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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the January 6, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] curiosity and LJ user Wyld_Dandelyon. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] curiosity.  This poem belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


"The Cure for Anything"


When Aquariana had first come into her powers,
she began studying everything she could find
about water's response to energy.

Among the more useful resources were
the works of Emoto, a blue plate special
who taught hydrology in Japan.

His early attempts to demonstrate how
emotions affected water and ice led to
frustration when nobody could duplicate
his results consistently. Later he discovered
his superpowers and the fact that ordinary people
could imprint energy on water but it required
superpowers to manifest the pattern.

Aquariana came to suspect that
her own emotional state influenced
the use of her powers, particularly
her erratic results with Water Form.

Sometimes she corresponded with Jackie Frost,
who had mastered Create Ice and even Ice Body
but had trouble with her aim on Ice Missiles;
they both suspected emotional aspects there too.

It was harder to convince ordinary people
of the connection between water and feelings.

Seth had a habit of holding a water bottle
between his knees, and if he forgot
to drink it immediately then it soaked up
the negativity pouring off him.

"Don't drink that," Aquariana said one day
as she plucked the bottle out of his hand.
"You've been moping into it for an hour,
you'll make yourself sick or something."

"Oh, not with that woo-woo magic ice nonsense,"
Seth grumbled. "That was disproven."

"Then you haven't seen the later studies,"
Aquariana said. "I can just show you."
She gave the water a little nudge
and then poured some into a pan
which she set in the freezer.

Meanwhile she used her tablet computer
to show images of ice crystals from
pure vs. polluted sources and to compare
images of water exposed to different emotions.

When the ice came out of the freezer
in a mess of hedgehog clusters,
Seth admitted that she might have a point.

It was the Maldivian police who brought in
a scruffy, disreputable street boy called Dredge,
complaining that he had been messing around
with the water in the sewers and somehow
managing to make it worse.

Dredge huddled on the couch,
a brown blob of misery, until Aquariana
brought a bowl of muddy water and said,
"Here, see what you can do with this."

He held the bowl in his lap, scowling at it
for ten minutes, until it turned to sludge.
"See, that always happens," said Dredge.
"My power's evil, no matter what I try to do with it."

"It's not evil, just ... murky," Aquariana said.
"What you feel affects your superpower,
and that influences the water."

"Like I said, I'm evil," said Dredge.

Seth snorted at that.
"No more than I am," he said.
"Maybe you've made some mistakes,
or survived bad things happening.
You get in a better place, and
you'll stop making sludge like that."

"Are you a supervillain too?" Dredge asked.

"No he is not," Aquariana said.
"The American Navy gave him
some bad orders and he followed them,
which hurt a very good friend of his,
so now Seth feels guilty about that.
It's not at all the same as some lunatic
who tries to destroy the Earth on purpose."

She showed Dredge how to find
the pattern of energy stored in water,
and how to manifest it in ice.
She also showed him the trick
of clearing a pattern away, but
he couldn't get the hang of that.

"Someday you will do great things
for the Maldives, purifying water
or guiding it safely," Aquariana said.

"I don't know how," Dredge whispered.

"You can stay here and practice,"
Aquariana assured him. "I know that
Seth could use a hand around the office.
I'll teach you about your superpower;
we can go beachcombing together too.
There's a Buddhist center not far from here --
you could try meditation, or talk to a counselor
to shift your emotions in a more positive direction."

"Do you really think it would help?" Dredge asked,
and Seth was watching both of them as well.

"The cure for anything is salt water,"
said Aquariana, "sweat, tears, or the sea."

* * *

Notes:

Emoto (Dr. Masaru Saito) -- He has golden skin, brown eyes, and straight dark hair. He is married and has a daughter named Hiroyuki, who was assigned male at birth and named Hiro, but later declared herself a girl and changed her name. Hiro and Hiroyuki are traditionally masculine names, but Oyuki is a snow-woman and a feminine name. Masaru has been supportive of her identity.
During the 1990s Dr. Saito studied water extensively and discovered a connection between water and emotion, that people could influence the pattern of ice crystals and that water exposed to positive emotions produced more symmetrical crystals than water exposed to negative ones. For years he was frustrated that others could not consistently reproduce his results. Then he learned that he had superpowers -- and that while ordinary people could imprint energy on water, it requires Water Control to manifest the pattern. Erratic results can come from people with subclinical powers, supernaries with intense mental training, and other factors.
Origin: Born in Yokohama, he may be one of the many Japanese soups whose powers have nuclear influence.
Qualities: Master (+6) Hydrology Professor, Expert (+4) Photographer, Expert (+4) Writer, Good (+2) Alternative Medicine, Good (+2) International Relations, Good (+2) Pacifist, Good (+2) T'ai Chi, Good (+2) Tolerant
Powers: Average (0) Empathy, Average (0) Water Powers
Motivation: To learn about water and feelings.
Model: Dr. Masaru Emoto

Dredge (Shadhu Thakurfan) -- He has cinnamon skin, brown eyes, and shaggy dark brown hair. He is a carrier for β-thalassemia, and people are starting to suspect a connection between thalassemia and Water Powers, particularly saltwater versions. Dredge is a native of the Maldives, with some Indian and Arabic heritage as well. He smokes cigarette or cigar butts, whatever he can find on the ground. No matter how carefully he tries to tidy up when he has the opportunity to do so, he always looks messy. Dredge is a free spirit who prefers to avoid the authorities, even if official involvement has perks.
Origin: His mother worked in a factory where toxic chemicals were not handled very safely, and he often played nearby. Dredge believes that contributed to his superpowers.
Uniform: He wears castoffs and secondhand clothes, whatever he can find.
Qualities: Good (+2) Friends on the Street, Good (+2) Scrounge, Good (+2) Situational Awareness, Good (+2) Tough
Poor (-2) But I Just Combed It!
Powers: Poor (-2) Control Water
Motivation: Freedom

* * *

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."
-- Isak Dinesen

Water is associated with emotions. In our world Dr. Masaru Emoto (July 22, 1943 – October 17, 2014) was known for his work and photographs featuring water purity and emotions. Replication has been erratic, but here is one example. Tears, like ice, may reveal emotions. Here's an artist manipulating water with technology and her mind. In Terramagne a water controller could do that with superpowers.

Street people include children and teens as well as adults.

Self-blame may be characterological or behavioral. When someone feels like an evil person, that is characterological. People debate nature vs. nurture and what makes someone evil. Certain character traits are considered evil. There are tips on how to be a good person and how to feel good about yourself.

Buddhism has a rich tradition in the Maldives. In Terramagne it is more popular than here. Buddhism teaches mindfulness which has many benefits, including improved control of emotions and abilities. Learn how to practice Buddhist meditation.

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