Unforeseen Dives – 29a – Mistakes

<< 28b – Oracles

My bridge between the past and the future snapped in place. The time continuum quivered as my presence disturbed its flow. My sensations blurred and the fight against the current took my breath away. Somewhere in my consciousness, Maeve yelped. The rest of her reaction stopped against Rebecca’s mind.
After a few minutes, the rushing of events around me became familiar and my perceptions clarified again. Only then did I start to move forward – or should I say backward – toward the past.
Like starting a book at the end, some events I witnessed didn’t make much sense before I saw what preceded them. It blazed through a couple of months of raging war before the searing pain of the devastated future began to ease. I slowed my rewind and lingered in various events. I scrambled for clues. The wishful part of me dreamed of nailing the guy responsible for the mayhem. Most of me hoped to find something – anything – that could lead the way to a solution.
“And I just wish you’ll get out of this sane.” Becky beamed.
My progress was slow and painful but I hadn’t encountered a whirlpool so far. I needed more psychics to comb through the array of possibilities, though.
“Would the team of researchers be able to do it?” Becky asked as I stumbled to a stop so I could focus on the conversation.
“Yes.”
“I’ll beam the request to the telepaths of the team.” She turned away from me. Her dim presence kept the ongoing conversation with the team to overload my senses. Standing still in between two times was enough of a strain as it was. Heading a hive mind on top of it would be a challenge. Unfortunately, nothing was labeled “solution to the investigation” in bold neon letter. “They are on standby.” My partner confirmed.
“The only way I can stand this is by easing them in one by one.”
“Let’s get started.”
Rebecca carefully filtered the entry of the other psychics. The first one joined me with a wave of surprise. It shook my hold so he quickly reined in his emotions. He had a lot to acclimate too. Maeve’s perception, still hovering in the background, dizzied him as it did me. I felt his tears when the harshness of the war hit him. Good thing I didn’t bring him through the tougher waters I swam before. The weird passage of time within my grasp intrigued him. After this rainbow of emotions, he finally settled by my side.
The next one entered the hive mind and we repeated a similar process. Only one of the squints couldn’t deal with the situation even though I kept most of the effort to myself. We pushed her out of the hive before her mind scattered. She wanted to help but her jitters ruined our concentration. And I wasn’t ready to risk her mental health.
The nine psychics, connected to me through our telepath partners, lined up by my side. My attention would go to leading us backward, maintaining the connection with the past and progressing toward it. They would scour every moment we swam past. They silently approved and scattered around me.
I followed each of their movement, my concentration scattered through all their brains. Their conclusions trickled into my perception and I tried to find connections, leads, anything useful. When nothing came up, I crawled another day back.
About three months out of Maeve’s report of the omen, we encountered the first whirlpools. I cussed, which Rebecca kept between us while the oblivious squints kept searching. At least, we knew where the whirlpool stopped now and investigated the events just after them. Unfortunately, while we were at the tail end, the head was out of sight. Some endings were readily associated with the list of beginnings I had mapped in my office. Others were too obscure.
If I wasn’t so deep in the Ocean, I would hear the telepaths madly typing in reports of all we found even if we didn’t know how much of it would be useful. They didn’t even think about lunch time which I was convinced we missed. These squints were real troopers.
At last, we reached the point in time when Maeve had her vision. I released my line between the future and the past. I felt whole again. A sigh of relief spread through the hive mind. Our heartbreaking efforts only turned up more information about the whirlpool. Hopefully, it would be enough to at least give us another trail to pursue.
I thanked the team and the hive mind dissolved. Maeve’s presence left too. I floated alone in my mind except for Rebecca. The chatter was gone and so was the pain. This was the Ocean at its best, the psychics’ home; a soft ebb and flow of feelings and probable future. The trials of the day almost obliterated my memories of that.
“At least, it didn’t obliterate you.” Becky commented softly. “Ready to come out before you’re all wrinkled?”
I approved with a thought. Rebecca slowly reeled me back to reality. I emerged in a room only lit by my partner’s computer screen. We were under longer than I thought and my stomach scolded me for it.
“Lights on!” Casey warned before flipping the switch. The light washed away the last shiver from my dive. Casey joined us with his usual crooked smile but I could see the pain sipping through. “Brought a couple of things for you, girls.”
He dropped a pile of paper on the desk and a paper bag beside it. They smell like a freshly printed report and dinner.
“I was heading home but if you need anything else…”
“We’re fine. Thanks.” Rebecca replied after the silence stretched a bit too long. Casey nodded and took his leave. “Your mugs say I shouldn’t ask for Casey’s help anymore.” Becky unwrapped our fast-food, leaving me space to compose myself while she was looking away.
“It’s complicated.”
“No, it’s not,” she replied. I opened my mouth to retort. “And I’m in your head so you can’t pretend otherwise.” She shoved a burger in my hands and pushed the report between us.
Stopping a war, now. Dealing with love, later.

29b – Mistakes >>

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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

6 responses to “Unforeseen Dives – 29a – Mistakes

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