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Reflection of the Mind's Eye

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GM

 

Chelsea, London, England

Sunday, December 17, 2018

7:31 PM local time

 

The black London taxi pulled up in front of one of the large townhomes situated along Cheyne Walk overlooking the Thames.  Christmas lights adorned the metalwork atop the low stone walls that ran alongside the sidewalk, as well as several of the trees and hedges in the small yard between the outer wall and the townhome.

 

Robert Harrow, dressed in a dark tuxedo, was the first to climb out of the taxi, turning and offering his hand to first help his wife out of the vehicle and then their foster daughter, Lulu Beaumont.  Megan was dressed in a long red evening down which accented her lean figure.

 

The older blonde woman looked at Lulu with a warm smile.  "Just remember to relax and be yourself and everything will be fine."  She offered as encouragement. 

 

Robert gave Lulu a reassuring smile as well as he offered Megan and arm and then started the trio toward the front of townhome.  The sounds of music and many voices could be heard coming from the home.

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Inside the townhome, another guest stood along the wall of one of the rooms on the main floor, a glass of red wine in one hand.  Dee Farrington was wearing a long, sleeveless black evening gown, her normally shoulder length black hair was styled up, though she had allowed a lock of one of the orange streaks to hang free and down one side of her face.

 

Looking around the room with the slightest trace of a frown on her face, the Englishwoman sent out a mental message to Erick Sloane, who stood a short distance from her, talking with several investment bankers.  <So, how was it I let you talk me into coming to this gathering again?>

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Erick Sloane flashed a smile as he continued to converse with the investment bankers around him.  His bespoke grey pinstripe suit did much to conceal his physique.  While Erick wasn't an avid headhunter, he relied on networking to limit the amount of cold-calling that could be expected of him.  Seeing as his nights tended to be rife with avoiding gunfire, the less time spent figuring out which startups looked interesting the better.  Truth be told, the high society scene was his element.

 

<If I recall, the conversation involved a foot rub and renting out the Silverstone Circuit.>  Erick responded knowing full well Dee was less at home than him. Or rather too much at home, minus the tabloid cameras of her youth.  <Plus, you know you want to see how many shrimp I can sneak into this guy's pocket without him noticing.  I feel like a solid seven.>

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Not that she liked to brag, but Lulu Beaumont knew she was killing it tonight; she wore an emerald green evening gown that perfectly accented her pale skin and red hair, which she was currently wearing up. It took all her effort not to giggle like, well, a high school girl as she followed Robert and Megan (who both looked amazing!) toward the entrance. Giving in to temptation, she lightly swept her mind across the thoughts of those inside the walls, like a giant hand petting a cat, and it filled her with the dizzy buzz of music, dancing, alcohol and flirtation. Not too different from most of the get-togethers she'd attended back home in Alabama, though the overall sense of refinement was a touch more elevated.

 

Oh Lord, this is gonna be fun! Wait, can I drink here? I think I can get drunk! But not too drunk; it would be wrong to make my foster parents look bad, even overseas. Best to just get a sweet buzz on, and ride that out for the night.

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<Ah, yes, that's right.>  Dee replied, thought of course she had not forgotten at all.  <Well, I plan to hold you to both of those.>  The Englishwoman took a sip of her wine as she scanned the room once more.  There were a number of people in attendance that she knew, either from growing up with them, university or other functions, but she generally avoided most contact with any of them.  It was not necessarily that she disliked all of them, more they tended to reminder her of other things she did her best not to think about (seeing as she could not completely forget them).

 

As Dee was looking about the room, she sensed a wave of psychic energy wash over the area, briefly touching most of the minds in the room as it went.  <Hello.>  She stated over the mental link with Erick once more.  <The night might just have taken a more interesting turn love.  Someone just made a brief mental scan of much of the building.>

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GM

 

Robert, Megan and Lulu made their way up the path through the small yard and into the first floor of the townhome.  They barely made it out of the entryway before Robert and Megan ran into a group of people they knew and had to stop to talk as they introduced Lulu.

 

As the redheaded teen made a cursory scan of the minds of the building, she came across one that easily rebuffed her light contact.  What's more, as she focused her mental senses, she could detect that there was some sort of mental communication taking place somewhere in the building, though she was not quite sure where, or how many might be involved.

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<See.  And you thought you wouldn't be having any fun the moment your glass got empty.>  Erick didn't expect his teasing to do much in the way of alleviating the seriousness of the situation.  If someone was targetting the venue they weren't exactly in an ideal to position to prevent it.  Not without having to take some steps to minimize their possible exposure.

 

Erick figured he would leave the mental subterfuge to Dee.  Pivoting on one foot he would appear to almost trip on himself.  Leading to the glass of wine he was planning on nursing all night to spill on someone nearby.  He wasn't too particular at the moment.  Just needed an excuse to pull himself away from the group he was conversing with.  "Oh heavens, I'm so sorry.  Here, let me get something to take care of that."

 

Time to do a brief non mental scan of the room then.

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Posted (edited)

Was it a bad habit for Lulu to use her telepathy so cavalierly? Of course it was. Did it sometimes lead to intriguing results? Oh, absolutely!

 

When she'd first arrived in England, she was terrified of embarrassing herself, the Harrows or even the entire United States by making some sort of unforgivable faux pas in high society. But it turned out she needn't have worried, as her natural charm, sunny disposition and good old-fashioned Southern manners won over nearly everyone. Everyone thought she was so well-behaved for an American, and though her frequent gaps in knowledge did much to confirm opnions on the lack of education in the Colonies, she didn't wear her ignorance like a badge of honor like some Yanks.

 

But far more intriguing than all this was the presence of other psychic activity here at the party; she sensed two minds in mental conversation, more than likely initiated by the one with the stronger mental defenses. Mental conversations aren't typically illegal, though their content could be, pretty much exactly like a phone call; it was really only the biases of the 'psi blind' that made telepathy seem so sinister. She and Adam would probably register the same way at a Claremont dance, and they would just be awkwardly flirting.

 

Still, it was worth checking out, on the off-chance supercriminals were planning a robbery or other dark shenanigans. Excusing herself and getting directions to the restroom, the telepathic teen left the Harrows and their friends as she did her best to locate the two conversants by triangulating their position for different points. She kept the pings brief, as she knew they might detect her; hopefully if they were up to no good, the presence of another psychic might be enough to deter them

Edited by Heritage

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As Erick feigned clumsiness and created a bit of a scene, Dee maintained her outwardly bored appearance as she kept her mental senses tuned for any further sign of the other psychic.  She began sensing flashes of the other's power, moving through the first floor.  <Looks like they are aware of us.>  She sent to Erick.  <They are moving around, limiting the use of their abilities.  Might be trying to find us.>

 

When Erick used his distraction as an excuse to leave the room and being searching, Dee remained where she was, waiting for any further signals from the other psychic.  As she did, she spotted a teenage redhead enter the room, wearing green evening gown.  Just as she noted the teenager, Dee felt the brief psychic flash from the girl’s mind.

 

Lulu had entered one of the other rooms on the first floor as she continued trying to locate the individuals having the psychic conversation.  As she made one of her scans, she registered psychic activity from an attractive woman in her late-twenties in a black sleeveless evening gown with black hair that contained a few dyed orange streaks.  The older woman’s blue eyes were fixed on Lulu as the teenager heard a mental voice with a sophisticated English accent in her mind. <Good evening love.  Fancy meeting another psychic at such a dull affair.>

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And then it finally happened, the awkward face-to-face encounter with another psychic. Lulu froze for a second and went full deer-in-the-headlights as she gasped a quick hiccup of air. But then she closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she smoothed out her dress and smiled. -Please forgive me. You're the first telepath I've encountered on my own, and I was concerned for our hosts' safety-

 

Then the Southern psychic offered her hand as she spoke out loud, her Alabama accent very different from her more neutral mental communication. "Ahm sorry, ma'am, ah don't believe we've met; Lulu Beaumont from the US of A. Ahm stayin' with Lord and Lady Harrow for the holidays? Such a pleasure to meet you!"

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The dark haired woman smiled slightly at Lulu’s mental message.  <Very considerate of you love, but the only threat I pose to our hosts is attracting some embarrassing attention from the tabloids.>  She replied mentally.

 

As Lulu introduced herself, the older woman shook her offered hand.  "A pleasure to meet you Lulu, I am Dee Farrington."  Dee replied with the same English accent as her mental communication.  "So you are here with the Harrows?  I admit I have only met Megan a few times, but Robert and I have known each other all our lives.  Distant cousins on his mother’s side or something like that."

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"Oh, well, ah know a thing or two about distant cousins; hell, I swear ah'm related to half of Alabama!" Lulu cleared her throat as her cheeks went slightly pink, as he response was a bit more Southern than she intended. "Ah'm staying with the Harrows back in Freedom while ah attend school; they've been very kind to put up with me."

 

Meanwhile, she continued the telepathic side of the conversation, unsure what the proper protocol was in this unusual situation. -I'm glad to hear that. You're actually the first telepath I've ever met; how long have you been psychic?-

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Dee gave a small smile at Lulu’s comment about feeling like she is related to half of Alabama.  "That statement is just asking for a sarcastic quip about the stereotypes of the American South, but you seem like a lovely young lady, so I will resist the temptation."

 

The English woman then gave a small nod as Lulu explained more about her connection with the Harrows.  "Ah, well, that does sound rather like Robert and Megan.  Though not sure they have been put upon to 'put up with you.'  Unless you are doing a very good job of hiding a rebellious wild streak, I imagine they have not had too difficult a time."

 

At Lulu's mental statement Dee's smile faded somewhat.  <Consider yourself lucky.>  The English woman replied at first, her mental tone somewhat hardened.  She then considered the American teenager a moment before responding to the question.  <I obtained my powers when I was about eleven.>

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Lulu felt a chill go down her spine when Dee said she'd been 'lucky' not to have met any other telepaths; clearly she had, and still bore the scars. But in keeping with the pattern they'd established, she kept the surface conversation pleasant. "Well, you musnt've met many Southerners then, because we tell the worst jokes at our own expense; probably a self-defense thing, at this point. Ah mean, ah'm about as white trash as you can get; ah just clean up real good. "

 

Then her facial expression became more grave; it was hard to keep a smile on your face when you discussed some topics. -I was ten. My father was quick to take advantage of my gifts. My family hurt a lot of people.-

 

An involuntary shudder passed through her body, then she forced a laugh and ran her fingers through her hair. "Ah could use a drink; am ah allowed to drink here? I was sixteen back home, but ah might have magically become older on the flight across the Pond."

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Dee gave a warm smile as Lulu talked about Southerners and their self-depreciating humor.  "Do not be so hard on yourself."  She stated as Lulu referred to herself as "white trash."  "Because if you can tell jokes about yourself in good humor, then you are well ahead of many of the 'upper class' here or in the States that are often lacking in a sense of humor about themselves, let alone willing to make jokes about themselves."

 

As the mental conversation continued, Dee felt a cold rage come over her as Lulu talked about gaining her powers at a young age and her father finding ways to abuse those powers.  It felt somewhat all too familiar to the Englishwoman and she could tell the teenager was still feeling considerable guilt about what her family had done with her abilities.  <What your family chose to do with your abilities is on them, not you.>  She replied mentally.  <I can understand what you have been through.  In my case, my family did not hurt others, just my sister and I, and all for Queen and Country.>

 

When the teenager verbally forced a laugh and mentioned needing a drink Dee smirked slightly.  "Sorry, the drinking age here is eighteen.  However…someone under eighteen can drink in a social setting like this with their parent or guardian’s permission."  The Englishwoman reached out and grabbed a glass of champagne off a tray of a passing waiter.  "But, I think we can bend that rule slightly.  If Megan or Robert find out and are upset, just blame me, and I can always remind them of their own politely overlooked scandal."  She said as she held out the drink for Lulu.

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"Thank you, ma'am," the redheaded teen said with a smile, showing her dimples. "Ah could lie, and say this is my first time drinkin', but it ain't; not by a long shot." She raised up her glass and made a telepathic toast. 

 

-To family; we know where the bastards sleep.-

 

After a healthy sip, Lulu shivered a bit. "Hoo boy, ah needed that!"

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