The next four months became a familiar routine. I would spend four days with the Institute learning my powers and how best to utilize them and three days aboard my ship recovering and getting used to dealing with other things that were involved in my new job as an Independent Scout. I found this last part was the most complicated part of my life because one of the things that made my former scout comrades curious was the fact that I had not left the planet yet. I took jobs that involved routine investigation and to be honest were easy money. I actually did not get a lot of work because I was new so about 3 to 4 jobs a month and some I had to turn down because they involved off world excursions. I would politely refuse by lying saying that my ship was in for repairs and would be out for some time. Basically I made enough to keep me in food and other necessities.
What began to interest me was what I could do with my powers and so I began to take that part very seriously. I would spend the night in between training days with Sabine and Madame Hawker. I began to warm up to the idea of girl-girl relationships at this time simply because I saw how well they worked together and seemed very much to be in love. The fact that they were both telepaths probably helped as they truly could tell each other what they were thinking or feeling. You have to have a pretty honest relationship with someone who can read your thoughts if they want to. Not that you can’t block them out but then they know they are being blocked out.
Telepathy is however not the end all of privacy like you might think. This power actually of all the ones I possess took the longest to get all the limitations of it. It costs Psionic strength to use it like all psionic powers and it also take more strength the more distance is involved so you can’t just use it indiscriminately. There are of course a few exceptions namely that once you become a telepath your psionic shield is always up and can block out any unwanted telepathic interference but most other things involving telepathy cost strength and when you are out of strength you can’t use it any more. Some of the routine powers I learned were to life detection and empathy which involved the ability to read, send emotions and implant suggestions. This did not have a lot of cost to them and by the time I was done with training I very rarely had a failure in attempting them.
Other things I could do were more difficult like actually reading surface thoughts and sending thoughts but even this was pretty easy for someone like me. The two most difficult things that took me time to master were how to probe the mind and how to assault it. You need to be pretty high in strength to pull these off and I was never able to do much past a very short-range without exhausting myself. Sabine and Madame Hawker could do the probe at short-range but it took everything they had to assault another mind and often they had to be actually touching the person. This is why psi-drugs are temptations to many.
My other two powers became much more focused as well. Clairvoyance does not really allow you to read the future what it does allow you to do is sense things at a distance and this is what drains your strength. At its most basic level I might be able to sense very rudimentary things about the location is was trying to sense like the room might be closed and locked with a guard dog inside. It gets more difficult and more costly when you try to see and hear in that location. One of my tests was to be at a door and see inside the room that it led to see and hear the conversation behind the door. I could do it but it did exhaust me after a few times of doing it.
Finally, there was my awareness ability. I mastered suspending animation on myself and being able to put myself in a trance that basically resembled cold sleep. I could set the time interval in my head and wake up exactly when I said I wanted to. There were other things I could do with it which were to increase my strength or endurance plus I learned to regenerate. Increasing my strength had the advantage of being able to lift things much more heavy than I ever could before. The endurance benefits don’t seem as obvious but let’s say, like one of my tests. I would find myself in a room full of poison gas? This ability allowed me to survive without to many consequences to my health or body. Regeneration is simply healing but it is more costly the more you have to heal. I however was not to skilled at any of these at the start so the enhancement and regeneration was not as impressive at first. I was told with time and experience I would be better at it.
The one thing pounded into my head during training was conservation of strength. I may be a Psi Strength 11 but those points go fast if you try to do too much and recovery takes time. You can recover about one point an hour so the idea these powers made me some sort of goddess was a little far-fetched. I could for instance send thoughts to Sabine across the apartment but once I did it three times I was pretty much spent. Theoretically I could send my thoughts interstellar distances but would probably take drugs and all my energy. It meant from time to time during the day I could have an advantage with these powers but they would never take the place of just being intelligent and skilled in other ways.
The last two weeks of my training were not related to my powers but the Institute. I learned the symbols that showed where an Institute could be found much easier than just doing an investigation. I learned the telepathic codes that allowed me to contact the local branches without giving away who I was to others. I also learned how to keep my powers as secret as possible which was simply to not use them unless they were truly needed. There was also some discussion about ethics as the Institute did not condone the use of powers to control and dominate others. This sometimes created rogue Psionics but then the institute would track them down when they knew they existed. The one thing I knew for sure as long as I behaved myself for the most part I would have safe house if an Institute branch was present.
My last day ended pretty late and I turned in to my guest room in the apartment. As I lay there I was pondering what to do now when I heard my door open. It was Sabine and Madam Hawker. I was in the middle of my bed and I felt both of them slip under the covers with me one of them on each side. The rest is an intimate moment between them and me but it would sometimes sustain me later when things got really dark.