More Than Words
I think I've learned my lesson: I should really pay more attention to what I say around Willow. Yesterday she overheard my little rant concerning the fact that there were no words I could use to tell my father just how the demon's aura felt like and that got her thinking and when it comes to Willow thinking is not always a good thing... especially not when it leads to something else.
In this particular case it led her to revise one of her spells, one she has used more than once to create a telepathic link to enable the Scoobies to communicate in the battlefield without being overheard. What I said piqued her curiosity and she decided to try to expand it to overcome those limitations I had mentioned by causing the link to be formed at a pre-linguistic rather than a linguistic level. I must admit that it sounded like an interesting idea and my father's grumbling about the fact that maybe she could have thought about it sooner was rather amusing. I remember when the slayers first arrived and I remember that a couple of them did not speak English so I can understand where he is coming from.
Up until that point things were not so bad. Willow's idea had the potential to become a fascinating experiment but of course around here nothing ever stays that simple... every new idea must be put to use, must be given a purpose and this one was no different. I suspect the fact that they are all bored and more than a little antsy didn't exactly help matters either. We have a plan, we have identified our demon and we are all ready to go, eager to stop it before it can kill again... but we can't. Because of the nature of Willow's plan we must wait a few days longer simply because Venus is not visible right now and having to wait is not exactly helping anyone's mood. In other words, we have too many idle minds looking for a diversion... any kind of diversion.
The thing is that once Willow started toying with the idea of a pre-linguistic link the others jumped on board, coming up with all kinds of scenarios in which such a link could be useful and quite a few in which it could be a potential disaster. Of course, seeing how ever since they were children the Scoobies have lived for their fight, it was only a matter of time before the link evolved from being merely a scientific curiosity into an effective weapon that could enable us to operate almost as a single being under certain circumstances.
I must admit that what they propose has merit, even Jim was impressed. The basic idea is for eight of us to be linked together for the upcoming battle while we are organized in teams of two with each team fulfilling a specific role. Jim and I are bound to become almost like collective eyes and ears, taking advantage of Jim's senses and my ability to see the demon. My dad and Methos are going to become our brain, taking over the strategy while Willow and Tara are to become our nervous system, transmitting information back and forth. Finally, Buffy and Spike will become our hands and feet and, as the strongest ones of us, they will take care of the actual fighting. In other words, somehow my innocent rant about the limitations of language to convey unique experiences has become a really terrifying plot to turn ourselves into some sort of super organism, almost like a human ant colony.
There were some objections raised, obviously, with Methos being the most vocal. That did not come as a surprise seeing how, if it weren't because he was probably hiding somewhere at the time, the Old Man could have become the textbook case for paranoia and he could easily have had the disorder named after him. The one objection that did come as a surprise as far as I was concerned was Buffy's. At first she was dead set against the idea, reminding her friends of what had happened with the aspect of the demon. It took Willow a long time to convince her that the link as she had planned it would be safe, that we wouldn't lose ourselves in it. That also served to address some of my own concerns, even if I hadn't really had a chance to voice them yet.
I understand the link won't be permanent, I know we will remain in control of how much the others learn about us and I know it could become a decisive weapon in our arsenal under certain circumstances, but I still can't help but feel that it goes against a basic part of human nature, the one that makes us individuals. Also, as Methos was quick to point out, even if we can control how much of us the others get to see, there are some serious risks that cannot be overlooked, things that can't possibly be predicted. We don't know what would happen if one of us were to be wounded --we don't know whether or not that would incapacitate the whole group-- and we certainly don't know what would happen if one of us were to die while we are connected.
There are too many variables for my liking here, certainly more than the scientist in me would have deemed safe before attempting something like this if it were up to me, but there are also huge potential benefits, benefits that could some day literally save the world if this works so I can't bring myself to object too loudly. And in spite of the fact that I am undeniably worried about what this link will bring, I have to admit that there is also a part of me that is almost as excited about it as Willow.