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24 July 2019 @ 10:02 am
_Professor_ part 20  

Chapter Ten


Tuesday, 18 Furkan 1316 yp

Tuesday. “Last day of very basic for you six. Now, your shields are much better than just a week ago. You’ve all got a good grasp of mental and emotional spells. If you want to continue training—still for no credit—you’d fit in well with any of my Tuesday-Thursday morning classes. If you can’t make it in the morning,” Rael waved a hand at the nine o’clock group, who were hovering on the edge of the field. “Nine, ten, or eleven, come and talk to me. You’ve all made a really good start, with just five lessons. Now scat. I’ve got the next batch to deal with. And grab boost on the way out.”

Rael eyed the next group.

Is this only the second time for these guys? Yikes! I feel like I’ve been here for months, but it’s only the second week.

She drilled them on mental and physical shields, introduced them to energy shields. Drilled them on Telepathy and all the “standard” mental spells.

“You guys need lots of drill on physical shields, both for control and for the strength of the shields. You’re picking it up fast, but do not practice out of class. You’re strong enough to get dangerous, but not controlled enough to only damage what you want to damage. Now. Another couple of weeks and I can turn you loose to practice on your own.” She grinned at their dismayed faces. “Don’t look glum. Everyone goes through this rough period where they are accidentally dangerous. Listen to me! You are all very strong magically. We’ll make it through the next few weeks and you’ll be awesome. Now get. And practice telepathy, stretch the distance.”

Ten o’clock group. Not as strong, but only a couple who were actually weak. I’ll need to resort the groups in a few weeks.

Eleven o’clock group. Still shaky, but it was just the second class. She stuck to drilling them on mental shields and collecting power.

At lunch, the door to the house had a sign on the office side.

Closed to avoid coming to the attention of the inspectors.

Ah. Good plan.

Her desk sported a data card and the handles of a bag. The bag held lunch, the card held the first four reports, with footnotes from Xen, and a short quiz for each report.

Very interesting, the additions and corrections.

Am I insane, asking an enemy agent to be honest about the number of magicians Comet Fall has? How strong they are? What sort of distance their spells can reach?

And if he is lying about it . . . which way?

Would he think it better if Comet Fall looked too dangerous to attack? Or too weak to see as a threat?

Rael stared at the report. “One Damn it all.”

So . . . how do I find out, and how do I find out if he’s contacted anyone, ever spoken to any deep moles . . .

This is ridiculous. If there are moles who somehow managed to mess with our entire magic training system, from childhood to college for sixty years, Xen wouldn’t get near them.

“Bloody Hell.” She started the next report. Familiar ground, for her, and flipped to the first footnote. “The ‘background’ level of insertions in Cadent has risen dramatically in the last half century, since the ‘Church of Love’ started identifing magical men and using them in their reproductive program. A mage/wizard in 1353 started the local tradition of a public orgy, usually in midsummer. The God of Love, Jason Rombeau added his genes (Witch and Mage) to the mix several years later, and an Info Team added the One Gene and the specific Oner insertions to the mix in 1363.

“This was on top of the original background level of three or four insertions. The P insertion on Chromosome 17 and the Y insertion on Chromosome 19 were close to being ‘fixed,’ that is almost everyone had them, so almost all babies inherited two copies, in the Veronan population. The power genes, on the other hand, were very rare throughout the entire population. The addition of outside genes has complicated the situation considerably, with more and varied insertions and power genes in the immediate Cadent area.”

Rael eyed the date of the report. 1366 yp . . . Eyed the authors’ names. Info Team Leader Idre Withione Alcairo, Info Egto Neartuone Alcairo, Info Ajha Clostuone Black Point.

She snickered. Subdirector of Exploration Ajha Clostuone Black Point spread his very magically strong genes all over Cadent in a public orgy? I . . . think I won’t actually point that out to the students.

And then there’s Egto, my father of record, and source of one of my One power genes, even if that wine didn’t substitute in any other genes.

Good. Grief.

She started skimming for the only other foot note . . . A simple This is in agreement with my own assessment of Verona’s lack any systematic teaching of magic. More recently than this report, their military has begun to aggressively recruit magically talented children and teach them to apply clumsy brute force pushes and fireballs. Impressive when massed, but unsubtle.

“My own assessment,” Xen? Well, I ought not be surprised that you’re one of the people evaluating your domestic enemies’ magical capabilities.

The next report was on Fascia, the capital city of the now defunct Auralian Empire. Where in a single generation, the Oner power gene had become the dominant power gene in the region. A low level of several other power collection genes had been detected.

A single footnote. In the Fall of 1375 post Exile, the Oners and the local troops the Oners had trained and armed, captured the Earth’s gate anchor and attacked Earth through it. The Amma, his court and nobles and their large families all moved through the gate. This removed a large chunk of the magical genes from the local region, but the One gene is still present in significant numbers.

A footnote to the footnote: Apparently the Oners promised to keep the Amma safe from the comet in return for his troops helping hold the Earth’s Gate Area long enough for the Oners to set up two gate anchors and start the invasion of Earth.

The Amma, on the other hand, aided by Paxal Gamma, God of Peace (badly named) controlled the staff running the Earth’s gate and once all his people were through, switched the gate to another world, believed to be a Mining World with importer Native workers and Earther supervisors. The Amma decamped through the gate with all his people. The Oners, having found themselves unable to energize their beacons, joined them. That world has not been rediscovered.

Rael thumped her head on the desk. “I really need to try to verify this before I give it to poor unsuspecting teenagers . . .” She glanced at her watch, and dropped everything to run for the practice field.

Drill, drill, drill.

And at the end, Milo, Fun, and Kev added slice, narrow punches, and fireballs to their repertoire. And then they learned how to shield hard enough, specifically enough, to defeat all of them, when used against them.

“By the end of the semester, you three are going to be scary.”

Mind you they all had good basics . . . heh . . . I’ll bet from training before they came here. But they’re sopping this us like it’s easy. Maybe . . . maybe not training young children is good, so long as they get proper training as teenagers.

Of course . . . they obviously aren’t getting that training.

What sort of training did teenagers get before this insane child rearing scheme? What were the early explorer teams like, before Granite Peak? Rael frowned at her comp. And can I get what I want from the grid, or do I need to find an old Teamer and have a chat . . . Urfa’s too young. Ajha? No, he was doing his summer internship across when the Earthers took Granite Peak and attacked us. Aunt Kael? Or . . . oh no. Please don’t make me go talk to Agni!

matapampamuphoff on July 24th, 2019 03:03 pm (UTC)
Not that I've gotten very far on this one, either . . .
(Anonymous) on July 24th, 2019 04:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, go talk to your mother, Rael. Or take Xen to talk to her. Most entertaining for readers!

It occurs to me that a fear of magical training spell with the contagion methods of Warric's former colleagues (can't come up with the country's name this am) as attacked the mage world, could produce this effect if it glommed onto an educator. Go to a conference, spread the spell, everyone goes to work at the schools, spreads the spell.

It would have been awfully early in contact with Comet Fall. However, we've got the elves out there traveling dimensionally.

Or heck, Rael, go talk to Emre and Jeb. There's another group right at home that's at risk from very strong magicians. Taking a hard look at Izzo, if enough third sons and their wives and sisters got ticked off on behalf of their brothers/own sons, they could be very, very destructive, and if the priest gene counts as plus-one to the gene count check function (Xiat thought in Empire that Izzo could get anyone pregnant) then their subpopulation is going to select slightly higher count over time over the general population. Is Izzo's 216 more or less common among yP carriers than normal y carriers?

matapampamuphoff on July 24th, 2019 05:34 pm (UTC)
It might be slightly more rare, in as much as the high count Yps are much more likely to be taken for Priests than low count Yps, thus failing (in the past) to pass those high gene counts and Yps to the next generation. And as the generations pass, the high count Yps have been getting pretty thin on the ground.

Mind you, there are probably only a few thousand 216s in the entire population. Checking my notes (which are, of course, infallable)I have 6 million Withiones,and 1% of them with 200 or more. Mainly because of the very high count women having (as a statistical group) so few children.

Rael needs to pin down _when_ the changes in the way Magic was taught changed, to see who, why, and what polity could have been responsible. The One probably didn't notice, else they'd have done something about it.

Now if she could just find the time to interview Kael and Agni . . .
(Anonymous) on July 25th, 2019 01:38 am (UTC)
I was thinking, given the general insanity around passing along property and position, that those high count Yp carriers who didn't get taken for priests probably mostly had at least three sons themselves, to be sure they had an heir. Izzo's grandfather certainly did. I kind of figured that since the One implemented the first two sons rule, there would be an average of six kids per Yp male who wasn't taken.
However, if the Yp gives them an advantage in reproduction, they would also be sought out partners by high-count baby-hungry women.

matapampamuphoff on July 25th, 2019 02:28 am (UTC)
So long as the mystique of the One lasts.

Even the men so desperate to have a son to hand off property and fortune to . . . only had one of the three who could possibly pass that on--at the cost of losing his own first two sons. As well as a possible fifth or sixth . . .

Izzo's father, having seen his brothers taken away, their desires, especially Izpo's verbal and physical rejection being not honored, took care to remove himself and any future children from the system.

And how many men had three daughters, a son, two more daughters . . .

How many women would marry a third son? How many wives would he go through? Or have two illegitimate sons before marrying, but they were just Servaones, so the One took his legitimate sons instead?

They really poisoned their well, failing to honor the rejections of the children.