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Chapter #6: Extending the Senses
April 9th, 202-CE
It was a calm and warm spring afternoon. After the winds of the last few days, the kids were sure that there would be rain or snow in the forecast. Either was a possibility since March and April were the snowiest months of the year for the state. It was a surprising twist for the children that they could play on the playground. That was how it would appear for Sean, Jena, and Curtis before Scarlet arrived carrying a thick black bandana in her hand.
Sean had almost forgot that it would be the first day of his training. In his pocket rested a new MP3 player a nice and expensive set of earphones. Inside of the MP3 player was a large memory card filled to capacity with discographies of various bands. His mother said that any music that he liked he could keep and set up a playlist for. She would show him how. He was free to play the music as loud as he wanted when he wasn’t in class.
Scarlet’s red hair was straighter today than the last time he saw her. He figured that she must have done something to straighten it. Her blue eyes glanced around to the other two children, “Would you like to introduce me to your friends?” She asked the young golden eyed boy.
Sean nodded and pointed to the blue-eyed boy, “That is Curtis,” He pointed to the red headed green eyed girl, “and this is Jena.”
“They are psychic so they can stay but don’t expect me to train them to use their abilities. The only reason I am training you is because it is becoming a problem for you,” Scarlet noted.
“About that,” Sean stated as he pulled out the MP3 player, “My mother bought me a music player and filled it up with music. She said it helped her with her telepathy when she was my age. Maybe we could skip the training for today and just play? Maybe the music will help me?”
“It might help you,” Scarlet nodded, “It is a common tactic for strong telepaths to use noise to drown out the voices of the others they hear around them but it will not help you to control it completely. You still need training. You still need control.”
“How do you know we are psychic?” Curtis questioned.
“I know,” Scarlet answered.
“That’s not an answer,” Jena stated in response.
“I have a question for you, little girl,” Scarlet stated in response, “Are you his sister? You look like his mother. Aside from the eyes, he looks like his father.”
“If you are a telepath, why don’t you read my mind and find out?” Jena stated as she crossed her arms.
“One thing you all should know is that the reason why people like Miss Leeks reacted the way she did to Sean is because they are afraid that because we can read minds is that we will read minds. You should treat people’s minds as private places. That means if someone doesn’t want to tell you something then you shouldn’t go snooping around. People get pissed if you read their diary, reading their mind is the same thing. If you don’t want to answer me, that’s fine,” Scarlet cautioned, “But that is the reason why I am training Sean. He wants to stay out of people’s mind but he cannot control his ability to do so.”
Sean glanced down at the bandana in her hand, “What’s that for?” He asked.
She walked up towards him, “I’m going to blind fold you.”
He took a step back from her, “Why?”
“Telepathy is another sense but it because our minds haven’t evolved for it yet it has become tied to other senses. You can hear the thoughts of those around you but you can also use it to see other things as well. You can expand it to other senses. That is what blindfolding you will do; it will force your mind to compensate. You will use your telepathy to expand it to your sense of sight,” Scarlet stated.
“I don’t understand,” Sean said, “I thought we were going to teach me how to control it. Not use it.”
“Control it means using it,” Scarlet replied, “You will have to learn how to use it in order to learn how to control it.”
Curtis smirked, “let her put it on you, I want to see what she has planned for you.”
“Are you sure you won’t teach him how to use his powers?” Sean questioned, “I think he also needs to be blind folded.”
“I might blind fold him later for that comment,” Scarlet nodded, “But make no mistake about your talents. They are not powers. Never think of them as powers. You may be different from other humans but you aren’t more powerful than them.”
Sean nodded, “I will make sure that I don’t say that in the future.”
Again, Scarlet approached Sean with the bandana. This time he stayed still and let her tie it around his head. She made sure he couldn’t see anything but could still breathe and that it was comfortable on him. With him only seeing the darkness the blindfold provided, he noticed that the voice around him grew louder, “I don’t think it’s working the way you wanted. It’s just getting louder.”
“I haven’t told you what you will be doing yet,” Scarlet stated in response, “It is natural for your other senses to start using the space your vision had when you can’t see. That is why the voices are getting louder. You should also notice that sounds in general are also getting louder. You should also notice that smells are getting better. Take a whiff.”
Sean sniffed the air. He could smell the blooming flowers and the grass as if he had just dived head first into all of it. The natural musk of his friends and Scarlet also blended in with the smells as well as stone of the concrete and the faint smell of asphalt from the street beyond. It seemed incredible at how potent his other senses had become in just removing one. He wondered, if Telepathy was truly a sense, as Scarlet described, if the rest of his senses would expand in the same manner if someone managed to turn it off. He could see the point of her argument; the other humans may not have telepathy but their minds did not have to compensate for a sixth sense.
“What I want you to do now is to try to see yourself through my eyes,” Scarlet mentioned.
“I thought you said that we shouldn’t invade other people’s minds,” Sean questioned in response.
“Perhaps I should change that a little,” Scarlet stated, “You shouldn’t do that without their permission. You have my permission to go into my mind. I want you to go into my mind and pull an image of yourself standing blind folded.”
Of all of the voices in the sea, he did know how to focus on one voice in particular. When he tried to focus on Scarlet, he couldn’t find her voice in the sea, he could only find Jena’s voice. He shook his head to clear her voice from it. She wasn’t resisting him or inviting him in, this time, he was trying to target someone other than her. She was proving to be a distraction. After two more attempts, he opened his mouth to speak, “I can’t seem to find you.”
“Your voice sounds distorted in your head. That is the voice that narrates your own thoughts,” Scarlet stated, “My voice doesn’t sound the same to me as it sounds to you.”
“I know that. Jena’s voice sounds different to her than it does to me,” Sean stated in response, “I just can’t seem to find your voice in the pool of voices around me.”
“Let me reach out to you,” Scarlet offered, “Do you mind if I do that?”
Sean shook his head, “That is usually how I discover the voices of people familiar to me. Everyone else is usually an accident.”
Scarlet took that long response as a yes and reached out for his mind. She found it soon enough, “This is my voice as I sound to myself. I am sure, as we work together, it will become as familiar to you as Jena’s does.”
“I will remember it,” He projected back. When he noticed that she was not shocked he stated aloud, “You didn’t flinch when I projected to you.”
“I heard you before,” Scarlet stated, “You cried out when you were being attacked. Why do you think I took notice of you in the first place?”
Sean shrugged, “I don’t know. I figured you were there because you were sick or something and noticed that I couldn’t control it during class the other day. That was why you decided to teach me.”
Scarlet chewed on her lip before answering, “Well, you weren’t wrong. I was there to see if you were using your abilities on purpose. I do know some techniques that can seal away a person’s abilities. If you were using your abilities on purpose I was going to do that instead.”
“I wouldn’t mind if you chose to do that,” Sean stated in response, “In truth, I wouldn’t mind being normal, like everyone else.”
Scarlet was unsure how to respond for a moment. She understood where the boy was coming from. She had been viewed as a freak ever since she was little. Even among other psychics she was an oddity. A lot of psychics around her had a couple of abilities including telepathy. She only had telepathy and that was different than those around her. She had yet to encounter another like her. If she could seal away her own telepathy, and she tried, she would do so. Unfortunately, the power only worked on others. She was not sure she could teach anyone else how to do that.
Finally, she came up with an appropriate answer, “I will not seal away your telepathy right now. You may come to find that it is more a part of you than you realize. It would be cruel of me to take it away from you just because you want it gone right now. It is best for you to learn how to control it right now and make up your mind about it later. You may find out that there is someone out there who you cannot read. If that day comes then you may want to read their mind and learn how much of yourself you really are with those abilities.”
“Why would you take them away if I am abusing them?” Sean questioned, “I don’t see the difference.”
“It’s complicated. Maybe you will understand one day. I will explain it later on,” Scarlet stated, “In either case it would have been a last resort. I am not sure I could reverse it if I took away someone’s abilities so I don’t do it unless there is no other choice.” She glanced back down at Sean, “Now that you have my voice, try to see yourself through my eyes.”
It didn’t take long for Sean to find her voice amongst the crowd of voices he was swimming in this time. Once he found her, it was hard to navigate his way to what she was seeing. Unsure of what he should do, he asked telepathically “How do I get to what you are seeing? I have never looked through someone else’s eyes before.”
“You never probed someone’s mind before?” She responded telepathically.
He shook his head and shrugged, “I have no clue as to what to do.”
Scarlet nodded but she knew that he couldn’t see that yet, “Well I guess it is different for everyone and not every telepath can see through the eyes of another so don’t get disappointed if you cannot do it. Try to avoid the thoughts and memories and try to follow a road, a path, a tube, conduit, or something that will lead you to my sight. Some people envision a hallway with different doors and corridors. Others see things differently. Your mind has to translate what is going on in my head.”
“You can’t guide me?” He asked in response.
“You have to do this on your own,” Scarlet answered.
Sean tried to follow what she suggested. He tried to envision something that could guide him to his goal. Slowly he started to see a path of light. It was like a thread that was lit up in the darkness. He could feel himself drawn along it. He let himself be drawn and after a while a fuzzy image of the surroundings came into view. He could see himself through her eyes. As it cleared, he recognized the park and surroundings but things didn’t look right. The landscape seemed different because she was taller than him.
In that instant, something happened. His mind was trying to process what she was seeing as if it was his own eyes. He felt dizzy and his knees started to feel like they were turning to jelly. As he felt the wobbling of his body and the butterflies in his stomach, he could see himself starting to sway through her eyes which added to his own vertigo. As he lost his sense of balance, Scarlet started to rush towards him which only served to confuse his senses even more.
He collapsed to the ground like a sack of potatoes before Scarlet or his friends could get to him. He broke the link at that point but it didn’t dispel the wave of vertigo or nausea that threatened to overwhelm him. Scarlet pulled off the blindfold and pulled his head onto her lap, “Are you okay? What happened?”
“I think I will be okay, if my stomach doesn’t settle, I might get sick,” He commented, “I saw myself through you. It was a bit weird. It made me go dizzy and funny.”
“That is the first time you sounded like a kid,” Scarlet commented, “Come to think of it, I didn’t feel you go through my mind. How did you do that?”
Sean shrugged, “I don’t know. I saw a small string of light and I let myself be pulled by it and that was how I got to your vision. I thought you figured out a way to lead me through.”
She shook her head, “no I didn’t. It seems like you already figured out a way to use impulses to your advantage. That must have been how you got to my sight without me noticing.”
“I don’t know what you said but can we call it a day?” Sean questioned.
Jena knelt down next to him, “Are you still feeling sick to your stomach?”
Sean nodded, “I am.”
Jena placed a hand on his stomach. A moment later the queasy feelings eased and his body calmed down. She placed a hand on his head and the vertigo vanished. He sat up and gave her a smiled, “Now that is a useful gift. Can we trade?”
“I’m already a telepath so I can’t,” Jena giggled.
Scarlet glanced down at the blindfold, “If you are feeling better, would you like to try one more thing before calling it a day?”
Sean shook his head, “No. I think I have done enough for one day.”
She stuffed the blindfold in her pocket, “okay, we can save this for tomorrow then. Can I ask you a few questions? Get to know you a little better before we part ways for the day?”
“That’s fine,” Sean nodded.
“Is Jena your sister?” Scarlet asked.
Sean shook his head and answered, “I consider her the sister I never had but we aren’t related. I was born in the same hospital, on the same day, as she was but we are not related.”
Scarlet cocked her head in curiosity, “She looks so much like your mother. Are you sure that you two aren’t related? Could you have been switched at birth?”
“There is no way of that,” Jena answered, “My mother wouldn’t let me out of her sight when I was born.”
“Same,” Sean added, “Plus, she looks like her parents.”
“Do you know if your parents are possibly related to each other?” Scarlet questioned.
Both shook their heads, “His mother has a complete family history and so does my family. His father is also not related to my family in any way. The fact that we look related is just a strange thing.”
“Interesting,” Scarlet nodded. She glanced back to Sean, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
“Not that I know,” he replied.
“Do you spend a lot of time with other members of your family?” She asked in response.
He shook his head, “The only other members of my family I see are my second cousin, Relena, and her father. Her father is my mother’s cousin. My mother won’t let me see anyone from my father’s side of the family.”
“The three of them are like the black sheep of their families,” Curtis commented.
“You are like a lone wolf,” Scarlet nodded.
Jena chuckled, “his middle name is Wolfe,”
“I think I will call you Lone Wolfe from now on,” Scarlet mentioned.
Sean sighed, “What is wrong with my name? I have friends!”
Scarlet nodded, “you have friends but you keep to yourself when it involves your family. You don’t spend a lot of time with your parents when you are there. You don’t spend a lot of time with your extended family. I don’t call you Lone Wolfe because you are a loner in general; wolves are pack creatures, packs are families. You don’t seem to fit in with your family at all. That makes you a lone wolf. You may not like it but you are Lone Wolfe.”
Curtis nodded, “I like it, it gives you that ‘devil may care’ feel.”
“Your middle name is Wolfe,” Jena added.
Sean sighed, “My name is Sean. I would like to stick to that.”
Curtis chuckled, “Whatever you say, Lone Wolfe.”