[identity profile] x-cable.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] xp_journal
Evening all. Given the events of yesterday, Marie-Ange and I have decided that it would be for the best if she and I took it upon ourselves, as the mansion's resident precognitives, to make a few things very explicit. Or at least to make it explicit just how little even we understand about How This Whole Things Works and why it would be very bad for any of the rest of you to think that you somehow know better than us (and proceed to pull anything like what Doug did yesterday).

We thought it would be best to establish a baseline, first of all, so you all know precisely what we're working with. Angie and I are both precognitive, but that particular 'gift' has manifested in very different ways in each of us.

Angie's seems to be short-term, as far as we can tell. She sees in almost purely symbolic/visual terms, which may have some connection to the other aspect of her mutation. Also, she seems to see only what involves the people around her, and particularly the people she cares about.

My precognition is quite different. It's long-term - very long-term - and pattern-oriented, linked to the course of events that brought about the Askani's future. It also seems to be linked to my telepathy somehow, in a way not even the Professor has been able to help me figure out.

Mine is mostly burned out and Angie's is still developing. Thus, neither of us are particularly clear on our range or limits.

What else does this imply? That none of you would be clear on that either.

Angie's sitting here at my elbow wanting me to make a number of points about her precog, so, here goes. In a lot of cases, hers only seems correct because people interpret her symbolic visions after the fact. Apparently, she had a dream a few weeks ago about me wearing a blindfold. Some of you are aware of the fact that my most recent problems with my powers landed me in the medlab unable to see for the better part of the night. Straightforward, right? Except that my blindness wore off, and I got the help I needed to prevent it from happening again. Not to mention that the blindfold could have meant something else entirely - some sort of reference to the concept of justice? A lack of clear vision on my part about, oh, let's say, Doug's plan for yesterday? That's the danger of symbols.

Similarly, however convincing her symbolic visions might be as proof for a specific course of events, they are not written in stone. Let me say that again: they are not written in stone. Would anyone like to hypothesize what might have happened if, say, Lorna or I had been at that blood drive and aware that someone might be shooting someone else? The whole course of events as Doug saw it would have broken down, because the starting point would have been different. A butterfly flapping its wings in Hong Kong creates a hurricane in Ohio.

Since she and I are going for the full disclosure angle here, let me say a few words about my precognition. Even when my precognition was fully operative, I still wouldn't have been able to tell you what particular chain of events led to the Askani's future. My scope was too wide; a chaotic system encompassing two thousand years is too much for any single mind to sort through. Even the Askani couldn't, and they had better than a dozen retrocognitives working from their end of history. Mine was, is, whatever tense you want to use, almost completely useless for day to day events. I'm all but burned out, and the flickers I still get are worse than useless because they're not connected to anything.

But I have learned from them more than a little about how history actually functions. Call it temporal physics, if you want - their word for it translates to 'temporal geometry'. In any given course of events, there are a nearly infinite number of variables. While I was lying there wishing my temperature would go down last night, I started, on a whim, to use some of their equations to start counting just how many ways yesterday could have gone, if some of those variables were changed. I remember reaching something in the neighborhood of a hundred and fifteen by the time I finally passed out again. Doug chose to choose one of the most obvious, surface-level layers of the temporal construct and bring it to fruition. And now you're all probably reading this and wondering what the hell I'm talking about.

There were options. There were so very many options, and because he took it upon himself to believe there was only one, he narrowed the field of possibilities. He didn't cut it down to a single possibility - he could have slipped, been a step too slow, the gun could have jammed - but he restricted the existence of better, less dangerous options.

Which brings Angie and I to our last topic: personal responsibility.

I chose to work with the Askani. Angie chose to work with Doug by asking him to examine her notebooks and see if his ability to interpret worked on symbols as well. Doug, on the other hand, chose not to work with Angie. Please don't interpret this as either of us attempting to kick Doug when he's down: we both care about him too much to do that. But we both need to make it clear that all of you are not precognitives. And we precognitives barely understand what we are. Our brains are wired in a particular way to allow us to perceive things that you don't, but guess what?

It's not, as far as either of us can tell, a very successful mutation.

We're fallible, we put our own biases on what we see - how many layers of interpretation went into Doug's use of Angie's notebooks, by the way? Anyone want to hazard a guess? - we're vague, we're not able to focus. Does anyone see Angie predicting the specifics of every crisis that hits this place? Or me laying out the history of the next two thousand years to prevent the Askani's future from happening?

No. We're not that good. So don't treat us as a reliable source. We are not temporal bibles. To steal and badly translate one of the Askani's proverbs, we swim in the river of time, and badly at that. Don't come wading in with us unless you want to drown.

In closing, Angie would like me to say that she will give photocopies of her notebooks to anyone who asks for them. Doug's obviously seen them. Moira and I have seen them. Charles has seen some of them. I'd venture to guess that she's tired of playing Delphic Oracle. I can't really say that I blame her.
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