Extra Perceptory

Updated every Thursday.

Thursday, November 20

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?

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