Eye of the Comet

Eye of the Comet by Pamela Sargent Read Free Book Online

Book: Eye of the Comet by Pamela Sargent Read Free Book Online
Authors: Pamela Sargent
for you.” She too was smiling, feeling as though her face would crack.
    “We could take a shuttle to Earth’s moon. No one would mind that. We could explore the ruins, the catacombs.”
    “It wouldn’t be wise even to go there.”
    Jerod’s smile faded. His blue eyes gazed at her a little too intently, and she looked away. Pilo had disappeared among the flowers.
    “They read minds on Earth,” Jerod murmured. “They don’t just link to have conversations, or exchange surface thoughts — they can touch all of a mind.”
    “So can people here.” She wondered why he had mentioned it. “Some old ones link that way sometimes.”
    “Earth is different. I’ve seen what Homesmind knows. I’ve seen the record of the one who gave you to this world. I never knew a mind could be so wild, could feel so much.”
    She was suddenly afraid. Before she could reply, Jerod grabbed her, clawing roughly at her arms. She tried to twist away. He pinned her to the ground, gripping her shoulders; his jaw tightened. He was probing her link, trying to touch her thoughts. She closed the link, but not before she had flooded him with her fear. Reaching up, she pushed him away with one shaking hand.
    He sprawled on the ground, covering his face. “What are you doing?” she cried out.
    “I wanted to —” He shook his head. A man and a woman were strolling toward them; the man glanced at Lydee and Jerod, took the woman’s hand, and led her hastily away toward a lattice of vines. “I wanted to touch your thoughts. Forgive me, Lydee. I didn’t know what I was doing. The images of Earth must have infected me somehow.”
    “It wasn’t that,” she replied. “It was me. I’m just another Earth creature to you — that’s how you see me now.”
    “Oh, no. I’m in balance now. It won’t happen again.”
    She stood up. “No, it won’t. I won’t let it.” She thumbed her belt and rose from the ground.
    “Wait,” Jerod called out, floating after her. “Don’t be angry with me. Please say you’ll forget.” He flew at her side, gesturing plaintively with his hands. She reached for the flower he had given her, letting it flutter from her fingers; the blossom drifted toward the ground.
    She flew on, Jerod following her. At last he dipped toward the ground and she soared on, alone.

    * * *

    As Lydee entered her cave, she saw that Reiho had a visitor. Her mentor sat on one mushroom, legs folded; Etey was seated on the ground near him.
    “I was about to call to you,” Reiho said.
    Lydee sat down across from him. “I’ve just found out how my closest friends are going to treat me from now on. I suppose they couldn’t hide their feelings forever. Pilo’s still afraid of me, though he won’t admit it. But Jerod isn’t afraid anymore — he’d like his own pet savage.” Realizing that she was glaring at the two, she tried to compose herself.
    “Forget your petty problems,” Etey said. “We have more important matters to concern us now. Your problems will pass.”
    Lydee turned toward Reiho, noticing the worried look on his face. “What is it?” she asked, suddenly concerned.
    “Daiya has called to Homesmind from Earth. She seeks Its aid.” Reiho frowned. “She believes her village is now threatened.”
    Lydee lifted a hand to her mouth. “But how?”
    “Recently, her people have tried to touch the minds of other people in other villages. In order to do that, the older villagers, those whose minds are strongest, must link their thoughts and reach out to others far away. They have not been able to do so since Etey and I left Earth, but a short time ago, they managed to contact a village far to the north. As soon as the people there touched the thoughts of Daiya’s people, they broke off the contact.”
    “Why would they do that?” Lydee asked.
    “Because they believe Daiya’s village to be contaminated. The people there had contact with us, you see, and we are believed to be an evil. ‘Separate selves,’ they

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