A Learning Experience 17-03

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The benefit of having finally gotten the hang of the privacy spell that Deveron had taught us was that I only had to feel moderately paranoid as I caught hold of Shiori’s arm and pulled her with me into a storage room once we left class. Holding a hand up to stop her from talking, I tugged the pre-prepared coin from my pocket and activated it so that no one would be able to listen in. Then I nodded to her.

“Did you hear?!” she instantly blurted, grabbing both of my hands before proceeding to jump up and down a few times. “Tiras! She said Tiras! And he was a vampire! Well, she said a heretic that took power from a vampire, but course she’d say that! But Tiras! She said—and he—and that was—and-”

Laughing, I tried not to be too distracted by the cute Asian girl bouncing in front of me. “I heard,” I replied once it was possible to get a word in edgewise. “Shh,” I squeezed her hands. “Shiori, it’s okay.”

“Okay?” she echoed in disbelief, head shaking. “It’s better than okay. It’s amazing! No, it’s better than amazing. It’s… it’s… what’s bigger than amazing? Bigger than a maze—labyrinth. It’s A-Labyrinth-ing!”

“Oh, my god.” I didn’t know whether to hang my head and groan, or hug the girl. Eventually, I settled on coughing to (sort of) hide my snicker. “I take it you’re um, happy about Dare knowing Tiras?”

Her head bobbed quickly. “Of course! Do you know how long it’s been since Senny even talked to her father? She was eight years old! She was human. Well, you know, vampeel… but still! It was—hang on—two hundred and fourteen years ago! Two hundred and fourteen, Flick. You know how many times she’s gone over every single memory and story about her dad in those years? It’s like—like–let’s say you were totally alone in a room for two hundred years and you only had ten different movies to watch. Two hundred years of the same ten movies. Hearing about Dare and her father, that’s a brand new movie, Flick. It’s something new! She hasn’t had anything new about her dad for centuries, but this is!”

Her smile and excitement was infectious, and I found myself nodding along with her. “You’re right, it’s a big deal.” Pausing then, I asked, “Think you can hold off on telling her about it for just a few days?”

“Hold off?” Shiori blinked a little, head tilting there in the dim light of the storage room as she stared at me. “Err, why would I need to wait? I mean, other than not talking about it on anything other than your special phone—which if you wanna wait before you share—or don’t share at all—I totally get it!”

Chuckling in spite of myself, I shook my head. “No, no. I don’t mean you have to wait. I just—it’s kind of a big deal, like you said. So I was thinking you might want to wait and talk to her about it in person when you come over and visit during Christmas Break. Wouldn’t that be better than over the phone?”

Eyes widening, the other girl made an adorable little squeaking noise of excitement before actually hugging me. Her arms went around me and suddenly I was being squeezed tight. “Hey, good point! If I wait, I can tell her in person, and then I can… I can…” Her voice trailed off a little before she released me, stepping back against the wall. I thought I could see the pink of her blush. “Um, I mean, thanks.”

“Okay, this is just silly.” I shook my head. “Shiori, we should probably at least try to talk about our–”

The door to the storage room swung open, revealing a pair of older students. The boy had long, shaggy blonde hair with red tips and sort-of a sheepdog look. With the look and the tinted hair tips, he looked a bit like Thieter (the junior medical assistant I’d met back at Eden’s Garden who took us to see Abigail), though his tips had been white rather than red. Meanwhile, the girl looked Native American, like Aylen. Except her hair was cut short, and while Aylen managed to constantly look regal and dignified no matter what she was doing, this girl looked like the stereotypical thug in an after school special.

“Whoa,” the boy blurted as soon as everyone was through jumping in surprise. “Hey, don’t let us inter-”

He made a noise of pain then, though I didn’t actually see the girl move at all. Instead, she made an impatient gesture. “Go experiment somewhere else, Freshmen, we’ve gotta do actual work in here.”

Well, if Shiori had been blushing before, she was beet red by that point. While I quickly disabled the privacy spell, she was already ducking under the girl’s arm to escape the storage room before hurriedly making her way down the hall with a hasty, “See you later, Flick! Good luck with your stuff tonight!”

My mouth opened and shut, and I raised my hand to give her departing form an awkward and pointless wave when the older girl abruptly demanded. “Wait, you’re that Flick girl people keep talking about?”

Damn it, Flick, don’t be sarcastic. Don’t be sarcastic. Don’t be sarcastic. I repeated the mantra to myself a few more times while forcing my shoulders to shrug. “Why would people talk about me?”

She snorted at that with obvious disbelief. “You’re kidding, right? You’ve been a Heretic all of three months and you’ve already pissed someone off enough that they break onto school grounds and mind control a bunch of people to attack you. And that’s just like, one thing. I mean, this ain’t exactly a boring school, but you’re kind of over-achieving a bit. Slow it down, you’ve got three more years.”

Her words may have been more teasing than confrontational, but I could tell the girl was sizing me up with more than simple casual interest. Finally, I managed a weak, “I’m not doing anything on purpose.”

The girl continued to stare at me contemplatively for a moment before shrugging as she took a single step out of the way, just enough for me to pass. “Just saying, you might wanna prioritize a little better.”

Unsure of what that was supposed to mean, I slipped past the two and kept going. Before moving out of earshot, I managed to overhear the girl turn her attention to the boy. “You know, dude, the last time I checked, the Baykok files weren’t stapled to her ass. So maybe look in the storage room instead?”

“Aww, Namid, don’t be like that,” the boy protested while I fought the urge to turn and walk backwards. “It’s not my fault we ended up on file duty. How was I supposed to know that a place called Colorado City was in god damn Arizona? It was a trick question, and you know it. I was set up.”

I could hear the eye roll in Namid’s retort. “Of course it was a trick question, Hue. When someone asks, ‘Hildale and Colorado City are border towns located in Utah and what other state’, either they think you’re an incompetent moron who shouldn’t be trusted with anything more dangerous than a coloring book, or the answer isn’t actually Colorado. Here’s a tip, try another state that borders Utah!”

Then I managed to make my way far enough that I couldn’t hear the two of them anymore. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find Shiori either. She’d disappeared. Looking up and down the hall full of students (though not the one I was looking for), I finally sighed and slumped a little. Figured. I finally decide to try to talk about at least part of what was going on between us, and we get interrupted.

At least I still had Gaia’s tutoring to obsessively count down the minutes toward.

******

Somewhere along the way, the feeling of intense anticipation had morphed into nervousness. By the time I found myself standing in front of the office labeled ‘Headmistress’ in the middle of the night after curfew had started for most of the other students, I was a big bundle of nerves.

In a somewhat detached way, I thought it was a little weird that there was just an ordinary-looking office door with ‘Headmistress’ written on it. Something about the whole magic school of monster hunters thing made it seem like Gaia’s office should be hidden behind a false wall and protected by a fierce guardian, accessible only by passing some kind of great trial of strength and cunning. Or possibly by answering a riddle. Something out of the ordinary and worthy of the level of person she was.

Barring that, I just reached up and knocked three times, rapping my knuckles against the wood.

The door itself dissolved before my eyes, like a waterfall that gradually stopped to reveal the room beyond.

Okay, I guess that fit my desire for the entrance to Gaia’s office to be something out of the ordinary.

After hesitating for a second, I slowly stepped through the open doorway and looked around. Behind me, the door returned, fading back into existence in a reverse of how it had disappeared before.

First of all, the place was enormous. Entirely too large for the amount of room it seemed to take up in the school, so obviously there was some kind of extra-dimensional shenanigans going on. Not that that was surprising, since I already knew that they did the same thing for the teachers’ apartments. The ceiling itself stretched up thirty feet above my head, sloping into a dome shape that I couldn’t remember actually seeing in the exterior of the school. Across the dome I could see a holographic globe of the world, rotating at a slow, steady pace. Here and there random flares of green, yellow, or red would pop up at various spots, and once in awhile, the flare would turn gold before disappearing.

Meanwhile, the room itself was divided into two equal levels. On the level I was on, the floor was covered in a thick, soft white carpet. The walls were wood with several paintings that seemed to be an equal mix of brilliant artist that were probably worth thousands if not millions of dollars, and the kind of amateurish stuff that could have come straight from my family’s fridge while I was in preschool.

The upper level was accessible through two different sets of stairs that led to a sort of landing that ran all the way around with a waist-high guard rail and open space in the middle that allowed someone to see the domed ceiling from the lower level. Against the walls of that upper level I could see bookshelves. Lots of bookshelves, all heavily laden with their contents to the point of sagging a bit.

Gaia’s desk sat on the lower level at the back of the room, about sixty feet away. It was directly in front of a series of floor to ceiling windows that stretched the entire eighty foot width of the room. Each window was about four feet wide, and each displayed a completely different view. One showed the middle of a jungle, while the one directly next to it showed a busy street in what looked like New York City. Meanwhile, another showed a quiet suburban neighborhood that… actually looked familiar.

“I know that you already have protection for your father,” Gaia’s voice spoke up from the higher level, and I turned to find the woman standing by the railing as one of the bookshelves steadily slid shut behind her, closing on what looked like another hallway. “But I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I didn’t do what I could to keep an eye on him as well. I… apologize for the intrusion.”

“Intrusion?” I echoed before my head shook rapidly. “No, I mean, it’s okay. My dad… I don’t want anything to happen to him.” The words sounded lame as they came out of my mouth, and I flushed a bit but pressed on anyway. “I’m not going to object to someone else protecting him. Especially you.”

Gaia smiled faintly before walking to the nearest stairs. Making her way down the spiraling steps, the red-haired woman didn’t speak again until she was in front of me. “How are you feeling, Felicity?”

My mouth opened and then shut before I shrugged helplessly. “How do I feel? I feel nervous, scared, excited, angry, terrified, grateful… I could go on for awhile, but it’s probably a waste of time.”

That soft, encouraging smile returned. “It’s never a waste of time to analyze one’s own feelings, contradictory as they may seem to be.” Her hand came up to settle on my shoulder before she squeezed gently. “I was… incredibly glad to hear that you were given the opportunity to speak with your mother.”

Flushing a little, I bit my lip and glanced around nervously before asking, “Should we really be talking this… um, openly about all this stuff? I mean, this was Ruthers’s office, wasn’t it? And he’s kind of a-”

“It is safe,” the headmistress assured me. “I have taken the appropriate precautions for our meeting.”

Relaxing just a little bit then, I let out a breath before glancing up at the woman again. “So you, um, still don’t know anything more about the whole Ring of Anuk-Ité thing that my mom mentioned?”

Regretfully shaking her head, Gaia replied, “As I mentioned to Avalon, I have heard of such a thing, but only in whispers and rumors. There isn’t even a firm description of what it actually does. The rumors vary as wildly as you can imagine. I could ask twenty different experts and receive twenty entirely different answers as to what the Ring of Anuk-Ité actually does. As for how Avalon’s father could be using it to go unrecognized at Eden’s Garden, I couldn’t possibly accurately guess. Some say that the ring allows one to possess others, others say it allows them to be seen as friend or enemy no matter who they appear to, while others say that it allows the wearer to change their appearance at will. And there are even more possibilities. We would need a much firmer understanding of the ring before we make any attempt at a plan to counter it. I have… aid on that front, people who are able to ask questions in areas that I cannot, but it will take them some time to come up with any results.”

She straightened then, hand falling away. “And in the meantime, we should proceed with ensuring your safety. After all,” Gaia added with a knowing look and a teasing tone, “it wouldn’t do to spend all this time protecting Avalon, only to have her never forgive me if something were to happen to you.”

My face went a bit red then and I shifted awkwardly. “Oh—um, well, I… uh, where do we start then?”

Chuckling at my reaction, Gaia turned and walked toward her desk while gesturing for me to follow. “We will alternate night by night. One night we will focus on your physical training, and the next, your mental and magical strengths. I would like to meet Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings like this. Would that be all right with you?” she asked then, turning back toward me once we reached the desk.

“Um.” Coughing, I bobbed my head up and down a few times rapidly. “Y-yeah, I mean, I’m not exactly going to object to extra training, Headmistress. I’m not stupid enough to throw that chance away.”

She chuckled lightly, leaning back against the desk. “Please, while we’re in here, simply call me Gaia.”

“Uh, okay…” Shrugging, I tried it out. “Gaia, can I ask you a question that’s been bugging me?” When the woman gestured for me to go ahead, I asked, “What’s the deal with the whole aura color thing that shows up when we um, when we kill things? What do the different colors mean, exactly?”

Laughing, Gaia eyed me for a moment. “Do you have any guesses about what it might mean?”

Hesitating, I thought about it briefly. “I thought it had something to do with relations, since mine is gold and my mom’s is the same. But um, yours is gold too, so… unless we’re—oh my god are we related?!” The words blurted their way out of me as my eyes widened.

That smile softened, and the woman shook her head. “I feel a great connection to you and your mother, Felicity. But no, we have no genetic relation.”

I bit my lip then while shaking my head. “I don’t know then. Why do we have the same color aura, and what do they all mean?”

She straightened, returning my gaze while explaining, “Each Reaper or Hangman is connected in some way to a… sort of central archive of power and information that they can all draw from. Whenever they gain such power or knowledge, it is sent back along their connection to that archive. In that way, each of them is also connected to one another. When we… when the Heretical Edge is used, or when they partake of one of the apples in Eden’s Garden, we open a connection to that archive. And each person who connects to it is linked in some way to one of those other Reapers or Hangmen.”

Blinking rapidly at that, I blurted, “So each color represents a connection to a different Reaper? I thought we were all just connected to the um, the one in the lighthouse.”

“It would not have nearly enough power to grant every Heretic their abilities,” the headmistress pointed out. “The Hangman connected to the Heretical Edge is simply the one that holds the door open to allow the connection into the central archive that the rest of them use. We… tap along that connection to gain access to one of the other, living Reapers. Then they and the new Heretic are connected in a way similar to the blood mixing of a natural Heretic.”

Thinking about that, I hesitated before managing a weak, “So, I guess family members tend to be connected to the same Reaper and so they have same color aura because it’s… closer to them or something?”

“Correct,” Gaia confirmed with a nod. “You and your mother are both connected to the same Reaper that I was connected to when I was exposed to the Edge. One Reaper or Hangman per color, as there… are not that many of them, for an entire species. They are quite rare, relatively speaking.”

Rocking back on my heels at that, I thought about the implications before giving a little shudder. “Um, Headm—Gaia, I mean. Speaking of the whole aura color thing, could you umm… could you teach me the spell that my mother used to talk to me? The animal projection one. I—I think it would be useful to be able to communicate if anything else goes wrong.”

Gaia watched me for a few seconds in silence then before bowing her head. “Yes, Felicity,” she answered quietly. “I believe that would be a good idea. It is not an easy spell, but if you’re quite sure that you want to put the effort into it.”

“I am—I do.” I nodded firmly, meeting her gaze. “I want to learn it. I’ll work for it.”

She smiled just a little bit at that. “I believe you will, Felicity…

“I believe you will.”

 

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35 comments

  1. Answers! A few, anyway. At least you know what the auras mean? Even if the answer is a little… um, frightening in some ways. And hey, older students exist! We’re really trucking along in this whole school thing, aren’t we?

    Anyway, hope you guys all enjoyed that chapter. Or, alternatively, I hope those of you who are pissed off about my interrupting Flick and Shiori are really terrible shots so I can bob and weave until you calm down. 😉

    If you are of the mind to, I would absolutely love it if you could toss or renew a vote for this story on Top Web Fiction by clicking here. We’re in the top ten again, guys! 😀

    Finally, tags for this chapter are: And Hue And Namid Immediately Shoot To The Top Of Every Shiori/Flick Shipper’s Villains List, Felicity Chambers, Flick, Gaia Sinclaire, Hue, Namid, Shiori Porter, So Every Heretic Is Connected To A Different Reaper or Hangman. I See No Way This Could Possibly Come Up Again. It’s All Fine. Nothing To See Here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I may not be professional level but I’ve quite literally been around firearms my whole life and am a pretty good shot with all forms of them. But fear not, I much prefer blades so I’d just knife you in the dark instead of shoot you.

      But I’m not that upset over the interruption, I kind of expected it. Got to have a few false starts before the real conversation happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shiori’s enthusiasm re: Tiras is hard to contain, I see. I think Flick made the right choice in convincing her to wait until she and Asenath can speak in person.

    Also, more information regarding the Heretical Edge and how it works. Very interesting to read.

    ” I have… aid on that front, people who are able to ask questions in areas that I cannot, but it will take them some time to come up with any results.””
    Me: Hm, intriguing. I’m wondering if we’ll see that aid “on screen” at some point?

    > Or, alternatively, I hope those of you who are pissed off about my interrupting Flick and Shiori are really terrible shots so I can bob and weave until you calm down.
    Me: Better hope they’re not wielding shotguns, then. 😛

    Nice update.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Flick made the right choice in convincing her to wait until she and Asenath can speak in person.

      And this way we get to see it on-screen. 😉

      Me: Hm, intriguing. I’m wondering if we’ll see that aid “on screen” at some point?

      Quite possibly.

      Me: Better hope they’re not wielding shotguns, then.

      Please don’t give them shotguns. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder what happens if the Reaper/Hangman a Heretic is connected to gets ganked? I mean, given the Hangman Head in the Lighthouse is keeping the Reaper/Hangman “Archive” open for all Heretics, and given that Heretics are then randomly connected to different Reapers/Hangmen after exposure to the Edge/Apple it seems more reasonable than not that the Heretics connected to a now-slain Reaper/Hangman wouldn’t experience any change since we haven’t heard of anything like suddenly (and unintentionally) depowered Heretics.

    To me, it seems like a simple continuation of the Hold-the-Archive-Door process provided by the Hangman-Edge-Head. The Reapers/Hangmen that gave them their Archive Connections (and colored auras) aren’t necessarily well, *necessary* for a Heretic to stay connected to the Archive once connected. Otherwise Crossroads and Eden’s Garden would both have a ban on killing Reapers/Hangmen, and any other Strangers in the know would be targeting them as well.

    Wondering if I’m right, partially right, or totally off-base…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. To me, it seems like a simple continuation of the Hold-the-Archive-Door process provided by the Hangman-Edge-Head. The Reapers/Hangmen that gave them their Archive Connections (and colored auras) aren’t necessarily well, *necessary* for a Heretic to stay connected to the Archive once connected. Otherwise Crossroads and Eden’s Garden would both have a ban on killing Reapers/Hangmen, and any other Strangers in the know would be targeting them as well.

      This is correct. Once they have the connection it essentially ties them to that Reaper’s… well, line, basically, making them a part of its family for lack of a better term. After that’s done, the initial Reaper/Hangman doesn’t have to continue to exist. It’s sort of like how your mother doesn’t have to continue to exist once she’s given birth to you in order for you to survive.

      That said, there maaaaaaaaaay be more of a connection there than the Heretics realize. *cough*

      Liked by 4 people

      1. That said, there maaaaaaaaaay be more of a connection there than the Heretics realize. *cough*

        Considering the act of sabotage Fossor forced Joselyn to commit that future!Flick was so concerned about and the reason why she contacted Petan to inquire into time travel, yeah, I’d say there’s a lot more of a connection than they know about.

        Though this is probably getting into serious spoiler territory, if someone could somehow get control of a Reaper/Hangman, and had the right sort of knowledge, skills, and abilities, would it be possible to ‘hack’ the ‘central archive’ and Heretic- Reaper/Hangman connections, and use that to mess with Heretics in some interesting ways? (And since, IIRC, the Hangman skull that the Edge is built around still reads as ‘alive’ in some measures….)

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s likely that the reaper can not be truly slained. Remember ammon commanding the lighthouse? That piece of skull, although without a body, seems to be alive. If this inference is correct, heretics will not be greatly impacted if their reaper is killed.

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  4. Regarding the differences between natural Heretics and those created by the Edge, would a natural Heretic that gained a Reaper’s abilities function the same way as a created Heretic, or would it have more of an edge so to speak because it doesn’t need to tap into the connection, but instead has a direct connection?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good question. You’ll be able to find out at some point, since that’s exactly the thing that happened to Gabriel Prosser as mentioned back in 10-06. The fact that he’s a Reaper/Hangman Natural Heretic is a big reason for why some of the Bosch Heretics practically worship him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That raises some interesting questions, such as what specifically Reapers get from a death since Hangmen don’t have the same stigma attached to them that Heretics do, not that we’ve seen onscreen anyway, and maybe at
        some future point we’ll see exactly why Prosser has been compared to the nuke of the Heretic’s world

        Like

    1. I’ll just quote what I posted above to another comment.

      Once they have the connection it essentially ties them to that Reaper’s… well, line, basically, making them a part of its family for lack of a better term. After that’s done, the initial Reaper/Hangman doesn’t have to continue to exist. It’s sort of like how your mother doesn’t have to continue to exist once she’s given birth to you in order for you to survive.

      That said, there maaaaaaaaaay be more of a connection there than the Heretics realize. *cough*

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, Shiori’s rather excited at finding out that Tiras was Dare’s first mentor and can’t wait to tell her sister. Asenath’s reaction to finding out what her father got up to before she was born. Though obviously, Dare did edit a few details, but suppose that being helped like that would also have some interesting effects on just how she views Strangers.

    Though just a bit frustrating that what could have been an interesting Flick-Shiori moment got interrupted.

    Gaia’s office was certainly impressive. Guessing that holo-globe is some sort of map of hotspots of Heretic & Stranger activity.

    Certainly stands out that the Ring of Anuk-Ité is an artifact that even Gaia & Crossroads don’t really anything useful about, and that Gaia’s having to resort to having some of her more… covert contacts try looking into it.

    Very interesting exposition on how the Edge works, and though the skull in the lighthouse (and presumably the bits of blood absorbed into the apple tree EG uses,) and how Heretics so created are linked to particular Reapers/Hangmen, with the color of their aura being based on the particular one they’re linked to. Though those particular Reapers/Hangmen being killed wouldn’t effect the Heretics connected to them, that there is an ongoing connection through the Edge would be a cause for concern.

    And Gaia’s going to be training Flick in both some more advanced combat techniques, as well as mental & magical stuff, which is likely to include whatever Joselyn did to make that little monkey familiar. (Wonder if Herbie will be coming to life as a result of this….)

    She snorted at that with obvious disbelief. “You’re kidding, right? You’ve been a Heretic all of three months and you’ve already pissed someone off enough that they break onto school grounds and mind control a bunch of people to attack you. And that’s just like, one thing. I mean, this ain’t exactly a boring school, but you’re kind of over-achieving a bit. Slow it down, you’ve got three more years.”

    Well, guess that someone had to comment in-universe to the pace of events.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So if there’s a central Reaper repository does that mean that a Reaper can access powers gained by other Reapers? The fact that the council members share powers suggests that accessing another Heretic’s abilities might be possible, but what about the repository as a whole? I wonder if that’s how Joselyn was able to be so effective during the war.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder if that’s how Joselyn was able to be so effective during the war.

      I like the way you think, because that might never have occurred to me otherwise. I’m already pretty confidant that at least a couple of Reapers are involved with Prosser’s group. Maybe it’s the one Joselyn, Gaia, and Flick are connected to, and the nature of that connection allowed him or her to put Joselyn through to the archive.

      Like

  7. Okay, so we’ve seen gold, pale green, pink, bronze, white, and red at the very least (I feel like I’m missing some colors). That’s a bare minimum of six Reaper “families” various Heretics are connected to. Man, I can’t even begin to speculate on what all of this means. Who knows what the various Reapers feel about this. Disgust? That seems likely. Though I imagine that at least some of them are interested in all of the data coming in. I wonder if the connected Reapers gain the same powers the Heretics do when they kill things. They’d be insanely powerful at this point if that’s the case.

    I have a feeling that Joselyn’s ability to use or communicate with the Heretical Edge has something to do with the fact that she has a gold aura.

    On the other hand, I can do a little big of speculating on what kind of animal Flick will create once she gets the hang of this spell. I can’t help but think that she’s going to make some kind of predator, or at least an omnivore. I can picture her animal being a hawk. Oh, maybe that scene with the jaguar back in arc 12 was foreshadowing. I can’t wait to find out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two other things occur to me.

      First, Gaia noted that they can be connected to Reapers and Hangmen. That’s probably going to come up in the future.

      Second, a massive archive of information making people powerful? I smell Ivy at the root of this idea.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Second, a massive archive of information making people powerful? I smell Ivy at the root of this idea.

        *shifty eyes*

        Uh… Cerulean, any chance you could fix all the italics in that comment? Only “and” was supposed to be italicized.

        No problem.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Okay, so we’ve seen gold, pale green, pink, bronze, white, and red at the very least (I feel like I’m missing some colors). That’s a bare minimum of six Reaper “families” various Heretics are connected to.

      Stephen Kinder’s back in Shiori’s interlude was pale yellow. (EDIT: No, it was dark yellow, sorry) Other than that, if anyone can find any other points where an aura color was mentioned, that would be awesome. I may have forgotten to record some.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I assume that Joselyn’s was gold back when she was a Crossroads Heretic as well as now, but was there a chance she could have connected to a new Reaper when she ate the apple Fossor gave her?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. If heretics are using reaper conbections, does everything they kill also power up the reaper? Since that’s the reaper’s power to begin with. If that is so, the reapers are going to be hell to fight against

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alright– Having read up to this point, I would like to give my feedback to the author. However, as an Aspie and and INFP, I am well aware that my line of “helpful criticism” goes well beyond where most people’s does.

    With this in mind, I am going to ask, as a question for the author, if they would like the full review I have in my head emailed/posted, or a shorter, tamer version on WFG’s rating tool.

    Either way, I would prefer to send my opinions in a less public manner before posting them, either as a way for the author to censor some parts or preview the entirety prior to my making my opinions public.

    If you would like to contact me, you can use the email aetheo[dot]flinai[at]gmail[dot]com.

    My thanks,
    Aetheo

    Like

    1. Hey, I’m good with any way you’d like to do it. I welcome thoughts, though I do understand the desire to be polite about it. If you’d like to e-mail me first, you can do so at ceruleanscrawling@gmail.com

      There’s also a fairly active discussion thread over on Spacebattles that can be found here and a slightly less active one on Sufficient Velocity here if you’d like more of a back and forth discussion with other people that isn’t limited as much as wordpress comments are.

      Like

  10. Different Reapers?

    That might explain different Heretics getting different abilities from the same Alter, but then there are the ones that always give the same ability, and I’m not certain I’ve seen enough to say that the skills break down by aura color.

    My best guess so far for why that happens at least

    Like

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