I willed myself back out of the atmosphere of the planet and hung there, my thoughts boiling. Oh, I had experience with teleportation, hadn't I just, in essence, done the same myself? But that was an ability granted me by the armor- I just came along for the ride. Other species I had investigated had created devices to allow them to teleport, but my armor was the smallest and most advanced I had ever seen. But now this being casually, scarcely without a second thought, teleported away right in front of me. After taking a staggering blow to the chest that was stopped by a force field another being had made for him. And the one left behind seemed more concerned with his green rectangles then with the being disappearing right in front of him, so it wasn't something to be afraid of. But did I really just see that? Perhaps it wasn't the armor breaking down that I should be worried about... but myself.
Still, it didn't hurt to be sure.
"Run full diagnostic," I commanded the armor. Indicator lights in my visor lit as tests were performed. None were dark, so as far as my armor could tell, both it and myself were operating normally. I had seen a being teleport under his own power. The implications were staggering!
Alert, my armor read out on the display, Notification of requested event: return of specified vibrational anomaly.
I shoved the thoughts aside, readying myself for more strangeness from the beings living here, and mentally commanded my armor to take me there.
I found myself in an open area, standing beside a small wheeled structure. I looked around and found the being I had seen before, looking somewhat worse off. The covering of the being was all torn up, and it was apparently wounded in several places. Two other figures looked up from a small fire before them, and the smaller one jumped up and threw its arms around the returning one. The other got up as well, and they seemed to be talking. The returning one showed her hand, where I noticed many more markings then previously, and wondered if this being had murdered a predator like the one I saw for each. It seemed highly probable.
I took in details of the scene, noticing the two others did not carry the primitive edged weapon the returning one did. Then an interesting thought struck me.
"Scan for vibrational disturbances."
"Scanning. Only one vibrational disturbance detected."
I was right! Then I thought for a second about what that meant and realized it just left me more confused. Obviously these beings could see the one with the vibrational difference where the beings back by the attack obviously could not. I scanned the other two and found little to distinguish them from other beings; as expected no implants to simplify the explanation. While I was doing that, the smaller being sat back down and I received another surprise- a second being, looking exactly like the first but with different coverings appeared! In fact, the second being seemed to step directly from the first, and the first went limp as though dead.
I quickly scanned the body and determined it was not dead, just inert, and watched as the now vibrationally different being began waving their hands about. The wounds of the returning being closed up, and the taller one nodded as if pleased. This healing surprised me, but as I had seen the other create directed energy fire, it made sense another could produce a healing effect. Why not? I had given up for the moment trying to understand how this all happened, now just taking it in and cataloging the various abilities of these beings for later analysis.
The one being vanished again after placing a hand on the other body, and the returning being went into the structure. I stuck my head through the side and, as expected, there was a body similar to it lying inert inside. I directed a scan at the body so I could record the event, and watched with interest as the two beings became one. The now complete being I noticed was now vibrationally similar to the surroundings, and was stretching as though leaving a period of inactivity. Which in a way, I suppose it was.
I felt I would be best served by staying with this particular group for the time being, for several reasons. I wanted to see if the taller group member could manifest a body in this way. I wanted to see if the predator it fought was the only kind, or if there were many kinds. I wanted to see what other abilities the beings would express. Staying near them seemed the best course of action.
The returning one ate heavily, then all three went into the structure and laid down. Were they going to manifest again? I watched impatiently.
I scanned them again, and saw that their brainwave patterns had changed. Apparently creatures on this world required a dormancy period, which was unsurprising. Most beings I had encountered did, at one time or another. Impatience was unlike me, but I hadn't been this curious about a species for some time so I thought about what to do. I could come back when they began moving again... but that didn't appeal. I might get side tracked with more wonders and miss something important here. I decided to step further "right", increasing the difference between our two time references and allowing their inactive period to pass in a flash. Once they were up and moving I eagerly awaited their next astonishing thing.
Which did not happen for two more dormancy periods, durning which they traveled in their mobile structure. At least I learned some things about normal life on this planet. Until I realized that maybe these beings weren't normal at all! After all, the beings at the attack site couldn't see these "Spirit Hunters" as they called themselves. I had learned the language by this time, and figured out the differences between the two genders. I was also beginning to understand their facial gestures and body language, which seemed to account for at least some of their total communication abilities. As fas as them being normal "humans", I would have to compare their activities with others of their species to see how common this sort of thing was.
The three stopped into some sort of central office, then were sent out again. They were discussing various dangers of the male they had been assigned to "take care of", which seemingly had a variety of meanings. The two younger humans were always arguing about who should "take care of" a variety of domestic tasks, so I wasn't certain of the usage in this case.
I hadn't yet realized everything about these three related to violence.
When they got near their destination they found a place to leave their vehicle and all three "went into spirit form." I still didn't know exactly how they managed this, but soon all three were holding "swords" and running across rooftops. They stopped and crept closer to a certain house, and I realized exactly what "take care of" meant. They forced their way into the residence and searched the surroundings, often stopping to close their eyes as if somehow sensing without them. My scans didn't reveal any other sense organs beyond the obvious ones but given the things I had seen, I couldn't discount the possibility. I knew they must have been looking for the being underground, which my scans had shown me immediately.
Suddenly one of the Spirit Hunters grew excited, and I wondered exactly how she had realized she was directly above the being. She smashed through the floor, and all three jumped down into the hole. The man there was totally outmatched, but the curious thing was he seemed to create creatures to fight for him! Out of thin air he materialized several bizarre looking beings, which the three Spirit Hunters quickly dispatched. They then cut the man down where he stood, and left, satisfied.
The action of these three didn't make sense. They didn't steal anything from the house, so they were not thieves. But they did not follow the law processes I had seen followed in my initial observation of the justice system of this world. Of this continent, I should clarify, as other continents seem to have other systems. What had this man done to deserve this sort of treatment? Were the creatures some kind of illusion? If so why did the Spirit Hunters take such pains to destroy them? How did the man see the Spirit Hunters when the people at the "mall" did not? As they left and rejoined their bodies I stayed and looked down at the unfortunate man they had killed. Was this planet on the wrong track after all? My initial thought was these Spirit Hunters were beneficial, destroying predators that the general population couldn't see. But now... this brutal act showed me I still had a lot of information to gather before I could make a decision.
I spent many "weeks" looking into various aspects of the different cultures and people on the planet, but I felt more at a loss then ever. I had seen more miracles performed on this world then on any six before it. The sick- healed, just by laying on of hands. Matter changed in both form and substance, something that I would have said impossible before, but for the most technologically advanced species. I even saw a person tell another their future, and days later that prediction came true! It was staggering. However, with all this going on, those with real power seemed to operate in secret, or as a last resort. Why? Why? I couldn't figure that out. Yes, there were few of them that had real abilities, but shouldn't that make them even more precious? Why were those that could tell the future not in positions of power, where their gifts could benefit the most people? Why were there hospitals full of sick people when a touch and a moment of concentration could heal them?
It made no sense.
I had to learn the answer to this question before doing anything for this planet, good or ill. If there was some check, some balance that kept these people hiding, disrupting it could have massive consequences. I was beginning to admire these people as I learned of their history (which was often brutal) as they were slowly beginning to think like responsible beings. Most civilizations I encountered had violence in the past, it was inevitable. The real test was, could they put that past aside, while not forgetting it, so it didn't come back to haunt them? I thought maybe they could.
But the question remained; were these people with extraordinary abilities a positive thing for the world? Or did they hide because they had been judged harmful and cast out? I decided the thing to do would be to follow an individual, or small group of individuals as they came into their power. By following someone young perhaps they would ask the same questions I had, and get the answers I desperately needed. I was in the process of selecting someone with a vast potential (the better to see how the planet would react to someone truly powerful arising) when the world... changed.