Prism, by Bluelantern 2814
"How marvelous!" proclaimed Adele, her hold on Aide half-possessive and half-prideful, a mother basking in the accomplishments of her daughter. "How delicious!"
"A new aspect of the power," Aide said neutrally, staring at the image of Elspeth.
Except it wasn't Elspeth - it was magic, Magic. Addy knew that Magic was usually more talkative with Elspeth, but her projection was just as neutral and quiet as Aide. That made sense. The power was a gateway to give information, but more limited in receiving feedback. Magic was there but wasn't listening. Addy looked at Magic for merely a couple of seconds -
"Taste it!" Adele demanded, with a tinge of annoyance and hunger. "I want to taste it!"
Addy reached around with her real arm to the real Elspeth, grinning with anticipation.
"I... don't like them in here," said Magic, staring at the projections of both Adele and Aide.
"Can't say that I do," said Elspeth uncomfortably.
"So much delicious potential," murmured Adele, staring at Aide and seemingly unaware that she and Aide were in Elspeth's mind.
Elspeth was so repelled that her concentration broke and she exited the "blank space" where she had met her and Addy's selves.
Just as expected, Emel's power wasn't happy with being a captive. Adele could control her easily enough, though, but was obviously bored with the magnetic power.
The boredom didn't surprise Addy a bit. Emel tasted the same as before. While the copy of her power showed resistance to Adele's hold, there wasn't much that Adele (or Addy) could care about the taste besides its practical utility.
Addy watched the copied power trying to escape, but it was like watching a vampire holding a human. There was no hope that Adele would ever lose her grip.
Addy decided that it would be pointless to give a new name to the copied power, or even call her "Aide". So she went back to fixing the structural damage the latest dozen newborns had caused.
"It is simple," Elspeth said. "I project my magic in your mind, and if you concentrate you can see it, and a manifestation of your power. You can get in or out at any time of your choice".
Marcus had a problem holding his concentration to keep "himself" inside the mental blank. He was surprised that in "there" he couldn't see relationships, not even his own mate bond.
The other surprise was the appearance that his power had. Nearly identical to Marcus, and even with the same modern day clothing, but it had no glassy skin or lines and lines and lines of scars. It was a younger vampire version of Marcus with golden eyes.
"I surprise you," the power said, eyes familiarly unfocused.
"Yes," Marcus responded, imagining the line between them. Could you have a relationship with your own power?
"Everyone should be happy. What is wrong with bringing a little cheer to the world?" said Didi.
"There isn't anything wrong with that," said Didyme calmly, but with uncharacteristic impatience.
"Everyone should be happy. That is why I do it all the time," insisted Didi, still with her cheery tone. "It's very simple."
"It isn't," Didyme tried to object for the thousandth time. "I just want to go to... the funeral without being improper..."
"But you can!" Didi said with the most optimistic smile possible. "You should! We can't let people suffer like that. How can you? Everyone should be happy!"
Didyme felt that she couldn't argue with Didi, and at the same time wasn't all that willing to disagree. Even the projected princess's image seemed to smile brightly around her.
Edward didn't suffer with Marcus' lack of power in the blank space. Both Edwards, real and magical, had mind reading.
The result was like banging a microphone in a sound box.
After five times the Emperor finally got the hang of keeping his mind clear enough to keep his concentration to "talk" with his magic-representative counterpart. It was an unfamiliar and yet interesting experience to communicate with his own power in that way. He was used to being able to hear thoughts and then replying vocally.
He remembered what it was to be on the opposite side, speaking to Edward the mind reader, who answered the literally unasked questions, but Edward had never had a conversation with a mind reader using mindreading. Even with Aro (especially with Aro) the approach was usually as much verbal as both sides could make it.
It was a truly introspective experience.
Bella's big surprise with her "talking with yourself" session was revealed as soon as the empress managed to keep enough concentration to lower her shield and stay in the blank mental space.
The surprise was that there was nothing there but one single Bella.
Empress Regnant Bella sighed, unsure whether that meant that she had more layers to shed or that she knew herself very well.
The Seer's power had Alice's own, human eyes, an oddity that fascinated her for a half-second before the mental space became anything but blank.
Alice was used to seeing chaotic currents of possibility caused by indecision and accompanied by severe headaches.
What she never saw was the beauty that surrounded her, herself, and Addy's projected selves.
She saw multiple possibilities around them growing, dancing and multiplying themselves in breathtaking fractal patterns. All the imaginable conversations that Alice could have with "herself", every single choice and consequence displayed in a kaleidoscope of fates. Not as chaos, not as order, but something else entirely, something beautiful and serendipitous.
Alice never spoke a word with her own power. She didn't have to. They knew each other.
Benjamin's "power-self", as they were calling it, was probably unique, and considered the most unusual in appearance.
It was Benjamin-shaped, but in no way an exact duplicate. It was Fire, Air, Water and Earth, and alternated between those states. One time it looked like a statue of dirt or clay; another, still water, solid but not frozen; it then changed to a cloud of barely visible mist that would burst into flames which could kill a real Benjamin. The transformation would happen again without any order or reason, only change.
The power never spoke, nor seemed to be capable of understanding, but Benjamin was fascinated all the same.
Most powers took a while before answering. Addy wasn't sure what it meant. There wasn't a discernable change of taste in them, so it might have a psychological explanation. Mental powers seemed more "talkative" than physical ones. But nearly everyone felt that the experience was, if not pleasant, at least unique.
Many witches found themselves victims of their own powers. Alec's power would cause his "master" to fall limp on the floor. The illusionist found herself surrounded by an illusory forest. The identity thief was bombarded with everyone she had ever impersonated, all at once.
On the other hand, Dwi managed to do the "trick" by himself without further help from Elspeth or Addy. His power was especially chatty.
Most people tried the sessions until they got their powers to say something at least once.
"I exist to see, to find out what is hidden. I am very curious, aren't you?"
"They can't be ruled by their own emotions."
"Stop looking at me! Stop looking at me! Stop looking at me!"
"There is so much that no one can understand but us!"
"You know they are truthful, different from people, they are simple, wild, yet honest..."
"To understand people is to understand the people around them."
"To understand people, it is to peep inside their heads, hihihi-"
"Without limits people are just animals. I just enforce those limits, for their own good."
"You will recover their minds and souls."
"Burn and destroy them all."
"Because we can't be weak, and we aren't. We can take anything they throw at us!"
"I am here for you."
"This sounds really confusing," Bernadette said after hearing the explanation about the so called mental prism.
"It can be," admitted Elspeth.
"But do you think I should?" Bernadette replied as a red spark burst from her hand. "It will make me control my power better?"
"It will make you understand your power better," Elspeth said.
"Will that make me control my power better?" insisted the little witch.
"If your own power has a way to control..." Elspeth said, "It is possible. Either way, I recommend it. You can learn a lot from yourself."