The Other World

Going solo with spelling errors

GPFriday: Children of Legend Chapter 4: the offer — June 2, 2017

GPFriday: Children of Legend Chapter 4: the offer

Hopefully your week was short and started off with a barbecue with friends and family, maybe a birthday party. Sit back and enjoy a chapter of easy reading with this extra from the Templar series.

 

Children of Legend

Previous chapters

Chapter #1: Unusual Children

Chapter #2: Trinity of Teachers

Chapter #3: The Zoo

Chapter #4: The Offer

 

Greeley Colorado

April 7th, 2020-CE

 

Sean had a fun time in Colorado Springs with his Cousin Ben and Ben’s daughter Relena. Sean’s second cousin helped him feel normal again which was the purpose of the visit. His mother was happy at the reprieve that it gave her son. However, they could not hide away from the events in the northern half of the state forever. Sooner or later the school district would get tired of the absence and the excuse of the attack wouldn’t hold up. They would either have to move or they would have to return to the school. While moving or changing schools would still be a possibility, they had to see if their son had the resilience to go back.

She expected a fight the night she told them they would be leaving. While she could see fear in his golden eyes, she didn’t get a fight from her son. He forced a smile on his face and reported that he missed his two best friends. As long as his teacher wouldn’t be there, he would be willing to go back so he could see them again.

The bruising on his neck was looking pretty dark after a week but it was starting to yellow at the edges. It seemed to be healing far quicker than even she expected. She was aware that most of the psychic abilities ran on his father’s side of the family and empaths tended to be fast healers, she wondered if he turned out to be an empath when he got older. If he was going to have a third powerful psychic ability it would awaken around this time. If not, the next chance he would get for an ability to awaken naturally would be when he hits puberty.

She shivered as she thought what her son would be like when he hit puberty. She was the youngest of four children. She was also the only girl. Her brothers were all hit particularly hard by puberty. No one likes to go through puberty. It was the debate of the ages as to whether it was worse on the children or the parents but it was never a fun experience for either party. Right now, aside from his wild telepathy, he was a pretty good natured kid. He hoped he stayed that way for as long as possible.

She dropped him off at school and noticed the fourteen-year-old girl in goth clothing and makeup sitting in the back of the classroom. Jena and Sean noticed the adolescent girl right away. Curtis seemed to notice that she was there but only just. The rest of the kids in the class were normal, they possessed no psychic abilities, and they seemed to not notice she was there. The teacher was aware of her presence and beneath the makeup she did resemble the teacher.

The fact that this could be the teacher’s daughter kept Sylvia from either making a scene or using her telepathy to disrupt what this teenage girl was doing. She did feel the need to ask as to why she was here, “May I ask why you are here?”

The girl glanced over to her and replied telepathically, “I am just here to observe and to keep any wild abilities from going out of control. Nothing more. I promise, no harm will come to your son.”

“Be careful, girl, you are playing with fire. Don’t harm my son. If you do then your mother will not stop me from extracting my vengeance from you. I was denied that once. It will not happen a second time.” Sylvia warned telepathically then spun around and left the room. While she did not like the thought of another telepath being in the class, it was better than his old teacher being in the classroom.

 

*        *        *

 

Sean had expected to see his old teacher in the classroom when he first walked in with his mother. The idea that she would be there filled him with fear that morning. So much fear that he could hardly eat his cereal in the morning. His stomach calmed down as he headed towards school. Unlike his telepathy, his Clairvoyance was much better behaved. It told him that he had nothing to worry about, he would see his old teacher again and that would be for the best for everyone.

The substitute teacher introduced herself to him after his mother left. Her name was Alexa Henderson. Sean could feel his mind reach out to the teacher and did his best to hold it back but he couldn’t. Suddenly, as his telepathy started to peer into her mind, a wall blocked it from peeking in further. He breathed a sigh of relief for that. Something blocked him from reading this teacher’s mind and he was thankful for that. He glanced behind him for some reason and asked, “Who is the girl in the back of the room?”

The teacher didn’t seem surprised that he could see her. Sean was oblivious to the fact that most of his peers couldn’t perceive her, “That is my daughter, Scarlet. She wasn’t feeling well this morning so I took her with me to school. I just wanted to keep an eye on her.”

“Okay,” Sean stated without a second thought and walked over to his seat.

The lessons proceeded throughout the day as normal. It was around lunch time when Curtis filled him in that only the three of them plus the teacher noticed that Scarlet was in the classroom. The lessons of the day had been so clear for Sean that he had not noticed that the others were ignoring the high school girl in their class. He didn’t know if that was natural or if that was something to be concerned about. He had never heard of a sick high school kid accompanying their parent to school to sub a class. However, he had to admit that it was turning out to not be a normal year at all.

As the afternoon wore on he figured out why he was having such an easy time with the class that day. Something was blocking his unconscious telepathy from roaming the classroom and beyond. The voices of those around him seemed quieter and he could actually concentrate. The only changes in the classroom that day were the substitute teacher and her daughter. As the teacher didn’t seem like an adult telepath, he had met a few, he figured that it was Scarlet.

He turned around when he felt his telepathy was being blocked again and gave the teenager a smile. She glanced over and seemed startled by his smile. It was apparently something that she was not expecting. He glanced forward at that moment and wondered why she would not expect him to be happy that she was helping him with his telepathy. It was the first time he could sit there and not have to try to keep his power contained since he started school. She must have expected him to be upset that she was blocking him from using it, was she thinking that I was actually using my telepathy?

 

*        *        *

 

It was when the young boy turned around that she figured out what was really going on with him, he can’t control it! She thought to herself. It wasn’t that he was trying to read the minds of those around him. It wasn’t that he was letting his mind wander. It was that he was actively trying to restrain his abilities and he couldn’t do it on his own. He needed help with doing it. The real question now was, why wasn’t his family trying to help him with controlling it.

It wasn’t unheard of for a psychic to be born with wild abilities but it wasn’t common either. Such children needed to be taught how to control their abilities at an early age. His abilities were acting like those of a telepath who had just awakened at the age of two or three when their speech was starting to develop. His abilities were powerful, His abilities either surfaced at birth or around two or three. His parents had to know he was a telepath. Why didn’t they help him control and contain his abilities?

It wasn’t a question of them being normal people with a gifted child. His mother used her telepathy to contact her to maintain her camouflage around the rest of the children. She knew how to use her abilities. She could have taught him to control his abilities. She had to know what was going on.

She cracked the ghost of a smile. If his mother had not used her telepathy, Scarlet would not have been able to find her in the din of the rest of the voices in the world. Now that she had, Scarlet could find her no matter where she was. She had to know why his mother had not taught him how to control his abilities yet.

She searched the static for the mother of the boy, it didn’t take her long to find it. She was close, in regards to geographic location. When she did, she projected to the telepath, forming a bond so the telepath could speak back, “Forgive my intrusion but I have to ask why you do not train your son to control his telepathic abilities?”

“You are the girl at the school, the daughter of the teacher, how can you project from so far away?” his mother projected in response.

“I am different from most telepaths. I don’t have a range. I am more connected than have a range. The few telepaths who know about what I can do call me a range-less telepath. Now that I have answered your question, can you answer mine? Why don’t you train him to control his telepathy? I thought you weren’t a telepath when he was attacked. When you projected to me this morning you made it clear that you are a psychic so you could have taught him how to control his abilities by now.” Scarlet answered.

“He will learn to control his abilities eventually,” Sylvia responded.

“Is that how it worked for you? Were you a late bloomer? Are others in your family late bloomers too? From what I have seen today; he has struggled to contain his telepathy all day. The only reason he hasn’t caused another incident today is because I have been helping him contain it. As soon as he figured it out he flashed me a smile, a silent thank you.” Scarlet responded.

“We all learned how to control our telepathy soon after it surfaced,” Sylvia commented.

“Did his abilities surface recently?” Scarlet asked.

“No, they surfaced when he was two, he was born with his Clairvoyance and that has never been a problem for him. I imagine the only reason his telepathy was not a natural born ability is because of his Clairvoyance,” Sylvia answered.

“With all due respect, I am looking at another child that was born with two abilities. If you believe that a child can only be born with one ability and have another one surface later then you are wrong. His female friend is a natural born telepath and a natural born empath. By the time you were his age, could you control your telepathy?” Scarlet commented in response.

“Yes, I was able to control my abilities at his age,” Sylvia admitted. Scarlet thought she could hear his mother actually sigh when she made the projection. The thought of that made her smile slightly.

“He’s not able to control it. He is struggling. Why don’t you teach him to control it? Without the control, he is a danger to himself and others. He needs to have that control.” Scarlet questioned.

“I don’t want him to end up like so many other psychics. I don’t want him to have the teachings that allow him to manipulate others and abuse his abilities at will. I admit, he needs to be able to control his abilities but I don’t want him to abuse that control.” Sylvia replied.

The response surprised Scarlet. She didn’t know that there were other psychics who shared her point of view. She figured that she was in the minority. Most of the psychics she had met had been willing to mess with humans at will. Most of them had bad experiences, like Sean, attacks and ridicule at the hands of normal humans. It tended to make them bitter as well as afraid of normal humans. The thought that at least one of his parents thought that their abilities were not something meant to be abused for no good reason. Still, it was no excuse to not teach him how to contain his wild abilities, “So, don’t teach him anything more than the basics. Teach him how to contain the abilities and not read the minds of others.”

There was a long pause before Sylvia responded over the bond, “I have been trying but I don’t know how to teach him how to control his abilities. I don’t want to use my abilities all the time. I am afraid that it will teach him it is okay to use them all the time as well. I don’t know any other way to teach him.”

Scarlet nodded, “Let me teach him. I will teach him how to control his abilities and how to defend himself against other telepaths only. I won’t teach him how to use his abilities against normal humans.”

“I find that difficult to believe. Aren’t you using your abilities against the others right now?” Scarlet stated.

“I am blocking the others from noticing me because me being here would get my mother into trouble. When your son was attacked, he called out for help more than just with his voice. I heard him and learned about him that day. I had to see if he was really untrained or if he was purposefully using his abilities. Now that I see that is the former, I see he needs to be trained,” Scarlet replied.

It again took a long while for the adult telepath to reply over the bond. When she did reply, Scarlet could tell that the adult was not thrilled with the idea of her child being trained, “I will let you train him for now. If I notice him doing anything that I deem not appropriate with his powers then I will put a stop to your training immediately. Understood?”

Scarlet nodded, “Thank you for the chance to train him.”

Scarlet was about to break the bond when Sylvia spoke through it, “Before you break the bond, you and your mother will come to our place for dinner tonight. I want to meet the both of you before I make my final decision about you training my son.”

 

*        *        *

 

The human body is controlled by electro chemical reactions. Those reactions create patterns. Science is beginning to figure out how to read those patterns. They have created MRI machines and CT scanners, EEG’s, and so forth to read it. Psychics have very subtle differences, minute differences that are still too subtle for those devices to pick up. A talented telepath can pick up on those differences, however.

Scarlet was one of those gifted telepaths. She couldn’t take all of the credit for it. Since she was tapped into the collective unconscious of human kind, she was also tapped into the best and brightest of psychics. Some of those had figured out how to read the subtle differences between those who had psychic abilities and those who did not. Others had figured out that there were still differences between telepaths, empaths, telekinetics, psychokinetics, and clairvoyants. She took that knowledge a step further and could figure out how potent an ability was.

She knew, by looking at Sean and feeling the vibrations of his electro chemical reactions, that he was a very gifted Clairvoyant. He was also one of the strongest telepaths that she had come across. She felt that he may have one or two other abilities awaken later, they would be far weaker than the other two that he already possessed.

When Sylvia came to pick up Sean from school, she invited Scarlet and her mother over for dinner that night. She made sure none of the other students were around before she stated, “Your daughter told me what she wants to do with our son. We want to discuss it tonight.”

Alexa Henderson nodded, “I don’t know when you had a chance to speak with her but she told me she wants to teach your son how to control his telepathy.”

Sylvia cocked her head in confusion. This woman’s mind was open and there was no sign of any telepathic ability, “You aren’t a telepath. Is your husband a telepath?”

“Her father is a telepath but my husband is not her biological father,” Alexa explained, “We are both normal, if that is what you are referring to.”

“We used our abilities earlier today. She asked me about teaching him then,” Sylvia explained, “I didn’t know neither of her parents weren’t telepathic.”

Scarlet was sure by the softening of Sylvia’s expression that this fact actually helped her. Many telepaths were taught how to use their abilities by members of their families. Usually, techniques as well as prejudices were passed down from one generation to the next. Sylvia seemed determined to stop this cycle from continuing in her son. Perhaps she had not received any form of family training either. It would be interesting to see if the boy’s father had any sort of family training.

As the two mothers conversed, Scarlet studied Sean’s mother. She possessed powerful Clairvoyance like her son. Her telepathy was powerful as well but not as powerful as Sean’s abilities. Scarlet started to develop a theory, if the boy’s father did not have as powerful telepathy as he did then he would be an aberration. An aberrant would have a problem controlling their ability. Their power is somewhat different from the norm. It is possible that when the boy got older his children would have the same telepathy but without the problem or they could have telepathy that resembles their grandparents.

Scarlet’s mother drove from the school over to Sean’s house. They followed his mother as she drove. The trip only took a few minutes. When they were home they found, his father had just arrived. The three adults conversed in the kitchen as Sean’s father cooked the dinner and left the children in the living room to entertain themselves until the dinner was ready.

Scarlet glanced over to his father as he prepared the food, chopping up the vegetables, and meat before adding it to a wok to cook. She studied his patterns as he worked to glean what she could about any abilities he possessed. He was telepathic, about the same level as his wife, he possessed empathic abilities that were slightly weaker than his telepathic abilities. He possessed some telekinetic and psychokinetic abilities. She wondered if he knew about those abilities because his demeanor suggested he lacked the hostility typically associated with telekinetics.

Sean sniffed at the air and his gold eyes glanced towards the kitchen, “Smells like Chinese food. Stir fry.”

“Both of your parents are psychics?” Scarlet questioned.

Sean nodded, “I guess so, aren’t yours?”

She shook her head, “They’re normal.”

He glanced down and looked for something to do, “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“I hear you have trouble controlling your abilities. I can help you with that,” Scarlet offered.

For the first time since she had met him, he glanced up and gazed straight into her blue eyes. His gold eyes, more than anything else, was the thing that unsettled her. It was almost as if a wolf was gazing at her, sizing her up. After a moment he asked, “Do you really mean that?’

She nodded, “yes, I will teach you how to control your telepathy.”

He smiled, it was the first time she saw the smile of a seven-year-old on his face, “I would like that.”

Templar: Order and Chaos 2nd edition in the works. — May 31, 2017

Templar: Order and Chaos 2nd edition in the works.

Well, today is in DESPERATE need of some good news. The second edition text of Templar: order and Chaos has been out on Kindle for a little bit but I have a new cover and I have changes in review for the second edition Templar: Order and Chaos on Createspace. the covers for both the E-book and the physical will now match AND they will now have the second edition text in print. Here is the cover for Templar: Order and Chaos going forward. it is much better than the garbage that was available through the kindle cover creator and through Createspace.

Templar- Order and Chaos.png

Additionally: there is a new One liner and Synopses for both the E-Book and the Physical editions:

“There are forces in the modern world that could unwittingly destroy it, fortunately, there are some talented people to defend it.

For Lone Wolfe, he wondered if his biggest problems were the strange dreams of a person he had not yet met or the strange powers that he and his best friends seemed to suddenly possess. He never imagined that he lived in a world wehre arcane magic existed and Vampires were more than fiction.

Jena would like Nothing more than to stay in her home town but other forces have other things planned for her. She falls head first into a world of Lilithians and their dark ways pulled along by lust in intrigue.

If the world is to be saved, these two, trusted with the secrets of the Keepers of the balance must find out what draws the mages and Lilithians together before both sides inadvertently end the world.”

The ebook edition is available on Amazon now (old cover is still on there last I checked but the text is new): https://www.amazon.com/Templar-Order-Chaos-Lone-Wolfe-ebook/dp/B01L4XZ920/

Story-line Saturday: Clairvoyants — May 27, 2017

Story-line Saturday: Clairvoyants

Happy weekend to you. I came up with a good go forward plan as I was writing yesterday evening. I would devote GPFriday to story serials and extras such as cover designs and previews and I would create a new weekly for the other world behind the scenes world building. I am calling it Story-line Saturday. Let me know what you think of it in the comments.

Clairvoyants: In history and legend, tales of fortunetellers and people who can see the future go way far back. We had the real life Oracle of Delphi among others that were said to know the future and how things would play out. Today we have clusters of computers that can crunch data and predict outcomes of human behavior with such frightening accuracy that it makes us wonder how smart computers are getting (if you want to know what I mean, google Target data mining). With new research going on into memory based computing, where a computer can analyze everything at the same time as opposed to the current architecture, it will only be a matter of time before computers regularly make startling predictions and make things common place. Real questions will have to be asked and answered when that time comes but that would be a rant for another time.

with that information above; what is Clairvoyance exactly? In my universe I divide it into several options: Precognition: a kind of spider sense that tells the characters to move or do something right before something bad happens to the character. Premonitions that give the characters glimpses into the future, feelings that tell them what is happening elsewhere in the world, and Post-Premonitions that tell the character what happened to the area. A final category is some Clairvoyants seem to pull knowledge out of the Ether, allowing them to know what they need to know when they need to know it.

That concludes the Psychics. Starting next week I will delve into briefs on different types of magic and supernatural species in the other world. Let me know what you think in the comments.

GPFriday: Children of Legend Chapter #3: The Zoo — May 26, 2017

GPFriday: Children of Legend Chapter #3: The Zoo

I was originally going to post the conclusion to the other world building of the psychic classes but recent events at work and a request from my wife to post more chapters of story extras made me re consider. Let me know in the comments if you want me to post the clairvoyants and I will do it for next week’s GPFriday. Otherwise I may do a Manic Monday post or something else in a couple of weeks. the Links to the previous chapters will also be below

Children of Legend

Previous chapters

Chapter #1: Unusual Children

Chapter #2: Trinity of Teachers

Chapter #3: The Zoo in the Park

 

Pueblo Colorado

April 1st, 2020-CE

 

At first Sean thought that it was an April fool’s day joke. His mother said that she was taking him and his cousin to Mineral Palace park in Pueblo Colorado. The park also had a zoo, smaller than the zoo in Denver, but a zoo never the less. It wasn’t until they were standing at the gates to the zoo that he realized that such a place existed. The park was larger than anything that he had seen in Greeley. The town he was born and raised in had numerous parks, around a hundred of them. Each of those parks were small compared to this one. Some of them had playground equipment, some had tennis and basketball courts, a couple had lakes people could fish out of, some were nothing more than fields of grass and trees. One could run from one side of any of those parks to the other without breaking a sweat.

Mineral Palace park had everything the parks in Greeley had plus the zoo. It was so big that he didn’t realize that they had been driving in it for a block before his mother parked the car. She glanced back to both Sean and his second cousin, Relena, and smiled before handing the attendant the amount for the three tickets needed, “I’ve never been here before but your father has, Sean. Your father grew up here. I think he used to play in this park as a kid.”

“I didn’t think there were any other zoos other than the one in Denver,” Relena stated with a smile on her face, “I wonder what kind of animals they have here.”

She gave her little cousin a smile. They shared the same green eyes but his mother’s hair was browner than the red that Relena had, “There are more zoos around than just here and Denver. I think just about Every state has a zoo. Some states have several. There is a massive one in San Diego. I have been there. It is complete with an aerial tram and a whole host of stores and restaurants.”

“Like an amusement park,” Relena smiled.

They took their tickets and walked through the doors into the zoo itself. Inside there was a small gift shop and a refreshment stand. Sean glanced around, his gold eyes imagining that this zoo offered exactly what his mother was describing until he caught glimpses of thoughts from his second cousin. It was a pale imitation compared to the large amusement parks she had been to in the past. He glanced to his mother and forced a smile. His thoughts came through less in a language than anything else but it was clear. He would rather they went camping than went to the zoo with his second cousin.

“Maybe you shouldn’t be poking around in other people’s minds,” His mother chided telepathically.

Instantly he responded letting her know that he didn’t mean to pry. Like everyone else around him, they all broadcast what they were thinking for the world to hear. He didn’t mean to hear it. He didn’t want to hear it. He didn’t know how to not hear it. It was hard for her to explain it to him. How to focus on something else and let the voices of the minds around him fall back into the din. It was something that she and the few other telepaths she met had learned how to do long before they were his age.

As they walked through the short promenade of shops, she was reminded about how different she, and her family, were from normal psychic families. She had no training but like every other psychic, except her son and his telepathy, she was able to control her telepathy. That was where it ended for her family; no one talked about their abilities and they all did their best to act like they were normal. They ostracized her for being willing to stand out. All except her cousin who they were visiting.

His father was from a different kind of family. They were open with their abilities as long as it was with their own family and other psychics. They made sure everyone knew how to control their abilities and knew how to use them. The patriarchs and matriarchs of that family knew all of the advanced techniques and taught them to the next generation. They usually were good about making sure which members of the family could be trusted with the more dangerous techniques but that didn’t stop them from sometimes abusing these techniques. It also didn’t stop the siblings trusted with these techniques from sharing them with their other kin who were not deemed worthy of being trusted with responsibility. It led to patterns of abuse with those techniques that she hated.

It led her to banning her husband and his family from teaching Sean how to control his abilities and how to use his abilities. She didn’t want him to be tempted with some of the powerful and dangerous techniques that would lead him down a potentially dark road. There was a telepathic technique called a geas. It was a form of mind control; getting a person to do something that they normally wouldn’t do. There were different levels of a geas.

A minor geas would be something that wouldn’t be against the nature of the person being target, just something they wouldn’t do at that moment. That would be something akin to cussing out their boss or twirling around on a bus. A standard geas would be something that they would refrain from doing under ordinary circumstances like defecating in public or starting a fight. A major geas would be things that are against their nature entirely like murder or suicide. A geas was different from planting thoughts or suggestions, something that they can ignore as the target is compelled to follow the geas.

Many telepaths have attempted a minor geas without realizing it and usually can be successful at it. Those techniques don’t fight the nature of the humans targeted. It takes some skill to attempt a standard geas because it does take time to overcome free will and get a human to do something that they wouldn’t ordinarily do in most situations. Only the best could force a human to do something contrary to who and what they are. It was the last one that scared his mother the most.

They walked through to the petting zoo next to the shops. Before Sean was born, his father demonstrated to her what could be done with a geas by making a person run full force into a brick wall. He stated that, while powerful, it was a standard geas as he managed to plant suggestions into the person’s mind that they were being chased by an angry mob and that the wall was no there. He stated that he had never been able to implant a major geas. He had never attempted it because of what a success would mean. It was enough to tell her that their children would never learn how to do such things.

*

Sean led the pack, unaware of what his pensive mother was thinking at that moment. Most of the time he was unaware of the hundreds of voices surrounding him. They sounded like a monotony of one way conversations. He did his best not focus on them. Most of the time he was successful, they seemed to blend in to each other. Every once in a while, a voice would become clear. In that instant, despite how much he resisted, he was drawn to that voice.

He didn’t know why, sometimes that voice could resist him. He was thankful when they could resist it. His mind would go back to listening to all of the voices and the voice that attracted him would fade away back into the background. Most of the time it was like he delved into something else, exploring what made up another person. He wasn’t aware of what it was at first. He thought it was his imagination running away until he realized that it was the memories and inner thoughts of the adults and children around him. He would say something that would trigger shocked reactions from someone close to him.

He told his mother about it and it was at that time she told him that he was not like everyone else. He was different. He had the ability to hear the thoughts of those around him. She called it telepathy. It ran in his family, on both sides of his family. He should do his best not to read the minds of others around him. He told her that he could hear voices, she told him that it was normal, all telepaths could hear voices, the momentary thoughts, of those close to them. Some people could only hear a couple of people while others could hear a lot of voices. His mother was one of the former and his father was one of the latter. He was one of the latter.

Part of the petting zoo smelled like the family farm in eastern Colorado. The dusty smell associated with the wheat fields and tractors. He closed his eyes and could feel the summer breeze at that moment. He could imagine the fields of green wheat starting to turn gold and the sound of combines being driven into the shop for a tune up and inspection before the harvest. His mother’s side of the family ran several farms, one of them was in Eastern Colorado. His grandparents lived out there.

A screech brought him back to the zoo. While he closed his eyes, he still continued to walk. He now stood several yards away from a magnificent looking bird its bluish green feathers glistening like metal in the sunlight. Its long tail dragged in the dirt behind it.

Not for long. It took a step forward. The tail rose and fanned out as it did. It looked like a hundred eyes were staring back at him in that instant. His blood ran cold. He wanted to run in away from the bird but another screech from the bird made him freeze in place.

“Peacocks raise their feathers under three conditions, to attract a mate, to challenge a rival, and to scare off threats. You don’t look like a mate, you aren’t colorful like a rival so you must be a threat to it,” Relena projected to him.

The telepathic projection made Sean jump. He was only used to Jena projecting to him. His mother preferred to speak and he didn’t know why his father never used his telepathy around him. At first, he didn’t know who projected to him as he was not used to Relena’s inner voice. That was because the voice a person used for their inner monologues was not the same as their spoken voice. The distortion one hears when they speak develops into their inner voice. It was why a recording of someone’s voice sounds different to the owner of that voice. It was what telepaths heard. For ones that are powerful, like Sean, it was hard to sometimes tell whose thoughts belonged to who because of that difference.

In that split second, he figured out it was Relena that projected to him. He figured that he could project back to her but he had not yet mastered projection. It wasn’t that he couldn’t project, it’s just that when he did, all telepaths around him could hear it and sometimes normal people would also hear it as well. He couldn’t direct it like Relena and Jena could. He figured if she was projecting to her, she could hear his thoughts so instead he chose to just think, so what should I do?

“Just walk away slowly and calmly. It shouldn’t chase you,” Relena projected back.

Sean slowly backed away from the peacock. He didn’t take his eyes off of the large bird until it lowered its tail and went about its business. When it did, he turned around and gave Relena a smile. At that moment, he got a flash of someone different standing before him. He knew who was standing in front of him but it wasn’t Relena. It was gone just as quick as it came, “Thank you Relena.” He said.

She smiled and patted his shoulder, “Any time. Why don’t you project your thoughts?”

“I can’t control it that well. Everyone will hear it if I project it. Just thinking it is easier,” He answered.

“You two shouldn’t be talking like that here. It may be a slow day but there are still others here that aren’t like us,” His mother cautioned. There was no anger in her voice, she was just pointing out that they were in public.

“I thought your mother was different than the rest of our family,” Relena sighed.

Sean nodded and pointed to the Triskal in a circle pendant that hung from a silver chain around her neck, “She is. She says she doesn’t wear that necklace just because it’s cool.”

She smiled, “It is called a Triskal. Before it was a Christian symbol of the holy trinity it was a holy symbol for the druids and wiccans. It represents the three stages in any cycle. For the feminine it means Maiden-Mother-Crone or Youth followed by nurturing followed by wisdom. It has many meanings. One of the most important thing to Druids and many other shamans is that there is always at least a third side to anything. Nothing is binary even if it seems that way.”

Relena seemed shocked by her cousin’s words, “Are you saying you aren’t Christian?”

“Depends on what you want to believe in,” She answered back, “I find a hard time belonging to a society that can preach tolerance and love then turn around and spew hatred and intolerance. The teachings of Christ are a wonderful thing, the followers are the problem.”

Sean nodded, “I think I am finally starting to understand that.”

She looked like she had entered a period of mourning for her son even though he was still alive, “Children shouldn’t have to understand that lesson. It should be something that you discover through love and caring and defending those that need defending. You shouldn’t have to suffer the wrath of fear and hatred while still young.”

Relena spun around to her second cousin, “What happened to you. You two have left me out of the conversation suddenly.”

“My teacher tried to kill me,” Sean answered.

Relena’s jaw dropped, “What! Why?”

“Because…” Sean started to say then pointed to his temple.

Relena cocked her head in confusion, “I don’t understand.”

“Why did they have lynch mobs in the south? Why are there white supremacists? Why do people attack gays and transgender people? People hate and fear people who are different from the norm.” She knelt down to speak to both of them in a softer voice, “You may think the rest of our family is stern and mean by trying to keep what we are a secret from everyone and not talk about it but they do it to protect us. A few of us chafe under the strain of not being able to explore our abilities but don’t forget that they do want to keep you safe.”

She pointed to the cages where some of the animals were held, “If some people have their way, we would be in cages to be studied and looked upon by the masses. Others would rid the world of people like us. There aren’t a lot of people like us and there are a lot people that don’t have our abilities. We have to do our best to keep what we are a secret from the masses, not because we are afraid of them but because they are afraid of what they don’t understand.”

 

*        *        *

 

Sean laid on the top bunk in Relena’s room. His mother was in the guest bedroom across the hall. Relena preferred the bottom bunk. Sean offered to stay on the sofa but she insisted that he stay on the top bunk. She asked his mother and her father if it was okay. They agreed that they were young enough that would be okay.

Sean Had a hard time falling asleep that night, the excitement of a rare day at the zoo with his family was still fresh in his mind. Playing with Relena at the park after the zoo was also a fun bonus as well. It was about the time the excitement was wearing off when Relena’s head popped up over the wooden railing from the bottom bunk, “I think Sylvia and Dad are finally asleep. I’m not getting anything coherent from them anymore.”

Sean nodded and yawned, “We should be getting to sleep too.”

“You can be so boring at times,” She pouted playfully.

“If we get caught romping around after we are supposed to be asleep then they won’t let us stay in the same room anymore. I kind of like living as if I have a sister,” Sean commented in response.

“You aren’t the only-only child in this house,” Relena commented in response.

“True but you are a lot like Jena. You have better ties with your family than I have with mine,” Sean mentioned.

“My family? Don’t you mean ‘our family?’ You are a part of this family too!” Relena commented.

“Of this side of the family,” Sean nodded, “But you have your mother’s side of the family and I am not related to that side of the family. You spend time with them to, don’t you?”

Relena nodded, “That is true. I do.”

“You also know the name of most of the cousins we both are related to,” Sean added, “I can’t even remember our faces because I have seen them like two or three times in my life. I have spent most of my time with you. You and Ben are about the only family I have outside of my parents.”

“It’s not like I bogart the entire family for myself. You are related to them as well,” Relena protested. She crossed over to the ladder and crawled up into the bed next to him. He sat up and gave her space to sit up on the bed next to him.

“I know they are my family and I am related to them but they hardly associate with us. You and Ben are the practically the only people we visit on anything approaching a regular basis,” Sean explained, “That might be because aside from the grandparents, you are close and we can visit on weekends and the like. You also come back early from vacations in the summer. We aren’t rich like the rest of the family so we don’t get to fly around to a lot of different places all the time. I don’t recall ever being on an airplane.”

“I am sure that they don’t interact with you because they don’t know you,” Relena replied, “Just tell your mom that you want to get to know the rest of your cousins a bit better and she will find a way to make sure you get more time with the rest of your family. How about your father’s side of the family? Don’t you ever spend time with them?”

Sean shook his head, “My mother won’t allow it.”

She seemed confused, “Why not? If you don’t get along well with our side of the family I would think she would make sure you’d get along well with his side of the family.”

Sean shrugged, “I don’t know. Every time I ask she says that they aren’t a good fit for me.”

“Are they psychic like us?” Relena questioned.

He shrugged, “I don’t know. I never met them. My father is psychic so it is possible that the rest of them are. He seems as closed off with his abilities as the rest of us on this side of the family so it is possible that they are just as tight lipped there as they are here.”

Relena shrugged and glanced down. She glanced back up after a moment and asked, “Do you have any psychic friends at your school?”

Sean nodded, “I have two. One is a telepath. One just discovered his power. He can move objects with his mind but he can only do it when he is angry. Pretty strange, huh?”

She shrugged, “I think that is more common than you think. There are over a million people in Colorado Springs so there are quite a few psychics here. There are several in my school. Some of them are telekinetic like your friend. Apparently, it is really common for them to become stronger when they are angry so they tend to go off in fits of rage a lot. Has your telepathic friend taught you anything about your power?”

He shook his head, “No but I haven’t asked.”

“You should ask sometime. My friend has taught me some things. She taught me how to project which is why I can project so well to you. My father doesn’t teach me anything about using my abilities. My telepathic friend also taught me how to form a link with other telepaths. It makes projecting a lot easier and makes it so we can communicate two ways without much thought. It will help you to project to me without having to broadcast it to the world. You want to try it?”

Sean nodded, “Sure but I don’t know what I am doing.”

Relena shook her head and smiled, “For a link you won’t have to. I can form the link with you then we can just talk through it.”

Sean nodded, “I would love to.”

Relena reached out with her mind and touched his. Usually, most people including telepaths reacted to her mind touching theirs but he did not. It let her know that he was used to doing this before. He wondered how much exploring of his abilities he had done with Jena. She imagined the link forming as wispy tendrils of smoke forming between their minds. When they connected, they solidified in her mind’s eye and formed a tunnel for their thoughts to go through, “There,” She projected through the link, “Try that now. Remember to just project through the link.”

Sean could see what his second cousin did right away and knew what to do. Jena called what she did a bond. It was more stable than a link, as what Jena referred to it. Sean could project through it just fine, “Jena actually calls this a bond. I think we have a terminology difference here.”

In that instant, she could see why he didn’t flinch when she formed the link. His telepathy had a force to it that hers did not. There was power behind his projection and speed with it. She almost missed his projection as it came through so fast. The telepaths she knew at school were all weaker than she was. Now she knew how it felt to be in their shoes. His telepathy an order of magnitude more powerful than hers just the same as she outclassed the telepaths she went to school with.

She recovered from her shock soon enough, “What does Jena call it?”

“She calls it a bond. She says links are fragile and can be severed by simple missteps. A bond can be forged and not broken unless one of the telepaths willingly breaks it or they drift out of range from each other,” Sean replied.

“Have you tried a link with her yet?” Relena questioned in response.

Sean shook his head, “She said my abilities are still too wild. I would break a simple link with a projection. I will have to learn how to control my abilities before I can use a simple link like that.”

“How long have you known her?” Relena asked.

“All my life. We were born on the same day, in the same hospital, in Greeley,” Sean replied.

“Wow. Show her to me,” Relena asked.

An image of Jena appeared in Relena’s head. A girl with reddish brown hair and green eyes as well as pale skin. She looked like she could be more closely related to Relena than Sean. Sean had brown hair and gold eyes. The fact was not lost on either of them, “Were you switched at birth? She looks like she belongs in this family more than you do.”

The thought saddened Sean a bit. The thought made it feel like he had one less place in the world where he felt welcome. Those higher feelings came through the link as well. She shook her head and her familial love for him came through the link. It was a misunderstanding. Sean shared that he was a natural birth and was never put in the nursery after Sylvia gave birth to him. He was a member of the family. It was possible that Jena belonged to a branch of their family, they would just have to trace their lineage back to find it. It would be a topic of discussion for another time.

He shared the feel of her talents with Relena. While Relena, Ben-her father, Sylvia, and he all had Clairvoyance; Jena did not. They all had telepathic abilities. Ben did not possess the ability to heal. Sean did not know if his mother possessed any such abilities but he felt that she possessed more abilities than he had seen so far. His father had other talents as well but he never presented those talents in front of his son.

Relena questioned how he knew that Jena could heal other people. He shared his experience of the attack with her. The memory of being choked was jarring and she almost severed the link to stop the experience. She could feel the bone in his neck snapping and when she finally released him, when the teachers came, he was still choking because his airway had collapsed. With the gentlest of touch, Jena placed a finger on his neck and it felt like the pain was sucked out at that moment. Not all of it but with the pain leaving, air came back through his throat. He was able to breathe. The bone in his neck was healed. The doctors that looked him over later said it was a miracle that the bone in his neck did not break.

“I didn’t know there were abilities that allowed people to heal others by touch,” Relena commented over the link.

“I suspect that she can do more without touching a person but what happened to me was pretty bad and she didn’t have much time to react. She saved my life. I don’t know how to thank her for that. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her,” Sean commented.

“You would if you would have let your teacher turn on the other boy,” Relena stated over the link.

“I couldn’t do that. He is also my best friend. I couldn’t let either of them suffer like I suffered. They were only trying to protect me. I couldn’t let them take an attack that was really meant for me,” Sean protested in response.

“How did she get a job as a teacher in the first place?” Relena questioned.

Sean shrugged. While they were privy to the thoughts of the adult world, they still looked at them through the eyes of children. They couldn’t understand what fear and hatred did to people in general. That was why their parents tried to protect them from the outside world and let them know that they had to keep their talents a secret. There are people in the world that wouldn’t understand that they are just children. Some would see them as being possessed by some sort of demon. Some would see them as demented. Some would see them as crazy. Others would see a threat where none existed. If they weren’t careful, the actions of fear and hatred could plant a seed of malice in the heart of the innocent. That was what their parents really wanted to protect them from.

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