Fantastic accomplishments seem like something unattainable and everyone doing the extraordinary seems to be unlike you until YOU do something amazing. Then, you realize those talented, heroic leaders are not different from you in any important ways.
---Clara Branon, Ph.D., Earth's Chief Communicator, 2012 - 2042, responding, at her retirement, to: "How do you feel about being the first global leader and liaison for Earth to the Many Worlds Collective?"
Excellent Skills Program (ESP)
Final Test, Level 11-A:
Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator (CC), and
Moran Ackerman, Chief of OverSeers covert and Special Operations (OSOps)
January 14, 2015 & November 2, 2014
Level 11-A: PRECOGNITION / POSTCOGNITION (stage II)
Discernment of others' accuracy
Earthers' Chief Communicator (CC) and OverSeers special Operations (OSOps) Chief
Final Test Report to InterGalactic Council (IGC)
from “Led” and “Mick,” Assigned Trainers, Many Worlds Collective (MWC)
Excerpts from Video Transcript
[Simulation begins. Room appearance shifts to the setting of the exam. They are in a high-ceiling, large room of a rocky cave. It is mostly dark, but some stalactites glimmer above their heads, reflecting light from the cave's entrance. A large pool of water is in front of Clara and Moran, between them and the entrance. There are stalagmites around and in the center of it, some apparently quite large. The way to the entrance seems blocked by them and the water, whose depth is unseen. The stalactites' dripping into the pond are the only sounds.]
[Suddenly, the entire cave shudders several times. Rocks fall on Clara and Moran as the roof and walls crack. The pond roils. Some stalagmites crack and tumble down, further blocking the entrance. A few large rocks also fall and roll toward the entrance. A lot less light is visible at the mouth of the cave. Clara and Moran appear, seated on the cave floor, in the center.]
CLARA: Damn it, Moran. A cave? Why a cave? And, during a quake? Are you completely insane?
MORAN: It is fine, Aunt Clara. I timult our simulation and we do great.
CLARA: “Great”? Define “great”!
MORAN: You can trust me, you know.
CLARA: Trust is not my strong suit. As you well know.
MORAN: Noted. But, by Level 11, I believe you are supposed to be more, well, trusting. At least of me.
CLARA: I pick a city setting. Fraggers and Trenchers attack. We do “great” in that sim as well. Why do you override my choice?
MORAN: Because I can. No, seriously: because this one is better. I promise. We ace it. For sure.
CLARA: Look out!
MORAN: Whoa. Another earthquake! [He stands up to protect Clara from falling rocks.]
CLARA: [She stands up to push Moran away from the center, toward the wall.] Closer to the wall is safer! Come on!
[Outside the cave's mouth are sounds of shouting, many people running, but none can be seen from where they stand.]
CLARA: The Trenchers and Fraggers can find us here and then we are trapped. I can feel some of their psi-activated scouts searching for us now. SHIELD!
MORAN: Shield up. Thanks. I am trying to timult our way out of here. Can't feel them and timult at the same moment, yet.
CLARA: Sure. Sure. Okay. [breathing hard] Moran? Do you feel them now? About six or more, I think.
MORAN: And counting.... Yes, seven. I sense two more powerfully. Those are the ones to monitor. Setting up surveillance.
CLARA: Quakes coming again. Not as strong, but several.
MORAN: How many more?
CLARA: I think three. Maybe. I can't tell. You?
MORAN: InKC [Inner Knowing Center] time. [Closes his eyes.]
CLARA: Right. [Closes her eyes.]
MORAN: Two more, I think. Each weaker, but creating more damage. We do survive this, CC, although I see many larger cracks occurring and this entire part of the cave's collapsing. We have to go deeper into it and find another way out.
CLARA: Absolutely not! I don't see the collapse. Going deeper is going nowhere, unless you see another exit. Do you? And, where are the psi-scouts? They can capture us as we exit!
MORAN: Maybe. Not sure. Checking. [closes his eyes]
CLARA: Well, I'm not going deeper if you're not sure and I can't timult it myself for whatever reason. I think we can move one of those larger rocks and get out this way. Use our telekinesis.
MORAN: No. That pond could be very deep and cold. How do we get across it? How do we not get bisected by one of those... pointy things on the way? TK doesn't help that. Maybe if we levitate...
CLARA: Stalagmites. “Stalagmites try with all their might to reach the stalactites, which hold on to the ceiling with all their might.” Can't believe I remember that, from fourth grade.
MORAN: Plus, you can't move squat. Your upper body strength is terrible. You know that.
CLARA: Desperate times...And, TK does not require physical strength. Let's try.
MORAN: Worth a shot.
[Moran and Clara close their eyes, then open them and point their fingers at the largest rocks, but not the same ones.]
MORAN: Aunt Clara, not that one: this one!
CLARA: Oh. Why? This one is blocking it more.
MORAN: Well, that one is closer to the entrance, but it's larger. If we move this one, we can squeeze by and get out. I know we can move this one.
CLARA: Do you see that or are you guessing?
MORAN: Well, estimating. Can't timult anything about that. You try.
CLARA: Nope. No views.
MORAN: Let's try the smaller one, then.
[Entire cave shudders again. More falling rocks. They cling to the wall, Moran is covering Clara's head with one arm and his own with the other. Larger rock rolls over the entrance, almost completely blocking it. Smaller rock near it cracks and falls apart. More shouting and running from outside the cave.]
MORAN: I can't precog the rest of this for love or money. What is my problem? Can't feel the psi-scouts, either.
CLARA: When we use our TK for something so large, all the other Excellent Skills are temporarily blocked. That happens to me frequently in difficult assignments. [Coughing.] Oh, oh. Gas. Probably CO2.
MORAN: How do you know?
CLARA: No odor. The other poisonous gases in caves would stink and burn our eyes; this one doesn't. We're lucky it's not ammonia, sulfur dioxide or methane.
MORAN: [Coughing] Great. Clear eyes, but I can't breathe. Less oxygen, more CO2. What now?
CLARA: This my phobia: suffocating in some way. Anything that deprives me of air freaks me out. I don't even like to be in vehicles or buildings without air moving, probably because of my having asthma attacks when I am a lot younger, right? Almost don't learn to snorkel or SCUBA dive because of my fears. And, my general mistrust of equipment made by humans doesn't help, either.
MORAN: A snorkel is hardly “equipment,” Aunt Clara. Really. The only failures with snorkels occur by the user's incompetence. [laughs]
CLARA: So? I admit to being so scared I choke. I breathe at the wrong time, I sputter, I forget the correct procedures, all due to fear. I know it's my fault. That's the mechanism of phobias: we make our own misery. What about you?
MORAN: Okay. Claustrophobia. Don't put me in a tight space where I can't move, can't see, can't get enough space to think. I freak. Probably due to my two older brothers' “sandwiching” me in all kinds of places when they're bigger and stronger. They think it's funny. Kuni lemls [goofs, idiots; Yiddish].
CLARA: Like a cave whose entrance is getting more blocked with each quake? Like this?
MORAN: Don't rub it in.
CLARA: We expect The Band to force us to face our fears, so here we are. This cave is your choice; the circumstances are our test. Perfect.
MORAN: We are going to succeed in this. I know we can.
CLARA: My latest method for overcoming my fear of not breathing is to practice dying. You know, when we leave our bodies, when we die, our last breath is an out-breath. We exhale and never inhale again in that physical body. But, our brains are not dead, not inactive at all. I have this extreme fear that, at my death, when I exhale that final breath, I have a total internal freak-out because my brain knows it wants air and can't get it any longer. I know I am ridiculous, but at the same time, that must be what happens, if we're awake and know what's going on, right? So, I practice. I am making progress.
MORAN: How do you practice dying?
CLARA: Like this. Tune in. [She demonstrates three long, slow breaths, inhaling, exhaling, then not inhaling after the third exhalation. Moran watches intently. When she gasps loudly, he startles.]
MORAN: Wow! You are truly panicking in there, CC. Is that “progress”?
CLARA: Yes, Moran. It is. I can go longer and longer without breathing again. When I do take a new breath, it's not from fear; it's a choice, now. Can't help how I feel, but I can be better at controlling what I do and my motivation for doing it. Those are my signs of “progress,” with everything.
MORAN: Another quake is coming. Feel that?
MORAN: Bracing. [He looks around, his eyes wide open. Stands up, move around. Pushes against the walls, which are stable. Checks for movement. He returns to their wall positions.]
CLARA: Breathing. [Taking long, slow breaths again. Coughs at the end of them.]
[Cave shudders again. More falling rocks. Clara uses TK to keep them from hitting her or Moran. Moran senses that and joins her efforts. They create a telekinetic shield above and around them.]
CLARA: Perfect. Should be doing that all along. We raise our psi shields against the scouts and forget to protect ourselves from rocks right here. We're dopes. [Coughing]
MORAN: Assuredly. Less dopey, now. Good shield, CC.
CLARA: Not bad, Chief!
MORAN: Ready to try that entrance, again?
CLARA: Giving up on going deeper?
MORAN: I can't tell if that's best. [Coughing] We're running out of air, here. How could it be better further in? I might be wrong...
CLARA: [Coughing] Try to timult again. Timelines are shifting quickly. [Coughing] I can feel them but can't get details.
MORAN: Well, if you can sense them, why can't you timult for both of us? [Coughing]
CLARA: Don't know. [Coughing] You try.
MORAN: Okay. [closes his eyes. Opens them immediately.] YES! There is another way out, or in. Many, actually. I see them, now. [Coughing] We can go deeper and get out. C'mon. [He pushes her away from the wall.]
CLARA: Hold on. Are you sure? [Coughing] We could try to TK that rock, again. As long as we're here...
MORAN: [Coughing] We can't stay here. Good air is running out too quickly. [Hands appear in the space above the rock blocking the cave's entrance. Shouting from outside the cave. “They're in here!”] CLARA: We have to get out of here. NOW. [Coughing] Can you teleport the rocks?
MORAN: No. [Coughing] Feeling too weak. I can move US, by walking. Let's go!
CLARA: What if you're wrong? [Coughing] What if you merely see what you want to see? That happens a lot, you know. [Coughing] Happens to me all the time. How can you tell? Let's try to move that rock, first. [coughing]
MORAN: No. I'm right. [Coughing] We're moving. That's it. [coughing] Now. Another quake any minute; we lose what air is left. [Coughing] MOVE!
CLARA: Let me try....[Coughing] Oy. I have thirty years on you and mild COPD. I can hardly breathe, now. [coughing a lot longer, panting]
MORAN: Aunt Clara: You have to trust me. [Coughing] Go! [Coughing]
CLARA: [Coughing] All right. I'm going. [Coughing, panting]
[Moran takes her hand and leads them toward the darker part of the cave. Both are coughing almost continually, not talking much. Cave shudders again. Falling rocks around them; their TK shield protects them as they move. Clara looks back to see another rock falling, completely blocking the entrance. She moves faster behind Moran, who is almost running, pulling her along. They move quickly, then Moran stops.]
MORAN: Wait. Wait here. [Coughing] I have to.... [He closes his eyes, then a ball of light appears in front of him.] There. Okay. Now we can go. [Coughing]
CLARA: When do you learn to do that? I don't remember that class. [Coughing, panting]
MORAN: Mick. [Coughing] Special lessons. OSOps. Comes in handy.
CLARA: How much further? [Coughing]
MORAN: Not much.
CLARA: I'm getting tired. [Coughing]
MORAN: Energize, then.
MORAN: Energize. Like this: [Moran blows two quick breaths out, then three quick in. Repeats.]
CLARA: [imitates Moran] More from Mick?
MORAN: I guess. I don't know what you aren't getting. Sure.
CLARA: [Clara imitates his breathing, twice.] That works! Thanks! Less coughing, too.
MORAN: Not much further. There! [Moran points to a ray of light to their left.] That one!
CLARA: The air is better, now. You save us, Moran.
MORAN: Perfect. It's large enough that we can walk right out!
CLARA: Wait. Check for psi-scouts.
CLARA: I'm sorry for not trusting you. You are good at this, Nephew!
MORAN: Getting better, for sure. Thanks. Ready to 'port back?
CLARA: Teleport us in your best style, please, Chief!
[They exit the cave, then emanate at The Campus. Simulation ends.]
Clara and Moran engage in day-long simulation as Final Exam for ESP Pre- & Postcognition, Level 11-A, January 14, 2015, Earth Calendar
Moran disputes Clara's assessments in several sections. Arguments ensue. Without Clara's concessions to Moran and Moran's successful assertions of his correctness, they both must re-take the exam.
Certainty in discernment of others' accuracy.
Elimination of attachment to one's own rightness.
Appropriate confidence vs. inappropriate/misplaced pride.
Trust in the other's abilities.
Managing phobias to think clearly.
They utilize their strengthening capabilities to trust one another to argue, concede, decide, move on, in many situations, e.g., when capturing Eli Kriegsman and when Liora Ackerman is kidnapped, alternating who concedes, who assesses accurately, with greater ease.
Clara to practice relinquishing control and attachment to being “right.”
Moran to assert his assessments with more confidence, particularly with senior OSOps.
Clara to build on this to trust Moran more.
Both to continue to manage phobias.
Both to continue to check and double-check the other's assessments often.
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