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 don't know if anyones tried to psionicize a calculator."
" - right, because it takes you so much time to learn to do things, it'd be hard to experiment."
"Yeah. Eventually someone will probably genericize the skill of psionicizing electronics enough to try it out of curiosity but I don't think anyone's there yet."
"Do you know if something's possible before you try, or do you just have to wait and see if it doesn't work for you?"
"If any psion has done a thing, all psions can, though it might take different amounts of time. Other than that can't be sure till someone tries."
"Research on eclipsed must be a pain."
"Yes. Scientists are annoyed by how much they have to pay to get eclipsed research subjects."
"Your magic is so much... more than ours, it's fascinating."
"More? I mean, the dead people theme seems potentially limiting I guess?"
"If you can think of it you can do it, there seem to be so few limits. My life's work might be discovering that we can do connections between minds at all, and you can do pure telepathy, change how your brains work entirely, and as far as I can tell almost anything else."
"I mean, yes, it's a good deal, but you seem better able to exchange information with other magic users of your kind, am I wrong? We have to learn everything from scratch."
"That's an advantage, yeah. Though in some areas mine can be very free-form. Trying to animate bones is hard to teach for that reason, it's almost entirely channeling energy and that you just need to get a feel for."
"There's things you need to get a feel for that are freeform and still benefit a lot from prior art. Drawing is like that, but perspective had to be invented, say."
"So there's advantages and disadvantages and lots of room for a third world to blow us out of the water."
"Or fourth or fifth or - I can't wait for the other Mariam to figure out dimensional travel."
Isabella giggles and fetches another plate.
"The other you will get it," Daria tells Mariam confidently. "And we can go home, and then -"
"- anywhere. I know." She was going to call her sister last night. She'd be so worried - but there was nothing she could do, not really.
She leans against Mariam and lets her certainty leak through their bond.
Isabella returns with a lot of macaroni and potatoes and chili.