The Sixth Sense

Humans hardly ever ventured into the colony of mutants, and mutants almost never came into the human world. What little interaction there was was limited to necessary trading of commodities that one needed, and the other possessed. This too was always done through chosen representatives, and the masses never participated in these exchanges, most were unaware of it.
This peaceful divide had existed since time immemorial, though some of the elders spoke of a time when there was only one race on this world. The world was peaceful back then, as it is now. But there are centuries of conflict dividing the two epochs. Conflict to decide who was more powerful, which race was superior, which should be the ruler, and which the ruled. All this started by the desire of a handful of humans, to improve humanity through their experiments. They intended to empower humans with a sixth sense, the power to read thoughts, without speaking a word. Their experiments were very successful, but the converted ones had to pay a terrible price for the new power, they lost speech altogether.
While a large number of humans crossed over to the other side, many chose not to “improve” themselves. And thus was born the divide, and an age of war followed, until it was understood by both that none was the more powerful, and must coexist, albeit separately, for their cultures had grown very differently in the years of isolation.
Whether this story is true or not, nobody knew, for no records existed. However, it was taken more as a legend to be respected, and a studied separation existed between the two races, which none tried to violate.
The exchanges of materials took place at certain appointed checkpoints. There was always a representative of either side, who took away all that was brought, and provided a list of items required on the next meeting. One such checkpoint was manned by Mali the human, and Wust the mutant. Both of them had been at this post for over ten years, and had formed quite a friendship, of which neither spoke to another soul, and were afraid to think about themselves. Such a relationship was unheard of, and the fear of rejection by their communities kept it that way.
Mali grew more curious every day. She always asked Wust to describe the special sense that he had. Wust had tried several times, but it was not easy, especially with the total lack of speech. He had tried to show her some books they had on the thought-reading sense, but it was not enough for Mali. The more she read about it, the more she wanted to know, the more she wanted to understand. Finally, that day came when Mali requested Wust to do what he had feared most. She wanted to experience the sixth sense. He immediately signaled, “No! You must not!!”
“Why? Just for once, just for ten minutes.”
“There is a divide between our races, and let it be so. One must know when to stop.”
Mali was not to be turned down so easily. She knew of the serum which could give a human the sixth sense for ten minutes. Finally Wust relented. It was agreed that on the next exchange, Wust would carry a syringe with the serum, and they would try it out in the evening.
Mali could not contain herself throughout the next month, and her parents noticed the change in her. They did not like her choice of career, and always warned her to stay away from “that dirty mutant”. Now they were more convinced than ever that it was his evil influence on their daughter. They decided to speak to the border control authorities.
Thirty days passed like thirty years for Mali, but they passed, and the time had come for her to try out the sixth sense. She greeted Wust with more warmth than usual, and Wust replied with less. After the contents of the trains were verified, and they went off in opposite directions, Wust and Mali went into the now desolate checkpoint office. Wust tried to dissuade Mali one last time, but she would hear none of it. She simply rolled up her sleeves, and signaled Wust to begin. Reluctantly, Wust pulled out the syringe, and injected Mali with the serum.
At first Mali did not feel anything, and was wondering if her dear friend had fooled her. One look at Wust told her that he had not fooled her, the serum was real. It came to her slowly as a soft murmuring, which grew into a terrific shriek in a fraction of a second. She was thrown off balance by the sheer loudness. Then there were some strange odors, was it an orange, or a damp smell, or is it some smell that there is no word for? As she staggered to her feet, her skin felt warm and cold at the same time. When she thought of the warmth, it started feeling hotter and hotter, and the moment she thought of the cold, her skin started to freeze. Wust warned her that what she was experiencing now was only her own thoughts, her brain reading its own thoughts, and multiplying the effect several times over.
Mali suddenly realized that Wust had neither spoken a word, nor had he signaled any gestures, yet she understood him perfectly. It was working!! She was thrilled. She wanted to experience it to a higher degree, she wanted to run out into the world, and listen to all the thoughts flying around. Wust restrained her, and urged her to communicate with him through thoughts first. She agreed, and they started talking, if it can be called that. It was wonderful, there were no words spoken, neither were there any words playing in her head. It was just a continuous flow of thought, and a perfect understanding of the other’s ideas.
Suddenly, Mali realized that the ten minutes were almost up, but there was still so much left to do!! Her thoughts started getting incoherent again, and noise blocked out Wust’s thoughts from her. Was it her thoughts that clogged the communication? No. There were unknown voices, strange sensations. There was worry, anxiety, anger, horror. What was happening? As the effect of the serum wore off, the sense diminished to a mere murmur just as it had started, and Mali began to plead Wust for another shot of the serum.
It was only then that Mali realized what all those incoherent voices and sensations were. The border control authorities had arrived to investigate the complaint filed by her parents. They just saw the mutant Wust sitting helplessly on a chair, and the human Mali begging him for another shot of the serum. She was oblivious of the fact that she was being arrested for violating the rules; all she cared about was another shot of the serum. As she was dragged away, she saw Wust being taken away too, but all she cared about now was another shot of the serum.

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