Gazing at the Soul
Your faith in my psychic powers came easily at first, as it did for most of my clients. You had been to your fair share of charlatans and so were not easily impressed by my insights. A skilled cold reader could do the same by asking leading questions, reading your body language or offering up vagaries to which all would find some factual root. You wanted proof - proof that I could do that which I claimed. I admired your frankness and thus offered up a demonstration by which even you were impressed. As I'm sure you recall, I asked you to think of anything - any word or picture, number or name - and I would guess it. Fish and Chips. 23184. Mrs. Dibbly feeding her cat. The time you fell from the back steps and cracked your hip. Three rings. Albatross. I guessed each one, without hesitation until you accepted my powers as genuine. In this my dear Mrs. Wells I am glad to say I was perfectly honest. I have always been able to read the thoughts of others. It comes to me as naturally signing my name or dialling my telephone number. People wonder why I am so cynical, but wouldn't you be too if you knew what others were thinking? Every lie. Every half-truth. Every malicious, nasty thought in people's brutish little heads laid out for me like a scrapbook of man's sins. If it weren't for my cynicism, I'd go mad. As much as I try not to be invasive in the use of my powers, I must admit that it is often difficult to keep other's thoughts out. When you lost your son in the accident. When your husband left. When the doctors found that irregularity in your heartbeat. I knew your anguish, your fear and your pain. It is not only your pain I hear, but those of the hundreds I pass every day. Perhaps that was why I took up my quest, why I became Blackthorne - to right the wrongs that only I could see.
The Power of Suggestion
Mind Control: Supreme
- Auto-Hit Attack
- Area Affect
Despite my reluctance to use my powers on the innocent, I fear I have committed against you a most personal violation. Know that I had only your best interests in mind, though it is a poor excuse all the same. As easily as I can read people's thoughts, so too can I manipulate them. Not directly mind you, but rather through suggestion. I start the brain down a certain path and it fills in the details on its own. When you asked, for example, if you would ever quit smoking I told you that I did indeed envision it. This conclusion was not born of any insight into the future, but rather from a knowing that I could will it to be done. In the very next session I remarked how wonderful you must feel having given up on cigarettes, do you recall? Think back though, do you remember quitting before or after my words of encouragement? You see, therein lies the awful truth - you had not quit until I suggested that it was so. I merely offered your mind my version of the truth, and it filled in the details to match my conclusion. Despite its benefit to you I feel I owe you an apology, for playing God with a person's thoughts, their memories, is a cheaters route to improvement. Over the years my suggestions have eased your pain, brought you comfort and erased harm done by others but I fear I can never return to you your true perceptions, your memories, your honest emotions. I have filled your head with empty promises - smoke and mirrors meant to bring comfort by deception. For all that have done, it is this which causes me the most guilt, the greatest sense of regret. I have used this power to great effect as Blackthorne, convincing men that their guns were empty, their wounds were fatal or their surrender inescapable, but to these men I owe no mercy or remorse. They who have made victims of others cannot cry injustice over my deceptions. To them I owe no apology, but before you my dear Mrs. Wells, I am forever humbled.
Movements of the Mind
My nocturnal activities as Blackthorne have not come without danger and sacrifice. There are times when even my ability to see and mould the thoughts of others are alone not enough to stop those who would commit injustice. You recall that I told you that I had lost my left eye after being hit by an errant cricket ball. Again, I must apologize for another untruth. In actuality, it was poked out by a man wielding a screwdriver - a molester of children who caught me unawares and nearly killed me. When thought alone is not enough, I must resort to action, though still an action of the mind. As that man dug the tool into my socket, I lashed out with my mind, hurtling him backwards and pinning him to the wall. Such was my anger that I nearly crushed him there - squeezed the breath from his lungs with a mere thought. Would it surprise you to learn that it was you who stopped me that day? It is true. In that instant I recalled words you had spoken as your son lay dying in hospital. Do you remember? I offered to divine for you if he would live or die, but you refused. You said, "all life is a precious and finite gift. Only God should know when the End will come as it is His decision to make - not ours". That day, I showed mercy for a man who deserved none and put his fate in the hands of God. I don't know if I believe in Him or not, Mrs. Wells, I know only that you are right - despite my powers I am but a man. I don't know who controls the forces of life and death, I know only that it isn't me.
Danger Sense: Ultimate
Despite what I have said, Mrs. Wells, know that I can indeed see the future. When you and my other clients came to me seeking that rare, forbidden knowledge I very rarely dispersed it, though I often saw it clearly. Knowing the future is not always a gift and I have found that most who learn their fates regret it soon afterward. I foresaw the death of your son and your abandonment by your husband. Please forgive me for not imparting that knowledge upon you, but you must realize that knowing these awful truths would deny you all the chance to live your lives as they were meant to. The premonitions I dispersed were concoctions - the same vague imaginings that any of my fraudulent competitors could give. There is a certain irony there, is there not? A true psychic who masters the art of issuing phony premonitions. Understand that people did not really come to me to learn the future, but rather to raise their spirits and reaffirm their belief that they could, in some small way, master their own destiny. Was it wrong to deceive my clients, to instil in them a false sense of hope? Perhaps, but in some instances, it seemed almost a necessity. Ms. Clark did not want to know that she would be killed in a car accident at the age of 32 - would she have married Trevor if she had? Would she have given birth to young Angela? If by telling her a lie I allowed her three years of peace and happiness instead of fear and anguish then it is a lie I can live with. My powers to see into the future are not nearly as precise as one might think in any event. I catch glimpses, flashes of what is to come, sometimes in great detail and other times like a dream barely remembered. I can see the faces of those whom I shall hunt as Blackthorne often before they have committed their crime. That is how I have been able to deliver unto them my black rose - my warning and their last chance to change their path - before I come for them, before they choose the way of injustice. Few heed my warning and so many suffer the consequences.
Resisting the Dream
Closed Mind: Standard
I'm sure that they will ask you why it is I have left this world, and I know it is a question you too are keen to know. The answer has come to me in my dreams, though I have resisted for some time now. Every night as I close my eyes to sleep, a premonition invades my thoughts and attempts to break down my resistances. My mind has grown strong over these long years, learning to shut out the thoughts of others, learning to keep my abilities within my control while keeping others out. For the most part, I have very few premonitions about my own fate, which until recently has been cloudy, uncertain and complex. But still the dream persisted, growing in strength over the course of years until at last, it broke through and saturated my consciousness. In the dream I went to a far off place known as Khazan - a strange and beautiful world in which heroism and villainy run rampant, side by side in eternal conflict. I am drawn there by a man with a skull for a face, locked in a cage, who needs my help. Other figures emerge from the darkness - a bizarre collection of people whose faces I cannot see - and I am to stand by them in their fight against a powerful enemy. At the end of my dream - and this is the portion my mind fought so hard to hide from me - the skull-faced man reaches out to me, grabs me by the neck and ends my life with his bare hands. Not even my mental defences could shield me from this horrible truth forever and now that I have faced my dream, I must now face my destiny.
The Will of Fate
Force of Will: Standard
And so my dear Mrs. Wells, I must leave this place. I know it seems ridiculous to travel half way across the galaxy to help a man I know will one day kill me, but much like the tarot deck I often used in our sessions the truth of one's fate is not found in their interpretation, but simply in the cards you are dealt. You of all people know that I can be ... rather stubborn. My mind is quite set on this, my path quite clear. I must leave London. I must leave Earth. I must leave unfinished my work here, both as a corner shop psychic and as the vigilante Blackthorne. Most sadly of all, I must leave you. The will of Fate cannot be denied. The future is the future, good, bad or somewhere in between. Seeing the chessboard doesn't make me any less a pawn - if I am to fight in that place, to die in that place, then that is what I will do. I have left for the police evidence of my activities and information I have gained in my endeavours. Blackthorne shall no longer prowl the streets of London, but others shall take up the cause. They will no doubt ask their usual mundane, pointless questions and ask to see the letter you now read. I once more apologize in advance for the intrusion, and hope that my words allow you to understand who I truly was and what I was trying to do. As I go, my last words of advice as your psychic, as your advisor, as your friend, Mrs. Wells, is to live your life in blissful ignorance of the future. Let the future be my burden alone until it becomes your present and let whatever Fate has in store for you do so by surprise. Farewell. Yours respectfully, Mr. Reg Whitehill.