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Psionics, Lies And Pizzas: a Psi-Kicks story by: GF Willmetts.

July 4, 2021 | By | Reply More

It is said share and share alike. But share and boost from Sheena Ramone and all in her presence at the same time? Scobie’s head ached and her treat of pizzas weren’t regular in the UK just yet. She wandered across the road, ignoring the traffic stalling behind her.

Sheena’s share boost had improved her nascent psionic talents and scanning revealed their engines are stalled and none had crashed into each other this time. Sheena said there might be problems because of the nature of her psionics but didn’t think it would also affect her.

The feeling of being watched was ever stronger and the order was give the two Maxs something to watch and who better than the disaster area called Flamin’ Scobie. Except this time there was more than one of her with wild talent. Would they all be sharing her headache?

For years, they had kept urging her to act with restraint but unlike the Stable mates, Scobie had little control over what she could do. Things just happened around her and she just kept walking through and not looking back, lest someone would think she had something to do with it. The fact that she did was beside the point. It just happened.

London was not San Francisco. No long hills although everything descended to the Thames. She was less sure about going near anywhere with long runs of steps and as far as she could remember, that mostly applied to St. Paul’s Cathedral. This was also the 1960s and she had no idea when the cybermen would be filmed that famous walk and the last thing she wanted was having them all fall down like skittles. That would really change the history books. She giggled but it would be fun especially as they were getting the feeling this wasn’t quite their own reality.

The hangover feeling was lifting but Scobie still felt a bit drunk. Worse, she was hungry and spotted a Pizza Express or was it the first Pizza Express? Didn’t that happen in the 1960s? She was scanning and grew an ever widening smile. Like an oasis in a long gone age. This was Wardour Street and had scanned. Somehow she was using…sharing their abilities. No wonder the other Psionics had such an advantage.

Too much. Scobie felt her pockets for money but still wandered into the Express, disappointed that it wasn’t takeaway but she had enough time. That wouldn’t happen for years yet. She sat down and waited for the waiter and picked a juicy pizza off the menu. More disappointed that she couldn’t pick the ingredients. Still, it was pizza and she had time or so she thought.

Time had gone by and when it arrived and she had already eaten some spiced bread. Scobie gobbled down a few slices and then stacked the remaining slices and made her way to the door only to be stopped by the head waiter, a tall hefty chap.

‘You haven’t paid, miss.’

‘I haven’t? Sorry, I’m running late.’

‘You’ll be even later if you don’t pay.’

‘Will you hold these. Nice pizza.’ Scobie handed the waiter the pizza slices and padded her pockets, getting a smile when she pulled a ten pound note from one.

‘Now, look closely. This is a twenty pound note. This will pay the bill.’

‘It’s a ten pound note but it will cover the cost, miss.’

He took the note and handed back her pizza pieces, although she missed how he had put them in a bag for her.

Scobie nodded and left.

So much for mind control. Sheena said she might share some of their powers. Not her power booster or even scooping like Chris Lancier because that was, like different brainwork. Scanning was fun. She could now see what was happening behind her as the car drivers slammed on their brakes as she walked across the road.

There was now a big ethical question: Was this a pocket universe based on earlier aspects of their own reality or was it a distortion of their own reality representing the past? If the second, the rule was not allow anyone to come to harm by their own actions. Anything else, presumably would have happened anyway. There would be no way of knowing until reality returned to normal. Her brain hurt with such intelligent insights. Who had shared intelligence?

6  Scobie, Sheena had said, not to do anything too drastic. Just mess up reality. Give the Maxs something to do and distract. Scobie took another bite of her pizza. What did they think she was? A chaos goddess? She should have got some raw carrots.

No one had ever worked out how her psionic worked. There was no control like the rest of them had, she just had to walk down a street and crazy things happened. The shrinks had a field day thinking she was an uncontrolled telekinetic just because she could stop cars and then watches before the thought was she could absorb kinetic energy. She hadn’t really did anything thinking about it until now. Was this a side effect of the share?

She had always thought that too much thinking was too bad for it. Better to walk through life and let life sort itself. After all, the norms never realised she was a walking disaster area, unlike her heroine Judy Maxwell and even she came out all right at the end of the film. Maybe she would finally meet her ‘Steve’.

She bit into the pizza and continued walking, ignoring the car shunts behind her. This time they didn’t stop short. They were a lot closer. At least there was no panes of glass or car chases just yet.

‘’ello Flanolla. You’re late, doc.’

Scobie turned to see a dark-haired woman chewing on a carrot. Polly Kettle.

‘I found pizza.’

‘I found carrots.’

‘Swap?’

‘Swap.’

They continued walking together, silently eating each other’s food.

‘We must get some more pizza.’

‘Hmmm…but they wanted money. Couldn’t convince them a ten was a twenty.’

‘Why would you want to do that?’

‘Sheena said some abilities would be passed in the share. With this head, I thought I could spike.’

‘And you thought spiking would be one of them?’

Scobie nodded and shrugged. ‘It was enough money but no change.’

‘So no trouble.’

‘I had to meet you, Pol.’

‘And you were late. Where’s your bag?’

‘Shit! I left it in the pizza…’

‘It’s only window dressing.’

‘I was a little late myself, y’know. Thought of coming by tube and thought chaos down there. How do you do it?’

‘Don’t go by tube.’

Polly smiled. ‘Well, I’m doing that right. You OK?’

‘I’m finding…I’m thinking about what I do. Does sharing make me intelligent?’

‘You were never stupid before. Light-headed but not like Bianca.’

‘You’re coping. No light-headed moments.’

‘I don’t share that often. I play the con-artiste. Probably keeps me level-headed.’

‘Sara’s secret weapon.’

‘More a case of developing contacts. Good pizza.’

‘Good carrot’

‘Having problems, girls?’

From the other direction of the crossroads, another series of shunts.

Sheena Ramone in leathers and dark glasses nonchalantly joined them, looking around at the car shunts. No one seemed to be hurt, let alone associating them with themselves. Insurances would be interesting but no one hurt. The more petite Ludomere Shear, chewing gum, looking around.

‘Yep! From what Scobie says, no tube and I think we ought to avoid the Thames. Disaster areas waiting to happen.’

‘Only if this is the real world.’

‘Do we really want to take that chance?’

There was a pause as each of them looked at each other.

‘We’re in a city of potentially live people in daylight when there are more people about. Where is safe?’

‘Three parks,’ Polly offered. ‘Over there, Golden Square. Further that way Soho Square Gardens. Over there, St. Anne’s Churchyard.’

‘Well, St. Anne’s is closer.’

‘…and they’re dead already.’

‘The Baroness would be right at home.’

‘And let her raise the dead?’

‘Myth versus reality.’

‘Myth loses.’

No one seemed to notice them sitting in a circle in the graveyard as Scobie handed out the remaining pieces of pizza.

‘This isn’t safe,’ Scobie finally said. ‘my head is spinning from the first boost.’

Sheena looked her up and down but was scanning. ‘Any other talents?’

‘Couldn’t spike the waiter at the pizza parlour.’

‘Could be a Blank or partial Blank.’

‘Keeping a reality stable must be using a lot of energy.’

‘Max on his own maybe. We didn’t realise a Pattern had copied more than appearance.’

‘Doing something like we’re doing now.’

‘But we’re not doing anything.’

‘Scobie explained it to me,’ Polly interrupted. ‘She doesn’t do anything. It just happens by being here.’

‘We’re now in the nexus. Things should be distorting outwords or outworlds.’

‘Into what? That school is positively creepy.’

‘We need to randomise this reality. Max likes Portmerion, so maybe we can turn it into the Village.’

‘An over full village.’

‘All in the size. Maybe we can get Max to model it on the village. Rovers and all.’

‘And no escape?’

‘Ah!’

‘Maybe that’s the message he’s been sending.’

‘The Prisoner motif could have been worse. It could have been Camelot or 1984. Medieval or creepy.’

‘Why aren’t we doing anything?’

‘Where can we go? This isn’t like San Francisco. We walk down the street and cars shunt but we can’t go to the river or tube. Good thing there were no ladders and large panes of glass around.’

‘We haven’t caused any major accident yet.’

‘This might not be real.’

‘You’re wavering.’

‘So why don’t you move?’

‘We might have to wait for night. At least we’d cause fewer accidents.’

‘We’re homogenising. Can’t you turn off the booster, Sheena.’

‘The same problem as Scobie. Just standing around and you people get it.’

‘We wouldn’t even be in London under normal conditions. Too many people.’

‘If its real.’

‘If we’re going to wait, maybe we should get some pizza in,’ Scobie said.

‘There were no takeaways in this decade.’

‘That didn’t stop me taking some out.’

‘And tried to leave without paying’, Polly reminded her.

‘I couldn’t spike the waiter.’

‘Whys ish yous downs?’

All four of them looked up as Libertine Rush walked over to them in her full Baroness Samedi kit. Lop-sided top hat, heavy trench-coat and waistcoat, despite the warm weather, with a lace shirt seeping out the sides. Somewhere in the ensemble, she was concealing her sword. If she was hot, she didn’t show it.

In contrast, Courtney Adams looked chic in a 60s mini-skirt and open coat.

‘We left cars over there shunted up. Your doing?’

‘Can’t risk doing too much damage.’

‘Even to an unreal reality?’

There was a slight shimmer as two figures either side of the Baroness and the Blank, appeared. Fernfaire and Basilee Elyn. Vampiri.

‘What’s up, Doc?’

‘I thought you didn’t like the sun?’

Fernfaire looked up. ‘We don’t. This reality is shifting our tolerance. Why are you ladies sounding alike?’

‘We are?’ they said together. ‘Sharing Scobie. Odd effects. Boosted.’

‘Only I’ve got a headache and they haven’t.’

‘It’s having its effect,’ Basilee Elyn said slowly, looking oddly at each of them. ‘The traffic lights are frozen. Traffic not moving. People sitting on the kerbs. Something is wearing them out.’

‘No chases?’

‘No electricity.’

‘There goes the pizza.’

‘Oh that. Man in the street practically giving them away. Mains not working.’

Fernfaire walked back a few steps and brought in a large package and passed it down to the Psionics, who eagerly passed the pieces between themselves.

‘You left this behind,’ Courtney passed a plaid bag to Scobie. ‘Confusion rules beyond these gates.’

‘Appreciated.’

‘You’re not going to join us?’

The two Vampiri smiled. ‘We’d rather have some of your excess energy.’

‘We thought you were going to do something energetic?’

‘We’re not sure.’

‘There might be live people out there.’

‘We’re not sure.’

‘Ladies. Who is sharing indecisiveness? Should I get another Psionic here?’

‘No,’ Sheena shook her head. ‘Having four in a share is bad enough. We should be less.’

There was a rumble of thunder and rain came down but not in the church area.

‘This looks like a mother’s meeting,’ Courtney said, picking out a piece of pizza for herself. ‘Can’t you do something more drastic?’

There was a sound of metal as the Baroness drew her sword as she was inspecting the church wall.

‘I thought you chose this place at random, Scobie?’

‘I didn’t. Polly chose it as the nearest quiet place to the pizza parlour.’

‘And might be closest to where both Maxs are.’

‘We should have had Maxine here as well. Treble Max.’

‘Maybe we should tell them we’re on strike.’

‘Be serious. Sheena, scan,’ Courtney ordered. ‘There’s too many of us here. We could end up being a target. Are we in danger? The rain’s avoiding us. Should I bring Chris in?’

There was a hush as all heads turned to Sheena Ramone. The famous pro-mode had kicked in. The two Vampiri were shaking a little, Courtney surmising that there was some psionic energy discharge but being immune herself. This would be one for the books. They might regret being here. What happens when Vampiri get too much energy? As a Blank, she had to observe, even in this reality.

The four women had popped their remaining pizza pieces in their mouths, chewing and held hands, closing their eyes, sitting on the ground. Scanning. They were reaching out. They had even accepted Scobie. A four share…boosted again as they touched skin. Another first. Just as well Chris hadn’t made it a fifth. At least they would have been immune to sharing his TK as well as Sheena’s more refined TK. That didn’t stop them rising off the ground. Sheena’s own ability come to the fore and preventing them earthing. Instinct kicking in. They were also slowly rotating. A real manifestation. Best to stay out of it and look around just in case one of the Max’s tried anything. Although quite what they could create out of ‘The Prisoner’ this time, short of a missile or cricket ball bomb. Crap! Courtney checked her shoulder holster and looked around. Anything could be thrown into the midst.

The Baroness paused at the door to the church and then ran in and then there was a flash. Courtney ducked down, exhaling in case a bomb had detonated. The Psionics would have to look after themselves. Sheena’s TK potentially could channel away any blast. So much happening at the same time.

Nothing happened but standing in the centre of the coven circle was the Baroness and Sara Seeker.

Was this a certified skip? Had they teleported? Both Vampiri was laid out on the floor. What had happened to them and how had she missed it?

The ring coven slowly floated to the ground.

‘I’m feeling odd.’

‘We have two powerful sharers…’

‘We ought to split. You know where.’

  <<The Pattern?>>

  <<They know what to do.>>

Sara Seeker dropped to her knees.

‘Wait!’ ordered Sheena. ‘How are you, Sara?’

‘Woozy. It’s been quite smooth ‘til now.’

<<I was at some sort of school.>>

  <<Can you focus enough to scan for Max?>>

  <<This place feels weird. A church?>>

  <<A graveyard. Scobie chose it at random.>>

  <<Lucky break. This is where the Baroness and I tried to save Max from the Pattern.>>

  <<He distorted reality…twice. We’ve been playing his or rather their mind games since.>>

  <<Two? Explain later.>>

‘Help me up, Libertine.’

  <<You shared with three?>>

  <<First with Scobie. We needed to distort things and realised we could be damaging real people or affects regular reality when we bounce back. It froze us.>>

  <<What did you do?>>

  <<We ate pizza.>>

  <<Any left? I’m starving.>>

  <<Be grateful we’d eaten it. You appeared in the circle. You would have been stepping in it.>>

Sara wrinkled her nose.

  <<I’m getting odd signals. No direction.>>

  <<Might be me. I’m boosting.>>

  <<Sharing?>>

  <<Maybe.>>

  <<It might be enough. We’re all sounding alike.>>

  <<No ‘S’ word for blending.>>

  <<No direction might mean sharing. We need to split now.>>

  <<We have a plan.>>

  <<Glad I wasn’t missed.>>

  <<You were missed. I think that was the point. Play worse than you are.>>

  <<I’m not play acting.>>

Sara stumbled as the ring broke and the girls spread out. All except the shortest one, who was inspecting the fallen vampiri. Her scan gave her signature as Ludomere Shear. How had she got here before herself. One of the vampiri psionic feeders…or was. She fed them enough to get up. She didn’t stay with them.

Then they were gone. There was a stray thought from Scobie. Bristol Hotel in Prince Street. Food. A lot of food.

<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>

Late that night, two figures came out fugitively from inside the church.

<<No fanfare to attract attention. How many false trails?>>

The statuette black woman raised her hand with four fingers. Her top hat flattened and in one of her trench-coat pockets.

‘Deas couldna copies ma voice. Spends longs times lookin’ fer whens wease wents fer Max. Ah losts ma memories. Wease losts youse.’

  <<The Pattern are helping?>>

‘Twos Max. Pattern copies Max. Dids ah share. Tores ups reality. Ma memories stills blurred. Youse gots lefts behind. Polly an’ Sheena thinks youse the key ta puts its backs. Pattern wants normal, toos.’

<<The one posing as me allowed me to ask the right questions.>>

Sara looked around and then closed her eyes for a longer scan.

  <<Mid-60s. Pretty chic. I bet Courtney had a field day in Carnaby Street.>>

‘Weese backs further.’

  <<No change this time. Maybe we fooled them or they’re asleep.>>

‘Dey sleeps?’

  <<They can’t run on empty. Might explain why you had some freedom.>>

The Baroness played her foot over the area and then picked up a plaid bag and handed it to Sara. Rather than opening it, she just scanned.

‘Da Scobie gal hads dis fer youse.’

  <<Money. A change of clothes. Notes.>>

Sara smiled and finally spoke, ‘At least I haven’t shared off her this time. Know any good hotels?’

‘Da Scobie says Bristol Hotel, Prince Street. Says youse knows why.’

‘I doubt if they’d have a room 1716.’

The Baroness raised her eyebrow.

‘A Scobie joke from her favourite film.’

‘Scobie odds?’

‘In more ways then one. Let’s blend in before some naked Terminator from the future pops in.’

‘Youse thinks?’

Sara wrinkled her nose and shook her head. ‘Max prefers “The Prisoner”. You could have had it a lot worse. We could have had Big Brother watching over us.’

end

Psi-Kicks, Blanks

Sara Seeker, Libertine Choisi Rush-Eshow, Flanolla Flamin’ Scobie

Polly Kettle, Courtney Adams, Ludomere Shear

Basilee Elyn and Fernefaire

© GF Willmetts 2021

all rights reserved

ask before borrowing

Category: Scifi, Short fiction

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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