Chapter 2.

28 Jan

Raxis had submitted a job application at Tinok Glass, but before he could be hired as an industrial laborer, Jeca intervened with an unexpected announcement to her new friend.

“Guess what happened today? The Head Controller visited our office and he began a conversation with me about my document searches. And somehow the topic of new telepathic operators came up. I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but believe it was he who brought up the matter. It immediately made me think what I could do for you.

“I instantly mentioned your name. There was no way to avoid bringing up the fact that I knew a person who would be a perfect candidate for a research spot. So, to be brief, he accepted my proposal that you be interviewed as an intuitive medium. No special education is required. Once a person proves his telepathic capability, he goes on the payroll at once.

“That will solve your financial problems, Raxis,” she said warmly.

The young man’s face reddened with sudden emotion. “Thank you, Jeca. I am forever in your debt for this generous deed by you.” He paused several seconds. “I am certain that I can pass any psychic test given me. It does not frighten me at all.”

She blushed. “You will be the best telesthete we have ever had at the Institute. I know that is true. The evidence is clear to me. Your career will be a phenomenal one. Everyone there will be astounded at what you will achieve.”

“But I owe the opportunity to one person,” he murmured, beaming at his neighbor. “What you have done will remain in my memory as long as I am alive, be assured of that.”

The Head Controller, Crin, was a small, round man with a bald head and pink eyes. His personality was that of a frightened bureaucrat. He at once felt something about Raxis that made him very alarmed. But there was no way to refuse employment to such a brilliant, gifted natural telepsychic. Controller Crin resolved to keep a cautious eye on the new, unknown stranger. He felt a duty to avoid possible surprises and risks that might accompany such a talented young psychic.

From the start, Raxis could see through his time-serving supervisor. He decided not to allow the blockhead to limit his explorations into the transensory, but proceeded to attempt complex, multifold communication with a number of other operators on a simultaneous basis. The new telepath worked without conventional inhibitions or fears of any sort.

Jeca, working in Records and Documents, kept official track of his broad, bold feats.

The spirit of Raxis rose higher each day, each week. His enthusiasm  bubbled and boiled up. At last, he informed Jeca of the next rung of his telesthetic scheme.

She appeared suddenly troubled as he described what he intended to do.

The two of them were eating breadroot pies and avoinic gruel in a bakehouse near their flats.

“What will the Controller say?” she frowned. “Have you spoken of this group transmission to him? Does he have any hint of it? The man could react negatively and try to smash it.”

Raxis stopped chewing and stared unswervingly into her almond eyes.

“Why should we not keep this under cover for a time, until the results can be confirmed? I can conceive of what his reactions might be to either success or failure. Since I am sure the experiment will have positive results, I will at the end be able to present him with incontrovertible proof. Our supervisor will not be able to refuse me continuation along the road of group communication. There will be left only the alternative of rational acceptance of what I have accomplished.”

Jeca made a counter-argument to this. “Is our boss a rational being, though? I doubt whether he is capable of thinking logically at all.”

Raxis responded with spontaneous laughter.

“When the time comes, I am certain I can convince him to grant me belated approval. I shall not permit such a visionless dolt to erect any barrier or obstacle. No, I do not fear our stupid overseer. We will compel him to give his final approval.”

Jeca stood beside the yellowwood chair in which the operator sat. They were in the specially insulated compartment assigned Raxis near the periphery of the building housing the Telesthetic Institute. Trabeated beams of torchwood covered the outer walls.

There were two stages of psychic testing going on. First, Raxis sent out a short message to an octet of receivers situated in various sectors of the metropolis. Then, once that was finished, each of the eight points was to attempt a confirming reply. “We have received your words,” was to be the response from each individual point back to Raxis at the center.

Confirmation returned to Raxis from all eight of his colleagues, according to the predetermined order he had indicated they were to follow. The exact outcomes desired were realized.

Jeca became ecstatic with joy.

“What comes next?” she asked her neighbor, the one who had arranged the experiment.

Raxis gave her a stern look. “We have no alternative to reporting what we have done. It makes no sense to keep it secret. There shall be even greater feats in the future. The bosses must get used to this constant progress.”

“You plan to tell Crin immediately?” she anxiously asked.

“I must. There is no other way.”

The Head Controller listened passively to every word of the psychic sitting across the marronwood desk from him. He folded his hands together and focused his pink eyes on Raxis. His reaction was going to be explosive, Raxis realized.

“This is most unsettling, I must say. Who gave authorization for such a wild scheme? What if something had gone wrong? I would have been held personally liable for injury to any mental operative employed by the Institute. My job and rank might be taken away.” His fat face reddened with indignation. ‘How dare you take these risks. What you did was irresponsible and childish. It was foolish and criminal. I see illegal use of our personnel and facilities. Such a mad adventure is not to be tolerated.”

Raxis gaped in indignation, wondering whether it was worthwhile to rebute such empty charges. No, he decided, it would do no good to argue with this cowardly fool.

Crin reached his emotional climax. “I have no alternative choice but to suspend you from all work and contact with our institution. You are forbidden to enter these premises or use any of our properties. There is to be no contact, physical or psychic, with any of our experimental operators. Your exclusion is to be total.

“Am I clear? The suspension will not end until I order so.”

Raxis studied the face of the enraged bureaucrat. What was the use of any argument with this type of official? He rose and left without a word leaving his mouth. His course was now set for good.

It was three days later that a knock came on the planerwood door of Jeca’s flat.

When she opened it, there stood Raxis with a large envelope in his hand.

“I just received an official Rescript of Dismissal from the government treasury. I will no longer get any pay. I am never to report at the Telesthenic Institute for scientific work. My firing is now permanent, final and irreversible.”

A look of alarm fell over the heart-shaped face of the young woman.

“What are you going to do now, Raxis?” she uttered desperately. “How are you going to survive? What will your future hold?”

Unexpectedly, he radiated with a smile. “I aim to be busy organizing a new movement of psychic persons. A plan is taking shape in my mind. Many years may be needed to build what I dream of.

“My hope is that you will join with me, Jeca, in the arduous endeavor that lies ahead.”

She looked somewhat confused. “What do you want to do, Raxis?” she begged to know.

“Let me come in and I will explain all of it,” he grinned with confidence.

He stayed in her flat all that evening, into the following morning, describing the ideas that had occurred to him since his dismissal from the Telesthetic Institute.

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