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31 May 2019 @ 07:15 am
_Professor_ part 6  

“Will do.” Hmm, first research the history of the problem, the mechanism through which they accomplish it, and then I’ll see if talking is sufficient.

She turned to the subdirectors. “So? Keeping in mind that I don’t know any of the seniors, what do they know now, and what do you want them taught?”

It was quite a list.

She even managed to not smirk at Kael’s request for mixed Magic and Martial Arts. “Like that damned clever Ebsa boy can do.”

Rael nodded. “I’ll also be looking for Warrior Level abilities, but one of the requirements is experience, so they’ll just have a note on their records that will get them a training session and evaluation from Isakson, a few years from now.”

Ajha wanted all around survival skills. “Slice, punch, shields of all sorts, fire. The sorts of things you needed on Wolf World. And Info? Sneaking through mental shields, truth match, listening spells, unnoticeable, and light warp. Illusions. Electromagnetic disruptions, perhaps.”

“Right. I’ll talk to Ikku and see how much I can cram into this last semester.”

Chapter Five

The School of Magic

The research had been both eye-opening and infuriating.

And had only require a few applications of her highest security passwords. Thank you, Ox, for not rescinding my presidential level security when I took this leave of absence.

She bounced up the prestigious front steps, and through the front doors of their big building. They call us a “trade school,” but they train a quarter of the Magifacturers in the Empire. And about a third of the people who can do truth matches, other than Priests, of course. They wind up with the various police forces, courts, hiring departments of big corporations. The rest of their students have trouble finding jobs, but hey, somebody’s got to work in the stores and restaurants.

A student hovering in the big entry hall flagged her down. “Professor Rael? Chancellor Usde is expecting you in his office. Right this way.”

They need more titles. University Chancellor as opposed to Chancellor of one of the Schools. Usde being the Chancellor of the School of Magic. Urfa’s equivalent. So, my appointment with Professor Jues has been up-graded. They know they’re in trouble. The only question is, will they back down, or double down?

Chancellor Usde didn’t rise as she was ushered in. Nor did the old Princess sitting across the desk from him. Neither of them showed the faintest sign of shaking hands.

Rael tossed a smile at the man. “Sorry you were bothered by this matter, Chancellor. I thought Professor Jues and I could handle it, but give the shocking evidence of long term prejudicial grades and grade adjustments, it probably does need to be handled at a higher level.”

“Excuse me?” The older woman straightened and glared. “Are you questioning my grading methods?”


Professor Jues huffed. “I have been entrusted with the teaching of Introduction to Magic for eighty-four years now, and I have never been insulted in such a fashion.”

Rael popped out her comp and opened it, it searched automatically for the room screen and connected. “Really? But I understand that the Directorate School has had to protest your downgrading of our students every single semester and that you always backed off. Looks like a stupid power play to me. An ego boost to make the Directorate Professor crawl.”

The Chancellor growled. “Our instructors can, at their discretion, take or add up to a full point from any final grade.”

Rael paused. “Up to a full point? Is that an actual written regulation?”

“It’s in the School of Magic’s by-laws.”

“I see.” She tapped at the comp and the pleasant picture on the wall disappeared, replaced with a graph. “In that case I suppose fifty years of the directorate students coming in regularly a half a point below the Magic students represent a one point down grade, corrected to a mere half point down grade is explained.”

“How did you get the office password?” The Chancellor glared.

Next graph. “So I looked at this fall’s group to try to find the problem . . . then I checked a few more years, and this is actually typical. The test grades were a complete mix, if anything those green line Directorate Grades being . . . let’s see I thought I had one with the averages for each group . . . yes. The Directorate students didn’t do much worse than any others.”

“How did you get those numbers?” The Chancellor was turning red.

“And the preliminary final grades sent to Professor Jues . . . and the finals she posted . . . and the differences.” Rael eyed the woman. “Down two full points. Except for these two that had three points removed, causing them to flunk the class.”

“At my discretion . . .”

“Looking at all the students in that class . . . only the Directorate students were downgraded. You upgraded five Magic School students to prevent them from flunking.”

“You have no right to those figures! You hacked my computer!” Jues rose from her chair, fists knotted.

“I’ve got to say I admire your nerve, downgrading Milo here at triple the amount your by-laws allow, and flunking him.”

“That drawling lounge lizard? Lazy good for nothing! Is he some relative of yours?”

“Err, no. He’s Prime Councilor Igsu’s son.”

A faint choking sound from the Chancellor. Jues’s eyes widened.

“Actually I wondered if . . . well never mind.” Rael looked beyond the woman to the Chancellor. “As your staff has clearly exceeded your by-laws in a clearly prejudicial attack on Directorate students, I expect you to correct this situation.”

The Chancellor rose now and lean over his desk. “Oh, you expect, do you? And what if we don’t?”

“It’s too late.” Jues sneered at her. “Those grades are on their permanent records, now.”

“And you might want to consider that teaching the same class for eighty-four years is more than sufficient. Perhaps Professor Jues would be better suited to teaching only Magic School students.

“I would dislike bringing the School of Magic to court with a class action suit.” Rael glanced at the screen. “Not that fifty—or eighty-four—years of this sort of data requires a judge. Simple adjudication would be sufficient, and probably keep your staff’s appalling behavior, unchecked for over half a century, to the public’s attention.”

She tapped the comp off and dropped in into the broad pocket of her suit jacket. Which was, of course, lined with a bubble so it didn’t have an unsightly bulge. “I’ll check the grades tomorrow.”

She turned and walked out. Poor Urfa! I’ll bet he’s the first person Usde calls.


Puur was manning the desk outside Urfa’s office. Grinning as she spotted Rael and tapped her earbud, as she opened the door and ushered Rael in.

Urfa was grinning to, feet up on his desk. “Well, I do understand, not wanting to bring the University into disrepute. But ignoring this blatant abuse of authority for decades?”

Whatever someone said in return, had Urfa’s grin widening.

“Tell you what. I’ll talk to Rael, I’m sure she can see that there’s nothing to gain by taking this public. Of course, sir.” He clicked off and laughed. “One! I enjoyed that! Chancellor Ejti is livid, and don’t know who to yell at first.”

“Ooo! So Chancellor Esde went running to the University Chancellor? Tsk!”

“Indeed. So, what are you thinking?”

“I’m think there’s a good chance that techie pal of Ebsa and Rad’s has already hacked the computer here, so maybe I should save time and bring him in to fix a few things.”

“Azko. Indeed. I’ll call and . . . invite him up here.” Urfa picked up his comm. “No, I don’t have his number, but I have Ebsa’s.”


Azko grinned as he shut his oversized computer and unplugged all his added bits, and slotted them all back in his case. “There. Told you I’d have it all done before anyone got here.”

Rael giggled. “I’m impressed. You didn’t even need me to wave my Presidential Level access codes at it. So what happens now?”

“Everyone who took that class will be surprised when they get their ‘updated report cards’ and an email from Direct . . . umm, Chancellor Urfa telling them check their schedules and apply for changes as needed.”

“Excellent. So stay for breakfast or?” She led the way out of Lenny and Joke’s shared office—only slightly larger than her new antechamber—where he had a solid connection to the University Main Frame.

“No, I need to get back. By the time I make it through traffic here and there, I’ll be late.” He shrugged indifferently. “I’m dissecting Helios code. Tedious.”

“Well, the least I can do is get you back quicker.” Rael stepped back into her own office and back to the house.

Xen poked his head out the kitchen door.

“This young man and his car need to get back to Gate City quickly . . .”

“No problem. In or out of the SGA?”

Azko swallowed. “Out . . . umm, do you have one of those recognition points for Paer and Ebsa’s house? I was planning on dropping the car there and taking the bus in.”

Xen grinned. “In a proper agenty fashion. Let’s go.”

(Anonymous) on May 31st, 2019 04:42 pm (UTC)
"probably keep your staff’s appalling behavior, unchecked for over half a century, to the public’s attention.”

Is that"probably keep your staff’s appalling behavior, unchecked for over half a century, FROM the public’s attention.” or "probably BRING your staff’s appalling behavior, unchecked for over half a century, to the public’s attention.”?
matapampamuphoff on May 31st, 2019 05:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Unclear
Something like that.

Of course, they're not going to take it well.
(Anonymous) on June 1st, 2019 01:18 am (UTC)
Re: Unclear
I may be seeing something that isn't there, but hasn't Rael just uncovered evidence of criminal malfeasance in a similar, if opposite, fashion to the University Admissions scandal that recently started coming apart in the US?
matapampamuphoff on June 1st, 2019 03:08 am (UTC)
Re: Unclear
When they were talking about Milo, Rael almost said she'd wondered if the Prime Councillor hadn't paid Jues to flunk him, to get him to crawl back home.

But yes. The Uni really wants to bury this quickly and quietly, with no hint of criminal behavior.
James ResoldierJames Resoldier on May 31st, 2019 08:05 pm (UTC)
I see more assassination attempts on the horizon... or perhaps a sniper or two, either against Rael or Urfa. The School of Magic's Princess Jues might try poison, I guess...

( sarc/ you know, all those princesses are trained to kill with poisons and magic, and make it look like an accident!)
(Anonymous) on June 2nd, 2019 04:02 am (UTC)
There might be specific Princesses who'd want Rael dead because of their political associations.

The Princess School as a whole OTOH probably get massive, even for them, cachet out of her being a graduate.
(Anonymous) on May 31st, 2019 08:09 pm (UTC)
No problem. In or out of the SGA?
Xen is offering to teleport Azko and car into the "secure" gate area? Oh, my, the head of gate security would have a cow if he knew about that. ("Azko swallowed" -- love it.) Just like the university records security head ought to be having a cow about what Azko just did. Hee, hee. I really enjoy this culture of interagency spying and subversion...

matapampamuphoff on May 31st, 2019 08:23 pm (UTC)
Re: No problem. In or out of the SGA?
Xen's got so many recognition points . . . Urfa's conference room in Government House, for instance, that Oner security is toast.

Q spent a couple of days wandering all through the SGA, so they can go anywhere they want.

Xen doesn't mind occasionally tweaking a few noses about it.
(Anonymous) on June 1st, 2019 04:33 pm (UTC)
Re: No problem. In or out of the SGA?
Fortunatly Orde's attitude seems to have been "He's the God of SPies, nothing we do will keep us secure from him. It is lucky that he is to trustworthy a guy to act against us unless we rally really deserve it."