Chapter 191: Sitting In Silence

on December 3, 2013 in Volume 2 Book 6: Career Counseling, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort

In Which Mackenzie Tells The Truth

My surprise at seeing Acantha alone almost stopped me from noticing that something was odd about the space we were meeting in.

I might have figured that I’d just not noticed the soft music coming from the illusory instruments in the center of the open-air lounge until I got close enough to them, but after a few disorienting seconds I was pretty sure they hadn’t been there to hear until I’d stepped across an invisible threshold… the acoustics were completely wrong for a small space partially partitioned off from a big open room connecting to multiple hallways.

The lounge was wrapped in silence. No sound was audible within it except for those that originated inside it, which meant that no sounds from within it should be audible outside of it… it was possible to make the exclusion one-way, but easier to not. I imagined the purpose was to stop the music in the lounge from interfering with whatever was happening in the rest of the building and vice-versa.

It could also make it a useful meeting space for someone who desired privacy without being obvious about it.

“So… I guess I’m the first one here?” I said.

“Of course,” Acantha said… just those two words, and nothing more. I waited for her to finish that thought, but she didn’t. Since she wasn’t in a mood to elaborate, I tried to figureout what she’d meant by it. It was either that or ask, and I wasn’t going to impress her by asking.

The idea that she would have invited no one else was not one I could seriously entertain, at least not while I was on this side of the blankets and the lights were on. The fact that she’d picked a soundproofed meeting room might have been a little suggestive, except for the fact that it wasn’t exactly sightproofed.

“That was by design?” I guessed. It wasn’t exactly a detailed speculation, but it made it sound like I had some idea what I was talking about.

“There’s a sticker on my carriage that says ‘Product Developers Do It By Design’,” she said. “Well, not really… and actually, I have less to do with the final design of my creations than I would like, but it’s true enough for a joke, isn’t it? Ah, now you’re laughing.”

“Tell me I’m not the only one you invited,” I said. It seemed like the least ridiculous and self-serving way to ask the question.

“You’re the only one I invited… at eight,” she said. “The rest of the group will be getting here at nine, assuming they all accept my invitations.”

“Why?”

“Oh, I know how you enjoy being the first one to show up,” she said.

It was true that I was often the first or among the first to show up for her class, but given that I was usually there before she was, I wasn’t sure how she knew that with such confidence. Or why it bothered me… well, that actually wasn’t that much of a mystery. I might have been flattered that she was paying attention to me, or that she had wanted to meet with her alone, but given that I was trying to figure out how much I could trust her, these things seemed kind of like red flags.

…although, I was also separately flattered by it. That bothered me, too.

I did what was probably the smartest thing I could have done when I wasn’t sure what to say, which was saying nothing.

“The truth is,” she said, eventually, “you seem like the sort of person who opens up more one-on-one. I’m sure you’d benefit from a small group atmosphere, which is the point of this whole get-together… but I felt it would be easier to break the ice for you personally if we had some time alone.”

“Ah,” I said, which was functionally equivalent to saying nothing but let me reply.

“Oh, don’t just stand there… have a seat,” she said.

The lounge was filled with small round tables with three seats at them. The chair across the table from Acantha was pulled out, but I took a seat at one of the tables closest to her, turning it around to face her. I was hoping that I was still close enough that it wouldn’t look like I was trying to avoid being close to her.

“I don’t bite, you know,” she said. “I’m sure there are rules about that, somewhere.”

“I’d feel weird sitting alone at a single table when there’s so much space,” I said. “Anyway, you couldn’t possibly fit more than four people around one of these, and it might get awkward if more than two other people show up.”

“I hope more than two other people show up… but it won’t be for a while,” Acantha said. “I figured that I’d have to rise to greet them anyway, so I could sit somewhere else once I see the guests have distributed themselves. But sit wherever you’re comfortable.”

I was glad she didn’t press it… I don’t know that I would have left if she’d kept pushing me to sit with her, but I probably wouldn’t have come back, or sought out any more attention from her outside of class. I had issues with people who ignored boundaries. One of those issues was that I was bad at asserting boundaries, so avoiding people who ignored them was pretty much the strongest tool I had for dealing with them.

“Can I ask you something?” I asked.

“You can ask me anything,” she said. “If it helps put you more at ease.”

“Why exactly do you find me interesting?”

“That’s a borderline self-deprecating way to ask it,” she said. “If I already knew that someone found me interesting, I would take that as given and ask them what about me interested them.”

“So how do you find me interesting, then?”

“At first, it was just trying to figure you out,” Acantha said. “You paid attention in class and were reasonably dilligent, if a little… scattered. But then you started turning in homework that was ahead of what we were doing. I wondered if you had someone else helping you, but you never gave me cause to doubt that you understood the principles behind the work, SO I didn’t really care one way or the other. It was just… well… interest.”

“Before the wand… which wasn’t for your class… I did everything myself,” I said.

“Oh, I believe that,” she said. “I have a better feeling for your personal fingerprints now. If you had been going to someone else for help, I might be mildly interested in meeting them, but knowing what you’ve managed to piece together for yourself makes me very interested in you. You seem like the sort of person who, when someone hands you something and says ‘this is for doing these things’, you start thinking about what else you could do with it… but at the same time, you’re very careful. The world is full of cautious enchanters who never really get anywhere, and daring ones who end up going quite far in several directions at once. It’s the mix that’s so rare.”

“I think I might err a little more on the cautious side than you think,” I said.

“Well, that’s to be expected… you’re young and inexperienced,” she said. “You have a lot to be cautious about, but you don’t let that stop you from stretching your wings when you’re reasonably sure of yourself.”

“Stretching my wings?” I repeated.

“…I was trying to say ‘spreading your wings’ or ‘stretching your legs’ and they kind of both came out together,” she said. “Sorry, that was a little embarrassing… though, now that I think about it, I suppose it could have been worse.”

“How… oh,” I said.

“Yes,” she said. “The thing is, Ms. Mackenzie… actually, would you mind if we dispense with the formalities of the classroom here, do you? I’d like to keep things on a first-name basis within our little group… you do go by your first name in class, in keeping with the custom for non-human students, but it would be awkward to give you a title and no one else.”

“You can drop the Ms.,” I said. I knew the honorific-and-name style was actually coded into the university rules, but I wasn’t sure how it applied outside of the classroom setting. Two could have told me what the rules were for that, and if she’d been there she probably would have. “I still feel a little weird being ‘Ms. Mackenzie’, to be honest, but I like it better than any of the alternatives.”

“I understand that. Maybe I’d get more respect if I took a title, but that’s not me. I’m supposed to make you call me that, though, even though I don’t hold any position with the school,” she said. “Anyone who teaches a university class is the professor of that class.”

“Why don’t you?”

“I’m not a professor,” she said. “I don’t know who Professor Acantha is, but like I said, it’s not me.

“I think you’re more than qualified to teach, though.”

“Qualified to teach a person, maybe,” she said. “I’m less sure about teaching a class… knowing something and doing something are different skills from teaching it, and leading a class is a whole separate bag of tricks that I don’t actually have.”

“You seem like a fast learner,” I said.

“Thank you, Mackenzie,” she said. “So do you… that’s one of the things that caught my eye.”

“Thank you,” I said. It occurred to me a second later that “One of them?” might have been a better reply.

“I hope you don’t spread around what I’ve told you,” she said. “My doubts aside, I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t think I could handle it for one semester, and while it has been harder than I expected, I don’t think I’ll manage to fail too disastrously at anything before the term is up. And I doubt I’m going to leave any holes in anyone’s education, even if I don’t always get there by the most graceful path.”

“I think you’re doing just fine,” I said.

Though it sounded like an unguarded moment, I couldn’t help thinking that this was one of her practiced speeches. Of course, most of what she said that was longer than a single sentence or two sounded rehearsed… that didn’t necessarily mean she was up to anything, only that she was managing her anxiety.

“I’m so glad you say so… it’s nice to have your confidence on this matter,” she said.

It was just a word, but “confidence” gave me pause. I remembered a story that Two’s friend Hazel had told us once, about the origin of the phrase “con artist” and the word “con” meaning “scam”. I’d used to think it had something to do with “convicts”, but she’d said it came from the fact that scammers tried to gain their marks’ confidence through building a rapport with them. According to her, the original con artists would strike up a conversation with strangers over some commonality and then ask if they had the confidence to lend them a small amount of money or a timepiece or something else small and valuable.

The whole thing sounded a bit on the nose to me, as far as scams went, but maybe the fact that it used such a bald statement made it seem more likely to be honest. Or maybe it was just something that Hazel had made up. She did do that.

Regardless of the truth of Hazel’s story, there was definitely something… insinuate-y… about Acantha’s approach here. I’d volunteered my opinion, sure, but she’d kind of been fishing for it. The polite thing to do was offer reassurance when someone doubted their abilities, but once I’d done so, I was invested in the position. Had she been angling for that?

Despite all the time I’d spent dreaming about being alone with Acantha, if I’d known that it would just be the two of us for an hour I would have said no… or at least, I should have. Without the benefit of hindsight, my curiosity probably would have got the better of me. But this? This wasn’t clearing anything up, it was just muddying the waters even more.

…or maybe I was being too paranoid. I had every reason to believe she was nervous about her ability to teach a class. I’d watched her doing it. We’d spoken about it, sort of. That was why we were here, wasn’t it?

“To return to the shop talk…” Acantha said, and I nodded, since that seemed like safe ground. “I think the ability to look at something and take it beyond its established purposes is one of the surest paths to success. Consider your coach’s mockboxes. The phantasmal forces that power them were originally meant for illusory guardians. The purpose of the first mockboxes was deception and fraud. Somebody looked at that and figured out that it could be used for weapons for mock combat… and then someone else looked at that and figured out how to use it for mock combatants. Who knows where the next leap will take us?”

“I had the impression you were worried about what uses it may be put to next,” I said.

“Well, yes… in the wrong hands,” she said. “But you might remember I’ve already come upon another potential use.”

I blushed. It had probably only been a cover story she’d made up, but the image of Acantha making out with a glowing doppelganger had popped into my head assoon as I realized what she was talkin about.

“In fact,” she continued, her voice dropping down to a conspiratorial tone, “I might have snuck back in after you left for a little more, ah, private testing.”

And that was the point that I decided I was done.

Because I knew she hadn’t… Coach Callahan had shown me the logs. She and I had left at the same time that night, but she’d left her dupe behind so she… it?… could examine the mockboxes in private. But obviously she was trying to figure out how much I knew, or she was testing the waters to bring me further into her confidences.

“You don’t seem surprised,” she said.

“Coach Callahan thought you might have done something like that,” I said. I was terrible at lying, but I’d become very good at deceiving through the truth, since I’d never really believed it was lying. I understood the argument that it was, but even then, it still registered to my brain as truth. “That’s part of why she kicked me off the project.”

“I feel terrible about that.”

“I should go,” I said, getting to my feet before she could ask why.

“Why?” she asked, not actually daunted at all by the fact that I’d stood up.

I didn’t know… at least, I didn’t have an answer I could say out loud.

“I’m not sure I can trust you,” I said. That was the truth, but I’m still not sure why I said it, except that there didn’t seem to be anything else to say.

“That’s a good reason,” she said. “Not the answer I was hoping for, but I can’t say it isn’t a smart move.”

“So I shouldn’t trust you?”

“Nobody should trust anybody,” she said. “Not in the sense that you mean it. Not absolutely. People make the mistake of thinking that someone is reliable or on the level as a person instead of trying to figure out what they can be relied on to do, when, and under what circumstances.”

“You’re telling me this as part of trying to earn my trust,” I said.

“Yes,” she said. “Why not? Even if you believe it, it’ll be years before you’ve internalized it to a useful level. And you’re more likely to learn it for real if you spend more time around me, which means you need to trust me.”

“If you’re so self-serving, why do you want me to learn this?” I asked.

“Because you’ll be more useful if you know it,” she said. “But just because I have my own interests at heart doesn’t mean you won’t benefit as well. Two people looking out for their own interests can get a lot done together, when their interests coincide.”

“…I’m still going to leave,” I said.

“Will you come to the next meeting?” she asked.

“Will there be more than two people there?”

“There will be more than two people here if you just wait until nine,” she said. “Or come back then… the only reason I met you alone first is I thought it would make you more comfortable.”

“Maybe I will,” I said… I didn’t think I would, but it seemed like a good thing to say to get out without any more stalling.


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38 Responses to “Chapter 191: Sitting In Silence”

  1. tomclark says:

    “Stretching my wings?” I repeated.

    “…I was trying to say ‘spreading your wings’ or ‘stretching your legs’ and they kind of both came out together,” she said. “Sorry, that was a little embarrassing… though, now that I think about it, I suppose it could have been worse.”

    “How… oh,” I said.

    *snerk* I was thinking the same thing, about it coming out the other way around, right before I read far enough for Acantha to point it out.

    Also, typo report: search for the word “assoon”. It seems to be missing a space.

    Current score: 0
  2. Glenn says:

    It’s interesting that what Acantha said,

    “In fact,” she continued, her voice dropping down to a conspiratorial tone, “I might have snuck back in after you left for a little more, ah, private testing.”

    wasn’t literally a lie, though it was deliberately misleading. She really might have snuck back, if she hadn’t arranged for her duplicate to do the testing. In fact, it’s possible she did sneak back, to talk to her own duplicate.

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  3. Lyssa says:

    Ugh. Acantha creeps me out in so many ways.

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    • TheEyes says:

      Agreed; I think the thing that creeps me out the most are the parallels to Mercy. They both seem to take such pride, and work so hard towards, being as sociopathic as possible. Yeah, okay, that may well be a very successful life strategy (the number of sociopaths that make CEO is a telling, if disheartening, statistic), but it’s no way to live.

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      • Not her, the other girl says:

        True, and at least Mercy is more direct in that “bash you over the head and take your [s]lunch money[/s] organs” kind of way.

        Aside from the stretch your wings, I liked this bit:
        “I should go,” I said, getting to my feet before she could ask why.

        “Why?” she asked, not actually daunted at all by the fact that I’d stood up.

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      • Ducky says:

        They’re elves.

        Sociopathy seems to be an elvish trait in the world of MU. It’s been not only present, but prevalent in every elf we know: Iason, Mercy, Acantha, Ariadne, even Grace and Glory – although those two go out of their way to attempt to avoid it.

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        • Lunaroki says:

          And Steff, though only a half-elf, also seems to share this elven trait.

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    • Anthony says:

      Afreed. It would seem that Mackenzie’s uncanny knack for attracting predators is not limited to those of the carnivorous variety!

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  4. Erm says:

    “How… oh,” I said.

    I don’t… oh.

    And yeah, I agree Mack should get out of there.

    Acantha is an interesting and polite person, but we have to remember that at least two other characters fit that description; and both of them are Not Very Nice People At All. Humanitarians, even.

    Current score: 0
  5. Moridain says:

    I seriously suspect that Acantha is there on behalf of Ariadne.

    A mercenary enchanter willingly turning up to teach a class Mack takes in the semester just after Ariadne returns? At a time when the hate filled elf is suspiciously silent..?

    I suspect Acantha wasn’t supposed to show her hand so soon, but those Mockboxes were too tempting.

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    • Erm says:

      One problem with that: Acantha already alerted Mack that Ariadne was in contact with her. Mack had no reason to suspect it, so there’s no real benefit in revealing it.

      Anyway, what’s her angle? Sow distrust between Mack and Callahan? Get Mack in trouble with the administration?

      Her goal can’t be outright assassination, because a) it would have been easier to just do that by now, and b) I can think of at least three different people who would tear her to pieces if she harmed Mack (Mur-Si, The Man and Callahan).

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      • tomclark says:

        One problem with that: Acantha already alerted Mack that Ariadne was in contact with her. Mack had no reason to suspect it, so there’s no real benefit in revealing it.

        Revealing something they were completely unaware of, that could put them in danger if they didn’t know about it, is a pretty good way to gain someone’s trust.

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        • Ray says:

          Yeah, but what if it is a fake?

          Something to trick either Mack of her lawyer into actions they wouldn’t have taken if they didn’t have the memo.

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      • Readaholic says:

        Not to mention Embries, at least while Mack is at MU. I’m sure he’d be very happy to relieve MU of Ariadne’s tenure, both from a humanioditarian point of view, and his own pride and territoriality.

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      • Moridain says:

        My current thought is that Ariadne has too long a view to bother just killing or getting rid of Mack. She would prefer to see to it that ALL demon bloods are thrown from the campus forever.

        I think she is getting Acantha in to somehow set up Mack for a really big fall.

        Perhaps she could weave together a couple of plots and somehow get Mack blamed for creating a constantly spawning Mock Army of herselves that run around attacking people? This would make two ‘demon lead’ riots in a short period and have the added benefit of making people wary of the Boxes. She could then take this as a ‘demonstration’ when selling to outside buyers.

        Just my thoughts.

        Current score: 0
        • Cadnawes says:

          I would be very skeptical of this except Honey’s dream a zillion years ago, or just one year ago, depending, wherein she dreamed of Mack doing murders. Honey’s dreams are more likely than most to offer clues to reality. I’d argue that most dreams do offer some.

          Anyway, the more self control Mack gets and the more well fed she keeps herself, the less likely she herself is to damage anyone…

          Current score: 0
  6. Rafinius says:

    Honestly, either Acantha is really sloppy or she is playing on a level so meta that I won’t bother speculating further about it.

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    • P says:

      I don’t think she’s sloppy. I think she pegged Mackenzie as someone who she could manipulate due to her having trouble asserting boundaries. (I also think most of what she’s saying is true: they’re both effectively immortal and an ally like Mackenzie could be useful to her at some point) She also somehow picked up on the sexual stuff, although I’m not sure how.

      Maybe it was Mackenzie’s reaction when Acantha claimed to be making out with herself while they were investigating the Mockboxes? I think if someone like Professor Hart (her old history teacher) had said that she would have just been like “Uh, okay, now back to the mock boxes…”? But when you’re seriously attracted to someone or crushing on them it can be kind of obvious if you pull something like Acantha did.

      Anyway, Mackenzie leaving was a good choice.

      Current score: 0
  7. pedestrian says:

    For all the above speculation, it is my suspicion that Our Author is messing with us readers with a bunch of false alarms and fake clues?

    I wonder if Alexandra has ever studied the methodology of Stage Illusionists?

    “I think the ability to look at something and take it beyond its established purposes is one of the surest paths to success……. Who knows where the next leap will take us?”

    Recently in another commentary board I pointed out:
    “A scientist who finds what he is looking for is not a genius but just another bureaucrat in a white coat.

    A genius finds what he was not looking for and recognizes that this discovery is way more important then the original objective.

    Such as searching for Prester John and discovering Kublai Khan!
”

    For all the suspicions cast upon Acantha, it is my opinion that she foresees McKenzie Blaise as being capable of learning to succeed and it would be good business to associate with such a possibility.

    A raw diamond looks like a greasy little white rock, many people would automatically assume is just another worthless chip of quartz.

    Current score: 0
    • Moridain says:

      It really could be Acantha cultivating a future asset… Mack certainly has the imagination and natural talent in enchanting to go a long way. Mixed with an unhealthy disdain for buisness that someone like she could exploit.

      And Elves are known to take the long view… It wouldn’t be out of order for an elf to work on cultivating someone who wouldn’t be useful for half a decade or more.

      But I suspect there is more to it… It could be another anti-climax moment though, I suppose. :)

      Current score: 0
  8. Cadnawes says:

    “And that was the point that I decided I was done.”

    Thank the fucking gods.

    I’m not sure Acantha is allied with anyone in particular whom we’ve met. I’m not sure she’s actually ding anything evil. I do know she’s deceptive. I do know she’s NOT working for the school and is going out of her way to avoid linking herself with the school in her own mind. (Her refusal to be called “Professor”) I know she’s using the hell out of a few veeeery well worn con artist tricks…

    A con will put their mark in a group with themselves. It’s called “forced bonding.” Mack saw a lot of herself in Acantha, and Acantha is using that. And now literally using deception to get Mack alone…

    Which is a social trap. She’s relying on Mack to have a hard time being rude to a polite person. Men who are trying to come on to a woman use this one a LOT. Ever had a guy put pressure on you, ever so politely, and then call you out for rudeness for refusing? Yeah… like that, but smoother.

    She’s emphasizing her vulnerability. Nobody in their right mind would remind a professional associate that they caught them masturbating. Unless the intent was “you don’t have to fear me, I’m just a quirky dork.” If she couldn’t come up with a better cover story for her lipstick than THAT, then surely she can be trusted…right?

    Acantha is giving every appearance of trusting Mack. When someone does that you you, you tend to return it. Acantha has sworn Mack to secrecy a number of times, now. On little things that don’t really matter, but they form a sense of that bond I mentioned earlier.

    So, yeah. Run.

    Current score: 0
    • Sapphite says:

      Agreed – way to go Mackenzie for getting out of there! Regardless of just what Acantha’s motives are, she is not actually offering anything worth the least if what she may be extracting from Mack.

      Current score: 0
    • P says:

      “Ever had a guy put pressure on you, ever so politely, and then call you out for rudeness for refusing? Yeah… like that, but smoother.”

      What, smoother than a stranger pulling up in a car full of men to politely ask if you will kiss the guy’s friend as a birthday present? then continuing to tell you to as you try to physically get away?

      [insert various frowning/mad/sad faces]

      Current score: 0
  9. Glenn says:

    Unlike Callahan, who we know is an extremely dangerous sociopath, we have no idea what Acantha is really trying to do here, because Alexandra hasn’t shown her much except from Mack’s perspective. The only time we’ve really seen Acantha from a perspective other than Mack’s was when she was talking to Thomas Edison’s Son about how dangerous the magic breakthroughs in the new mock boxes could be.
    Acantha seems to Mack to be very manipulative, and yet the reason Mack thinks that is because Acantha keeps deliberately showing Mack how she’s manipulating her. Acantha seems to me almost like a stage magician who keeps showing Mack how she does her tricks. I suspect the whole point of Acantha’s plan is to teach Mack how manipulation really works. And this is something Mack really needs to know, because there are some very dangerous manipulators in her life, starting with Callahan, her Father, Mercy…

    Current score: 0
    • Cadnawes says:

      I disagree. Acantha is showing Mack the secrets behind different tricks than the ones she’s doing.

      Current score: 0
      • Glenn says:

        I think the following quote is relevant here.

        “You seem like the sort of person who, when someone hands you something and says ‘this is for doing these things’, you start thinking about what else you could do with it… but at the same time, you’re very careful. The world is full of cautious enchanters who never really get anywhere, and daring ones who end up going quite far in several directions at once. It’s the mix that’s so rare.”

        Acantha is teaching Mack lessons in manipulation. She knows Mack will take the lessons she is taught, and then “start thinking about what else” she could do with them. She knows Mack is a fast learner. Maybe you think she’s just trying to flatter Mack by saying these things, but I don’t think Acantha really underestimates Mack’s intelligence and capacity to learn. So I don’t think her plan is to take advantage of an naïve, inexperienced student, because she knows Mack won’t be naïve or inexperienced for very long. She would also know that the manipulative skills she is teaching Mack will make her either a very valuable long term ally, or a very dangerous long term enemy.
        We really have no evidence suggesting Acantha is hostile to Mack, but we know she is prepared to try to steal information belonging to Callahan. If she considers Callahan her enemy, it seems to me more plausible that Acantha is trying to gain Mack as an ally against Callahan, while simultaneously teaching Mack the manipulative skills that will make her a useful ally.

        Current score: 0
        • Cadnawes says:

          I agree that Mack is being taught manipulation. As a half demon, do you really think it would serve her well in the society in which she dwells to behave in a manipulative fashion?

          Current score: 0
          • Lunaroki says:

            That would depend entirely upon whether she’s smart enough for her manipulations to go unnoticed, or at least unresented. Manipulation as a tool is most often wielded by those who are in it mainly for themselves, but like any tool it can also be turned toward more noble purposes. If Mack does learn to be a manipulator I for one think she’ll use it sparingly and non-selfishly. The temptation to use it selfishly will still be there, of course, and she’ll have to watch herself. She’ll also have to be cautious not to get a reputation as a manipulator, because coupled with the half-demon thing that would put her on a lot of people’s bad list.

            Current score: 0
    • Ducky says:

      Callahan is a psychopath, not a sociopath. She doesn’t care that everyone and their mother’s god knows that she wants to kill everything in sight.

      Current score: 0
  10. Zathras IX says:

    “Spreading your wings” and
    “Stretching your legs” combine in
    A Freudian slip

    Current score: 0
  11. trallic says:

    mac is a bit racist, for all her whining about human’s legitimate suspicions of demons and most of the monster races who the story shows and therefore mac is at least somewhat aware are *still eating people* during her early attempts at politics she ingrained “damned sneaky elves and their sneaky ways” pretty quickly, I mean mostly her dealings with Glory, at least acentha actually did something sneaky first but mac will just not let it go long enough to see whats up. I bet if an orc had done this she’d be more willing to hear the other side

    Current score: 0
  12. trallic says:

    dafuq? “cheatin uh?” why did that pop up?

    Current score: 0
  13. trallic says:

    surprised mac is so ok with how easily “misleading with truth” comes to her given its such a stereotypical demoney trait and she was aware how her father uses it on her every time he speaks

    Current score: 0
  14. Lunaroki says:

    Typo Report

    Aside from the one noted above I also found the following typos in this entry:

    Since she wasn’t in a mood to elaborate, I tried to figureout what she’d meant by it.

    Missing a space between “figure” and “out”.

    I might have been flattered that she was paying attention to me, or that she had wanted to meet with her alone,

    Should probably read “or that she had wanted to meet with me alone,”.

    The thing is, Ms. Mackenzie… actually, would you mind if we dispense with the formalities of the classroom here, do you?

    Either the “, do you” needs to go or the “would you” should be “you don’t”.

    “I don’t know who Professor Acantha is, but like I said, it’s not me.

    Missing closing quote at the end.

    Current score: 0
  15. Mad Nige says:

    The world is full of cautious enchanters who never really get anywhere, and daring ones who end up going quite far in several directions at once. It’s the mix that’s so rare.

    Is that like

    “There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.”

    *BOOM* and one ex-daring enchanter goes quite far in several directions at once.

    Current score: 0
  16. TimeKitten says:

    The “Strech your wings” is a little too smooth for me to not be suspicious of being intentional, especially with the cover story seemingly designed to disarm Mackenzie with naughty thoughts.

    Acantha is left and right comprimising her profesional integrity, and all I can think is hot potato, pass her off.

    Current score: 0

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