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.
"It's not a body, all this call does is confirms if the person this belonged to is dead or not. You shouldn't notice anything, it'll just be a brief flash of cold around the focus."
She reaches out absently for Daria when she sees she's ready, brushing the backs of their hands together skin on skin.
"It's fine," says Daria, and pushes a flash of intent into the diagram. "Huh. No difference. Not sure if I was expecting that or not."
"I can communicate with the spirit impressions the dead leave, animate stripped bones, tell if someone's alive or dead, locate someone, get certain information out of remains about the person they were, make a d-" she cuts herself of at the glare on Mariam's face, and then continues, "make a connection with someone else that allows us to cast together and tell where the other is, identify if there is something that used to be part of a living creature in the vicinity... We're discovering a lot of new extensions, the intuitive applications are all related to the dead but some people theorize that's mostly because of the tradition we've been working in, though no one's sure why it got started like that. If I had to say what the fundamental limit is it's probably something to do with only being able to affect living organisms and that which is attached to them or used to be them, there's some interesting research being done with viruses."
"Your division makes no sense. Can you show me a bit of psionics? Could I do it?"
"You have magic but you can't show me." This is increasing her estimate that this is some kind of - joke or prank or delusion or something, except they're not in New York.
"Can I borrow your - oh, right, you don't have phones that do internet in 2006, do you." Ugh. Well, she can at least check if the phone looks like it's from the right time, and try to call... she doesn't really know who at this point. "Do you have service yet?"
Well, she can catch a glimpse of the phone, it looks right. That's fakeable but would turn this into some kind of elaborate set-up and still doesn't explain the part where they're not in New York at a different time of day.
Daria glares at the landscape outside the window as if it's personally offended her. Why did the first people to notice them have to be so terrible at answering simple questions.
"What else can magery or psionics do?"
"Precogs? How does that work?"
"You have a magic system that can do precog and you didn't learn it." How has your world not collapsed into some kind of time paradox or something. How are you this incurious. When can I get to someone that will answer my questions.
"VR? What's that?" Mariam interjects.
"'Eclipsed' are mages and psions, right?"
"Why are they dangerous when they're new?"
"What happens when they get out of control?"