Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Me and Aldaris (p33): The Voice of Dae'Uhl

Um, okay.  I can do this.

...I think I can, anyway.  I'm feeling a little faint just thinking about it. wasn't really as bad as it could have been.  It's alright, I can write it.

Okay, so it was a while since I last saw Aldaris, and to be honest, I was starting to think that maybe he'd somehow found a way to get back to the K Sector.  I hoped so, but was a little disappointed that he hadn't contacted me somehow and said goodbye.  Yeah, I know, expecting a goodbye from a dude who doesn't like humans isn't all that rational.  I don't know... it seemed like he might say something like "I'm leaving now" so that we didn't have to bother anymore.

Turns out, Aldaris hadn't left at all.  And it's a good thing he didn't, because...



Okay, I can't do it.  Long story short, something bad happened.  Or almost happened.  I know I said I would record everything that happens relevant to Aldaris being on Earth, but as much as recording the truth is important...I just can't.  I tend to shut down when put into extreme situations, and this...yeah.  Maybe when I've had time to process this enough I can write it down.  For right It's not going to happen.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bury my trouble in mochas and cryptograms until I forget the whole thing happened.

====  Earlier

Log #349872
I remain orbiting the human homeworld.

These creatures I must associate with are an endless source of trouble.  Humanity, fearful of tedium, amuses itself with all forms of brutality; the excitement of the night proves as much.  For the time, all is well.  Bethany is safe, though to a degree I fear for her.  The danger of her city does not disappear after one incident, and she lives alone.  Most creatures are given a measure of sense.  Bethany lacks this, though somewhat to her credit, she is as tenacious as a small animal.  And like this animal, Bethany huddles now, asleep in a chair too large for her with a spare cloak of mine tightly wrapped about her.  The noise of her breathing is not terribly intrusive.

Once I had successfully purged the memories of the previous incident from her memory, I had no intention of contacting Bethany or the others again.  The recall unit is functioning normally, and I had no fears of accidentally recalling the four humans again.  Yet I attempted to speak with Bethany this night.  Strange that I should feel so great a need to speak with her, yet what matter it concerned is now beyond recollection.  Was it truly of no importance?

As is custom, I listened to Bethany's mind before speaking or taking note of her surroundings.  I was surprised to discover that her feelings were that of fear and rage.  I immediately attempted a connection with her mind.  She was under attack by a collection of delinquents.  Bethany is not a fighter, and it showed.  She screamed violence and profanity against her attackers, clawing and punching at them as best as she could with her stem-like arms.  Bluntly put, she is in no way comparable to a Templar.  Even were she a proficient combatant, it is unlikely could have escaped those that surrounded her.  However, her attackers were likewise untrained.  They were common ruffians, intent on the violation and possible murder of a convenient female.

Though repulsed by the very notion of revealing my presence to anyone in this world, I faced this decision.  I owe nothing to Bethany, and were these terrans to discover that the Protoss exist, it would risk the exposure and possible theft of my technology.  Though the Protoss are great, I am outnumbered and cannot hope to secure our secrets on my own.  So to my shame I briefly considered abandoning her for my benefit.  For only the briefest of moments.  That an officer of the Conclave would turn his back when faced with violent crime committed against anyone at all is tantamount to abomination. The Dae'Uhl is not a principle to be taken lightly.

It took only a moment to find my psi blade.  It is not a powerful weapon, yet humans have been known to fear the sight of it.  With the sacrifice of my invisibility, I recalled down to the planet's surface.  The recall unit is not stealthy; upon reaching the dirty street I found many of the culprits focused on my position.  Most of them ran on sight.  The more foolish ones remained behind, stunned into paralysis. When it comes to minds with no understanding of the law, they can only be taught consequences through physical torment.  The first one caught I snatched from his feet and threw him into the gutter, where he landed forcefully on his shoulder.  I know too well the sound of broken bones.  He will not quickly forget his punishment.

As I cast the first fool aside, another shot at me.  It cost him five bullets before he understood I was shielded.  Another two attempted to escape as the shooter fired, but I incapacitated them at once, allowing them to be awake and aware as I mentally secured the shooter.  Bethany commented later that I was "scary as hell."  A compliment in its own way, I suppose.

In my wrath I caused severe anguish in the mind of the shooter, allowing him to experience a pain in his mind few diseases would have provided him.  Perhaps it was my intention to kill him, but Bethany protested before I could deliver a suitable punishment.  She said (by thought, and not in the manner of humans, of course) that she did not wish me guilty of murder, regardless of how deserving the target. It is questionable if killing the miscreant is truly murder, but she maintained her wish not to make me guilty of anything in the eyes of her government.  One persistent annoyance with Bethany is that she at all times acts as though I shall make my presence officially known on this world, when she should know by now that I will take any measure to avoid it.

Any such concerns I dismissed at the time.  Bethany appeared to be badly wounded. She stared at me through bruised eyes and blood, and her shirt tattered beyond proper use.  I at once deactivated my blade and wrapped my outer cloak about her.  Upon returning to the Juniadros, I placed her in a chair, from which she has not since moved.  In the light of my ship her injuries grew even more apparent, and she bled profusely from the left arm and shoulder.

I wasted no more time inspecting the knifework.  While reluctant to leave a human unsupervised, immediate first aid was required.  I did not jettison all of the rummage scattered about my ship its first days here, in case a random item may prove useful; surely there was something among the little I retained appropriate for Bethany to wear.  Upon my return, my assessment proved itself correct. Bethany had not moved.  In the interim, she had regressed to near infancy, quietly weeping despite that the danger had passed.

I knew then that Bethany never truly feared me.  Why should she?  I would do no worse than kill her. And indeed spare her the pain of it, should her demise prove necessary.  Though that is far from my mind now.  It is difficult to speak of harming so frail a creature.  I may as easily introduce a rodent to a brick.  Yet how greatly she had changed.  Though before she thought nothing of offensive and easy speech concerning important matters, she this night was timid and fearful despite her present safety.

My first estimate of Bethany's injury was incorrect.  The knifework, though frightening in appearance, proved primarily for show.  It did not require the use of sophisticated Protoss healing technology.  I have seen our devices used on one of Raynor's men.  The device had functioned more or less according to its intent, yet it left a scar that would likely not soon heal.  For the human before me, nothing was required but cleaning and dressing.  Though it is vain to begin a task without completing it, I shall miss the cold pack I offered for her eyes.  My supplies are not without limit.

As I attended her wounds, Bethany did not speak, and avoided my gaze.  We remained thus in silence until I finished helping her replace the shirt she lost.  I insisted on an explanation, though gently and without scorn.  Only when she saw I would not cease in asking did she provide an answer.

An irritating characteristic of the humans is that they have two voices.  Though at other times Bethany had spoken in the usual manner of the species, this time her fearful reserve kept her mouth closed, and she spoke only with her mind's voice.  These voices do not sound alike.  I was told once that the mind's voice of a human is what they believe their physical voice to be -- that the sound echoes in their heads, becoming the voice of their thoughts.  It is distracting that such a duality exists, particularly when I must coax out an unhappy story.

Eventually she managed it.  Her mistake was simple enough.  She had been out, not kept track of time, and allowed the sun to set while she remained away from home.  When she noticed the group of degenerates following her, she opted not to return and make the aware of her house.  She intended to reach a security guard in her parents' neighborhood.  She did not make it there in time.  Bethany claimed she had not suffered this sort of violence in the city before, but in her mind she knew such things were not unheard of.  She should have been wiser.  It was a mistake on her part to linger after dark.  I said as much, but no more.  I cannot with words add to the lesson of the night's events.

It is a fault of mine that I am not a comforting person.  What was I to say to this human child that her fears may disperse?  Fortunately, she wished for nothing more than to remain in my presence and not be expected to speak.  This was acceptable, and I returned to my drawings.  So that the silence would not overwhelm her, I told a few of our legends, harmless ones such as the tale of Tryphosa and the mina bird.  Bethany appeared to appreciate them, but soon could no longer keep her eyes open.  She apologized for not being able to remain awake.  I was not offended, and told her so.  She was asleep not long afterwards.

Since that time, I have meditated on my situation.  Though I suffer greatly in being separated from my people, that is no excuse in forgetting their principles.  The Dae'Uhl is no mere suggestion. Though I can do nothing for those I have left behind, to forget the ways of the Khala would dishonor them. One Protoss cannot change the human race, yet I shall endeavor to be an example to these few I encounter, while I dwell here.  Of course, I remain somewhat conflicted on the matter.  There are humans such as Bethany, and perhaps Toby, mostly innocent creatures in need of guidance.  And then there are those such as her attackers.  No indeed, I cannot take the entire human race under my wing.

Now that the events have passed, my fear of discovery seems unfounded.  For the attackers can do nothing against me; they cannot bear witness without exposing what they have attempted.  While perhaps a passerby could speak of it, the night was dark and I was not on the Earth longer than a minute.  It is a risk, but I would sooner accept this risk than defile my faith, forgetting all the Khala has taught me.

Besides, Bethany, in her own way, has not been unkind.  Foolish, yes, but she does not deserve the treatment she would have received at the hands of her attackers.  For the time being, she shall stay on the Juniadros, until it is daybreak on Earth.

Though I fear I never shall eliminate the stench of human from my robe.

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