"But have I ever been using my Talent at such a time?" said Viir.
"Of course...." Genji allowed the automatic protest to die on his lips.
As he was a Negative Psi he made it a point to keep some distance apart from Viir when the other was attempting to use his Talent, to keep from blocking the already erratic abilities. It had never occurred to him that his Psi ability could enhance Viir's.
"Shall we try, dearest heart?" said Viir, following Genji's thoughts. He held out his hand.
Genji hesitated for just an instant, then reached out.
Later he would wonder what any passing Ntaro might have made of the scene, the two off-worlders holding hands and staring at nothing amongst the ashes of the great house. But that was later. At that moment, from the instant he touched Viir's warm hand, he had to fight to retain his sanity.
Emotions – rage, sorrow, fear, hate – that were not his own battered his mind. Fragments, foreign memories assailed him – claw-like hands, Ntaro hands, holding an infant, patting its head, feeling for fever.
Other emotions, emotions he knew instinctively belonged to others: impatience, weariness, pride, hunger. Workers. Builders.
A familiar presence. L'u-cif-er Da'anil Kaen. Determination. Pleasure. Interest. A touch of fear. The temptation to allow himself to be subsumed by the familiar personality was strong. It would be so easy to let himself go.
Genji. Viir's mental call was clear and sharp.
Genji pulled mental shields around his core, drew back from the layers of emotional residue that had built up over the area, and concentrated on the one event – the fire.
He focused on pushing the emotions back, forcing them out of the scene. It was something he had never had to do before. He could feel the pain building behind his eyes. He tried to ignore it, but the sharp throbbing would not be denied.
When Viir released his hand, Genji felt off-balance. He staggered and fought to catch his breath. His inhalations were heavy, awkward, and loud, as if he had forgotten how to breathe. Wiping the sweat from his forehead with a hand that wouldn't stop shaking, he looked at Viir.
"I think," Viir said, a note of triumph in his voice, "we have found the reason Elska bound us together." He dropped to the ground and leaned his elbows on his bent knees. "Though I trust it will not always drain us so."
Finding his own legs were wobbling, Genji sat beside him. "We were successful then."
Viir lifted his head. His smile was weary, but genuine. "Yes." The smile faded. "There is so much pain there, my love. Seeyeer was its child." Viir paused, his expression growing somber. "Genji," he said at last, "it is a Psi."
Genji drew in a sharp breath. The Ntaro were one of the races with few natural Psis. As a result, the Ntaro were suspicious, fearful, and distrustful of Psis. They were border line tolerant of off-world Psi, following an unofficial, "Don't ask, pretend not to know" policy.