Everyone knew the urban legends, of course. The freshman empath who snapped under the pressure of her roommate’s stress and, depending on the narrative variant, either drove the offender mad in a sudden burst of telepathic fury, or bashed her head in with a paperweight. According to the empath who sat next to Robert in their class on the Cairo Accords, there was no true historical incident behind the tales . . . but college was trying enough, and the psychic control of most eighteen-year-olds still imperfect enough, that breakdowns of a less violent sort did indeed occur.
Robert—who knew quite well that he had the empathic sensitivity of a whelk—did not expect to have any such difficulties himself.
But as it transpired, empathy was unnecessary, when living with a highly-stressed wilder.