Training again. Emily groaned and glared at the back of James' head. All this mental training was starting to make her brain hurt and James wasn't letting her take a break.
"It's times like this that I wish I had the power to end you." She muttered as he turned away.
"Technically you do." He turned and offered her a grin. "You could speed up my time, make me old. Or turn back my clock until I vanished."
Emily paused, surprised. She hadn't thought of that. Suddenly her power seemed scary; a terrible force that had the opportunity to be terrifying. James turned back to her frowning.
"What?" She asked.
"Stop it. You can't be scared of it. You have to own it. This is your power; it does as you want. Fearing it will give it leave to do as it wants and that you will never want."
"But I..." She didn't want this power. Didn't want it or the terrifying ideas that surrounded it.
"Emily, stop." James laid his hand on hers and warmth rushed her body. She felt relief flooding through her, the worries that had dominated leaving her as quickly as they had appeared. "You direct your powers, and you are too good to cause harm to the innocent. Don't fear yourself. I trust you and you need to trust yourself."
Maybe she could turn back time and find out where Kate was before she had been picked up. Maybe then she'd be able to get in touch with her instead of waiting all this time for-
"What are you thinking about?" James asked, still holding her hand.
"Who is Kate?"
"The one you were living with?"
"You know you're not supposed to have contact with your old lives. Not now at least."
"I've been messaging her but she won't-"
"They won't have reached her. And if she's messaged you, they won't get through. They have to make sure you're trustworthy first, and they can't fully know until you've finished your training. Then you have to swear that you won't tell anyone, and fully acknowledge that if you do your powers will be removed... that's the least punishment. It depends on how serious the situation is."
"A friend who keeps the secret is... well... rare. There are very few norms who know about us. They generally come with a security clearance. But telling one without being given consent to do so, can cause serious problems. And if they decide to tell anyone else, that is when the situation reaches a critical stage. We cannot have the whole world knowing."
"Because how long do you think we'd last?"
"What do you mean."
"You remember how you reacted? Imagine the mass hysteria if everyone knew that somewhere there were a group of people with powers that could mean the end to the human race as they know it. Humans, we're fighters. We don't like to see someone else pushing in."
Emily sighed and put her head in her hands.
"I don't know what I'm doing."
"You're freaking. It's okay, we all do it."
"I don't want this. I don't want to have some secretive life away from the people I care about. I was at Uni, I had friends, I was going to do something with my life."
"Isn't this something?" James asked, lifting up Emily's head. "Isn't this a greater purpose than getting a job and working away the rest of your life? We can help people. We can change the world for the better."
Emily understood what he was saying. She still felt the stirrings of panic, but she understood that he saw the wonder in this life, while she saw the terror. Perhaps it was something gleaned over time.
"I'll give it time."
"Good." He smiled and pulled away. "That's good."
Emily smiled and shrugged her shoulders.
"You're very convincing. Guess that's a good trait for a teacher."
"Guide. Not teacher."
"Well if you're only my guide does that mean I don't actually have to listen to you?"
"I'd advise against ignoring me considering what just happened."
"Besides, if I was your teacher you might get distracted. You've got a thing for them haven't you?"James felt the emotions change in the room again as Emily's face dropped. "Sorry I... it was meant to be a joke."
"It's... it's okay. I just... I think I'm done for the day." Emily stood and didn't wait for a reply. She left the room, sadness swirling through her as she headed towards the outside. A walk around the water would let her think.