ARANEA: You really don't have to 8e so em8arrassed. It's perfectly ok. JAKE: Aaaaargh oh god oh god you sensed my stupid sexy thoughts i KNEW it. JAKE: God DAMN you bogus brain strider! JAKE: Someone needs to just kill me. Or at least make me wake up! This is so humiliating i dont even... JAKE: Can you please just slap me really hard? If not in retribution for my ungentlemanly train of thought then at least to just get me to wake up and save me from my own ceaseless buffoonery. ARANEA: Actually I do 8elieve it would 8e within the scope of my a8ilities to get you to wake up. ARANEA: 8ut do you really want me to do that? JAKE: Um... maybe? ARANEA: If it is true that you think I am attractive then why wouldn't you want to spend a little more time here with me? What's the harm? ARANEA: Are you really in such a hurry to leave and feel sorry for yourself, for no explica8le reason? JAKE: Well... JAKE: No. ARANEA: I already told you, Jake. ARANEA: I am used to sensing many different types of feelings. ARANEA: It's given me a different perspective on emotions than most have. ARANEA: For most, the feelings of others are often a mystery. So they are prone to speculation and paranoia a8out the motivations of people they meet. ARANEA: The emotions of others can seem like such well guarded mysteries, people 8egin to 8elieve that's how their own emotions should 8e treated as well. So when someone can read their thoughts easily it feels like a violation. ARANEA: 8ut to one accustomed to reading those thoughts, there isn't the same perception of violation or secrecy. It's more like examining other self evident facts a8out a person, like taking note of their appearance. ARANEA: It's still hard for non-psychics to understand this though, even if you explain it to them. It can lead to some awkward relationships, unfortunately. JAKE: I imagine it would. JAKE: So... JAKE: Youve sensed it when other fellas have had the hots for you eh? ARANEA: Fellows, yes. And ladies. It's happened. JAKE: Yowza! JAKE: You mustve been popular i guess. ARANEA: Haha! Oh no. No, not really. ARANEA: The fact that I've 8een the fleeting o8ject of attraction to a handful really paints the wrong social picture I'm afraid. JAKE: That is hard to believe. ARANEA: It's my experience that people very often underestimate their own lika8ility. I sense that feeling all the time. ARANEA: Pro8a8ly 8ecause they're in the dark a8out others' thoughts. They are usually in dou8t, so they frequently err on the side of pessimism. ARANEA: In many cases they would 8e surprised if they knew how many around them were open to friendship, or possi8ly something more. ARANEA: I would venture that if you had such a sense you even might 8e surprised yourself! JAKE: Ha! Thats a laugh. JAKE: I am quite sure my only suitor is my best bro and even then he is such a jumbled stupid puzzle of unfathomable ironies im not even sure about THAT half the time. JAKE: I wish i had your powers that would be top notch. Id be parked on the corner of relationship lane and EASY STREET. JAKE: I could kick back in my eligible bachelors limousine and never fuck up or ever say anything awkward like i have been doing non stop so far in this dream. ARANEA: Let's not get carried away. That certainly does not descri8e my experience. ARANEA: You would think 8eing a8le to sense the occasional attraction from others would 8e advantageous, and inspire confidence in yourself. ARANEA: And it is nice when that happens, sure. ARANEA: 8ut then, you feel the negative emotions directed at you as well. ARANEA: And even if they are less common than the positive ones, you have a way of dwelling on them, and magnifying them far 8eyond their real significance. ARANEA: It's funny how an a8ility that should give you all the advantages in the world over others can lead you to feel worse a8out yourself than if you never had them. ARANEA: You put all your energy into thinking a8out people with the 8ad feelings a8out you instead of the good, and you try your 8est to fix things. ARANEA: 8ut usually it just gets worse. People think you are over8earing and needy, and they don't understand what it is you want from them. ARANEA: I can see why it can drive some with my a8ilities to a8use the powers. ARANEA: Fortunately I was a8le to resist the temptation. JAKE: So there are people on your planet who do that? ARANEA: On the world I was from, it was rare. Only a few criminals and outcasts would. ARANEA: 8ut in the second iteration I mentioned, it was commonplace. Like I said, things were very different. ARANEA: In my world though, the higher castes have a lot of responsi8ilities. It wouldn't 8e right to a8use my powers. JAKE: So you were in a higher caste because of the hemospectrum thing you mentioned? ARANEA: Ah, so you were listening to my lengthy pream8le! JAKE: I heard all of it! JAKE: I was just um... well go on. ARANEA: Yes. 8lue 8loods like myself were higher than most. ARANEA: The jo8 of each 8lood caste was to serve the needs of all those 8elow it. ARANEA: We were to use our progressively greater longevity and wisdom to help the lower castes learn and grow. To listen to them and try to provide whatever they were missing. Like a hierarchy of caretakers with increasing social responsi8ility. When the order functioned in harmony our civilization would flourish. JAKE: That is sure a neat sounding science fiction utopia. JAKE: Wait duh i mean science reality. JAKE: But then it all went to shit because of that meddlesome demon? ARANEA: Yes. JAKE: The demon you say im supposed to defeat? ARANEA: Yes. JAKE: Hang on. JAKE: Would that be the same demon im named after? ARANEA: Who told you that? JAKE: Uh... JAKE: I guess technically my own brain did? ARANEA: That's interesting. ARANEA: I wasn't planning on mentioning that. Or at least not just yet. JAKE: Why? ARANEA: There's no reason to prematurely overcomplicate an already complicated tale. ARANEA: All facts will fall into place in due time. JAKE: Yeah. JAKE: But its true right? ARANEA: More or less.