I excoriated Leo for promoting mind control in the telepathic council. I abhorred the idea. It was barbaric, and objectified men. But he wouldn’t shut up, and it steered our forum into pandemonium. I thought we would never resolve it, and perhaps we won’t. Not today, anyway.
There are few communions as tremendous as one ignited by one of our own threatened.
We heard him, one by one, we did. A voice in the wilderness, caught and borne away. Jeremy. Caged and afraid.
We abandoned our discord, our mistrust, and our petty ideologies to seek him, conjoining our thoughts with the psychogenic image, converging upon the objective. We hear him together. We call to him, one powerful voice bursting through the cacophony of man’s inner prattlings.
“I am cold,” we hear. “He uses coathangers, cigarettes, extension cords, vinegar in my eyes, a screwdriver, scissors.” We feel Jeremy’s wounds and grow closer.
We see him through Jeremy’s eyes. Jeremy reads him, and we know Jeremy’s dread. We are weepy. We are resolved. We have sympathy. We have rage. We love him. We sustain him with courage.
“We are with you, Jeremy.” We project our comfort, our determination, our hope, but we read his despair.
“From where did he take you?” we ask. We see a shadow of the street, and we know it. We grapple with the weaker minds, guiding and instructing, neighbors, police, joggers, postmen. They gather at the disappearing place, but they find nothing.
“Where did he take you?” we ask.
“I don’t know,” we hear.
“What do you see?”
“Darkness and him. Nothing more.”
“How did he take you?”
Jeremy is confused, but we see what he felt, tasted, heard, and smelled, passing these off to our multitude, searching on soil what we found in the conscious. To a neighborhood, the rumble of the interstate echoing in our minds. Honeysuckle. And rubber. Fish. Someone sees it, Firestone, creek and park, and the vision glimmers.
They don’t know why they know, but they know. They breach the house. We see the man through their eyes. Brutal. Urgent. Rage. “Where is he?” we hear. “Who do you mean?” we hear. We speak through them. “You know.” We abolish uncertainty, but the man goes sullen.
“Call out,” we say.
“Help me,” we hear. They hear it, too, and they storm through the house searching. We see the bright light, the joy of a good face, blue uniform and badge. Relief, relief, relief.
We loosen our hold, calm our mind. The psychogenic image weakens, fractures, and dwindles to a tentative contact until it fades to nothing and we are ourselves again.
I delight in the save. Everyone does. I regard my telepathic friends and see goodwill and merit where I hadn’t before, but it is not either or. Right doesn’t follow our cold formulas, but requires deeper discernment. “Let’s examine our concerns and find the thread of good between them,” I say. They understand. The psychogenic image does strange things to language, but I enjoy the way we share it so. And as we speak together we keep our own.
We are the new telepaths. The seekers of hope and the harbingers of depravity’s conquest. We see your thoughts, and we pity you, but no more than ourselves.