She smiled, breathing hard. Marco rolled up on one elbow, watching her. She lay in a shaft of moonlight on the tangled sheets, her eyes half closed, sated. Her smile was radiant in his eyes. He wished he could hear her thoughts, as he always wished she could hear his happiness. She looked up and said, “I can relax with you, I don’t have to watch my every thought.” Marco knew she said it to reassure him. She always did.
Marco knew she loved him, knew it without doubt. Why else had she stayed with him, a human? Humans were okay for her kind to play with, but they could never share the intimacy of mind-touch that the Kindra shared. The Kindra could never contemplate the loss of that ability among their kind. Arcinia stayed with him, but would never wed him, would never share a family with him. They could never really be together without the mind-touch.
Marco went to work the next day and began going over the latest round of test results on the Kindra test subjects: unfortunates who had never developed the Kindra mind sense. He was running some initial statistics programs when he became aware of Vinder standing next to him. Marco looked up at the tall Kindra and waited. A few seconds later Vinder blinked and said, “Oh damn, I forgot you were head-blind again, Marco. Anyway, how do the figures look? The subjects are thrilled with the results.”
“Yes, I imagine they must be. The results are incredible, since we found the neuron growth activation sequence. I think we can present a case for early marketing when this test is complete.” Marco felt the familiar anger burn through him, though he let none of it show. It wasn’t Vinder’s fault, he hated being a head-blind human. Marco’s determination grew. He was going to use the serum, this evening when everybody went home.
There was no telling what the treatment would do to a human. The one thing they did know was that Kindra treatments shortened human lives. There seemed to be no predicting by how much. He took the serum from the cabinet and loaded a syringe. Marco stared at the syringe for a long time. The humans in past experiments who aged swiftly did not have a pleasant time of it, and there could be other effects. The stuff was designed to target the brain; he could come out of it a vegetable. But if it worked…. He thought of Arcinia in the moonlight. He held her in his mind and injected the serum.
Marco woke up on the floor. He didn’t feel any different. He checked the clock. He’d lost about an hour. Scrambling up he went outside and walked between buildings empty for the evening until he reached a bar full of after-hours clientele. And he heard them. He HEARD them! The results were beyond his dreams. The treatment worked, and the metabolic effects were apparently low. He felt fine, if a little dizzy from the mental noise.
Marco headed home, nearly running. He walked in their door and reached for Arcinia’s mind for the first time, and stopped, shocked at her instant rejection of his mental touch. He saw a single tear roll down her cheek. “Marco, what have you done?”
“The experiment at work, my love, I tried it! It worked! I can be with you now, hear your thoughts and share mine as your people do!” Marco held both hands out toward Arcinia, reaching.
“You never got it, Marco, though I told you and told you. I loved you because you were the only one who left me alone in my own head.” She walked past him and out the door.