Mind Control: standard (rank 1)
I walk through the office, several coworkers with their eyes glued to the glass window outside. I walk around to the side of the room and find the door to the balcony, stepping out onto the precarious ledge. Cautiously walking to my next target, standing on the edge of the ledge, fear and remorse in his eyes, whiskey in his hands. I sit down next to him.
His head snaps towards me, fear still flaring in his eyes. I can tell this man is at the very edge of the abyss, drowning in misery. Scared, apprehensive, but most of all, tired, his face marked with the lines of weariness. "W-what do you want?" the man cautiously stammers.
"Nothing, just enjoying the view from this angle." I coolly reply. The city of New York is beautiful given sufficient distance from the shadowed streets below. It was cloudy and raining. It was nice listening to the soft patter of raindrops. Sometimes you gotta admire the little things in life. I almost laughed as I turned to see the curious eyes of the office coworkers and the stream of cars so far below on the streets. Every man could see him on the edge, but no man was willing to offer an anchor, a simple kind word. "Sorry for having a conscience. I saw you here dangling over the edge. Thought I couldn't go to sleep without at least trying to help."
"Ain't no one gonna stop m-me from jumping. Might as well not try!"
"You're right about that my friend. The only one that can stop yourself is you, sadly. Beautiful day isn't it?"
"That supposed to b-be some kinda joke?!"
"I suppose. Maybe it’s just my way of easing some tension," I said as the rain ran down my face. "Here, I'll make you a deal. You tell me your story, and I go back to my home with a clean conscience and you can do whatever the hell you want with yourself."
"W-what makes you think I got a story worth tellin?"
"Not this sorry bastard. Just cause I grew up without a dad and a crazy ass mom? Nah. It wasn't that bad being home alone all the time. At least I wasn't the last rung on the ladder. Always used to push my little sister for what she was worth. Made her life a living hell. I had it going for me, in football. All-American team, got to see the country. Mom or pops never gave a damn, but the little sister was always there. Every single *vulgarity*ing game. And you what the saddest part was? I didn't give two shits. I didn't even want her there, just kept hoping mom and pops would show up, give a *vulgarity* about their son. Got a full ride to college, tore straight through my foot second game. Not like I cared, I was still a young *vulgarity*er in college. Sometimes the line between indestructible and self-destructive passes you by too quickly. Like you don't think getting hammered 4 nights out of the week is normal, like you couldn't remember what it was like when your room didn't look like a collision with a liquor store. Sister tried to help me like always. Pushed her away, like always. But she never gave up. Even organized an intervention with pops and mom. Not like they gave two damns, they didn't want to help me, just vent. Thing probably helped them more than me. Pops even slept through the damn thing." The man paused to take a swig out of his bottle. I could see the rain mixing with the tears on his face. I silently nodded for him to continue.
Tools of the trade
Empathy: superior (rank 2)
Sister was always tryin to help me out. Always put me above herself, until the day she died. Drunk driver. You know what the saddest part is? I couldn't wait for the funeral to end. Not because it pained me to think about her, just because I wanted a drink. Forget the whole *vulgarity*ing funeral, I didn't stay for one goddamn hour. One hour to mourn my poor sweet sister. One *vulgarity*ing hour...."
"I've seen my share of these stories." I said solemnly. "Seen my share of pain. People are out to help you man. God's out to help you."
The man scoffed. "Let me clue you in. There ain't no God."
"But you want there to be a Heaven don't you? You want to see your sister waiting for you at Heaven's Gates, right? How can there be a Heaven with no God?" I stood up, placing my hand on his shoulder. "The human spirit is resilient my friend. There will always be people who can help you. In any case, I've fulfilled my end of the deal. Hopefully, I'll see you later."
I turned and walked back into the office, rain streaming down my shoulders, the gawking coworkers now staring at me. As I was walking out, I heard the crack on the pavement. The man had thrown away his whiskey. I walked away with a smile.
Psychic Vampire: superior (rank 2)
Life is all about progression. Progression is all about change.
The Universe is in constant disarray, a constant battle between fate and nature. Nature is always rejecting fate, attempting to always carve out its own path in the most myriad ways possible. Any highschooler who has taken a chemistry course knows about entropy, the art of the physical universe, always carving out the most diverse sets of path possible. If only those bored high school students knew the power behind the equations they learn. If nature is so spontaneous, than what is fate? The result of a higher being? A product of the human perception? In any case, it does not matter. What does matter is that nature rewards Her agents. She fights her battle with Fate on the landscape of the human spirit, endlessly trying to accomplish one thing. To change the outcome. Whether for good, or for evil, She does not care. I do my job, and I am rewarded with the fruits of my endeavor. I open my mind, shuffling through my newest source of power. John Kemp, a tired soul that was talked out of jumping out his office window, now belonging solely to me. I can now harness the power of his soul, his life force that is a product of nature, and an essential trait of mankind. Usually I let them live, but sometimes I need a lot of energy, so sometimes, I accidentally squeeze them dead, actually, let’s be honest, I squeeze them dead every single time. The ethics of my trade is a tricky business. There is enormous power in the vast complexities of the human mind, power I gain, power I harness. I change the result of human adversity, for human adversity, the conquering of fear and tribulation, which is what the human character is made of. For every outcome I change, its result belongs to me. And what of my fate? Maybe Karma will catch up to me after all, and deal me a dish of my own medicine. After all, nothing is written in stone. For every instance is variable, and every outcome is malleable.
Mind Control: standard (rank 1)
Sometimes you have to play both sides of the fence. Why get power from only one source, if you can get power from two? Sometimes the game I'm playing seems like some twisted love triangle, where I am constantly hiding my endeavors from the other side. To attain power, one must craft a plan, and steal it from those that already have it. If I played only one side of the fence, the powers that be would cut off my power as they saw me growing more powerful through the power they give me. As it is though, they will never see me coming.
Manipulating fate is just as difficult as manipulating nature. Instead of changing the outcome, you must cement it, against all further altercations. It is this way that their fate is sealed. Every choice is a difficult one, contrary to what might you believe, every outcome weighs heavily on my mind. For you see, ethics is a tricky business in my trade. The three variables swirl in my mind, and it takes a honed intelligence to calculate it accordingly. If I could, I would change every person's lives for the better. But sometimes I cannot. It is all for a good cause though sensing the swirls of power; I decided it was time to play Fate's side.
The girl stood in the mirror, staring at her reflection. It was as if the mirror were warped, adding countless pounds to her disgustingly emaciated physique. The sink was a mess littered with weight loss pills; the entire house was a mess. The disorder had warped her mind, focused her to her own self-destruction, until she was no more than a pathetic shell, both physically, and emotionally. Human depravity is always a dark abyss, and every day, I wallow in its filth, desperately trying to wash it off of me, desperately trying to convince myself of my own morality. Why must I live? Why must I thrive while the others die? The situation consumed my brain, and I began having doubts once again. It’s not easy; it’s not as simple as having a black shade of morality when the entire world is shaped in shades of gray. My choices aren't easy, but in the end, there's only one thing that can be done, that MUST be done. If it were as easy as to me being a villain. But you see, I am not a villain, simply complex. And in the end, who isn't? Anyone, in my place, would do the same thing. And if human spirit is overcoming adversity, then it MUST be my right, as a human, to overcome the adversity of this plague of morality.
I reached into the girl's mind, the poor, innocent girl. I saw through her eyes, and looked through the mirror, a once pretty girl, warped by her own desire. She was about to get through it though, counseling sessions with her psychiatrist had helped her greatly. Grabbing the dimensions of the figure, I pulled, in fury, in RAGE. And as I pulled in Rage, the rage reflected from the mirror just as the light did, and once I was done. The girl's image was hopelessly ballooned into a puffy version of her worst fears. I had condemned her own personal hell, composed of her worst fears. Someday, the same torture would fall unto me. Maybe it already has. And now. Now...
Her fate is sealed. She is condemned.
As I walk back home, along the winding pedestrian streets, the choice I just made weighed heavily in my mind. I need this power, need it more than anything. I don't want it, I need it, and that's what sets me apart from the villains. I need to be powerful enough to battle Fate and Nature. Need to bring back the ones I love, need to ensure no one else dies. If I unlock it, if I unlock the power, I will be able to make sure no one ever dies again. And for that to happen, it’s worth stepping over a few lives. It’s completely worth it, I thought with a visible cringe. Little did I know, power corrupts. And soon, I would have the power of a God.