Definitely influenced by Anne McCaffrey’s Pegasus series (which is fantastic, by the way – futuristic psychic powers and space adventure!) This was a 2008 piece that’s more a character study than anything with a plot, and never went anywhere after this.
“I’m one of the lucky ones.” he said bitterly. “I only get the future, and I get everything.”
“What do you mean?”
“Have you heard of psychics?” Richard raised an eyebrow sarcastically.
“Who hasn’t?” Robin replied in the same tone.
“Well, I’m a psychic.” He said it like a swearword. “My ‘gift’, if you want to call it that, is precog. I’m lucky in that because I don’t fasten on specifics. John, who’s the other major precog, fastens in on disasters – murders, deaths, fires, other similar disasters. It’s not nice. I just get all sorts…mainly important incidents, usually people. I saw the plane crash along with John, but I saw Johnny being born as well. Of course, I didn’t know who he was then.”
“So what’s Johnny?”
“An empath and telepath. Unusual combination because he’s strong in both abilities. He can, in layman’s terms, see what people are thinking.”
“How many psychics are there?”
“Seven strong ones that I know of, and about twenty more weak. They fit in to normal life ok, just have minor talent. We’re a bit more of a problem.”
“Which is where Mark comes in?”
“Which is where Mark comes in. He’s supposed to be studying us, to see if we can be any use, and also to see where they can dump us.” He looked up and smiled at the door, a smile that lit up his face, startling Robin, who turned to see what he was smiling at.
The door gently opened, with four long elegant fingers curling around the edge, followed by a curl of red-gold hair. The face that followed was as pale as the fingers, elfin and ethereal, the red hair curling around the slender cheekbones. “Am I disturbing you?”
You are not disturbing me; you shatter my entire existence…welcome. “Come in, Ali.” Richard said. “Have you met Rob?”
“No, I haven’t.” She held out a hand. Robin took it gingerly, afraid of breaking the thin bones beneath his grasp. She was dressed in worn jeans and a t-shirt, and her eyes were a dark brown.
“Pleased to meet you.” he managed.
Richard gestured to the chair on the third side of the square. “Take a seat, Ali. I was explaining our existence to Rob.”
She sat elegantly, curling her legs into the chair. “I should warn you that everyone will join us now that they know you are here.” she said politely in her faintly accented voice.
“Pull up more chairs as they arrive, then. Rob won’t mind.” Richard turned back to Rob. “Mark’ll be back in a few hours, so he might want to see you.”
A knock heralded the next visitor. “Come in!” Richard yelled.
“Thought you would be here, Rich.” It was John, followed by Marcy and Lou. “Mind?”
“It’s turning in to a general meeting anyway.” Richard grumbled. Lou hauled himself a chair from the other table and turned to get another, but found one already there. “Oh, hi, Ali.”
“Hello, Lou. How are you?”
“Fine, thanks.” He had an American accent and a face that smiled easily, his eyes creasing at the corners. “Rich, if you’re planning to get everyone in here, shouldn’t you have chosen a larger room?”
“It wasn’t my idea.”
“That explains everything.” Marcy chipped in. “News for everyone, by the way – Mark’s arranged a demonstration opportunity for the great and the good tomorrow, if we’re ok with it. You know he’s been trying to ages.”
“Who’s invited?” John asked.
“Senators, political toadies, newsmen, couple of the important service leaders, police chief etcetera, you know the list. The important people in our society, and the people who we can inconvenience or help depending on circumstance.”
“That would help us if we can pull it off…” Lou mused.
“Sure would! Could convince them that we’re not a danger either.” Marcy added.
John was studying Robin. “’Scuse, but you’re the lad that was picked up by the police over the north, aren’t you?” he asked quietly. “Damaged a car, didn’t you?”
“John’s the other precogs, but he’s a seer too.” Richard said to Robin’s shocked look. “Probably saw the car go up in flames?”
“No, saw the crash.” John corrected. “And saw you…” His eyes were creasing with a frown, sliding into the distance as he tried to remember. “You threw it…or pushed it…I saw you do something. You caused the crash…?” His eyes refocused.
“I prevented it!” Robin said coldly. “They would have hit each other.”
Lou began to chuckle. “New talent! Well done, Rich!”