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Time on the Attack

Today you’re going to get a big excerpt: all fifteen hundred words of the last part of the first scene.  Normally that would be about three days worth of excerpts, but last night scene finally passed over four thousand words and I don’t see any point in stretching out this agony anymore than it needs to be stretched out.  Besides, the sooner am done with this scene, the sooner you get into the next.

I should mention that the current scene I’m working on is only the fifth to go over four thousand words.  I doubt very much of get over five thousand, though there is an outside chance that could happen.  I doubt I’ll ever get into the scenes where I had seven or eight thousand words, as those things were monsters.

So at this rate figure will get into Annie’s and Kerry’s vision right close to Christmas.  Yay!  You get a Christmas present!

First, however, we get the new students to geek out over the C levels one more time, ’cause you get an interesting contrast here–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Leonora nearly did a double take. “Wait: you were doing time spells as a A Level?”

Annie patted Kerry’s shoulder. “He was.”

Menan eyes bulged slightly. “You were crafting time spells?”

He nodded. “Yeah.”

“Who taught you?”

Kerry was starting to look slightly embarrassed. “I taught myself. I read it in a book and just figured it out.”

Annie jumped in to keep him from fielding anymore incredulous questions. “That was the main reason we ended up in Advanced Spells—well, one of them. We discovered that using time spells and crafting sorcery in an environment that wasn’t conditioned to handle either of those forms of magic was dangerous and Wednesday didn’t want us to be in that position again.

“Therefore she moved us into Advanced Spells so that would not only learn the craft that sort of magic with help from others, but we would learn the proper protocols for advance crafting.” She shrugged. “On one hand we did something wrong: on the other hand, we would’ve never moved into Advanced Spells if we hadn’t done the wrong thing.”

All the girls on the sofa were shaking their heads but only Soroushi spoke. “Last year all I thought about was getting through class; I gave no thought at all about trying to craft a spell that was a level or two higher.”

“A few years before I came to school I was teaching myself sorcery, so once at school I was used to the idea of pushing myself toward more advanced concepts.” Annie nodded toward Kerry. “And in the process I pushed him in the same direction.”

He chuckled. “I didn’t mind. really. Besides, once I started reading up on time spells, I couldn’t wait to figure them out and craft them.”

She nodded. “He’s rather good with them. Even Wednesday says he has a natural affinity when it comes to working with time.”

Menan wasn’t ready to stop asking about time spells. “Besides changing the time inside closed rooms, what else can you use them for?”

 

It’s interesting to see now, nearly two years later in novel time, how the kids are handling the event that put them into Advanced Spells.  At the time of their discussion with Wednesday, they were a bit worried they were in trouble–which they nearly were, and it didn’t help that Wednesday played that part up just a little too much so she could scare the shit out of the kids.

Now their attitude sort of like, “Yeah, we got caught doing something we shouldn’t have done, but look where it put us!”  They certainly have a much better attitude about it now and are far from the nervous tweeners who walked into the Wednesdays with Wednesday Advance Spell class.  Probably because after two years of being advanced students they can kick back a bit and recognize, yes, what we did was a little stupid but it was also helpful to us.

It’s called character growth and every story should have.

Now, getting back to that last question, what can you use time spells for?  And you know, Kerry has an answer:

 

Kerry had studied the whole implication of time spells over the summer, for he’d picked up a book on them when he picked up his dreamwalking text in London. Beyond the obvious applications, he’d wanted to see how time spells could be used in conjunction with crafting other spells. “Time spells come in real handy with things like shields, because you can set up a time layer outside the shield that will allow you to prepare for an attack.”

Menan looked skeptical. “How?”

“A projectile will have to go through the time field first. It doesn’t matter if it’s physical or magical, it’s going to be affected when it hit that time field, especially if you set up huge compression ratio, like 500 to 1. Not only is it going to slow down the projectile, but is going to be a huge flare because of a change in kinetic energy. If you make your field thick enough—say 10 to 15 centimeters—you’ll have anywhere from a few seconds to maybe a minute to prepare for what’s going to hit your defense screen.

“With attack spells there’s even greater implications. He did throw time field around yourself and get three or four spells ready to go before you drop the time spell and release your attack spells. If you using a spell like Lightning or Fireball, you can craft an accelerated time field in the area you want to craft a spell—say, over the palm of your hand—and pump a ton of energy into your crafting.” He looked up at Annie and smiled as he gave her a hug. “That last one is kind of tricky.”

Nancy and Soroushi found the conversation exciting and Nancy wanted to know more about this last part. “Why is it tricky?”

Kerry looked down for a moment before giving the girls their answer. “Because you can’t reach into the field: you either have to remain outside the field or inside with whatever you’re trying to affect. And for sue you can’t stand outside a time field and then stick your arm or hand it there.”

Soroushi appeared bothered. “Why not?”

“Well, think about it. If I want to pump an enormous amount of energy into a spell in a short time, I’ll create a time spell where the interior has a 100 to 1 acceleration, so now for every second outside the field a hundred seconds passed inside the field. Now, mystical energy ignores time differences in the physical realm because it’s pumping in energy from outside, so it’s just gonna roll. But if you’re standing outside a time field and you try to interact with what ever inside that time field—” He shook his head. “Nothing’s going to work.

“Say you put your hand inside: now your hand’s inside the field experiencing a hundred seconds of time for every second passing outside the field. But the rest of your body is going a hundred times slower, and that means your nerve impulses aren’t working properly and your hand isn’t getting enough blood because that time field is gonna act like a tourniquet on your wrist. So you won’t be able to use your hand and the flesh is gonna start dying.

“That’s why when you open the door to the room that has an internal enchantment it automatically shuts off, because you don’t want to find yourself walking through a field like that.” He pointed his thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the kitchen. “In an emergency you could probably open the door and run in or out of the kitchen, ‘cause the compression ratio’s not that great. But if you set up a time wall that is like twenty-five centimeters thick and gave it a 50 to 1 compression, anyone walking into that is gonna get messed up really fast due to their nerve impulses getting scrambled because part of your body is a normal time and part of their body is moving fifty times slower.”

Annie shifted her weight so she wouldn’t hurt Kerry’s thigh. “While you can’t use those for something large like the exterior defense screens, if you wanted to booby-trap a hallway they would work perfectly. You would need some version of time sensing to know they existed.”

 

As Wednesday pointed out when she gave the kids a bit of a butt reaming back when they were eager little A Levels, if you don’t know what you doing with time spells you can really hurt yourself, perhaps even kill yourself.  What Kerry is talking about is correct: if you set up a time field with a hellacious compression or acceleration relative to what’s really going on in the physical realm, you going to have trouble interacting with what ever inside the field.  And if you decide to do something stupid like stick your hand in there, you going to do grievous damage to it–or to any other part of your body that you decide to move halfway into an area that’s moving at a far different rate of time then rest of your body.  This is one of the reasons why the school doesn’t want students creating personal time fields for themselves unless they positively know what the hell they are doing.

But you’re also starting to see how they could be used against other people.  Time fields in a hallway make for great booby-traps and–spoilers–you are going to see that happen in this novel.  In fact, you going to get to see time used in a couple of instances, both for attack and defense purposes.  If you read through the trailer for this novel, you’ve already seen both kids get into a number of scrapes, and the last scene in the trailer shows a bloodied and bruised Annie and Kerry being approached by nearly a dozen people wearing body armor and sporting offensive spells and guns.  Needless to say, they’re not truant officers for Salem come to bring them back to class because they’ve skipped out to go to Starbucks.  No, it’s because of something else.  You’ll just have to wait and see what.

And speaking of what you could do with them in conjunction with attack spells…

 

The B Levels glanced at each other for a few seconds taking and what it heard. Huwey leaned forward in his chair. “So how do you interact with your spell?”

Kerry glanced up at the ceiling for second. “Well, I mean, you’re not actually touching the effect: you’re not even really touching the time field, it’s all just floating around above your hands or out in front of you. You do your attack spell first then wrap a time spell around that, and it’s something you have to learn to do quickly.  It’s just that once you get the energy going into your crafting, you have to make certain you don’t hold on to either effect too long.”

Leonora stretched as she crossed her legs. “What would be the point of throwing a time spell around something like a fireball? It’s still a fireball, isn’t it?”

Annie answered this question. “If you were pour mystical energy into a fireball for two minutes straight, it would become exceptionally powerful. If you weren’t prepared for it, a fireball with that sort of energy could rip through your defense screens and do considerable damage to you.”

“The thing you would really want to do with a spell like that is to actually time the spell so it dispels after a couple of seconds.” Kerry grew slightly animated, waiving his right arm around as he spoke. “You’d set up a fireball and then create the time spell around that effect. While the fireball is building you set the time spell to dispel in like three seconds, then you push both off towards your target.”

Now Nancy looked puzzled. “Why?”

“Because if I’ve set up a 50 to 1 compression inside a time spell, in three seconds that fireball is going to absorb mystical energy for two and a half minutes, and that is going to be a big fireball.” He shook his head. “You don’t want to be standing anywhere near it when it goes off.”

There was a beeping sound and Annie reached for her mobile. “That’s seven minutes.” She turned to Kerry. “Should be done.”

He waited for her to slide off his lap before he stood up. “Let’s go get our snacks and drinks and will show you how to transom everything up to our floor. Then we can sit and and eat and listen to music while we wait for the A Levels to arrive.”

Annie waived open the door before turning to the new students. “I do hope you’re all enjoying yourselves so far.”

Since Soroushi was the only one who really knew Annie and Kerry, she felt it was up to her to answer. “I’d say were not only enjoying ourselves, but we’re learning a lot more than when we arrived here a year ago.”

“Well—” Annie grinned. “Isn’t that the idea?”

 

And there is one of the real dangers of using time with other effects: if you don’t know what you’re doing you could literally have something blow up in your face.  And as with Kerry’s example of putting a time field around a fireball, the less talented of witches trying this might just burn themselves down if they’re not careful.  As for those who do know what they’re doing, it’s the people on the receiving end of things who need to watch out–

"I see someone's pissed off Kerry--"

“I see someone’s pissed off Kerry–“

like I said, you will get to see time used in a practical fashion as Annie and Kerry described.  And it’s going to be a lot of fun.  Well, maybe for you guys, but certainly not for the people on the receiving end of the shenanigans.

Yeah, Hermione: I don’t think you you’ll Time Twister want to go toe-to-toe with any of my kids.  ‘Cause time is literally on their side.

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4 thoughts on “Time on the Attack

  1. Darn it…… you can attest to this, Cassie….. I’ve been seriously busy. Can you imagine yours truly missing a day of not reading ?

    These Cerunnos kids are sooooooo lucky to have Kerry and Annie as covenmates. I’m sure these two’s abilities will surpass those of any teacher’s…. even Helena’s. I mean Helena is weak on visions , I suppose.

    Do these two have any weakness ? They excel in almost everything. I guess that’s the reason why The Foundation is extremely interested in these two. Alone, they’re formidable…. together, they’re ridiculously powerful .

    • At least you’re keeping your cows happy.

      Now, they aren’t active seers, but they appear to be able to Dream See and do the same under some conditions when they trance. It’s getting there that is the problem.

      The kid’s biggest problems lay with themselves. It’s always that with kids like this. Kerry is a mess physiologically, and Annie probably has a lot of obsessiveness in her. We’ll see where this leads.

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