Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer
After the successes of breeding for telepaths and telekinetics, they moved on to the more esoteric strains. My mum and dad had the right genetic markers for rarest of them, precognition. So they joined the program and had two kids with everything paid for.
I was the first, “a beautiful baby boy who turned into a reclusive weirdo”, according to grandma. My sister, Sandy, was even better looking and far better at being social.
Precogs have affinities. Attunement to earthquakes, fire, weather, aircraft and anything else you can imagine. The range is forever expanding.
Sandy is lying motionless on the bed in intensive care, the scars of her multiple suicide attempts a roadmap of sadness on her forearm. This time she stole a shotgun. The fact she is alive is purely down to the fact that the gun was too big for her to hold properly against anywhere vital. She’s lost an arm and one side of her face is a ruin, but she’s alive.
Her voice is a whisper, but my lil’ sis is back.
“I screwed up, didn’t I?”
I smile through the tears. “Yeah, sis. You missed. But I’m happy you did.”
She reaches slowly and I take her hand. She squeezes it as hard as she can, which isn’t very hard at all.
“Why, sis? You were there. Fully manifested at rank six. You were set for life.”
A tear rolls down her cheek.
“My affinity, Stu. It’s disease. All I see is families dying horribly, all the time. I have this six-year view and I see them all, starting with whatever causes the most pain and death.”
That’s common. Seems that the more people in agony, the stronger the ‘signal’ to be picked up.
“If only you could manifest, Stu. At least I could share.”
Oh sis, I’m so sorry. I never realised that my secret would cause you to feel so alone.
“Sis, you’ve got to promise to keep a secret before I tell you something crazy.”
Her one eyebrow raises and she nods, then winces in pain.
“I manifested when I was eight. At rank fifty-five.”
Her eye widens and she nearly crushes my hand.
“Why didn’t you tell anyone? That’s forty ranks beyond the best. What’s your affinity?”
I smile and lean closer.
“I’m only telling you because you have to know you’re never alone. I’m always going to be here for you.”
“But what’s your affinity?”
She looks puzzled. “What?”
“My affinity is me. Nothing more. I know when every member of the family dies, because I have felt my grief. But I don’t know which family member it is. I do know that I will outlive all of you.”
She smiles. “So that’s how you got here so quick. You precog’d your pain over my shotgun surgery.”
I nod. “Too right, little sister. Don’t you ever try that again…”
Her eyes widen as I drop into farsee without warning. Then I’m back and smiling even wider: “Good girl. Some events I felt have gone.”
She squeezes my hand: “Rank fifty-five? Why there, do you think?”
I look at her, a sorrowful smile spreading across my face.
“That’s when I die, sis.”
“That’s amazing. Why don’t you announce?”
“I really don’t think that knowing the exact time I will be taking a shit for the next forty-four years is going to help the world.”
She laughs so hard that the automed sedates her. I stay, holding her hand and knowing that my little sister is finally going to be okay.
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