15 August 2019
"We have one, Shando."
Mental images form. Male. 437 years [human=28]. Physically healthy. Sensory and motor functions intact. Debilitated mind. Mental infant. And something else ... something personal ... this man is... ...!
...one half of one half of me.
"Your sister married and gave birth soon after you departed your parents' home to join the Druids. You had no further contact. You entered The Dream; time passes paradoxically between the two worlds. She endured much to find me and make her petition. Her heart cannot bear it further. She is convinced that only you can make him whole."
"I did, Shando -- the risk of an unsuccessful meld ... the possible side effects of a successful one. She says it matters not. She will pay any price for a chance that her son become whole. She will accept whatever happens after, even be it lifelong separation. She was very clear."
.................................................................. Prepare him.
Be at peace. Hearken to me. Open yourself. My mind ... to your mind. My thoughts ... to your thoughts. My heart ... to your heart ...
The young man's eyes flutter open. The elder man eyes him carefully. "Ishnu'alah."
The young man blinks. "Ish ... nu ... alah." The words are slow, stilted -- his first ones. Then he groans, gets up on one elbow and holds his forehead.
"Easy, Son," says the Elder, gently pushing him back down onto the bed. "The pain will subside when your mind adjusts. You took in a lot. How do you feel?"
"I ... feel ... head hurt," replies the young one.
"One, seven, five, 13."
The young man frowns. "What...?"
The Elder ignores the question. "What do you remember?"
"I ..." He grimaces as the pain flares in his head, then lessens. He breathes deeply. "I ... remember ..." his mouth hangs open and his eyes focus on something far away, rapidly moving back and forth. He blinks hard and looks at the Elder. "...Everything."
"What were those numbers?"
"One, seven, five, 13."
The Elder nods carefully. Now for the big one. "What is your name?"
The Elder purses his lips together and sighs. He does not look forward to breaking the news to the mother. Later. For now, he smiles. "I'm a Druid, Master Livius. Do you know what that is?"
The young man blinks at the Elder. "Of course. I am one, too."
The Elder purses his lips again. Carefully now. "Listen please, Son. You have memories of things you've never done. I know that sounds strange, but trust me. Take it slow and you'll get there. We'll help you." He smiles. "You're one of us now."