Magic With a Touch of Science

Well, finally.  I seem to be back on the blog, though it’s slow due to having a few days off on the road and a ton of work to do on the writing side that will likely keep my busy for a week.  Such is my curse.

Anyway…  here’s the last of Jessica’s class, and this puts you, the reader, within four thousand words of where I’m at right this moment.  I’m not worried, but I am feeling the pressure:  produce or die.  Well, maybe not die, but something along those lines.  I hear ya and hope to keep working.

As it was we left off with The Two Jordanas and it’s what some people call “a moment”:

 

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

 

Both students stared at each other in disbelief for nearly five seconds before Jordana looked up at Jessica and spoke in a choked voice. “He’s the same height as me.”

A low chuckle slip from between Jessica’s lips. “You mean ‘she’, don’t you?”

Kerry bristled slightly when he heard Jessica use the pronoun “she”, but rather than dwell on the matter he stepped in before Jordana could argue. “When you Compressed her, it affected her aura, too, didn’t it?” He looked away for second as he dispelled the uneasiness felt by speaking in such a strange voice that wasn’t his, and yet, was.

Jessica nodded. “That’s exactly what happened. In an inanimate object it’s not necessary to worry about affecting an aura because they don’t have one. With living creatures, however, their aura adjusts along with their physical size.” Jessica moved closer, appearing to tower over both children. “That’s why when you Mimicked her, Kerry, you matched her size exactly.

“Now I want to do something else—” Jessica squared her shoulders as she turned towards the real Jordana. She moved her hands in front of the girl’s face and seconds later, as the spell dissipated, she was back to her normal size. Jessica nodded in the direction of the other students. “Go sit down.” She stared down at Kerry. “When I give the word, I want you to change back to your original self.”

He understood what Jessica wanted to show, though he was a bit skeptical if things were going to work the way he expected they were supposed to work. “No problem.”

“All right then…” Jessica waited five more seconds to allow the anticipation to build. “Change back now.”

Kerry concentrated on going back to the way he was, back to his original body. It was what he’d always done when he’d mimicked before and given that he never had a problem then, he didn’t expect one now. As always, there was a second of disorientation as his form changed, only this time the disorientation hit him just a little harder as he instantly grew eight centimeters.

He threw out his hands as if to steady himself. “Whoa.” He let out a sigh as he grinned at Jessica. “Back to my old self.”

 

At least we know Kerry’s fears of not going back to Boy Kerry were unfounded, so he’s nice and happy.  But, the pronoun dig…  Jessica was actually chuckling at Jordana’s discomfort, but Kerry felt the hit only because–well, misgendering is a real issue for him one of these days.  Not right now, but it makes one wonder how does someone handle those pronouns when you’re using magic to pretend to be someone on the other end of the gender binary?  Not easy to figure out–though it really is when you think about it.

Now, the title mentions science and here it comes.  Enjoy.

 

“That’s because your original aura was unaffected.” Jessica alternated her glances between Kerry and the rest of the class as she spoke. “As I explained once before, Kerry’s original aura possesses a sort of memory of his original form, which includes his current shape and size. This is why when he Mimics back to, well, his original form, he doesn’t have to go through any additional transformation magic. Mimicking wouldn’t be worth a damn if you can go back to being your old self after being someone new.” She looked at Kerry and motioned towards the chairs. “You can sit down now.”

With everyone in their seats Jessica was able to continue with the lesson. “Now, the advanced form of Compress treat size and mass the same. While it is possible to reduce the height, and consequently size, of a living creature to a maximum of about fifteen percent of its original volume, you’re only able to reduce the mass of the original, at that size, to about thirty percent of the original weight. While this doesn’t exactly work the same way as the Normal version of the square-cube law, it does present an interesting limitation in that we can’t take something the size of a car and compress it so it’s small enough to carry comfortably in our backpacks.” Jessica gave everyone an interesting grin as she looked around the room. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t witches who haven’t tried: it’s just that their level of success varies.

“Now, while this means that when Kerry goes off on the Polar Express next calendar year, he’ll be able to take about thirty kilos of equipment and stuff all of that into his backpack and it will weigh right around ten kilos. That comes in very handy for those times in the future we decide you want to do hiking and you need to bring along a tent and sleeping bags and food and water, but you don’t feel like carrying around fifty kilos of gear. Though trust me: I’m sure after Kerry’s been flying for eight hours with that ten kilos on his back, he’s going to wish it weighed a lot less.

“Using advanced Compress on humans, however, can make it difficult to maintain an illusion that a very small person looks like a child is not what they seem. For example—” Jessica pulled out her tablet and checked the display. “Jordana is 165 centimeters, so if I was the Compress her down to twenty percent of her size, should be the approximate height of a two-year-old girl. However—Jordana, how much do you weigh?”

The El Salvadoran girl wasn’t the least bit embarrassed to give this information. “Sixty-six kilos.”

“Sixty-six kilos. That means when she’d reduced to the size of a two-year-old, her weight would be around twenty-six and a half kilos, which would put her weight around what is considered average for a seven-year-old girl.” Jessica levitated her tablet over to her desk and set it down. “Anyone trying to pick her up would immediately notice a discrepancy between the size and the overall mass, and they’d wonder what was wrong.” She once again looked around the room from student to student opening her point wasn’t missed. “For those of you who might decide to use this form of transformation to achieve that sort of effect, it’s something you need to keep in mind.”

Kerry raised his hand and spoke once he was acknowledged. “If I were to mimic, say, a six-year-old, would my weight match theirs, or would it go against the same sort of limitation we see with the Compress spell?”

Jessica already knew this answer. “Since your Mimicking Gift bases your appearance off the aura of the person you’re mimicking, you’re going to match them in every category, including weight.” She gave a slight grin. “Quite an advantage you have there.”

As there was not much left to say, Jessica was ready to start the evening’s class. “All right then.” She clapped her hands together and began rubbing them like she was eager to start. “Who wants to be the first guinea pig in this miniaturization game?”

 

Now, in case anyone isn’t paying attention, there’s no Ant Man shit going on here, though no one has said anything about expanding things–  I would imagine that has a whole new set of issues that requires a bit of ingenious dealing on the part of the crafter.

And speaking of ingenious crafters, it’s time to learn about time.  No, really…

Advertisements

Fearing an Unknown Known

Believe it or not I’m fairly busy this morning.  Yeah, I know, it sounds like I’m doing nothing but running around today and the reality is, I am.  I’m gonna go do taxes and about ninety minutes then after that I have to drop off some papers to change accounts due to my name change, and as soon as I’m done with this post I have to call my insurance agent and get things changed on my name as well.  Yes, I know, I could’ve done this last year. I didn’t. Sue me.

So what you’re going to get is a quick and dirty excerpt from the scene we’ve been in for a while, but haven’t heard from for a few days due to me being on the road.  Doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing, but it does mean I haven’t been posting much. At least not much of the novel.  But now you get to see that.

So we pick up right after Jordana has been made a little smaller by the Mistress of Transformation.  And she has something else she wants to show now…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“I just—” Jordana shut her mouth quickly, for she knew the wrong word could see her being punished in ways she wouldn’t find pleasant. “I was thinking that you would only make me a few centimeters shorter than Kerry, that’s all.”

“That’s exactly what you are: a few centimeters shorter than Kerry.” The wicked grin that had appeared earlier crossed Jessica’s face once more. “Eight centimeters shorter, if we were correct in our first assessment. Isn’t that right, Kerry?”

He gave a quick nod. “Yeah, we kinda figured out that she was a couple centimeters taller than me.”

“Which means that now we’ve seen how the spell works at the advanced levels, I want to show the class something else.” Jessica waived her right hand and conjured a poncho-like cloak. She held it towards Kerry. “Would you put this on, please?”

As Kerry took the cloak he began feeling a nervousness that he suspected Jordana was feeling moments earlier. He slipped it on over his head and let it fall to his sides, with the him coming to a point just below his knees. He made a few adjustments and then stood staring at Jessica. “Is this okay?”

She nodded. “That’s perfect.” She turned to the other three students. “I want to show you an unseen aspect of the Compress spell.” She half turned Kerry and pointed at him. “I want you to Mimic Jordana.”

Kerry exchange looks with his fellow classmate, but before he could say anything she turned to Jessica. “Professor, you know I don’t—”

“I don’t give a shit what you don’t like.” Jessica took a step forward as she crossed her arms and glared at the girl. “We spoke about this last year and we will not discuss it again. So unless you want to end up half a meter tall for the next twenty-four hours, you won’t complain when Kerry Mimics you, nor will you afterwords.” She leaned forward slightly, her dark eyes emotionless. “Are we clear?”

Jordana glanced downward as she swallowed once. “Yes, Professor.”

Jessica nodded slightly, content that she had gotten her point across. She glanced at Kerry. “Go ahead: do it.”

 

Jessica is apparently still pissed at Jordana for not wanting to be mimic the year before, and she’s not playing that game this year.  So this is sort of her revenge and like it or not, Jordana is going to get a twin sister.

Although, it seems as if the erstwhile twin may be having second thoughts of his own–

 

There was a moment where Kerry felt an incredible amount of fear gripped him internally, because he knew what he was about to do wasn’t simply a matter of using his Mimic Gift and becoming a duplicate of Jordana. Near the end of the last school year Annie and he were shown the video of the time he had Mimicked Sudarat and Kaisa, so he was aware that in the process of Mimicking a girl there was a moment where he was his female self—Girl Kerry, as Annie called her.

He wasn’t worried that the others would see this: it happened so quickly that no one saw it happened this last March. But he was immediately gripped with an irrational fear that when it came time to drop the Mimic and return to himself—

What if he stayed Girl Kerry?

He closed his eyes enforce the notion from his mind. He had been reassured, time and again, that he could only transition into his female self after the first involuntary transition occurred, so any fear he had now about his Mimicking going wrong was unfounded.

He opened his eyes and stared straight ahead as he imagine himself to be Jordana. He threw his willpower into the transformation—

Less than a second later he was eye to eye with the real Jordana.

 

Kerry’s got that clock ticking, ticking, ticking, and he’s aware that the moment he mimics Jordana there will be a moment when he’s going to turn into that cute little redhead that he’s only seen in his dreams–oh, and in a video as well.  It’s legitimate for Kerry to fear that the moment he changes back he may not change back to himself–well, at least not the self he was when he walked in the room that night.  Even though he’s been told many times that what he’s worrying about is impossible, that doesn’t prevent the Ginger Hair Boy from thinking that they impossible could happen.  After all, for a while in his life he grew up believing magic wasn’t possible and he certainly proved that shit wrong.

So, we finally get to see The Two Jordana’s together and both appear to be about the same size.  Maybe if I’m not to rush for time tomorrow you get to find out why…

Getting Back By Example

So, I’m locked in a cycle of insanity right now.  Last night I had two meetings and didn’t return until 9:30.  Then I went to bed at eleven and woke up at three, so I’m a whole lot tired at the moment.

Tonight I need to write my TV recap–which I’ve put off for two days–and pack and prepare to spend eleven hours on the road back to Indiana.  Sunday is prep-time for taxes, Monday is Tax Time and getting stuff done at American Express, then Tuesday it’s test the car, get my tags, and drive back to PA and return to Harrisburg around midnight.

This is where being a jaunting little witch with a girlfriend would be nice.

Speaking of that lad–who, if he were around in real life, has already run through the Great Hall one last time yelling “Erin go Braless!” to celebrate his Irish ancestry–he’s made Jessica happy by relating Normal science facts.  As we’re about to learn, however, she’s going to reject your reality and substitute her own…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Jessica laughed along with the rest of the class. “As we’ve discovered, all things that we do are supposed to be impossible according to Normal science. We are not supposed to be able to transform ourselves, to change our appearance and our size. And yet—” In about three seconds she morphed into a duplicate of Kaisa Božic, her Åsgårdsreia student, matching her size, light brown hair, hazel eyes, and light complexion. “We know that’s not true.”

In a few seconds Jessica was back to her normal self. “Tonight, were going to be in working with the advanced form of Compress. Now, this does not mean that once you master this version of the spell you’re going to have free license to go around shrinking people simply because they’ve offended you, as you will find yourself in serious trouble for using magic on another student and you’ll likely find yourself doing a weekend detention with me.” She saw the worried looks exchanged between her students as they all knew how she handled weekend detentions.

“Before we get into the lesson allow me to give you a practical demonstration.” She had known who she was going to select even before walking into class that evening. “Jordana, would you please join me?”

Jordana Sauceda approached the front of the somewhat afraid of what was going to happen next. Ever since refused to allow Kerry to mimic her in last year’s class, her relationship with Jessica had become a bit rocky and she’d given serious consideration about returning to class for her last year. Part of her wanted to follow instructions so she could get back on Jessica’s good side, and part of her wanted to run because she expected the worst—

Jessica picked Jordana because at 165 centimeters she was her tallest student, edging out Kerry by a couple of centimeters. She read the concern in the girls aura but immediately pushed that concern aside: Jessica was here to teach and not to massage the bruised egos of her students. She pointed to her left. “Please stand here—thank you.” She was about to start the demonstration when Jessica realized there was something she needed. “Kerry—” She motioned for him to approach. “Come stand to Jordana’s left.”

 

In case you need some Memory Refresher–and there is a spell for that–Jordana was the girl who didn’t want Kerry Mimicing her during the Gender Switch spell class where Kerry’s Inner Girl was seen popping out before she was ready.  At the time Jessica said she was going to have a “talk” with Jordana, though she didn’t go into detail about what she was going to say.  Whatever it was, Jordana hasn’t forgotten–and, apparently, neither has Jessica.  And now she wants Kerry of All the Normal Answer to join in on the fun–

 

The two students cast glances at each other as Jessica addressed everyone in the room. “I selected Jordana because she is the tallest student here, and I selected Kerry because, as the second tallest student, he adds a frame of reference for you to use.” She moved behind the two students and placed her hands over their heads. “As you can see, Jordana is a couple of centimeters taller—something that won’t last much longer.”

The El Salvadoran girl rolled her eyes before casting a glance at Kerry and speaking in a near whisper. “Oh, shit.”

He cast a glance back. “Don’t worry; it’ll only be for a little while.”

Jordana rolled her eyes again. “You’re too funny, Malibey.”

“Enough, you two.” Jessica returned to her place at Jordana’s right and faced the class that she spoke. “Now, this crafting will involve not only reducing the living organic material, but reducing the inorganic coverings as well. After all—” She gave Jordana a wicked grin. “We wouldn’t want her garments to fall off, now, would we?”

Jordana try to keep her voice level and normal, but her expression gave away what she felt inside. “You’re not going to do too much, are you, Professor?”

“No.” Jessica gave her head a slight shake. “Not much at all.” She stared at her student for a few seconds before raising her right hand lightly touching the nail of her index finger to her forehead as she half closed her eyes.

For a few seconds Kerry didn’t see anything happening to his fellow classmate. It was only when Jordana drew in a sharp breath that he realized that her eyes were now level with the tip of his nose. A couple of seconds later he caught a glimpse of the top of her head and realized that she was now at least six centimeters shorter.

A faint whimper escaped Jordana’s lips when the effects of the spell ceased a few seconds later and she realized she was at least ten centimeters shorter than Kerry. She glanced up at the now taller boy with a look in her eyes cycling between fear and anger. “¿Qué? ¡Hijo de puta!” She turned to Jessica. “I didn’t think you would make me this short.”

“Oh?” The instructor shrugged. “Were you expecting to be shorter?”

 

Never tell Jessica that she didn’t something that has surprised you ’cause she’ liable to ask someone to hold her beer and show everyone what she can really do.

And that’s why she’s not done with her example–

Not at all.