Jan 2010

Chapter 6Presence

During my studies I found most of the supplied reports and dossiers relatively easy to understand. Everyone works with reasons, albeit not always understood by the world outside. Murders, and other crimes, all have reasons that more often than not have little to do with the actual victim. The scariest thing, for others, is that it's theoretically possible for anyone to turn into a murderer given the circumstances. Though we all handle things differently.

Anyway, that's not what I wanted to talk about.

My grades have been quite steady since I started, so there is no need to go into those. No, something else piqued my interest. It was still interesting to talk to some of the actual perpetrators themselves, to hear and feel the story from their side. And it usually worked out well. They told their tale, I listened and understood (and had to write a report about it).


I've spoken to two convicts now where the stories don't make sense. They seem to have done things without a direct reason or even a clear memory of it. They know they have done it, but other than their muscles moving, their feet walking, they recall nothing. The richness of memory, filled with tastes, smells and sounds, all absent. Even on drugs the memory recalls and records a lot more than what those men had been able to remember;

Strangely disconcerting.

Going by their words and mind, it's almost as if they weren't themselves. It wasn't impossible that they suffered from multiple personalities, but I didn't have enough experience yet to tie it down to that. With what had been going on in my life, specifically Amy and my family's fate, it felt like something somewhat sinister. But it could have just been me...

Still not sure.

On a much lighter note, I had a very interesting conversation not too long ago with a man that supposedly could read minds. He was on death row because of murders, with curious reasoning. To him, people were thinking bad things either about him or other people and he could not suffer them to live. My teachers scolded me for indulging his fantasy, believing him but they didn't understand that it is important not to stop at the basic reasons. People have complex minds, intricate processes leading to each and every conclusion. Most of the other people were more concerned with how he build up his insane view of the world rather than trying to understand it.


The talk with him was almost funny. He kept trying to predict what I was going to say and even complimented me on my unpredictability. It was a little cute, as he had no real telepathic or empathic powers of his own. His mind, however, was fairly sharp. I didn't doubt he had very little trouble trying to predict other people fairly accurately. But there was an interesting way to test him...

"Why did you get caught?"

The question surprised him. "Probably because the officers involved were too far away to be read."

I smiled. "Or perhaps there were too many minds involved?"

A thoughtful look. "Possibly..."

"And yet you still walked into a club filled with undercover agents. One would expect you to pick up at least on one of those."

"They were good at shielding their thoughts."

"You don't believe that."

He lowered his head. "No."

"Did you consider that your intelligence is high enough to simply predict accurately what people are thinking?"

An angry look. "See, you don't believe me either!"

I smiled. "Merely considering the possibility."

He didn't really lighten up after that so that was, more or less the end of the conversation. The professor who had been listening in did scold me a little bit for asking provocative questions. But as he had remained calm, it wasn't too terrible. It wouldn't impact my studies in any way.

On my way back home, someone was trying to attract my attention, nagging like a kitten on the roof. Close, but not quite visible. It gave me the distinct sense of being followed even if I couldn't place where it was coming from exactly. The strangest thing about it wasn't that I was followed, but how little it bothered me. It wasn't anything with bad intentions, I felt. Not that it made me feel relaxed about it, it was still a little bit like hearing voices without a clear source.

Not that I wasn't used to that by now...

My father (I was trying to avoid the term 'new father', 'foster parent' or similar) was already home before I was, a rare occasion. I told him a little bit about my day as he told me about his. The usual stuff, even though it held a lot more intrigue than most conversations. He didn't know much of my powers as it would lead to interesting conversations about Amy that were important to avoid. In the end I decided not to tell him about the invisible follower.

I wasn't totally sure that it was gone either...