Extra Perceptory

Updated every Thursday.

Thursday, November 20

Installment S

Another vibration shook the block. Everyone was silent, many were crying, no one was alone. Everyone huddled together at the far end of the block, away from the door. The Russians took out everything they could. Shells still fell off in the distance as Russian soldiers bombarded the door. This door belonged to the Psyman bunker, block number six. It was made just for this purpose, so that it would never give out. But it was only a matter of time now before the hinges gave way and the long, solid piece of metal came clambering to the floor.

Such a cruel women, Fate. Atticus's head was pressed against my stomach as he cried of the deep pain and cruelty that only a child who's about to die can possibly feel. Still the banging on the door persisted. Other block have probably already been cleaned out. Lena and Jessica sat cross-legged facing us. They were creating a mental field around us so the Russians couldn't take control of us and have these civilians do their bidding. Lena and Jessica are probably the only reason we're still alive.

I clench my fist, you know, it's hard knowing that you're worthless is such a situation. No matter what you might do, no matter how hard you might try, nothing you can do will ever help anything, forcing all of the burden onto the very few shoulders of those who can do something. The those that can do something are almost never those who choose to. The willing are the powerless, and the objectors are the ones with the power to save, no. Not save. Protect the men, women, and children who cannot protect themselves. The more I think about it the harder it is to choke back my own tears.

A report shook the ground, and suddenly the room was covered with smoke and dust. Russian psymen ran into the room under the smoke cover and started shooting at the ceiling in order to scare us. Indeed, it worked flawlessly. We were now in a state of pure fear and panic. One of the Russian Cossacks put down her heavy machine gun and pulled out a pistol. She aimed it right at Lena's head, and fired. Lena and Jessica were still meditating, they couldn't let the Russians into the people's head, or all was lost. The bullet was deflected, but left a long scratch along the side of Lena's helmet, yet still she persisted to protect us. Max had gotten up now, he ran forward to try and tackle one of the Russian soldiers. I yelled after him, calling him asinine names and telling him to come back.

I quickly threw myself forwards, sliding across the dusty floor, and pulled Lena's pistol from it's holster, firing two shots, one at the Cossack's hand, making the gun drop from her hand, and the other into Max's leg. I was trying to aim for right below the knee, but I ended up hitting his thigh. My marksmanship is rusty, but I can still fire a gun. Atticus ran out from behind me and raised both of his arms in an attempt to shield me from an approaching Russian soldier. The soldier's response was to lower her weapon and slowly walk right past Lena and Jessica. Like a whip, she sent Atticus flying with a single kick. Within half a second she kick my hand with her other leg, throwing Lena's pistol across the floor. She grabbed the top of my head, picking me up by my hair. It didn't matter. My body was aching all over, my muscles were on the brink of deterioration, there wasn't much of anything she could do to make me hurt any worse that I already did.

I was wrong. Her left hook was like a mortar shot. I felt my teeth rattle around in my mouth as my body flew gracefully to the floor. She took a few steps forward, then pushed my leg with hers to make me swing from being parallel to her to being at a 90 degree angle. I raised my head slightly, confused, only to have it slammed back into the floor by her leg. She apparently doesn't like to fight with her arms, but I couldn't imagine why. She could punch out an elephant.

She was obviously expecting me to try to get up again, or do something in order to push her away. Or maybe she wanted to try to get Lena and Jessica to come out of meditation so she could take control of the crowd. Or maybe she just liked to make people suffer. Whatever the reason, she wasn't getting what she wanted from me. I lay on the floor, each of my muscles burned with a white hot sharp pain. Max was on the floor about a dozen meters away, nursing his leg. Atticus was back in the crowd, crying loudly, a group of people were nursing his bruised and bloody head.

The Russian Soldier grew bored of watching me lay, limp, on the floor. She took a few steps back, picked up her pistol, and pointed it at my face. I simply closed my eyes, there was nothing else I could do. Even if my strength wasn't leaving me by the second, I still wouldn't have stood a chance against her, and even if I win there's probably more Russians in the base than in St. Petersberg. After a few moment, she decided not to fire at me. Atticus had escaped the members of the crowd pulling him back. He stood tall, just as he had a few moment prior, trying to shield me. The look on the Russian's face was not that of amusement. It was a look of disgust. She raised the gun again pointing it directly at Atticus's neck.

The noise of the pistol shot echoed throughout the room. Everyone's eyes were like discs, huge and white. The Russian soldiers body fell silently to the floor, her eyes were red, not a spec of white in them.

My pain was gone. The same feeling of euphoria that I've felt so many times before. Atticus stumbled backwards, and landed on the seat of his pants. I took him by the shoulders and stood him up, just as I stood up. I turned my head towards Lena and Jessica. Both were smiling. I guess they were right. The Russians didn't stand a chance.

Atticus understood. He ran to Max. Lena and Jessica had this room under control, I was needed elsewhere.

Once in the hallway, I raised my hands. The Russian troops stood, staring at me with bewildered expressions. The looks on their faces were immediately preserved as each of them dropped to the ground, paralyzed so forcefully that even their muscles stayed rigid above the waist. All of them lay on the ground with their arms and head in the exact same positions as they were when standing. I proceeded to make my way through the hallway to the outside of the bunker.

As soon as I exited there was a brief pause. A women stand next to me tried to punch me down, but her fist met my hand mid-air. Nevermind about what I said before, about how even at my strength I couldn't have taken on one of the Russian soldiers. It was like fighting an army full of accountants and real estate agents. Her jaw broke like cannonball being fired threw a thin sheet of glass.

I quickly dove behind the door to the barracks as every type of gun in the Russian arsenal began tearing the ground where I was standing to shreds. Maybe a hundred soldiers all camped out right outside our bunker.

I could see everything, as if they drew the map out right in front of my face. I slipped into a few of the soldiers to see exactly where the biggest guns were coming from, then I just so happened to slip into the commanding officer's mind. She was going over the battle strategy over and over again in her head, it was as if I was five again and in the middle of a candy store.

I also accidentally slipped into one of the U.S. psymen. She was in the block closest to the door. Apparently a small group of survivors were planning to make one last assault on the Russian flanks. They expected a suicide mission, but I decided to give them a second chance. Just as they broke cover to make their last stand against the Russian hordes, the commander gave the single to concentrate fire on the man hiding in the building.

Perfect. They wanted a fight, and that's just what I gave them. I came out swinging. Left and right Russian psymen starting dropping like flies to a fly swatter. I kept running, strait down the line of the flank, crushing all of the Russian mind blocks. I stopped momentarily, waving at the other psymen, grenades still in hand. They all sat down and started projecting hallucinations, making the Russians kill each other. I broke the pychic defense down so low, that even a child with psychic aptitude could make these soldiers think they were the Queen of England.

I jumped back as an older women tried to kick me down. She was obviously the commander here. Carnage and spurring fire still littered the ground around us, but she had no fear. She came at me again, but this time I was not to quick to block. I rolled left and right as she tried to take me out with her pistol, but apparently I had more strength than I knew. With a single push off of the ground, I was up in the air. Her eyes were wide, speculating on just how unrealistic such strength was. In her moment of confusion I took the chance and both of my feet came down swiftly upon her head. Just for a moment, this created a crack in her mental block, which I blew wide open. By the time I was done with her she had the mind of a child. She sat there on the ground, looking as if she was on the edge of tears.


"So that's how it all happened then?"

"Yep. That's how I got this little guy," I nodded to the restored Ensign Emblem sitting comfortably on my uniform. "They say I start training my first Esper squad tomorrow. It's going to be an elite unit of ensigns, especially at my command." I answered enthusiastically.

I promised Lena that I wouldn't let this go to my head, but I suppose it wasn't a good idea to make a promise that I knew I couldn't keep.

"Well isn't that something. I can't believe so much went on while I was out. I guess I really am getting old."

"You look as young as can be to me, dad."

Installment R

I remember this feeling, all too well. I remember it.

It's like trying to forget how to ride a bicycle, no matter what happens, I'll always remember what it's like. My nose crept upwards and downwards as I slowly raised and lowed myself from the ground. My arms were tired, and even the lowered gravity took it's toll on my bones.

So young, but so fragile.

"Hey there, you still aren't in bed? Tomorrow you're in charge of running the combine while I go spread the chicken shit around on the soy beans." Max told me in passing. He had just gotten back to the house after two hours full of doing inventory. I would rather pull a full grown tree out of the soil with nothing but my bare hands than have to take inventory of all of our God forsaken animals. Even the cows won't keep still.

"Chicken fertilizer? On soy beans?" I responded intuitively. "That's no good, Max."

"Well, I know what you're thinking, Isaac, but that's all we have left." Max responded with a tone of thick desperation.

"Wait two weeks and we'll have wheel barrels full of cow fertilizer."

"I know that, Isaac. But the cow fertilizer is already going to be spread on the wheat fields. Cow fertilizer works best with grains, not beans."

"But we've already planted the beans, we have to use fertilizer. With the wheat fields we haven't planted yet. We can finally get rid of the sick old cottonwood by field five's gate, then burn it up and spread the ash over the wheat's soil. Then we can keep the cow fertilizer for the beans, even if they aren't grains, they need it."

Max gave a nod, I couldn't distinguish whether it was in agreement or out of fatigue.

"That's a good plan, Isaac, but you know as well as I do that neither of us has any time to chop up that old cottonwood by field five. Are you expecting Atti to do it? Cause I won't let that boy miss a single day of school, so help me God."

"I figure, the tree's sick as hell anyway. It shouldn't take too much to get it down, and choppn' it up will be even easier. I'll take the flat bed down there tomorrow morning after I've fed the cows, it won't take me past lunch time to get it down and into pieces."

"Well, alright then. I suppose you know what you're doing." Max said as he passed through the sheet draped over the door hole separating his room from mine. I immediately went back to doing push-ups. That's all I could do. Even while I spoke with Max, I could feel the pain in my muscles. Why does my body do this to me? I'm fine without my powers, I can live a happy man without being able to enter another's conscious mind, but the pains that consume my body whenever my powers are gone are too much for any man to take. I'm lucky to live on a farm, there's always some backbreaking work to do somewhere to take my mind off of my body.

After a few dozen more push-ups I decide now would be a good time for rest. My body will surely ache even worse in the morning, but doing push-ups all night is a poor substitute for sleep. As I try to doze off my mind wonders. That's a good thing to have back. Mira practically beat it out of me with all that meditation and training, but here I am again, laying in bed thinking about all kinds of stuff. Everything gets a turn as I mule over one thought to another and so on and so forth.

Such a strange lady, fate. Max and Isaac, childhood friends and also friendly farmers.

It's been almost a year since I last left Earth.

Good riddance, if you ask me.


The next morning was bright . . . too bright. I was still tired from last night. I spent all my time thinking and none of it sleeping. Perhaps a wondering mind isn't such pleasant company after all. Just like I told Max last night, I throw on my denim leggings over my pants and grabbed a t-shirt from my closet. A piece of bread and some jelly are my only breakfast as I walk towards the farm to grab the meal to feed the cows. While in the farm I tilt a barrel of hay into the adjacent pasture for the horses to chew on.

A half an hour later the cows are fed and watered, and a steel axe is in my hands, ready to take down the cottonwood, stroke by stroke. My aching muscles give out a particularly sharp ripple of pain throughout my abdomen, and I drop the axe momentarily. This is little more than a cough or a hiccup these days. It isn't long before my arms are swinging through the air, slamming the axe against the tree trunk.

For as much work as I was doing, I might as well have been using a bat. The bark gave out like it was made of paper, but the split in the wood where my axe was hammering is barely two or three inches in. I brought an electric chainsaw, but it didn't fair well either.

Just as I decide to switch back to the axe, a huge van rolls up to me. I haven't seen anyone besides Max or Atticus in days.

I see a women climb out of the passenger seat, she's wearing a full psymen uniform, which disturbs me. Not because she's a psyman, that's perfectly fine. It's the fact that her uniform isn't that of a recruiter, nor is it the dress uniform. It's tight, and full body. Her gun is holstered at her waist, and her helmet is on and buckled down to her neck piece. She's ready for battle, and psymen don't joke around when it comes time to fight. I stumble anxiously and almost drop the axe from my hands. My stomach gives out a low growl of insecurity as I see her walk towards me. She raises her visor just enough to let me see her mouth.

"Get in the back of the van, sir." Her voice is not young. I'm not talking to a new recruit. This is a psyman who's seen battles, lost friends, and came out alive just to prove she could, I could tell. So, naturally, I listen to every word she has to say.

"Sure thing," I say, "just let me grab the keys out of the flat bed and I'll be right with yo-"

"Now! Get in the truck, now!"

If I was alarmed before, there wasn't a word for what I felt now. My stomach turned as I jogged toward the van. I climbed in the back hurridly, bumping my head into the door as the psyman swong it open for me. I barely even felt the pain, there was so much on my mind. Too many worries to worry about and only one of me to soak them all up. The Van only had three people in it, all of them were farmers from the local area. The van was more of a truck than anything. Two long benches sat parrallel on either side, two round bumps on the floor marked where the back tires were. I gave a few quick sniffs to see if there was the smell of blood in the air, but I couldn't find it. That was good news, but it would take so much more than that to quell the relentless torrents of worries spinning through my head.

My head suddenly had a sharp pain run through the middle of it. I put a hand on the pain and pressed. It was just from when I bumped my head on the door, not a big deal. I suppose I should be worrying about my self, too.

"You're the one who owns the acres over by Silvia road, huh?" One of the other farmer's wives asked me. I have no idea why, but lunar colonists are always so pleasant, but this was hardly a time for pleasantries.

"Yep. We grow all kids of stuff. From wheat to yams. You?" I played along.

"We don't have a farm, we have an orchard. I'm sure you've at least drove by our place, it's just a few kilometers up the road."

"Yeah, the place with the strawberry patches and orange trees, you guys must be busy as hell this time of year."

"We don't lift a finger!" the farmer proceeded to let out a short burst of laughter, "We hire them school kids. They pick all the fruits for us, we give them some fruit every day to bring home. You know the newspapers are always sayin' 'everybody's got to do their part.'"

You fat useless son of a . . .

"Really? And that's okay with the childrens' parents? I mean, shouldn't those kids be in school during the day?"

"How would I know that? Not like I go home and visit 'em. And my farm is like a school of it's own, it teaches these kids how to pick fruit. That's a necessary life skill if any of 'em wanna grow fruits."

As much as I hate this guy, there are more important things to consider right now.

"So, what's all this noise about? Do you know?"

They probably don't know anything

"We don't know nothing." The women responded.

The third farmer was yonger, but he just sat at the end of the bench, quiet.

"Do you know anything?" I turned my head towards him.

"The Russians sent half a battallion in here. We're on the bussiness end of the battle of Colony 18, and from what I saw, things aren't looking too good for our side."

The truck fell completely silent. I just leaned back on the bench and looked forward. Too much is happening all at once. I need something to drink. The across the bench from me just stared at him for awhile. Then he pulled out a little bottle from his back pants pocket, took a swig, then tossed it into the other guy's lap. He just looked at it for a few seconds, then took a few gulps, each one longer than the last. Than he took a look over at me and tossed it onto my lap. I raised up out of my slouched position, took what I thought was a normal sized gulp, and let the alcohol burn the back of my throat as it slid down.

Why did I want a drink? That didn't help anything.

The old farmer took a few more swigs and shoved it back in his pocket. His wife was crying silently.

I just shut my eyes for the rest of the trip.


"What the holy hell is going on?" It was Atticus's voice.

The truck picked up a handful more people and took us off to a little psymen base. We all got out of the van, and I heard Atticus's voice amoungst a crowd of students coming from the school.

"Atticus!" I called to him, but he didn't hear me, but another psymen, standing off to the side and helping civilians unload, turned her head. She made her way through the crowd and tapped on Atticus's shoulder, pointing him in my direction.

He ran like a bat out of hell directly into my arms. Max called out my name from behind me, but I didn't turn around to look. I was busy staring at the psyman who knew Atticus. I already had a good guess as to who she was, but I needed more than that. Max eventually caught up, and then the three of us, with Atticus in Max's arms, went to go talk to this psyman. As I made my approach she unbuckled her helmet from her suit and removed it. Her long light-brown hair was put up in the back, and clamped to the top of her head with a little pin.

"Sorry, Isaac. It's really nice to see you again, but I really don't have time to stop and chat." Lena said.

"I can see that." I replied.

"We'll catch up in a bit, though, don't worry. Just make sure you get put in block six, once you're in the barracks."

I did just as she said. Max, Atticus, and I all marched our way, slowly, to block six. From there on we sat quietly as the room became more and more crowded. One of the psymen outside shouted something about the first wave being on it's way. The next few seconds would determine how long this was going to take. If we get explosives shoved down our throats, they mean to siege us out, which could take months. If the first wave means the first offensive line of Russian psymen, then this will take no more than a few days, give or take a few depending on how strong the bunker we're in is.

In the next moment we all heard an explosion off in the distance, then the ground shook from a hard report. They meant to shell us out, probably because they think we don't have enough resources to carry on for too long, or because they have such a large amount of resources they don't care, or maybe both.

Everyone still in the halls were rushed to a room, and the doors slammed shut behind them. Two psymen were in the room with us, another shot went off in the distance, but they were getting closer now. A loud booming sound shook us and the lights flickered. Few of us were alone, many were crying, and everyone was quite. Even the air around us held still.

"Hey, Pink." Lena wispered in my ear, "So how've things been going for you?"

"What?" Was she seriously going to use this time as an opportunity for catching up?

"Tell me what all happened after the discharge."

"Don't you think this is a little inapproprate timing?" I could feel sweat forming on my forehead and hands.

"Nope. I know we'll be just fine." Lena smiled.

"Why's that, exactly?"

"Because you're here!" A voice rang out from behind Lena, a voice I knew all too well.

Both Jessica and Lena grabbed my arm to pull me off to the side.

At first the crowd was dead silent, but then mummers started breaking out. Later everyone started talking to each other as if nothings going on. I had no idea what's going on up there, but the shells had stopped hitting us. Lena, Jessica, Max, Atticus, and I all elected for a position closer to the corner. We all dropped down on the floor, as isolated as we could be a room full of people, but there was too much background noise from the crowd to be heard by anyone anyway.

"So tell us, Pink." Jessica persisted.

Atticus became upset, threatening Jessica that he would tan her hide if she insulted me like that again. Atticus had apparently forgot the days when Lena use to call me Pink, or maybe she never used that name in front of him, either way, Lena and Jessica both decided Isaac would be an appropriate alternative for the time being.

"It's a boring story, really." I told them.

"We have time, Isaac." Lena said sarcastically.

"Well, it all started once I got back to Earth. I was a steaming pile in everybody's eyes. Hobos would walk up to me and give me change." Everyone laughed. "I found that my father had suffered a stroke, and now he's in a deep coma. I mail the hospital every now and again to see if there are any updates on him. I decided there wasn't much for me back on Earth, and I was so use to lunar gravity that I decided I might as well come back. That's when I met Max and Atti for the second time each."

"Me and Isaac use to go to the same school when we were growing up." Max added.

"Yep. And It turns out I sat just two rows away from him on the volunteer shuddle to colony 18. I switched seats with the women next to him, and we put our heads together and decided we would become farmers. Originally Max wanted to be a teacher, and I wanted to be a police officer, but we made a deal. And that was if either of us couldn't get the job we wanted, then we'd buy a few acers and start up a farm."

"So, that means one of you didn't get the job you wanted?" Jessica asked.

"Neither of us. They told me that all this colony needs is five police officers, and they already have seven."

"And they told me that all this colony needs is five teachers, and they already have eight." Max chuckled.

"Yep, so Max and I bought ourselves some land."

"With Atticus, of course." Max added again.

"That's right! When did you meet up with Atticus again? And where in the world is Sigmund?" Lena asked, leaning in with interest.

"Hey Atticus!" Max called, "looks like you could use a walk around the blocks!" It was a clever quip, surprisingly not lost on Atticus.

As we were speaking, Atticus apparently grew bored and found the nitch running along the wall very interesting. Max took him by the hand and they left to take a short walk.

"Sigmund is dead, we know that for sure, but no one really knows exactly what happened."

"What?" Lena cryed out.

"Well, I remember back on Earth how Sigmund was telling me he wanted to go to the moon, so apparently he decided he would try to sneak into the cargo hold of the same ship that I got on, the one headed for this colony. Sigmund made it past take-off, he was a very clever boy." A tear formed in my eye, and my voice began to quiver. "But the luggage shifted again when we landed, and Atticus was in the way of a heavy crate. Sigmund pushed Atticus out of the way, but . . . Well, no one really knows exactly what happened. We have a grave for Sigmund on our farm, Atticus like to give it food every supper."

The noise of the crowd turned to that of excitment. An old man got up and started telling exciting war stories from when he fought in the revolution. Everyone was hooting and hollaring, and laughing at jokes, or going on about their own conversations. Everyone but the young man and the two psymen in the corner. They were pale in the face, hugging each other as tears formed streams down their faces. Atticus saw them and let go of Max's hand. He ran twoards them and tried to console them, but it was all in vain. At this point, if they could not console each other, there wasn't anything in the universe that could.

Installment Q

"Alright, tell me one more time, from the top." I said, still skeptical.

"There's a bunch of money up there! It's just waitin' for us to come and get it!" Sigmund replied, enthusiastically.

"There's nothing for a young guy like you to do up there, you're no where near being ready for colony work." I replied bluntly.

"Excuse me, sir?"

People rushed past Sigmund and me going about their days. I couldn't talk to Sig anywhere else but here in a public place. He was getting groceries right now, and I was between my first and second job. Sig and Atti were both given to a local orphanage after Amman went comatose. I couldn't speak with either of them at the orphanage because the priest who's in charge hates Russians and would probably shoot me on sight.

"Well anyway . . . Oh shit, I'm taking too long, gotta go. See ya, Isaac!" Sig ran off, arms full of groceries.

"Um, sir, excuse me?"

I had managed to scratch up some work, but there was a lot of competition. All of the old town that I loved so much had been bulldozed and rebuilt. This place was a regular city again. I hated it, naturally, but at this point in time I honestly couldn't care less. They could bulldoze the pyramids for a tram station if they really wanted to, I wouldn't be opposed.

"Pardon me, sir, I-"

"What? Oh, yes?" I hadn't noticed the old lady behind me trying to get my attention.

"I was just wondering, are you Ensign Erlenmeyer?" She asked.

"Well, I was. Yeah."

"Alright, I was just curious." She started walking away, but suddenly turned around as if she remembered something important. "Oh yes, that's right. I also wanted to tell you that my granddaughter was killed in the Russian raid that you were kind enough to watch happen."

She then proceeded to pinch her lips together and shoot a particularly large and nasty shotgun shot of saliva directly into my face. Feeling satisfied, she was gone before I could even raise my hand to wipe the mucus away.

A fat, and uncommonly friendly man soon jumped to my aid. He pulled his sleeve up over his palm and forcefully rubbed at my face, he didn't help much, in fact all he really did was smear spit around, leaving my hand to finish the job.

"Thank you kindly." I was appreciative none the less.

"No problem young lad. You know, there's a place where you'll never have to deal with discrimination, prejudice, or any other kind of such old hates." His voice waved each point as if he was a salesman, regurgitating his practiced pitch. "And that place," he continued, "is called the lunar colonies!"

I take that thought back. He's worse than a salesman, he's a recruiter.

"Really, thanks. But I'm not interested."

Needless to say, he was persistent. He followed me for the next block spouting his hopeless quips and gibes.


Nothing, absolutely nothing.

I sat at my desk, trying hard to meditate. I was looking for that euphoric feeling, the same feeling I get when my mind releases it's conscious state into the atmosphere. When I could float freely through the threads of the web surrounding thoughts and feelings. But there was nothing, and every time I tried resulted in a wider gap between me and that feeling. My mind was becoming wrinkled, just like all the other male Psymen. There's nothing worse than the feeling of weakness mixed with mortality.

I got up from my desk, and the room started spinning around me. My arms and legs felt like magnets, trying desperately to adhere to the metal ground.

Maybe the moon isn't such a bad idea after all? If I stay in this gravity, I might die. But if I go to the moon . . . I'll be far away from home, surrounded by strangers, doing something I have no interest in all day and every day as my dreams further deteriorate into nightmares. And then I'll die.

Fantastic. Well, I guess I'm sold.

Installment P

My feet ached. With every step I heard the echoing scrape of my old plastic shoes against the hard tile floor. The hallway was exciting, covered with ads and colors and videos, things I haven't seen in what seemed to be a lifetime. Naturally, the airport terminal was bustling with people. I should be happy to be here, but I couldn't stop hurting inside. I felt like death returning after having finished his rounds. The way people stared at me made me think I was worse.

It was hard becoming reacquainted to the one thing I've longed for so badly for the past three years. As I passed by Psymen, they stared in disbelief. Everyone had heard the legend of Isaac, the fantastic male Psymen, Mira's unconventional instrument for gaining information about the Russians. I walked past a newspaper vendor and took notice of three things that made me stop dead in my tracks. The first was a comic book of me, that fantastic Ensign warrior, the second was the front page article devoted to how I failed in my mission to protect one of the lunar bases, and the other was a price tag on every newspaper.

I sped away in disgust. Passers by still gawked as they realized who I was.

In a vain effort to wallow in self pity, I slipped into the neatest bathroom, only to sink one step further into depression. Mirrors covered the walls, everywhere I looked the only image to greet my stare was the thing I despised most right now, me. There was a dark red line running along the right side of my face, a memento of my failure. My uniform had been stripped of it's emblem, and the Ensign badge which once radiated brightly from my chest was now sitting, forsaken, in a refuse bin somewhere on the moon.

"It's no wonder, what happened up there. After all, I should be dead by now. I took for granted that my powers would always be there, and at the time when I needed them most, they disappeared without a trace. The base was successfully raided, and all we could do was retreat. The first thing I had the doctors do when I got back to headquarters was give me a stasis exam, which ended up being a one way trip to the exact location I've been longing for so badly ever since that day, 8 years ago, when I was dropped off at the Psych Academy.

"I left the bathroom as a sullen heap of shattered thoughts. I felt the same as my refuse covered badge, moments before incineration. Lena and the other girls escaped, no thanks to me. But they were all restationed on the moon. That's how the higher ups reward you for doing your job, I'm sure you know all about that.

"Mira's the same as always, she's the same girl you fought with so hard, all those years ago. Back when the revolution was in full swing. She really puts her heart into it, I'll give her that. But I'm sure there's nothing I could say about her that you don't already know.

"And that's why I'm here with you, Amman. Because I messed up. My powers are gone, and who knows how long I have left."

Tears streamed from my face as each word left my mouth. The nurse behind me started to cry too. That made me feel a little bit better, but a stranger's empathy can only go so far after you've been deprived of social contact for the majority of your teenage years.

Amman's face was still blank. Another nurse came through the door to turn him, and make sure his body wasn't succumbing to bed sores. He didn't appear to have any, but his muscle mass was definitely lacking. I guess that's natural for someone who's been in a year long comma.

I told the nurse she was doing a great job and left. I needed to find Atti and Sig, who knows what happened to them after Amman had his stroke. They could be anywhere. And more than anything I need to figure out the question that's been bugging me ever since I touched down on Earth.

What now?

Installment O

A gust of warm air rushed through my hair as I stepped through the threshold. The pure white and silver tube was a comfortable brisk temperature, to me at least. A pair of engineering students walked by, shivering.

Probably graduated from an Earth academy. I've been on this lifeless surface too long to be phased by the lackluster heating system.

I walked by the local Academy bookstore and picked up a newspaper on my way to the mess hall. This institute was a cooperative, meaning it had both males and females. Good news for me, although I'm sure Mira had this planned out months in advance.

This is my last chance. If Mira isn't pleased with the results, I lose everything. Excellent.

Mira gave me the instructions for this mission, basically the problem here is that this Academy was built next to an underground supply-line for a Russian colony, and we have no intelligence on what's going on there. It's my job to protect the students when they go out for field training, and if possible, gain intelligence on the near-by Russian escorts. If I manage to get my hands on something giving us a clue towards what the Russians are up to, Mira will probably give me whatever I want, like a flight back home. I'm tired of being her "special assistant." This training is ridiculous, and she's becoming more psycho with each passing day. She promised me that if I took her "training," I could get out years before anyone else once the draft popped up.

What a joke, I'm in this war till the very last second. She knew that.

I folded open the newspaper. The Psy-Marshal was going to pass a new law making it illegal to work on my psychic projects outside of the government's jurisdiction. That's laughable, the vast majority of researchers would rather quit and work at a tran station than put on a collar and be led around by the government's leash. Are these the people I answer to?

I wasn't terribly hungry, so I just sat on a bench near the end of the dining hall. Passers-by gave me awkward glances, I didn't quite fit the profile of a level one, or a prospective scholar. My psyman uniform didn't help either. I looked younger than the youngest students in the hall, but my chest was littered with honors and metals from the work I did with Mira. The psy-ensign emblem seemed to glow as the florescent lights refracted off of it's golden embroidery. I try not to let it get to me. There's still a good hour before the next field training lesson started, and my first assignment began. They would all get to know me soon enough, but for now I'd rather stay an outsider.

I tried to read the newspaper across, but soon realized my peripheral vision was gone. I didn't realized my helmet was still on, which was also probably for the best. For all they knew, I was a grown adult, working for psy-command. I guess that's a relief.

"Good morning . . . officer." A student quietly spoke from behind me. She seemed to hesitate halfway through, but the voice was reminiscent.

I guess everyone needs company, even me.

"Good evening," I responded.

"Evening? It's only 0900," then she stopped herself. "With all due respect, sir." she added, hoping I wasn't offended by her correction.

"It's always evening on this side of the moon."

Her group of friends came to pull her off to another table, but the crazy girl took another step forward.

"Am I taking up your spot?" I asked.

"It's perfectly fine, we don't mind." Her voice was like a song bird's; it was as if a classical film character, out of place and out of time, was here in front of me trying to make small talk.

"So, are you reading about the new law banning research? What does an officer like yourself think about it?" She asked me, nodding at the my paper.

"The psy-marshal is a fool. If progression is outlawed, only outlaws will progress. He's like a child in a sandbox, trying to manipulate everyone into helping only him, and forcing them all away in the process." The girls' response was to gather and sit at the long gray table, as if I had passed their 'Is he a patriotic asshole?' test. Suddenly their hesitation made sense. I decided to return the courtesy by lowering my newspaper.

My eyes opened wide, a knot was strung tight in my throat. It was Lena, Jessica, Stephanie, and three other girls. Don't get me wrong, I'm just fine not being an outsider, but this is a little far. I decided to play dumb, I'm not sure why. Probably for the same reason anyone plays dumb, to give them the upper hand, or maybe I was putting up walls around myself because I've grown too use to solitude?

"Hi. I'm here to provide security on field missions."

Do they recognize my voice? It's been so long.

"What's your name?" Jessica asked.

Should I? What would they do if I told them? They probably despise me after all these years. After I've become the lapdog of the Psy-Marshal's lapdog. But, at the same time, more than anything, they deserve to know.

The knot was still hard in my throat, my heart was racing and all my mouth couldn't move. I stared Lena straight in the eyes under my visor, and let out the word that would lead to my demise, "Pink."

I guess my last thought was right. I am putting up walls, but it's not because I want isolation. I guess sometimes people put up walls because they actually want someone to tear them down. Well, that's no way to treat friends. The walls are down, I just hope the people outside them still care enough to drop in.

The table fell silent. I might have said it too quietly. Maybe they didn't hear? Or maybe they were struck with shock and disbelief. They might have . . .

Without warning, high pitched jubilee echoed through the mess hall.

Is that dramatic effect? So that's how that feels.

I decided this was the best time to take of my helmet. Eyes opened wide.

My black hair was a bit longer now. I could feel the tired look in my face become more apparent as they're eyes stared at my blank, cold expression. I noticed Lena's eyes tearing up long before they actually did. I bent my cheeks and curled my face until it looked the closest I could get to a smile, but the reflection off my helmet showed only my tired, droopy eyes, and the face of a man who did not belong.

"It's been three years." Jessica said softly, her smile fading.

I wanted to reassure and comfort Lena, but I couldn't. It wasn't meant to be. She realized that, and so did I. For a second, my mind went blank. A tiny spark hit the bottom-most piece of my conscious thought.

Either it's a spider on the small of my neck, or someone's going too far past my broken down walls. Maybe I forgot to tell them that when I said the walls were coming down I was talking about the emotional ones, not the extrasensory ones. Please, whoever you are, leave. Get out of my mind.

Immediately the sensation left. I could've easily found out who was trying to probe my thoughts, but I already had a plethra of good guesses. I got up and walked away, I wasn't that hungry away.

"Sorry guys, I have work to do. We'll catch up later."

I walked away slowly, I wanted someone to yell out, to call to me. I wanted someone else to give me a reason I should stay, but no one did. They sat and stared quietly as the dining hall bustled with life and conversation.

That was a lie, I didn't have any work to do. Not for awhile anyway. So much for a happy reunion. So much for taking down my walls.

It hurts, thinking about Lena. We could've been something, but her boyfriend came back to her. She chose him over me. We've never talked since. We had a relationship, I made mistakes and so did she, but none of that matters anymore.

All that matters is getting this job done.


It was a rather warm day on the moon. The solar winds were in full bloom this sun cycle. Not a cloud in sight. A perfect day for a picnic, or flying a kite, or field training. Naturally, I elected for the last choice. The students and I made out way out into the beautiful lunar atmosphere, or lack thereof, and it actually looked like this was going to be an easy job.

I guess this is Mira's way of rewarding me for three years of excellent service.

That thought lasted almost at long as the first volley of Russian mental blocks as the lunar base was raided by surprise.

Thursday, May 29

Installment N

"Hey Isaac!" I yelled.

I saw myself walking away from the front door as Atticus and I approached the house.

Amman still hadn't come home yet, but he was due any moment now.

"Where are you off to?" I asked myself as I sped off in the opposite direction.

"I'm off to go pick up the trolley that I left behind a few nights ago. Turns out it was turned into the police yesterday night." I replied.

"That's good. I'm gonna go ahead and take Atticus and Sigmund to the park, if you don't mind."

"That's fine, just don't get hurt." I walked away with an awkward limp. I would see my back was still sore.

I knelt down next to Atticus and said "Go fetch your brother." He went running towards the house with an unrivaled determination.

It was a beautiful day. Cold, but warm in comparison to the winter we were coming out of. It was rare to see the sun shining so brightly, so I knew it was a good idea to take advantage of the day.

Atticus and Sigmund came running from the house, and we made our way for the nearby playground.

"So, do you guys know why your parents gave you the names they did?"

"What do you mean?" Sigmund replied.

"Well, I'm just saying they don't sound very Italian to me."

"Our parents weren't originally Italian. Our mother was from Germany, and our father was from the U.S. They moved to Italy after they got married."

"Ah, that would make sense. I suppose."

"What do you think of Isaac?" Atticus asked.

"Isaac? Well, he's a great guy. He's always trying to act smart, but I don't think he's really as intelligent as he tries to seem. He's still the most powerful psychic our Academy has to offer, that's for sure. Why? What do you think of Isaac?"

"He's the greatest! I want to grow up to be just like him." Atticus smiled. His tiny body was having troubles keeping up with my pace, so I slowed my steps. Atticus was such a cute little boy.

"Don't say that." Sigmund interjected.

"Why not?" Atticus seemed shocked.

"Well . . . I just-" Sigmund diverted his eyes from his younger brother.

"Don't you want to be anything like your brother, Atticus?" I asked, returning his smile from earlier.

"Of course!" Atticus smiled again, and so did Sigmund.

We spent upwards of an hour in the park playing tag, capture the flag, and even hide and go seek once other kids started showing up.

I was hiding behind a bench near base with Atticus when I turned around to see myself walking up.

"Get up, are you ready to go?" I asked.

"What are you doing here, Pink? Go where?" I responded.

"Are you ready to go?" I reiterated.


"Are you ready to go?" the guard asked again, his voice was annoyed and impatient.

My eyes opened abruptly. I quickly sat up and looked around.

"Go where?" I asked, rubbing my eyes.

"Mira's office, she wants an explanation." The guard said while I threw the sheet to my side.

I got out of bed and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and comb my hair, then I slipped on my uniform and left the room. The guard was waiting for my outside. He escorted me to Mira immediately, I didn't even have time to grab a bite to eat.

"Look the door." Mira snapped as I walked into her office.

"Good morning to you too."

I locked the door and sat down in the seat across from her desk.

"What the hell happened at that facility, Isaac?"

It was a lot more complicated than that, but I suppose I'd give it a good stab.

"Well, the place was crawling with Russians. What did you expect me to do?"

"Do you have any idea just how much that facility was worth to us? I went so far out of my way to make sure you got this mission, and how do you repay me? You blow the whole thing to dust!"

"In my defense, I wasn't actually the one who blew it up."

"Yeah? What happened then?"

"Well, it all started when me an Ashley were confronted with a scouting troop upon entry. So, naturally, I took control of the group and had all but one shoot themselves in their legs. The one that I left was my personal escort, and got me by security. After we were past all the locks, Ashley passed him out, and we proceeded to the main control room, which was heavily guarded, by the way."

"Did you get any information?"

"All I saw was blueprints for a lunar colony."

"A lunar colony?"

"Not just any lunar colony, it was called project castle. This was a fortress colony. Or at least, it would've been once it was finished."

"Son of a . . ." Mira looked into the distance for a second. "So how'd it blow up?"

"Like I said, we encountered heavy resistance from psychic troops."

"You and Ashley took care of them?"

"Have you not been paying any attention to me for the past three years, Mira? They were dead before they hit the ground. Ashley didn't even realize they were psymen, my psychic block was too powerful for them to even try anything.

"However, one of them escaped death and it just so happened they were in the middle of working on a mine field. He took the cargo full of mines and drove them right into the main electrical control system. It fried the transformers and overloaded all the circuits, everything went up in smoke."

"Why couldn't you do anything?"

"Did I mention that the guy I'm talking about was actually a high ranking Russian Esper? I tried to take control of his body, but he was too far away for me to use anything close to full force. He barely scrambled to the cargo. All he had to do from there was keep his foot on the accelerator. I decided to get us out of there. Besides, you can just get one of your slippers to take a look at the mental images I have of the blueprints anyway, why is it such a bid deal?"

"You're right, Pink. I could just have my espers waste their precious time analyzing your memories. You think we need any help building protected colonies? We need espers that are actually worth a damn!"

Mira stood up and started pacing across her room. She was obviously furious, but there was nothing I could do about it.

"Look on the bright side, Mira. At least I made it out alive, right?" I grinned.

Mira stopped pacing, then looked over at me with a blank expression, then muttered the word "Prick" under her breath and started pacing again.

Thursday, May 22

Installment M

The hull of the ship was a metallic gray. Wires and lines littered the walls. The dark pungent oder of machine lubrication and 6 sweaty men mixed together in my nostrils as the transport ship continued soaring towards our objective.

We were all packed like canned preserves. No wonder everyone back at psyboot called combat transports canned soldiers. My left arm itched, but there was nothing I could do. There was barely enough room for my elbows in the first place, perish the thought of actually moving them. The other troops were deep in conversation, they talked about guns, homes, wives, responsibilities. Things I knew nothing of.

The squad commander suddenly looked over at me. All the other men fell silent.

"So what are you doing here, boy?"

"I'm Issac Erlenmeyer."

"Pffffft. You think I don't know that? So what are you doing here, boy?" He chuckled briefly after having reiterated what he saw obvious.

"I have no choice."

"Why'z that?"

"I'm a psychic."

The men all used what little space they had to turn their heads toward me for a better look. I was lucky enough to have my mask on, the last thing I need right now is to let everyone know I'm Russian too.

"Good!" the commander exclaimed. "I thought those guys back at HQ were basket-cases sending us on this FUBAR stunt. Looks like we got some protection after all!"

The commander was Irish. He was fat with a long red beard, and an age that fit his words. I had no idea what half the words he used meant, but I suppose that comes from spending so much time on the French Foreign Legions. He's one of the few men to survive the initial Russian attack. He's earned a fierce reputation on the battlefield, and refuses to rank higher than a squad commander.

The rest of the crew are elites from the lunar Boadridge Military Academy. Not top of the line, but very prestigious all the same. Prestigious enough to be worth something, but still expendable enough to throw at the Russians like candy.

"How old are you, boy? Do you have a lady waiting for you?"

"I'm 18, sir. And yes."

"Ha ha! Good! What'ser name?"

"Lena, she's a psychic working for the technology institute back on Earth." I knew full well that Lena could never be mine, but a little white lie couldn't hurt.

The other men started conversing, and this time I joined in. We still had a few hours to kill before touch-down.

Because of the extremely powerful Russian Esper Military Force, as well as the Psychic influence back on Earth, being an American spy to Russia was, in every aspect, an impossibility. So, instead it's our job to steal information by force. The Commander started our briefing about half an hour before the scheduled touch down at the landing zone.

"Good evening, the name's Commander Russ. This mission is simple. We land, infiltrate the enemy work force, see what they're digging for, then get out with everything we can carry. If we meet any psymen along the way, try to capture them. We want them alive. To help us with that is our very own Issac Erlenmeyer. A Class III barrier wielding psychic ensign with a year of special training from the Brigadier General herself. This boy caught three Russian spies working at the Marshal's office that had been working there for years without anyone noticing!"

The troops around me started clapping. Two gave out some hoots and hollers, which I thought were unnecessary.

He knew this whole time? That's one way to rally the troops, I guess.

We naturally decided upon groups of two to check each other's pressure suits while the commander continued to go over the details of the mission.

In exactly two hours we would rendezvous with two marine squadrons, each with their own Esper. One of the espers was to stay back with the troops.

I'd love to stay with the troops, but I'm sure they'd love to have a girl.

The other two espers are to infiltrate the actual base and survey for the possible threat. Once the threat assessment has been made, it's up to the chief, our commander, to make a decision on whether or not to go in.

Our vessel came up on the dark appendage-like structure rising from the ground. It was tall, and obviously unfinished. Several moving parts, wires, lines, and internal components were easily visible from the outside, almost to the extent that the inner corridors would appear to be uninhabitable. I grabbed an extra oxygen cell from the first-aid kit, just in case. Getting trapped within that thing was not an unlikely possibility. But then again, it's still possible that I'll get the job of protecting the troops.


"Alright, and that leaves you two to go asses the situation." The commander said as he pointed towards me and the nearby esper after the squadrons met up.


"Hey, so what's your name?" The other esper asked me over the radio-link as we began to slowly make our way to the extrusion.

"Isaac. You?"

"A boy? You're a guy?"

"Yeah." I lifted the sun visor from my helmet so she could see my face. She responded in kind. I couldn't see much of her hair, but she appeared to be older than I was. I looked a little closer.

No way, there's no way it's . . .

"Pink, it's me. It's Ashley!" Shocked, I abruptly stopped to stare. I couldn't believe it.

"So what have you been up to?" Ashley asked with an excited tone.

"Not much, a lot of meditation. A few assignments here and there."

"Got yourself a girlfriend yet?"

"No, I doubt that will happen."

"What do you mean? You must be surrounded by women all the time. At least one of them must-"

"No," my cold tone echoed briefly through the radio. "Some people aren't made to marry, and I'm one of them. I'm too obsessed with my work to spend time with another person. Mira made me an ensign, and ever since I've either been meditating, researching, or training. I haven't even seen my father since our original landing here on the moon."

"But Pink, that was three years ago. You haven't left the moon since then?"


"What in the world do you do?"

"I told you, meditation and training. Mira has high expectations of me."

"It must get really lonely."

"As lonely as I make it."

It had been so long since I left the girls of Psy Academy. Everyone graduated and went on their way, Claire and I decided to go into the one year Military Academy on the moon. However, once I enrolled it became clear that I was no ordinary Psychic. Mira wanted to keep me away from everyone else, and she was good at it. I remembered back to Amman, Atticus, Sigmund, and all the others I've been deprived of in my isolation. I've been holding their memories back for so long, even the thought of their kind faces shot through my chest like a spike.

You'll get over it, Isaac. You always have before.

We were at the entrance of the facility. I was beginning to seriously doubt that anyone lay within, but there was only one way to know for sure. So, I grabbed the handle and swung it down reveling a new, perfectly operational, well-kept air-lock. A Russian soldier was staring me in the face, he immediately pulled out his pistol and held it to my nose.


Thursday, May 15

Installment L

It was a beautiful day outside. Spring made it's entry into the year by pumping the temperature up to a hot summer's day after a frost-filled week. Birds chirped outside while Amman prepared lunch. Lena was in the other room quizzing Atticus over his alphabet. Sigmund was laying in the backyard, working on the math homework Amman gave him. I was sitting at the computer desk, doing some research on a report I was writing about the recent discoveries I'd made in the field of psychic studies.

I received a message from Mira about a month ago, the day after I came home. She gave me a good inside scoop on all the events to come. A war is now raging between Russia and the U.S. Within the next year drafts are going to be sent out especially for people above the age of 18 who shows psychic promise. Every tactic I've ever read about is useless. The Army, Navy, and Air Force have become utterly obsolete. Nothing can be done without Psymen. The Russians have the most advanced psychic resources known to man at their disposal, and they aren't afraid to use them. Right now, the most the U.S. can do is lob bombs at Russia, but without the use of effective ground troops, we've already lost this war. The moment Russian troops hit our borders we might as well throw up the white flag, rather then waste the few psychics we have on trying to put up a defense. I tried to look at the situation from every angle I can, and the facts always fall on the same conclusion: America is ripe for the picking, and Russia has greedy hands.

Mira specifically told me to write about any conclusions I've made based on my experience with psychic potential, especially the powers Lena and I possess. But, in order to do so I need to get some of the scientific terminology down.

I closed my eyes and spaced into one of the African scientific databases. It was the only one I could find without any restrictions. I saw a long thread reaching out to the database, and gave it a good tug. It took a moment to load, but after a few seconds the database came whirling out of the dark abyss surrounding me. I did an inherent search of any material related to the words I was thinking, and found a handful of excellent papers submitted from a series of English and German psychologists. They're research was a few decades old, when the majority of the world was still skeptical to the existence of psychic powers, but It was effective none the less. Even if the research itself was inconclusive, at least the terminology was there.

I opened my eyes and started typing the vocabulary. As a memorization tool, I decided to say them out loud.

"Conglomerate -- a series or network of permanently interlinked minds."

"Interfering Field (IF) -- A series of electromagnetic waves that constantly radiate outwards interfering with any psychic impulses in the local proximity."

"Incompasitating Interfering Field (IIF) -- electromagnetic field that stuns and immobilizes those within the general vicinity."

"Accelerated Focused Lethal Electromagnetic Ray (AFLE) -- Single wave of focused electromagnetic waves that disrupts the electrochemical process of the brain, resulting in mental retardation, chronic paralysis, mental disabilities, comatose, stroke, aneurysm of the brain. (Several cases are awaiting diagnosis.)"

I stopped there. This was below me, I already had my own vocabulary for all these terms, and this only made things more complicated, and a whole hell of a lot darker and more depressing. I decided to start writing about the words I've already created. I'll see what Mira thinks of them.

"Psychic Impulse--A psychic wave with direction, that contains information.

"Secondary Impulse--A psychic wave created automatically, without creator input. Usually sent as a response or reaction, can be used as a natural distress signal towards other psychics."

I've never used it as a distress signal, but I've gone over every plan of action I can think of. Usability takes precedence in my analysis, I hope Mira doesn't get confused and start assuming.

"Slipping/Diving--Entering another person's conscious, retrieving sensory information, thoughts, memories, and even subconscious.

"Secondary Persuasion--The use of delicate psychic impulses in order to sway the mind being viewed towards one thought over another (can not be done against the will of the person.)

"Psychic Persuasion--The use of delicate psychic impulses to sway a person(s) against their will."

The list went on for pages.

So, I started my actual paper for Mira. I told her about my ability to absorb other people's memories, see tiny insignificant psychic impulses and locate them within milliseconds, and even my ability to use Lena's powers. I thought for awhile about whether or not I'd tell her about Atticus, but before I make him the center of attention I want to make sure he can actually cope with the fact that he does have psychic powers. A few lessons in meditation couldn't hurt either.

"Hey Atticus!" I yelled.

Atticus came running. "Yes?" He answered quickly. His eyes were wide, and his face quickly turned into a smile.

"How would you like Lena and I to show you some cool tricks?"

Lena's face turned a bright scarlet.

"Psychic meditation!" I quickly added.

I guess Max really was right about potty humor.

Thursday, May 8

Installment K

The psychic impulse wasn't cognitive, it was just a secondary. I nailed down the direction and put my trolley behind a nearby tree, hoping it would be there when I got back.

It was coming from behind the bookstore. I heard the owner's voice, he was enraged.

As I made my way around the corner, my eyes fell upon the scene of the owner brandishing a metal pipe in front of two small boys, one was crying as the other stood in front to protect him. The older had red-brown hair and freckles, he looked a bit older and obviously wasn't about to let anyone come in his way. The other was much younger, probably around four years old. He had straw-like blond hair and a skinny, lanky body. Standing up straight, he probably wouldn't even have come up to Amman's waist, but right now he was knelt down, crying.

Both of the boys looked towards me as I began running for the owner. Stares of disbelief spread across their faces, and probably my own. With a swift lunge I shifted all of my weight forward and took the owner to the ground with a loud smack as his back met the hard concrete of the alley.

"What in the . . ." the older boy said as the owner and I flew before his eyes.

During the excitement I slipped without thinking. The thoughts came at me so fast I couldn't always follow the thread. The owner had been harassing the boys for thievery, and they had been sleeping in this ally for the past two days. But the boys had been separated from their parents and had no where else to go. There was no question of whose side I was on. These kids had suffered more abuse from society than I could ever dream, and were about to see more at the hands of this crazy shop owner.

"You goddamn Russian!" The owner screamed as he shoved my body off of his. Without a moments hesitation, the owner grabbed a nearby metal trash can lid. Before I even got a change to stand, I felt blow after painful blow strike my back. The owner was in a rage as he continued his relentless assault.

The older boy started thinking about how he was going to kill the owner, I couldn't let that happen. What hit me next was miraculous. My thoughts focused themselves without effort and a warm euphoric feeling consumed my body. I lost myself for a moment.

I saw Mira with a man and women standing beside her. I was seeing them off as they entered the airport security entrance. A feeling of loneliness took over. I knew I wouldn't see them again for months.

These are Lena's memories. My mind must have soaked them up subconsciously. Suddenly my hands clenched together as my spine fell inward. I doubled over on the ground, immersed in pain. I couldn't open my eyes, my jaw seemed glued shut.

With Lena's memories, comes Lena's powers. But with Lena's powers comes Lena's struggle.

"Stop!" The younger boy shouted. I had forgotten that the owner was still pounding on my back with the trashcan lid, which was now bent, and creased in the middle.


The owner immediately ceased. He stood breathing heavily as drops of sweat left lines of moisture along his face.

Forget about us. Leave us all alone.

Instantly the owner threw the trashcan lid to the side, then turned to walk away. The lid made a loud "clang" as it cascaded across the concrete for a few seconds before coming to a spinning stop.

"Are you alright?" the older boy asked me. Immediately both of the boys rushed to my side. They probably thought the owner felt his deed was done and left of his own will. And maybe he did, maybe I've just grown delusional.

"Yeah . . . I'll be fine," I said. My head was pounding, and my back ached whenever in motion. After I stood up I tried to keep my spine straight, but my feeble attempt was denied by the realization that my arms and legs both rely on my spine in order to function. I took a few agony filled steps in a vain attempt to walk it off.

"You don't look fine. And you're bleeding . . . a lot."

I touched my back briefly, then brought my hand to face height, or the closest I could come. It was too dark to see the red, but I smelled the metallic bloody stench, then tasted the pungent copper as I raised the three fingers to my mouth.

"Don't worry," I said, "I have someplace I can go. It's really not far from here at all."

The older of the boys, Sigmund, got under my right arm. "Let's go."

And so, the three of us made our way back to my house. It was a short walk thanks to the help.


About ten minutes later I found myself sitting across the table from five-year-old Atticus Caro and nine-year-old Sigmund Caro. I slowly sipped my cup of coffee while the boys told me about their experiences. The boys took chocolate milk, with gratitude and never-ending thank-yous.

"We were born and raised in Italy." Sigmund began after a long sip.

"Our parents were scientists, and psychic researchers. They thought they could escape the coming war by moving here to work for Chekvey but that thought didn't last long. As soon as he found out they meddled with psychics, he revoked his offer. They didn't find out until they had already sold their home, car, everything, and bought two airplane tickets to the U.S. through the French government."

"Really? They tried to fly?" I asked, trying to remain courteous.

"I'm not sure on a lot of the details, but the mass-transit system they had back then was just a cheap knock-off of the North American Tran-system. It was too risky for most people."

"Sorry, go on," I said.

"You don't need to be sorry about anything!" Atticus chimed in.

"Anyway, our parents got to the United States, but they got sent right back. It was a big load the way they did it. They said the US quota for Italian immigration had already been met, and sent them right back home.

"So our parents ended up back in Italy, trying to get by however they could. Their only option was to join the military and face inevitable death by Russian psymen, but my parents were lucky. Once the military realized they needed a plan for the psymen, they pulled my parents from the front lines and put them in research positions.

"After a while the war was over and poverty was all over the place. But luckily, Mamma and PapĂ  had saved up enough money to get us to the U.S. They sent us over first, and said they would see us when we got there. But we never saw them again. It was easy, this place is practically begging to get robed. Our parents taught us how to live without a house. Never sleep in the same place twice, never steal from the same bread store more than three times, always spend whatever you have as soon as you get it. It's easy." Sigmund took in a deep breath and something in the inhalation told me it wasn't as easy as he made it sound.

"Thanks for telling me your story," I said. "But you won't have to live like that anymore. You can stay here now." I looked at the younger child. "But I have a question for you, Atticus. Do you ever get headaches, or feel like there's a pressure on the inside of your skull."

Atticus hadn't been paying any attention to what his older brother was saying, he was obviously very tired, and day-dreaming out the window. "Wha? Well, sometimes, I guess. Not more than anyone else."

"I see." I looked at the wide-eyed yet tired faces in front of me. "It should be time for bed. I'll make you guys a place to sleep."

"You really don't have to Isaac," Sigmund said, not able to hide the hope in his eyes.

"I want to."

"We would really appreciate it."

I let them share my bed, and lay silent in Amman's bed as my eyes began to glide shut.

Oh no! I forgot my trolley!

Thursday, May 1

Installment J

The soft crunch of the concrete beneath my feet provided a very satisfying sound. I made my way slowly through old town contemplating everything that had just been dumped on me. Any other child my age probably would've snapped under the pressure, but I've always had my suspicions that danger was near. The only question was how long it would take to show up.

It was too late at night to go to the stores back home in my town, so I decided to take the monorail system into old town. The dark landscape made for a familiar sight surrounding all the wreckage. The concrete of old buildings and cheaply made houses was crumbled up into sand left over from the war. Fragments of destroyed brick buildings still littered the area providing an eerie reminder of all the devastation that occurred. I personally loved walking around the old town. When I was a child Amman and I lived near here in an old apartment building that survived the war. Everyday after school I would explore the wreckage and bring home pieces of pipe, metal, or anything valuable looking that I could find. However the rubble had been stripped of anything of real value long before I was ever conceived.

Everyone else's parents wouldn't let them touch the the blocks of destruction, but Amman's only words were "Just don't hurt yourself." He knew how much I loved exploring. Making the area forbidden would only add to the adventure.

There were some spots on the road where blotches of asphalt peeked through the concrete and brick gravel. A car drove by quickly, and I realized that times had changed. I was a walking target. All of Amman's savings rested comfortably in my back pocket, and it wouldn't discriminate towards who spent it. I couldn't waste any more time swimming in my nostalgia, I needed to get out of here fast.

I started to jog briskly towards the old-town store, a hotel built during the war for soldiers on leave from the nearby air-base. Not long after the war ended, the owner was arrested for involving himself in a large scale prostitution ring. Now the hotel had been remade into a convenience store resembling a small mall. It sold just about everything, from car tune-ups to fresh baked bread. The only trouble was getting there in one piece.

I passed over the invisible line separating the new town from the old rubble. As I passed by a library I picked up a newspaper from the give-away stand. The headline was about the attack on the American colony, but there were still some good articles. I started reading one about the 3rd grade class at my old school. Apparently they raised over 50 dollars for the European aid fund.

That's impressive.

I continued reading as I walked the short distance to the store. I would need to take the transit system home when I had all my groceries with me. On the note, Amman told me if I didn't want to use the mass transit system, I could just buy a cart or something while I was there to help lug it all home. Worst come to worst, I'll just call one of Amman's teaching colleagues and try to get a ride from them. I'll see how much it weighs in the end, I suppose.

The streets were completely bare. As I walked, street lamps flicked on whenever I approached then went back to sleep again after I had walked under. The motion sensors were rudimentary, but effective. I made a little game in my mind, with each streetlight that I activated a new chunk of city terrain became illuminated. I made comparisons in my head as each new piece was lit up. It was sort of fun to stare at something in the distance for awhile, read my newspaper for a bit, then look at it again once it had become clearly visible.


My arm was stretched out behind me as I lugged the trolley filled with double wrapped packages of food, light-bulbs, replacement circuits, bottles of water, etc. It was too hard for me to carry 20 dollars worth of groceries back home, so I headed for the transit system.

Luckily for me, there was a terminal about two blocks down from the store. It appeared to have been renovated recently. It was clean and empty on the inside. Rows of waiting chairs filled the building with a counter on the far end of the wall. The tran attendant was reading a magazine. As I entered he looked up at me and spoke.

"Welcome to the tran, where's your destination?"

"Actually, I have a question. I live in the new town just a few miles from here, but there's no way I can make it with all this stuff. Can I just transit my groceries, then pick it up at the next terminal?"

"Sorry, but I can't do that. Legal reasons, we can't be responsible for anything that's lost or stolen."

"That's alright. I'd just like to buy a ticket for the next town over then."

"You mean the H2 terminal, or the H5 terminal?"

"The H2."

"If you're not sure I can look up the code for you."

"No, I'm positive that's the one. I've taken the tran system before."

"Alright. You'll need to get a luggage ticket too, that'll be 25 cents extra."

"25 cents? Just for some luggage?"

"Do you have enough?" The attendant looked up from his screen at me suddenly. "It's because luggage has no concept of time. It can never accumulate a time-debt."

"Yeah, that's true. Well, alright."

"That comes to 35 cents and a 13 minute time-debt. Have a good trip."

Damn that's expensive. Hope Amman doesn't mind.

I paid the attendant. He gave me my ticket and came around to unlock the the door to the back. After I was through, he showed me to my terminal system and gave me my coords. I walked into the threshold and out the other side. The new attendant came over to me right away.

"The current time is 2:56am. Did you have a nice trip?"

"Yeah, could I space for a second? I need to call a cab."

"Sorry, the internet hasn't been working here. Our satellite is under repair."

"Oh, that's alright. I can walk it."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I live pretty close to here."

With that, I left the building and started off on my journey back home. It was raining now.

The newspaper said it wasn't suppose to rain until six. This isn't exactly anything new, though. I wonder what's going on at the climate building.

As I walked by the small bookstore by my home things began to look more and more familiar. That's when a psychic impulse hit me.

Thursday, April 24

Installment I

I sat impatiently, swinging my legs. My lips pursed and my eyebrows clenched together as my outrage bubbled to the surface. The room reeked of hospital odors, the sterilized clean plastic smell that always pulls me back to memories of injections and doctor visits. I don't know how long grandmother had been in the room across the hall; the minutes crept by just as slowly as the clouds outside; seemingly stopped.

I had been staying with my grandmother because my parents had been missing for the past few months. Apparently she wanted custody of me, and I didn't complain. I don't know where my parents were. All I knew was that I'd never see them again, and I was right.


I woke up in the medical branch with a bad headache and a serious case of amnesia. There was a bad taste in my mouth, which was drier than hell. Lena was in the bed beside me, still passed out.

Was it worth it? I got a lot of experience with controlling my powers, but what if Lena is permanently damaged?

I tried to think of all the things I saw while I was in Lena's mind. That she was raised by Mira was the most I could gather, everything else remained foggy. The fogginess was probably part of my extreme mental exhaustion. Everything became white as my eyes glided together and the world around me went blank.


When I awoke, Mira and Brix were both standing over me. Mira looked overjoyed, however Brix looked severely displeased.

"He's finally come around," Mira announced as I tilted my head up.

I reexamined the room to find Lena gone, and weeks worth of newspapers beside me. It was either early morning or late night, I couldn't tell which.

"We've had boys come into this school before, but I thought you'd be different." Brix started, but was abruptly halted by Mira's hand.

"Don't you dare start with that again, Brix." Mira's voice became stern, but she continued in a calm, kind tone. "A lot has happened since you fell asleep. You're father is currently working at the military base near the Airfield, I'm here to give you a ride back home. You're long winded torrent of questions may began . . . now."

"Where's Lena? Why is my dad working in a military base? Why's Brix mad at me? What in the world are you doing here? Where's my uniform? Is it morning or night? Why's the headline of the newspaper talk about war with Russia? How long have I been out for? Is Lena okay?"

I wanted to continue, but at that moment my stomach let out a loud, obnoxious grumble.

"You've been out for about five days, and it's about 11:50 at night, but I think we can scrounge up something for you to eat."

The medical bay nurse gave me a very apprehensive look, but still offered me some chicken soup and orange juice. I wasn't sure if my stomach could take it, but after pacing myself through the first few bites it went down easy.

"Well, Isaac, Lena is perfectly fine, she's outside waiting for us at the moment, but she'll be accompanying us back when we leave, she woke up the day after the event took place. Two days ago Russia attacked an American lunar colony."

Mira stopped suddenly before asking Brix for some privacy. Brix was very hesitant to comply, but eventually saw no other option.

"The colony that your father was named after."

"My father? What do you mean?"

Mira let out a deep breath, then continued. "It was called Wagglo colony, after the first pirate station that appeared on the air. You're father was one of the two men responsible for the rebellion that led to the Second American Civil War. He prefers to live in secrecy, however there are key military leaders who got their start from him. Rest assured, he was on everyone's mind the second the distress signal reached Earth.

"Your father chooses to continue his life in secrecy, but his talents, and accomplishments are undeniable. He's been given the rank of drill Sargent based on his 'experience' from the last war, and will be working on the airbase. He provided very detailed instructions on what to do with you in the meantime. He wants you to continue living at home, and assured me that you can take care of yourself, however knowing him you'll be checked up on every once in a while. There's no school for the next month, and as you can guess, I'm swamped. If it's alright with you, Lena might be staying at your residence for a few weeks or so, depending on what happens. She's having a lot of troubles right now with her powers, and I can only do so much. You seem to relate to her on a different level than I do, maybe you can offer better support. I honestly don't know. We just plain don't have any of the data we need. It makes you wonder where all of our research department's money is going, right?"

"Yeah. Well . . . Wow." was the only response I could muster.

"Get your legs moving again. We leave in five."

And so, Mira, Lena, and I all packed into Mira's tiny work-car. Brix seemed to have disappeared, but I honestly didn't want to see her anyway. I could already tell that she's somehow managed to distort reality into making the battlefield all my fault. I'll deal with that when I come back. If I come back, that is.

It was a pretty quite drive back to my house. I was still half-asleep, and Lena looked moments away from tears constantly. I would talk with her later, anyway.

I must have fallen asleep and not realized it. Before I knew it, I was home.

"A bit of insider advice to you, kid." Mira yelled after me as I walked up my front steps. "Prices are about to go way, way up after tonight. I would stockpile up everything you can. Your father left his card on the table, and a list of everything he wants you to buy. I would do it tonight if you can, but don't push yourself too hard."

It was far past midnight, but I felt rested and up to the challenge. Why not?

Hard to know Mira and not take her advice. I almost feel sorry for all the poor saps who have to live their lives without knowing a Brigadier General.

Thursday, April 17

Installment H

This is too much.

"Pink!" Jessica screamed as she was knocked against the nearest wall by a raging Claire. Priscilla had soiled herself and laid in a heap on the group, while Hope was in the middle, slowly scratching at her neck.

We were about halfway through the maze when it started happening. Everyone just suddenly lost their wits, overcome by the massive psychic force blanketing the battlefield. Claire, Priscilla, and Hope were near by, but I have no idea what happened to the other two. For all I know they were killing each other, or tearing out their internal organs. Either way, this needs to end now.

I can't believe this is happening.
This is too extreme. There's no way this is what training should be like. As soon as this is over, I quit.

I stood firm, somehow. The mental stress was hard to take. It was like trying to hold off a ten man battering ram with nothing but a one handed wooden shield. With each mental attack I felt my arms and legs go numb. I was slowly losing control of my body, which was a lot more than anyone around me could say. I noticed pant-wetting was the first sign that someone had lost control. I had to try as hard as I could to avoid that, no matter what the costs.

Psychic recoil was flying left and right relentlessly, but somehow under the stress I managed to see where it was coming from, at least for a short time. With a few quick jerks I managed to get my shoe off, then lobbed it over the wall right at the source of the confusion. If it, or she, was moving in any direction I was screwed.

Luckily, I heard it strike the target, and a few seconds of clear thoughts were my reward. I already had plans of just how I was to reimburse my opponent. During the free time, for lack of a better term, most of the girls around me fainted. I suspect all the girls in the maze are being effected, possibly even the seniors who were suppose to watch over us.

I shot out a thin, yet powerful strand of thought in an attempt to see just what was going on. It latched onto the target's mind and stuck. I had to somehow stop this mess before It got even more out of hand.

No way!

It was Lena, she had lost control. The amplifies must've been too much strain for her to take. Her powers were beyond measure.

"Stop it!" I yelled, but to no avail.

Lena was in a fetal position near the entrance to the maze, crying. She realized what she was doing, but couldn't stop it for the life of her. Everything was so simple now. All I had to do was calm her down, somehow. Or take her out of the amplification field, somehow. As long as I preserved the connection linking my mind to hers, there's no way she can take me. Her impulses were bouncing off my barrier like moths to a sheet of steel.

The first thing I tried was to raise my shield so I might encompass everyone around me, naturally.

After a brief moment of staggering amounts of concentration, I broke free Priscilla and Hope, who immediately decided to run for the entrance to tell the others, only to once again fall under Lena's control as soon as they were 3 meters out of my range. This was becoming wholly ridiculous.


"Listen here!" I yelled over the commotion Hope was making after I once again broke her and Priscilla free. "You're both going to give me a boost over the wall, and I'll deal with the problem. Understand?"

Without the dignity of a response, only their heads wobbled up and down, the scared and shaky girls hoisted my legs up as I grabbed onto the edge of the wall. With a loud heave I rose my feet up behind me to straddle the wall, all the while trying to get a good bearing of my surroundings. A quick glance around told me everyone who had come near the maze had been affected. I saw several teachers and administrators passed out on either sides of the maze. A few of them had made it pretty far in, but eventually fell victim just to Lena's unstoppable power.

Even the teachers? But I'm still in the game. Looks like I am something after all.

I jumped down the other side and made my way through the winding maze towards Lena. I thought it would be more difficult to find her, but the trail of fainted, or worse, girls lead me straight to her.

Lena had crawled into an isolated corner near the entrance. I grabbed her under the arms and started pulling her towards the exit. I could feel her immense pain just by being so close within her proximity. Her nose was bleeding like a waterfall, and her eyes were red and puffy. Just being this close to her was like trying to wade through a powerful river, mentally that is.

I pulled her across the threshold just as Brix and several other teachers exited a newly arrived capsule.

I dove straight into Lena's mind. I knew she wouldn't be able to respond to my impulses, but I knew she would recognize me. As to what effect that would have on her condition, or mine, I didn't know. I was operating purely on impulse.

I can't believe this is happening.

I closed my eyes to concentrate as I continued cautiously into Lena's mind . . .

Thursday, April 10

Installment G

"It's easy, don't worry about it." Ashely reassured me as we walked down the long hallway with the group.

Today was the first day of combat experience, and since Ashely was a senior esper, with honors, she was going to be leading our group through the course. I honestly didn't know why I had signed up for this, seeing as I had nothing to contribute save for telling our team how the enemy is feeling today. Perhaps I just let my father's war stories catch my better judgment.

We left in large capsules running along a transit system. While en route to the course the senior members briefed us on our objective, and set us up as squads. There were three squads in all, each with their respective commander. The senior members would be following us around and giving us instructions, but wouldn't participate. I was assigned the leader of the 1st squad, a position which I'm sure Ashley had wanted. There were six in my group including Claire, Jessica, and Stephanie, which was probably also planned by Ashely. The other two girls seemed distant, but I didn't really feel slipping was necessary. Instead, I went for more of a diplomatic approach.

We were going to be up against three other squads, they took a separate capsule and would show up on the other side of a long maze-like battlefield.

"Don't worry Pink," Ashely reassured me, "There are all kinds of electromagnetic fields spread out across the battlefield to amplify your powers."

Yeah, that'll help me.

"What I'm saying," Ashely continued, in response to my facial expression, "If you know anything about magnetic waves, you'll know that they work exponentially."

"So?" I inquired.

The other senior answered, "That means the stronger you are going in, the stronger you'll become. If what I heard is true, you'll be a juggernaut."

How does that help me if I don't have any powers that can actually be used offensively? If I concentrate long enough, I might be able to give the stronger ones headaches. That'll be a great help while the other team makes my body fly like a flailing rag doll through the air. Do they honestly expect me to 'defense' the other team into defeat?

We all exited the capsule to see a huge room with a ceiling high enough to give even the most expert climbers vertigo. About 2 and a half meter high walls created a gigantic labyrinth with several entrances stemming off from our beginning platform. The sheer magnitude of my surroundings gave me an uneasy feeling.

We wore our Psy Aca uniforms into the battlefield, we didn't appear to have any form of armor, save a few small force field generators on our heads, and around our spines. As we entered the maze it was clear that we weren't going to be seeing much of our enemies.

"We'll never be able to find the other side in all this!" Jessica exclaimed.

"Find them? Why even try? The maze probably doesn't even connect." I responded.

"Pink just hit the nail on the head, your goal isn't to find them, it's to capture their flag." said Ashley.

Bewilderment swept across the crowd. I thought I understood the rules, but apparently not.

"It's simple," the other senior said, "all you have to do is find your way through the maze to wherever the flag is, then bring it back here. The other sides maze and our maze never connect, but they're interlinked like crazy. Someone from the other side could literally be right on the other side of a wall from you, and you'd be surprised how often that actually happens. All the squads need to communicate with each other, but have a little independence at the same time. Also, just a little hint, the other side's flag is right in the middle of your side."

"Which means our flag is surrounded by enemy territory." A girl from my squad pointed out. She was short, with thick glasses and short brown hair.

"Also," Ashely began, "I'd like to inform you that y'all are a class. You'll be working a lot together, so keep that in mind. You're class 1B. The "B" means you're the second, and the one means your the cream of the crop. There are five classes in all, five having little to no psychic powers, and one being highly proficient in the use of psychic abilities. The letter doesn't say anything about your powers, it's just a way to split you guys up. We try to even classes out as much as possible."

"You guys are the ones that pick classes?" Another girl asked.

"Nope, we don't even get to see them before hand." Ashely winked at me.

"That's enough of that. Most of the lessons left to learn involve actually participating, so now we have about 15 minutes until your first game starts. Use your time wisely." Ashley concluded.

"Alright." This from the brown haired girl from before, and everyone looked at her, even the girls from the other squads. She seemed suddenly surprised. Public speaking probably wasn't her thing, but I can empathize."We need to know what we have at our disposal if we plan to actually form a legit strategy."

I nodded my agreement, but she didn't seem to notice.

"Do you know anything about strategy when it comes to psychic wars, Pink?" Claire asked me.

"There haven't been any wars yet involving psychic's on both sides. The closest thing I can think of would be Atlantic U-boat battles."

"What?" was the response from most of the girls around me. "U-boats?"

"German submarines from World War II," the brown haired girl clarified as she pushed her glasses up on her nose.

"Well, it's not quite the same because of the maze structure. But what they did was send two planes that were positioned at the end of the battleships out. Then the planes went in oval like patterns spreading father and farther out with each revolution. The planes didn't attack, but were equipped with radar that could eventually seek out the German U-boat, then they could radio the position back to the battleship. The rest should be obvious enough.

"So we need a group of people to act as radar, and another group to act as the battleship. We'll go around the group, everyone say your name, what powers you have, and your favorite color."

"Our favorite color?" Asked the brown haired girl.

"Like Ashley said, we're going to be working a lot together. Best get to know each other a little."

"Fine, you start." The girl responded.

"Okay, fine. I'm Isaac, but everyone calls me Pink. Don't ask why. I don't have many useful powers to name, but I'm okay at mental blocks. Also, I'm quite partial to blue."

"I'm Jessica. I have telepathy, and I'm really good at overshadowing."

"Overshadowing?" I asked.

"It's when you talk to someone telepathically loud and obnoxiously. It prevents them from thinking."

I nodded for her to continue.

"Oh, and my favorite color is pink." She smiled widely and winked at me, then turned to look at the next person.

"I'm Claire, and I can alter perceptions, I haven't quite got illusions down, but I can make people hear stuff and throw them way off. And my favorite color's brown."

"I'm Stephanie, and I have telepathy too. I can also kind of stun people, and my favorite color is green."

"My name's Priscilla, and I can do mental blocks too, but only for me. And my favorite color is pink too."

Now was the brown haired girls turn. She seemed embarrassed, but again, I can empathize.
"My name's Hope. I know how to do mental blocks, and I can stun people, but I have to be pretty close."

"We're going to do this again as soon as we leave the battlefield," I said. "Only next time it'll be your favorite class, so think about that while we're out there."

A few girls chuckled, it looked like the other two squads followed our lead. I met with the two other squad leaders after the circles were finished.

"We heard your speech on U-boats." the other girl said. She had mean eyes and black hair but looked too young to be here.

"Alright, what do you guys have?"

"Well," the other girl started. She was much kinder, with short red hair in a boyish haircut and clean bright blue eyes. "My squad has a lot of stunners, and telepathy."

"We have a three illusionists, apparently one of them can even make real visuals. Pretty much everyone has either telepathy or mental projection though, so we'd be a good radar."

"Perfect. My squad has a good mix. I'm an expert in mental barriers, and I have two proficient in blocks, so I'm going to take my group to penetrate enemy territory and grab the flag. You two stay back and work together as radar and battleship. It might be a good idea to mix your squads together and match up pairs of seers are attackers."

"Times up!" Ashley yelled from behind us.

"Let's do this," the black haired girl said as we regrouped.

"Alright, everyone hear the plan?" a few yeses and a couple of nods rose in response from my squad. "Good, Let's go."

I hope those amplifiers work like Ashley says. Creating a shield around all six of us is going to be a walk through hell.

"Don't worry, Pink," Jessica spoke to me telepathically. "With your mental powers, we've already won."