Chapter 3.

2 Feb

The journalistic sheets of Tinok fought each other for circulation in warlike competition. “The Gazette”, “The Sheet”. and “The Tabloid” battled each other with sensational shock stories. But in the case of the new stage in the Focusist movement, the prize went to “The Scoop”, the most lurid and adventurous of the dailies in the capital city.

All of the planet learned about the achievement of directed, channeled, aimed, and oriented telepathy at the Institute of Piezomagnetics run by Dawt Uxor. This was presented in the press as a breakthrough of historical importance. The psychic field would not be the same from now on, it was maintained by the adherents of Focusism. Transmission technology was going to be different.

Raxis Absum, as soon as he became aware of this publicity campaign, hurried to see his friend Gaen at the retired farrier’s townhouse near the center of Tinok.

There was much for the pair to talk over once they were seated in the brightly lit parlor.

“Now that all these research results have been made public,” began Gaen, “we can clearly see what the purpose of their argument has always been. I now perceive the strings of connection of Dawt Uxor’s ideas and his family’s selfish interests. Can there be any doubt that Piezopower and its magnetic grid lies behind this radical movement? Blood ties are strong factors that motivate Dawt and his two brothers in causing the present schism.”

Raxis meditated a moment before expressing himself on this point.

“Aren’t you exaggerating some, Gaen? I do not see so close a connection between telepathic change and corporate interest as you do. That may not be dominant in their thinking.”

“You have always been too much of an innocent,” frowned the veterinarian. “I fear that there is going to be a terrible awakening for you. It will be painful to watch when it happens.”

Raxis put on a look of surprise with all his dramatic skill of expression. “Innocent? You call me an innocent? Look at all I had to go through in constructing our telepathic movement as it stands today. Those were not easy battles to win.

“For me, Dawt Uxor is more mistaken than selfish or evil-minded. I do not see him and his brothers as primarily out for material gain. I do not feel justified in questioning his personal motives. It is not my habit to claim that our opponents are driven only by greed and nothing else.”

Unexpectedly, Gaen grinned as he nodded his head.

“You can see more complexity there than I do, Raxis. Perhaps it is his two brothers who are manipulating Dawt Uxor for narrow gains while he remains a theorist at heart.”

“I mean to keep a wary eye on what this gang is up to,” promised the Deliverer. “We may have to take some action, but only when the right moment can be identified.”

Trino and Orez had questions to discuss concerning their brother and his public activities.

Neither would have admitted that they were meeting behind his back, though neither had any intention of telling him what they were saying to each other outside his hearing.

Orez was first to arrive at the Candy Cafe in the heart of the theater district of Tinok. Was it his own sweet tooth that made him choose such an unusual place for talking with his brother? he wondered. Sitting down at one of the round tables, the middle brother took a menu and perused it. How could he make a choice between chocolate cream fondant, caramel toffee, burnt sugar theriaca, and peppermint almond nougat? It was impossible for him to decide.

The red-haired bantam instead ordered himself a cup of metheglin to drink. He had just taken his first swallow when his older brother walked into the empty sweetshop, wearing a striped peppermint jacket and a straw hat.

Without a word of greeting, Trino sat down on the ice cream cone chair opposite Orez. His black trousers were in sharp contrast to the white decor of the shop. But the red and white pants of Orez matched these surroundings perfectly.

“It’s done,” declared Trino. “We will now have to proceed as we decided.”

The two exchanged long, persisting stares, interrupted by the approach of a waiter dressed all in white, from head to toe.

“I will be ordering later on,” Trino gruffly said to him.

When they were alone again, it was Orez who spoke first.

“My brokers have been buying up shares of every echoline company on Velvet for the past year and a half,” he softly announced. “It has not been easy to hide our fingers behind the bogus dummies that were used to make the purchases. No suspicions have been raised, none at all. The time has arrived, though, to take direct control of these echophone companies. All the conditions are ripe for such moves to be carried out by us.”

“They definitely are right for that,” muttered Trino. “Dawt is publicly calling for the placing of all telepathic connections into the echolines that already exist. The die is cast for us focusists. There can be no going back. The days of general, at-large broadcasting are over and past. Complete privacy will now become a major part of overall telepathic communication. Just as the echophone has been from its beginning used for personal, even secret, contacts, so shall the future of psychic messages be structured and organized. Our new focused methods can easily defeat the outdated, obsolete generality of the old pioneers of telepathy. That is the outline of future progress, and we shall be its leaders.”

“We must keep our eyes open,” darkly warned Orez. “Many aspects of our plan have the potential of going wrong. I believe that our brother, Dawt, is the weakest link in the chain we are building. I have always doubted the strength of his determination. He has a highly changeable will that can be swayed by sudden gusts of emotion.”

“Emotion?” said Trino with  surprise. “What kind of emotion?”

Orez bit his lower lip, realizing that he had to say more than he had intended to.

“You were once the primary object of our little brother’s envy. From his earliest years, he saw you as the favorite of our mother and father. Not me, but you were the object of his jealousy. Didn’t you see it when he was still a baby, then a small child? It consumed his mind. These feelings of envy drove most of our brother’s thoughts and actions all through our years of growing up. In school, he had to win better grades than you or I did. When it came to sports, we experienced the same jealous competitiveness on the part of Dawt. He was unsatisfied unless he could outdo both of us. That is the explanation of the wild, uncontrolled secret part of our brother.”

Trino had a look of astonishment on his masklike face. He was unable to deny his brother’s painful argument about Dawt. He decided to divert the course of their conversation in another direction.

“If that is correct, then it explains why our baby brother is such a fierce hater of Raxis Absum, the founder of the original psychic movement on Velvet. It stems from jealousy of the great man. Dawt unconsciously dreams of replacing the father of all our telepathy. He aspires to become the one who rebuilds and reshapes the movement. That is his primary motive in Focusism, to make himself the creator of a greater, grander brand of telepathy.”

The oldest of the three brothers suddenly stood up. “That is enough for now. We must see to the victory of our family within the Telesthetic Association. The interests of all three of us are fused together as if we were one person. We must forget our childhood past and what went on then.”

The pair swiftly finished their sweets and left the shop with worry and concern about their absent younger brother.

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