Unforeseen Dives – 18b – Division

<< 18a – Division

I spent most of my Sunday in my bed. I mulled over the events of the past few days and assessed my feelings toward my instant diving ability. I mitigated most of the fears. I missed breakfast and lunch before the pull of my stomach dragged me to my feet. I munched on some leftovers from mom’s dinner and painted. The canvas ended up filled with eyes of various colors. I shrugged and burnt it, as usual. I didn’t feel as relieved, though. I probably wouldn’t until my boss and my mom knew about me.
Daniel reacted to my dreadful news way better than I expected. He leaned casually against his desk. Rebecca and I sat as relaxed as one might expect: not at all. The fact that he didn’t lose his composure when I told him I could dive without the chair reassured me somehow. Though Rebecca had every confidence in me, she also was often straight in my head. It felt good that someone really outside of me didn’t freak out. It must be his British phlegm.
“Truth be told, I suspected it.”
My jaw dropped.
“It’s not nice to turn the table on a person who brings bad news.” Rebecca countered. Sarcasm acted as a defence in her book. I saw right through it and Daniel was no fool either.
I contented myself with an appropriate: “How?”
“Well,” he scratched the back of his head, ruffling the bottom of his short salt-and-pepper hair. The gesture showed his discomfort and took ten years off of him. I’d never seen him like that. Maybe I overestimated the phlegm.
“First, Rebecca couldn’t notice it. She hasn’t known enough psychics during dives. This doesn’t make her any less valuable an agent or reliable a partner.”
“I never was a sweet tooth. Please avoid the sugar-coating.” Rebecca declared. I’d rather have the sugar-coating. She read it in my mind and made an apologetic face. Daniel kindly ignored our silent exchange.
“I also think a specific situation was required or I would have noticed it from the get-go.  Cassidy, your handling of the hive mind was unlike any psychic I worked with.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s hard to word. I’ve never seen anyone juggle all three tenses at once. You sought information from the past, directed the team in the present and dived ahead.”
“But she was in the chair.”
“Indeed. But there is the chair, then there is talent, then there is… something more.”
The declaration weighed down on us, pushing silence in every corner of the room. I sighed. Daniel hesitated before kneeling by the side of my chair, his eyes almost at the same level as mine.
“PSI might be young but it is resourceful.” He looked at me intently, as if he could sear his convictions in me or lighten the weight on my shoulders with his gaze. “I’m aware of the taboo and troubles of your talent. The agency can help you with it.”
I really liked Daniel. He was one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. Despite his good intentions, his solutions couldn’t work.
“PSI has troubles getting financed each year.” I countered. “The FBI won’t finance me.”
“Oh! I think they will.” Daniel pulled a very smug smile.
“That’s a good one!” Rebecca laughed. “You’re your own leverage.”
I arched an eyebrow.
“They made you a public hero. They’re even talking about creating a medal for you.” Daniel added.
“They can’t very well let their poster girl go nuts now, can they?”
I seriously doubted I was that important. I wouldn’t be the first thing to be swept under the rug. I kept my mouth shut as they towed me toward Aaron’s office. I dropped in one of the couches, sensing how painful the next hour would be.
“Prompt diver” didn’t mean much to non-psychics. Non-readers never even heard of it. Thus, explaining the situation to Aaron, our FBI liaison, required time and patience. I lacked both when it came to the topic of my freakiness. Worst, Aaron targeted his questions at me, clearly expecting my explanations of the whole thing and caring little about the traumatism, or at the very least the uneasiness, that the question sparked.
Luckily, Daniel and Rebecca didn’t let him have his way. They answered every question, cut short every ignorant or hurtful comment and managed Aaron’s growing rigidity. I retreated inside of me, waiting for the meeting to be over, no matter the outcome.
Then it happened again.
In a flash, I dived deep in the Ocean and I saw how the conversation would end. Rebecca picked the images in my brain and chuckled. I snapped out of it to find three sets of eyes fixing me.
“That’s good stuff, Cass. I’m leaving it up to you.” Becky said.
Aaron stiffened. He reacted like half the world’s population when faced with something reader-related he wasn’t privy to. I’d rather not let him stew until he turned angry.
“I’m cutting this conversation short and simultaneously showing you my tactical value.”
A quizzical and doubtful “hmmm” answered me.
“You’re going to find funding to help me control my skill.”
He opened his mouth to talk but I cut him.
“You’re about to tell me PSI’s pockets aren’t deep enough to pay me for an undetermined amount of time to do a job that doesn’t exist. I don’t care about PSI’s pocket. You’re going to find funding from higher up.”
“You’re delusional.” He said before I could cut him off. I couldn’t keep from smiling. I already knew the insult was coming.
“No. You’re going to get funding because you’re creating a new division. A division of highly specialized psychics to investigate and assist operations. In the field. If it works, you double the tactical advantage the telepaths already give you.”
“FBI won’t finance a division of one person.”
“The Psychic State Department will. They’ve been trying to help people like me for years. Hospitals stabilize cases but can’t give them a purpose. Or a job. They’ll take a chance on me because you made me a hero and they’ll want a part of the cake. Then the FBI will follow suit.”
Aaron smiled, taking in my solution.
“And yes,” I concluded. “There is recognition for you. If it works.”

19a – Training >>

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

8 responses to “Unforeseen Dives – 18b – Division

  • Sabrina

    Yay for confident!Cassidy ! ^^ I loved that chapter. Keep going, you’ll do it ! ^^

  • Phil

    I second that. I like Cassidy all confident. It’s kinda sexy. I like Rebecca’s reactions and her toughness. Neither Cassidy nor Rebecca is affected by all the attention and hoopla, and that’s fun to see.

  • Jenn

    Very nicely done! I like how Rebecca was able to recognise the fact that she dove right away. I hope Rebecca gets to come to the new dept with Cass?

  • Alyssa

    “But there is the chair, then there is talent, then there is… something more.”
    I liked this sentence.
    I also liked how Cassidy handled Aaron.
    Just sooth the man’s soul, lol, and his ego. 😉

    • Aheïla

      I love writing Daniel’s lines. I’m always trying to find a refined way to say things for him.
      And yeah, manipulation through the ego often works well with men. 😉

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