Mind Games

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"Alright, everyone listen up!" Griffin yelled to the crowd of people in front of her. "Everyone's here so we are ready to begin!" She gestured for me to approach and I took an uneven step closer. We were all gathered in the dining room, taking up most of the mismatched chairs around the large table in the middle. My heart pounded in my chest as 27 pairs of eyes stared at me. 29 If you counted V and Ben standing behind the table. 

Right, start with introductions. At least that was Stewart's advice. Just stay calm. This is for them, remember. The thought sent a glimmer of strength through me. I grabbed onto it before it could disappear. 

"Right... well... for anyone who...err...don't know me yet, I'm Rose..." Must they all be staring at me like that? They look so intimidating. "Thank you all for volunteering your...time, it'll really help a lot," I looked to Griffin, she sent me an encouraging look. I forced my heart to calm its raging beats and my hands to stop shaking. But speaking in front of people, especially such a large group had never been my strong suit. Luckily, Stewart saw the anxiety in my eyes and took over.

"So basically, as I've explained before, today she'll try to connect our minds and give us a small instruction. Nothing drastic or anything, it's just so she can practice on a lot of minds at once," He smiled, always the charismatic one. "Everyone still okay with that?" A murmur of agreement went around the table. I could sense all kinds of emotions floating around the room, but it was mostly apprehension and uncertainty that surrounded me. 

"Right...err... I'll try it then." At least I would feel more confident now. I closed my eyes, in part for concentration, and also because I didn't want to scare anyone with how scary they will probably look soon.

I took a deep breath and reached for that window inside my mind, I cracked it open a little. I instantly felt the power flood through me and my mind began to clear. The fear and anxiety were quickly washed away by the calm, cool confidence I've grown a little more used to. Slowly, timidly, I reached out towards the people sitting in front of me. It was like my mind had turned into a wave of warm, calming water as I allowed it to flood into the room. 

I felt the calm stir a little as I sensed the power coming from the people around me. This will definitely be a lot harder than before. I soon became very aware of the minds that would be easier to get into and those who would be more of a challenge. Surprisingly, Stewart and Griffin fell into the latter category. I decided to target the ones that seemed slightly easier, as it might help to tether them first. 

I set my sights on a guy sitting close to the other end of the table, as my mind got closer I could feel his own power raging inside his body. He was trying to sense me coming, but his ability didn't have any mental aspect, so his barrier was very thin. I imagined my mind turning into a thin, calming mist and slowly passed through. I was greeted by the familiar mess of thoughts and emotions. Silently and carefully I willed the thin, silver thread into my hands, making sure to remain unseen as I tied it around his mind. 

I pulled back and immediately jumped towards the next person, a girl sitting across from him. Her power was more subtle, but still quite strong. I took a little extra care with her but managed to tie the tether and retreat relatively easily. I did so over and over again, not counting how many minds I had gotten to. It didn't take long for me to start feeling the effects of the effort I was putting into this. Exhaustion slowly began clawing its way towards me. 

As much as I wanted to keep going, I knew it would be counterproductive if I passed out now. With a resigned sigh, I sent a small instruction through the tethers and carefully pulled myself from their minds. I opened my eyes just in time to see 9 people jump up from their seats and clap their hands in front of their faces. 

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