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TS38: Another Monster

Jove waited a few minutes before leaving the classroom. He hoped no one had heard Tan shout and tried to leave discretely.

“Are you okay? Tan ran out of there like something was chasing him.”

Not so lucky. Elsa, the raccoon met him as he left the room.

“Yeah. I guess my abilities upset him.”

Elsa nodded, “I understand. You should see how people react when they find out I’m an atavist.” She put a hand on Jove’s shoulder. “Mark may have been possessed, but his reaction was fairly normal. Shock mixed with a lot of misinformation. The people here seem terribly superstitious about anything they don’t know.”

“I’ve never seen an atavist.” Jove blushed, “Well, I’ve seen them in games and movies.”

“Some of them are right. I grow about a foot, gain around two hundred pounds of muscle, and grow fangs and sharp claws. Apparently the loss of control is actually caused by the person’s magic going insane. I was told it’s similar to an outburst.”

Jove nodded, “I don’t mean to pry, but are you contagious?”

“A little. Atavism infects the magic. If you’ve already burst, your chances of catching it are almost zero. Even when you do, it’s more like a bad fever.” She smiled. “That’s why I’m here. The only consistent way to control the change is to burst and I still had a chance to learn proper magic.”

“I’m afraid every question I have is rude today.” Jove sighed and bit back his words.

“What I wanted to say is I understand what you’re going through.” Elsa met Jove’s gaze. “Everyone from my old life who found out reacted with fear and ignorance. I don’t blame them. To them I’m dangerous. I could infect them if I’m not careful. Revokers aren’t infectious, but there’s a lot of misinformation about them floating around. People are afraid that you’ll lose control. Just like my family was afraid of me.”

“Then, why come here?” Jove asked, “It can’t be easy dealing with students half-” He caught himself before he finished. “I mean, wouldn’t you be more comfortable without dealing with our misconceptions? I’m sure students from Atlantis would be more informed.”

“I suppose. I feel a lot more connected to this class though. And maybe you can help me with something. I’ve been unable to burst because every time we’ve set up a situation where it might occur, I go atavist.”

“And you think I can suppress just that part of your magic?” Jove thought about what might happen. “When do you have CBE next?”

“Magus Azarias cancelled class for today. So, Tuesday.” Elsa sighed. “I didn’t want to wait that long.”

Jove nodded, “I can see what I can do. But, I would need… At least Tan talking to me again. Which assumes Chris and Aden take the news better than he did.” He shook his head, “I don’t want to think about how Julius will react.”

“Why?” Elsa studied Jove. “What could be worse then being a revoker?”

Jove swallowed. He looked around to make sure no one was listening in. “Apparently, I shut down spells by manipulating magic directly.”

The raccoon looked quizzically at Jove. “That doesn’t seen that bad.”

“Not just spells.” Jove blushed, “I touched South’s magic directly. I did it by accident but that doesn’t make it feel any less invasive.”

“How is that any different from what a telepathic air mage can do?”

Jove blinked. “A mage’s magic is more central than their mind. A common defense against mind magic is when your magic contradicts what your mind is saying. What I do turns that defense against itself.”

Elsa shrugged. “Which means they’re afraid of change. You’d think a mage would welcome the chance to learn new things.”

“I think part of it is the need to unlearn things that ended up not working the way they thought.” Jove shivered at his own thoughts. “If you spent years learning and honing a defense against all mind magics, you’d be pretty upset to realize it actually made you more vulnerable to some forms of attack.”

“That is bad.” Elsa shook her head, “But it’s their fault for getting it wrong in the first place. It has nothing to do with you.”

Jove sighed. “I hope my friends see it that way. I doubt the council representative will.”


“I’m not sure.” Jove said. “I think that’s what Azarias is looking into today. I guess how bad it is will depend on who gets assigned to the task.” A thought occurred to him. “If I’m going to help you burst, we should do that before they arrive.”

“Maybe we should wait until things settle down.” She sighed, “Or at least until Azarias can supervise.”

“Settle down?” Jove shook his head. “We’ll talk about it tomorrow. Provided anyone’s still speaking with me.”

Mark’s voice could be heard echoing down the hallway. “Mug! I found them!”

The rottie ran up, dragging the stoat and Jenna behind her. “Hey Jove, glad we found you. We got invited to a game of Atlantean Elemental Baseball. After we told Evan to shove off, he offered to let us see the Earth House practice.”

“I’m going to have to thank Hypatia for warning us they don’t have mage specific sports.” Mark forced a smile but winced under Jove’s gaze.

Jove looked at the newcomers. “I was going to see what Chris and Julius were up to in the gym. I’ll have to pass.”

“We’re meeting Evan in the gym.” Mug cleared her throat, “Maybe I can see Chris fight again. He was amazing during the evaluations yesterday.” She blushed, “Is he seeing anyone?”

Jove tried to answer, but it caught in his throat. He was not ready to believe Chris could see him that way. He wheezed, “I’m not going to guess.”

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