I'm back with another look at what Petri is up to. Take a look... :-)
Excerpt from book two of the Petri Dish Chronicles:
Petri opened her eyes to the same stark, white room she had spent so much time with the Arcanum in, but right away she knew she was dreaming. The dimensions of the room had changed considerably and the space around her seemed to go on forever; an endless sea of glowing whiteness. She turned around, trying to find a reference point; anything in that empty space that would let her know why she was there and what was going on. But there was nothing.
As she completed her circuit, the lead Arcanum appeared before her. It was alone, but she could feel the pressure of the Collective surrounding them. Watching them.
"What's going on?"
"You shut me out of your mind, child, this is the only way I can reach you."
"What do you mean?"
"You would not let me past your shields, and I did not want to risk damaging your mind by forcing my way through them. This is easier."
"I don't understand. I told you I wanted to sleep."
"Yes. It is easier to access your memories while you rest."
She could sense the alien testing the edges of her barriers.
"It should be easier, but your defenses are still in place." It cocked its head and seemed to regard her quizzically. "You should not even be aware of my presence. Odd. You are a conundrum, child."
"I told you I don't want you sifting through my mind without my permission. Would you let me do that to you?"
"You are being impertinent, child."
Petri just lifted her eyebrows. She could feel it when the Arcanum reached out to the rest of the Collective and wondered if she had made a mistake.
As if in answer to her silent fears, the Arcanum continued, "Many in the Collective wish to make an example of one of your pets to gain your compliance."
Petri tensed, but the Arcanum held up a hand before she could respond.
"I feel this would be counterproductive, and they are willing to bow to my greater experience associating with you. I have seen some of your memories and understand that much of your life has been spent making transactions with others. Since that is what you are familiar with, I will attempt to find common ground with you that way. I wish to access your memories, what would you ask in return for granting me such access?"
Astonished, Petri chewed on her lip as she considered. "Let my friends go?" she tried.
"I understand enough of these transactions to know that it must be something of equal value. That is not."
"I don't want you just wandering through my mind wherever you feel like it. That's a pretty damn big thing to me."
The Arcanum seemed to consider. "There is specific information I wish to gain from your memories. I could explain my needs and you could provide me with the memories that contain that information."
"Why not just ask me questions and let me answer them?"
"Because I want to see the memories for myself. I do not want them filtered through your perception of what is important from them; I want to see the entire experience."
Petri thought about it. "What memories."
"Your interactions with the being called 'Vlad.' I wish to understand what this being is and what occurred during your interaction with it."
"I don't know what he is."
"Which is one of many reasons why I wish to see the memories for myself."
Chewing her lip, Petri stared at the Arcanum. "Why do you want to know about him?"
"Several reasons. This being may be the answer to a problem."
"What problem? What aren't you telling me?"
"There are many things I have yet to share with you, child. Some you would not understand, some would not be relevant to you, and some I am not certain you are ready for."
"You evaded my question. You've been hiding something important from me, I can tell. I want to know what it is."
"And that is the price you would ask for opening your mind to me?"
Petri shook her head and smiled. "It's the price I ask for sharing my memories of Vlad with you."
She got the feeling that the Arcanum was both amused and grudgingly approving at her correction. It was quiet for several moments and she could feel it as it reached out to the other Arcanum. What that communication contained wasn't clear to her, but she didn't want to lower her barriers in order to hear it better.
After several minutes, the Arcanum's eyes brightened and it said, "The bargain is acceptable. We have an agreement."
"So do I need to wake up, then?"
"There is no need. Make yourself comfortable, child. I will tell you a story."
Startled at the familiar turn of phrase, Petri regarded the Arcanum suspiciously as she settled herself onto the floor with her legs crossed over each other. Had it heard that expression in her mind?
Hmm... Seems like some secrets are about to be revealed. I wonder what they are. ;-) Thank you all for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed this little peek and that you'll check back tomorrow to see whats new in Mistral Dawn's Musings. Have a fantastic day! :-)