tagNon-EroticThey Come Ch. 16

They Come Ch. 16


Chapter Sixteen: Red Sun

"I don't think I understand what you're asking," Max said dubiously.

"It's quite simple Max," Ea said with a smile, "I want you to teach your fellow Humans how to do what you do."

"What I do?" Max said, "I'm gonna guess you don't mean my penchant for having bacon and eggs for breakfast on weekends."

"I want you to teach them how to use their minds," Ea said with a chuckle.

Max sighed and stared out at the Mars pyramids.

"I'm sure there are plenty of others who could do that better than me," he said quietly.

"Max," Ea said, "I told you before that we've tried to teach them. As soon as you told me about your adventures in getting away from those government agents we tried to duplicate your successes with the people here. No matter what we try or how hard we push them, they all remain stubbornly, well, ordinary."

Max frowned and grunted.

"You know," he said after a pause, "it's not just the Dingir here who don't like me much. Some of my people don't like me either."

"Do you think that's relevant?" Ea asked, "As I recall, you didn't like me very much either when I taught you how to clear your mind."

Again Max grunted in response but he had nothing more to say. He gave Ea a look of uneasiness.

"I'm sure you'll do very well," Ea said, "If they see one of their own with the abilities you have, it will give them something to work toward."

Feeling by no means comforted by Ea's words Max found himself agreeing to do it.

"Excellent Max!" Ea said enthusiastically, "Your people will look at you in a whole new way!"

The day came for him to begin training and Max was still uneasy. Ea and the Dingir council decided the best place to begin their training was at a meditation class that one of their females had been conducting with Humans in the condo habitat. They had begun this class a few years before in the hope that some of them might develop abilities similar to Max`s.

Her name was Alsa. She was a low-level medical technician who was well known and liked among the Humans. She stood a little over six feet tall and had long flowing jet-black hair that reached halfway down her back. Her eyes too were black, so black the iris could hardly be seen unless you stared for a long time.

Her aquiline nose was perfectly formed on a face that Max was quite happy to stare at for a long time.

"I have been known to take Humans to my bed," she said casually as he studied her, "If you're interested we can mate later today."

Max blushed when he realized how much he was broadcasting. He looked down at the floor flushing bright red.

"What's wrong?" she asked, "It's perfectly natural for you to feel sexual attraction."

He tried to think of a suitable way to explain himself and then gave up. Instead he just smiled and turned away as he resolved to avoid ogling her.

Alsa shrugged and looked across the room as a group of about twenty Humans entered.

"They're here," Alsa said with a bright smile, "Let's get started shall we."

As the people came in they smiled to see Alsa though they seemed a little bewildered about Max's presence. He simply nodded to them as Alsa began taking them through some breathing exercises.

She sat cross legged and spoke in a soft hypnotic voice. Max followed along, closing his eyes and immersing himself in the exercises. He had to admit, Alsa was a good instructor.

He opened his eyes and saw her looking at him with an arched eyebrow. He grinned when he realized she had heard his thought, complete with the surprise with which he expressed it. She frowned and grinned and then turned her attention back to the rest of the people in the room.

"This is just like the yoga class I had in the seventies!"

"At least there are girls in this class."

"I definitely need to get to the market today!"

Their random musings floated over the small group of people like foam on rough waters. There were several more, some of which were related to their meditations, but most of them to do with random events and goings on in their lives.

He turned to Alsa to see her looking back at him with the hint of a grin.

"Their random thoughts always keep them from going deeper," she said directly into his head.

After a half hour of meditating Alsa had the people stand. Max then took a deep breath and stepped forward.

"Hello everyone," he said in his best presentation voice, "My name is Max and I've been asked to teach you how to open up the powers of your minds, or try to anyway."

He looked out at the twenty people and immediately saw doubt.

"Who does this guy think he is?"

"Oh boy, just what we need! Some guy who thinks he's Kreskin!"

"I knew I should've skipped this today!"

The unvoiced thoughts leapt from their minds like random electrical charges from a faulty battery. To their credit, they remained outwardly attentive and tried to seem genuinely interested in what he was saying. He realized very quickly that any deference they gave to him was rooted in their like for Alsa.

He turned to her and smiled. She gave a brief smile and nodded in return.

"I know that you probably have some doubts," he said with a self-deprecating smile, "After all, what can a guy like me teach you about the powers of the mind?"

He paused for a brief instant before going on, gauging their scepticism as he tried to think of what to say.

"How many of you are aware of the Dingir's mental abilities?" he asked, deciding that the best way forward was a straight line.

Although a couple of people nodded he was quite surprised to see that most of them had no idea what he was talking about.

"You are aware they can hear your random thoughts aren't you?" he said.

A number of them looked at each other with confusion and he frowned deeply.

"In conversation with them, have you ever been amazed at their ability to know exactly what you were thinking about?" he asked.

Some of them nodded dubiously but looked ready to be convinced.

"Has Alsa or any of the other Dingir ever said out loud what you had just been thinking?" he said.

Again there were some in the group who agreed at least a little.

"Okay, how about this" he said and then pointed at a girl in the front row, "Can you step forward please?"

The girl frowned but went to stand beside him at the front of the room.

"Can you do me a favor and think of something that no one in this room knows," he said with a grin, "Don't say it out loud!"

The girl pursed her lips in thought and then nodded.

Max turned to Alsa who regarded the woman for a moment.

"You have a cat in your condo which you're not supposed to have," Alsa said.

"What's the cat's name?" Max asked.

"Jimbo," Alsa said with a slight grin, "but Jimbo is a girl."

The woman squeaked with surprise and then looked to her companions. All of them seemed to be amazed.

"Thank you Susan," Max said, "You can rejoin the group now."

"How did you know my name?" she asked, stopping half way back and raising her eyebrow suspiciously.

Max shrugged and winked and then led her back to the group. He then pointed out a man at the back of the room.

"You Sir," he said, "Michael, can you come up here please? Think of something that no one else here knows."

The man looked down at the floor suddenly and his eyes roamed back and forth as he tried not to be noticed.

Max looked him up and down and pursed his lips thoughtfully.

"It's alright," Max said, "There's nothing to be afraid of."

Again the man frowned but he stepped forward hesitatingly.

"Now," Max said gently, "Try to think of something that no one knows."

The man bit his lip and continued to stare down at the floor while rocking nervously on his feet.

"I'm sure you don't want to reveal that," Max said to the man who turned beet red.

The man looked up with trepidation and concentrated harder.

After a long pause Max shrugged and narrowed his eyes.

"Okay," he said, "You've been secretly in love with Susan for the past two years."

"That's not what I was thinking!" the man shouted suddenly, "I was thinking about a cat!"

"Yes," Max said with a smile, "And the cat you were thinking about is Susan's cat. You're wondering whether Jimbo would like you."

Susan turned toward the man with her eyes wide and her mouth open.

"Michael?" she said, "Is this true? I had no idea!"

Michael stared back down at the floor and looked like he wanted to crawl away. The people immediately beside him smiled and gave him encouraging nudges and smiles. Some of the others chuckled and giggled.

Susan walked over to him and placed her hand lightly on his arm.

"Come on," she said to him, "Let's go somewhere."

They walked out together as the rest of the room grinned and tittered.

Max watched them walk out and sighed. He sensed that the rest of the people in the room were beginning to lose interest.

"Does anyone want to know how we did that?" he asked.

"I guess you did your homework," a man at the front said cynically, "You had someone follow her and found out she had a cat."

"Is that really what you think Martin?" Max said.

The man laughed and shared a conspiratorial smile with the people next to him.

"Oh look," he chuckled and said sarcastically, "he knows my name so he must be reading my mind!"

"Really," Max said with a grin, "How about the fact that before you came to Mars you just finished moving out of Los Angeles because the taxes were too high?"

The man laughed and nudged the man to his left.

"Wow!" he said with a snort, "He needs to read minds to know that taxes in California are too high."

Max paused and gave a humorless grin. He leaned forward and whispered to him.

"How about the fact that the high taxes excuse was just what you told people? The real reason you left LA was because you left your wife and took off for Phoenix with your secretary."

The man stopped grinning and looked at Max furiously.

"That's a damn lie!" he hissed angrily.

"No it's not," Max said, "Your secretary left you after you ran out of money."

Martin glared at him angrily and sputtered without saying anything.

"Don't worry about it," Max said, now addressing the whole room again, "You're not the only one here with secrets. Without mentioning any names, in this room right now someone is hoping there's going to be lasagna for supper tonight in the commissary. Two people wish they didn't have to wear clothes when they come here for meditation. Two of the men would like to have sex with Alsa; one of the women too by the way."

"How can you possibly know any of this stuff?" a woman named Jennifer said from close to the back of the room.

"I told you," Max said, "Your thoughts are there to see for anyone who knows how to read them. You might as well be projecting them onto that wall over there."

"That's impossible!" Martin said derisively, "This guy is some sort of con man!"

"Then how do you explain what I told you about yourself?" Max asked.

"Guesses!" the man spat, "Lucky guesses!"

"Well," Jennifer said stiffly, "whether it's guesses or something else, what you're doing is an invasion of privacy! It's an intrusion of the worst kind!"

"And yet," Max said evenly, "The Dingir do it all the time. Why do you think I learned how to do this myself? I did it so I could mask my thoughts from them. I thought of it as intrusion too, I still do!"

"Then why this whole circus?" Martin demanded angrily, "Why humiliate us like this?"

"To show you how easy it is," he said, "To show you that Alsa and the rest of her kind can pick the thoughts out of your head like samples at a buffet. I showed you all this so I can teach you how to stop it."

The people in the room looked at each other with concern. They gathered into a group huddle and began talking quietly to each other. There was murmuring and a low buzzing amongst them and finally Jennifer stepped forward.

"We don't know what you're doing," Susan said stridently, "but we don't like it and we're leaving. I hope we don't see you again."

She nodded to her neighbors and one by one they filed out of the room leaving Max alone with Alsa. He looked at her and sighed heavily.

"Would you like to mate now?" Alsa asked.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Max returned to his home a few hours later from a workout in the arena. He was wet with sweat and had bruises in a dozen places from wooden longswords. He at least was able to inflict almost as many bruises as he received, but he learned quickly the difference between fighting trainees and fighting seasoned warriors.

They took to him with amusement when he said he wanted to work out with them. They told him quite plainly they would not hold back to which he agreed.

The bruises up and down his arms and legs were his reward.

Now he limped toward his house and stopped in surprise when he saw the woman from the meditation class sitting on the floor outside his door. He didn't notice before this how attractive she was. She was several inches shorter than Max, standing at most about five foot one and she had a petite figure that her toga emphasized quite nicely. Her hair was flaxen blond and her eyes were sky blue.

As he was admiring her appearance he had to remind himself that she didn't like him and he wasn't disposed to like her very much.

She looked up at him with a curious mixture of embarrassment and determination.

"Hi," she said uncertainly as she got to her feet, "I'm not sure if you remember me."

"Of course," Max said with a wry grin, "You're the girl who said she hoped never to see me again."

The woman blushed and bit her lip shyly.

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that," she said with a remorseful grin, "I, uh, had to put on a show, you know?"

"No, I don't know," Max said.

She looked down at the floor as a look of pain crossed her face.

"Maybe I should go," she said and began walking toward the reception area.

"Now that you've come all this way," Max said a little more gently, "you might as well tell me what's on your mind."

The girl stopped and looked up from the floor with sad eyes.

"Are you sure?" she asked meekly.

"Yes, it's fine," Max said with a smile, "Come in and have a drink or something."

She frowned at that but followed him inside.

He led her through to the sitting area and left her to look out at the Cydonia pyramids.

"I have to get out of these dirty clothes," he said, "I'll just be a minute."

She nodded without looking his way. She was fascinated with the sight of the plain and the four hundred thousand year old structures outside the window.

After a quick shower and change of clothes he returned to see she was still staring fixedly outside. She glanced his way and then went back to staring.

"I never saw this view before," she said in wonderment, "You must be some kind of important guy to get a place like this!"

He shrugged and offered her a glass of whisky which she declined. He didn't feel like explaining how he got this house to her.

He went to the kitchen and poured a pitcher of water with lemon and lime. He took the pitcher and two large glasses and set them on the coffee table.

"So what's on your mind Jennifer?" he asked as he poured both glasses.

She finally turned and gave him her full attention. She sat on the chair facing the couch and stared at him as if hesitant to begin.

"How do you do that?" she asked in a low voice.

"I hear the thoughts you're projecting," he said, not bothering to ask what she meant, "Any one of the Dingir can do it with ease. Apparently the Dingir you've met are a lot more polite about it than the ones I have."

"What do you mean?" she asked as she sipped from her water.

"Have any of the aliens ever said out loud what you'd been thinking?" he asked.

She looked down in thought for a moment and shook her head slowly.

"You never imagined they knew something about you that they shouldn't?" he said.

Her eyes lit up for a minute and a look of confusion crossed her face.

"Well," she said slowly, "I just thought it was because they were aliens you know? That they were smarter than us"

"One of them said something that you'd been thinking about," he said with a knowing grin.

"Well, I guess, I mean, they all do that!"

"Yes," he said with a grimace, "they do."

She stared at him for a minute and bit her lip as if she was about to say something.

"Yes," he said with a smile, "I can too."

"But how?" she said, "You just said my name a few minutes ago but I never told you. Did someone else tell you my name?"

"You told me," he said, "Just not out loud."

She shook her head and looked down at the floor. Then she put her head in her hands as she leaned on her knees.

"You're telling me they know what we're thinking all the time?" she said with uneasiness.

"Not everything," he said, "But enough to know what's going through your head."

She looked up then and her eyes welled with tears.

"So there's nothing we can do about it?" she said fearfully.

"You can stop it," he said and her face showed some hope, "but it takes work and it takes a lot of practice."

"Will you teach me?" she asked in a small voice.

"I can try," he said.

"If you don't mind, I think I'll have that whisky now!" she said as she finished her glass of water.

Max grinned and reached for the bottle of Crown Royal.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

After Jennifer left Max fell onto his couch with a heavy sigh. He'd spent the past two hours trying to teach her how to clear her mind.

They sat cross legged on the floor facing each other while he led her through a simple breathing exercise. After only about five minutes she began getting impatient. She fidgeted and squirmed every few minutes and sighed periodically. He urged her to simply breathe and forget about everything else. She would settle down temporarily but begin shifting and squirming again after another few minutes had passed.

He was trying to decide whether the whisky they'd shared before they started was helping or hindering her progress. When he probed her mind he found that it was irrelevant. She was so keyed up and on edge nothing would have helped her to relax.

A big part of her problem was her distrust of him. Her words at the meditation class were heartfelt and genuine. She didn't like him.

He ignored her personal feelings and continued with the meditations. After a little under an hour he too was becoming impatient.

Normally the breathing exercises relaxed him under almost any circumstances. With Jennifer and her agitated state of mind he found himself rolling his eyes with each sigh, shimmy and angry outburst.

Finally he sent a thought directly into her head. It acted like a mental sedative.

Immediately her mind became a blank. All her mental outbursts, surges of impatience and anger and fidgeting ceased.

With her head now empty of random thoughts he continued to have her breathe deeply and methodically. After just a few minutes it became her sole reason for being; she existed simply to breathe in and out, slowly and deeply.

He stood up and moved to his couch, staring out at the plain as she continued to breathe rhythmically. He left her like that for almost half an hour, occasionally planting suggestions to relax and clear her mind.

He began to consider what he was doing to this woman. In this state he could potentially tell her to do almost anything. He frowned as the various possibilities scrolled through his head.

This was the first time he'd used his gifts with no life threatening situation facing him. Now with a beautiful young woman completely under his control, he was struck by how easily a fall into debauchery would be.

He sighed heavily and shooed the demons in his head away with a curse.

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