Oct 20, 2018 9:20 PM
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kiri in worm
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"- is it? I'd never thought something like that would be - well, pretty, or ugly, or anything like that." He seems to find this idea oddly pleasant, though.

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"It's a whole sense, I have aesthetics in it. Minds can be pretty, or do pretty things, the way music can."

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"Can minds be unpretty, or dissonant, or different kinds of pretty?"

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"I suppose they could be unpretty, but I don't have much of a sample size. They're all different kinds, no two are the same."

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"Can your powers be used projectively? To... show other people this other sense?"

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"I... could in principle but it'd carry the same risks as any other active use of the power."

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"Which are... that you don't know whether you could be messing anything up accidentally?"

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"Yeah. I'm almost certain my passive use doesn't do anything besides what I've described, I don't have nearly that confidence with anything I can actively do. I haven't detectably screwed anyone up yet but I've only worked on desperate addicts and crazy people and stuff."

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"Have other people with your powers screwed up before?"

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"Primes don't always have the exact same powers as other primes of the same element. My great-aunt said she could detect lies at range greater than mine but didn't claim to be able to read minds outright even close up, for instance. Her grandfather I know even less about. Records aren't what they should be on the subject. I'd like to fix that for future generations but I seem to have been stranded in this alternate universe."

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"Wouldn't you have heard if someone had, like, completely messed someone up?"

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"No, because it would have been at least a hundred years ago and embarrassing to boot."

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"Ah. Must be frustrating."

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"Yup. The other primes are in similar boats, I've actually been a prime longer than anyone else alive because I was eight when my great-aunt died and then there was a lot of turnover very quickly."

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"Are primes usually picked that young?"

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"No, I was unusual, teens or twenties is more typical."

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He nods. "Must have been hard on you."

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"It was a rough transition but I came out okay on the other end of it."

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He nods thoughtfully, and thinks about how when he was that small all he wanted was to be a superhero.

Kinda worked.

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Aww. "I woke up with my bed on fire. I was fine, but it was pretty scary. And then nobody could hug me till they were comfortable with mindreading."

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"Is everyone? In your family."

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"My twin brother is better about it than my little brother or my parents but yes."

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"Huh. What do they mostly object to?"

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"Varies. Mostly they feel like they have to police their thoughts, but different aspects of that bother them."

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"Huh," he repeats. He wonders what kinds of thought policing have to happen. He doesn't think he thinks very interesting thoughts, or anything he'd want to hide.

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