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Orson could not believe what he had done. His very eyes must be lying. Had to be lying. Was he having a flashback? An episode? He was just dreaming, right? But what is this?
It felt as though someone else had done it for him -had used his body and did the deed without his consent. Like he watched it happen from outside of himself.
Or was the shrink from his separation interview for the Saturian Infantry Division wrong, and Orson really did have PTSD? Is that what it does to you? Make you gun down the woman you love while you sleep?
No. I don’t have PTSD, I was a mechanic. Hardly saw combat.
What, then? Why did this happen? I would never…
Orson’s hand trembled beneath the weight of his Revolver, and to his eyes came tears. He cried out in despair.
Through his opened balcony door Orson could hear the shouting Alex and the panicking Kacy dialing for emergency services. He stared at Solstice’s beautiful, lifeless body lying on the floor. Her face, however, was ruined by the exit wound. Ugly; dead, and evidence of her death coated the balcony in a slew of greys and deep reds.
But the pain could not be resolved by screams.
What have I done?
Was it even me?
The more Orson thought about why he had shot her, the less he could reason it. Agonizing, painful thoughts of loss, grief, and remorse were heavy enough to drop Orson to his knees. He called out his lover’s name, eyes stinging with burning tears. He was moving into hysteria. He would never hold her again.
Defeated, Orson turned the Revolver on himself. He wished to be with her once more.
I suppose that now would be the time to explain my part in all of this. I was, at this interval, under the employ of a one Saymour Nilia as an “investigator” of sorts. This particular crime had been occurring all over Sil, the murder-suicide between supposed lovers, even brothers, was on the rise. Up 100 times from last Year.
Missing children: up a similar 100 times more than the abductions reported last Year.
I had caught wind of this one: similar profiles as other cases. Intelligent, talented couples. Wealth.
But I was a day late.
A socket opens, a signal is sent.
Always the same socket. Always the same signal. Never encrypted, yet carried no data.
Caught a ping with the signal while I slept. Like someone knew I was watching.
Anyway, I reported it to Nilia.
I am as a ghost.
It was after this one with the Dostee girl that Nilia clued me in. He was waiting to be sure. He didn’t tell me at that time what he wanted to be sure of. But I found out all the same. He was always a poet.
“She was a Vibe,” he said.
“The others, too. Maybe just Potentials,” he said. “But the Dostee girl was a true Vibe, and her brother. She was on the verge of Self-Actuation. And the boy was weak. He was vulnerable, and depressed. His brain chemistry made it easy,” he added.
At the time I hardly followed what he said. Our relationship was one sided -he only took input; I, the output. I am the feedback; I am the command; I am as a ghost.
In retrospect, he was grooming me. He was careful and did not rush; he did not want to upset the Balance. Not like the Order (I didn’t know about the order when he said this).
The Balance. You’d think he could at least name it something a little more scientific sounding, as opposed to something from a space movie. I am going to take it upon myself to not mention it again, but that would leave you in the dark as to what Sin meant by saying the “Balance”, so I will give a brief explanation.
Vibes, or even Potentials, are people whose brains are wired differently than the average human, so to speak. That is, the wires represent neuropathways. A perpetual “harmonic brain-state”, as it is called by neurologists, is the distinguishing characteristic of a Vibe, and, under an MRI, the neuropathways in a Vibe’s brain will have more connections in comparison to the number of connections possible in the brains of the cattle. Excuse my vanity, in the brains of the average folk.
“But a harmonic brain does not necessarily a Vibe make,” Sin would say. “Some people will show the signs, surely. I do not know what it is that separates the Vibes, perhaps a thing of chance, maybe a god. Vibes tap into the human mind. The subconscious, hive mind of the human race. The place you go when you sleep. The place you go when you are dreaming, when you die. The Singularity,” he would rant.
You don’t go anywhere when you die, I would think. I’m right, though. You don’t. Your energy gets released as heat. Your electrical signals stop firing. A Vibe, on the other hand…
Back to the Bal- you know, the thing I don’t want to repeat. Sounds too cliché. But that’s how this Vibe deal goes. There’s a give and a take. An input and an output. For every action, an equal, opposite reaction. For everything. Everything.
Equal and opposite are approximate terms in this case.
He was afraid that I might be the straw that broke the camel’s back, but we were already well beyond that. We didn’t know. But since he was cautious, I was kept invisible. A ghost. Under the radar. He was grooming me for Vibrancy. But we were all too late. We had to make a move. That’s when he took me to meet the boy.
And when he told us of the Resonants.