442: Painful Pairings

on May 9, 2010 in Book 16

In Which Mackenzie Notices Things

Callahan started pairing us up immediately after her little speech. She was mixing and matching between the two sections… not, from what I could tell, always putting someone from the beginner group with someone more advanced, but not taking care to make sure the two groups remained separated.

That’s not to say she wasn’t putting any thought in it… if I’d seen only the results I might have thought she was doing it at random, but there were too many little moments of hesitation, too many canny looks that flashed through the serene facade she was projecting. Even when she didn’t visibly stop to think before putting two people together, there was something very deliberate about her actions.

In the process, I got to hear the “sacred” names she gave for most of the class again… and it struck me with more than a little bit of surprise that mine was far from the worst. Seeker In Tears… that was the same Crybaby/Emo Kid stuff she gave me all the time. As much as being accused of being too emotional sucked… there was no way to respond to it without seeming to prove the accusation right… I had to admit it was better than, say, Seeker After Anything Hard And Upright To Jump On or Seeker After Own Hindquarters With Scroll Of Mapping And Orb Of Continual Light.

“When you have your partner, get your weapons mocked if you haven’t already and then get to it. The God of Pain doesn’t stand on ceremony, Seekers,” she announced in the midst of the sorting. “Anyone who isn’t actively seeking to help their partner attain communion with the god will be given a primer on the basic catechism from the high priestess. Seeker In Excelsis,” she said, clapping a hand on Gloria’s shoulder as the Argenti girl seemed to be heading for the door. “I seem to recall Seeker In Tears delivering you into oh-so-tender embrace of the God of Pain… if that isn’t the basis for a life-long friendship, I have no idea what is. Really, I don’t.”

Gloria turned to look at me. I wondered if that look of pure contempt had always been on her face when she looked at me, and if so, how I’d never seen it before. Her sculpted face was lovely, but her lips puckered like she’d tasted something terrible and her nose wrinkled like she’d smelt it first and then tasted it anyway. Neither of those were as bad as her eyes, though, which were especially obvious since she kept her eyes on me even as turned her face slightly and spoke to Callahan.

She hated me. It was more than could be explained by dislike of demons, or by pure religious belief… or maybe not. I wouldn’t want to be the one put in charge of setting a limit on how much hatred could come from faith.

“Coach Callahan, I believe that this… lesson… is blasphemous, and forcing me to participate is a violation of my religious beliefs,” she said.

“Oh, well, I can’t force you to participate, then,” Callahan said. “I’ll just put down in my little book that attacking a demonblood and slaying a false god went against your religious tenets.”

“You will not goad me into participating,” Gloria said.

“Okay, Seeker… if you don’t want to learn how to deal with pain in this context, you can do it inside the context of your own religion,” Callahan said. “You can write a paper instead.”

“Can I write a paper instead of fighting?” I asked.

“Do you have any religious beliefs?” she asked.

“No.”

“Then no, you can’t,” she said.

“So if I didn’t believe in fighting for religious reasons, I could get out of it but if I believe just as devoutly for secular reasons I can’t?” I asked.

“If you don’t believe in fighting, you should have looked for a moral exemption before the semester started instead of signing up for a fighting class and then asking to be excused,” Callahan said. “Whether or not they’d grant you one without religious backing, I don’t know… personally, I’d call it a religious belief since it outlines as clear a path to the afterlife as anything I’ve ever heard.” She turned back towards Gloria. “Get a copy of Instruments for the Instigation of the Faith. Pick a torture technique that’s detailed therein. Mock the implements or materials that were used for it, and write me a three page paper about what it feels like. Be… evocative.”

“What does that have to do with fighting?” Gloria asked.

“Discipline, willpower, overcoming pain,” Callahan said. “What don’t those things have to do with fighting? Your grade will be based in large part on whether or not you’re able to see it through properly. You can ask someone in the imperial justice program to help you get the materials. Get a concelebrant to help you use them if you have to. I’ll know from your description whether you were messing around or not.”

“How?” Gloria asked.

“Because I know what a lot of them feel like,” Callahan said. “Enough to fill in the blanks on the ones I haven’t. If you get the most recent edition, some of them actually incorporate specific feedback from me.”

Instruments hasn’t been published for five hundred years,” Gloria said.

“Not even four hundred,” Callahan said. “The most recent public edition came out in 171 P.E.

Even with what I knew or suspected about Callahan’s ancestry, her claim to having submitted notes on a text that was nearly four centuries old was a litlte surprising. I didn’t know if she was telling the truth or not… unlike Gloria, that claim wasn’t the part of this scenario that was giving me pause. The fact that there were people who knew off the top of their heads when the Universal Temple had last published a manual on torture felt like a pretty compelling illustration of what Professor Bohd had been talking about with regards to evil, as I was fairly sure that neither Gloria nor Callahan had infernal blood.

Well, I was more sure about Gloria than Callahan.

For that matter, the fact that the largest and oldest Khersian denomination had ever used a manual on torture seemed like a pretty big giveaway that the infernal domains didn’t have a monopoly on evil. Neither immortal divinity nor mortal piety was proof against evil… but then, why did infernal have to equate with evil?

Maybe it didn’t, per se, but demons had been predatory creatures of destruction before being banished to the infernal realms.

“You think you can weaken my faith,” Gloria said. “But you will not.”

“You’re absolutely correct on both points,” Callahan said. “The point of this exercise isn’t for me to shake up your worldview. That would be fun, but I don’t have the time or energy for it. It’s to make you confront something, put you into conflict. Otherwise I might as well just tell you to go slam a window shut on your hand.”

“I will not see my faith perverted for the sake of your lesson,” Gloria said.

“Khersis forbid that people learn something from religion,” Callahan said. “I’m being fair here, and I’m following the letter of the relevant university policy… two things I really loathe doing. I’m sucking it up, so you can, too. Pen or sword… write or fight. Pick one.”

Gloria drew her sword.

“Fine,” she said. “I will do the one that may help me to one day serve the greater good.”

With that pronouncement, she turned and headed for the mockboxes. She stopped a few feet before them and knelt down, with her sword held out in front of her.

“That girl’s going to kill you one day, if she can help it,” Callahan said quietly, turning and leaning in towards me.

“And you’re making sure she’s getting plenty of practice,” I said. “Thanks.”

“She doesn’t need any,” Callahan said. “Not to kill you.”

“I’ve beaten her before,” I said.

“And I can promise you, she learned as much from that as you did,” Callahan said. “If you and her were equal fighters, she’d still kill your ass dead with holiness.”

“What am I supposed to do about that?”

“Even the most faithful rarely get to have the kind of power that can obliterate you on the spot,” Callahan said. “If she does, there’s not much point in worrying about it. What she’s more likely to do is put you in a world of pain. So even if she’s swinging an illusionary weapon and not tossing faith at you, this exercise will help. Better would be if you had someone you could mostly trust not to kill you who could channel divine energy at you for funsies sometime. That, and remembering that you’ve got energy to throw around, too.”

“I can’t exactly toss a flame bolt at her head in melee class,” I said.

“Could you actually do it outside of melee class?” Callahan said. “The fact that she’ll never see you practicing it or learn how to defend against it in a safe-ish environment is part of your edge. If you don’t know how to throw fire, I’d think about learning. There’s an elemental teacher who’d probably help you…”

“I think I’m in her class,” I said.

“Good,” Callahan said. “A lot more people than her are going to try to kill you, and some of them will be smarter than her. No more than one of them will be me, though, and that’s about as good as you can possibly hope for in this life.”

I didn’t miss the threat in there… though I only just caught another sentiment that seemed to be threaded sort of loosely throughout the conversation.

“You’re being nice to me,” I said, equally parts statement and question.

Now you notice it,” she said.

“You just started it,” I said.

“Oh,” Callahan said. “Oh, good. For a moment there I thought you were getting all observant or insightful on me or something. Look, Seeker In Tears… you said you were ready to really start trying, and maybe I see something in your face that says things have changed or maybe I’m just in a good mood because I’m about to watch people’s brains breaking from pain, but I’m taking you at your word until you show me I shouldn’t. Again, I mean.”

She swatted my shoulder with enough force to knock me sideways and started calling out her pairings again.

“Seeker In Cheap Aftershave, you’re with Seeker In Perpetuity. Seeker With An ‘S’ and Seeker In Repose, you’re together. Seeker In Perpetuity…”

I wondered what she meant by “things have changed”… yes, I had made the pledge on the previous Thursday, and a lot had happened over the weekend, including what was probably the closest thing to a religious experience I was going to have in my adult lifetime and what I hoped was the closest thing to ever being an accused murderer that would happen to me.

Had any of these experiences transformed me in some way? Had I learned something from them? Was I growing up, somehow? I hadn’t noticed anything like that… but would I have?

Walking around the edge of the room to avoid straying into any of the one-on-one combats that were already springing up, I took my borrowed staff to the back of the room to mock it up. I gave Gloria a wide berth. I had to… she was praying. Not just bowing her head and mumbling a few words, there was genuine meaning and genuine power behind her silent words.

I could feel it prickling against my skin when I took a step in her general direction. Well, as long as she was finished with it before we started sparring it wouldn’t be a problem… her sword was already blessed, and the mockbox’s illusionary copy would simulate its blessed enhancements with arcane magic.

If she tried to bless the phantasmal weapon, then there might be issues, but I wasn’t really sure how that would work, or if it would. An illusion of sanctity was utterly ineffectual, but what about a sanctified illusion?

I felt it when she stopped praying, even though I had thought I was standing outside the exposure radius. It was like the relief of an almost imperceptible unpleasant sensation. She came up and put her white-hilted broad sword in a tall upright cabinet right after I got my staff out of it.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “This exercise goes against my instincts and my beliefs. I’ve never wanted to inflict pain upon you.”

“I’ve never wanted to hurt anyone,” I said.

“Not when you attacked the skirmishers?”

“They attacked me,” I said. “And… okay, yes, I felt the urge to hurt them. But it wasn’t anything I’d choose to feel. When I’m myself, when I’m in control… when I’m not half-starved… I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

“So as long as you are allowed to prey on humanity, you have no desire to inflict pain,” Gloria said.

“Are you trying to insult me, or to convince yourself that it’s okay to hurt me?” I asked.

“I need no further conviction,” she said.

“Yeah, you’ve had me convicted since the day we met,” I said.

“Remember, Seekers,” Callahan called. “Anyone not treading the path towards the God of Pain may be blessed with a shove in the right direction!”

“Are you ready?” Gloria asked, pulling her sword out of the mockbox.

“No,” I said. “But I think that’s why I’m here.”


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71 Responses to “442: Painful Pairings”

  1. Azirahael says:

    Wow, that last line: Perfect insight.

    Current score: 7
  2. Hatamoto says:

    Glad to see you made it to a wifi node in one piece. 😉

    Current score: 0
  3. Spring Hare says:

    The more I read the chapters with her, the more I like Callahan. She is already up there with my favourite fantasy characters and will most likely stay there till the day my brain shuts down. Other characters in ToMU have their ups and downs, Callahan is sitting on her skull-throne on the top of Mt. Awesome.

    Current score: 1
  4. Fergutronicus Maximus, KSC says:

    Happy Birthday to me! Awesome story. I knew there was nice behind Callahan’s crazy!

    Current score: 0
    • TheTurnipKing says:

      Well, there’s definitely something behind the crazy, but I think it’s a pretty big assumption that it’s “nice” 😀

      Current score: 0
      • Chris Hallquist says:

        How about ego? Callahan feels good about herself when she kills things that are ridiculously powerful, and she feels good about herself when she turns wimps into people who can generally avoid getting killed. Either way, she gets to show off how awesome she is. It’s not a noble motivation, but it’s not the most distasteful motivation one can have either.

        Current score: 0
        • Rey d`Tutto says:

          What isn’t Anti-climactic after you’ve killed a Diety or two?

          Current score: 1
          • Anthony says:

            Turning some clumsy schoolkid into someone capable of killing a deity of their own, of course!

            Current score: 2
  5. cnic says:

    Such a good chapter. I like it when we can see Mack grow. Of course with her its two steps forward one step back, progress not perfection. I’d have loved to see how some of the other battles but this one should be very interesting. And I like the hint about having someone you can trust to expose you to divine energy. Oh all the places that could go with Amaranth.

    Current score: 0
    • Melissa says:

      Divineplay, anyone?

      Current score: 0
    • packrat says:

      Amaranth would be good, but it would probably be stop being a lesson and start being fun times too quickly. Dee would probably be a better choice for learning how to fight divine energy.

      Current score: 0
      • Kiraya says:

        This was my thought also.

        Current score: 0
      • Seeker in Excess says:

        I do not think Dee would be a better choice. She considers divine energy as a blessing and gift–not something to be squandered on frivolity. I imagine Dee would feel uncomfortable channeling the essence of her goddess so that Mack can learn to resist that type of magic long enough to tear the channeler’s head off.

        Amaranth, on the other hand, is a perfect choice, since she’s a divine being–her magic is basically a part of her nature–and has no qualms about using it.

        Of course, if I’m wrong, we get more Mack and Dee Naked Time (TM), so it’s a win-win.

        Current score: 1
    • Bramble says:

      I took the comment about controlled exposure to divine energy as an indication that Callahan was in the club when Mack and Amaranth did their show, personally.

      Current score: 1
      • Brenda says:

        Oooh, good catch. Possibly.

        Current score: 0
        • Kriss says:

          Oooh, oooh, Maybe Callahan was the other person to give a plat?

          Current score: 1
      • cnic says:

        Interesting, you might be right. I had taken it as a sign she knew about Amaranth and that their relationship was known around campus but your explaination makes more sense.

        Current score: 1
        • Sapphite says:

          She does know about Amaranth – Amaranth ‘visited’ Callahan to discuss Mack. Callahan wasn’t pleased as I recall.

          Great update!

          Current score: 0
        • Durragh says:

          assuming no one else brings it up, since i haven’t read all the comments yet, Dee uses Divine energy also right? if she meditates with Dee, and has to maintain her focus or mental clarity while Dee channels small levels of divine energy….

          Current score: 0
        • Bramble says:

          Well, although Callahan certainly knows about Amaranth and Mack’s relationship… the way she said it made me think that she already knew about their experimentation with divineplay. And considering Mack’s usual reaction of “but I’ve got a WEAKNESS to that you CAN’T make me deal with it that’s so UNFAIR,” I doubt Callahan would assume that they were doing that sort of thing, unless she’d either seen for herself or had heard about it from a reliable source.

          Current score: 1
    • TheTurnipKing says:

      Not just Amaranth. Infact, Dee might be a better candidate.

      Current score: 0
  6. Malarky says:

    Thinking about replacing my usual tag of “Malarky” with: “Seeker After Own Hindquarters With Scroll Of Mapping And Orb Of Continual Light.” =D

    Might be a bit too long though…

    Current score: 1
  7. Jennifer says:

    Gloria! in Excelsis Deo, no less.

    Current score: 0
  8. Seeker in Excess says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this chapter–one of the best in a long time. I eagerly look forward to the next one.

    Current score: 0
  9. DaveQat says:

    … I just noticed at the end “pulling her sword out of the mockbox”. HER sword, not a mock. Either a mistake on her part, a deliberate mistake, or unclear wording in the writing. I think the last is unlikely.

    Current score: 1
    • brianne says:

      You put your weapon in the mockbox, and then pull a mocked weapon and your original out of it. At least I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

      Current score: 1
  10. Seeker of Wisdom Left In Back Pocket says:

    You know, ever since the first time I saw Callahan, I’ve had to wonder… Is Callahan picking up as much on Mack’s masochism and background as much as on her general, well, wimpness? It kinda seems to me like this entire “religion of pain” thing is specifically designed to cater to Mack’s personality.

    Current score: 1
    • Zukira Phaera says:

      Dobbs knows about this and does not approve of or participate in the classes that are part of the religion of pain indicate that they are a regular occurring event.

      Current score: 0
  11. Lee says:

    I really loved all the conversation’s Callahan had; and her solution to the religious exemption.
    Go Mack!

    Current score: 1
  12. Miss Lynx says:

    I am getting to like Callahan more and more. And while Mack’s initial brattiness about Gloria’s religious exemption made my eyes roll, the last line suggests that she might finally be starting to get a clue. Let’s hope so.

    Also, “Seeker After Own Hindquarters With Scroll Of Mapping And Orb Of Continual Light” is possibly the best nickname ever. I just need to find someone to apply it to…

    Current score: 1
    • Stress Kitten says:

      The world is FULL of people to whom it can apply. *grins*

      Current score: 1
    • Smiles says:

      Having a problem with religious exemption doesn’t seem bratty to me. I would elaborate but people have probably heard it all before and I’m unlikely to change anyone’s mind.

      Current score: 0
  13. Seeker After Own Hindquarters, Etc. says:

    “A lot more people than her are going to try to kill you, and some of them will be smarter than her. No more than one of them will be me, though, and that’s about as good as you can possibly hope for in this life.”

    I’ve got a theory! That it’s a demon! A dancing demon — wait, wrong fandom.

    I wonder if Callahan is putting all this effort into teaching Mack so she’ll be a worthy opponent for Callahan. I mean, we all know Callahan loves killin’ stuff. She would like to kill Mack, but there would be legal issues and (more importantly) where’s the fun in killing someone who’s about as dangerous as an invulnerable, flaming puppy? A fully-trained half-demon, on the other hand, could probably give Callahan a couple nasty hangnails before his or her gruesome demise…

    Current score: 3
    • Seeker who isn't bothered to think of a real tag says:

      I doubt that one could. This is Callahan, who killed a god after all.

      Current score: 0
    • Seeker in Excess says:

      I think it’s pretty well established that the reason Callahan’s teaching in general, and Mack specifically, is that she feels some sort of strange, foreign emotion–regreat? guilt?–over what happened to the elf mage during the Chaos Wars. You know, the pacifist who was so busy saving Jillian’s, and pretty much everyone else’s, ass by destroying a bridge before she was ripped apart with an ogre’s bare hands.

      So now it seems she wittles her days away, trying to teach people who can’t fight how to. If that means killing one kid so the other students get in line, well, I guess that’s good?

      The other possibility is that Jillian is having her first girl-crush over Mackenzie.

      Current score: 0
      • heist says:

        I actually remember Callahan saying something along the lines of “If only there was a cock somewhere on (Mack’s) body”… or is that just wishful thinking thinking on my part?

        Current score: 1
      • Drudge says:

        Given that it was done by Ogres, there could be a race reason for it.

        She probably Knows Steff is with an Ogre, and this Ogre is a violent douche. She also knows Mack and Steff are together.

        Vicktor doing something he shouldn’t have is an inevitability, as allowances are already made for him. Steff is well known to be incredibly flamboyant, and like things grand. The harsh realities of Kilrests unsexualized man eating and rough architecture, combined with general Ogre roughness, means that they probably won’t see the end of days happy together.

        Enter Mack, who’s quickly working her way into Steffs social circle, and has views that run counter to Viktor. Neither of them want to leave Steff, and something’s gotta give. Mack may be a half demon, but barring a starving incident is harmless. Our large “friend” on the other hand is about as safe as a Grizzly bear dunked in testosterone.

        Odds are Viktor is expected to explode in some way that brings violent confrontation. Mackenzie can punch through concrete and is being ugred to take up offensive fire magic. Vicktor is probably weaker, if only slightly.

        Viktor + Bratty untrained Mack = Dead Kenzie

        Viktor + Compitent, trained Mack= Dead Ogreblood no one will miss.

        Callahan just has to see this happen, and all she needs to DO is train Mackenzie, which she’s paid for anyway.

        Current score: 2
    • EB says:

      Re: I’ve got a theory! That it’s a demon! A dancing demon

      Bunnies, bunnies, it could be bunnies!! /giggle

      Current score: 2
  14. Peter says:

    I love the stories, but wish the pace was faster.

    Current score: 0
  15. tjhairball says:

    Another nice closing line! ^.^

    Current score: 0
  16. Tomo says:

    d’awwwwww that was a really touching scene with callahan. it’s scenes like this that really show you that she is a really good teacher, and is, in fact, really looking out for mackenzie =)

    Current score: 0
  17. Seeker of The Things that are in Vain says:

    I think I really like Callahan.
    I mean… she seems to genuinly want to do good for Mack.
    *learn throwing fireballs at guys who want to exorcise you* hell yeah.
    Maybe she want to… adjust the strangth of Mack with the ones that try to smite-BBQ her.

    hm… anyhow, thumbs up for Seeker in Tears

    Current score: 0
    • Seeker of The Things that are in Vain says:

      and sorry for grammar/spelling errors-> no native speaker 🙁

      Current score: 0
  18. Greenwood Goat says:

    Typo:

    a text that was nearly four centuries old was a litlte surprising.

    Current score: 1
  19. Seeker of Second Left Foot says:

    Hee, I think that MU fans have a new collective nickname! Now I’m wondering what insulting nickname Callahan would give me? My previous experiences in martial arts classes involved me earnestly concentrating, putting all my effort into learning and practicing, and then managing to trip over nothing and hurt myself.

    Anyway, great chapter. It’s good to see Mackenzie being a little less blind to what’s going on around her, even with such little details as FINALLY noticing that Jamie is in her class. Eagerly awaiting the next chapter, I can’t wait to see how she fights with her new perspective…

    Current score: 1
  20. Schulze says:

    So, Mack got it now? She is not going to boycott fighting classes anymore?
    Finally…

    Current score: 0
  21. Vycke says:

    I think “Seeker In Perpetuity” was getting assigned twice. But I loved the chapter, and can’t wait for the next (and SHN would be good, as would MoreMU)

    Current score: 0
  22. Seeker In Graceful Flailing says:

    It does seem to me that Mackenzie could really use this class to her advantage with the right mindset. She enjoys pain, she gets off on being beaten, and this class is all about pain. Orgiastic killing frenzy as literal rather than figurative, anyone?

    Current score: 0
    • Drudge says:

      A bad, bad, bad TERRIBLE idea. If Mack spends all her time taking pain she isn’t exactly going to learn to defend herself. Given the way the world works she’s got to learn to AVOID the stabby sort of pain.

      Current score: 0
  23. Pete G. says:

    Maybe I’m too damn pedantic for my own good.

    “And I can promise you, she learned as much from that as you did,” Callahan said. “If you and her were equal fighters, she’d still kill your ass dead with holiness.”

    Shouldn’t Callahan say, “If you and she were equal fighters”?

    Current score: 0
    • When you try to correct what a fictional character says, then you’re too pedantic for anybody’s good. Do you also call 911 when you see Michael Myers going after a babysitter?

      Current score: 1
  24. Zathras IX says:

    Would MU grant a
    Religious exemption for
    A devout coward?

    Current score: 0
    • Seeker of Wisdom Left In Back Pocket says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me if there were a god of cowardice hiding somewhere in MU. Question is, can one admit to worshipping such a god without chickening out?

      Current score: 1
  25. Zathras IX says:

    Better would be if you had someone you could mostly trust not to kill you who could channel divine energy at you for funsies sometime.

    It appears that Callahan either frequents the Tomb of Horrors or knows someone who does… 🙄

    Current score: 0
  26. Seeker in Graceful Flailing says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that Mackenzie should just let Gloria beat on her, rather that she should use the inevitable pain of the encounter as a strength. To let herself enjoy it without seeking more.

    Current score: 0
  27. Cat says:

    H’oh shit, character development?! Just messin’. But seriously, though. Mack’s last line strikes me as a move in development for her.

    Current score: 0
  28. lwo says:

    {quote}
    Miss Lynx says
    ….
    Also, “Seeker After Own Hindquarters With Scroll Of Mapping And Orb Of Continual Light” is possibly the best nickname ever. I just need to find someone to apply it to…

    Stress Kitten says
    The world is FULL of people to whom it can apply. *grins*
    {endquote}

    Unfortunate but true. The worst part of this is realizing that the world is FULL of people to whom that particular search ends up in being a search for themselves! {Sigh} … {Heavier Sigh} … {Chasmatic Sigh}

    {logical loop-hint}

    Current score: 1
  29. P says:

    The quality of writing and of this series as a whole has really gone up in the past year. This is another great chapter in a good sized string of great chapters.

    Current score: 0
  30. Haha, loved the nicknames!

    Also: hopefully, Mack never runs in Gloria in a dark alleyway.
    Or, actually, anywhere else, come to think of it. …Ever.

    Current score: 1
  31. ““Good,” Callahan said. “A lot more people than her are going to try to kill you, and some of them will be smarter than her. No more than one of them will be me, though, and that’s about as good as you can possibly hope for in this life.”

    I fucking LOVE Callahan.

    Also, I just figured out what race she is: Munchkin. =P

    Current score: 1
  32. lizkayl says:

    Aww! She finally is starting to realize that People want to Kill her because she exists and she Might need to be able to defend herself.

    (Small typo: “text that was nearly four centuries old was a litlte surprising.” little )

    Current score: 0
  33. Arakano says:

    Okay, time for Tim’s Theories (TM)!

    What if Callahan does indeed frequent the BDSM club that Mack and Amaranth went to, or has eyes/ears there… and noticed that Mercy/Mur-Si was interested in Mack? Considering their history and their mutual dislike (at least that’s how I read it), foiling Mercy’s plans would be as good a reason for Callahan to really train Mack than any other, would it not?

    Current score: 1
    • Zukira Phaera says:

      This very well might be true. What better weapon for felling one’s enemy than what one’s enemy has already dismissed as harmless becoming a powerful tool to cast at their heart?

      Current score: 1
  34. Seeker in Vaguely Sexual Referances says:

    This I love. Finnally catching up and getting glory like this. A Callafan am I.
    Evan-HNMIC

    Current score: 0
  35. Arkeus says:

    I don’t get why Mack doesn’t just tell her she didn’t attack the skirmishers at all, not even defended herself. She threatened them -after- they arrow’d her, but she didn’t fight with them.

    Current score: 0
    • Dapht says:

      I think they’re talking about the incident with Rocky and Hissy in the bathroom, not the students in the Labyrinth. Her floormates from the skirmish team.

      Current score: 1
  36. Jechtael says:

    “Seeker After Own Hindquarters With Scroll Of Mapping And Orb Of Continual Light”
    Blood and shale, is there ANOTHER Keri La Belle?

    I love the nicknames Callahan’s given out- especially the slightly tautological “Seeker with an S”. I wonder what mine would be? Probably “Seeker of the Floor”, given how poorly I would likely do in that class, or something racist and vaguely sexual about subterranean elves given the year-round wardrobe precautions I take in light of my negative physical reaction to sunlight.

    Current score: 0