Amukeri carefully dripped oil onto the water’s surface. “This is merely a catalyst,” she told her audience, “for my abilities and yours. Keep your eyes on the bowl and let your mind wander.”
“But the light’s bad,” complained Stebbin, glaring at the candle that supplied the room’s only illumination.
“All the better to give your mind permission to play,” soothed Amukeri calmly. “Now, unfocus your eyes to look past the oil drops and think about your friends. Tell me about them.”
“Well,” began Stebbin slowly, “we’ve been friends since we started at the Academy in Year Seven. Lensil’s a girl, of course, and pretty stubborn. We’re in our final year now and she’s still on family contact restrictions for non-adjustment. For years she thought her family’d just dumped and forgotten her. Fellis and Lensil are friends but always argue about, well everything, up until they stand back-to-back against all comers. He’s…older than us, despite being in the same year: I think he got held back a year or two in primary.”
Amukeri smiled at his gasp when the image formed on the oil in front of them.
In it Lensil snapped “I’m not doing it. We’d make better siblings anyway.”
Beside her Fellis added, “It would involve untoward intimacy.”
“Tough.” Two gold rings sat on the desk before them.