Unforeseen Dives – 39b – Menace

<< 39a – Menace

My first dip in the Ocean surprised me. My reaction was akin to the one of a bather sticking her foot in cold water. Though my Ocean didn’t have a temperature per se, the psychic vibrations seemed somehow out of tune, alienated.
“It’s the stress,” Rebecca thought. It made sense. Thousands of psychics worried about what the future holds for their community. Why wouldn’t it alter the tension of their portal to said future?
After a deep breath, I dived again, advancing slowly I acclimated to the feelings’ frequency. I doubted I would have stomached the process if I was tired or drugged. The pain in my back gradually receded to the bottom of my mind and I concentrated fully on my exploration.
Finding Nadina’s thread proved to be easy. I was half worried that the bad guy would figure out we knew and throw a whirlpool in our way. However, for the first time in a long time, we were one step ahead of him. Or maybe we were completely wrong and Nadina wasn’t linked at all with the other explosions.
“Don’t think about that,” Becky scolded. “In a few hours, the FBI team will confirm that the bombs bear the same manufacturer’s signature.”
“Hey! I’m the psychic.”
I mentally smiled and rushed toward my destination. I quickly rewound time until a day before the Times Square bombing. Then, I slowed down the pace. Nadina had been smart enough to avoid any reference to herself before the bombing, keeping me from locking in on her identity when I first investigated her past. Chances were that whoever trained her had been even more careful.
One by one, I explored the past of everyone who came in significant contact with Nadina. It would take forever but if it allowed me to nail the mastermind behind our current ordeal, it was worth my boredom. Besides, I didn’t have anything better to do before we were ready for the interrogation.
“James rang me.” Rebecca signaled. A second later, his smooth presence, along with his telepathic partner’s, reached my awareness through Becky.
“We’re done with the drug lords assignment. Would you like our help?”
“Perfect timing!”
We swiftly decided that my resilience would be put to better use diving in the courthouse’s whirlpool. The five free psychics picked up where I left off scouring Nadina’s past.
“Don’t bother about understanding what she thinks. It’s in Arabic. If you can narrow down the suspects to other Arabic thinker, it’ll already be a great help.”
“We’re on it.” James disconnected as quickly as he came.
I reoriented myself towards the future and flew to the courthouse. I stopped close to the beginning of the whirlpool. The Ocean waved around me, carrying a flow of fear and anger into the endless revolution. It was a bit different from the others though, not quite as frantic and overwhelming.
Slowly, I moved further in time. Half of my consciousness crossed the outer rim of the whirlpool and I remained nausea free. Only when I wholly entered the phenomenon did I begin to feel sick. Not enough to send me packing though.
“It’s the first time I don’t feel your mind being ripped away from mine.” Rebecca broadcasted. Whirlpool usually triggered a primal survival instinct forcing us to flee but neither of us was even scared of this one.
“This is good. Maybe we’ll find something.”
As I neared the eye of the perturbation, I doubted my hopes would come true. Though I wasn’t running for my mental health, I was unable to glean any fact from the spinning elements of the past.
Suddenly, the texture of the emotions and life threads around me shifted. The disturbance resembled a rock thrown in a calm lake, an intruder violating a sanctuary.
“Hello there, Miss Parker.” The voice rose from nowhere and everywhere all at once. I had never experienced anything like it. The voice didn’t come through a telepath; it came from the Ocean. “Still sniffing around, I see.”
In the back of my mind, Rebecca’s surprise echoed mine. She tried to pull me back from the feeling of menace overtaking my heart but something stronger forced me to stay put. Nothing about this was standard Oceanic behavior.
“Why so hurried to leave? I don’t want you to go anywhere. Ever.” The voice chuckled. “You should have stayed hidden, Miss Parker.”
The pull against my core increased. The alien presence wanted to anchor me in the middle of the whirlpool, to completely detach my consciousness from my body. I willed myself to pull back and Becky doubled her efforts to reel me in. Nothing worked.
“I thought killing you would solve my problems but this is just as good.” Rebecca’s presence was growing dim. I would soon be stranded. “Yes. You’ll be at my mercy in a second or two.”
“Not on my watch.” Rebecca’s presence increases quickly. I discerned the presence of other telepaths from the team, fuelling her rage and tightening her pull.
My mind hurt. I feared I would break, stuck in a psychic tug-of-war. Being the rope sucked. The fabric of my personality seemed to stretch and tear. Panic drowned my senses. I wanted to swim away from it all.
“Don’t you let go of me.” Rebecca ordered. I barely registered the meaning of her words. Pain overtook every part of my consciousness and I couldn’t defend myself.
But my team won.
One tug after the other, they dragged me back to myself. On the other side of me, the voice growled.
“I used to love your strength.” It whispered before pulling away. “I guess I’ll have to go after your friends then. Oh wait! I already have some of them.”
The disconnection left me cold and shaken. Becky hugged me as soon as I emerged but no warmth could shake off the nagging feeling that behind the distorted voice hid someone I knew.
“You’re whole, Cass. You’re whole.” Rebecca crooned. Daniel and James entered our office minutes later.
“He tried to steal my soul.” I cried. “How could he?”
What scared me the most was that no one had a clue.

VIa – A Knife In The Back >>

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

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