The Clockwork Spark
Professor Gabriel Saxton
The gift of human connection does not come strong to most, but it did to this studious young professor of Archaeology. From a young age, he had an inquisitive nature about his surroundings that led him to knowing things that took others much longer to work out. He delved deep into the history of the world, fascinated by the stories his mother would tell him and by the treasures his father would bring back from his travels abroad. His parents could never figure out how he discovered so much…until the day one peculiar treasure sent him in a spiraling panic attack.
Soon after, the truth came tumbling from him. For years he touched things and saw their past. Psychometry, they called it. It was a rare gift, usually on the backbone of others that could develop as the individual grew older and more experienced. One particular scholar who studied such gifts stared at the boy like he might be some prized possession. There were not many psychometrics in the world, he explained. The truths of the past they could reveal would be revolutionary. He pressured the boy’s parents into letting him document Gabriel’s gifts, though they adamantly disagreed.
Partially due to the fact that Gabriel was not sure he wanted this particular gift any longer. He was more cautious about what he touched after that, constantly wearing gloves to avoid anymore strange, surreal flashes of times before now. His thirst for history and knowledge never wavered, but his desire to know at any cost had been dampened. He went on through the rest of his adolescence and through his years as a student avoiding his gift at all cost. Over time, he began to think of it as a burden.
Until his doctorate, at least. It was the first time he got to enter the field and see an archaeological dig up close that his thirst for the truth pulled him down that path once more. He was studying tools that were found near an altar, unsure of what each were used for. Some strong desire swirled in the back of his head to touch one particular object, a knife of some kind. He was careful, slipping a glove off of his fingers when he was sure no one was in sight, and lied gentle fingers on the hilt.
In the span of a moment he was taken away, holding the knife for it’s intended purpose, using it in a ritual while others watched. It was a ceremonial sacrifice to a god, so pure and powerful that he was swept away in the energy of it. The knife eventually clattered from his fingers, falling back onto the altar where it was found and he was left breathless and in awe of what he saw. Slowly, he reached for another object. And then another after that.
His thesis was effortless after that. It was well-received by his peers and his research was pristine. He forgot about his past and vowed to learn how to handle this gift and learn it to the best of his ability.
Five years later, he was made professor for the same university. His uncanny knack for artifact discovery and usage made him sought after by many and he was constantly approached with insane proposals for travels to far-off worlds. He never bit at them, still learning to control his gift on his own. He was viewed as an oddball, just too quiet to be eccentric but definitely skittish and very personal. He did not want others to discover what he could do and would rather keep studying and teaching at the university.
It is only recently that he has started to consider one mad-woman’s proposal of discovering more about the occult…