After a few seconds, Nathan came back with Jack. If I could have, I would've been grinning from ear to ear. Yet somehow he sensed the change in my attitude towards him. For one thing he smiled, then came over and pulled up a chair next to my bed. My mind raced with questions, especially one... but then I remembered I couldn't speak or use my hands.
He must've seen something in my eyes, because he frowned and asked softly, "Is my being so close a problem?"
Forgetting myself I started to shake my head a little too vigorously, which caused me to let out a groan of pain.
Nathan reached out a hand and touched my brow and said, "Easy. Listen, I can tell you want to say something important. And I think I know a way to help, but I'm going to need you to trust me. Can you do that?"
I managed a little "Uh-huh..." noise in my throat.
"Good," he replied gently and held up a hand. A moment later, a greenish mist began emanating from his sleeve. Before I knew it, I couldn't see his hand anymore, only the mist, only now I could also detect little flashes of blue in the miasma. "If you breathe this in, it will allow us to make a mental connection between us. I won't be able to read your mind, but I'll be able to get impressions of what you want to say and I can act as your voice. Are you all right with that?"
This time I gave him several muffled but eager "Uh-huhs."
"Okay," he nodded and brought the sleeve with the mist closer to my face. "Now, just breathe normally, there's no need to inhale deeply."
For the record, I really tried to do as he instructed. But I was so eager to try to communicate with everyone I wound up doing an impression of a junkie with couple of rolled up twenties stuffed up my nose.
Nathan pulled his arm back and stared at the now empty cuff muttering, "I'm going to need that hand back eventually."
I started to mentally apologize when suddenly I heard my thoughts come out of his mouth. "Sorry about that. I hope I didn't... Oh my God you're talking in my voice!"
Nathan gave me an embarrassed grin. "I hope you don't mind, I just thought it would be easier to do things this way so these two would know who's saying what."
Glancing over at Brian and Jack I could see they were both staring at us in surprise.
After a moment Brian said, "I had no idea you could do that, Nathan."
I shook my head sadly.
He took a deep breath and looked down at his own. He had two again which surprised the rest of us.
"No, but I'm a fast learner," he replied.
TO BE CONTINUED...