“It’s nice to meet you!” Angela said. “I was actually looking for you in game. I wanted to….”
She trailed off. A strange feeling crept into the back of her mind; a thousand tiny voices demanding her attention. The cash register on the counter, the demo consoles across the room, even the lights overhead. Every piece of technology reached out to her.
“You have powers?” Angela said.
“Yeah, I’m a technopath,” Leigh replied. “How’d you know?”
“I’m… I guess you could say I’m sort of a mimic,” Angela said. “I absorb other people’s abilities.”
She glanced around the room. A teenage boy in the handheld section was texting on his cellphone. Angela could actually feel the words he was typing, arguing with his brother about what game to buy.
“Is this really how you see the world?” Angela asked, staring at the wires running through the walls.
“Not just see,” Leigh replied.
She glanced down at the debit machine on the counter and six inches of paper spooled out. Printed across the paper were the words, “Impressed?” Angela furrowed her brow and the machine printed out, “Not yet.” Leigh laughed.
“Nice,” she said. “Hey, what are you doing for lunch?”
Angela met Leigh in the food court at noon. As she sat down with her meal, she could feel the fluorescent lights overhead, the cellphones in the pockets of people around her, the appliances in all the various kitchens. It was like being plugged into a vast electronic network.
“How do you cope with all this?” Angela asked. “I have a hard enough time dealing with a few random people’s thoughts floating around in my head.”
“It’s just normal for me,” she said. “Most of the time, I don’t even notice it. Like how you don’t really notice yourself breathing until someone mentions it.”
Angela froze a moment, then said, “Dammit.”