Jim said goodbye to Kathy and left the cafe.
He was unemotional, focused. He did not reach out to her, even though Kathy was sure he had wanted to.
He was methodical in his bearing; as always.
He never looked back.
Kathy watched him go, following him with her eyes and when he turned the corner, with her thoughts, which were disturbing.
She was never able to read Jim, but today the membrane of consciousness that shielded him from her was less opaque.
It was almost translucent.
With a little more focus, with slightly more concentration, she felt as if she could go to a place with Jim, a psychic place, a place she had never been able to approach with him before.
She thirsted for it.
She sat in her chair, at the table, in the noisy café.
She sat upright, hands folded together on the table top.
She closed her eyes and allowed the teaming voices of the world to recede from her.
She was vulnerable in these moments, it could be frightening. She was disconnected from her immediate present. Time could lose its significance, she may not be able to track its passage around her.
Kathy rarely accessed these gifts in such a setting, it had been decades since she had tried, but she was faced with an urgency that she had not felt before. She was now certain that she would never see Jim again, and there was something she needed to know about him, something going on with him that she had to figure
She had to do it now.
She relaxed her mind, and entered that space, trusting that her handlers would protect her and keep her safe.
Kathy connected to him, locked onto him.
She was looking through his eyes for the first time, sharing his consciousness even as he got into his car and drove away.
She kept the full range of her abilities hidden from her proctors and handlers, pretending to struggle with things she could do without effort. Kathy could slip into a bond like this with anyone at any time, but never before with Jim.
He was able to resist her.
He was unique.
Of all the people she had ever met, Jim alone was a mystery to her.
In the moment she became connected to him, she felt his despair.
It was as deep as the ocean and it frightened her.
She would never have guessed that he was afflicted with such powerful emotions.
He always appeared cool and calm, collected.
Never once in all their years of talking, never once did he let his composure slip.
Jim was the epitome of self-control.
She followed him as he drove across town in his black vintage car, the Ford Galaxy.
She soaked up all the things he was looking at, the objects, the people, the cars moving on the freeway.
She was barely in touch with him in that time. Kathy was not able to merge with the flow of his thinking, if he was thinking at all.
She could not penetrate his memories.
She was merely seeing the world through his eyes, experiencing it thorough his senses, while she felt the powerful emotions emanating from deep inside him.
She was still with him when he parked his car at the airport, when he pulled his stylish briefcase from the trunk. She was still following him when he used some mysterious credentials to bypass every point of security at the airport and breeze through the gates.
He boarded the plane ahead of every other person. He sat alone in the first class cabin after stowing his briefcase beneath the seat.
She sensed a calm returning to him, as she did she felt her connection to Jim become untenable. She could not hold it any longer.
She was tuned out, it was as if he was telling her to get out.
She did not belong there.
Kathy was determined, she cleared away the detritus in the psychic field surrounding them, and she was finally able to get a lock.
When she connected again Jim was projecting a profound sense of doom.
There were portents, warnings of danger emanating from him, so much so that it lingered in the vacuum that was left when he departed.
His fear permeated the psychic space inside the café. It was palpable, appearing as a
visible sheen touching everyone, reverberating inside them.
The strength of it filled Kathy with unease.
Jim was projecting.
He was focused on the future; not the past, not the present.
She sensed that something was about to happen that would stop everything, and everyone in their tracks.
Jim knew something about it and he would not say what it was. It was as if he knew the world was about to end, and he was holding on it as a secret, like it was a private joke.
Beneath it all there was desperation and urgency.
Jim was on task, he was managing a careful timeline of expectations. He was driving himself to a point of convergence, and beyond that crucial moment he had to let go. He had to trust in his plan and hope that things would unfold accordingly.
Kathy sensed her own presence deeply enmeshed in the events that were driving him. It reflected back through her own past, through her relationship with him, into the far reaches of her childhood.
She felt as if she could follow the trail back even farther, as if Jim had been planning for her from the deepest reaches of time.
It made no sense to her.
As she looked at the future through his eyes, she saw the world covered in ashes, everyone choking for air.
She shook herself free from it.
She looked about her.
Jim left his pen.
He always left something; as if they were little presents just for her, gifts to compensate her for the love she felt for him, love he left unrequited like a constant grating against her self-esteem.
Kathy stared at the pen, imagining it with all the other things of his she had collected over the years, reassembling them in her mind into an image of him and his persona.
It was as if she were constructing a golem made from the pieces of things he had discarded.
She had always believed that these little items; a pen, a book of matches, a handkerchief, what have you, she had always believed that they told her something about him. As if she could peer into his character through these artifacts, and see in the things lying there the things that she was able to see so clearly in anyone else but had always remained hidden in Jim.
She thought that each little token might contain a message for her.
She was not willing to dispense with this idea, but as she looked at the pen she had another thought, that all of items left by him and gathered by her, that they had no meaning at all, they were just trash.
They were things Jim had discarded, as if they were nothing.
As he was about to do with her, she feared.
She had the sense that he was abandoning her, was abandoning Earth itself, that he was about to throw away his life, dispensing with everything altogether.
Even as Kathy thought these things she knew that she was being morbid.
She was getting sucked up into Jim’s despair, she was despairing with him.
Within all of that muck, she also saw that there was purpose and intention in everything Jim was doing.
Her basic supposition was right, the pen contained a message, possibly even a directive.
There was something going on aside from the grim fatality that she sensed from him, it concerned her and the whole of humanity, it concerned the world itself.
Kathy felt as if she had a part to play, Jim was giving it to her, and she did not want to let him down.
It was a mystery.
The wheels in her head were turning independently of her conscious thought, attempting to resolve the riddle.
She sat in silence and allowed her unique gifts to manifest, she contemplated every interaction she had ever had with the most mysterious man she had ever known.
It would take time.
Kathy could not shake the feeling that Jim had wanted to tell her something. The impression grew in her with every passing moment.
It was oppressive.
Hours passed and that feeling mounted, it was like a stone laid across her chest, pushing the air out of her, like a heavy smoke, thick and oily that filled her lungs.
The despair was so strong in him, it was like a vacuum and she found it difficult to breathe.
She mustered all of her mental resources, her deep training. She leaned on the comfort of the ancestral voices within her so that she could stay in the moment and not flee.
Kathy was never the type to run from anything.
She had a poised and practiced patience that was equal to the greatest mystics the world had ever known. This is not to say that the task of remaining calm in the midst of strong feelings did not require work, it did, it took work, but Kathy had never failed to live up to the challenge.
In that moment she discovered something new.
It was a moment of transcendent actualization.
Kathy had always been able to link her mind to that of another person; to read their thoughts, to be one with them, see through their eyes, feel what they felt; to be in their present as if there were no distance between herself and the self of the other.
This was possible because in reality there was no distance between the selves of individuals. She knew this to be true, even while neuro-physicists were still working out both the possible and probable structure of it.
The quantum mechanics of the electromagnetic field made it so, and Kathy was living proof.
All of space and time were interconnected, it was called entanglement
In the entangled reality of consciousness there was no distance between one person and the next.
This is what made Kathy’s gifts possible. This reality was what explained all so-called “psychic” phenomenon.
What differentiated Kathy from every other human being that had come before her was the architecture of her brain, and the fact that she had a greater concentration of certain nano-particles floating like free radicals through her cerebellum.
This gave her a better “antenna,” better by an order of magnitude, than any other person in human history.
Kathy stayed at her table. She sat by herself, alone in the crowd, concentrating on Jim, on finding him.
She sensed a fragility in him that she never had felt before, had never imagined was possible. With that, she felt it was an omen, a portent, indicating that her life as she knew it, that all life on Earth was about to change.
She found him and she did not let go.
She sat there in the ominous-oppressive moment and did something she had never done before in a public space, she left the present, she began to open Jim’s past, tracking him back in time, moment by moment like rewinding a line of thread on its spool, carefully laying every fraction of a millimeter back into its track, mindful of her obligation to lose nothing at all.
The present had always been easy for her to see. Her own past was open to her like a billion volumes of narrative history. Even her genetic memory spoke to her in ways that it spoke to no-other, but she had never looked into the real-past of another individual.
It was fascinating, not only because the subject was Jim, a person she had never before been able to penetrate, it was fascinating because it opened a new dimension, a dimension of time to her growing powers and awareness.
She was looking into the real past, not just the recollection of their past together, the editorialized version of it that every human being walks around with. She was penetrating the objective reality of the individual experience, the reality that lay behind the narrative interpretation that every person processes every moment they are awake.
This was new and it was exhilarating, and it was Jim.
It was not a process that she could engage in, in no-time, not yet, she was rolling up the thread of his recent experience second by second. It was like watching a movie, and in that movie, in Jim’s experience, undergirding what he was seeing and feeling, was his self-narrative.
In that narrative Kathy was the star.
Throughout her life, Kathy felt as if the weight of the world was on her.
This was not just a figure of speech, it was true. She felt it in a unique way, which is not to say that she felt responsible for the world, but that she felt it, felt the world pressing in on her.
She felt the world filling her up, at times she felt as if she was drowning in it.
Kathy had to concentrate so that the connection she had with anyone in proximity to her would not overwhelm her, or intrude on her consciousness when she did not want it to
In time she learned the skills required to let her be in the world, but she continued to feel as if she was too sensitive.
When she was young she never suspected how real, how complete, how all-encompassing those feelings were.
Kathy was not merely connected to the people who were closest to her, nearest too her. She was linked to every person in the world, no matter how distant they were from her.
Those who were nearest to her, closest to her in the proximity of her physical space, they were the ones that took up all of her attention. Generally, a person had to be within a couple of hundred yards of her before she might begin to pick up on their thoughts.
When she was in crowds the psychic noise of the group helped to make everyone indistinguishable from one another, which is why she preferred to live in the city. Not only did the crowds help to keep every individual person indistinct from the next. Their constant chatter helped to keep Kathy from falling into conversation with the voices from her own past; people from her life, from the lives of her ancestors, real people hovering near her in the cynergenic field, not just her memories.
Kathy lived in two worlds, both the here and now, and in the cynergenic field, what Teilhard de Chardin called the nous sphere.
It was a place where the spirits of all beings dwelt, both the living and the dead, and that she, and she alone experienced as really-real.
Kathy was fully immersed in the nous sphere now, tracking backward through time to look into Jim’s secretive life.
Part One, Jim and Kathy
Chapter Three, Loss and Discovery
A Novel – One Chapter Per Week
#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek
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