Hickory's Empathic Powers
You and I have the capacity to develop higher levels of empathy by gaining experience in communicating with others and learning how words and body language can effect individuals.
Hickory takes this to another level. Her empathic skills are way ahead of ours. In Hickory's case, they originated from a mutation in the lymphatic system of her brain, discovered when she was a young girl, and it changed and grew as she did.
Initially, her gift allowed her to tell if someone was lying or evading the truth simply by listening. Then, when she was fifteen, the mutation evolved to let her look into the minds of others, to hear their thoughts, and share their experiences. This later proved to be a curse because she couldn’t control it and had trouble distinguishing which thoughts were her own.
Eventually, at fifteen, she reached a stage where she underwent surgery in an attempt to reduce the intensity of her empathic responses. Surgeons applied patches and created new gateways in her brain, which worked well until her first mission to Prosperine, when an extreme event caused the barriers in her brain to dissolve (as in The Alien Corps.)
Afterwards, Hickory discovered she could share telepathic communications and visions with other empaths and had the ability to influence their decisions. With the help of deep meditation, she was able to bind primitive creatures to her will.
To be continued...
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