Joveâ€™s alarm came way too early the next morning. He grumbled, stumbling out of bed, and turning it off, silently cursing the idea that putting the alarm on the floor would force him to get up even if he just wanted to turn it off. Then he remembered his alarm clock didnâ€™t work in Atlantis.
Aether was making the noise. Jove opened the book to reveal a note, â€œDonâ€™t oversleep and miss class.â€ This was followed by the current time of 9 AM, and an option to turn the alarm off. Jove tapped the off option, and closed Aether, carrying the book into the main room.
â€œOkay, who set the alarm on my grimoire?â€
Both of his roommates looked at him, and Tan said, â€œWe canâ€™t access your grimoire. Itâ€™s bound to your magic, it wonâ€™t respond to us.â€
Somehow, Jove knew this was going to be a long day. He walked past the open practice area and settled into one of the chairs. â€œThen who did?â€
Tan nodded, fiddling with a sizzling skillet that he put down directly on the table in the middle of the seating area. â€œI figured I could apologize for what Rai did last night. Are egg-sap omelets okay? I was going to add mushrooms and peppers.â€
â€œSure.â€ Jove he looked at Aether, â€œHow did you know?â€ Jove opened his grimoire to check his schedule for the day, but instead wrote â€œWhen was alarm set?â€ on the blank page.
The reply appeared underneath. â€œAlarm was requested at 2:17 am last night.â€
â€œWhat time did we end up getting back to bed last night?â€
There was a pause, and Chris answered, â€œ2:15. I checked the clock.â€
Jove wrote, â€œWho set the alarm?â€
â€œJove – Owner,â€ was the response.
Jove thought back to when he went to bed. He did say something about being concerned about oversleeping, but that was just to the empty room. â€œTan, can the grimoires accept spoken commands?â€
Tan nodded, â€œThey need an app for it, but yes. Speech is fairly easy for magic to understand.â€
â€œOkay, thatâ€™s possible.â€ Jove wrote, â€œIs speech command app installed?â€
The response came, â€œNo.â€
Jove tried a different approach, â€œHow was alarm set?â€
â€œConcern for oversleeping was written, alarm was set in response.â€
Jove asked his roommates, â€œAre commands logged? I mean, if I wrote a command, could I flip to the page where I wrote it?â€
Tan answered, â€œYes. Commands and responses are logged, like you were using a notebook. You can rearrange them or delete them, but theyâ€™re recorded by default.â€
Jove wrote another command. â€œLocate written expression of concern.â€
His grimoire replied, â€œExpression not found.â€
Jove gasped in frustration. He wrote, â€œThen what happened?â€
â€œUnknown.â€ There was a delay, and underneath the automated response, I asked, â€œShould I look into possible explanations?â€
Jove jotted a Y for yes and closed the book. He put it down and grabbed the plate of breakfast that Tan has just finished. â€œMaybe itâ€™s just a glitch, but how did it know to set the alarm? It thinks I told it to.â€
Tan finished plating the rest of breakfast for himself and Chris. Tan thought, â€œMaybe you accidentally formed a familiar bond with it.â€
â€œA familiar?â€ Jove blinked, and looked at his grimoire, â€œA spirit given physical form that absorbs magical backlash?â€
Tan laughed. â€œNo, they only do that in role-playing games. Basically, an extension of your own magic can bond with an item, animal or faerie. It makes them aware of your moods and desires. Theyâ€™re safe, since theyâ€™re basically part of you.â€ The jaguar pondered, â€œI thought the grimoires couldnâ€™t be used as familiars though. Something about them being part of a collective and safeguards against hacking. A normal mage would make a single page that was a familiar, and place that into the grimoire. Basically making a familiar with access to the grimoire. Still, a familiar would have shown up separately on your list of maintained spells.â€
Aether chimed, indicating that I had finished my research. Jove took a look at my answer, and read it out loud, â€œCommand was given direct to interface enchantment.â€ He paused, â€œThat sounds like a familiar. Maybe thereâ€™s something odd about the way my blood bonds to items?â€
Tan pulled a piece of paper with a rune on it from under the table. â€œChris and I got you something that might help. It took all my discretionary money for the month, and Hypatia had to get it last night, but I wanted to be sure you got it this week, before you learn too much about your magic.â€
Jove took the paper, â€œWhat is it?â€
â€œA spell tracker.â€ Tan smiled, â€œIt keeps a log of every spell you use, checks it against a database of known spells, and identifies the element and any common names. So, if you used magic to tell your grimoire to set an alarm, it will be able to identify what spell you used.â€
Jove looked at the paper, his eyes tracing the complicated rune. My words came to his mind again, command was given direct… Jove held the paper in one hand, and his grimoire in the other. He said, â€œWhen I added my textbooks to Aether, I used what I thought was the earth method, a rubbing transfer.â€ He closed his eyes, and attempted to observe the paper, to feel the rune.
Tan sounded nervous, â€œJove, what are you doing? I canâ€™t afford another one.â€
Jove reached out, and part of him felt the faint resistance of the rune on the page. If he could directly interact with Aetherâ€™s command line, perhaps he could also directly interact with the application loader. Jove imagined the rune traveling down his arm, across his chest, and into Aether. The presence of the rune seemed to follow Joveâ€™s will.
He opened his eyes, and noticed the rune was gone and Aether had â€œApplication installed.â€ written on the page.
Tan just stared. â€œThatâ€™s not possible. I mean, an animus could do that, but heâ€™d just recreate the logging spell from scratch.â€
Jove set Aether down on the table, â€œIâ€™m not a revoker. Thereâ€™s nothing like that on the list of powers you showed me.â€ He laughed, not expecting the weight that took off his shoulders. â€œSo, what did I do?â€
There was no way a simple familiar bond could account for the installation of an application remotely. I didnâ€™t know the word, so Aether checked the records for direct interaction with magic. Aether chimed, and wrote the answer on the page. The answer also explained Joveâ€™s ability to negate magic.
Everyone was stunned for a moment. Jove definitely had not written the question down. Jove looked at the page, and read my answer out loud.
â€œMetamagic.â€<< TS21: Dissonant Echo || TS23: Show and... >>