Vigil

Herein lies the various threads in which our characters live out their lives
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

As time has passed, LB-M has consumed a healthy amount of carbohydrates, protein, iron and calcium, everything a young Pokemon needs. Since meeting her sisters, she's grown eight times heavier, weighing almost as much as a full-grown mew!

So, around three kilograms or so. Only mildly impressive for a growing small animal.

She hops into the training area, giving it a good look. ~Hello! How's your day been?~, she greets telepathically, ~I ate a whole chicken today! It was really tasty.~ Considering a whole chicken would only be a bit smaller than her, it's a good question where all that chicken went.
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Rebonack
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

Well, over the past several months LB-M's main job has been to get bigger and learn how to be a person. That's how things work with any child, isn't it? Since she has an actual organic body that offers her an experience her siblings are sadly lacking.

The training area is, for the most part, sterile and clean with any potentially hazardous items removed. There's a soft exercise mat set up with several objects of various sizes and densities and shapes placed in an orderly progression by volume on it. A small table with a deck of cards features prominently. Also a jar full of colorful marbles.

"My day's been pleasant, thank you for asking. I just finished setting up some sensory equipment around a new stable ER-bridge that manifested not too far from VIGIL's current location. I'm hoping we'll be able to get some useful data from it," Geneva replies pleasantly. "A whole chicken? Goodness. You're really taking the growing up part seriously, aren't you?"

Geneva sits down at the the table and gestures at a second chair with a stack of boxes and a little cushion atop it.

"Before we begin with the testing and training proper, would you mind talking to me about how your abilities have manifested so far?"
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

LB-M tilts hear head and gives Geneva a puzzled look. ~ER bridge?~ Then it hits her and she jumps up and down excitedly. ~Oooh! Einstein-Rosen-bridge! I read about those in a book! It's that space-time-thingy that connects distant places!~ She may have also traveled through one, or something comparable to one, but that's another thing.

As for Geneva's question: ~Depends on which of those are you talking about? I'm a lot bigger and stronger now. I can get really far in one hop! Though I guess that's not so impressive when I can also fly~ She scrathes her nose. ~Oh! My implants are a lot more complete now! Sending radio is still not working, but if I hold my tail just right, I can catch all kinds of signals. I have a lot of big ideas for when I get two-way connections working. I've been reading up on electronics and micromechanics. Really interesting stuff.~
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

"That's correct! The Bifrost chamber that you manifested into is a machine I've built to create artificial transient ER-bridges. It's how we were able to prove that the mental spaces created by the 'flywheel' technology occupy actual spaces. If they didn't then we would be unable to build a bridge to one," Geneva replies, quite happy that LB-M has been studious with her time.

She begins taking the cards out of the deck and spreads them on the table in front of her. They include a bunch of shapes in different colors! A square, a circle, three squiggly lines, a star, and a plus.

"It sounds like your physical growth is coming along nicely. Never underestimate how useful hopping really far can be. Sometimes using your psionics, even simple manifestations like levitation, isn't possible. Good old fashioned physics, though, are usually reliable. What sorts of electronic ideas are you working out? You sound really excited."
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

~I'm thinking of... cells? I think that's the best word~, LB-M explains, ~little electromagnetically and psionically receptive cells. If I can make it work, I'll try making a reactor out of them. Or maybe amplifier would be a better word?~ She is, in fact, thinking of building a power source similar to a Lantern's for reals. But there's quite a few steps to walk before she can get even that far.

LB-M hops around as she continues. ~My sister outlined the basic issue. We lack the right sort of materials. But I think I can emulate that by making a sensor that picks up telekinetic impulses, the sort I use to fly... what are you doing?~ She jumps on the table to see the cards Geneva is dealing. ~Is this a game? Are we going to play?~
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

"You still need a supply of the ectoplasm that the Octohedron runs on. But producing it is a problem," Geneva recalls. "I'll be returning to the facility soon to set up some new equipment. Within the next few days. I can take a sample from the conduits running through the walls of the structure."

But she isn't offering to take LB-M along.

Because they've already talked about this. No children going off on big potentially dangerous adventures! The leaders of VIGIL has made that very clear and Geneva is inclined to agree. Children should be busy growing and learning how to be people. Not doing dangerous things.

"Are you still planning on trying to build a psychic receiver for your sisters?" Geneva asks.

But then she gets some questions too! She smiles at the enthusiasm.

"These are Zener cards. They're a fun game for practicing and honing esp. And for testing acuity, too. There are five symbols, circle, square, star, cross, and wave. I shuffle the cards-" Geneva says, picking them up and doing so. "And then I draw one and hold it up so I can see it but you can't. You use esp to read my mental image of the card and tell me the shape. Once you've guessed for all twenty five cards we tally up your guesses to see how many points you got."

Geneva draws the cards off the top of the deck, a green star.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

~Oh yeah, the blue gooey stuff~, LB-M comments the issue of ectoplasm, ~I didn't find anything useful about that, but if I get my cells working right, that should bypass the need for such. It would also allow me to build that antenna my sister has planned. Though I guess it would benefit more you than me? I won't need it once I get my radio working.~

She fixates on the cards, sniffing them before Geneva picks them up. ~Oh, you mean, read your mind? But without you actively transmitting the knowledge to me?~ She looks at the card Geneva's holding as if trying to see through it. ~I think my sister would be better at picking up indirect cues like that.~ The theory is more than familiar to her. LB2 explained how the blue gooey stuff is supposed to ripple in presence of humans, giving form to their unexpressed thoughts. The force is transmitted through some psychic field, which LB-M, as a mew, should naturally be sensitive to. She just has very little experience correlating such ripples with anything concrete. ~Hmmm. Could you think of the word wave for a moment?~
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

"It sounds like you're making conceptual progress on your project. That's a start! You might have a few false paths along the way but that's always true of prototyping."

Smelling the cards reveal none of their secrets. Mostly they have Geneva's scent on them thanks to the fact that she runs training and assessment sessions for any VIGIL members who show psionic aptitude.

"That's right. Reading surface thoughts of a person who isn't actively transmitting is one of the simplest manifestations of esp. This training will include esp ethics as well. It's important to know when it is and isn't appropriate to read minds. Especially when most people have little to no capacity to shield their own thoughts."

And now the attempts start.

Geneva nods and begins thinking of the word wave.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

LB-M groans at the bit about ESP ethics. She doesn't need schooling to know people don't like eavesdropping. The solution is to not let them know you're eavesdropping.

But! She can't let that distract her from the task at hand. Or paw. Whatever. She narrows her eyes and perks her ears, trying to detect the shift in Geneva's aura.

~Well now I know it's not a wave~, she sends, ~Your card, I mean. Or if it is, then you're tricking me, but I don't see how you'd make the decision to trick me into thinking it's not a wave without first thinking of a wave. Hmmm. Can you think of a cross next?"
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

Esp ethics is a very important subject! Sure you might think a little snooping is harmless, but when your manifester class outstrips most everyone around you then the temptation to do more insidious things can grow.

No, better to draw a hard line and leave it at that.

Geneva begins thinking of a cross while holding up the star card.

"I'm not tricking you. Those sorts of tests are for higher classes, not the basic assessment. But you have the right idea. Once you have a baseline it'll be easier to read what I'm seeing."
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

~Well, it really is just a logic or association puzzle when you get down to it~, LB-M comments, ~and now I know your card's not a cross either. So, do star next.~
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

"An association puzzle. But most people aren't able to read another person's thoughts. That's the purpose of the exercises, to assess your abilities by reproducible, objective measures," Geneva replies.

And thinks STAR.

It's important for the person giving the test to have a pretty high degree of mental and physical discipline as well. After all, they don't want to give away body language clues that might hint at which card they're looking at.

More easily said than done.

Which is why a trained manifestor is, of course, ideal for these tests. They have precisely the sort of precision in their actions needed to ensure the test is unbiased.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

~Yes, most people aren't able to~, LB-M thinks with a nod, ~which is sort of hilarious, because... well, if my sister's explanation is correct, most humans think the way they speak. It would not be hard to understand the signals other people send if they could just capture them. Oh, and your card is a star. But you should think of a square and a circle next anyways, otherwise I can't tell which is which if you pick one in the future."

Of course, the theory LB1 is following is based on neurological analysis of humans, more concerned with what machines can be built to perceive of thought than whether any living organism has such abilities naturally. As Geneva knows, those who built the Octahedron began with far more invasive and mundane methods than telepathy.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

"For most people speaking or writing is a sufficient way to project their thoughts to others," Geneva says with a wane smile. "They simply lack the sensory tools for reading outside neural activity and inferring from it. In the home I grew up in that was far from the case. You got to see a vision of it, the vault I was born in. Everyone there could psionically manifest so the 'problem' of being unable to detect wasn't an issue. Of course, this is just foundational esp. More complex applications are built on top of it. So that's why we start here before moving on to more difficult manifestations."

It's important to do things by the book!

At least in Geneva's opinion.

What's the point of having the book if you aren't going to follow it?

The star card is set down and Geneva makes a little note in her notebook. Then the next card is drawn. Waves this time. Geneva also thinks pretty hard about a circle, too. Just to provide the baseline.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

Now that she knows what to look for, LB-M has little difficulty reaching a 100% accuracy on the Zener test. ~I think this is a really silly test~, LB-M notes at the end of it, ~I'm not sure psionic powers are at all important for doing well in it. But I guess it wouldn't matter that much for testing humans. Humans don't have too many different senses, after all.~ She yawns in the adorable manner of a baby animal.

~What next?~
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

"Well, you were able to achieve one hundred percent accuracy, which isn't surprising but that's still a good result. It means your basic esp abilities are well within the norm for a mew," Geneva replies as she puts the cards away. "What's next is a simple telekinesis test. So far you've been using teek to move yourself, but extending that ability externally is another matter completely."

As Geneva is speaking she takes out a DIFFERENT box! Removing the lid, a collection of bronze weights of various masses are revealed! Geneva unrolls a mat and sets it down on the table as well.

"For this test we'll be checking to see how much external mass you can move with your teek. Starting with!"

A tiny little one gram weight is set atop the mat.

"We're measuring impulse first rather than sustained force, so just try to move the weight laterally."
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

~Ummm...~ LB-M sniffs the tiny weight, then looks at Geneva. ~I've not given this part much thought, to be honest.~ Psychokinesis is definitely a natural ability for a mew, but one they develop quite late on their own. Indeed, since mew are so apt at copying and learning from others, it is quite usual for a mew to gain such abilities from an external source before their natural talents mature. Since Geneva grew up in such a different environment, with a radically different childhood, she might not have realized this herself.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

Perhaps surprising to none, sniffing the weight doesn't cause it to move. It smells like metal, which also isn't very shocking.

"Being uncertain isn't too much of a surprise," Geneva replies as she shifts into move tutor mode. "Why don't you start by describing to me how you levitate yourself."

Starting with what LB-M already knows is a good way to expand on that base.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

~I just kind of do?~, LB-M answers, ~like, how do you move your tail... ummm, hand? It doesn't feel much different from that. It was different the first time, but I was still inside your dream then. It's not the same in the waking world.~

She stops tele-babbling for a moment to focus intensely on moving the weight.

The weight does not move.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

"I'm Transformed at the moment. That's another move you'll learn in time. But if I weren't then I would have a tail and your comparison is valid," Geneva replies with a kind smile.

Then?
She watches the weight.
Not move.

Geneva makes a little note on her note-pad.

"I'm sure you have the capacity, just not the expertise. This can be taught using a rather lengthy process, or we can do it the fast way," Geneva offers. "I can end my Transform and synchronize with you. That would give you the opportunity to see experience how I employ teek. That's, arguably, the fastest way to be tutored on how to use a new move."
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

LB-M perks up. ~Ooh! That sounds really convenient!~ But then she consider it further, rubbing her nose. ~Hmmm. But on a second thought... I'd actually like to figure it out myself? It's sort of like a... puzzle. Seeing the solution before giving it a good try on my own would be... anti-climatic.~
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

"That,"
Geneva replies as she makes another note. "Is a good answer. An important part of learning is the discovery process! Discovering the vital step you were missing is always a fun discovery. We still have the alternative as a fallback, but it's best not to jump right to it. Now-"

She points at the tiny weight with her pen.

"Describe to me exactly what you were trying to do when you attempted to move the weight."

Why is she asking for a description?

Because much like programming, sometimes explaining what you're trying to do out loud with psionics can help a manifester to identify what they're doing wrong.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionic Training]

~I really focused on lifting it up~, LB-M explains, ~like, really tried to imagine it soaring up. But it didn't feel like I was exerting any force on it. Just got my forehead all wrinkly.~
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

"Interesting..." Geneva replies, continuing her notes. "Why you're using levitation or moving your tail around, do you normally imagine that activity really hard? Do you visualize it to make it happen? Or does it take something else?"

Geneva aiming to nudge LB-M in the right direction here.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

LB-M shuffles her feet. ~Not usually. Not unless I'm trying to do something particularly difficult~, she answers Geneva's first two questions, ~but normally it's kind of automatic.~ As for the last? ~See, we had a talk of this with my sisters. Back when I was... a simulation, my senses didn't really stop at my own skin. The same is true of my sisters, within their respective virtual realities. It really isn't the same here. I can stretch my imagination, but it doesn't really feel like I can stretch myself to really encompass that weight, or anything else. The... medium... is not there.~
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

"I don't usually think about things that way, either," Geneva admits.

Sounds like LB-M might be on the right track maybe?

"So you would say that you're trying to extend your intent over the weight the same way you would intend your tail to move?" Geneva asks. "I can see why that wouldn't work the same way as it would in the simulation since the world out here is a bit different. What if I told you-"

There a slight pink sheen that shimmers around the weight as it scoots to LB-M's right a few centimeters.

"-that I'm not extending myself over the weight at all to move it?"
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

LB-M tilts her head. ~You don't?~ She looks at the weight, then back at Geneva. ~Well it isn't complex enough object to receive signals or move on its own. Are you just... pelting it with some kind force? Kind of like... spitting?~ She can't think of a better analogue out of the blue. Plus, she's still confused by what the medium is supposed to be.
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

"I didn't," Geneva confirms. "And you're right, the weight didn't move of its own volition either. It isn't an agent, so it doesn't have any agency."

Clearly it isn't.

It's just a small mass of brass without any structure aside from copper and zinc alloyed together.

"Spitting psionic force is a good guess, though! But that isn't what I'm doing, either. There's another move more akin to what you're thinking of; psyshock. But that's a lesson for another time. So-"

The weight scoots back in the other direction, a little bit further this time.

"Clearly I'm acting on this object; an object will remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. So how am I acting on this object?"
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Re: Vigil

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[Psionics Training]

LB-M stares at Geneva like a confused kitten, which is not far from what she is, really. ~I haven't got the faintest~, she broadcasts.
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Re: Vigil

Post by Rebonack »

[Psionics Training]

Aaww.

Well, it looks like there aren't any flashes of insight coming from that direction.

"Well, how about a hint then? You mentioned earlier how things are different in the simulation, how your reach so to speak extends further. How would you describe altering your environment in the simulation environment we met in? How different was that?"

What?

How is that a hint?

Clearly Geneva is steering LB-M in a particular direction here. It's a careful dance to avoid giving TOO much away.
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