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12 June 2019 @ 10:25 am
_Professor_ part 13  

A polite request from the Magic School Chancellor asking her to stop by Professor Jues’s office and stop her quacking . . .

“Oops . . . might have not realized how much oomph I put into that one. I wonder who’s giving her lectures?”

She shook her head, finished eating, cued up answers to the messages that needed it and stepped back out into the house a minute after she’d left. Sighed, and headed for the School of Magic. Professor Jues’s office door was closed, with three students sitting against the wall.

They eyed Rael, as she walked up and knocked. “She won’t let you in.” The little dark one shrugged. “We need to know when the class will start again, but she won’t talk to anyone. We figured she was still quacking, but we could do yes-no questions. But . . .”

“Right.” Rael circled her hand, tried the knob. It turned, and she opened the door. Jues leaped up behind the desk, flushing with sudden anger and Rael slipped in and locked the door behind her.

Jues bared her teeth and hissed.

Rael reached out mentally and snapped the Quack spell. “Sorry that lasted so long, I’m still retraining after childbirth. Let’s see, now your hair . . .”

“You, you . . .” She put her hand to her throat, “Bitch! You hideous pervert, fucking natives and letting them get you pregnant! You . . .”

Rael tuned out the rather unimaginative cussing and studied the woman. And when she stopped for a breath, jumped in. “Why? Are you trying to destroy the Directorate students?”

“I follow the rules, you stupid traitor! It has nothing to do with me! The Directorate thinks they have the best? Ha! Prove it, run with a handicap, or quit like sniveling cowards!”

And you enjoy it . . . but if it’s not your idea to handicap the strongest Oners . . . whose is it? And how long has this been going on?

“So you’ve been teaching for eighty-four years? How long have these rules been in effect?”

“Over sixty years. After Granite Peak, we changed all the training procedures, all the selection criteria. That’s when Directorate Studies split off to be an entirely separate School. Stupid egotists started acting like they were better than the rest of us, but all those Bullies and Rapists needed was brute force spells and shields. And they could learn those in the field, away from people they could poison with their brutal outlook on life!”

How utterly fascinating.

“Well, to get back to the issue of your hair . . .”

“Bitch! Don’t you dare use another spell on me. Get out. Now!”

Rael got up and walked out without another word. Closed the door behind her, and eyed the three girls. “I’d recommend going away, and just showing up for the lecture.”

And I need to research this bloody stupid University!

***

The three afternoon classes were about the same, beginners with promise.

The fourth class, the three students who’d had mental, physical, and energy shields, who could already collect power . . .

“Milo, relax. You’re collecting too much power for these minor tasks.” She ran them through a few cycles of raising and lowering shields, holding two, and then three shields at once.

“Ekve, drop all your shields. Stretch, relax. Meditate and quiet your mind.”

The boy squinted at her. “But I’m no good at this, I can’t hold more than a single shield. I . . . I have to try harder.”

Nods from the other two.

“Even though I’m lousy at Theory.” Milo added.

A glum nod from Infu.

Rael sighed. “I am investigating the situation. The long and short of it is that Professor Jues just purely hates the Directorate School students. She always uses her discretion to lower those score by a full point. The head of the Directorate School Magic Department always protests, so she raises them half a point. When Yppo died late last semester, she went completely bonkers and lowered everyone two full points. And an additional point, for the two best students.

“You, Inuf, and Milo. Flunked the three of you. Ekve, Kev? Yeah, that grade that popped up? That was the unrevised grade, before she downgraded you. Three point five, and you’re a freshman, not juniors like these two.”

“Milo, why didn’t you take Intro until you were a junior? C’mon. Fess up.”

“I . . . started here to piss off my dad. I figured I’d just get an education, a job, be a widget at Interior or something. Away from my father’s control freak attempts to ‘help’ me.” He squirmed. “Then last years I met some incoming students, all bright-eyed and hoping for X Teams and adventure and . . . and . . . something clicked. So I took that damned class.”

“And you did very well, good enough, with a strong glow, for Professor Jues to target, all through the semester, giving you the lowest possible point whenever possible, and then losing it and being blatant in her attack.”

Rael looked at the three of them. “You are the best. And you’re all three going to be very strong magicians.”

:: Now. Telepathy. ::

They all blinked at her voice in their minds.

And caught on very quickly.

She sent them off to their dinner and stumped off for home herself. The sun was nearly down, the breeze chilly after the warm dome.

I’d better stay away from Jues for a long time. Else I’ll kill the bitch for what she did to these three.

And . . . what about Qamar? She’s got a worse case of zero self-confidence than these guys.

How long did they have to pound at the daughter of a Prophet to make her doubt herself?

“And why do it?”

“Do what?” Xen’s deep voice invisibly beside her.

“Don’t tell me you were watching.”

“I wanted to see how well the greenhouse was working. Your students were quite impressive. Poorly trained, for their age by Either Wizard or Mage standards. When do children start getting lessons?”

Rael winced as she walked into the Soft Building. “Odd isn’t it?” Still invisible? What are you up to, God of Spies? “We don’t do any training at all until they touch the One—grasp power, as you would say. Then they get meditation practice.”

“Ouch. But that would explain why they need to be in the enclaves. No control until they’ve had a couple of years of lessons?”

“Now that we’ve met you lot, seen what you can do . . . I’m thinking we need to start earlier. A lot earlier.” She unlocked the door of the office, well, antechamber and . . . jolted to a stop.

“Ah. Dog crap on the carpet. How nice!” Xen snorted and gestured. The turds disappeared, smears and all. The magic lock on the sliding doors was undisturbed, her office proper untouched.

Locked outer and inner doors and walked home to collapse.

Xen handed her a glass of red wine, and set a tray of various yummies beside her.

“Are you trying to spoil me?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Because teaching a couple of college classes in Magic theory is turning out to not be the break I thought it would be.”



 
 
 
ekuah on June 12th, 2019 05:21 pm (UTC)
Just imagine...
...what would happen, if Jues would hurt/endanger Exzy in an attempt of revenge?

Would that justify any permanent (life changing) magic spell from Rael?

Pam, what do you think?
matapampamuphoff on June 12th, 2019 06:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Just imagine...
Jues isn't the main problem, she's just a bitter manipulate old woman. Rael's going after the [erk! Choke collar!!!!]

I have to figure out the details, now that I've found the main story problem. Then I have to figure out how Rael figures it out. And then I have to write it.
(Anonymous) on June 12th, 2019 07:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Just imagine...
And you've got such a wide selection of candidates for the Big Bad. . . or as red herrings. Just for starters my mind leaps to a cabal of priests, a cabal of princesses, the leadership of the Princess School, a faction of the Council, elements within one of the political parties, an ideological group, etc.

--TheOtherSean
matapampamuphoff on June 12th, 2019 08:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Just imagine...
I understand that the proper way to write a mystery is to have everyone have a motive and the means, and then figure out which one actually did it.
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 12:24 am (UTC)
Re: Just imagine...
And you've got another possible factor: the poor state of magical training Empire-wide. Is that deliberate, or happenstance? And if it is deliberate, is whoever responsible the same as those responsible for Jues attitude, or completely separate? Has Rael stumbled upon one or two conspiracies?

--TheOtherSean
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 12:45 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Just imagine...
Does it have to internal? I'm nomenating cyborg spies weakening a potential rival.

Bryan
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 12:20 am (UTC)
RE: Re: Just imagine...
Maybe a faction of the old One who don't want anyone strong who is not under their control. Rael needs to see a priest or go to Makah.
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 12:46 am (UTC)
This has the possibility of being one of your better stories in the series. It has great humour and is developing a nice underlying meaty plot, not just funny fluff. I think your subconscious knew just what it was doing. There are lots of hints in other stories that something is wrong.

You mean after they lost Granite Peak, not after they found it again? I guess this kind of stupidity could play into calling the Comet Fall magic false magic, which always seemed bizarre. Magic either works or it doesn't.
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 03:29 am (UTC)
I've read this twice and I'm still confused over who besides Milo was deliberately targeted here.

We have a small group of three: Milo, Ekve, and Infu, or Kev, or Inuf. I'm guessing Kev and Inuf are nicknames? Two of them were targeted, Milo and ? as the most powerful students, and had three points taken away. (I suppose Ryol and Arno shielded like nobody's business.)

Holly, lost in the thicket of Oner names yet again.
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 04:23 am (UTC)
I'm liking this more and more. I can hardly wait!
cnmckenney on June 13th, 2019 02:33 pm (UTC)
Is this a Jaejong plot to keep the One behind his polity in terms of magical strength. Seems like the kind of long-term and covert option he preferred.
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 02:52 pm (UTC)
It kind of does, but I'm not sure he has sufficiently-reliable dimensional capabilities to pull it off. Cyborgs, maybe? But they seem far more interested in force of arms and coup de main, though the incomplete Serpent story suggests they can be more subtle at times. Perhaps it was the work of the High Council of Dimensional Overloads. :P

--TheOtherSean
matapampamuphoff on June 13th, 2019 04:43 pm (UTC)
Bwahahahaha! That no one has mentioned the actual Bad Guys gives me hope that I can pull off a good mystery.
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 06:22 pm (UTC)
I am hopeful that you do pull off a good mystery.

Perhaps it was one of the Oner clans? A cabal of academics? A teachers' union? The descendants of Alexander the Traitor? Cthulu?

--TheOtherSean
matapampamuphoff on June 13th, 2019 06:50 pm (UTC)
Ooo, a world of intelligent cephalopods would be fun! I had been wondering about the Twins' internships.
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 09:41 pm (UTC)
Responsible Parties
It is obviously the Hell Hounds with some help from a certain timer traveler that showed up in "Cooking Hot". They took over the dog shows then influenced their rich owners to sabotage the One (At that point it deserved it).
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2019 11:00 pm (UTC)
Council vs Directorate? They wouldn't be that stupid, surely. Princesses checking power of Teamers? Not Purple????? A council of academics who don't like the Directorate? Huh.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on June 13th, 2019 11:35 pm (UTC)
Ajha graduated before Granite Peak so should have spotted the "students are not what they were"


Was there an increase in student throughput at this time?
matapampamuphoff on June 13th, 2019 11:54 pm (UTC)
After the Granite Peak disaster, yes a major increase in students, and the Directorate school was formed, pulling teachers and students from all of the other disciplines, including the School of Magic.

Which is part of the grudge between the two schools.

The increase in students, specifically for training for violent encounters with Earth, included a lot of very aggressive and twisted people, forming the Action Teams the everyone really hates.
matapampamuphoff on June 14th, 2019 12:48 am (UTC)
I've got Ajha as a 17 year old on his internship across at the time of the disaster, which is why he has no copy on Whirlpool One.

So in fact, he can give Rael a ton of information on the transformation period.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on June 14th, 2019 08:27 pm (UTC)
==Axti’s son was twenty, across on Tall Trees Colony when we lost the gate. Estranged or not, he'd been so proud of the boy's accomplishments at the Directorate School .==

I read that as he had graduated but there are indeed other possibilities
matapampamuphoff on June 14th, 2019 11:23 pm (UTC)
He's got a Master Degree in Magic of some sort. Or possible Cross Dimension Studies. But he could easily have turned twenty before his Senior year.