Dec 4
The day I got my new assistant

She’s being transferred as I write. The procedure is dangerous, takes up a lot of public time, and is not incredibly liked among the human community. I’m told the surgery went well and that the girl, Amanda’s her name, is already back to full health. She must be someone very special to want to undergo the process. Someone who would see more integration in our society at the expense of her own body. General will adore her, if only for the wanton destruction of her body. 
    The procedure was an Elite operation, which means she will not have the same telepathic ability that I have. Elites can send language, or signs, that take on whatever form of language is in the receiver’s mind. This includes words, emotions, and, rarely, the occasional idea or sketch. That is the extent of their telepathy, equivalent to speaking and hearing language. 
    Superiors, on the other hand, have expanded telepathic ability. They can transmit images, scenarios, maps, or data. I’ve had a Superior send me a smell once. Or one time I was sent what Superiors hear when we talk, but a Superior has never sent me an emotion or body language, something an Elite would transmit readily.
    I have had to wait at the terminal since the beginning of the work day in order to meet up with her. By now the crowds are thinning after the morning commute and I am getting restless. I see someone pass by who looks familiar. I think she has passed by the area several times, which is why she looks distinct from the others walking to and fro. I deliberate that I will stop her the next time she passes by. 
    When she stops drastically in her tracks and seems to have a heated conversation in her head, I know it is her. She must not know who she is looking for, passing me up for someone else. I walk over to her and tap her on the shoulder. She turns around perturbed. 
    “Yes?” she asks. 
    “Are you Amanda perchance?” I ask in return.
    “Yes, why do you ask?” she wonders.
    “I’m Jess and I’ve been waiting to collect you. I’m your teacher. You were expecting someone different, I suppose?” I ask.
    “You’re human.” she sighs. 
    “Yeah, but I know telepathy as well as any Superior. I grew up on it just like they do,” I say, switching to telepathy. “In fact, you need to start practicing. I insist you talk to me only telepathically.”
    She follows me onto a train for Areas 191–200. 
    “What Sector are you from?” I ask.
    Her words come in as if covered in mental fog or through a metaphorical wall of water. 
    “I’m not from Origin, I transferred from Earth . . . ”
    At Area 191, we switch to a train for Neighborhoods 1000–50. 
    “Well, I can see your frustration. You thought you would be working with Superiors and Elites, but you’ll find that you will still be able to interact with them quite regularly. We are going to see a Superior I know really well tomorrow. He might have you take his course on top of the apprenticeship. Then you can take regular meetings at the council and meet plenty of characters and interact with them there,” I assure her. 
    At Neighborhood 1034 we get off at a unpleasantly quiet station. I point at the pylon just down the road a bit as we make our way to it.
    “This is an antenna. It is a hub and relays the computer’s information in all of the mediums of communication. This particular pylon has a transmitter failure, so you don’t need telepathy to know if it is working properly, but you do need telepathy to figure out the problem and resolve it.”
    She pulls out a headset and sticks it on her head. I do not ever use one, because I have the computer tell me in telepathy what it is sending aurally, but it will help her as she learns. 
    “It’s not permitting me access right now,” she states. 
    “Rookie mistake, patch into another functional computer to do diagnostics. Usually the problem has already been identified and queued if you ask for it, which in this case it is,” I tell her. 
    “Why don’t you just do it and then I’ll learn by emulation?” she asks. 
    “The whole reason I asked for an assistant was to have a fully functioning partner as quickly as possible. Within a month I expect you to handle all aural and semantic malfunctions while I handle all the other functions, so that we may both have more free time. Until then, I’ll coach you all night and day until you get this right.”
    “Code 683, something. 9341. What does that mean?” she thinks aloud. 
    That means there’s a structural problem, which is perhaps an easier one to teach because you simply have to order the part and maintenance. Unless the structural problem is computerbased, in which case the repair requires continued repair from us, and usually would not be easily diagnosed either.
    She goes to remove a panel. 
    “What are you doing?” I ask, confused.
    She stops, “I’m going to check to see if the diagnosis is accurate?”
    I nod. Fine. A statistical impossibility, but perhaps it is good to check. The panel opens with a hiss and she removes it easily. A light turns on inside and she looks at the connections and intricate lattice of the board. It must look so beautifully complicated to a luddite. She shakes her head.
    “I don’t understand what I am looking at. And the instructions I am being given are not helping either,” she complains.
    I take a look and find the mentioned piece is not missing or broken, simply unhinged. I grab a welding pen from the tool box at the base of the pylon and warm the surface to readhere to the part. When connected, I turn back to Amanda. She looks about to gloat, but unsure if she was right in opening it. 
    “Test to see if it is working correctly. I’ll teach you about welding some other time,” I tell her.