Monday, October 28, 2019

Microstory 1221: Sanaa Karimi

Sanaa Karimi belonged to a bloodline of telepaths that were specifically designated The Casters. The first girl to come of age after the death of the last Caster—which was usually the grandmother—will have the ability to communicate with others on a psychic level. Each individual’s strength and range varies from woman to woman, and will not follow any sort of pattern. Some are better than others, and there appears to be no reason for this. Most choosing ones do not not come from a bloodline, so understanding of it is limited. Sanaa ended up being the most powerful in all her family history, essentially sharing her power with The Emissary. Like him, she could reach out to people in other universes, though because of her personality, didn’t really use it all that much, and it never occurred to her to try to speak with the powers that be. In fact, she didn’t much care to use her ability at all, because she was grouchy, and somewhat misanthropic, so holding conversations with others just wasn’t her thing. People often sought her out to send messages to each other, and she never demanded payment for it, but she certainly would have preferred it if they just left her alone. There was kind of this unwritten rule in her family that no Caster was allowed to time travel, because there was meant to always be one of them at a time. This meant no overlap, and no gaps. But Sanaa never did like following rules. A series of events forced her to throw in with a group of women she would ultimately come to know as her friends. They encouraged her to relax, and be more personable; not generally through deliberate moral lessons, but just because they accepted her in a way that no one before had. Okay, maybe Leona tried to teach her a few lessons, but the others mostly just let her be herself, while simultaneously showing her that she didn’t have to be so guarded around them. It was for them that she sacrificed her safety and life, and she didn’t regret it one bit.

On a nearby planet called Thālith al Naʽāmāt Bida, she and her friends discovered a hidden cave. It acted both as a portal to Earth centuries ago, and also a time trap, where time moved much slower than it did outside. This was a dangerous thing to exist, for either planet, so she agreed to cross over, and destroy Earth’s entrance. They made a plan to bring her back once she was done, but this wasn’t what happened. As soon as she stepped through to the other side, Sanaa lost her psychic ability. Though she wasn’t specifically told it would happen, the stories her ancestors passed down over the years implied that this was exactly why time travel was forbidden; that their link to the cosmos was directly dependent on their own respective time periods. She suddenly saw that she could live her life free from the thing she hated most about it, and she was worried trying to go back would ruin that. But this wasn’t her only reason for scrapping their plan. She never had any intention of returning to her life on Bida. She liked her new friends, and was very appreciative of how patient and kind Leona had been with her, but it was time to move on. To make it easier, she decided to make a clean break. She wrote a note, and made sure it would be delivered to the exact right place, at the exact right time, for her friends to read it almost a millennium later. She didn’t want them trying to get her back; not just because this risked her freedom from the gift, but also because it was dangerous for them. She didn’t always stay in the same time period, and in fact, was worried her power might come back if she didn’t keep moving, but she quite purposefully avoided her original lifetime, with a good fifty year padding on either side, just to be safe. Years later, from her perspective, she sent a second message to her friends, letting them know that she ended up living a good life, and wished only that she could have seen them again.

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