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Chapter 15

Davic’s Dorm

Atalen ya Doaka

April 2008

Davic had been surfing his web interface all morning. He’d reviewed the messages sent by his various professors and several sent by his friends. He’d even gotten a message from his mother. He had manipulated the mana images in the air above the crystal on the low table beside him until his fingers were ready to cramp up and his seat was more than a bit stiff from his immobile position.

He stretched his shoulders back until his upper spine popped in a few places. He stood up from the floor and wiggled his legs and rear end to stretch the muscles.

Suddenly a blink of light and a high and piercing beep drew his attention back down to the crystal lying there. He sat with a whumphing sound on the cushion and tapped the message to life. Oddly, it was an online forum emailing him that a thread he’d subscribed to had received a new post. He hadn’t posted at that forum for over a year. It piqued his interest. It was a site run by fans of a series of urban fantasy books that were severely off on views of mages and non-Earth-Bound activities, but the books were very fun to read and Davic was unashamedly a fan.

He tapped the link button in the email image floating before him in air. The image flickered far faster than Earth-Bound technology could. He read the title of a thread called Big Disappointments. There was a months delay between the last post and the second to the last.


Lady Morgaine


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Re: Big Disappointments

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I get so disappointed when I try to open a portal, but I mess up the rongorongo, and it takes me to another place. One time this happened when I was opening a portal to Atalen ya Doaka from Yalun né Siana. When I walked out of the portal, I was only on the other side Yalun né Siana! I’m really glad nobody saw me; it was embarrassing enough as it was!!

We should discuss this disappointment, you know.

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Davic was surprised to see the names of the two feuding institutes on a Earth-Bound website. Earth-Bounds had no idea that mana existed. Their scientists still talked about gluons as being the smallest particles known. Mana was centuries away to their understanding. And yet, here on a forum about fantasy books was a reference to his school, and the enemy’s.

He sat on his cushion and stared at the mana image that wafted from the crystal nearest his knee. He looked at the poster: Lady Morgaine. That was obviously a reference to The Morgaine Saga by CJ Cherryh another favorite author of his -- and Retta’s. And she liked the author this forum was dedicated to as well.

“This has to be Retta trying to communicate with me,” he said to the empty dorm room. He read the thread from the beginning. It was about some dude at a university dorm complaining about cooking soup in a microwave and burning his mouth. There were two pages about soup and microwaves (!), a break of one month, then Lady Morgaine’s post. Not only did her post have nothing to do with soup, it revived an abandoned thread.

Davic got up and had lunch at the cafeteria. When he came back, he noticed two more posts after Retta’s. One was by the college student who had started the thread:





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Star Fox with Aviators.’s that awesome.

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I know right! I hate when that happens!


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God of Domestic Ineptitude: Lord of Epic Kitchen Failures, Divine High Marshall of Is Something Burning? Heavenly Master of Oh My God the Popcorn is on Fire

And the other was a continuation of the discussion on soup from an older female on why soup was a very, minor disappointment. And how she wished all she had to worry about was soup. Davic ignored the others and posted the following:


Lord Khym



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Gryphon Extraordinaire

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Lady Morgaine, good to see you again. Are you sure you arrived on the other side of Yalun né Siana?

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He hacked into the computer system. It wasn’t hard even from his remote location. And it didn’t take a very sophisticated mana over-ride to do it, either. Computer technicians had no idea how vulnerable their hardened information system was to the higher energies of mana. A minor over-ride pattern manipulated it easily. At this point, the computer network was as friendly to him as a hungry puppy looking to be fed. He told the computer that he’d like to be informed where “Lady Morgaine” was posting from, the system override she was using, and the next time she posted.

He discovered that she was posting from a crystal very similar to his own in Yalun né Siana but, that was as much as he could tell as LeDuc’s security precautions were rather more complicated than those he could write, or hack through.

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