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Book 5: Sun & Air / Son &Heir

By MultiMapper
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Chapter 11 - Fires I Set

"You're still working on that Hindu mythology thing, right?" Lex asked as they walked.

"Yes. But meeting Linnaeus has given me some ideas about how to rig it to move more naturally." G said seriously.

"What are we going to have to do?" Lucky asked anxiously.

"Meet our teacher and see what they want us to do." Lex said frankly.

"Isn't Professor Woo our teacher?" Lucky asked cautiously.

"No. He's our teacher's teacher... or maybe our teacher's teacher's teacher. I really don't know how deep it goes. All I know is that Professor Woo is in charge of the department and he makes sure that the teachers working under him are doing their jobs right and teaching the students what they need to learn." Lex explained seriously.

"What do you think our teacher will have us do?" Lucky asked cautiously.

"Honestly, the first day or two, with us looking this age, they'll probably want to test us to see how much we already know and how powerful we are." Lex said frankly.

"Should I show them Zah Zah?" Lucky asked cautiously.

"Yeah. I think Zah Zah will give them a pretty good idea of what you're capable of." Lex said seriously.

"If you really want to learn Sorcery, then you need to let your teacher know what you can do. They don't have to knoweverything about you, but they need to know what power you have and how experienced you are with it." G helpfully added.

"I'm not used to having to decide who I can trust or how much. My mom always did all of that for me." Lucky said honestly.

"She sounds like a good mom, like she did a good job. She kept you safe so that you could be here now, ready to take over making decisions for yourself." Lex said firmly.

"And if you're ever in doubt about what's right, you've got lots of people who you can talk things over with. Just don't think that anyone is going to take over making the decisions for you. We'll help to explain how different things work and maybe let you in on some things that you haven't heard of, but in the end, you'll decide what's going to happen to you next." G said seriously.

"That's right. I'm going to be getting my own things sorted out. You figure out what you want and you can ask my opinion if you're interested in what I think about your choice." Lex said frankly.

"Okay." Lucky said nervously.

"I'm glad that's settled, because we're here." G said as heled the way into the Sorcery classroom.

* * * * *

"It looks like a regular room." Lucky said slowly as he looked around.

"Yeah. When I first started here, I was expecting something really mysterious and witchy, but there isn't much around here that would tip anyone off that it wasn't a regular classroom if they got in here somehow and snooped around." G said frankly.

"It's warded against that, isn't it?" Lex asked curiously.

"Yeah. As far as I know. Paul really knows more about that stuff than I do. But if someone from outside the witch community... or from outside 'our' witch community were to get inhere, I don't know if we have anything to defend against it." G said frankly.

"I don't remember you thinking about stuff like this before." Lex said honestly.

"Yeah. I just thought about it since the work-study. Looking at those barriers made me think about the ones we live with everyday." G said honestly.

"What's up G? Who are your new friends?" A boy asked as he approached.

"Relatives. Tauru, these are my cousins Lex and Lucky. They're starting here today. Guys, this is Tauru, my sometimes partner in Sorcery." G said in introduction.

"What's a 'sometimes' partner?" Lucky cautiously asked.

"We get teamed up together a lot." G said simply.

"Yeah. Our powers mesh up pretty good, so we work well together." Tauru said casually.

"Professor Woo should be here any minute. Help me keep an eye out for him." Lex quietly told Lucky.

"So, how did your mysterious project turn out? I heard that they nabbed a few of the Wizardry students for it too." Tauru asked G curiously.

"We went, did what we were told to, and got the job done." G said simply.

"I don't know why I always think these things are going to be more exciting than they are." Tauru said frankly.

"From what I've heard, excitement is what you don'twant when you go on a work-study." G said seriously.

"Yeah. Probably not." Tauru agreed.

"There he is." Lucky said quietly.

"We've got to go check in. We'll see you guys later." Lex said before leading Lucky away.

"Cousins?" Tauru asked as the pair of younger teens walked away.

"Yeah." G confirmed.

"They look it."

* * * * *

"We made it." Lucky said happily as they approached Professor Woo.

"Were you expecting not to?" Professor Woo asked with a reluctant smile.

"There were a couple times in Spelling where I wasn't too sure." Lucky said frankly.

"Not everyone wants to have a new person on their team." Lex quietly explained.

"I can't say that you won't encounter the same thing in here, but from what I've already seen of you, I have no doubt that you'll make friends in no time."

"Well, we're ready to get started when you are." Lex said confidently.

"Come with me." Professor Woo said, then led the way to a group of teachers at the side of the room.

* * * * *

"Mr. Howlen, I'd like to introduce you to our visitors from the Witchcraft discipline, Lexington and Lucky Darroch."Professor Woo said somewhat formally.

"Do they have any talent for sorcery, or are they just tourists?" Mr. Howlen asked cautiously.

"Do you want to show him?" Professor Woo asked with a smile.

"Lucky, why don't you show off Zah Zah?" Lex cautiously suggested.

"But she's not an illusion." Lucky said uncertainly.

"No. But she's covered with one... and it's really impressive. You did a great job on it, you should show it off." Lex said seriously.

Lucky undid a button on the belly of his jacket and the tiny kitten appeared to climb out, as though she had been curled up, resting inside of Lucky until she was needed.

Mr. Howlen and Professor Woo watched as the tiny cat-like creature scrabbled and worked its way up Lucky's arm until it came to rest on his shoulder.

"What are we seeing here?" Mr. Howlen finally asked as Lucky buttoned his jacket.

"Based on what I saw earlier, I'd hate to imagine." Professor Woo responded warily.

"Hold on a second. Lucky can't be the only one showing off." Lex said as he stepped away from Lucky's side.

"Lucky, will you give me a hand with this?" Lex asked as a small fireball appeared in Lex's palm.

It only took a moment for Lucky to catch on. He pointed at the fireball in Lex's hand, then turned his hand sideways.

As he did, the flame transformed into a gurgling little fountain of water.

"Thanks." Lex said happily as he released the plume of water to float into the air before him.

Very deliberately, he then made the five symbols of his spell as he internally incanted the portion of the spell that he typically spoke.

As Professor Woo and Mr. Howlen watched, the water dispersed into a light fog as it lifted into the air.

"That's not Sorcery." Lucky warned him.

"Not yet." Lex said with a grin, then began performing a high-level illusion that caught all who were watching off guard.

"Wait. You can't do that..." Mr. Howlen began to say, but the words caught in his throat as Lex began to encase his foggy little nuggle in a very precise and detailed illusion.

"You used mist as a framework upon which to suspend an illusion." Professor Woo said slowly as he interpreted what he was seeing.

"Yeah. Well, I can't let Lucky have all the fun." Lex said as his hands came to rest and he focused on his completed work.

The little horse was astounding in its complexity. The dark mane was reminiscent of Lex's own hair and the gray coat was similar to that of Lex's unicorn form.

"That's... you've created a fully animated miniature horse with a spell cast in under a minute." Mr. Howlen finally said in amazement.

"Yeah. Well, I cheated a little." Lex shyly admitted.

"The difference between working smart and cheating is sometimes nothing more than differing points of view." Professor Woo said frankly.

"Come over here, Boy. Stand on my shoulder like Zah Zah does for Lucky." Lex said to the tiny horse who was galloping away from him in slow motion.

"There's no way you could have rigged and animated an illusion in that short of a casting." Mr. Howlen declared.

"That's why it's significant that he suspended the illusion on the framework of a nuggle. It's actually quite ingenious. The nuggle has the absolute minimum of physical substance upon which to enact an illusion. Likewise, the nuggle has its own properties, that being the ability to move independently and respond to rudimentary commands." Professor Woo explained.

"I see what you're saying, but I still don't know where the 'nuggle' came from. The spell used to summon or create it didn't appear to have any definition." Mr. Howlen said in a puzzled voice.

"That's where I cheated." Lex said frankly.

"How would that be?" Professor Woo asked with genuine interest.

"My original casting of the spell left the definition out, because I expected an undefined cloud of mist. All I can figure is that the nuggle was brought into being as a manifestation of my animal transformation." Lex said seriously.

"Like summons like." Professor Woo said with a knowing nod.

"Right. And then, when Lucky summoned his nuggle, he had mine to look at as an example and he had the advantage ofalso having a horse animal form to draw upon." Lex explained.

Taking that as a prompt, Lucky created a fireball, turned it to water, made three signs, then gestured as his water flame became a faint ghostly horse made of mist.

"After that, our other teammates made two more nuggles. They failed at first, but after including the equu-nonum in the objective phase, they made theirs take on a similar shape to ours." Lex said, then reached to his shoulder and ever so gently petted the tiny horse.

"Are you going to keep him?" Lucky asked curiously.

"Yeah. I think so. Paul has Ginh Zah, G has Mah Zah, you have Zah Zah, so I think I'll go ahead and keep Zephyr." Lex said warmly.

"You're going to need to learn to do the water spell for yourself, so you won't need me to do it for you." Lucky said seriously.

"Remind me later and I'll get you to show me how you do it. I don't think I could do it Paul's way, but I might be able to manage yours." Lex said honestly.

"So are these examples of your Sorcery abilities?" Mr. Howlen asked cautiously.

"Yes and no." Lex said honestly, then explained, "This isn't all sorcery, but everything has some sorcery in it. Maybe that's the most honest way we can tell you about who we are. We're not just the one thing."

"I can see the sorcery at work on your nuggle and I acknowledge the skill in your crafting. I'm not as sure of what I'm seeing when it comes to the cat." Mr. Howlen said honestly.

"Show him, Zah Zah." Lucky said as he took her down off his shoulder and kept firm hold of Zah Zah's lower torso.

At that, Zah Zah seemed to explode, lunging directly toward Mr. Howlen.

Both he and Professor Woo backed away several steps as the inky scribbled horror hissed and clawed in their direction.

"I think she doesn't like being in front of people. It makes her angry." Lucky quietly explained.

"What the hell is that?" Mr. Howlen squeaked.

"No. I didn't put any hell powers in her at all. I didn't knowhow to when I first made her. Zah Zah is mostly basic." Lucky explained.

"What you're seeing now, that's what Zah Zah actually looks like from her earliest version. The pretty little kitten thing... that's Lucky's sorcery covering her." Lex said frankly.

"That was a beautifully crafted spell. Although I suspected that the cat was somehow an illusion, I had no idea what type of caustic horror it was masking." Mr. Howlen said seriously.

"Come back now, Zah Zah. Get back in your skin and I'll let you stay out for a while." Lucky said in a coaxing voice.

The too human eyes looked around distrustingly for a moment, then the cat-beast began to withdraw into the tube of kitten fur that Lucky was still holding.

Lex turned his head and focused on Zephyr before saying, "Don't get any ideas."

The little horse bobbed his head once, possibly in agreement.

"Good boy." Lex said with a gentle smile.

* * * * *

"So, Mr. Howlen, do you think you have anything to teach these boys?" Professor Woo asked knowingly.

"From the look of it, they might have something to teach me." Mr. Howlen said with a chuckle.

"Yes. I can easily foresee a circumstance where things could work out that way." Professor Woo said frankly.

"But, while they appear to have considerable skill, I would like very much to expose them to some of the other, lesser known, disciplines of Sorcery, if only so that they can have a chance to consider them before their visit with us is concluded." Mr. Howlen said seriously.

"So you won't have us doing the same thing as everyone else?" Lex asked cautiously.

"If you have an interest in creating and rigging an illusion in preparation for animation, then I will be happy to cover that with you. However, I get the feeling that the two of you haveother questions. If I may, I'd like an opportunity to help you discover what those questions are and possibly guide you to find the answers." Mr. Howlen said intently.

"Yeah. That sounds like what we need to be doing." Lex quietly agreed.

"Don't you want to?" Lucky hesitantly asked.

"Sometimes you have to decide between what you want to do and what you should do. When you do what you should, there's sometimes this feeling like the trap snapping shut on you... I just felt that." Lex said frankly.

"So, did you not want to do sorcery?" Lucky asked confusedly.

"Yeah. I really do. But we've just decided something really big, and a few years from now, we're probably going to look back on this exact moment as something that completely changed our lives." Lex said seriously.

"Maybe. But I don't care too much about that." Lucky said honestly, surprising all present.

Before any of them could ask, Lucky continued, "I don't exist in tomorrow or yesterday, so I try not to think too much about them. Right now is all I have and all that I can change, so I have to do the best that I can with what I've got right in front of me."

"You're going to have to think about the future at some point. Otherwise you won't be properly prepared for things when the time comes." Professor Woo cautioned.

"I'll do what I have to, but I still don't like thinking about it." Lucky said honestly.

"I can't think of anyone with a better handle on the future than Dad. So I'm not going to worry. I trust that Lucky and Dad will work it out." Lex said assuredly.

"Excuse me, Professor Woo?" A female voice timidly interrupted.

"Hi, Indra! How is everything?" Lucky asked happily.

"It's fine, Lucky. How are you?" Indra asked warmly.

"I think everything is turning out the best that it can be." Lucky said with a smile.

"What can I do for you today, Miss Boheme?" Professor Woo asked respectfully.

"Dr. Williams needs to see Gwayne Darroch for his post work-study evaluation." Indra said simply.

"I believe I see him near the window with young Mr. Montenegro." Professor Woo said seriously.

"This shouldn't take too long. As I understand it, there are just a few lingering questions that really need to be resolved before the entire incident can be counted as closed." Indra said seriously.

Professor Woo looked concerned at the statement.

"Remember where I came from." Lex said simply.

Professor Woo nodded, as he watched Indra make her way across the classroom to where G and Tauru were quietly talking.

After a moment of discussion, Indra led G back across the classroom, then out the door.

"So, is everyone happy with the arrangements that we have made for your sorcery education?" Professor Woo asked seriously.

After a moment to consider, Lex finally said, "Yeah. I am."

"Me too." Lucky immediately chimed in.

"I look at this as an adventure. I became a teacher in hopes of having experiences such as this." Mr. Howlen said frankly.

"Good. If any of you realize that things aren't working out to your satisfaction, be sure to contact me so that we can reevaluate and give this project of ours every opportunity to succeed." Professor Woo said seriously.

* * * * *

Mr. Howlen led the boys to an empty spot where they could speak more or less privately.

"So, what are we going to do first?" Lex asked curiously.

"I think that before we get into anything too intensive, maybe we should touch on the projects the rest of the class have already completed. That will just give us a sense of where you are in comparison."

"Which projects?" Lex asked cautiously.

"If you already have any animals crafted, you could show us one of those." Mr. Howlen said simply.

"What about..." Lex asked as he pointed at the little horse standing on his shoulder.

"As impressive as that is, I would like to see an example of your ability to cast a standard illusion, not one masking an existing physical form." Mr. Howlen explained.

"I can do a hedgehog or an otter, if you want." Lex said cautiously.

"Yes. Whichever you prefer." Mr. Howlen said easily.

"Lucky, do you want to do it with me?" Lex asked with a smile.

"Yeah!" Lucky said happily.

Lex moved so that he was facing Lucky, affording him the best possible view.

Mr. Howlen watched as the boys began to cast their 'standard' illusion, slowly at first, but with increasing ease as they exactly mirrored each other's movements.

Both boys seemed to be enthralled in the spellcasting, not only casting their spells confidently, but almost joyfully.

When the pair finally stopped, two otters faded into being, one beside each of the boys.

"If there were a synchronized spellcasting competition, I'm pretty sure you guys would walk away with it." Mr. Howlen said, sounding to be impressed.

"I think we'd have an unfair advantage in a competition like that. Lucky's a magic mimic." Lex said as he knelt down to look at his newly created otter.

"Do you mean that I'd have an unfair advantage like tall people have an unfair advantage at basketball?" Lucky asked curiously.

Lex was surprised by the question, but cautiously responded, "Magical advantage shouldn't be used to win competitions. I guess if you were going to go up against another mimic, then it might be a fair fight but it wouldn't be right for you to benefit from something that you didn't earn." Lex said seriously.

"Well, I wasn't going to, but I don't think it's wrong to take what you were born with and make the most that you can out of it." Lucky said reasonably.

"Maybe it's one of those things that should be done in moderation. Take the advantage when it's for something good, but let someone else take the win sometimes, just to be a good sport about it." Lex said consideringly.

"Yeah. I guess if I go up against a sick orphan that I can throw it if it'll make him feel better about himself." Lucky said with a playful grin.

"You know, the people around here are probably going to underestimate you." Lex said frankly.

"Yeah, I know." Lucky said with a smile as he petted Zah Zah on his shoulder.

"Good job on the illusions. Neither one of you happen to have created a self-portrait, have you?" Mr. Howlen asked cautiously.

"I think I could probably manage one if I had to." Lex said with a smile.

"I probably can't." Lucky said seriously.

"Sure you can. I've already got yours mostly crafted. Remember the recipe that I use..." Lex said frankly.

"If you need time to prepare, we can do something else." Mr. Howlen offered.

"No. We've got this." Lex said confidently, then cast the ultra-short, ultra-compacted version of the 'Cousin Lex' definition spell that was rapidly becoming his dominant identity.

To the practiced eye, the grace and elegance of his spellcasting spoke of carefully honed skill at manipulating forces with intense precision.

"Very nice. I believe you could give G a run for his money, since he's the undisputed class champion in illusionary self portraits." Mr. Howlen said frankly.

"I won't take that away from him." Lex said as he waved his arm and dispelled his self-portrait.

"I didn't mean to suggest that you would." Mr. Howlen hurried to assure him.

"Can you help me make mine?" Lucky asked hopefully.

"Yeah. Standard definition. Do it with me." Lex said as he began to go through the longer form version of casting an illusion.

Mr. Howlen watched and appreciated the strength and confidence Lex exuded as he led Lucky through the long and complicated spellcasting.

Lucky, for his part, kept up with Lex's expert level of spellcasting every step of the way. He didn't stumble on any of the words, the gestures were performed confidently and expertly in every detail. If he didn't know that Lucky was seeing the spell for the first time, he would be ready to swear that the two of them had practiced their parallel spellcasting multiple times in preparation for their display.

When the pair finally stopped all movement, there were three versions of Lucky standing around Lex.

"That's astounding. This level of casting is what senior sorcerers get paid to do professionally." Mr. Howlen said frankly.

"Then I hope that G is ready to earn some money, because I don't plan on doing this any more than I have to." Lex said darkly as he dispelled his casting of 'Lucky'.

He felt something wet on his ear and turned his head suddenly.

The tiny horse on his shoulder was looking back at him, not quite wearing an expression, but Lex nonetheless assigned it a meaning.

"I'm not going to stop casting you, Zephyr. I just don't plan on casting illusions professionally." Lex gently explained.

"How's my copy of me? Is it good enough?" Lucky asked Mr. Howlen hopefully.

"The quality is superb, but since you didn't cast it by yourself, I don't know if it can be counted as a fair representation of your skill and ability." Mr. Howlen said carefully.

"I can't make something out of nothing. I have to have something to start with." Lucky fought to explain.

"Why don't you dispel this and recast your self-portrait your own way, then it will be one hundred percent your skill and your magic being used." Lex suggested seriously.

"Yeah. Okay." Lucky said determinedly as he followed Lex's example and waved his arm as he dispelled his previous casting.

"I don't understand..." Mr. Howlen said slowly.

"Just watch." Lex said seriously, then stepped aside so that Lucky could be the entire focus.

* * * * *

The first thing that caught Mr. Howlen's attention was that Lucky wasn't using a standard spell, either in spoken or gestural terms.

The next thing he noticed was that Lucky didn't appear to be using sorcery at all. In fact, he didn't appear to be using any form of magic that Mr. Howlen had ever seen or even heard of.

The spell was slightly longer than when Lucky and Lex had cast together, but it was the completely foreign style of spell castingthat was most perplexing.

In a grand crescendo of movement, Lucky finally finished his spell as his creation took form before them.

"What is it?" Mr. Howlen cautiously asked as he looked at the illusionary construct.

"It's mostly the same as what I made when I was casting with Lex. This is just made a different way." Lucky explained.

"This is what Lucky's magic really is. He has the ability to copy my magic and cast the same spell that I'm casting when I'm casting it. But when he tries to cast it again on his own, he casts it using his own kind of magic that no one else has." Lex said seriously.

"Or maybe it's what everyone else has. Remember, Paul can cast my spells too." Lucky cautioned.

"Yeah, but Paul is the exception to a lot of rules. I'm going to wait until we have a few more things settled before I start thinking that we've figured it all out." Lex said seriously.

"Regardless, it looks as though you are both capable of performing at the level of the rest of the class." Mr. Howlen said confidently.

"I was actually hoping we could do a little better than that." Lex said honestly.

"Don't worry. We're getting there. I just wanted to make a point of establishing that the two of you won't be missing out on anything if you depart from the standard course of study. You've already achieved their level of mastery." Mr. Howlen explained.

"Now you're talking." Lex said with a smile.

"What are we going to be doing?" Lucky asked hopefully.

"I don't know yet. This was all dropped on me rather suddenly. I haven't had time to develop a lesson plan." Mr. Howlen said honestly.

"Then don't plan it. Just show us what else there is in sorcery besides illusions." Lex said frankly.

"The types of magic I show you will have to be limited to the types of magic we can each access." Mr. Howlen slowly explained.

"I have air and Lucky has whatever he can copy. That sounds like we'll be able to do just about anything." Lex said simply.

"Do you think that Lucky would be able to copy someone who's ranked at the highest levels of their magical field?"

"Probably not. From what Doctor Williams said, Lucky's going to keep getting stronger over time. To me, that means that he must be at his weakest right now." Lex said carefully.

"Considering that he was able to cast a fully realized self-portrait illusion on his first try, I'd say that he's sufficiently empowered to be able to learn most anything that I would be capable of teaching him." Mr. Howlen said diplomatically.

"So you don't think we're too young to be here?" Lex asked with a grin, obviously not believing it to be so.

"At first glance, I think you appear to be too young to take on this level of responsibility. But after talking to you, I believe that, with a certain degree of understanding on my part, you will both be capable of performing at a level commensurate with your peers." Mr. Howlen said carefully.

"I don't like how you're using wiggle words to not say what you're pretending that you're saying." Lex said seriously.

"I'm trying to say that I believe in you and am willing to teach you. I just don't want for you to get the idea that because you have some impressive skills, that you don't have anything left to learn. Actually, you appear to be at a good point, right about where your classmates are. If you want to stay competitive, you'll need to keep after your training." Mr. Howlen said frankly.

"We've got Paul and G at home, impressing people all over the place. We'll keep on top of things just so those two don't leave us in the dust." Lex said frankly.

"Don't make the mistake of basing your performance on others' achievements. Use them as a measure, of course, but then define your objectives for yourselves. Otherwise, you risk spending your high school career and beyond in someone else's shadow. Don't let the comparison to your brothers be your only driving force." Mr. Howlen warned.

"I have a friend named Obby who will make sure that won't ever happen. You could call him an authority on stuff like that." Lex said seriously.

"Given your circumstance, I still think it's worth keeping in mind." Mr. Howlen said frankly.

"We'll watch out for it. But in the meantime, Lucky and I are going to compete against each other, too. That should help us to keep it real." Lex said with a grin at Lucky.

Lucky nodded his confirmation.

"I suppose that's a more realistic criteria to use to judge oneself. At least you'll be working toward the same objectives."Mr. Howlen said cautiously.

"Are we done with the testing for a minute? Can we sit down?" Lex asked hopefully.

"Oh, yes. Of course." Mr. Howlen said as he led them to a section of the room that looked more like a traditional classroom, except that instead of rows of desks, they had groupings of them, where a small number of people could comfortably hold a conversation.

* * * * *

A few of the other conversation areas were occupied, but Mr. Howlen and the boys were easily able to find one that was secluded enough that they wouldn't disturb anyone else.

After sitting down, Lucky attempted to take Zah Zah down off his shoulder, but she let it be known that she was having none of it. She hissed and made a half-hearted attempt to claw him.

"You don't control her?" Mr. Howlen asked curiously.

"I used to. She used to be more of a puppet than anything else. Uncle D showed me how to do some animation things to make her look more like she was alive, and I've been making changes of my own ever since." Lucky explained.

"But she doesn't listen to you when you tell her what to do?"Mr. Howlen asked cautiously.

"No. I mean, maybe. Sometimes she does what I want her to, but that might just be what she would have done anyway. I can't really be sure." Lucky reluctantly admitted.

"We might need to look into that." Mr. Howlen said with concern.

"Why? Are you an expert on created life?" Lex asked cautiously.

"No. Not at all." Mr. Howlen admitted, then explained, "But the behavior of this... manifestation... is troubling. It's unhealthy. I'm afraid that if it's allowed to continue, that it could cause Lucky lasting damage on a psychological level... or possibly even on a physical one."

"Have you decided what kind of magic Lucky and I are going to be studying?" Lex quietly asked.

"No. We need to look at the possibilities and decide which of them will have the most potential benefit for you in the long run." Mr. Howlen said reasonably.

"Well, you're right about one thing. Something's wrong with Zah Zah. If you make her our project, we can get a grade for it and have the time and tools and library and stuff to do itright." Lex said seriously.

"And if I don't?" Mr. Howlen cautiously asked.

"I guess we'll work on some stupid book work thing that none of us really cares about so we can get grades to prove that we can take tests and memorize answers." Lex said frankly.

"Maybe it won't be as bad as you're thinking." Mr. Howlen hesitantly offered.

"And since we won't be doing anything to fix Zah Zah, we'll let you babysit her on the weekends, to give Lucky a break from always having to take care of her." Lex said with a teasing grin.

After a moment to consider, Mr. Howlen slowly said, "If we do this, it will almost certainly stray outside the confines of the Sorcery discipline."

"Good." Lex interjected.

"We're not Sorcerers, we're people." Lucky explained.

"That's what we were trying to tell you at the beginning, 'We're not just the one thing'." Lex said firmly.

"Are you really sure about this? If we decide to commit to this project, not only will your time and attention be devoted to it, but your grades will also be connected to the overall endeavor." Mr. Howlen cautioned.

"Go big or go home." Lex said simply.

"I think Zah Zah is going to end up being worth it." Lucky said confidently.

"I hope so, because it appears that she's going to be at the center of all our lives for the foreseeable future." Mr. Howlen said frankly.

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

Another great chapter!

Wow! Another situation where we have to wait and see if good or bad things will happen. I think they call that a cliffhanger.

I will say that it doesn't surprise me that a teacher, obviously an adult would be scared or at least worried a bit about just what Zaa Zaa is.

Adults tend to come to conclusions based on preconceived notions that aren't necessarily accurate.

I have the feeling that he would much prefer that Zaa Zaa would no longer exist.

I also have the feeling that Lex and Lucky will do whatever it takes to make sure that she keeps existing.

It seems to me that people of all ages, but especially adults judge people or other beings by their appearance, and decide to like or not like them, or be scared of them, based on very skimpy evidence, almost immediately.

That happens in real life, too. Sadly.

Just look at how often people are judged simply by the colour of their skin or their size and or their general appearance. People will often cross to the other side of the street if someone comes along who is somewhat scruffy looking.

Getting back to the point I was going to make before I went off the deep end, here.

I bet Paul, or D would help.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher