A no will also do.

<Kioku> It's around the middle of the day when the text comes to Ellie's phone. It's simple, short, Aiko's preferred method for remote messaging. <Cold. Help?>
<Nemi> The reply is similarly short. <Can do. Where to?>
<Kioku> <Room. Unlocked. Identify to avoid shock.>
<Nemi> < OMW. > And naturally, within a moment or two, there's a gentle knock at the door. "It's Ellie." And the door's opened!
<Kioku> Aiko smiles from her place lying on the futon, all the lights off as they always are, though sun streams through the curtains. "It'll lock behind you. Thanks so much for coming…"
<Nemi> "Of course." Ellie doesn't need light either, the Tear Drinker's all-pervading psionic aura enough to let her feel out the surroundings enough to 'see'. It's how she got by before having eyes. She slips through the door, letting it shut, and walks over to sit lightly by Aiko, careful not to squish her feet in the process.
<Kioku> Aiko puts an arm around Ellie and pulls her to lay down, then snuggles in with a happy sigh. \So soft and warm~\ "I hope I didn't interrupt anything? Umm… If you want to play games or do schoolwork or something, I don't mind. You're just… kind of /the best/ at snuggling, so…"
<Nemi> "I know, I know.." Ellie's easily pulled down. Soft and boneless as she is, she IS a good snuggler. ".. don't worry, did all my schoolwork. I'm just.. wiped. Did some psychic stuff, so I'm.. okay just lying here for now." An arm loosely goes around Aiko's shoulders and she keeps her there, at least for the moment. She can help friends. Always good to do that.
<Nemi> ".. something wrong or just wanted an afternoon bit of comfort?"
<Kioku> Aiko shakes her head. "Nothing wrong. Just cold." She blushes a little. "Wanted company. Want to talk about what's got you wiped?" \Does she mean I could call on her if something /were/ wrong?<Nemi> ".. mmh, I get you- not sure if I should, kind of private thing.. Do you know Cin? And Wilhelm?" Ellie shuts her eyes. No need for them in the dark.
<Kioku> "I don't think so. I've heard of Wilhelm. I helped analyze some things for him, but we haven't ever met. It's okay, if it's private you don't have to say."
<Nemi> ".. yeah, short version I was trying to help them, it took a lot out of me. Girlfriend's great, keeping me together, but.. urg. My brain's tired.."
<Kioku> Aiko nods. "I understand brain tiredness. I've been trying to keep a mental link active without touch, and it /just won't work/." \She has a girlfriend? Nice to know, not that it makes a difference to me.<Nemi> ".. yeah- mental links, huh? I can do those without touch- not sure if it's the same, telepathy with technopathy.. think I could maybe see what I could do?"
<Kioku> "You're tired, I wouldn't want to make it worse." The blind girl smiles slightly and snuggles in more. "I'm pretty sure what I've got is just sort of telepathy on a different wavelength. It acts like it, anyway, the range just broadened with practice until I could do touch telepathy too. But yeah… it'd be useful to keep that going after ending the touch, but I don't know if it's possible." She giggles. "Don't let me bore you with technical talk, it's not to everyone's interests."
<Nemi> ".. I mean as a psychic it's kind of to my interest by definition, so.." Ellie tilts her head to rest her chin atop Aiko's head. ".. I could probably do something like it.. uh.. hook you in, let you piggyback off me as I do a link to you? That always works over distance, so maybe if you can get the idea down you could replicate it?"
<Kioku> "I-if you want… I've just been trying to hold on to it while pulling my hand back, but it hasn't gone anywhere. Maybe if I had a better grasp on the feeling…" \She came here to relax though! I don't want…<Nemi> ".. okay. Just- when I knock, figuratively answer. You can probably figure out how that works from the end that's, er, in your head so you could replicate it. .. Wouldn't recommend trying to go in mine, bad things happen."
<Kioku> "Don't worry. I remember the other times. What we're doing is different, but probably not all /that/ different, right?"
<Nemi> ".. right." Ellie squeezes Aiko's shoulder and that figurative 'knock' is soon felt, a slithery wet sort of feeling like a watersoaked thing rapping gently at the back of Aiko's skull.
<Kioku> While at one time it took a moment for Aiko to 'translate' in order to recognize and accept telepathy, the process is now smooth and easy from practice. She answers the knock with her own link, a hand on the back of Ellie's neck at the same time as she lets Ellie in.
<Nemi> And Ellie's mindlink is established. And part of why it must be so tiring is soon demonstrated- it's as if a little fragment of Ellie's own crushingly huge consciousness has squeezed outward in compacted fashion, like a rope between her and Aiko. But- it's simple enough as to be understood. Really almost elegant were it not just so much force.
<Kioku> "Can…" Aiko bites her lip, frowning as she feels out the, well, feeling. "Would it be okay if I Look?" She gestures to her blindfold.
<Nemi> ".. be really careful. I don't want it to.. do bad things to you."
<Kioku> "I… I'll leave the blindfold on so that I can cut it off any moment. Is it really okay…? You understand that if I Look too long, I might find out more than you'd like…"
<Nemi> ".. if you look to long you might end up having massive feedback and have your brain shut off until I can fix it. .. that's what I'm worried about. But go ahead."
<Kioku> "I'll burn up long before anything like that, I think." Aiko gives a small smile that's half grimace, speaking from experience. Then she opens up her focus, her comprehension, Looking at Ellie and trying to hone in mainly on how this specific aspect of her powers work.
<Nemi> The mind link is.. Well, overtly, it's exactly what Aiko felt. Looking at Ellie herself is .. it's exceedingly unpleasant and really cannot be appropriately described being a massive psychic assault, but Aiko isn't trying that. Aiko, focusing on the mindlink.. The stretched consciousness isn't used for thinking so much as a tether to sustain the psychic link over extended distances-
<Nemi> that'd explain why Ellie could only keep them up so long, it takes a bit of energy and effort to maintain, and why they had by necessity limited reach..
<Kioku> Aiko looks harder, doing her best to avoid invading Ellie's privacy by Seeing her other abilities, her biology, or the sorts of things she's well-practiced in, but it's hard - her power wants to take in everything, every detail and feed it to her even though she can only process so much at a time from such a complex being. She jerks her head away and shuts it off after a few more moments, only having actually looked for a grand total of perhaps a
<Kioku> second and a half. Even that short a time, she feels was inappropriate, but… "I… I don't think my mind works like that… I don't think I could do what you do, the same way…"
<Nemi> ".. sorry." It doesn't seem to have left any lasting effects. ".. is it enough that you could figure out something? I know we're very, er, different, but..?"
<Kioku> "Iie, 'gomen ne' iwanaide. Daijoubu." Aiko stretches her neck and nuzzles against Ellie again. "It… gave me ideas. I've been treating this like stretching a cable, trying to do the same thing you do, but when I saw it, I just… /knew/ that it wouldn't work for me, with my power how it is. You showed me why and how what I've been trying wouldn't work, which is just as valuable."
<Nemi> ".. great." Ellie puts her arm about Aiko and carefully rubs her back, smiling there with eyes shut in the dark. "That's what they say about science. A firm no is just as good. MAybe better, since it's surety. What else're you going to try?"
<Kioku> "I'm not sure yet… but I'll think of something! Maybe I'll treat people like machines, and do it all wireless," Aiko jokes, in total agreement with the sentiment. The 'no' will give her leave to explore other possibilities without obsessing over that one.
<Nemi> Ellie smirks to herself. ".. people basically ARE machines, just .. really really complicated ones made of squishy stuff, so, you're halfway there!"
<Kioku> "Mhmm!" Aiko agrees. "They're like… machines without nodes to tap. Actually… I wonder if that's what happens when I touch someone, making a temporary node through the stronger connection. If that's so, and I could make it persist once the connection is established… who knows? Focusing my efforts on holding the connection didn't work, so maybe trying to change the type would."
<Kioku> "Mendokusai… I wish I could Examine my own abilities…"
<Nemi> ".. hey, there you go, you've got a lead to start with," Ellie murmurs into Aiko's red hair. ".. you could try and find someone else who could do it for you? Look at what you do, I mean."
<Kioku> "If someone else can," Aiko murmurs back, smiling slightly and nuzzling in more. "I'll follow up on the lead later. You've helped me more than enough already, and that link seemed… uncomfortable for you, I think? Is it because you're tired?"
<Nemi> ".. yeah. .. they wanted me to show them how the other felt, did a psychic bodyswap and put them back, and that is.. .. it's interesting knowing I can do it, but I'm completely wrecked. Not gonna do it again."
<Kioku> The smile becomes a grimace, and a tiny 'eep' escapes Aiko's lips. "Sounds exhausting, for you and for them. No wonder…"
<Nemi> ".. yeah. Could have some real potential for.. something. .. I'm really not sure there's any situations it'd be a good thing without being really.. ethically questionable."
<Kioku> "Someone braindead and someone permanently physically crippled," Aiko suggests. "But besides that… yeah… I'd worry about the philosophical implications regarding self too. Are they really themselves, the same person? Or are they the original person, completely remade to think and act as though they were the other?"
<Nemi> ".. preserving their consciousnesses as coherent things was WHY it wrecked me so bad. And I don't know if it'd even persist or if you'd start seeing things encoded into the brain taking precedence- would need testing.."
<Kioku> Aiko nods. "Indeed. The mind/brain problem would need testing… which would be even more ethically questionable. … Let me know if you ever find enough volunteers and do it though, I want to see the results. And maybe I can help gather data."
<Nemi> ".. could you find me volunteers? .. we'd need to be really straight with them about what'd happen and what MIGHT happen."
<Kioku> "I can direct anyone who seems a likely candidate your way, and keep on the lookout I suppose. You know, if that 'GWU University' thing I've heard about works out, this might make for a good psychology or biology thesis…"
<Kioku> \Or a philosophy one, naturally.<Nemi> ".. mmm, I did a sociology paper on memes already, and.. this sounds like a great idea. Psych, biology, and philosophy all at once. All disciplins I'm really interested in."
<Kioku> Aiko outright grins. "Shall we, then? I'm sure I'll be pursuing programs in two of those three at some point, it'd be good to have a research partner who I like."
<Nemi> ".. let's do it." Ellie grins in the dark.
<Nemi> ~Scene plotted~

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