The instant he knew her, she could feel her own energy magnified. They were sharing the same cyclical essence again.
Horror and panic tore at his mind, but her emotions were more powerful. “Lia! DON'T - ” Before he could stop her, she catapulted herself into his arms, embracing him fully.
It was too late. His essence sang with hers and threw a burst of electrons that tore the sky in a display that would put the Northern Lights to shame.
In the next moment, he vanished as Talia was flung forward. The raw sound of his anguished cry ripped through her soul as she landed on the ground, touching nothing but the trail of his essence-flavored energyprint.
Age 17, PRESENT
There would be a flood of tears if she could suspend her physical assessment long enough to realize what had just happened. The surge of energy that had exploded from their connection was the equivalent of electrocution, and her body, mind, emotions and essence were all suspended in a state of shock. In a daze, she tried to piece together what had happened.
Bryd... ladybug... Bryd... fusion... recognition... waiting.. BRYD... explosion.
She repeated the scene over and over again in her mind as she shuffled around her world in a daze. With thoughts in one direction, emotions in another, and her body in yet another, she couldn't lift the confusion long enough to follow any train of thought. There was the hint of something – something slippery, but she couldn't grasp it firmly enough before it slid out of her grip again.
But what? before the explosion? Explosion??? Where was the.. can't think...on empty... what was that... right before... gonna exhaust my... a separate energy? impossible... so tired.
Her brain shifted into auto-pilot. Humans, no matter their gift, prioritize self-preservation as the highest on the list. In the struggle between seeking answers and survival, life trumped all. Talia crawled a few more meters before her strength gave out. She surrendered the battle and slipped into a semi-oblivious state of connection with her surroundings. As if she were the queen bee, she could feel the teeny, tiny frenetic antics of the hive buzzing around her – repairing her atoms, one by one.
This would take time.
There had been times in the past when she had run her energy lower than normal. During these situations, her mom had learned not to panic, but to continue to nurture and care for her “sleeping” body in the real world. All of Talia's physical needs were being cared for in her world, however, she also knew that she couldn't stay indefinitely. Though she could revitalize in her world, there seemed to be a delicate balance between alternating her presence in each world in order to maintain survival in both. She had never tested the limits because she never had the need. Talia hated to do this to her mom, but she knew on a primal level that if she left too soon, she might not have enough to return. She would stay a bit longer than she thought was necessary, just in case.
Before attempting to re-emerge, she would need to wait, heal, and restore her gift fully. Then, she had to find Bryd. Together, maybe they could unravel the mystery of what had happened, and sort through the tangle of emotions that were felt the moment before the explosion. Again, she began to fight through the daze and force her brain to submit to manual override. She needed to dig deeper into that singular moment. The intensity of the emotions had overwhelmed every cell. Some were his. Some were hers. Some were theirs – and some, were not theirs.
Auto-pilot re-engaged. The flickering behind her eyelids stilled while her brain pursued the primary point of peace. Her body and mind rested while the worker bees of energy continued to tend, surround, repair and flow through their "queen". The absolute furthest thing from her mind was the singular beacon of light that had been present in both worlds for a few, integral moments after the explosion.