Lynn woke to find herself lying on the couch in Rose’s living room. She still remembered the dream about her past. It had been a turning point in her life. The new discovery the she had uncovered was quickly incorporated into the standard teleporter training plan. Once it was explained to a teleporter that was a least level 3 they would be able to use the trick themselves.
However the thing that had really changed for Lynn that night had been something else. She quickly grew stronger from that day, quickly becoming level 5 and exceeding all of her friends. It had only been a couple of years since then, she had been acclaimed as one of the fastest growing Espers. The fact that she had so quickly became a level 8 however isolated her.
Most of the new discovers she had made on her way to her current strength had been shared with the University however some of them hadn’t been replicated by other Espers. She had tried to explain her corrective teleports which allowed for extremely accurate long distance teleports but nobody had been able to replicate her achievements.
Rapid predetermined teleportation was likewise another trick she had been unable to teach. That had been disappointing because those two tricks combined was what allowed her to teleport faster and farther then any other teleporter before her and were a major factor in her rise to level-8-hood.
However that was the past, something that had happened a few years ago. Now however she felt the same sort of feeling that she had then. The spacial tunnel opened and she was in the air. There were a couple of extra almost imperceptible flickers and she was high in the sky above the Entertainment District.
This high in the sky the stars were easily visible and very bright. The light from the city below her barely hide their luster. She reached out toward the stars like she had once done years ago. This feeling, the feeling of uncertainty. It felt like an old friend that she hadn’t seen in a while had come back to visit her. How long had it been since she had felt like this, a year, two years? It felt like a lifetime.
Yet, hanging in the sky, using the momentum of occasional teleports to keep her from falling, she felt that nostalgic feeling once more. The desire to be more powerful, to reach beyond what she already had, to not be content with the moon but to desire the stars. She had been unable to recognize it year ago but now she clearly felt it, that barrier that her mind had erected in front of her. The mental block that prevented her from becoming more powerful.
The wall was a hard a stone, comprised of her uncertainty of whether getting through this wall was possible and the fear of what she would be able to accomplish if she did get through it. Until just a minute ago she hadn’t recognized that the wall even existed. Now it was there, looming on her mental horizon. However now she desired to get past it, to exceed her own strength, to be strong enough to protect the entire Academy District from the Euclidian Key. No, to be strong enough to protect Mü from whatever might happen in the future.
The desire was just the smallest crack in the wall of her fear and uncertainty but it would be enough. She decided to bring down the wall, reach beyond the moon and toward the stars. It might take time to tear down the wall but tear it down she would, stone by stone unless every block of it was gone.
Then she started to fall. She had released her corrective teleports that had been keeping her airborne and now she was in free-fall. She closed her eyes and felt the wind streaming by her and waited as the ground got closer to her. She had wanted to be able to fly and she guess that this was good enough.
When Lynn stepped in from the balcony she found Emiray moving around the in kitchen. Lynn glanced at the clock. It was still a while until dawn. Even at the altitude she had been at it had still been dark. “Aren’t you still supposed to be asleep?” Asked Lynn. Lynn had gone to be early to she had gotten enough sleep but Emiray had probably been up hours after Lynn had gone to bed.
“Oh, sleep, I’ve got plently. I’ve had a good four hours and that is enough for me to keep working all day.” Said Emiray as she managed to fish out a bowl and spoon from somewhere.
“Four hours? What sort of robot are you? Can you really function with that little sleep?” Just the thought of getting that little sleep made Lynn sleepy. She did find it amusing however that her death defying stunt through the air just now hadn’t even pushed away the last remnants of tiredness. Humans could get used to the strangest things.
“Four hours is about how much rest Rob needs to recover its energy cells so I guess I must have adjusted to that schedule. Now it seems quite normal to only be getting four hours of sleep. It is actually harder to sleep longer, I’m too used to getting up and going to work in the Belly to break the habit today.” Lynn shrugged as she searched though the cupboards for something to put in her bowl.
“Rose said she was a bad morning person and the we should help ourselves to breakfast when we got up. She said she would join us later but probably not before ten.” Emiray managed to fix a box of cereal and stared at it quizzically as if she wasn’t quiet certain if that was what you really ate for breakfast. She was more used to jerky and other long lasting meals with the occasionally hot meal created by a lucky animal trap.
“Emiray, have you ever had a mental block? Like maybe you wanted to get better at Engineering but you found it difficult to until something special happened to you?”
Emiray poured some of the cereal into the bowl and then began to eat it without milk. “I suppose, although it wasn’t quite what you describe. Engineering has a lot to do with study and practice but both of those eventually come down to motivation. If an engineer is motivated to get better then they will, it is as simple as that. Now there was once a time when I didn’t want to keep being an Engineer. My uncle taught me everything he knew about being an engineer but when he died,”
Emiray paused with a look of pain on her face, “When he did I wanted to stop being an engineer. I wanted to escape from it all, to run away and never look back. Eventually I managed to realize that if I did then then my Uncle would truly be gone. That everything that he taught me, all those precious moments together with me, would all be wasted. It was that thought that eventually rekindled my passion for engineering and got me learning again.”
“I’m not certain if that is a mental block like you mentioned but it did keep me from learning more engineering.” Said Emiray. She stuck another spoonful of dry cereal into her mouth before continuing, “I don’t know why you people like this stuff. It isn’t really that great.”
Lynn laughed, “Well, most people eat cereal with milk.” Emiray glared at Lynn with a ‘Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?’ look. Lynn continue to distract Emiray way from that annoyance. “I suppose you can call that a block. It is close enough I guess. Yours was more situation then mine but I guess the final effect is the same.”
“Is there a reason that you are thinking about this now?” Asked Emiray as she open the fridge door and pulled out the half gallen bottle of milk inside.
“It’s just,” Lynn hesitated, “If the Euclidian Key really does get activated using the Ark Tunnel Reactor then I don’t know if I will be able to stop it. I’ve grown so used to being strong enough to handle anything that I feel uncertain at the prospect of unknowing. Now that I want to get stronger I realize that I don’t know how to get stronger. It is a strange mental block I suppose.”
Emiray pondered those thoughts as she took her first bite of milked up cereal. “After I came back to engineering after my uncle died I was given my own post in the Belly. That meant I was alone, except for Rob, and I had to deal the the problems that I found down there by myself. I said that getting better at engineering requires study and practice but there are some things that you can’t study or practice for. Sometimes an engineer is given a problem that they don’t know a solution for. What do you think they do in that situation.” Emiray waggled her spoon at Lynn in question.
“Ask one of the most experienced Engineers what they should do?” Asked Lynn.
Emiray shook her head, “No, while that might work for a regular engineer, a master engineer can’t do that because they have nobody to go to for advice.” Emiray raised her spoon before continuing. “When you find a problem for which you don’t know the solution, the correct answer is to create the solution.”
Lynn looked confused at the younger woman, “And how does that help be get stronger. How can I just create the method for getting stronger.” However she did understand what Lynn was getting at, she had invented dozens of techniques that improved the usefulness of teleportation. However those didn’t effect a users raw power, how much energy an Esper was able to use. That was something that seemed to grow naturally as an Esper trained until it reached a certain point.
“No, not how to get stronger,” Said Emiray, “What it means to be stronger. Instead of wondering how to become stronger, instead think about what you would want to be able to do if you were stronger.”
Lynn thought back to her dream and the memories that came with it. “I see, I already had the solution in my hands but confused it for something else. I knew what it meant to be a stronger teleporter, to do what none had done before. It was once I had accomplished that that I became what I am now. Now that I am the strongest teleporter I need to decide what it means to be a stronger teleporter. It can’t just be speed or distance, those come with being a stronger teleporter they aren’t what make a stronger teleporter.”
Emiray nodded in approval, like a teacher regarding a student that did well. Lynn found that fairly annoying considering she was older then Emiray. Emiray said, “Since you have found the right question, you just need to find the right answer.” Emiray shoved the last spoon full of cereal into her mouth and the set the bowl down of the table, “Now I’m going to make sure that everything is in working order, it is always a good idea to double check things before everything gets dicy.”
When Emiray left Lynn sat down on the couch and looked blanking at the vacant television. Even if she knew the right question she didn’t know if she could find an answer. Over the last couple of years she had burned through her ideas about what a teleporter should be able to do. Now that she could accomplish all of those she didn’t know what a stronger teleporter would be able to do that Lynn wasn’t already capable of doing.
It was a conundrum alright and Lynn didn’t even have a the faintest clue about how to solve it, she just knew that she wanted to solve it.