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TS29: Unexpected Words

Jove slowly opened his eyes as he woke up. He was laying on an uncomfortable bed in a small room. Chris was sitting in a nearby chair and smiled as Jove started to stir. The wolf stood up, walked over, and gripped Jove’s hand.

Jove smiled. He attempted to say something but his emotion refused to let the words out. Vague memories surfaced, the incident in class. The knowledge that it was Chris who brought Jove back. Jove sat up, and took a breath. His body felt like it had been running for hours.

Chris called to outside the room, “He’s awake.”

Tan and Aden entered. Tan said, “You had us worried. Especially because whatever you did in the gym prevented any divination on when you’d wake up. We were concerned when you missed class. South didn’t have a lot of information.”

“Maybe Erickson will let me make up the class.”

Aden swallowed and said, “Jove, it’s Thursday. You also missed the practical for Intro to Personal Defense.”

“Probably best,” Tan added. “After what happened, I doubt anyone would be willing to take a swing at you, even as part of an assessment.”

Jove blinked. “I’ve been sleeping for how long?” It was hard to believe, he still felt exhausted.

Tan said, “You used a lot of magic. More than you’ve ever used before. That takes energy, and your body needed time to regain that energy.” He looked away, “Chris stayed with you the whole time.”

Jove blushed. His memories of the gym were not clear, but Jove felt safe knowing Chris had kept watch. “Things are still a little fuzzy. Is that normal?”

Tan nodded, “Your magic got out of control. Do you remember removing a geas from Julius and a possession spell from Mark?”

“That’s familiar.” Jove’s mind remembered something else, “Where’s Aether? It should have recorded the spells I used.”

Aden explained, “Azarias has it. Magus Walton will let him know when she thinks you’re strong enough for more visitors.”


“The head healer at the university. At the moment she’s busy regrowing Mark’s hand. We’ll let her know you’re awake in a bit.” Aden lowered his ears, “Tan, maybe you should tell him about Julius.”

The jaguar looked back at Jove, “Let me start by saying that he’s not thralled. Everyone made sure of that.” Tan bowed his head slightly, and tapped his index fingers together. “Julius tried to declare himself your retainer, since you saved his life. There were concerns that you might have thralled him somehow, but again, Erickson and Azarias both said he was clear of mental control. Still, Julius feels he owes you, especially with what Mark did.”

A flash of memory came back. Mark had a Vorax inside him, a centipede that latched onto his spine. “How is Mark?”

“Not good.” Aden explained, “His hand had every bone ripped out of it, and the bones in his forearm were turned into a sword. He also doesn’t remember much of the past week. I’m not sure if we actually met him. I guess it was the Vorax who possessed him that we were talking to.”

More memories returned, a struggle, thorns. Jove asked, “What happened? Did they find the Vorax who was inside Mark?”

Tan shook his head, “No. Apparently you, uh howled…”

“You made some call-from-beyond unearthly shriek that shut down every spell in the area.” Aden said. “But it wasn’t just that.”

Tan sighed, “Apparently, whatever you did also prevents divinations from looking back at the event. It’s like that howl is still there, shutting down any spell that tries to look at that time. It’s preventing the normal methods that would be used to track a possession spell.”

Jove sighed. He knew what that meant, and the thought brought pain and tears. The thought scared him, the idea he might not be able to control the power inside himself. “Is that as bad as it sounds?”

Tan swallowed and said, “What you did was well beyond what a typical mage could do.” He took a breath. “It made the Atlantis Gazette. They kept your name out of it, but the whole world knows a null is enrolled here.”

All the light seemed to drain out of the room. “Did they say I was a revoker?”

Tan shook his head. He tried not to answer, but the words seemed to force themselves out. “They didn’t have to. No other type of null would be able to do what you did.”

Aden offered, “Whatever you are, it’s just different. You helped me a few times, and you certainly helped Julius and Mark.”

“When you shut everything down,” Chris said, “it was easier for me to talk.” The thought helped a little. Jove squeezed Chris’ hand tightly.

A lithe female rat stormed through the door. “Good, you’re awake. Now will you please stop whatever you’re doing? Regrowing limbs is difficult enough.”

Jove blushed, and fought down the despair.

Tan said, “Sorry Magus, we thought he should know about the news story. We didn’t mean to upset him.”

The rat sighed, “I know. I’m really upset at the Vorax that hurt Mark.”

At his name, the stoat poked his head into the room. He looked at the fox laying on the bed. “I’m sorry, but, are you Jove?”

Jove nodded.

Mark walked in. He looked at the ground, almost unrecognizably shy. “I was told you severed the possession spell that was affecting me. It’s hazy, but I wanted to thank you.” He absently went to extend a small mass of bandages that was his hand, but pulled it back when he remembered it wasn’t whole. “I hope we can talk again, and I’m sorry for whatever I did the past week.”

Jove nodded, stunned. “Of course Mark. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

After an uncomfortable silence, Magus Walton scooted Mark out of the room. “Come along, let’s finish your hand. Only ten more bones to go.” She turned back, “I’ll let Azarias know you’re awake before I get started.”

“That’s alright,” came a familiar serpent voice. Magus Azarias slithered into view through the doorway. “I already got notice that Jove wanted to see me.”

Walton nodded and she and Mark headed out. The winged serpent gestured for the others to leave. “If it’s okay, I’d prefer to talk to Jove alone.”

Chris shook his head.

Jove said, “Chris, I’ll be okay. Azarias isn’t possessed.”

The wolf looked at Jove, then gave a single nod. Reluctant, he left the room with Aden and Tan.

Azarias closed the door when they had gone. Before he could say anything, Jove asked, “How did you know I was awake?”

In response, he tossed Aether onto the hospital bed. “According to your grimoire, you messaged me.”

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