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30 May 2019 @ 07:22 am
_Professor_ part 5  

“Oh?” Rael caught his grin and glared.

“Really, watch.”

Both kids put their opponents away easily, faster than any of them, and were sent to the next mat.

Where Arno went the whole three minutes, untouched, and landing blows at will, and was sent to the seventh mat.

“I didn’t realize he was so fast. I mean, Xen worked with them over the summer . . .”

“And they’ve had another four months of training after that. Ah. That boy’s going to regret saying whatever he just said to Ryol . . .”

Urfa trailed off as Ryol flicked in and out of the boy’s reach, a solid punch to his ribs, stepped around his kick like he was moving in slow motion, poked the back of his knee and finished circling him before he’d staggered and managed to not fall. He pounced at a good level four Speed, but she blurred sideways and swept his feet out from under him. He hit the mat face first and rolled back to his feet , more cautious this time, despite the clenched fists of the anger that triggered his Speed. They traded punches and blocks, then a quick kick to his abdomen had him backing, hunched a bit. The bell dinged.

The boy straightened to glare . . . then bowed to her. Ryol returned the bow. And was sent to mat seven.

“Right. She was angry, but kept to the cold Speed.”

“Very fast cold Speed.” Urfa peered down the line. “Ouch. The Prime Councilor’s son just caught an illegal blow to the head. And he’s been trying so hard. He just . . . he came here to piss off his dad, and only started working at learning when he realized he was going to have to—if he wanted to impress Ryol.”

“The Prime Councilor’s son . . .” Rael looked down at mat three were a boy was being helped to his feet and carted off across to the aid station. His opponent was sent to sit against the wall to the far left.

“His grades took a sudden leap partway through their first semester, coincident with Ryol telling him she had no interest in stupid people. And have remained high since. Don’t worry, she seems to consider him a nuisance. And the Team Trainees dangerous. No romantic inclinations that I’ve noticed.” He settled back. “Let’s see how many of them she can beat up.”

Ryol and Arno dispatched two each at mat seven before they were sent in against each other.

Ryol grinning. Arno casual. Then they blurred into action, punching, blocking, and kicking. Ryol got in close, turned to throw him, he swept a leg and she hit the ground as well. More punches, Arno using his greater reach . . . the bell dinged.

They stood looking at each other, then both bowed. The mat judge shook his head and sent Ryol back to the waiting students, and Arno up to mat eight.

Urfa snorted. “On points, maybe. But Ikku purely hates having girls in the top ranks.”

Rael nodded. Crap! They’re both amazingly fast. What are they? Nineteen now? And a half.

Arno got one more round with a young man who looked twice his size, and had enough speed that combined with his reach made the bout pretty much a wash, but Arno bowed and retreated.

Rael eyed the boy . . . he did not throw that bout, did he? Not wanting to get on the wrong side of the Teamers? Maintaining his quiet and unnoticeable?

She switched her attention back to the seventh mat where Ryol watched two more bouts, then the sparring was shut down and the students ranked.

Arno was ninth, at the bottom of the group at the last mat, Ryol topped the next mat, putting her in tenth place overall.

Middle of their second year. Not bad.

The stands were starting to fill up. The Senior rankings being of interest to a lot of people. The area right around Rael and Urfa stayed empty until the XR people walked in. Rael managed to leave the “aunt” off as she greeted her biomother. Subdirector of Action, the person who would be hiring the top fighters . . . Oh. I see. Arno wants to be good enough for XR to want him, but not good enough for Action Teams. Smart kid. Hope it works.

Kael sat a seat away from her, and Subdirector Ajha, Exploration, sat on the far side of Urfa also giving him elbow room.

Kael eyed Rael’s “business casual” out fit and rolled her eyes. “At least you don’t clash. I’m sorry I missed the twin’s bout. How did they do?”

“Ninth and tenth. They’re improving rapidly.”

“Humph. I’d say you ought to have worked more with them, but then you went off to Princess School with no Martial Arts at all!”

Urfa looked over, surprised.

Rael grinned. “Ballet, gymnastics, modern dance, acting . . .”

Urfa grinned. “I see.”


Then the kids and their friends arrived, all four freshly showered and peering down at the seniors below.

“Cheering for someone?” Rael asked.

Multiple snickers. Ryol grinned. “Nope. We’re all planning on watching them beat up on each other. And hoping for painful accidents.”

Urfa looked over. “You’ll be long gone before my attempts to screen out the worst come to fruition.”

“Drat.” Arno grinned, over his shoulder at his friends, who were looking a bit shocked. “Don’t worry, the worst he can do is expel us for . . . something.”

Urfa chuckled. “Can’t. Rael would do something interesting and I’d never live it down.”

“Oh!” The girl with them yelped.

They all looked around. The boy who’d been punched in the face thumped down beside them. Cold pack on the left side of his face, a beaut of a shiner already developing.

“Oh, good grief, Milo! What happened?” Ryol sounded . . . mostly concerned.

“Oh, Ihho got mad, and I let my guard down when the bell rang, and stopped watching him. Idiot got two demerits, late hit and head strike.” Milo had also had a beaut of a Parian drawl, and waved away their concern. “What are the odds on Wavy?”

“Even. Ted’s 1:3, Ijjy 1:5, Use It 1:12, and Ebow 1:20” Ryol intercepted raised eyebrows from her grandmother. “Wvvy, Ytde, Ijjy, Usti, and Ebtw. Either the best or the worst, depending on your point of view.”

Rael was counting heads . . . “It looks like only a third of the seniors want to be ranked?”

Ajha nodded. “Not all Team Track, but with enough Martial Arts and Firearms experience that they could easily slot into Exploration or Info Teams. Kael’s got her eyes on top ranked here. I’ll be checking academics and looking for a lot of science, along with the ability to stay alive in the field.”

“And Info teams?” Rael leaned to eye him.

“These days they’re looking for techies. One! A hundred and fifty-two embassies on Embassy, about half of them electronic age. It’s keeping them hopping, and I’m hard put to keep any tech experts myself.”

Kael snorted. “Don’t believe him. He’s got the top two.”

“Hey, I share!” Ajha grinned, then turned his attention to the gym floor as the first bell rang.

This group . . . well, she really couldn’t call them boys. They were all tall, all muscular, body language confident and aggressive. Outside of the first two mats, the effort to project confidence and aggression was showing its paper thin edges. But the first top students . . .

A snort from Kael. “They’ll get those ego punctured the first day. I always split newbies up among experienced Teams.” A glare across at Ajha. “And some people steal the best.”

He nodded. “If you’d included Ebsa and kept him and Ra’d together from the start . . . but dear One! Oh Horrors! A Clostuone winning the Senior final sorting.”

“Humph! We should get their numbers, and a detailed analysis of just which genes they’ve got.” She straightened at the ding of a starting bell.

Rael was hard put to keep a straight face while the kids behind her kept up a steady, low voiced cheering of every hard hit and then the girls jumping up and down, screaming, and laughing as Wave hit the mat, face first.

Rael cast a glance back . . . two familiar faces had joined the gang. Gior and Voyr. Two more of Xen’s kids. She glanced at Kael. “I think this Wave is going to be one of your problem children, from the glee back there.”

A deep sigh. “Indeed. And I have rather a lot of them. Still. There are days when I’m tempted to ask your pet for that rape gene removal potion.”

Rael snickered. “Unfortunately that only helps with the one who want to stop the violent urges. And by the way, rumor has it there’s something that can turn those genes off, epigenicly, rather than removing them.”

Six matches, with the young men moving up and down, until the top men were—still, for the most part—concentrated on the right.

They shut down the sparring, and took the top eight to the middle mats.

Four matches . . . two matches . . . and the final, where the favored Wave barely out-pointed Ted. Then they all got sorted out, stood up in order, congratulated, and dismissed.

Urfa invited the two subdirectors and Rael to dinner.

Which turned out to be a bit of a planning session over an excellent dinner at the Chancellor’s House. Technically off campus, the back gate opened to a walkway to the administration building.

Urfa had all the seniors’ classes and grades, their instructors comments, the earlier sortings, disciplinary reports, internship reports . . .

Urfa caught Rael’s gaze and nodded. “Teams get first choice. Kael and Ajha have so much experience in Action, Exploration, and Info that they can pretty much see who they want, and who would be good in Info. I can pick out some youngsters specifically for Interior Relations—Analyst or CI. The Presidential Directorate doesn’t take many raw grads, we like them to get a few years elsewhere first.” A quick grin. “Although we do snatch a few Princesses, when that school has spares.”

Ajha nodded at the lists, now on a wall screen. “The rest will get split between XR and IR. With only a hundred and fifty or so grads every year, there’s not a lot of extras. We wind up hiring a lot of non-Directorate School people. But not for Teams.”

They all stared at the lists, all the kids marked off for which directorate and subdirectorate they were, tentatively, headed for, and nodded in satisfaction.

“Rael, I brought you in on this for two reasons. First, so you can see who should be prioritized for advanced magical practice, and to get suggestions for just what they ought to be trained in.”

Rael nodded, suddenly feeling a lot less like a spectator.

“The second reason . . . I just found out today that every Directorate student who took Introduction to Magic, was downgraded to ‘not approved for practicum.’ Go talk to them, and find out what the problem is.”

“All of them?” Rael frowned.

Ajha snorted. “There a rivalry between the School of Magic and The Directorate School, because we also teach magic. They always downgrade our students, we protest, the grades get raised. But with Yppo’s sudden death, that last apparently didn’t happen.”

Rael eyed the man. He’s, what? Eighty years old? “Do you mean to say a stupid bit of one-upsmanship has been going on since you were a student?” She got nods from all three.

Urfa added, “It’s usually a matter of a half point or so. This is going too far. So, feel free to get nasty about it, and get it stopped.”

(Anonymous) on May 30th, 2019 03:35 pm (UTC)
A new doo
Sounds like the the school of magic is going to have purple hair till they learn to score tests!
(Anonymous) on May 30th, 2019 05:34 pm (UTC)
Re: A new doo
Green and orange hair. It would get them in much more trouble as not only claiming honors they did not deserve, but having as much color sense as Rael.
(Anonymous) on May 30th, 2019 05:59 pm (UTC)
Kael has sure mellowed!

Well, Milo's doing well, nice to see him again. Ajha also, he's been having a quiet, novel-plot-free life lately.

Can't wait to see Rael take on the School of Magic.

(Anonymous) on May 30th, 2019 06:32 pm (UTC)
I think Arno's plan to hide will not work his senior year, neither Kael or Ajha would be fooled especially Ajha.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on May 30th, 2019 07:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pamuphoff on May 30th, 2019 08:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on May 31st, 2019 02:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on May 31st, 2019 04:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on September 9th, 2019 04:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pamuphoff on September 9th, 2019 12:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - Michawl Dolbear on May 30th, 2019 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ekuah on May 31st, 2019 09:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - Michawl Dolbear on May 30th, 2019 08:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
James ResoldierJames Resoldier on May 30th, 2019 07:18 pm (UTC)
(chants in a sing-song voice)

"Rael's gonna get nasty, Rael's gonna get nasty, Rael's gonna get nasty! YAY, GO GET 'EM Rael!!!!!!"
(Anonymous) on May 30th, 2019 07:28 pm (UTC)
Just my thoughts exactly 👍

Greetings from Germany

Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on May 30th, 2019 08:36 pm (UTC)
In Directorate School sorting the higher ranking mats are to the left

Student's left?
matapampamuphoff on May 30th, 2019 08:48 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Ebsa, and the others, were along the back wall, with the mats in front of them and the stands of observers beyond them.

This scene is from Rael's POV, from the stands.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on May 30th, 2019 08:48 pm (UTC)
==so fast. I mean, Xen worked with them over the summer .==

Xen was marooned for six months, does this fit?
(Anonymous) on May 30th, 2019 09:05 pm (UTC)
Summer with Xen
Summer should be fine. I think you have mislaid a year somewhere. Xen and Rael have been back from Wolf World at least long enough to start and finish a baby, who is now a couple of months old.

But I would like some clarification of how long Izzo has been in office.
Re: Summer with Xen - (Anonymous) on May 30th, 2019 09:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Summer with Xen - pamuphoff on May 30th, 2019 10:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pamuphoff on May 30th, 2019 09:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mbarkermbarker on May 31st, 2019 12:57 am (UTC)
Hum... not approved for practicum? And Urfa pointed Rael at the problem and told her to take care of it? Now why am I seeing a scene where Rael points out the window at the Directorate students who have just... enclosed the School of Magic in a layered shield? And Rael calmly says, "I think when you manage to open the shield, you might want to give those students top scores in practicum? Right?" Then she giggles.

I'm looking forward to reading what actually happened! GO, RAEL!
(Anonymous) on May 31st, 2019 02:12 am (UTC)
I think it will end up being more along the lines of that the School of Magic is still turning a blind eye to Comet Fall magic as was shown IIRC by Arno when he had the class. The Directorate teaching probably now include Comet Fall techniques/theory (Urfa talked about this in the first chapter as why Rael is qualified) and the School of Magic is marking them down for it. So I can see it coming down to them declaring to Rael that teleporting can't be done (Which as was mentioned she did her dissertation on) and then her teleporting on them or another such thing she can pull off that is Comet Fall based.
(no subject) - mbarker on May 31st, 2019 07:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on May 31st, 2019 10:30 am (UTC)
Izzo's In-group
I can imagine Arno becoming part of the in-group, depending on where he winds up, and possibly Ryol as well. Their father might be somewhat discombobulated about that.
(Anonymous) on May 31st, 2019 12:11 pm (UTC)
Oner usage of magic
Are Oners trained not to use much magic day to day because some responsible people disliked the way they could manipulate and prank Multitude? Or did someone realise how outnumbered the One were, and that the Multitude could rise up and destroy the One through sheer numbers, if they were angry enough?
matapampamuphoff on May 31st, 2019 12:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Oner usage of magic
Technology and a lack of war has reduced the usefulness of magic in the Empire. Magifacturing, truth matches, and Speed in fencing are very nearly the only practical uses.

Kids are taught, very haphazardly and randomly, privacy shields and to control and repress their magic.

Almost all pranks and manipulations are illegal. But that's sort of like teen drinking is illegal. Usually no harm done. Just enough disasters that it remains illegal.

The School of Magic is about to be outraged. And Professor Jues is about to do something unfortunate.
Re: Oner usage of magic - pamuphoff on May 31st, 2019 12:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on July 31st, 2019 02:58 pm (UTC)
Youve got spam
Yuck. See above.