Genesis of Cracks
Posted on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 @ 8:00pm by Mystic Zachary Craft
Location: School, Ms Summers office
Timeline: Day after the rite
He found her, as usual, in the nurse’s office though as it was the Holidays she wasn’t working officially. When he entered, the veil was partially peeled back and her work table, so innocuous and curiously anachronistic, now looked like a Halloween prop for a mad scientist’s chemical bench.
Arabus and glass tubes ran this way and that, flames of blue, red or green floated beneath glass, crystalline or metallic bottles from which evaporations of their various contents collected in other tubes after passing through metal collars in which lights of various colors played. The wooden frame and surface of the massive antique bench was pitted and scarred and appeared stained with several fluids of unknown origin. Next to it, a large sealed bell-jar was illuminated from within and had runes frosted into it and a small squid-like creature that seemed made of hooked tentacles, sensitive feelers and black shadowy material as it seemed to try to shift out of the luminous bilious green gaseous-fluid suspension it was held in.
Zach did not touch anything though he wanted too. He knew better, after the poison lesson. The most innocuous could be the most dangerous. He looked around and did not see Ms. Summer anywhere. He went and sat down on one of the chairs used to wait when you needed the nurse content to wait for Ms Summer to be available.
This time, since the veil seemed to be partially down, he heard a deep resounding gong sound in the distance as soon as he sat and saw Summer emerge from a hidden doorway with a tray of various supplies and pots and lengths of cloth with what looked like embroidered mystical symbols on them.
She smiled at Zach, knowing he could see her Fae guise as she stepped to the bench and put the tray down and gestured for him to come over as she reached out and started to make two beakers of some sort of purple fizzy liquid.
Zach obeyed without word. He knew his time to talk would come when allowed and he was content to wait and see what he would learn today. Perhaps this time he could swallow a chocolate flavored poison. He watched carefully as Ms. Summer worked.
She carefully folded the bandages and placed them inside a glass-sides box and then poured a luminous blue liquid over it in a thin stream, just a little bit at a time. It released a smell just like the blue potion he’d had before that had been poisonous; freshness and cool herbs. She stopped pouring but held the bottle as she cocked her head and watched it, to his Othersight he saw her probing the weaves worked into the bandages which, as he watched, transformed and became more powerful and complex.
As the weave settled into a new configuration, she grunted softly, carefully stopped the little bottle and set it aside on the workbench high and out of casual reach and chose another round bottle with a wax-sealed glass stopper. She took a pair of glass stick, wielded them like chopsticks and removed the seal and took out the single object; a normal-looking orange fluff-feather from what looked like a tropical bird of some sort. She took it out with the glass stick, put it on the bandages and stepped back slightly and tipped the box closed with the glass tongs. There was a faint click and the weave inside the box swelled and writhed as it seemed to absorb the feather and whatever essence it carried, the little glass box shivered and jumped slightly as if there was an earthquake but only it was affected.
In three heartbeats the swelling went down and the vibration stopped and the feather was gone, though the weave of the bandages now shone with a golden glow nearly blinding to look at. It reminded him of the light that seeped between the cracks. Satisfied she turned to Zach with a wide smile and tossed the glass tongs over her right shoulder without looking, they went into the waste bin and shattered.
“And what can I do for you today Zachary?” she asked, hands on her hips in her typical rainbow-colors shift and barefoot.
Zach responded, “I have...bonded with the basket you and Ms Jericho gave me. The effects are very satisfactory but I wanted to see if there was more information to garner about it. Limitations, capabilities and any other details that would be good to know,” he paused for a moment. “and after all that if you could tell me what just happened as well, please”
“Well the basket was crafted to bond itself to your weave at the Primal level,” she explained. “There’s a lot of stupid metaphysics I could talk about and blather away at you with for hours but just say it made you stronger and magnified your own toughness so if you and Brann got into a match and he landed a good one, you wouldn’t be crushed into a side-dish for Nachos-Night in the dining hall.” She raised and folded her left arm under her breasts, resting her right elbow on it and tapped her lips thoughtfully with her index finger as she looked thoughtful. “And then there’s those other things Jericho had me layer in first...”
Zach nodded. Brann was already stronger than him on a more...untrained level. The risk he took in allowing him to land blows to make his point had not been made clear until very recently. So he could appreciate the value of that gift alone. “Are you allowed to share what the additional weaves are,” he asked.
“They won’t make a lot of sense to you now Zachary,” she replied with a winsome smile. “But advanced science and magic are really close to each other in what they can do. So with magic you can do the same things you can do with science and technology. Its just that the way it makes itself known, the way it expresses itself in reality, is different. So all of the students have laptops,” she gestured to him, “right? So you have this metal and plastic and rare earth tool that let’s you do math and record words and talk to each other through signals transmitted through space. But with magic,” she snapped her fingers on both hands and made a square with her right and left index fingers and thumbs before pulling them apart to make a rectangle. The gesture left behind a flat two-dimensional rectangle with what looked like (from behind) a keyboard and an upper section like a ultrabook display except it was see-through from his angle. She quickly typed, the ‘keys’ flashed green when she touched them and tiny characters scrolled across the screen and she paused and looked at Zach.
His cell phone went off. Zach pulled out his smart phone and saw that the text was from Ms Summer but that the origin number was marked as unknown. He nodded grasping what she was saying. “So basicly you are saying that magic can interface with science and vice versa. Thus the reason I can cast a speed rune on my weave armor but if I am not careful the force of that rune can rip appendages off.” Zach thought for a moment and then asked, “So do I have a computer hardwired into my weave?”
“Essentially your weave is a computer Zachary,” she explained to him, “and your extra weaves are programs you write on the spot and run until they’re done. So if you’re inclined and have the natural talents to do it, you can incorporate science into your weave. Its been done and its terribly inelegant,” she made a scrunched up face.
“So sticking with the computer concept. Once I understand the programming language of the weave, then I should be able “write” whatever I need then?” Zach asked.
“Everyone has a limit,” Summer replied with an uncustomary note of caution. “Whether its the strength of limb and body against the forces you invoke or the amount of Mana you can channel before turning yourself into a pretty light that screams and burns for hundreds of years, there are limits.” He clasped her hands before her and gave him a look of pride, “And you, my dear nephew, are very far from yours just yet.”
Zach nodded. He understood he was at the beginning of many things. He knew he could also feel power itching, it seemed, just behind his eyes. He had felt such joy in the simple weaves he had done so far that he was eager to do more.
“I know Daygon told you who your mother was because you were already on the cusp of rationalizing it anyway,” Summer just shrugged, “and I’m her great-grandfather’s sister on her paternal side. Maab, I will mention, thought it a rather tidy arrangement considering she was pregnant with you, the war was about to break out and I was her sworn devotee.” She crossed her hands and drummed her fingertips on her biceps not looking terribly pleased about it. “Then the war started and Cross made his first mistake when he Sealed your father. Your mother went Mad and I began my career of wiping out his bloodline, one member at a time, until I can exterminate him. Your mother eventually emerged from her Madness, changed, just before your birth and placed you with Jericho and set me to guard you, making use of the relationship Jericho and I have and her friendship with Jericho. You, having been with her during her Chrysalis during the events leading up to the war, were altered slightly, no longer quite mortal and yet not exactly anything else we know to quantify.”
Zach felt tears again in his eyes. Unsure of what the emotion that was connected to it he ignored it. He was suddenly curious about his father. “Is my father still alive? Where is he? Who is he?” he asked in a string of suddenly boyish fervor.
“He lives I guess,” Summer looked glum. “Though a Sealing isn’t exactly living, to your mother and those with enough power and the right skills, he can be reached for short periods and communicated with. But he resides in the realms of the Ur and he dreams, while they tap his essences and slowly drain the life out of him. Because of where he is and because of how difficult it is to reach him, even in Dreams, we pray his death comes soon and his spirit can be set free.” Arms still crossed, she looked even less happy but in a decidedly maudlin sort of way.
Analytically, Summer presented more information. “Strategically speaking, the Ur couldn’t take him down and he’d already done a ridiculous amount of damage to them,” and as she said it, Zach understood that this was Summer, who was capable of doing damage on a level he considered ridiculous talking that way about his father, “so they managed to Seal him. It cost them. A lot. He didn’t go down easy and he took out half of their Dregs in one huge blast. But as soon as they got him down, clearly they thought your mother would be an easier target. She...” she paused and considered how to put the images and memories into relatable words. “Your mother is a Visionary, that is her Birthright. In addition, she’s a Truborne Visionary, from a long line with powerful Gifts. Maab had already attached her figment to your mother and so when Zoroaster was Sealed, she invoked Maab in her fullness.” Summer actually shuddered a little, “That moment has been recorded as the Fifth Cataclysm in the Golden Book of Ages Zachary,” Summer explained. “It was so significant, such a powerful event and chain of reactions and powers combining that all of the Shadow-World was affected, as was the Mortal World. There were chains of wars after that, madness of great profoundness reigned across several levels of the Worlds and and millions died. One of the other Cataclysms was when the earth flooded and wiped out most life.”
Zach listened and recorded it all as simple data. To be integrated to his understanding. “So, I was in her womb during this event and you speak of my father as I think of you,” his mind turned at a high paced. “Was my father a Mystic or a BattleMaster?”
“A Mystic,” she replied pointedly, “one of the few that became a full Sorcerer in his early life. We trained together for some years when he trained with the Summer Court and then again when I went to the Winter Court. He met your mother in the Courts of Ice and Shadow,” she cocked her head and smiled fondly at the memory. “Their love melted a few cold elven hearts.”
Zach only swallowed and nodded.
“So that with the statement, ‘anything else we know to quantify”, means there is a real chance I am just as dangerous as the Ur could be. My potential is not unmeasured but unknown, correct?”
“It is both unmeasured and unknown,” she corrected. “We know you’re a burgeoning Mystic and you seem to have specialized on being a Battlemaster, as I did as a child. But from my lineage you get some of your blood and my family is nothing but Sorcerers, Witches and Battlemasters.”
Zach nodded. This would imply that Summer was some kind of aunt to him as well as Master. But at this point he was not concerned with family anymore in the direct sense.
“I want to start training as soon as possible. I know we have some time left but I would prefer to not waste laying around. Also, and I doubt you will say yes to this, or will Ms. Jericho, I would like to see if it is ok if I join the Apex Pack out at their camp, permanently.”
“It is not alright,” Summer replied but didn’t take her eyes off of his. “Your visits to the pack have not been unnoticed and Jericho and I am both pleased you’ve found people you fit with more. But it’s very dangerous out there and the entire purpose of this school and our presence is to protect you lot. You joining the pack will endanger that. In addition, fleeing the relationships with the other orphans here isn’t going to make it easier while you’re in training, since you will be doing the majority of it with them in the Shadow-World and still maintaining a presence and a secret identity here.”
Zach had a list of reasons of how this was wrong but he knew better and was raised better than to question Ms Summer. Instead, in typical teenager fashion he jumped completely off topic, “Angel hugged me the other day but got upset when I said I did not want to have sex with her, she said the hug was not centered on that, or all females this way?”
“Nice try Zachary,” Summer glowered at him slightly, “but I’ll allow you to change the subject for now. You misunderstand the situation, I believe. You do understand that people show deep emotional connections with others through touch and that this does not necessarily include sex, do you not?”
Zach thought for a moment, “Yes but usually that “intimacy” is returned, correct? Why engage in such a thing if I do not return the same...feelings?”
“Do you not have feelings for your siblings?” she asked. “Affection?”
“I think I do for Pike. I relax more when he is around. The rest,” Zach just shrugged, “no, none that I am aware of.”
“Do you understand that they have affection for you?” Summer ask
“Yes,” replied Zach, “they have expressed it on numerous occasions verbally and I have no reason to doubt them.”
“Do you understand why you don’t have affection for the others?” Summer asked.
“Brain damage, genetic disorder,” he paused, “more than likely it is because I am a mystic and the complications that surround my birth. You said my mother caused a cataclysm, correct? It seems to reason that she was channeling a lot of power. The full breadth she could possibly muster. Surely I would have been impacted the most at that point. Correct?”
“Its certainly could be the case though I hesitate to use such a glib reason,” she responded, looking slightly uncomfortable. “You are beginning to feel affection for members of the Apex Pack, are you not?”
“Unclear. I feel normal among them. Like, I am not the most dangerous one there. I will say it was strange to wake up in bed with Ursaius and his mate Trey in the nude. Since I started sleeping on the couch,” replied Zach
“I should think so, since you’re used to being at the apex of your hierarchy. To be taken while asleep, transported a long way, undressed and placed in a bed between two men and to remain asleep and not awaken until into the morning must have been unnerving.” Then she smiled a little wickedly, “Unless you found yourself enjoying the results too much to be concerned with the method.” She gestured and took an instructive pose, “Let me establish the rules about how much time you can spend with the Apex Pack. You can visit them as you wish as long as your cover identity here isn’t endangered and you’re not taking time away from your education in the Shadow-World. Am I clear?”
Zach inhaled deeply in excitement but his face showed little sign of happiness except a small slight smile. “Very,” was all he replied with wheels turning quickly about how to make sure the rules were obeyed.