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matapam
09 June 2019 @ 05:05 pm
You know you're in trouble when you start making the visual aids your character needs . . .

 
 
matapam
09 June 2019 @ 07:38 pm

Then the slab.

Arno winked. “If you can levitate it, we can push it.”

It levitated very easily . . . can Arno do gravity effects? Milo and a couple of other kids jumped into help, and the slab was shoved and settled into place.

Then the kids faded back into the crowd and left her to face what looked like the entire faculty of the School of Magic and the Directorate School.

So much for getting back to the office.

***

Chancellor Adse stepped cautiously up to the sidewalk. Nudged the slab. Then turned and studied Rael. “That was at least seventy cubic meters of heavy material. You threw it a good twenty meters. And then with a minor demonstration you had students with no instructions beyond basic . . . moving hundreds of kilos of dirt.”

Rael tired for innocent, shrugged. “Yes.”

“How, how . . . that was impossible.”

“No. Just difficult. And the kids? Chancellor, the Directorate School is very exclusive, and magic potential is one factor in their admissions process. These kids are in training to go Across, and face hostile people and animals, to serve at home finding and arresting criminals, or fighting to protect the President.”

Rael waved her hand at the watching students. “And I’m here to train them. Preferably in cooperation with the School of Magic. But the kids with high potential are going to get trained.”

Adse swallowed. “I see.” He stared down at the now immobile slab of concrete. “You know, we have an endowed chair, the Victor Seat of Modern Magic, that is empty at the moment . . . I . . . need to talk to my staff. Excuse me.”

He strode away, the rest of the School of Magic faculty following him, with many uneasy glances back. Some at the sidewalk, more at Rael.

***

Rael slumped in the nice comfy chair Urfa supplied his visitors. “What a mess.”

Urfa nodded. “But so many people pulled out their cams and recorded the whole thing that there really wasn’t any doubt about who started it. So it’s Jues’s problem, not yours.”

Puss snickering as she walked in. “Who conveniently went straight to the police to complain.” She chortled. “They took that weird purple-haired quacking woman to the hospital for evaluation, where she got violent and was restrained. She even got a shot of methelformalin when she started gathering power.”

Rael buried her face in her hands. “I ought to have just thrown the Chain. I thought I could show off and she’d back off.” She glanced at her watch. “She should stop quacking in another hour.”

Puur snickered. “Will you teach me that one?”

“So long as you promise to only use it appropriately.” Rael shrugged. “There are some silly old laws on the books that need to be removed. Starting with magic duels. Not that she wasn’t planning on attacking me, but . . . maybe with less justification . . .”

Urfa shook his head. “Done is done. No one was injured. And now that everyone’s over the shock of the sheer mass you moved, the purple hair and quacking will probably get a lot of public attention.”

Rael nodded. “My reputation seems to going sideways into odd, rather than getting better or worse. It’s a change.”

***

She split the basic students into seven groups, all roughly matched in abilities, and assigned Tuesday-Thursday time slots for each. The very basic groups got a week apiece.

There’s five weeks of the semester gone. And then I can run them through a second set of lessons. Or split them up with the other groups or . . . whatever looks like it’ll work.

Grade them, hopefully passing them all, but . . . and then counselling them about further Magic classes. Or, of course, their unsuitability for magical anything as a career.



Chapter Eight

Second Day of Classes

She scarfed breakfast and headed out to the practice field. As she’d rather expected, her first weeks’ class was there almost an hour early.

Four young men, two women. One more than I wanted, per class, but they’re the juniors that need this as quickly as possible.

They looking cold.

“We’re going to need some sort of shelter, out here, that doesn’t block the sun.” Rael looked around.

“A greenhouse?” The dark-haired woman was wearing a bulky sweater over other shirts, and what looked like insulated ski pants.

“That would work. I wonder how to get a temporary one? And you are?”

“Newg. Nugget, usually.”

“Ifnu ” the guy next to her

“Osti.”

“Agny.” The big guy ducked his head. “After Granddad, yes. That one.”

“Cndi. Cindy.” The blonde.

“Eggo.” Scrawny. Younger than the others or a late bloomer. Shields as weak as all the rest.

“Today, though, we’re going to do meditation and power collection on the cold hard ground.”

At least the ground was dry . . .

She worked them for two solid hours, and sent them away with stronger shields and knowing how to collect power.

No wonder the Fallen feel so much stronger than we do. They train their kids from the time they’re about five years old, so they’re ready when they grasp power. And then they teach them how to use it.

Us? We just let the kids run blindly, head on into grasping power. We make them fumble around trying to figure out shields, while teaching them “control.” Which looks more and more like repressing their magic.

A quick peek at Joke’s class, smooth, and Lenny’s class, better today, with a good solid lecture.

Excellent. My subordinates are competent.

Then she dressed out for Advanced Martial Arts.

“No, I’m not going to spar with you today. I need to know how much magic you know, so I’ll know where we’re starting from, on the magic part of the mixed training.” She glanced at Ikku. “If you need to get on with . . .”

“No, go ahead.”

She bowed to the Sensei, and turned to the class. “Physical shields up. Mental shields up.”

Half the class dropped their physical shields to raise shields against mental influences.

“Can you hold both shields at once?”

Two physical shields came back up, wavery and uncertain.

“Energy shields up.”

Arno and Ryol held all three. Wavy and Ted were the only seniors that could hold three.

“When you are in a Compass, you can share the load. In theory, a compass can hold eight shields. One pre person, plus throw spells, shoot and whatever. But I will work to make you all individually as magically dangerous as possible. Sensei Ikku will show you how to coordinate multiple shields and multiple attacks simultaneously.

“I will start with shields, and then proceed to coordinating offensive actions, without killing yourself with a bullet or spell ricocheting off the inside of your compass.

“Now, since we’re inside and a rather large group, I won’t ask you to demonstrate your offensive spells. Just a show of hands. Can you do sleep? Yawn, cough, laughter, hiccups? Fear, panic? How about fireballs? Slice, push, pull, and punch.”

“Excellent.” Close to half of them. “Wavy, if I may use you to start? Let me show you how to use push in a fight.”

She stepped up beside him. “Fists up, facing an opponent. Your mental push spell goes out at the same time as the punch . . . which is why it’s called a power punch.”

“I do that.” He lashed out at thin air.

“Yep. Now let’s try projecting that out much further . . . as if you were throwing a ball.” Rael stepped back. Held out her hands. “Throw it to me!”

She had her shields up and prepared . . . the push faded out halfway to her.

He snorted. “What use could it possibly be?”

Careful Rael, you haven’t retrained yourself . . .

Her push lifted him off his feet and tossed him a couple meters, into Ted, and momentum carried them both into Ijjy.

“It’s especially handy when you’re getting mobbed.” Rael nodded to Ikku. “We need to find a time for me to work with the Seniors. Wavy’s better than most of the people I’ve been working with lately, and he’ll pick it up fast. Hopefully everyone else will as well.”

She had all of the students try to project their push out a meter. Arno and Ryol grinned.

:: Pity we’re trying to fit in! :: Ryol gave her a solid, well controlled punch.

Arno smirked. :: Yeah. Of course they know I can do it. ::

Rael stepped back three meters and still nearly got knocked over. :: Show off. :: She added a wave of love and humor.

And turned the class back over to Ikku.

Well, I’m less sore than Monday. Home for lunch, then my two theory classes . . .

Home was under attack, taking a thundering, continuous, hammering . . . from the people all over the roof. Xen was in the backyard, explaining it all to Exzy.

“. . . then I’ll meld it altogether and it’ll be very waterproof.”

“Gah!” The cutest baby in the world was looking up, and looking very interested.

“Yep, and then we can kick back on the back porch and enjoy the storms that can’t touch us.”

Exzy spotted her and started kicking in excitement. “Mmmmm!”

“Yep, there’s Mom.”

“And Mom is very impressed with something that’s coming pretty close to talking.” She juggled the baby. “We really ought to have been keeping track of his time better.”

“Yeah.” Xen grinned. “And he’s getting the hang of that crawling stuff. We’re about to have trouble keeping track of his location as well.”

She led the way back inside and headed for the fridge, standing alone in the bare room that would, in theory, return to being the kitchen.

It was stuffed full. “How do you find the time to go shopping?”

Xen laughed. “Disco’s done so well without me, I figured I ought to let them get on with it. I told Lon I was working part-time, but on call for emergencies.”

Rael thought that over. “So . . . were all the diplomats relieved or alarmed?”

“About half and half.” Xen grinned. “The Helaos were definitely relieved. They are being very well behaved, for a change.”

“Oh? Dare I ask what you did?”

“Shortly after I got back last fall, two of them dragged this fellow—one of theirs—into the hospital. Murderous sod had merged multiple times, once with a woman, and had rather confused genitalia. The other two wanted him changed all the way to female. ‘So she’s a proper slave girl’ they said.”

“Eww.”

“He was literally dragged—and bruised, and obviously they'd stopped somewhere along the way to rape him—and he said he was a man and he did not want to be changed into a woman. Hard to be sympathetic, but I asked if he wanted to be changed from his mixed up state back to all male and he said yes. The two ‘escorts’ got nasty and threatening at that point, so they got the male-to-female spell and their victim the female-to-male, with a few alterations for the unusual circumstances.”

“Umm . . . Did you tell those two that was what you were doing?”

“Nope. I hauled the pair of them back to their embassy and kicked them through their gate. Told the Ambassador I wasn’t an accessory to rape or enslavement, and certainly not both. They demanded their slave girl back, and I said he could return if he wanted.” He shrugged. “Last week I started getting these horrified looks, and the Helaos suddenly started behaving. On Embassy—no doubt home is still a hell hole.”

“Oh my. You know, I used to worry about you getting killed by an angry Oner husband. Now I’ll have to worry about some really ugly Helaos women deciding to kill you.”

Xen grinned. “And beating you to it?”

She stuck her tongue out, and handed Exzy back to Xen while she assembled sandwiches. “Well, since you’re available, I’ll haul you in to help a few things . . . hmmm, actually it’s so bloody cold out I need a temporary greenhouse . . .”

Advanced Magical Theory had expanded.

And slopped into the next door theater/lecture hall. With the room dividers opened, and the screens synced, she walked back and forth, delivering the new, improved syllabus, and the first lecture to . . . a hundred and sixty seats in each quarter of the building, two of the better than three quarters full . . . have I got half the Directorate students here? One!

Comet Fall Magical Theory had exploded!

Rael looked at the two packed rooms, braced herself and dived in. “Comet Fall has three types of power collection genes. They source differently, and while the spells they can do are not dependent on the source, in general, actions involving the source are the easiest.”

Frequency diagram on the screens . . .

“The Mage gene has multiple variations, but they all collect electromagnetic energy with wavelengths in the range of two hundred meters to a thousand nanometers. Radio through about the middle of the infrared. Wizards pick up about there, through one nano meter with claims that it doesn’t stop there. I have no evidence that they can handle highly damaging ionizing radiation.

“As you see The One gene and the priest gene between them overlap the wavelengths both genes cover, but do not extend as high or as low.

“And I am sure you have also noticed that neither Witch nor God shows up here.

“That is because the Witch gene is very different from all the other. It allows the Witches to tap gravity. The mechanism is unknown, but drops in the local gravity have been measured around working witches, and Gods.

“Gods are double sourced magicians. The so-called ‘Old Gods’ all have both the witch and mage genes. Some men with both wizard and mage genes, and women with witch and wizard genes are strong enough magically that their collective subconscious affects them.”

“So. As you see in the syllabus, we will first discuss the genetics that affect the Comet Fall Magic, then we’ll look at the Magic itself.

“I have found no useful textbooks, so I am mining reports from XR for reading material. Eventually these will get assembled into something resembling a textbook, but that’s probably not going to happen this semester.

“So for now, this grid site will have downloadable copies, of reports, hopefully in a timely fashion.”