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Just then Adel walked around the corner; the two stared at each other a moment, then Archades try to grasp Adel's mind. He would make Adel commit suicide, it had been a while since he had caused one of those. After a few moments Archades realized it was as futile as throwing bricks at a tank.
"I grew up with the Syndicate." Adel stated, "I chose to let my telepathy atrophy because the minds of the Syndicate were vile places. Smith placed me in the care of The Gifted in hopes that they would act as a catalyst to my talents. Instead my mind grew more defiant. Instead of only being deaf to thoughts I was also dumb. Eventually my mind withdrew completely from the psychic conduit.
Think of the psychic conduit as an ocean and our minds are ships. Normally our minds sail across the conduit to spy on or attack other minds. Well my mind is beached on land where others cannot reach it."
Adel explained what was happening. "The Gifted tried for months to break into my mind. The more sadistic of them finally resorted to torture. I soon discovered that I could push minds out of the psychic conduit like my mind was. When used against The Gifted, it cuts them off from their talents that required it's use. In a sense, I can cause other minds to be beached as well, unable to travel the waves of the psychic conduit."
An unbearable pain suddenly ripped through his head, like his skull was being torn open and his brain picked through. The pain started to recede and he noticed he was on the ground, his knife was several feet away. "I never did lose my talent for causing mental damage. I discovered how it works though. It's difficult to explain, but I'll try. What happens is that I send a portion of the psychic conduit through your mind. Imagine part of the ocean travel through a ship. It's too much for the ship, or the mind, to take and causes quite a bit of damage." Archades didn't know what hurt his head more: Adel's attack or his explanation.
"I'll tell you. Hate has been manifested. I hate the Syndicate so intensely that I've made it a weapon against them." Adel walked over to Archades and stood over him. "The only thing I hate more than the criminals that roam our streets are psychics who use their gifts for unworthy purposes." Archades saw the sizzling energy pointed his way, he saw a condemning flash of dark light, then he saw no more.
The first letter read:
Dear Jonathan Iverson a.k.a. "Smith",
Years ago you made a deal with my father that sealed his fate. It also sealed mine...and yours. I will be a curse to you and your operation. Your reign over this group of misguided mentalists has ended. If I don't kill you, I'll cause enough problems that some young upstart will.
The second read:
Dear Alexander Martin a.k.a. The Whisperer,
For years you've enjoyed getting into peoples heads and torturing them. You tortured my father that way as you killed my mother; I believe that causes a dispute between us. I am not an affiliate of the Syndicate, even though I was raised within it, but you are. Remember, the Syndicate settles it's disputes with blood.
The last read:
Dear Samuel Akito a.k.a. The Doorman,
You've spent your carrier with the Syndicate acting as the clean up man. Never coming in until there was no turning back. You would tell yourself that your victims were in pain and you were merely putting them to rest. You had a conscience which makes you worse than your colleagues in many ways. You were always kind to me but never let me out of the Syndicate's grasp. I'll show you what the Syndicate raised.
Alex walked into the his building still brooding in his thoughts. "Hello Mr. Martin," the night watchman said; but he was thinking [that guy gives me the creeps]. Alex smiled to himself, he liked people being uncomfortable around him, it was proof he was superior to them. He rode up to his apartment on the 103rd floor.
He knew something was wrong as soon as he stepped into the apartment. There was a presence there that shouldn't be. Then he saw Adel sitting on a recliner in the living room, staring at him with a gaze that could shame Medusa. Alex's initial reaction was to reach out and take control of Adel's mind but he knew their was no point, Adel's mind was hardly reachable.
Even after receiving a letter from Adel, after reading that a Syndicate assassin was thrown from the roof of a building after having his head blown off, after hearing reports that a man was destroying many of the Boss's safe houses around Khazan, Alex didn't believe that Adel was back in town. Young Adel was like the boogeyman to Alex: a scary story told to keep the underlings in check. Alex had gone through Adel's mind again and again when he was a child and could find no psionic potential there. The trauma he went through sealed off his talents.
But now it was very apparent that Adel was not only in town, but in his apartment as well. Alex reached for his pistol, just before the pain ripped through his head and all he could see was a bright light that burned badly even though his eyes were closed. The pain eased up, the white hot light faded, and he found himself leaning on the counter. Gun forgotten he threw up his guards against mental intrusions, determined not to get caught by another wave of Adel's mind assaults. Adel smiled, a smile of loathing but a smile nonetheless, and began to speak.
"Do you remember the time you brought me here? I think I was seven or eight years old, and "Smith" had given up on reviving my mental talents. Almost everyone but you had by then. You decided that they were going to soft on me and thought that I'd react better to more brutal tactics." Adel eyes never moved from Alex as he spoke. Those eyes looked far too old to be sitting in such a young face; eyes aged by years of sorrow and hatred.
"You sat me here, in the very chair I'm sitting in now, and starting digging through my head, grasping anything that you managed to find and declaring it proof that my mind could be unlocked. You brought in some friends of yours and began torturing me mentally and physically on a weekly basis. They picked at my mind, prying at anything they could to see into my head. It was an incredibly painful process for me, I would have simply opened my mind up if I had control over my mental defenses. Instead I had to suffer, but not in vain: I learned quite a few tricks for digging my way into a persons mind." Adel brushed past Alex's mental defenses; it was as simple as toppling a house of cards.
"So your guards and wards are nothing. Your defenses toppled by the same tactics you once tried to use on me. Well, Whisperer, now you can see the talents you desired to exploit so long ago." Dark energy began to swirl around Adel's hand. Alex was hit with another wave of mental pain, he was on his knees now and was wondering where his gun was. Adel's hand crackled even more, reflecting eerily in his eyes. Alex stared back into those eyes, and hoped his death would be quick. Adel raised his hand, gave Alex one last look of malice, and unleashed his fury upon him.