He didn't just think this up. Tasmae sends out a physic push, which he interrupts, but not soon enough to keep it from damaging Barin if it hits the planet. He teleports there and in the heat of crisis, comes up with a plan:
It’s not a gravity pulse, the scientific knowledge Deryl had absorbed on Earth told him. Otherwise, the effect would have been instantaneous. It’s a force, a targeted force. Force can be absorbed, deflected, dispersed…
I’ll make this right, Deryl told Alugiac. Get out of here.
Despite being on his knees and wheezing, Alugiac argued. What? What can you do?
The ground shook, nearly knocking Deryl off his feet. With instincts acquired from his bond with Tasmae, he reached into Barin and drew the energy of the earthquake. Rather than sending it elsewhere, however, he pulled it into himself. His muscles shivered, a strangely pleasant sensation. The ground below him stilled. He stifled a laugh Alugiac wouldn’t understand.
Alugiac coughed and wheezed.
You can’t help me, Alugiac, and you can’t help them if you die here. Trust me and get out of here.
When he had left, Deryl pulled off his shirt, wiped his eyes with it, and tied it around his face, covering his nose and mouth. It didn’t help much, but enough that he could concentrate.
Dispersing was not an option; he didn’t even know how he’d do that. How long had it taken Tasmae to absorb the energy she then sent on a collision course? He already felt a little shaky just from what he’d pulled—was still pulling, he realized—from Barin.
Deflect, it is. And Barin, if you want to survive, you’re helping me. Deryl called upon Tasmae’s memories and his own experience with Kanaan and opened his mind to Barin.
Where Kannan had been furious tyranny, Barin was panicked anarchy. Ironically, Deryl’s confidence rose. How many years had he dealt with the anarchy of thoughts impressing upon his mind? The unorganized sensations of a planet struggling not to be torn apart? Walk in the park.
Deryl braced his feet, splayed his hand palm downward, and sucked the energy from Barin.
When Deryl had first been learning to control his abilities, particularly to deal with the legion of impressions coming at him from others around him, Joshua had taught him to shield himself from the mental/emotional aspects. Over the past year, he’d taught himself to filter those aspects out. It was energy, all energy, pure and neutral, like food once through the digestive tract. Now, he applied the same skills to Barin, stripping away the pain of the turmoil, taking the energy into himself, storing it, letting it build. The tremors under his feet stilled. The waves crashing against the rocks calmed. The wind that drove the poisonous air against his makeshift mask quieted.
In response, Deryl’s breathing accelerated, his blood raced, his stomach churned. Adrenalin coursed through him, making him shake. He ignored it, pulling further on Barin, reaching into the ground, through the air, and to the ley lines that arched weakly overhead. A detached part of his mind worked physics problems of angles and forces.
Sheilds? Ha! The key to his sanity lay in creating shields—barriers against unwanted thoughts and emotions, clumsily erected until Joshua and his neuro linguistic programming style of psychology had taken him at his word that he was truly psychic and helped him create stronger, more clever shields. Then again, training on Kanaan, training under Salgoud in anticipation of a Barin attack: manipulating energy to protect himself, then Tasmae, gradually expanding…
He could do this. It was just a matter of size and energy.
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