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Marisa Williams stood in her warm, sunlit living room in Brazil, just outside of Salvador. She had pulled out her old ironing board with the brightly patterned cover and had let her iron heat up, and she had just started on the first sundress when the doorbell rang. The soft tinkling chime rather startled her, causing her to brush her elbow against the hot iron, and she jerked open the door with some annoyance. She was mostly frustrated with herself. She should have known the doorbell was going to ring. She was a professional psychic. Ever since the great Discovery of the Theories of Time in 2087, psychics had been in high demand. Science had proven that time does not run in a straight line, that it is in fact more of a loop that has many crossings and tangles.  Psychics were people whose brains, by some lucky gene mutation, were able to see the future. It had been explained by many great philosophers in many eloquent phrases, but Marisa always thought of herself as a train whose wheels were not quite fitted to the rails; her car would teeter from side to side, leaning a little off the track. Her train could not completely switch lines, as some people’s could. Oracles, they were called. They could go into a trance and stay in it for years, spouting out random nonsense about times so distant that the words themselves were incomprehensible. They were mainly used by the government. Little psychics like her had to make do with answering the questions of the common folk. Marisa had her own practice; a pretty storefront along the beach district. She got good business there, especially during this time of year; the holidays were full of customers wanting to know what their friend or son or signifigant other would like best for Christmas, or what their in-laws were going to come up with this time and how to combat it, or whether their boyfriends were going to propose on Christmas day. She loved the release that came with using her sight, but the work was still exhausting, and right now all she wanted was to finish her ironing and then curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.

“Hello. Do I have the pleasure of addressing Ms. Marisa Williams, psychic?” There were two men, dressed in some sort of casual version of the classic suit standing on her doorstep. They were matching, and that plus the fact that their faces and hair colors were nearly identical gave them a comical appearence. Marisa thought suddenly of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

“You do,” she replied. She waited for them to speak. They didn’t. She was just about to ask them for their own names when the answer flashed in front of her eyes. “You are Mr. Cade and Mr. Hadcalfe, aren’t you?”

They exchanged a look. “Yes.” Said the one who had spoken before. “Special Agents of the FBI.”





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