TS09: Three Roommates
Despite Chris’ initial dramatic gesture, he did not speak again. Instead he sat in one of the chairs and just watched Jove unpack. South left shortly afterwards, once again apologizing for the extra stress on Jove’s first day.
Jove had just finished putting his clothes away when his other roommate stormed in. Jove first heard the door slam, followed by a soft voice saying, “Chris, sorry. I didn’t realize you were out here.”
Jove poked his head out of his room. The newcomer was a young jaguar, with deep black fur, blacker spots and dark blue eyes. He was wearing a very uncomfortable looking dress shirt with tie, jacket, formal pants and shoes. Jove said, “Hello. Good to meet you.”
The jaguar shivered and blushed. “One moment…” he objected before running to his room.
Jove walked out of his room. While he waited, he asked Christian, “Do you prefer Chris?” No response, not that Jove expected one.
A minute later, the jaguar reemerged, this time wearing more temperature appropriate shorts and a runner’s sleeveless shirt. “I’m sorry about that. My parents wanted to make sure I knew what they were not paying for at the school. Like I needed to hear that again.” He paused, and composed himself. “I’m Hevothotan, but I usually go by Tan.” Awkwardly, he offered his hand, not making eye contact.
Jove shook his hand, a lot more tentative than he expected form a jaguar. “I’m Jove. Sorry to hear about your parents. Does that mean you’re from Atlantis?”
Tan nodded, and laughed. “Yes. Do I look like an otherworlder?” He paused, a look of fear coming across his face. “I mean, yeah. I’m not here for the otherworld orientation.”
Jove smiled, “If it’s not too rude, why would an Atlantean need summer classes?”
Tan blushed again. He sat down in one of the chairs and stared at the floor before he answered. He mumbled something Jove couldn’t make out.
A little confused, Jove sat on the couch. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that.”
The jaguar spoke louder, “I’m taking CBE.”
Jove swallowed, and blushed. Tentatively he said, “I don’t know what that is.”
“Controlled Burst Experience. But, I’m not, it’s not that I haven’t burst.” He got up and grabbed a card from his room. He offered it to Jove, “Here…” It was a thaumascan that had torn in half, creating a white card with a thick diagonal black stripe on it.
|You see with pure eyes,|
|Take the pain of others,|
|Fight those who reveal you,|
|and have two reserves.|
|Not all,||though both.|
He continued, “I have two magic auras. Only one of them has become active, so I’m here to try to awaken the second one. Maybe when I’m more than just praeda, my parents will start talking to me again.”
Jove read over the card. “Is there a problem with being praeda?”
Tan looked confused, “They didn’t tell you? It hasn’t meant this since the Oath of Habitat, but… Praeda means prey, and Venator means hunter or predator. My family is very old fashioned. They still think in terms of predator and prey, nobles and serfs. You’ll learn more about that in 096.”
“Mine wasn’t one or the other either.” Jove pulled out his wallet, and drew his own card. “I think mine was a little more unusual. Maybe not, I’m not sure.” He offered it to the jaguar.
“Stripes? I’ve never heard of stripes. Could you have more than two auras?” Tan read the card. “And your last line is blank.” He read it again. “What element are you?”
Jove shrugged. “I have no idea. I haven’t used any elemental magic yet. Actually, I really only had my burst and nothing else.”
Tan looked confused, and handed Jove’s card back. “How could you have a burst and not use elemental magic?”
Before Jove could answer, another thaumascan was offered to him. Christian had gotten up and was now holding his out in front of Jove. The fox accepted the card, “Thank you. I didn’t mean to leave you out.”
|You turn pain into strength,|
|Pass through all bonds,|
|Adapt to all struggles,|
|and stand when impossible.|
|None can touch you.|
Christian’s card was white, pure Praeda, but it was the last line caught Jove’s attention. “You don’t have an element either?” Jove offered his thaumascan to Christian, and the wolf took the card and nodded. Christian sat down and seemed to read it, but offered no response.
“No element?” Tan leaned over to read Christian’s card. “That’s weird. Maybe he won’t have one until he recovers?” He looked at Jove, “Most people burst with their primary element. Mine was a vision, a premonition of how to escape my parent’s manor-house. Which I suppose says more than I should. Still, what was your burst?”
Jove blushed and shifted uncomfortably. “I don’t want to freak you out. It wasn’t normal.”
Tan laughed, “Otherworlders always say that. I’m sure it’s not as bad as it seemed. Did you injure someone? That’s fairly common. Burn down your house?” He stopped smiling. “You didn’t kill anyone did you? I mean that’s not your fault, if you did.”
Jove shook his head. He swallowed, and looked at the jaguar. “Promise you won’t get upset.”
The jaguar nodded, “If that’s what it takes. I won’t get upset.”
“I…” Jove figured Tan would find out sooner or later. “I’m a selective null. I sealed someone’s magic.”
“Sealed magic?” The jaguars eyes widened, “That Vorax mage, the animus who was captured, you did that?”
Jove remained silent and bowed his head. “He tried to kill me. Mr. Azarias saved me.”
“But you sealed his magic.” Tan shivered. “Jove, a null can’t negate magic after they burst. You’d have to be a…” Tan trailed off, afraid to finish.
“He’s not.” Chris’ voice was simple, finite and absolute.
Tan stopped shaking. “Of course he’s not.” He swallowed, “There’s a lot of horror stories about revokers. I’ve read most of them. Besides, in order to be a revoker, your father would have to be a mage who wasn’t trained in magic.”
“Yeah,” Jove tentatively agreed. He forced an uncomfortable laugh, “Although my dad might be studying here in a semester or two. I’m sure it’s unrelated.”
Tan just looked at Jove. “Seriously? He’s unhatched?”
“He is a mage who hasn’t burst.” Tan blushed, “I’m sorry. This must be a lot to take in. What you did was a big deal here, but they never mentioned your name. Probably to protect you.” He smiled, “I’m sorry it’s a lot to take in for me also. At least I don’t have to worry you’re a Vorax. A Vorax revoker is like a Atavist half-dragon vampire with the living construct template.”
Jove looked at Tan, stunned for a few moments. He laughed, then exclaimed, “You’re a gamer! I was worried no one here would want to play, given you know magic and all.”
Tan blinked, then laughed as well. “Thinking we can’t play role-playing games because we know magic is like thinking you can’t read romance novels because you can fall in love.”<< TS08: Intertwined || TS10: A Simple Question >>