“Hi, Eliza! It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person!” a boy almost shouted at her with a lot of enthusiasm. He grabbed and shook her hand in the same manner.
This voice… It took a moment for her to remember where she had heard.
“Ah, so you’re the telepath.”
The boy’s smile grew. “That’s right. My name is Teodoro but you can call me Teo!”
Despite the girl’s surprise, she couldn’t help but smile under such enthusiasm.
“It’s nice to meet you,” she said, shaking his hand on her own this time. “Your voice sounds a bit different when it’s not echoing in my head.”
“It’s not the first time I hear that. I have no idea why though. To me, it sounds the same.”
“Maybe it’s like that thing when you hear your own voice, you find it weird.”
The boy seemed too shocked. “No way. I don’t want that. My voice is already high-pitched enough as it is… to think that’s the better version…”
Eliza looked at him and then chuckled. He seems so… excited about this…
“Sorry if I seem too hyped… It’s just this is the first time I meet another person with powers around my age…” Teo rubbed his head and looked down.
The girl couldn’t hide her surprise. We’re the same age? I could’ve sworn he’s younger…
At least he doesn’t seem like a bad person… but he’s listening to my mind right now, isn’t he?
Eliza watched him, waiting if he would react to what was inside her mind. The boy showed none.
Is he trying to hide or he really can’t read my mind…?
Ah, crap… this is gonna bother me all the time…
“You’re making the face of someone who doesn’t know if the telepath is prying into your head or not,” João Paulo said, walking towards them. Due to the trouble he caused when we met, he received a punishment.”
“You mean, I’m grounded, JP.” Teo raised his right hand to Eliza, touching the ring on his index finger with the thumb. “This thing here suppress my powers… with it, my telepathy’s range is limited to a couple of inches.”
The boy got closer to Eliza and stood side by side. Despite being the same age, the boy barely reached her shoulders.
Can… you… hear… me… now?
Eliz a blinked a couple times when she heard a voice that wasn’t hers on her head.
Yeah… but barely… like there’s a static all the time…
It’s this ring’s fault… It sucks… Just because I helped a little too much, JP grounds me with this…
“Please, get in and explain on the way. We don’t know at what time the deal will happen, so we need to stake out the place,” the policeman said, getting in the driver’s seat.
Eliza and Teo got in the back seat and JP drove.
Hey, can you still hear me?
Loud but not so clear, the girl confirmed. Hey, what did you mean when you said JP grounded you…? Aren’t you a cop like him?
The boy flashed an awkward smile. Yeah… not really… Actually, I was a normal kid until one day I woke up with the power to read the minds of the people around me.
Eliza turned to face the boy. So you just woke with your power out of the blue like me?
Teo nodded, not meeting her eyes. Yeah… It was… hard… now that I can control it, it’s fun to have this power… But at first… I couldn’t control it at all… whenever someone got close enough, I could hear what they were thinking at the moment. Before I learn how to turn it on and off, it became too powerful… I was hearing people’s mind around a hundred meters…
It was too much for my mind, Teo said, looking down. I was in pain the entire time… I couldn’t handle…
Just like me¸ Eliza thought when the boy grew quiet. I couldn’t control my powers at first either… at one point was couldn’t even sleep because I was seeing through my eyelids…
It was too hard… even though now I loved my power and probably can’t live without it at this point, I had a serious trouble with my telepathy back then…
Eliza had the feeling she already knew but asked even so. What happened?
My head was in pain the entire time, but it was… bearable… well, almost… imagine having a headache all the time. But one day that pain grew too much… I don’t remember what happened… My parents said I was screaming and fainting as they rushed me to the hospital… I was… the doctors had no idea what was happening… not even looking at my CAT scan… the best they could do was sedate me all day long…
Teo’s eyes looked distant as he remembered. Almost as if realizing where he was, he blinked and turned back to the girl. Things looked bad, but then JP found me…
He found you…? Eliza glanced at the back of the police officer’s head. Is he running around the state looking for people with powers?
Teo smiled. I don’t know about that… but in my case, he said he could help… The boy raised the hand again. He gave me this ring and explained it could suppress my powers… my parents were… more than shocked, let’s say, when they find out about my telepathy, he transmitted, followed by a weak laugh. They still haven’t gotten used to.
Eliza didn’t hide her surprise at that last part. Your parents know about your powers? She couldn’t even imagine telling her mother and father. Would finding out about powers be more or less shocking than catching their lesbian daughter in bed with her girlfriend…?
Teo let out a more joyful laugh. That I can’t say. But in my case, there’s no way I’d be here now if they didn’t know… After I was discharged, I… heard them… They had no idea how to deal with his thing that looked more like a movie… And I can’t blame them… This power had only brought me trouble…
There was a moment of silence. Then Teo sighed and smiled.
But this power is part of me now… Since I have to live with it for the rest of my life, I wanted to control… my parents didn’t like the idea of me involving with police business and all, but in the end, they agreed and I joined JP’s group. Technically I’m not an official member yet. I’m still only an independent consultant, so I only get to go along in missions like this from time to time. Only when JP think my power can be useful.
Eliza remained quiet as she took all that.
That’s amazing… He has already thought about using his powers like that… I can’t help but be a little jealous, she thought, flashing a sad smile. If JP had found me sooner, maybe I wouldn’t have to suffer all that…
But that would be bad, Teo’s voice echoed in her head. You wouldn’t have met Bianca! That’d be a shame!
Eliza widened her eyes a little. Then she smiled and chuckled.
Yeah… you’re right… If something had been slightly different, we’d have never gotten together.
You already know, but she really loves you. All the time she was thinking about how she could protect you if JP’s intention were bad.
Eliza blushed as the image of her girlfriend popped in her head. That idiot… even when she’s not around, she can make me blush.
I bet she’d say the same thing, Teo thought, laughing. But her mind is so funny… I shouldn’t be saying, but she has a lot of intrusive thoughts, did you know?
What’s an intrusive thought?
How can I explain…? It’s those random weird thoughts that come into your head out of nowhere.
Ah… so it has a name… and I thought I was the only one who had those… Like when you suddenly think what would happen if you threw your phone on the floor.
Yes! And like what would be to punch a random person on the street.
Eliza shook her head. I can’t believe everyone has those…
Yep. And Bianca’s only proves how much she loves you.
What do you mean?
I said she was thinking of how protecting you from JP, but what she thought… Sometimes the idea of hurting the cop popped into her head out of the blue. She always quelled down those thoughts, but they were still there at the back of her mind…
Bianca… I knew she was impulsive, but to think she actually considered hurting a cop… Despite the idea, Eliza couldn’t help but smile.
Yeah, but that’s not all. After that, the idea of her being your knight in shining armor protecting you from JP crossed her head.
What? Eliza’s cheek grew hotter as she pictured it.
Yeah! She had the same image on her head at the time! Amazing how much in sync you two are, Ted thought, nodding and smiling at the same time. In fact, she was holding back kicking out JP just to go back to her room and do what you two were doing all afternoon.
What? You read that too? The girl got redder. Those are private moments…
Even the telepath blushed and averted his eyes. I couldn’t help it… it was your girlfriend who was thinking of that stuff…
Damn it Red… She knew there was a telepath around us and was thinking about what we did… Despite her embarrassment, Eliza had trouble containing her smile. I can’t believe this…
The next moment, she herself remembered what they were doing and how good they made each other fell.
Ah! Damn it! Get away for a moment until I can sort my head!
Eliza pushed the telepath to the other side of the car, getting as close to the door as she could. She took deep breaths, trying to clear her head. But all she could think was Bianca and her naked body.
No! I can’t think of that! Her body only for my eyes now! I don’t want him seeing that too!
It took a moment until Eliza had controlled her thoughts and lowered her hand, allowing the boy to come closer.
The moment Teo was on the middle seat, Eliza could hear his voice.
I’m sorry for bringing it up! But it wasn’t my fault! Nor Bianca’s! That’s what an intrusive thought is… mostly… A-and don’t worry! I’d never tell anyone! Bianca’s naked body is only for you, the telepath hurried up and added. Then he blushed, opening and closing his mouth with no idea what to say.
The girl looked at him and then sighed. It was hard to stay mad at someone that nervous when they never meant any harm. Thanks.
“We’re here,” the police officer said after a long time.
The street was deserted and poorly lit. JP entered one of the warehouse few blocks from the port on the old part of the city.
“I think it’s within your power’s limit,” JP added, checking the hour on his phone.
I’ve been to the capital before, but never to this part, Eliza thought, taking a deep breath to calm her thumping heart. I’m too nervous…
Though the mission sounded simple to Eliza, and especially her role, she knew it wasn’t. All Eliza had to do was observe one of the docks and look through the containers. She had no idea what the Unresolved Cases Police Department was after; she only had to look. She didn’t even need to know what. Teo would use his powers and connect Eliza and the cop’s mind.
They weren’t the only ones there. A few moments after they had parked, another vehicle entered the warehouse and stopped next to them.
That’s… out of a game, Eliza thought when she took a better look at the vehicle. It was one of those armored trucks to transport money or other valuables. I feel like I’m in that game my brother plays… that one where he’s the criminal and rob cars and stuff.
And a few moments later, another police car parked on the other side of the armored truck.
Eliza opened and closed her trembling hands, taking another deep breath. Crap… now I feel even more nervous… Now that I think about it, this operation feels too important, but there are so few people here, she thought as she shifted on her seat to face the direction of the dock.
Yeah… you’re right. This department has a desperate lack of personnel… I mean, just finding people who know or at least who can deal with supernatural stuff is hard. You can believe it’s way harder to gather people who are willing to fight such phenomenal, Teo informed her. The money isn’t so bad, but still…
How do you know all this? She asked in her mind. Then she knew the reason. Did you read JP’s minds?
Despite not looking at him, Eliza could tell the boy was smiling next to her.
He tends to forget to put on the ring… hey, I can’t help it…
The girl chuckled as she turned to him. You say this a lot, did you know?
I-it’s just like you with your powers at the beginning, Teo thought, his face as nervous as the voice in his head.
Your reactions are too funny, she thought, laughing. And relax. It’s as you say… I know the feeling of not having any control over yourself…
Ted seemed less flustered.
Eliza smiled and messed his hair. It’s like having a younger brother, she thought, forgetting he could hear her mind for a moment.
JP coughed a bit too loud on his hand. “You may start at any time, Eliza.”
Ops. Almost forgot too, Teo said, facing the window to hide his smile as he took off his ring. With his hand free of the jewelry, he placed it on Eliza’s shoulder. It’s so I can focus on your mind only and don’t hear other people’s thoughts. This way I can connect your vision to JP, the boy added before the girl could ask.
The girl nodded and turned to her left. She breathed in and out, clearing her mind. Then she focused.
At first, nothing happened. Then the edges of her vision blurred and her sight began to go further. The car door and window were gone. Soon the walls of the warehouse as well.
Her vision went on, moving past the other warehouses, the containers, people, anything and everything became transparent as her vision looked through.
Wow… it’s amazing… I had seen a memory of it when you thought about My eyes can see, but I didn’t imagine it was like this, Teo’s voice entered her mind, taking away some of her focus.
Her vision trembled and backed up a little. C-could please not talk…? It’s hard to maintain the focus…
Ah, s-sorry! I keep quiet.
With the silence on her mind back, her vision was going further.
That’s the one. Please, stop, JP’s voice echoed on the girl’s mind.
Urh… too many people in my head, the thought came to Eliza before she could stop.
I know the feeling, Teo’s voice thought.
I’m sorry for this but please observe this area for a while, JP said.
F-for how long…?
The place was not on the edge of her powers, not her current reduced situation. Unlike the time she helped Bianca’s dad, there was no need to strain her eyes or herself to the limit. But if she had to keep it up for some time, the strain could be similar.
I don’t think it’ll take long. Our source informed it should around this hour.
Eliza tried to relax and maintain the focus at the same time.
The area she was staking out was the recently abandoned sixth dock. Though it was unused for a while, there were still some old ships anchored there. The leftover containers around were rusting.
Despite being abandoned, it wasn’t deserted. From what Eliza could see, there were a few people around doing drugs.
It doesn’t feel like a place to make a shady exchange… too many people…
That’s why is perfect… they have people with powers too, just like us. They probably worry more about the cops busting the place there than some drug addicts seeing them.
Despite keeping her mind clear, Eliza registered those words.
I don’t think they’re junkies… look at that one… on the right corner near that blue container, JP said.
The girl obeyed, focusing on a man in particular. Despite having a needle on the hand, there were no holes in his arms. His eyes were not paying attention to the drugs. He was looking around, as if waiting for something.
See? That’s no junkie. He’s just part of the disguise.
When Eliza checked the others, she realized the man wasn’t the only one.
They have a lot of people… I know JP can teleport and all, but still…
Don’t worry. Our main objective is to seize the device. Fighting is not required.
If you say so…
She continued looking through anything that looked suspicious. But after seeing all the containers and crates and ships, there was nothing that deserved her attention.
Almost an hour had passed. Eliza’s eyes were already starting to sting, though not anywhere close to when she helped Bianca’s dad.
Then finally something happened; she saw something moving between two abandoned ships.
Eliza focused her vision and the meal carcass and the interior of the first ship vanished in few instants.
Is that it…? The device thingy…? The girl asked tentatively, trying to maintain her focus.
It was a small boat with four people around a huge crate. It was moving without oars or a motor. All the three men and the woman did was looked around, their faces tense and sharp.
Yes, it is, JP thought and Ted transmitted.
Even though it was the voice only, Eliza could tell the cop was getting tenser.
No matter how much she stared at the device, to her, it looked like a giant chess board but instead of the squares, a bunch of weird supernatural looking symbols. It also had a huge dark green crystal on top, help by wooden supports coming from each corner.
The girl gulped and pressed her lips, trying to look at every detail of the device she could. Even though she had no idea how it worked, she could tell it was dangerous. Before Eliza had agreed to help them, she had asked what the device did.
“It’s something to force undeveloped powers to awake,” JP said in a heavy voice over the phone.
“What do you mean?”
“There are people who were born with powers. But most are like you, whose power appeared one day. But there are many whose powers are still dormant. There are many ways to wake someone ability, but all in small scale. The one we are looking is something much bigger, than can awake thousands of people at once. It’s being developed on oversea and it’s the first prototype. We couldn’t get more information, but apparently it’s supposed to send a signal that will trigger those dormant powers.”
Eliza had trouble following all that. It looks like a plot of a movie… Bianca’s gonna love hearing about this, she thought at the time with a sheepish smile.
“But why would anyone want to do that? What do they gain with that?”
“From what we can tell, they want more people with power.” JP grew quiet on the other side of the line. Eliza knew right away the cop was thinking if she should tell her or not. “The world is changing… every group is trying to increase their numbers, but it still not enough. That machine could create chaos and at the same time awake more powers…”
Eliza said nothing, letting the anger grow within her. She knew why she felt anger for those words. That device could make people go through the same thing as she had to.
Despite not having any sense of justice that forced her to do anything, she didn’t like the idea of anything having their lives upside down due to an unknown power out of nowhere. I almost die trying to deal with my powers… I got lucky I found Bianca, but it’s not like everyone would have the same luck…
“Do you see the woman?” JP said with his real voice. “She’s and the guy next to her are the most troublesome. Please keep an eye on them. I need to deal with them right after stealing the device. Or they’ll cause us trouble.”
Teo pressed his lips, suppressing a smile. You’re about to see something amazing, the telepath said directly the girl’s mind At the same time, he clutched her shoulder a little harder. Please, don’t blink not even for a second. I don’t wanna miss even a moment.
What are you talking about?
You’ll see, that was all Teo said.
Before the girl could insist, when she sensed a movement inside the police car, without stopping watching the boat, Eliza pulled half her vision back. Crap… I forgot how it hurts to look at two things at the same time…
Despite the pain, she watched as JP pulled a strange pair of black gloves from his pockets. Both gloves had a few complicated patterns on the palm and a switch on the middle of everything. After he adjusted it, the pattern formed a symbol and he closed and opened his fingers. With a nod to himself, he turned to her.
“Please, show me every detail,” he asked her, touching Teo’s shoulder and closing his eyes.
The girl gulped and nodded, forcing all her vision back to the device and the boat. Her sight trembled and her eyes stung a little before she was seeing the people surrounding the crate.
Pull back a little. I need to see everyone, JP’s voice echoed in Eliza’s mind.
At once she obeyed, moving back her vision until she could see the undercover junkies on the abandoned docks.
Some of them stood up and walked towards the boat.
With her curiosity growing, Eliza focused her eyes a bit more so she could see their faces, and more importantly, their mouths.
“Show us the device,” one of the undercover junkies said.
Move your lips so I can read better, Eliza thought.
With a sour face, one of the men on the boat stood, pulled a crowbar and opened the crate.
“Look at that man near that yellow container,” JP said next to Eliza. The girl obeyed, though still tried to keep the device within her sight. “So that where he was… bastard… I thought he had left the state… Teo, show this to the guys… Okay. Everyone, I’m moving in. Get read.”
The moment he spoke, Eliza heard that same vacuum sound she had heard on Bianca’s living room the day she had met JP. The next moment, the cop was on top of the device.
The people on the boat didn’t waste a moment, reacting right away. Even so, JP was too fast for them.
The next instant, before they could do anything, he had already teleported again, this time with the device.
Eliza heard the vacuum sound and then something heavy being put on the armored car.
She didn’t have time to look before she heard the vacuum sound again.
As the cop got back to the dock, this time next to the woman, the armored car drove away.
The moment he appeared, she shot at him. Everyone else raised their gun, but he teleported out of the way.
When he appeared again, he was a few meters away, floating in the air for a few seconds. Before he started falling, he raised the thumb and pointed his index finger towards the boat.
Eliza had trouble to understand what was happening. It was so fast she almost lost her focus. When her vision quivered, Teo clutched her shoulder a little harder. Don’t lose focus! I don’t wanna miss!
What the hell is he doing? Why is he pretending his finger is a gun?
Keep watching! Keep watching, Ted’s voice echoed in her mind, too excited.
Eliza swept what was in her head and focused on the cop, making sure she didn’t miss anything.
In the blink of an eye, before the people transporting the device and the fake junkies found him, a little white sphere appeared on the tip of JP’s finger. When he brought the thumb down, the sphere flew with an amazing speed.
The boat! The boat! Teo shouted in her mind.
Eliza pulled her vision back right away so she could watch the whole thing.
The sphere went towards the boat. The three men and the woman jumped out of the way before it crashed against it.
The sphere grew and the force of the wind was enough to destroy the boat.
“Holy shit!” Eliza shouted, losing her concentration enough for her vision too blurred and fall back.
Pay attention! Pay attention!
Ted shouted desperate in her mind, afraid to miss even a second of the fight. He was almost shaking the girl.
Eliza winced, strained her eyes and forced her vision to focus again.
When she was seeing the abandoned docks again, the cop was out of sight.
Where is JP?
JP had to teleport to get away from the line of fire. As he moving from one place to the other again and again, he touched his palm and changed the switched on his glove.
The moment he could, the cop pointed his finger pretending to be a gun again. A new sphere appeared.
But this was bluish and when it crashed near the man shooting at him. The sphere turned into water, the pressure so strong it pushed the undercover junkies away.
One of the abandoned containers flew towards the cop with an amazing speed.
That guy on the boat! He’s on the dock! He’s the one who threw it! Teo said, tapping the girl with his free hand.
JP teleported out of the way in time. But the moment he appeared, another container came flying into his new location. He pointed his finger and the blush sphere crashed against it, saving him.
“Holy crap! He had that power too?” Eliza couldn’t hold anymore, asking aloud.
It’s not an ability. It’s magic.
Eliza couldn’t help but laugh. Holy crap! There’s magic now?
There’s always been, Ted thought, his laugh echoing in her mind. I was the same when I found out about it too. Sounds too fantasy.
Hell yeah! Like I fell asleep watching one of those movies Bianca likes and now I’m having dreams with it.
I know. It’s awesome! Do you see those gloves of him? They have a bunch of magic circles on it. When he changes the switch on the middle of the palm, it changes the circle. With that, he can use another elemental magic without having to make any circle or movement!
Eliza could only smile at the absurdity of the situation. Even so, she didn’t lose her focus, watching the supernatural fight.
JP continued to shoot the spheres in midair. Whenever his height dropped too much, he teleported to a higher place, meters away, escaping the containers unharmed.
When the containers were about to hit him when he got to the new height, he shot one of the spheres, reducing it to twisted and crushed metal.
There was another flying container coming into his direction.
JP shoot at it without even glancing. But when the metal broke, there was someone inside.
It was a trap, Ted shouted in Eliza’s mind, grabbing the girl’s arm.
She didn’t have time to complain. All she could do was watch.
The woman jumped out of the container, grabbed JP’s wrist and then punched the cop.
Why won’t he teleport away? Eliza thought as she watched them exchange blows while falling in the air.
He can. But he’ll take her too. He needs to get rid of her first before he can escape.
JP blocked the woman’s punch as best as he could, but with only his left arm, he couldn’t defend them all.
He teleported when they were about to hit the ground.
When they appeared again a few meters higher, it was the same thing; she hit him and he tried to block.
He can’t change their positions, Ted said, reading the girl’s mind. His teleport only takes him, and whoever is touching him, to a new location. I think he might be able to change their positions, but the teleport would take much longer as he changes the calculus.
JP vanished with the woman in thin air. But he didn’t appear again.
Eliza pulled her vision back, trying to locate the cop and the woman. Where are they?
With Ted’s help, the girl found them.
JP had teleported them underwater.
The woman’s punches had lost its speed and strength. Now the cop had enough time to point his finger at her.
She didn’t seem surprised. She let go of him and kicked the hand away from her.
The sphere left the finger and created a huge ball in the middle of the water.
The pressure pushed them away.
They can’t get out, Eliza thought.
JP teleported out of the water.
“Where is he?” Eliza asked frantically when she couldn’t find him.
“I’m… here,” a voice said through coughs.
When the girl turned her head, JP was back on the driver’s seat of the police car. His clothes, and everything else, were completely soaked.
“Let’s get out of here…”