Masters of Denial
After almost three years of this insanity today for the first time it almost feels real. I've known what Jim can do with his senses for a while, I've seen it with my own eyes and I've had no qualms about using it whenever it suited me but up until today I had never truly understood how much deeper than that it went. I just didn't want to hear about it, know about it... I guess I valued my certainties a little too much to take that kind of chance but today my denial was stripped from me in an instant.
Sandburg was dead, not near dead but dead. The paramedics had already called it and I knew there was nothing left for us to do except mourn him and pray that Jim wouldn't follow him. The truth is that I had never expected his death to hit me as hard as it did. The kid had managed to get past my defenses a long time ago and the thought of losing him was almost more than I could stand. I've lost colleagues and men under my command before, good friends, it's impossible not to with as many years as I've spent in this line of work, but none of those deaths ever hit me as hard as Sandburg's. It just felt so damn wrong... it was wrong but now I'm struggling to come to terms with that impossible statement. Sandburg's death was wrong, but it's a mistake that has now somehow been corrected.
I'm not sure what happened... I don't think I'm ready to ask but I know something did, something I can neither explain nor deny. The evidence is there in the form of a living, breathing anthropologist and I know it has to do with more than Jim's dogged determination. I saw what happened, I saw him blank out for a couple of seconds after the paramedics declared the kid dead and for a moment I feared he had zoned... then he snapped out of it and before I knew it he was telling me that he could hear the kid's heartbeat, a heartbeat I just knew hadn't been there a moment earlier.
What happened in those few seconds? How deep does the connection between Sentinel and Guide really run? Is it really powerful enough to do what I think it just did? Sandburg may be a scientist, full of explanations having to do with environmental causes and genetic advantages, but what I saw here today defies every single one of his carefully constructed rationalizations. No matter what the kid says, a genetic advantage cannot revert death and yet that's exactly what Jim did today, there's no question about it... I just wonder if they know.
I suspect I'm not the only one who doesn't want to see, hear or know anything about it. Denial can take many forms and I don't think I have the exclusive by any stretch of the imagination. I may be the most vocal in my denial of what's going on around me but at least I know enough to know when something defies explanation. I may be in a position to see them do the impossible every day but Ellison and Sandburg live it... and yet they still refuse to see it. Ellison hides behind his walls, pretending to be normal and trying to ignore his senses as much as he can, as for Sandburg... Sandburg insists on seeing only half the picture. He sees his sentinel but not himself, he constantly denies his own importance and for all his loudly proclaimed new-age open mindedness, he sure clings on to his scientific views with everything he has.
I've been blessed by being able to witness the impossible here today and my own denial has been shattered as a result... I just wonder if they are finally ready to acknowledge the truth about the gift they've been given. Somehow I don't think so.