A Reluctant Voyeur
Chapter 5

Copyright© 2014 by Levi Charon

ESP Sex Story: Chapter 5 - Chuck learns that he is in possession of an incredible new mental ability. It's scary and exciting at the same time. Over time, he hones it and improves it, availing himself to several unexpected experiences, sometimes a little frightening, sometimes very sexy.

Caution: This ESP Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   mt/ft   Consensual   Extra Sensory Perception   Incest  

December 20, 2014:

The kids are arriving in two days, so whatever action we initiate against Austin, I'd like very much to plan it around the time they're spending with me, if that's possible. We're going to be in Sterling from the 23rd through the 26th. If anything happens that requires my presence back here, the kids will be safe and happy spending time with their grandma and grandpa who take great delight in spoiling them rotten. Carol's going to be in Albuquerque, but she'll have a chance to meet my little ones formally before she leaves.

Sarah Brighten is planning to fly out from Atlanta on Sunday, the 28th. She'll be staying with Carol while we finish our planning, then carry out our assault on Austin's mind ... if we can. If all goes according to schedule, Donald and his people will have touched base with Janet, and already have initiated their part in the plan to trash Austin's reputation and, with any luck, his value to the NSA. Whether or not Sarah and I are successful at penetrating his defenses, Austin is going to be publicly embarrassed, and he'll be faced with answering a lot of questions he doesn't want to answer before it's over with.

Come the new year, either we'll have succeeded or not. If we do succeed, we're thinking (hoping) the NSA will back off and deny any association with Austin to avoid any unwanted public scrutiny. But we're not naive, and we don't expect that to last for long. Once they're out of the spotlight, nobody doubts they'll go right back to their devious ways; they'll just have to do it without Austin as a resource. We're counting on our person on the inside to keep her eye on that.

At the very least, getting Austin out of the equation will buy us enough time to get a running start on our ultimate goal, and that's to set up a network to sense and contact any new special people as they realize their abilities and begin experimenting with them. The sooner we find them, the less likely they are to be identified and exploited (or worse) by our natural enemies. Donald says he expects me to take a leading role in that project. I wish he'd been more specific about what he meant by that.


The main reason for today's journal entry is that two things have happened that need to be documented. I realize this journal may be a liability if I become more of a person of interest to the NSA. For the time being, I'm counting on the sophisticated encryption software to protect me, but if I feel them closing in, I'm either going to destroy it or make it public; I haven't decided which yet.

The first event was a visit from Ellen. She popped into my brain while I was on the elliptical runner down in the exercise room. The weather is crappy and I didn't feel like battling the elements running laps around the park. I was into my second mile, when she announced herself:

"Yo, Chuck! Seems like you're all sweaty, but I don't feel anything sexy goin' on. You must be keeping that fine body in shape for your woman."

I felt the grin spread across my face. "You got it, Ellen. What's up in your neighborhood?"

"Just checking in. And I wanted to say thanks again for the entertainment last week. I might be as dry as the Sahara down there, but that don't mean I can't get some enjoyment, even if it's second hand. Any time you two feel up to some company, why, you just give a holler!"

I laughed out loud and looked around to see if the lady on the stationary bike thought I was being weird. She had her ear buds plugged in and hadn't noticed. "Well, Ellen, I think I can speak for Carol when I say that you're probably welcome any time. You don't really have to announce yourself, just drop in and take a ride. Like you said, what's the harm?"

"You got a deal, Mr. Duncan. Look, the real reason I'm intruding on your time is to tell you what's coming up in the next few days. Now, this doesn't mean you and Sarah have to speed up your plans or anything, 'cause this is all preliminary stuff to set the stage for what you two are gonna try."

"I'm all ears. What are you doing?"

"We've got a guy who's gonna be writing a blog accusing Austin of selling out his science and working under cover for the feds. He's gonna name our people who've disappeared and tie them to Frank when he was at BC. It's all circumstantial and speculation, of course, but you can get away with that in a blog, especially when the author can't be tracked down and threatened with a lawsuit. Then, a couple of days after that hits the Internet, a few of our people are gonna write letters to the UCD administration, demanding to know why they hired such a rat to work in their neuroscience department. We figure that should stir some shit before you and Sarah have a go at our bad boy. Whadda ya think?"

"I like it! Maybe you might have some people write some nasty letters directly to Austin; you know, try to put him even more on the defensive."

"Done! I'll see to that, myself."

"Good! Is that it?"

"No. We're thinking that, when UCD administration gets wind of this, they might move up the inquiry into those files. You should tell your Dr. Christy to be ready for that. She should make sure she has all her ducks in a row."

"I'll see she get the word today. Anything else?"

"Not unless you wanna tell me when you and Carol are planning to get together again. Hey! Just kidding!"

"How about I just pop in and give you a quick heads up? I really don' t mind sharing. I think I enjoy being a bit of an exhibitionist."

"You're a keeper, Chuck. See ya!"

"Bye!"

So, I thought, It's underway!

When I got back to my apartment, I contacted Janet via brainwave.


The other thing that happened was a complete surprise, a revelation, if you will, and it may turn out to be cause for some concern. We'll see. I know I wrote earlier that I was done with the Kevin and Dannie business, but that turned out to be premature. But this time, it wasn't I that initiated it.

Carol and I had just finished lunch, and she was headed to Cherry Creek Mall to do some more Christmas shopping. I was loading the dishwasher when the doorbell rang. When I looked through the peephole, I saw Kevin standing on the other side.

Needless to say, I was feeling a little anxious when I open the door. "Yes? Can I help you?"

He was clearly a lot more nervous than I was. "Um, Mr. Duncan, could I talk to you about something?"

"What do you want to talk about, Kevin. It is Kevin, isn't it? Boy Scout? I seem to remember you selling me a coupon book last summer." I don't think he told me his name, but he probably wouldn't remember.

"Well, yeah. And that's when you said some things, and that's what I wanted to ask you about." He looked up and down the hallway, visibly on edge. "Um, could I come in? I don't wanna talk about it out here."

I didn't have to get into his mind to know what had him stirred up. "Sure, come on in, Kevin. Would you like a soda or something?"

"No, thanks, Mr. Duncan."

"Fine. We'll, let's have a seat and you can tell me what's on your mind."

I figured I should play innocent until I knew for sure what he wanted. I settled on the couch, he took the recliner. He was wringing his hands, apparently trying to work up the nerve to begin. I sat quietly waiting him out, using the delay to marshal my own thoughts.

He cleared his throat and began, "Well, um, last summer, you asked if my sister Dannie ever found the hole in the wall. How did you know about that?"

I had my lie all prepared. "I'm sorry I teased you about that, Kevin. I shouldn't have repeated something I heard as a passing comment. I heard if from a couple of girls in the elevator. I thought it was funny at the time, because I remember some of the things I did to sneak a peek when I was your age. But you don't have to be concerned about me blabbing it around the building. I didn't and I won't."

He didn't seem satisfied with my explanation. "Oh, you must've heard Dannie mouthing off to he friend, Leanne. But that was just part of what I wanted to ask you." He looked around the room for a few seconds, the came right out with it. "Mr. Duncan, have you been getting inside my head?"

So there it was. Somehow, he'd sensed something going on and used his reasoning power to pin it down to me. He was brighter than I thought. My bad!

"That's a strange question, and I'm not sure what you mean by it, Kevin. Could you be a little more specific?"

"Well, it's just that, a couple of times, I'd be sitting around and then I'd feel like somebody was in the room with me, somebody who knew what I was thinking. Sometimes I'd be getting messages."

He knew very well that what was coming out of his mouth sounded like he was having hallucinations. He threw up his hands and groaned, "I don't know, Mr. Duncan, sometimes, I think I might be going nuts! I'm afraid to tell my mom or dad about it 'cause they'll haul me off to some shrink. I just need to know if it was you or if it was my imagination, 'cause every time it happened, I thought about what you said about the hole in the wall."

He was on the verge of tears, and I felt terrible for the anxiety my games had caused him. He was obviously much more sensitive to my probes than I ever sensed or imagined. But I had to handle this carefully. I couldn't just come right out and admit to manipulating his thinking.

I stood up and asked, "How about a nice hot cup of tea, Kevin! Come on in the kitchen."

He followed me in and sat at the kitchen table while I heated some water in the microwave and put some herbal teabags in the mugs. I poured the water and tossed some sugar and stevia packets onto the table.

As I sat across from him, I said, "So, tell me what you think has been happening."

He stirred in two sugars and tried to collect his thoughts. "Well, um, sometimes I'll be doing something and thoughts will start getting into my head, telling me to do stuff. It's always about me and my sister and it always makes me think it's you telling me what I should do. I know that sounds weird, but I can't get it out of my head that you're doing something to me. I went online and looked up some stuff about people who hear voices that tell them what to do, what they call auditory hallucinations. I guess that's what happens to people who have schizophrenia. If it's not you doing this to me, then I think I really am going crazy."

He took a sip of his tea and kept his eyes averted, looking anywhere but at me.

I made a decision. Kevin's mental health was far more important than my secret. I needed to include him into my circle, but I had to be very cautious about how I explained it. If I presented it to him carefully, I could make him a confidante; if I embarrassed him, he'd resent me forever, and there was no telling where that might go.

I felt a little demonstration was in order. I said, "Kevin, look at me!"

He raised his eyes.

I asked, "Do you see me talking to you?"

He nodded.

I slid into his mind. "Do you see me talking to you, now?"

His eyes went wide, then he shook his head 'no'. In his mind, he went, Holy fuck! I was right!

Back to verbal speech, I asked, "Am I the only person you've ever heard in your mind?"

"Yeah. Well, sometimes, I think I know what someone is thinking before they say it, but I think everybody does that, don't they?"

"Yes, pretty much everybody can make a pretty good guess at what someone else is thinking under the right circumstances, but some people are much better at it than others. I think you might be one of those people who are really good at it, and you're probably not guessing. Do you know what I'm thinking right now?"

He sat looking at my eyes for a few moments. I thought I could feel him probing, but he wasn't getting through. His eyes dropped, and he shook his head.

This time, I spoke to his mind. "You gave up too easily. Try again!"

Again, his eyes looked up in surprise. I tried guiding him; "Take a deep breath and try to relax. Close your eyes and try to picture me in you mind. When you have that image, try to focus on our conversation."

I watched his eyes close and his brow wrinkle with his mental effort. I opened my mind, removing any resistance. Again, I could feel him pushing here and there very tentatively.

"Kevin, think harder! Focus!"

There was a little surge of power, then he spoke in my mind. "You think I'm one of you!"

"That's right, Kevin. That's what I'm thinking. You can see now that you're not crazy, can't you?"

He looked up at me, put his hands over his face and cried. I moved around the table and put my arm over his shoulder. "Kevin! Kevin! It's OK! This isn't as strange as you might think. Lot's of people can do what we just did."

He looked up at me, tears running down his cheeks. "Really? You're not just sayin' that to make me feel better? 'Cause, right now, it's scaring the pee out of me!"

"It's absolutely true. But here's the thing; when I say lots of people, I don't mean there's one in every block. It's more like one or two in ten million, but that adds up to a lot of people around the world. And you know what, Kevin? It's not a good idea to go around advertising what you can do. Can you guess why?"

He wiped the tears with his sleeve and thought about it for a few seconds. "It is because they're never going to believe me anyhow?"

"That's right, to start with. They wont believe you until you prove it to them. Then, what do you think they'll do?"

He shrugged, "I don't know. I guess they'd think I was pretty special, wouldn't they?"

"Yes, they might think you were special, but then they'd probably never trust you again. They wouldn't understand your special ability and they'd resent you for it. They'd be afraid to be around you for fear you'd be reading their thoughts, and nobody wants to be that vulnerable. I don't think you want that, do you?"

He got a look of concern on his face and shook his head.

"OK, Kevin, I want you to listen to me very carefully. You need to keep this between the two of us. You know you're not crazy, so you have no need to feel afraid. The fact that there happens to be two of us in the same building is against all odds, but it's happened. That's a good thing for you because you have me to come to with questions. You won't have to fumble around making mistakes while you learn how to use your gift.

"Now, your ability is very rudimentary, in need of a lot of development. There are people out there who can help you with that, if you'll let them. Would you like to meet some of them?"

He shrugged, "I guess. Who are they?"

I patted him on the back. "There's one lady in particular who's really good with new discoveries. Her name is Ellen and I'm going to have her contact you. Now, don't get frightened if she just pops into your mind. She can be a little abrupt, but she knows what she's doing and she'll teach you everything you need to know to develop and use your special ability. Is it OK if I ask her to make contact?"

He nodded.

I sat in my chair across from him. "Kevin, this thing between you and Dannie is a powder keg and I should never have stuck my nose in it. My only excuse is that I was just learning how to deal with my own special ability, and I stumbled on you in the closet accidentally."

He blushed and nodded his head.

I continued, "Well, once I learned that Dannie was manipulating you with the promise of sex, I tried to even the playing field a bit by suggesting ways for you to deal with her. Again it was none of my business, but I did it and I can't undo it. In fact, I'd already decided not to intrude again, but then you rang my doorbell and opened it all up again. So why don't we dispense with this subject once and for all? Here's what I suggest, and you have no obligation to take my advice about anything. First of all, you need to make sure all sex is protected. Do you know what I mean by that?"

He turned even redder. "Yeah, but I always use a condom now, even though she's on the pill."

"Good! That's smart, Kevin. Now, the other thing is, you should probably stop."

He looked at me like I was nuts. "Why? As long as we're careful!"

"It's just a suggestion. Sooner or later, either you're parents are going to walk in on you, or you and your sister are going to have a falling out. I've poked around in her mind a little bit, and I don't think she can control her mouth when she gets really angry. She's already blabbed it to Leanne."

"I know. Leanne comes over and lets me do her sometimes when Mom and Dad aren't home. She usually gives me twenty bucks."

I laughed, "So you've turned prostitute?"

"Hell, no! It's just, well, I don't know ... I don't think of it like that!"

"Forget I said anything, Kevin. Just be careful, OK? I'm pretty sure your parents wouldn't understand."

"Boy! You got that right!"

"One last caution before you go: As your abilities develop and you learn to control them, you're going to be tempted to do some things you'll probably regret later. Any time you feel like poking into someone's personal thoughts, think about how you'd like it if the roles were reversed. You have a private life and I don't think you're all that interested in sharing it with some nosey voyeur. This thing you have is extremely rare and it comes with a lot a responsibility to use it wisely. I hope you'll keep that in mind."

"I'll try."

I knew he meant it, but I also knew I was talking to a teenage boy with surging hormones. I wished that I could impart the lessons I'd already learned to his developing mind, but I couldn't force him; he'd have to come to me.

I stood and said, "Well, I'm glad you came by to talk to me today. I think we cleared up some serious concerns, don't you? And you can expect Ellen to pop into your mind sometime in the next couple of days." I jumped into his mind and added, "If you want to explore this subject further, this is the best way to contact me. This way, we don't have to worry about anyone overhearing our conversation. Agreed?

I heard his answer in his mind, but I waited for him to gain access to mine. It took a few seconds of effort, but he finally pushed through and said, "Agreed!"

Yep! He was for real.

"One last thing, Kevin. I know you're going to go exploring, but there's something you should keep in mind; you're going to learn things about people you really don't want to know. The human mind can be very ugly, sometimes."

He met my eyes, nodded, and headed for the door. As it closed behind him, I thought, I really don't need this on my plate, right now!


December 22, 2014:

I picked the kids up at DIA about four PM. When we got back to my apartment, Carol was just setting dinner on the table. She'd done a big Tex-Mex thing because I told her it was the kid's favorite. There were tacos, enchiladas, frijoles smothered in melted cheddar cheese, salsa, corn chips, plenty of heartburn for all. And sopapillas with cinnamon and honey for dessert.

I dropped all the bags at the door and introduced everyone. "Carol, I'd like you to meet Molly, she's eight now, and Richie, who's ten. Kids, this is my very special friend, Carol Alton."

Richie, true to his normal, tactless self, stepped up and shook her hand, asking, "Does 'special friend' mean you're Dad's girl friend and that you're gonna get married?"

Carol took it in stride. "Well, Richie, I suppose you could say I was your dad's girl friend, but we haven't talked about getting married. Anyhow, it's nice to meet you." Turning to Molly, she added, "And you, too, Molly. I must say, you're a very pretty young lady."

"OK," I announced, taking in the wonderful aromas, "Who's hungry! Personally, I'm starved! Come on, kids, drop your coats on the couch and dive in!"

Dinner was a big hit, and so was Carol. She was continuously bombarded with questions, but she fielded them like a pro. When I tried to intervene, asking Richie to slow down and give her a chance to breathe, he said he was trying to ask all the questions his mom wanted him to ask before he forgot them. That was typical of my ex.

"Tell you what, Son, if your mom needs to know something about my friend, she should probably call and ask, don't you think?"

"Yeah, that's what I told her, but she said to ask anyhow." That issue out of the way, he shifted gears and asked, "Uh, do I have to sleep in the same bed with Molly again? She kicks."

Molly fought back, "I don't either. Besides you fart all night and stink up the room!"

"So? Just stop breathing!" Then he got an evil grin on his face and added, "Mmm, these frijoles are sure good. Can I have some more?"

I already had a solution to the argument. "It's not going to be an issue, kids. Tonight, Molly will stay in Carol's spare room, and Richie will stay in my spare room. How's that?"

"Cool!" Richie exclaimed. "The 'Grinch' is on TV tonight. Can we watch it?"

The passive babysitter steps in once again to save the day! Knowing there was going to be a little jet-lag, I said, "Sure you can. After dinner, why don't you guys dig your PJs out of your bags, and take your bath while I clean up?"

Carol stood and took Molly by the hand. "Come on, sweetheart, I'll show you your room and you can take your bath at my place. Then you can come back here to watch the Grinch, or maybe we can watch something different, just for us girls. Which suitcase is yours?"


December 23, 2014:

The kids were so hyped about Christmas and seeing their Grandma and Grandpa, I was thinking I probably should have sedated them before we left for Sterling. By the time we got to Fort Morgan, I decided to stop and let them run and play at the park just off the highway, so they could work off some undirected energy, maybe give me a little peace during the rest of the trip.

Once, we got to the farm, I knew I was off the hook, because the grandparents were more than willing to take them in tow and show them a good time. We got all their Christmas packages stowed under the tree, had a big dinner and finally got settled into a nice postprandial lethargy in front of a big fire.

As grandparents and grandchildren caught up on all the latest news and school activities, I did a little discrete nosing around in their minds to see if I could detect any hint of special ability. I poked, prodded, suggested, everything I could think of to wake up anything like ESP, but there was nothing, not even a hint. That didn't mean there was nothing there, but if there were, it was definitely dormant. I couldn't really decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

Later, lying in bed, I found Carol in Albuquerque and we had a nice talk. And some long-distance sex. I imagined what I wanted to do to her as I stroked my dick, and she imagined what she wanted to do to me as she rubbed her clit and nipples. It wasn't quite as nice as the real thing, but it wasn't bad. Ellen was right about it beating he hell out of phone sex. At least for me, it was.


December 27, 2014:

We headed home from Sterling after one of Mom's farmhand breakfasts, meaning enough food to feed a field crew. The timing worked out so that Carol's arrival at DIA, and the kid's departure were only an hour apart. I checked their bags and got them sent off with lots of hugs at the entry to the security check area, then rushed down to baggage to meet Carol.

As usual, the kids made out like bandits in the Christmas present department. There was no way they'd be able to carry it all home on the plane, so I told them I'd box it all up and ship it via UPS. As it was, there was barely room for Carol's luggage in the back.

It was after three by the time we got everything hauled up to our apartments. I ordered in pizza while Carol unpacked, and we had a nice, leisurely, late lunch; the first real breather either of us had enjoyed in five days.

She finished her beer, then looked over at me and said, "If you don't mind, I'm too pooped for sex right at the moment, but I could sure go for a nap. Care to join me?"

"Your bed or mine?"


Carol fibbed about being too pooped for sex, but it was the slow, minimal motion variety. Within a minute after I came, she fell asleep with me still inside her. I'd only been asleep for a few minutes, when Donald burst into my mind. What I was feeling from him was anxiety.

"Chuck! Sorry to bust in on an intimate moment, but this is important!"

"Yeah, I can tell. What is it?"

"Our lady at NSA says your name came up in a conversation between Austin's handler and another agent. Nothing specific or urgent, but they know about you. I think you and Sarah need to do your thing ASAP, if you can. The blog and the letters are already underway. I don't know if that made Austin spook and rat you out or what, but we need to discredit him publicly, try to get the feds to take a step back."

"Well, fuck!" I was already out of bed and getting dressed.

Carol rolled over and asked, "What is it, Chuck?"

"Business with Austin. I'll catch you up later, Babe. Go back to sleep."

She did.

"What do you recommend, Donald?"

"I think you need to contact Sarah, locate Austin and go after him now! She can work just as well from Atlanta as she can from Denver. At the very least, you need to try to find out what he's already said to his NSA contact."

I headed to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. My brain was still logy from the sex and the very short nap, and I needed stimulant.

Sarah and I found each other easily. Donald had already contacted her and told her to expect me. She was in her kitchen pouring herself a glass of wine.

"Sarah?"

"Chuck. I already know. Give me a minute to get comfortable and we'll get started. Have you located Austin yet?"

"No. I just heard from Donald."

"OK, see if you can locate him and I'll ride your mind to his. I'll be waiting."

I left her to go searching. I had a sense of his mind from our previous contacts, but I'd never actually tried to enter it. It took me quite a while to track him down, but I finally located an aura that couldn't be anyone else. I went back for Sarah.

"I think I've got him. How should we proceed?"

"You've got the power and the ability to find and penetrate his weak spots, so I'll do the frontal assault while you poke around the periphery. I'll know as soon as you've found a way in and follow you. Let's get started."

I got comfortable in my recliner, took a couple of sips of the strong coffee, and closed my eyes. I could feel Sarah's presence in my mind as I located the aura and began probing it. The moment I touched it, it went red and rigid! I felt a sense of panic emanating from within, but the resistance was incredible. I knew immediately that it wasn't artificial; Austin was doing it all by himself.

Sarah left my mind and began tearing away at the wall around Austin's mind. I backed off and probed around the edges. I wasn't having much luck; the wall was incredibly strong and the color uniform. I could sense the energy he was expending to hold us out, and wondered how long he could manage it.

That was his weakness! I dropped back and joined Sarah's mind again.

"Sarah, he's doing this on his own, but I don't think he can do it for long. If we keep pounding him, I think he'll start to fade. You keep going, and when you start feeling tired, I'll take over for a while. We tag-team him until he just can't do it any more. Agreed?"

"Good plan!"

She renewed her assault while I hung back to watch. I was amazed at his resilience! Sarah kept it up for at least five minutes before she signaled for relief. I took over and hit him with everything I had. A couple of times, I thought I'd found an area of weakness, a bulge in the bulwark, but the moment I tried to push through, he'd sense it and shove me back again. Where was he finding the energy? I continued to push and push, and after another few minutes, I thought I could see some areas where the color was starting to fade. I signaled for Sarah to jump in and she slammed against the barrier like a Mack truck. That shook him, and I saw the color wavering in several spots. I attacked them.

One area in particular had faded to a pale pink. I focused everything on the center of that spot and pushed with all my mental might. He sensed it and tried again to reinforce, but it was too late. Just as I'd punctured Sarah's mind in Columbia, the fabric of Austin's resistance pulled apart until I could see the other side. I gave one final shove, and it ripped open! Sarah was with me in an instant as we flooded his mind, totally destroying any further resistance.

Through his eyes, we saw that he was in his living room, on his knees, sweating with the effort of trying to hold us at bay. He'd almost done it!

"Frank," I said, "You know who it is and you know why we're here."

His response was weak, fuzzy, like a bad connection. His body was spent, his mind fatigued, his heart pounding. "How ... how did you do it?"

Sarah answered, "We did it, Frank. That's all that matters. What did you tell the NSA about Chuck?"

The moment she asked the question, I picked up his thought. He'd told NSA almost nothing other than that I might be a person of interest. He hadn't given them any specifics.

Sarah again, "You know we can't let this go on, don't you Frank?"

Frank, still weak, "Haven't you done enough? In the past few days, you've ruined my reputation. Janet Christy has accused me of falsifying data. I have to face a board of inquiry and I'll probably lose my job! Just take your victory and run!"

"But, Frank," she shot back, "You have those other people to account for. The ones you caused to disappear. Did you think we'd ever forget that?"

"All I did was give them names. I had nothing to do with their disappearance. I have no idea what happened to them!"

Sarah laughed, "Ah! You're opting for the old, 'I was only following orders' defense, huh? Interesting, if a little weak and delusional. Sorry, old man, that won't wash. You've sold out the very people you should have been championing. Why is that? Is it jealously, or what? Why do you hate us so much?"

No answer. I asked, "So, what should we do about you, Frank? You know we can hack you brain now. You know you'll never have any secrets from us. I'd say you were pretty useless to the NSA, wouldn't you?"

He stood and walked unsteadily across the room to an open liquor cabinet. He poured himself a stiff scotch and slugged it down. Then he laughed and thought, "You're right, of course. I'm no more use to anyone."

Without warning, his mind was in chaos. His thoughts were racing, hard for me to keep up with. I tried to pin him down, get him to focus, but he kept dodging me. He stumbled over to the sliding glass doors leading to his balcony, opened them and stepped outside in the cold, evening air. I honestly didn't see it coming until the last second, but I couldn't react fast enough to stop it. He simply leaned over the rail and plunged eight stories toward the sidewalk.

There were a couple of moments of stark terror as I felt myself falling! I jerked myself out of his mind, just managing to miss the impact. I knew immediately it was Sarah's doing and not his. Austin hadn't taken his own life.

"My god! Was that really necessary!? We could have learned so much from him!"

I sensed not one iota of remorse. "Sorry, Chuck, it had to be done. Frank was never not going to be a threat to us. Donald and I have been planning this all along, in the event we ever found a way to get inside his mind. When we played our little game in Columbia, it was clear that you were our conduit, but we knew you wouldn't buy into the plan, so we had to keep it hidden from you. You need to think about why it was necessary. I'm leaving now. Donald will be in touch."

She was gone, and I just sat there feeling ... hell, I don't know what I was feeling. Numb, I guess.


December 28, 2015:

Janet called me this morning after she'd heard it on the news. She sounded subdued. "Chuck, did you hear about Frank?"

"Yes, I heard. I guess he couldn't handle the pressure."

"Did we do this? Did we push him over the edge?"

She'll never know how accurate her choice of words was, and I had no intention of telling her. "You can't put any of this on yourself, Janet. Obviously, Frank was already on the edge. I can't help but think he carried around a lot of guilt about those people back east. The certain knowledge that he was about to be exposed was more than he could deal with."

A deep sigh, then, "Of course, you're right. I still can't help feeling I might be partially responsible, though."

"Janet, you didn't chose his life, he did. I think what you should be thinking about his how you can salvage whatever information he might have left behind before some government agent gets his hands on it. I have no idea how you might do that, but it's probably on his laptop, if it's anywhere. Don't do anything risky, though."

"I won't. I imagine anything on his laptop is encrypted, don't you?"

"You're probably right about that. My concern is that NSA people are the experts at breaking encryption. I'd be happy if Frank's computer, or computers, just disappeared, but it's probably already too late for that."

"Well, I'll look around and see what I can dig up. The school's still closed up for the holidays, but that won't slow down anybody investigating his death. If there was anything in his office, it's likely it's already been taken into custody."

"Yeah, well, not much we can do about that, is there? Look, Janet, let's just hang back and see what happens. If something crops up, we'll just deal with it. I need to get into contact with Donald et al, so I'll be in touch if something comes up you should know about, OK?"

"Sure, Chuck. I'll let you know what I hear from UCD administration. Bye."


I haven't said anything to Carol. I'm already feeling like I was complicit in a murder, and she doesn't need to hear that. When she catches it on the news, I'll play it as the suicide it appears to be. My life has moved a long way from singing crystal bowls.

As expected, the word passed through our special community very quickly, generally greeted with a sense of celebration. Our archenemy wasn't out of the picture, but the agent of our archenemy was. I didn't feel reassured.


December 30, 2014:

Just some thoughts:

Since Austin's death was ruled a suicide by the medical examiner, the police have no reason to investigate him further. His one living relative, a niece in Bangor, Maine, was notified and would be coming out to Denver to see to his estate, such as it is. I thought that might be the best opportunity to get our hands on any data he left behind, and called Janet to ask if she might talk to the woman about searching through his files for anything pertinent to their research. It's a shot in the dark, but it might turn up something. Chances are, the NSA or their people have already been through his apartment and his office with a fine-tooth comb. We can only hope.

The more I think about how Austin met his end, the more pissed I get. I haven't heard from Sarah or Donald and I haven't gone looking for them. They knew I wouldn't have gone along with their plans if I'd known they were planning to kill him. They're probably laying low while I cool off.

My feeling was that the threat of exposure and outing his association with the feds would be enough to neutralize his value. I'd have been happy with that. Now I'm an accessory to murder, although there's zero evidence of that. I'm not worried about being prosecuted, but I'm still going to have to live with it.

I'm writing this entry because this mess has got me trying to think of some other way to address our ongoing battle with the powers in Washington. It doesn't seem right or reasonable that we, as a body, should be at odds with our own government. If we don't resolve our issues, I can't foresee anything but further struggles, more disappearances, and a lifetime of living in secrecy. We shouldn't be seen as a threat, we should be seen as a valuable resource.

The problem is that our government agencies are so paranoid, they can't allow a resource like us to be committed to competing agencies. The attitude seems to be that, if they can't own us, nobody else can, either. Well, I don't intend to be owned by anybody. Surly, there must be someone inside our mega-bureaucracy who has the insight to foresee the possibilities. The question is, how do we find that one person who can wade through all that institutionalized crap and help us work out a functional coexistence?

So, here it is in black and white: This is my objective, to find some way to put our gifts to work. My kind has been forced underground throughout history. Isn't it about time our talents were used for something other than parlor games and our own survival?

I don't believe this kind of thinking is going to be seen in a positive light among my ESP peers. They're good people, but a lifetime of avoiding scrutiny has left them just as dug-in as the other side. At this point, I don't think my views will find much in common with theirs, no allies among them ... well, Ellen may be a possible exception. But approaching her with my radical thinking would be dicey as hell. If I misread her, my heretical thoughts will be broadcast far and wide in no time. I have to think about this. A lot.


December 31, 2014:

Still no contact from Donald or Sarah, but Ellen popped in to wish Carol and me a happy new year:

"Hey, Chuck! Happy New Year to you and yours! Are you drunk yet?"

I looked over at Carol and spoke out loud, "Happy New Year to you too, Ellen. And, no, I'm not drunk. I try real hard not to do that. How about you?"

"Well, you know us lower-class types. We need a touch of the hooch to get us into the spirit of things." She turned serious for a moment. "Chuck, I need you to get with me some time tomorrow to talk about this Frank Austin thing. I know it didn't go the way you wanted it to. Will you do that?"

I thought this might be the very opportunity I was looking for. "Of course I will, Ellen. How about tomorrow afternoon sometime? That'll give you a chance to recover from your celebration."

"You're a very kind and considerate man. Make it about six, central, OK?"

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