It's a long drive up to Canada to see Jackson's family, but Brian likes driving and Jackson doesn't like airport security (he doesn't have all the official stamps of approval he needs to avoid extra scrutiny for being a psion). They've recently crossed the border into Montana.
"I wonder if your magic is a feature of you or a feature of your world, maybe we'll eclipse at the next one, that'd be interesting."
"Good question. I mean, you'd need to pass two filters, the local chance is very low and you might not even get the lottery ticket, but you should fast for the two days before the next eclipse anyway."
"You don't think we'd be more likely to eclipse, since the other ones did?"
"Identical twins aren't; it doesn't run in families even a little. That's the best information we have on whether it matters whether you're similar or not."
"This seems to be a different thing, though. We have the same phone numbers, it's absurd."
"I don't claim to know for sure! But you shouldn't count on it and should fast."
"Fast? - oh, your thing runs on calories, I see."
"Yeah. You don't want to make more work for us precogs day of."
"Not being in control of something like that sounds - unpleasant. What kind of things happen with an out of control eclipsed? I asked the psion who picked us up and he was really vague about it."
"Might not have been a precog. Freeze all the water in a mile radius, everyone in your city desperately wants cheese - that one would've cascaded nastily if another eclipsing kid had gotten some cheese - turn everything illusorily blue and hot, start a plague, turn trees upside down, we see a lot of fires, we see a lot of straight up mindwipes..."
"He said he wasn't, yeah, didn't pick it up. I'm glad Daria knows interesting people, if I'd had to drag everything about this magic out of Jackson-types I'd have probably terribly offended him by now."
"A psion named Jackson? Jackson what?"
"No clue - Mariam?"
"Didn't come up, all they did was pick us up and drop us off here. Sub, long brown hair, with a dom named Brian?"
"I don't know his dom's name. I knew a psion called Jackson in school, he used to sexually harass me till somebody decided they wanted a project sub."
"Would be some coincidence if he was the same one, though this entire alternate universe thing has been full of weird coincidences."
"It can't be that common a name, and psions are rare, but yeah, could be someone else."
"It almost feels relevant, there've been weird patterns in other things too. Or lack of patterns, maybe, it doesn't make sense that our worlds wouldn't have been more different because of the magic and the - roles thing."
In the margins of her discarded diagrams, Daria scrawls a note to 'look at weird universe coincidence thing - also, talk to Mar, dimension hopping!!'.
"Yeah, I'd expect more than a little butterfly effect between the both of them."
"The only divergence I managed to get out of Jackson and Brian was 9/11 - we had a thing in 2001 when a group of terrorists flew some planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center - otherwise you have the same presidents, same historical events as far as I could check in that time."
"That's one way to put it. It was even worse than it sounds, we went and invaded Afghanistan over it."
"I was in New York, they had us calling up the dead to see if we could get anything useful for the search-and-rescue crews. Can't say it wouldn't have been worth it if they'd managed to aim it just at the actual perpetrators, but..."
"Yeah, that sounds rougher than precogging an eclipse."