it.
Sally did as she was directed.  I had always needed to see something to move it.  Except at night, I could move the cover back on my sisters when they knocked them off.
 
Now try it with the blue ball but we will block your perception
 
Sally could sense the balls but had not previously determined which one was blue, so she raised both balls out of the box.  When she saw the orange one, she returned it to the box.  Then she raised the blue ball the rest of the way.
Why did you raise both balls?  Alyca was surprised.  She had expected Sally to either raise the blue ball or be unable to do it.
When I raised the yellow ball, I first checked for the balls in the box, then I checked for the yellow one. 
When you asked me to raise the blue ball, I could identify the balls but not the color of the other two.  I raised both to find out which ball was blue.
Sally, can you identify the orange ball in the box now?
Oh, I could tell them apart but I could not determine the colors on the other two after the block was put up.
 
So our block only affects new knowledge, once you learn about something, your perception of it is not affected.  Is there anything else in the box?
 
That was all for which I had checked.  Sally realized that she had made a mistake.  I should have checked for what was in the box not just for the yellow ball.
 
When we first learned to detect people and things, we learned to continually scan what was around us.  Brenda told her.
 
But your home should be safe.  She looked at Alyca.
KA dogs caught me trying to spy on the Lawrence homes.  That is how I met Alyca.  You home is only as safe as you keep it.  Bruce tells Sally.  That is something that JJ should have taught you.
 
We will need to teach all the new Team members.  JJ sighed.  I will need to think like a Life-Mate and Team leader. 
We will need to start thinking like Team leaders also.  Ben Tohe looked at his brother-in-law Charles Koloski.
Sally, lift the three balls and then make them go to different corners of the room.  Hold them there.
 
The three balls lifted as one out of the box, then the blue ball, then the yellow ball, and then the orange ball went to different corners.
I could not do that before.  The most I could do was two things at a time.
 
Meeting your Life-Mate expands how much your mind can do.  JJ, join with her and let us see how many items the two of you working together can do.
 
The two young Life-Mates working together were able to control seventeen different items at one time.
 
Sally, there are a number of reasons that the two of you were able to control so many more items.  First, Life-Mates working together can do more than they can individually.  Second, JJ has a Kin-mate, Jevron.  Even without them working together, having a Kin-mate bond expands the minds ability to do things.  Third, JJ has worked hard to improve his minds ability to do mental tasks.
 
We would like to try now.  Less was eager to test what she and Mor could do.
See if you can hand the items over to them.  Alyca suggested to Sally and JJ.
Less and Mor were able to handle only fourteen items.
OK, let us have a competition for the next task.  Alyca put two boards on the table.  One was in front of each pair of Life-Mates.  Sticking out of each board was a bolt with a nut on it.  See if you can turn the nut so it comes off of the bolt.  This will test if you can do more than push an object around.
They sat staring at the boards in front of them until the nut on the screw in front of Less and Mor began to turn.
That is very good.  I was not sure if you would be able to figure out how to do that.  It is not as simple as it looks.
 
Mor and Less hugged.
 
Teach us how you did it.  Alyca tells them.  Soon they were all able to turn the nut with their mind.  Quiet Stream and Swift Breeze were following the demonstrations and practicing using items in their section of the workshop.
Alyca placed a plain piece of paper on the table.  She then drew a circle in the middle.  Sally and JJ, lift the paper inside the circle a foot off the table.
 
The paper rose off of the table but it sagged.
 
Put the paper down.  Now, raise the paper inside the circle while holding the rest of the paper in place.
 
A neat hole appeared in the paper when the paper inside the circle rose off the table.  Alyca picked up the paper and closely examined it.  Without saying a word, she handed it to Ann.  She then picked up the round circle of paper and closely examined it.  This piece she also handed to Ann, who had passed the first paper to JJ.
After everyone in the room had looked at the two pieced of paper, Alyca put another sheet of paper on the table and drew an irregular, enclosed shape.  JJ and Sally, do the same with the paper inside this figure.
The paper inside the figure rose from the rest of the sheet of paper.  They again examined the pieces of paper.
Bethany was the first to remark on what was done.  They are both perfectly cut.  I could not do as well with a knife.  If we can do this with fabric, making our dresses would have been easier.
 
Yes, it would, but let us hold off on trying other materials until you get back.  We need to examine the break and set up equipment so that no one gets hurt.  I expect some things would act differently.
 
If we could use this in surgery this would be very useful.  Ann was thinking of replacing scalpels.  We might be able to mentally insert staples or some other item to close wounds.
Or you could rip some ones heart out.  Bruce commented.
 
Alyca looked at the young Life-Mates and Bethany.  Do not teach this ability to any new team members until we understand more about it.  After they signaled their agreement, she returned to the experiments.
Bruce placed a bin full of sand on the table.
Less and Mor, raise a simple shape of sand out of the bin.  You choose the shape.  Alyca seemed still troubled by the prior experiment.
 
A sphere of sand that was about two inches in diameter rose out of the bin.
 
Separate it into two pieces.
 
The two young Life-Mates choose to slice the sphere at about a fifth of the diameter in but at an angle.  The slice did not rise up from the sphere but slid to the side until it was clear of the sphere then it rotated until the flat side faced up.  They then pulled a cylinder of sand out of the sphere.
 
This is fun.  Less remarked.
Alyca seemed both interested and more troubled by the display.  KA and Mike take some sand and see what you can do with it.  JJ and Sally do the same.
While they entertained Bethany with the shapes that they made with the sand, Alyca conferred with the older Team members.  This can be more dangerous than a mental attack.  An attack could be made to look like a natural occurrence.
 
Or some ones knife could be made to kill a person with them being blamed.  Mary suggested.
 
At least this ability is not one most people can learn.  Ann was as concerned by the bad that could be done with the ability as she was by the good.  It is good that we did not have this ability when we first learned abilities.
 
Jevron commented for the first time.  The Kin are very disturbed by this development, but for a different reason.  Why have we gained this ability at this time?  We have always gained because it would be needed.
 
Well, I am afraid that the next experiment will make things worse, but someone could try this on their own and I want it done where it will be safe.  Alyca comment caused everyone but Bruce to look at her.  They had not excluded anyone there from the conversation.  They had just given some of them something else to do.  She looked at her three young cousins and their Life-Mate.  I am going to ask the six of you to turn off a flash light that I have had placed in space.  It is five thousand kilometers above us.  You are not to switch it off, you are to stop the current from flowing.  I want you to work together on this.  The trick is to stop the current flow without upsetting the electrons that stay with the atoms.
 
Bethany, Mor and Sally did not understand the problem, but from the looks on the faces of the others, even Less who was only eleven, they understood what could occur.
 
JJ took Sally’s hand.  We could disrupt the atoms if we stopped all the electrons.  I am not sure what can happen but I want to happen at least five thousand kilometers away.
 
Let us add an experiment first.  Here is the flash light.  Alyca joined with Bruce and their Kin-mates Avla and Velvon showed everyone where the flash light was in a sealed container in space.  Move it farther away.  Move it out to at least one hundred thousand kilometers.  We will warn space control to have spacecraft keep clear of the area.
 
It took twenty minutes to reposition the container with the flashlight.
I monitored there heart rate.  It actually slowed as they did it.  They were not the source of the energy to move it.  Ann told them
Sally, have you tried to lift something heavy.  Alyca asked.
No, I only moved things that I would normally be able to handle.
Would you by yourself, lift the table a couple of inches.
The table lifted to the surprise of Sally.
 
We are going to have to be careful about what we try to do until we understand this ability much better.  Ok see if you can stop the flow of the electricity in the flashlight.
 
The six young Life-Mates had been discussing this privately since the problem had been presented.  They had found no solution.
 
We would like for us all to join together to figure out how to do this.  We have not figured out a solution.
 
Yes, it is good to get it right.  Jevron showed his approval in his thought.  The Lawrence children had matured since he had met them five years ago.  He knew that he and the Kin had changed a lot in that time but the three of them had changed much more.
 
After over fifteen minutes of mental discuss with them all joined together which was a very long time mentally, they had come up with two possibilities but were not sure if either would work.  We will have to discuss this more with Marie and some physicist that specialized in atomic interaction.  Alyca was not surprised that they had not figured out how to do it but she was determined to find out how it could be done.  It would be very helpful against a hostile fleet.  Of course, blowing them up which is what she expected to happen with the flashlight could also be useful, but they were trying to change the Qoof not kill them.
Does anyone have a hunch as to which one method would be likely to work?  When no one replied, Alyca shook her head.  That confirms my feeling that neither will work.  Let us try this one and observer what happens.
 
They were not disappointed by the force of the explosion.
I suggest that you not try that anyplace that you do not want to see destroyed.  Ann advised.
I think that it took all six of us to do it.  I do not think that is something that someone or a pair of Life-Mates will be able to do on their own.  JJ comment relieved some of the fear that the group had felt at what happened.
I think that Less and I could do a single atom by ourselves.  Mort comment caught Alyca’s interest.
 
Why don’t the two of you try that.  Just find some space junk up there and let us see what happens.
 
The found a piece of space junk in an area away from their explosion but still well away from the planet.  When they stopped the electrons on an atom of iron, there was no explosion but they could tell that the nearby atoms had been affected.
That was very interesting.  Alyca was considering what needed to be done to conduct experiments like what just had been tried.  I think that could be very useful.  Now that I think about it, moving atoms individually or in small groups would allow us to build extremely small structures.  Talk about progress having its good and bad sides.
I think that is enough to start.  We have a better idea about what you can do with this ability.  Now, we have to plan experiments to learn more.  We will also start making plans to exercises to learn how to use this ability.  The bucket of sand looks like an interesting place to start.  I think that Mark and the girls will enjoy it.  We will not have time to meet until after the wedding and you get back from Arizona.  Ann turned to Sally, Mor, and Bethany.  “I was told to bring you over to the clinic after we finished for your physicals.”
“Physicals?”  Bethany was surprised but Sally wasn’t.
“Mom, I did not know how to tell you.  KA and Less told me how they have learned so much working with the other species.  They can not only cure they can prevent many diseases.”
“Bethany, we have learned a lot from each other in the past five years.  A large amount of it right here at the clinic.  Some of it we have been able to pass on to the medical communities here on Earth and the other planets but much of it is experimental or we have to set up studies so that we can publish the results before it will be accepted.  We make use of all of what we have learned at the clinic.”
“We do not have time for a lot of tests.  We have to go home by Monday.  We could not pay you without checking with our medical plan first.”
“It will only take two or three hours.  There is no cost.  All the expenses are born by the Teams.  That saves us a lot there by getting rid of a lot of paper work.”
“No cost.  Why?”
“Sally and Mor are part of the Teams.  More than that they and you are now part of our family here.  We expect that many more from those in you congregation will join the Teams.  We would like to bring a medical team to screen all of you for major problems when you go back, then give everyone full physicals when you move here.”
“You want us to move to this planet?”
“We do not think of the planets separately.  By here, we mean Townsville and any of the other locations that you can step through a window on any of the adjacent planets.  We currently are using about seventeen of the planets, but as we grow, we will expand to the others.”
“Mother Bethany, we want all of you to move here with us for many reasons.  Less, BAM, Lissa, and I have found our Life-Mates, who are all members of your extended family.  We expect we will find more, but the biggest reason is that in a vision of the future that Three-Fold Life-Mates have had your family members were in our Teams.  You and they are necessary for what has to be done.”  JJ explained.
“All of us and not just because Sally is your Life-Mate?”
“Well, probably not Sheriff Green, but anyone else that is willing to move.”
“For those that do not want to move we will see that they get helped.  With as many leaving as we expect, your community will have problems.”  Bruce adds.
“What you are doing will take a lot of money.”
“For what we are getting, it is very cheap.  If enough of you want to stay and join a Team, Patty is willing to set up a Team there, which will include making accommodations for the other four species of our Teams.”  Alyca tells Bethany.
“Could they move somewhere else?  Like Mesa, Salt Lake City or Las Vegas.”  Mor asked.
“Probably, why?
“Well we are living out there so that our elders would not be bothered about how they ran our congregation.  Most of the young people want to get out of there.  I expect that most will move here but some may want to stay in the states.  Also, you will want to look for those that moved out.  Most of the young men have to leave since there were no wives for them and the elders did not want them around.”
“I think that we need to know more about your community.”  Ann was upset from what she thought she understood from what Mor had said.  Alyca, contact Patty and have her get her parents looking into the issue of the men that were kicked out.  I think that we need to find them and help them.  “Let us head over to the clinic and you can tell me more about your community.”

Book 3  Chapter 4

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