A Learning Experience 17-01

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“There are Heretics who leave this school and never again cast a single spell for the entirety of their careers.” Professor Carfried (who I swore still looked like he should be attending the school rather than teaching at it) spoke loudly over the sound of the ocean waves and a flock of tropical birds that were screeching while flying overhead as our Introduction to Heretical Magic class stood out on the beach.

It was Monday, the eleventh of December. A few days had passed since Gaia offered to train me. I hadn’t actually had any special sessions with her just yet, since she said that there were things that she needed to prepare. But it was supposed to start the next evening, which obviously had me nervous and a bit distracted. I had to keep telling myself to focus on the classes I was actually in. Which shouldn’t have been hard, because… well, duh. Magic. But if anything had the right to distract me from the things that we were learning at this place, it was the idea of Gaia Sinclaire personally teaching me.

Carfried was slightly in front of the class, standing about shin deep in the water while his gaze moved over the entire class one student at a time before he continued. “Either they find the act of magic too difficult and slow for the benefit it provides, or they simply believe the powers they’ve taken from the things that they’ve killed are enough. Either way, what do we call these kind of people, Miss Fellows?”

A few feet away, Koren looked up and hesitated only for a second before offering a simple, “Idiots?”

“Of course not,” Carfried retorted, prompting a few snickers. “They’re fully-trained Heretics, you lunatic. They’ll take your head off if you call them idiots. Call them sir or ma’am as they require.”

Straightening, he cleared his throat before pressing on pointedly. “You don’t call them anything. It’s their choice. It may be short-sighted and they may be cutting themselves off from a powerful resource, but that is their prerogative. We are here to ensure that as many of you as possible don’t end up with that same opinion. Which means you will come to understand magic rather than fear its complexity.”

“Professor?” Another voice spoke up, and I glanced that way to see one of Roxa’s old teammates, Gordon. As usual, his expression was flat. I was pretty sure I’d never actually seen the dark-skinned boy smile since we’d arrived at this school. Which wasn’t to say he moped around or anything. He seemed to be… well, happy enough. It was just that he was always serious about absolutely everything.

When Carfried nodded to him, he asked in a careful, measured tone, “Why exactly are we out here?”

“A fine question, Mr. Kuhn!” Smiling broadly, the young teacher reached into his jacket pocket and withdrew a bag… which was larger than the pocket itself and just kept emerging as he pulled. And the fact that someone managing to haul what was essentially a full garbage bag out of a jacket pocket wasn’t even on the top… hundred list of weird things I’d seen that semester said a lot about this school.

“Last time we met,” the man continued while reaching into the bag to pull out a round metal disc about the size of a dinner plate, “I had each of you make one of these.” Leaning down, he touched his own disc to the water he was standing in, and murmured the words to activate the spell. A second later, the water turned a bright neon green for several feet around him. It was the same thing he’d done in the classroom when he showed us what to do, except then it had been in an aquarium instead of the ocean.

“Now,” Carfried held the bag out to us. “I’ve checked everyone’s work and they should be just fine so far. Which means we can move on to the next part. So, everyone come up and find your disc. Your names should be on them, so just grab the right one and go back to where you were. Let’s try to hurry.”

One by one, we all made our way up there and found the discs that we had enchanted before going back to where we were. Sands nudged me with her disc on the way. “What color did you make yours?”

“Purple,” I replied while looking down at the disc to trace my fingers over the symbol that I had drawn on the disc. It looked like two equals signs side by side with a very thin diamond-like shape in between them, while a parentheses-like half-circle lay on the opposite side of each equals sign, facing outward.

I could understand, in some ways, why there were Heretics that would avoid using magic. Powers were quicker, and you didn’t have to remember (or carry around a book reminding you of)  the different spells that you could use and exactly how to make them. Apparently it wasn’t easy to just use the directed or shapeless magic to get any effect you wanted. Even making up the effect, you still had to know the basics. It was sort of like trying to do trigonometry without understanding addition. If you didn’t know what the established magic phrase, gesture, and symbol was for making fire appear, you couldn’t just use shapeless magic to make a stick give off a fireball. It was a lot to remember and keep track of. Some Heretics carried books with reminders of the different spells, while others simply remembered everything they could. And then there were those like Carfried had mentioned, who didn’t bother at all.

“Now,” Carfried continued once we all had our discs, “You all know how this works. Touch the enchanted disc to any liquid and activate the spell to turn the liquid the color you prepared it for. Simple enough. But we want to move beyond simple. Because sometimes, you don’t have time to consciously activate a spell. It may only take a couple of seconds once everything’s prepared, but with Strangers, those couple of seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Or lots of deaths.”

Looking around at us, the man paused before asking, “So, who can give me an example of a Heretic enchantment whose effect is not consciously triggered? Besides Vanessa,” he added with a smile.

The brilliant girl’s hand went down while her brother and a couple others snickered. Then Koren’s hand went up. Once Carfried nodded to her, she glanced sidelong at Vanessa before answering, “The um, the line around the Pathmaker building. It triggers if you pass it, no manual activation needed.” Even as she was reciting that, the brunette’s face was reddening a little, obviously thinking back to that first day.

“Yes, indeed!” Carfried grinned, head bobbing. “An excellent example. The defensive line surrounding the Pathmaker building is activated by a person without permission crossing it. Very good, Miss Fellows. And today, we are going to learn how to adjust enchantments so that they are triggered by a specific criteria rather than by manual activation. In this case,” he reached into the bag and took out another disc. “The activation will be contact with water.” To demonstrate, the young teacher tossed the disc into the ocean a few feet away. That time, the water turned hot pink the second the disc touched it.

“Yes,” Carfried went on once everyone reacted, “making an enchantment that activates from outside stimuli rather than doing so manually is more complicated than the other way. But it is also incredibly useful. So, let’s get started. Once everyone has a chance to make their disc react to the water, we’ll split up into partners, and each pair will research another spell that can be given an outside trigger.

“And just to shake things up, we’ll use assigned partners from outside your teams. Won’t that be fun?”

******

The answer to Carfried’s question was no. No, it was not fun to be assigned partners from outside the team. Not in this particular case, anyway. Because as it turned out, the person I was assigned as a partner for this little ‘external stimulus magic’ project was none other than Zeke Leven. Yeah, lucky me.

Not that he seemed any happier about it. I’d seen him arguing with the teacher just after class ended, but Carfried wouldn’t budge. He wanted us to work together, and nothing would change his mind.

Now it was later that afternoon, shortly after our last class of the day (trig, in my case), and I had just met up with the boy himself down in one of those shielded magical training rooms where spells could be thrown around without worrying about accidentally hitting anyone or causing any actual damage.

“Great,” the boy announced as I came through the heavily reinforced metal door. “You made it. Now let’s get this over with. I already know what spell we should work on, so we can jump right into it and be done with this crap. So go stand over there and I’ll show you how this thing is supposed to work.”

“Aw, that’s adorable,” I retorted in spite of myself, annoyed at his trying to take charge and give orders. “You think you’ve traveled back in time to when you get to make all the decisions.” Clearing my throat, I asked pointedly, “What spell do you think we should work on? And do you know how to make it?”

Zeke squinted, clearly also annoyed. “You’re a Silverstone.” He said the word the way certain people used derogatory terms for people who weren’t Caucasian. “Just let me get us a good grade, all right?”

“That’s funny,” I pretended to muse with confusion, “I don’t remember hearing about any rule that said students who were born into this automatically get to be in charge.” Straightening, I faced the boy. “Look, I’m not saying that your idea isn’t good. Maybe it is. But I don’t know because you haven’t told me anything about it. Maybe that’s the one we should use. But just tell me what it is so I can give input and we can decide together whether we should use that spell. You know, together, like actual partners?”

Heaving a sigh, Zeke took a moment before waving his hand dismissively. “Fine, whatever. You’re the one that wants to stretch this whole thing out.” From his pocket, the boy withdrew a leather-bound book with a blank cover and waved it at me. “This is my mother’s. So, you know, kind of important.”

“It is?” I asked, a little blankly at that. “I mean, I’m sure it’s great and all, but who’s your mother?”

“You know, my mother?” The boy squinted at me before realizing. “Oh, right, newbie. My mom’s on the Committee.” Taking on a tone that was only slightly patronizing, he started to explain, “That’s the-”

“I know what the Committee is,” I interrupted, trying not to sound annoyed. “Your mom’s a part of it?”

Zeke gave a quick nod, clearly supremely proud. “She’s the one that’s in charge of the tourist-busters.”

Blinking uncertainly, I hesitated before asking, “Okay, so what exactly does ‘tourist-buster’ mean?”

He looked like his eagerness to brag was at war with his annoyance about how little I knew. “You know, Heretics assigned to train stations, airports, that kind of thing?” When I gave him nothing but a blank look, he rolled his eyes. “Okay, so Strangers like to lurk around places where a lot of Bystanders are. Plus they have to travel too, and not all of them have magic teleportation powers. So: airports, bus and train stations, places like that are all hotbeds for lots of Strangers. My mom’s in charge of assigning Heretics to protect those places.” He grinned. “She says it’s like shooting fish in a barrel sometimes.”

Translation: Heretics lurk around airports watching for Alters were just trying to travel, then hunt them down and slaughter them. The thought made me sick to my stomach. Sure, there were obviously bad ones that were stalking innocent humans. And stopping them was important. But the Heretics obviously didn’t care if the non-humans they found were actually hurting anyone or not. They just killed them.

Apparently, Zeke took my silence as invitation to continue explaining. “Thing is, Strangers recognize Heretics too. And we don’t always get to see them first. So we can’t just stand around the airport or wherever looking for them, because as soon as one of the little bastards notices a Heretic, they’ll spread the word and all the rats’ll flee back to their holes.” He sounded annoyed about Alters wanting to live.

Coughing, I forced myself to keep my expression flat rather than letting Zeke know exactly what I thought of all that. Instead, I just asked in as mild a tone as I could, “So what do they do about it?”

That cocky smirk of his grew. “That’s the spell we’re gonna work on. It’s the one my mother invented.”

Waving the book at me again, he went on. “It’s a proximity spell, like the one by the Pathmaker building. Basically, it detects any Stranger that comes near it. When it notices them, it does two things. First, it sends an alert to the Heretic that made it. And it makes the Strangers uh, need to evacuate their bowels. So they go to the restroom. And there is where the Heretics wait, just out of sight. When they get the signal that the spell was tripped, they move out and watch the entrance to the restroom until the Stranger shows up. Then they head in and take care of the threat nice and quietly, so no one notices.”

Honestly, it sounded more like horror movie stalker-type tactics than heroic guardians, but I wasn’t going to tell Zeke that. Instead, I swallowed back the bitter vitriol I desperately wanted to spit at him. “Wow.” My voice managed to avoid cracking. “Sounds like your mom’s really figured out how to protect all those travelers.” As long as they’re suitably human, I heroically resisted the urge to add.

“Of course, that’s her job.” The boy lifted his chin with obvious pride before pushing on. “So, I figured maybe ‘make have to go to the bathroom’ is probably a bit… gross. But Mom made a weaker version for testing purposes that just makes the person who triggers it have to sneeze. That good, or do you… have a better idea?”

His tone could not have sounded more doubtful, which instinctively made me want to refuse his plan right out of the gate. Never mind the fact that I thought anything to do with a spell that made Alters walk to their doom like sheep when they were just trying to get through the airport like anyone else was utterly barbaric and sick. But saying anything to that effect to him was a flat out terrible idea. Plus, knowing the spell was obviously going to be important, even if I didn’t like how they happened to use it.

So, I made myself nod. “Sure. Let’s work on your mom’s spell then, if you think we can pull it off.”

His answering smirk was infuriating. “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll make sure you get up to the level to use it.”

Okay, would it really be so wrong of me to use my enhanced strength to see if I could make the spoiled ass fit inside the container for my staff?

******

The next day in Stranger Truths, Nevada was teaching us about goblins. She had drawn a picture of a short, ugly creature with a long, fat nose that covered most of the bottom half of its face, and warts over yellow-green skin.

“This,” she announced, “is a type of goblin that we call a Trow. Most of them are—well, probably about the same size as this picture. Maybe even smaller. They’re little things, and really shy most of the time.”

“Shy?” Jazz echoed. “Don’t you mean sneaky and devious cowards? They don’t fight fair, they hide and kill people that can’t fight back. Just like most Strangers.”

Nevada just gave the dazzling smile, like a cheerleader about to welcome someone onto the team. “What I mean,” she replied, “is that while there are Strangers who stalk and kill humans for anything from food to sport, most Trow don’t outright attack humans. There are exceptions, of course. First of all, the Trow are… well, pranksters is sort of like a… mild term for it. They might not outright kill people usually, but they love to humiliate them. Their pranks are like… you know, kinda mean-spirited. They’ll do anything from screw up a big presentation so the victim looks stupid in front of everyone, to making the victim end up naked in front of a big group. Some people think the Trow live off that kind of shame and embarrassment, but they just enjoy it

“They’re also obsessed with music,” Nevada went on. “So sometimes a group of the Trow will get it into their head to go out and kidnap a singer or a musician and take them back to their burrows to uh, perform for them. They keep them down there for day, a week, or even a year or so. If the performer does good, they usually let them go once they’ve had enough. Not always. Like I said, there’s some nasty ones out there. But usually as long as the ahh, singer or whatever does what they’re told, they’ll be released.”

She went on then, while the rest of us were still trying to comprehend the idea that there were creatures like that out there. Alters that wanted to kill and eat humans I understood, but just humiliating them for the fun of it? Why? What was the point? Could it just be simple amusement?

As I was thinking about that, the feeling of being watched came over me. My eyes blinked up and around, and I barely caught sight of Douglas turning his attention back to the front. He’d obviously been staring again. I’d caught the boy doing that several times already, but he never said what he wanted. He’d just quickly turn away and pretend nothing happened.

At some point, he and I were going to have to have a talk. Too much had happened already to let me think his staring was just a coincidence.

Before long, however, class was over and Nevada was telling us what to read in our books before we came back on Thursday. Which meant I had one more class to go to (Professor Dare’s Bystander History). Shortly after that, I would be attending my very first private tutoring session with Gaia.

I could hardly wait. Not just for my time with Gaia, but for Dare’s class too. In the latter case, I wasn’t alone. Most of our class was actually hurrying to get to the room.

Why were we so eager today? Simple, today was the day that we’d been waiting for a long time, the day that Dare had promised was coming every time someone asked about who she was.

Today was the day that Professor Dare was going to tell us about her history, and what had actually happened to the missing colony.

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28 comments

  1. Time for a new arc!

    Welcome back, guys and girls. As promised, we’ll be seeing a lot more learning and character interaction spread out over the next week leading up to Flick’s Christmas break. So that should be fun, huh? Then we’ll have the holidays themselves before moving into the new semester.

    That’s upcoming, anyway. Also upcoming (and speaking of holidays), the next mini-interlude will be focused on Asenath and Shiori bonding over Thanksgiving. As always, if you’d like to see what’s been commissioned for that sort of thing, you can do so by checking the donations page right here

    And speaking of support, you guys are awesome at doing it on Top Web Fiction! Seriously, anyone who clicks right here to vote for this story, feel free to give yourself a pat on the back from me.

    Anyway, thanks for reading, everyone. Hope you’re ready for the new arc, and we’ll see you back here next time. Today’s tags are: Douglas Frey, Felicity Chambers, Flick, Gordon Kuhn, If You Think ‘Embarrassment Goblins’ Are Bad – Flick – Wait Til You Hear About The ‘Whisper-Bad-Things-About-You-In-Your-Mother-In-Laws-Ear Goblins., Koren Fellows, Nevada, Professor Carfried, Sands, Three And A Half Days Have Passed Without Anything Going Horribly Wrong! New Record?, Tristan Moon, Vanessa Moon, Zeke Leven

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, so we finally have details on another member of the Committee. One who does some seriously effed up things and probably sometimes necessary things. Do the others have specific areas of responsibility like that? Also, what is Mama Leven’s name? I want to add her to the character page.

    Aaaaaand I was right about Flick having to spend time with Zeke. Though the way he was set up and the focus he occasionally receives makes that inevitable. Also, I really hope he didn’t pick up that anti-Bystander bigotry from his mom. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Mama Leven was one of the people who voted to let Flick in specifically to keep Eden’s Garden from recruiting her.

    Like

    1. Okay, so we finally have details on another member of the Committee.

      lol, yeah I figured it was about time to start revealing information about more than just Ruthers. Originally, it was Zeke’s father, but I wanted to mix things up and make it his mother instead.

      Do the others have specific areas of responsibility like that?

      Yes. Ruthers’ is education and training. Which is why he’s so focused on the school.

      Also, what is Mama Leven’s name? I want to add her to the character page.

      Sophronia

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sophronia

        I suppose that choice is a sign of Intrepid/Atonement being on your mind.

        Yes. Ruthers’ is education and training. Which is why he’s so focused on the school.

        So, what else falls under his jurisdiction other than the school? Specialized training facilities? Apprenticeships in Crossroads equivalent cases to Abigail’s situation?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I suppose that choice is a sign of Intrepid/Atonement being on your mind.

        lol, believe it or not I hadn’t actually made that connection. I took the name from Jerusalem Delivered.

        So, what else falls under his jurisdiction other than the school? Specialized training facilities? Apprenticeships in Crossroads equivalent cases to Abigail’s situation?

        Indeed. He also tends to focus more on the fourth year students and the ones that have just graduated in order to help place them in the right program that fully utilizes their skills. In the former case, he matches fourth year students with their Heretic mentor.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lol, believe it or not I hadn’t actually made that connection. I took the name from Jerusalem Delivered.

        In-universe, is that a coincidence or is she the same Sophronia from the poem?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I hope I’m not a psyckic but I’m seeing 3 people going to the restroom : Shiori Vanessa and Tristan
        I hope I’m rong
        Sorry for the mistakes I’m not native inglish

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “Straightening, he cleared his throat before pressing on pointedly. “You don’t call them anything. It’s their choice. It may be short-sighted and they may be cutting themselves off from a powerful resource, but that is their prerogative. We are here to ensure that as many of you as possible don’t end up with that same opinion. Which means you will come to understand magic rather than fear its complexity.””
    Me: I had actually half-forgotten about directed/shapeless magic. I do agree with the overall goal of the professor’s lesson in adaptability and quick reactions that make such useful.

    “Translation: Heretics lurk around airports watching for Alters were just trying to travel, then hunt them down and slaughter them. The thought made me sick to my stomach. Sure, there were obviously bad ones that were stalking innocent humans. And stopping them was important. But the Heretics obviously didn’t care if the non-humans they found were actually hurting anyone or not. They just killed them.”
    Me: Yeah, that “kill them all and let them be sorted out never” attitude rears its ugly head once again.

    “And there is where the Heretics wait, just out of sight. When they get the signal that the spell was tripped, they move out and watch the entrance to the restroom until the Stranger shows up. Then they head in and take care of the threat nice and quietly, so no one notices.””
    Me: Yikes. A rather juvenile effect adapted into making a victim waltz right into a prepped killzone. Admittedly clever.

    “Today was the day that Professor Dare was going to tell us about her history, and what had actually happened to the missing colony.”
    Me Another teaser! *grumbles* I will say am interested in what facts will be revealed next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me: I had actually half-forgotten about directed/shapeless magic. I do agree with the overall goal of the professor’s lesson in adaptability and quick reactions that make such useful.

      I figured it had been awhile since magic was explained.

      Me: Yeah, that “kill them all and let them be sorted out never” attitude rears its ugly head once again.

      It does tend to put a damper on things.

      Me: Yikes. A rather juvenile effect adapted into making a victim waltz right into a prepped killzone. Admittedly clever.

      It doesn’t help that relieving oneself is one of our most vulnerable times.

      Me Another teaser! *grumbles* I will say am interested in what facts will be revealed next time.

      😀

      Like

  4. Because as it turned out, the person I was assigned as a partner for this little ‘external stimulus magic’ project was none other than Zeke Levin. Yeah, lucky me.

    Spelled Leven with an i.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So, we get to see how some of Flick’s classes go, with magic first up. Interesting that there are some Heretics who don’t choose to avail themselves of their magical skills because they feel that it’s too slow or awkward to use, and Koren finds another way to stick her foot in her mouth when she expresses her opinion of those Heretics.

    Though the assignment with random partners to research a new kind of magic is an interesting experience, if not one Flick’s likely to enjoy. Have to say that Zeke sounds like he can be a real ass at times, such as this- getting the impression that in another reality, he’d be the sort who’d be griping about having to work with those ‘mudbloods’ because they’re all second-stringers at best.

    And not only is Mother Leven a member of the committee, but she’s come up with a pretty nasty trick to catch Strangers by staking out places like airports & bus terminals, use spell fields to make them sick, and then ambush them in the bathroom. Like Flick, have to wonder just how many Alters who weren’t causing any trouble have been killed like that. And pretty sure the Levens are firmly in the ‘all Strangers are evil’ camp & thus likely to be unsympathetic to Flick’s desire to change things when the time comes.

    Those goblins who like to play embarrassing pranks on people & kidnap artists for private shows are an interesting little addition to the world. Though do have to wonder just how many of the weird benders & short-term disappearances celebs go on are the result of them having attracted the interest of some Trows?

    Though even if this is supposed to be an arc of relative downtime, there’s still cliffhangers, as not only is what sort of special training Gaia’s going to be giving Flick, but also left us right before Dare tells the class what really happened to the Roanoke colony & how she managed to survive that.

    Okay, would it really be so wrong of me to use my enhanced strength to see if I could make the spoiled ass fit inside the container for my staff?

    Well, as far as I’m concerned, it wouldn’t, and I’m even thinking of a different configuration involving the staff, her super-strength, & his spolied ass that’d work better, but I’d think that the faculty would disagree there.

    Three And A Half Days Have Passed Without Anything Going Horribly Wrong! New Record?

    Hmm, could be, as it sounds about right, though without a timeline to lay everything out…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. From Orientation 1-03:

      Looking disappointed that he hadn’t managed to catch a student playing hooky after all, Wyatt mumbled a greeting to me before addressing the professor. “Kinda late getting here though, isn’t she? I thought you picked up all the Silverstones yesterday.”

      “Uh, Silverstones?” I interrupted with a confused frown while waving my hand. “What’s that?”

      “You know,” Wyatt waved a golden gauntlet at me. “First name Alicia? The actress. Clueless. You were raised as a Bystander, so you’re clueless. That makes you a Silverstone. That’s how it works.”

      After considering that for a second, I shrugged. “Eh, I’ve been called worse.”

      Liked by 3 people

  6. So.

    Zeke and Flick are going to be working on a spell that detects Alters and makes them sneeze – one that can be set up around an area.

    While they’re at a school that has Tristan, Vanessa, and Shiori as students.

    I’ll give you *one guess* how that’s going to end.

    (Our only hopes are that whatever magic actually lets the three of them attend, since the Edge was messed with to allow them to access it, also conceals their Alter heritage, or that it won’t work on them because it’s designed to detect full Alters and they’re not)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah, no worries on that front. They won’t set it to detect alters. After all, there’s no way (as far as Zeke knows) to get hold of an Alter and have them cross the line to set it off, so there’d be no way to test it to make sure it worked. They’ll adapt it to something like ‘have brown hair.’

      Plus, if the shield surrounding the school doesn’t pick up those three as being Alters, a detection enchantment made by a couple first years wouldn’t either. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I wonder- when Flick figures out how to make the Alter-detection spell, could she reverse it so that alters can’t be detected? After all, we know it can be done.

    Like

  8. “…Some people think the Trow live off that kind of shame and embarrassment, but they just enjoy it.”
    “They’re also obsessed with music,” Nevada went on. So sometimes a group the Trow…”
    Shouldn’t be a closing quote after “enjoy it”, and that should probably be “group of” instead of “group the”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Powers were quicker, and you didn’t have to remember (or carry around a book reminding you) of the different spells that you could use and exactly how to make them.

    ^the ‘of’ should be inside the (). ‘you didn’t have to remember of the different’ otherwise.^

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know I’ve already commented on this chapter a lot, but I need to point this out:

    “Shy?” Jazz echoed. “Don’t you mean sneaky and devious cowards? They don’t fight fair, they hide and kill people that can’t fight back. Just like most Strangers.”

    The scene right before this was Zeke explaining that a standard Heretic tactic is to make Alters have to take a dump and then hide in the bathroom and kill them when they can’t fight back.

    Jazz wasn’t present for that conversation, but her statement exemplifies the utter hypocrisy of Crossroads Heretics. I can’t let it pass without commenting.

    I mean, she’s not necessarily wrong. After all, Heretics are Strangers.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So, Zeke’s mom is apart of the committee that explains his spoiled attitude.

    Also that the method that was mentioned was creepy and I can’t wait for next chapter.

    Thanks for updating. 🙂

    Like

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