477: The Law Of Untended Consequences

on January 3, 2011 in Book 17, Uncategorized Chapters

In Which Mackenzie And Ian Don’t Do Anything

“Hey… you still don’t have to run off to a class for a while, do you?” Ian asked me, following along beside me as the others headed off to their own destinations.

“Not until after ten,” I said. “Why? Was there something you wanted to, um, do?”

I hadn’t meant to make that sound suggestive, until the last second when it occurred to me that it could be made so… and that it was perfectly likely that Ian had that sort of thing on his mind.

By that point, though, it was a little late to be taking the sentence in another direction, so it only sounded suggestive of someone who has trouble speaking, or who needs to swallow a mouthful of air every once in a while to live.

“Um, sort of,” he said, and I practically felt the surge of heat that ran through him. “But… also… and on a somewhat similar subject… there was something else I wanted to talk to you about. Your thing kind of took precedence, and then I didn’t want to talk about this in front of others, but I don’t want us to forget about it, either.”

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Well, I wanted to make sure you remembered about the whole ‘unprotected sex’ thing we did,” he said. “I went over last night and got a cure disease… I wanted to make sure you’re, you know, covered, too.”

Oh… right. That.

“It hasn’t exactly been at the forefront of my mind, but I haven’t forgotten about it,” I said. That sounded a little dismissive to my ears, so I added, “Though, thank you for reminding me.”

“So, I take it that means you haven’t done anything about it,” Ian said.

“Not yet,” I admitted.

“Well, we should get that taken care of,” he said. “Before we do… um… anything else. You know.”

“I know,” I said, nodding. We could just grab a ring and then any of the hypothetical consequences from our last romp that had yet to be tended probably wouldn’t matter, but I didn’t really know the ins and outs of that well enough to say that with any kind of authority.

“And also before it slips from the forefront of your mind again,” Ian added.

I gave him a bit of a look, but only a bit of one… he deserved that much for the dig, I felt, but no more… if only because he had a point.

And also my mind was turning other things over inside. It seemed like it might be cutting things close if I went right that moment… my Thaumatology lecture wasn’t starting immediately, and Professor Goldman did not have a strict attendance policy so there would be no real consequences if I walked in a minute or fifteen late.

On the other hand, though, I was pretty sure that if I were even a single minute late because I’d had to go to the healing center as a result of a night of sex, then the entire classroom would be made aware of it somehow, possibly by glowing red brands that would spontaneously appear on my face.

And then there was the fact that Goldman tended to give us quizzes on Friday. So even if he didn’t take off points for attendance, it was still possible that I could end up hurting my grade by missing the class.

I had a nice long block of time with no responsibilities that began right after that lecture. So even if an exam and treatment ended up taking an inordinate amount of time, I’d be alright.

“You’re taking an awful long time to figure out how to say ‘Yes, Ian, that’s a great idea’,” Ian said.

“Yes, Ian, that’s a great idea,” I said. “Except I’m thinking it might be better to do it after my first class, when I don’t have anywhere I need to be for hours and hours.” An idea popped into my head, now that I was thinking about the fact that it was Friday. “In fact…”

“In fact you’ve realized it’s better to do it tomorrow, when you have no classes,” Ian said. “Or during winter break, when you can take a few days to recover?”

“I’m really not trying to put it off like that,” I said. “But I don’t know how long it’ll take, and what they’ll actually have to do, or be able to do for me… remember, it’s not just disease… or even mainly disease… that I’m worried about.”

“I’m not exactly an expert in the field of… I mean, in that side of the field,” Ian said, “but I’m pretty sure that finding out sooner is better than finding out later, you know?”

“I’m pretty sure if the answer is ‘yes’ then I’m equally fucked whether I find out today or tomorrow,” I said. “And if it’s ‘no’… well, the answer will wait another day, won’t it?”

“But the sooner we find out, the sooner we can figure out what to do,” Ian said. “If it’s ‘yes’.”

“Except that if I find out that I am… well, that I am… right now, then I won’t be able to sit around and figure out what to do, I’m going to have to dash off to class,” I said. “Where ideally I’m going to have to pay attention to things other than the state and contents of my uterus. And then I’m going to have to do that twice more before the day is over, and Ian, I’m really not sure that I’m up to that.”

“But won’t you do the same thing not knowing?” Ian asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I have a lot of confidence in my ability to push unknown troubles to the back of my mind and forget about them… for a little while, I mean. Just to get through the day.”

“And the day after that?”

“Is the weekend,” I said. “I have that whole day and another one after it in which I could fall completely to pieces and then pull myself together.”

“You know it’s entirely possible that you’re not, right?” he said. “Likely, even. I mean… one time.”

“Yeah,” I said. “If I thought it really were likely, I’d be falling to pieces already. I just don’t want to have to deal with this right now. Is that okay? I’m not saying I won’t deal with it. Just not right now.”

“Okay,” he said. “I just… well, I didn’t want to see it falling by the wayside.”

“Besides,” I said, “if I do it tomorrow, I could also, well, maybe make a stop in next door, while I’m over there.”

“Next door?”

“At the mental healing center,” I said.

“Do you really think you’ll need it?”

“In response to being pregnant? Not specifically, but… well… I don’t think it would hurt,” I said. “But it has crossed my mind before. Amaranth is of the opinion that I should demand they bring in a specialist who can handle my mind…”

“Funny, you say that like you don’t hold her opinion in very high regard,” Ian said.

“I do,” I said. “But that just seems like making too much of a big deal. Anyway, I’m not saying I’d be opposed to the idea. Maybe if I walk in there and explain my situation, they’ll suggest it themselves.”

“You can’t count on other people to guess what you need and speak up for you,” Ian said. “Even if they are mind-readers.”

“I know,” I said. “I just… well, it’ll be less awkward if they do, don’t you think?”

“I think that conversation probably wouldn’t even register on the awkwardness scale for people who are paid to listen to college students talk about their personal and emotional problems,” Ian said. “‘I may not be a fan of everything that Amaranth comes up with, but a good idea is a good idea.”

“Was that preface really necessary?”

“Well, it’s true,” he said. “And I don’t want my support of her to come across as, like, reinforcing something. You don’t have to defer to her just because… you know… your relationship.”

He blushed slightly when he said that. It was a little surprising to see Ian being so delicate about something sexual, after everything we’d done and everything we’d been through… but then, it didn’t seem like it was the sex, per se, that was bothering him.

“You seem a lot more comfortable about the whole submission thing when I’m submitting to you,” I said.

“Maybe so,” he said, with a tiny edge of defensiveness. “And maybe there are some, you know, underlying issues there. But I’m also okay with Amaranth dominating you in the bedroom, in the heat of the moment, too.”

“So, basically, you’re okay with it as a kinky sex thing but you don’t think she should be trying to tell me how to live my life?” I asked.

“Basically, yeah,” Ian said.

“So… all this talk about when I should go to the healing center and what I should do when I get there is…?”

“Um, heartfelt advice?” Ian said, turning even pinker. “Seriously, it’s your life, your body and your brain… you can do what you want with them.”

“Thank you for acknowledging that,” I said. “And of course part of that is submitting to Amaranth. I choose to do that. And I’ll do it for you, when you want me to… but I’m afraid I have to make up my own mind about this mental healing stuff. I don’t think it’ll work so well if I’m not there willingly and enthusiastically, you know? I have to come at it in a way that it makes sense to me to be there.”

“I guess that makes sense,” he said. “The important thing is that you do what you need to, I suppose.”

“Yeah,” I said. “And… it really does mean something that you care enough to remind me. And honestly, it’ll get done sooner because you said something.”

“You won’t forget about it again?”

“I’m not likely to,” I said. “Though… I guess I shouldn’t tempt fate. Who knows what might happen to knock it out of my mind later today? Maybe you should, you know, feel free to give me another reminder tomorrow.”

“Doesn’t the mirror that Lee gave you have some kind of reminder spell on it?” he asked. “I think most of the even moderately fancy ones do, these days.”

“Yeah, it’s got all the bells and whistles,” I said. “I don’t have time to mess around with it right now, but I’ll figure out how to use it for that later.”

“If you remember,” he said, and I smiled.

“Yeah, I guess so,” I said. “I’ve really got to get going, though… Friday is quiz day in thaumatology. I should at least look over my notes or something before going in, if we’re not… doing anything.”

“Okay,” he said. “Later, then.”

Though I’d meant it when I’d said it, thaumatology was the furthest thing from my mind. Now that I was thinking along the lines of submission, it seemed to me like that might be an interesting angle to explore when it came to visiting the healing center.

I was nervous about dealing with both sides, the physical and the mental… not just nervous, but apprehensive. The difference was that nerves tended to make my stomach quake and my limbs tremble, while apprehension sort of rooted me to the spot. I could deal with the former. The latter would make it difficult to actually walk in through the door.

But if I looked at it as something I was submitting myself to… well, then it seemed to matter less if I didn’t know what I was in for or what was expected of me. It didn’t matter if I was apprehensive. I would just go in because I had to, and follow the cues I was given. Do what I was told.

That was simple enough, wasn’t it?

Submission as a coping tool… it seemed like something to explore.

Also despite what I’d said to Ian, postponing the trip to the healing center did not actually do all that much to aid my ability to concentrate during class. Being pregnant hadn’t been much more than a passing worry before, but with something like that, it was hard to know how much thought it actually merited. I was actually finding myself sympathizing with Hazel and her stubborn denials.

Burying my head in the sand had never seemed like such an attractive option, and there wasn’t even any evidence that I was pregnant.

If I wasn’t… and I probably wasn’t… then there was literally nothing to worry about, and all of this was just a foolish waste of time. But if by some slim chance I was? That was a huge deal.

How was I possibly supposed to balance that out?

I realized that in the two days since we’d had sex, I’d been in Amaranth’s presence plenty of times, and she could tell when someone was pregnant. But was that an immediate thing, or did it take some time for the baby to be sufficiently formed to register to her senses?

For that matter, was it possible that I wasn’t pregnant yet but could become later? That being the case, it didn’t seem like the healing center would be able to tell me anything, either, except to come back later.

After completing a quiz that I barely registered the contents of, I ended up taking my mirror out during the lecture… not to play with the reminder feature, but to gaze on the subject of pregnancy and early detection.

It seemed like there were, in fact, methods of catching a pregnancy in its earliest stages. It was all a matter of the method used. General health screenings of the mother would catch it after a couple of weeks to a month. Aura readings could catch it right away, if the reader was astute enough. Spells to detect persons and souls wouldn’t register a second presence until after birth, but life senses that were refined enough could determine pregnancy at the moment of conception.

I hoped that last part meant that I wasn’t pregnant, or else Amaranth would have known. But the next thing I learned was that yes, it was possible to get pregnant more than a day after sex… well, that was some great news. Instead of just being worried that I was pregnant, now I had to worry about the possibility that I might become pregnant any minute. I felt like I had a delayed blast fireball between my legs, just waiting to go off.

But it could be good news, I realized… it meant that it might not be too late. If I went to the healing center immediately, they could do something to prevent it. I could do that, and see if I could make an appointment for the mental healers at the same time.

I had a moment of worrying about whether or not I actually needed or merited the help of a mental healer, but it passed pretty quickly… on top of everything else that I’d been through, if I was upset enough to be scrying things in my mirror during during one of my favorite classes that was probably a good sign that I could use somebody to talk to.


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69 Responses to “477: The Law Of Untended Consequences”

  1. Frelance says:

    and she could tell when someone was pregnancy.

    Current score: 1
    • Miya says:

      I came down here intending to point that out as well, but you beat me to it. I will, though, say that it’s one of the more amusing typos I’ve seen here. Anywhere.

      Current score: 0
    • Electra says:

      I’d been in Amaranth’s presence plenty of times, and she could tell when someone was pregnancy

      Ah, oh, it looks like someone else spotted this too. Feel free to delete my comment then. ^_^

      All the best!

      Current score: 0
  2. Abeo says:

    I’m going to guess that she is not, or will not become in the near future, pregnant. It would totally derail well… everything.

    Unless… damnit. Now I’m second-guessing myself all over. I don’t want to have to worry about a fictional character maybe getting pregnant!

    Current score: 0
  3. Kevin says:

    I noticed within the pondering about pregnancy that Mack seems to have decided to see a mental healer, and it reminded me that there is in fact one mental healer who already knows something about contact with an infernal mind seeing as Hissy suffered such a fate http://www.talesofmu.com/story/other/bonus-story-the-reptilian-complex

    Current score: 0
  4. Peter says:

    I loved this series when things happened fairly regularly. I wish there were less conversations, and more episodes like the labyrinth, or the explorations in the town. I want to see what this world is like, and hope that there’s some resolution to the multiple dangles in less than a few years. I signed up for email notices when episodes are up, I kinda wish now that there was a notice for when there’s a plot development.
    -that’s harsh, sorry, I did fall in love with your universe, Alexandra, but’s it’s started to tarnish.

    Current score: 0
    • Kiam says:

      …peter? the “regular” things are NOT labyriths, they’re classes. and Ian, and Amy, and Steff.

      Current score: 0
      • Peter says:

        Yes, I agree, that’s the regular things, but I’d love to have more “thing” happen regularly. Or to be less obtuse, I Iove, in all the novels I read, when things are hinted at in the world that’s created, and clues are given, so that it’s necessary for me to piece the world together in my head. There’s many times in this world where I’ve been excited by this challenge. When everything is spelled out in detail, i feel less engaged, and more lectured to. Well, not lectured to so much as not given as much room to explore questions about the world. There’s a couple of types of questions:

        Type 1:
        “Is Mack pregnant?”

        Type 2:

        “whatever happen to the pitchfork?”
        “Where’s Sooni?’
        “Calahan’s thingy?”
        “Mack’s Mother?”
        “Mack’s Grandmother?”
        “Resolution of labyrinth lawsuit?”
        “Any updates on Steff’s sex “change”?”
        -and of course, the new demon/dragon tension

        If these were woven into the story in a more aggressive way (although “aggressive might not be the best word”), I’d be on my refresh button like Courtney on a needle

        Current score: 0
      • Peter says:

        Crap, should’ve added, it’s the multiple open plot questions that bug me. how many are going to be kept hanging, without new ones being added in? Now the question is “is Mack pregnant”, on top of everything else unanswered. I actually remember all the plot lines, and I’m excited to see where they lead. But if so many remain open, well, either there’s going to be the most brilliant piece of writing in literature to wrap it all up, or they’ll get a lame treatment somewhere down the line, – or they’ll go silently into the night.

        Current score: 1
    • Two things.

      One is that you might consider yourself to be in luck in the very near future, so I don’t want you to be discouraged by my response.

      Some people just plain consistently don’t like the story… didn’t like it then, don’t like it now, and probably won’t like it in a few months.

      To them, I honestly don’t know what to say because I don’t know why they’re here.

      To you, I say: I’m not completely thrilled with how the story’s grown bogged down over the past year or so, either. If I’d been keeping up a better update schedule then even with the sort of pacing you’re complaining about there would have been more “events” between last January and right now, right? And I also think it’s easier to keep momentum inside the story where there’s momentum outside it, if that makes sense. So things are going to change.

      But there was a “one” up there, because there’s a “two” coming.

      Two:

      You and I would have to come to a mutually agreed upon definition of “plot developments” before I could make that kind of a notification service, and then we’d have to deal with the hordes of outraged fans that consider digressions into the wider world to be deviations from the plot because they come here to read about the lives of the individual characters they care about. Or because they see the name of the university in the story and want more stories about the classroom and think it’s a break in the plot any time we leave campus.

      So while you’re apologizing for being harsh with that comment, it doesn’t provoke anything from me but a little eye-roll, because there’s literally no element of this story I haven’t seen people consider to be “the real plot” and no element that I haven’t seen people consider to be an intrusion.

      So while you’re going to see “the plot” (as you call it) take some quantum leaps forward and then keep on a steadier pace in the near future, you’re never going to get away from these conversations.

      Or the sex scenes.

      Or the folklore.

      Or the classroom.

      Or the obscure D&D references.

      Or whatever else any one person wants to see less of or more of.

      To me, all of these things are “the story” (if not “the plot”), and they’re all going to stick around.

      So, thank you for reading, and I hope you stick around… and that if you don’t feel like you can do that, then I hope you check back later this year. Not only will you find there has been more plot development, but I think you’ll also find the story’s easier to get back into without plowing through the whole archive first.

      Current score: 2
      • Kevin says:

        The D&D references aren’t that obscure ever since reading this I’ve been trying to fit “Delayed blast fireball between my legs” into a game session…

        Current score: 1
        • Rey d`Tutto says:

          There is an excellent line from the movie Amadeus, where the Emperor tells Mozart “… there are simply too many notes, that’s all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.”

          Mozart then made the only possible reply, “Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?”

          The Plot has many threads, and together they define a rich tapestry. I continue to enjoy Mu.

          Current score: 2
          • carson says:

            Am so glad you referenced that. It was teasing the corner of my brain & I couldn’t get it!

            Current score: 0
      • Peter says:

        Not discouraged by your response, you keep the comments section very open, very little (if at all) editing, , and I know that I have to be willing to accept any comments on what I put into the discussion.

        I’m sure as well, that you don’t expect everyone to gush all the time. (for anyone who wrote variation of “you don’t have to read it”, take a look at this whole section. It’s called “comments”, or “discussion”. If Alexandra doesn’t want comments or discussion, she can disable this section, or change it to “unwavering support”)

        I’ve been reading this since the episode where there’s some Tech Knight convention out in a field, & Mack goes out and is attacked by zombies.

        I love the sex scenes – oh my god

        -and the classroom scenes – my favourite when it’s explorations of spells, how the world works

        and the obscure D&D references – I think I get most of them…

        I’m a science fiction freak, and a fantasy buff. I love Dave Duncan and Larry Niven just because that don’t just tell you what the worlds are, they show you. Yep, Mack’s going through a lot, and her internal dialogue is essential to the story.

        But I would like it better if I had to work more to figure out her every motive.

        Current score: 0
      • Mickey Phoenix says:

        I’m catching up on my ToMU reading after a *four-year* hiatus. And it is, has been, will continue to be, “worth the wait”.

        AE, you are one of my top five favorite authors, anywhere, ever (the others being Georgette Heyer, Theodore Sturgeon, Lois McMaster Bujold, and one empty space for whoever I’m forgetting who belongs in the top five). And you’re in there, to.

        Thank you for crafting such powerful, enduring, readable, re-readable, meaningful, thought-provoking, funny, scary, heart-rending, entertaining, complex, consistent, and downright beautiful words and worlds. In my daydreams, I sometimes imagine being able to write like you.

        Thank you for giving us this amazing work.

        Current score: 2
    • drudge says:

      Things do seem to be speeding up, in terms of plot pacing and writing. Harlowe is heating up to the point where by the end of the week there’ll be another dead dorm-mate, either way. In addition, we’re glossing over more unimportant details more regularly. We for example didn’t see what the quiz was *on*, and got more consideration on the matter at hand during class instead of watching her take action during class, meaning next week will arrive comparatively quickly.

      Granted, I can sympathize with falling out of love with the world, but I’d argue that’s probably due to the fact that we’re seeing less and less of it.

      Current score: 0
      • Oh. “Good”. I guess I can look forward to a complaint about how things seemed to have been improving but now we’re back to dealing with “more unimportant details” the next time I spend a chapter dealing with the subject matter of a class, in this story about a university.

        And it is going to happen. I’m glossing over the class period because there are a lot of things I need to get through, but ultimately no change in pacing and plotting that I make is not going to result in fewer classroom scenes. They’re an important part of the story, and seem to be more popular (or at least have more vocal supporters) than anything else.

        Current score: 1
        • carson says:

          I work in an office of 40 people, and an average of twice a week, we get a free lunch, courtesy of big pharma. There are always people who grumble at what the free food offering is, who wander off to spend money. Me, I take what is offered. There’s usually something I like on the table.

          There might be a parallel there. Or maybe not. In any case, I am always happy to read an update. And there are probably more of me than people who grumble.

          Current score: 0
        • cnic says:

          You can’t please everyone. Some people love seeing the outside world. Personally I like the classes. While I am quite content with the rest of the story I would keep coming back if it was just the classes. I actually wanted to see what the quiz was about, but I know it would bore other readers. Plus it totaly makes sense she wouldn’t concentrate on the exam. I remember when I had a medical scare at college. The whole day passed in a haze and I only realized I attended class after I was sitting in my room.

          Current score: 0
        • NatalieF says:

          There’s an element here of not being able to please all of he people all of the time. Write what wants you to write it. People might read it or people might not. If they don’t want to read it they know where to go. Please do not feel that you need to defend your writing to the readers, AE. This is one flaw to allowing comments here and on LJ – someone will alsways criticise in a non-constructive way and, as writers, we will be hurt and have one of two urges; to lash out, defend, explain and shout or else to pull our heads into our turtle-owl-thing shell and, throwing toys out of the pram, stop writing. You write for you. If we love to read what you are kind enoug to publish then we will read. I know that you rely on the tips and sponsorships for your income but for as many that say, “Nay,” there will be as many or more that say, “YAY!”

          *hugs*

          Current score: 0
          • NatalieF says:

            WTB spell-checker and line-editor for forum posts/comments.

            Current score: 0
          • Mickey Phoenix says:

            I play guitar and sing. Not as a job, but well enough that I have recorded tracks for an album.

            It used to really bother me when someone spoke critically of my music. And then, one day, I was watching a YouTube video by Amanda Palmer, who is both one of my favorite musicians and one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. And I happened to glance down at the comments.

            And someone had posted, “She sounds like a cat being strangled, and looks like a truck driver in drag.”

            And it hit me, like a bolt of revelation from the blue–there will *always* be people who hate something, and people who love the same thing, and people who just don’t care one way or the other. When someone hears me singing and says, “don’t quit your day job”, that tells me nothing except that I shouldn’t sing for them again (and that they are perhaps somewhat deficient in social nuance). Because if someone can watch Amanda Fucking Palmer and see a truck driver in drag who sings like a strangling cat–then there is literally no amount of talent or practice or chosen style or anything else that will lead to universal approbation.

            That being said, I’m tired of drudge being the noisiest consistent opinion on these comment boards. So I’m going to take action (beyond the action I’ve already taken, of skipping comments as soon as I see that they are by drudge).

            Every time I see a comment drudge has posted, I’m going to do two things:

            1) I’m going to post a comment about something I really loved in the then-current update.
            2) I’m going to donate an extra dollar to AE.

            So, AE, there’s your road to riches. Piss off drudge enough to get him posting lots of comments, and watch the money roll in (as the scurrilous old song sort of says).

            And, AE, thank you for today’s update, which let me see some really impressive character growth on Mack’s part. Not only did she follow through on something Ian asked her to do: she also noticed her own state of distraction, and correctly inferred from it that she was really worried and stressed about the possibility of pregnancy.

            A delightful change from how she failed her introspection check when distracted during classes in the past. Well done!

            *hugs*,

            Mickey.

            Current score: 1
        • Sindyr says:

          My husband and I love all of the updates, be they in town, back story, on campus, mainly involving someone other than Mack, mainly involving Mack, whatever. Your writing style is dynamic and wonderful, and we love all of the detail. Thank you, AE, for giving us the opportunity to go on this journey with you.

          Current score: 1
      • beappleby says:

        I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see what the quiz or the lecture was about – but then I read the last line where Mackenzie acknowledges to herself that the fact she wasn’t paying attention in (our) favorite class means she really does need to take steps. So the fact that we didn’t get to see what the class was about today is actually part of the plot.

        Maybe you missed that.

        Current score: 0
      • Drudge:

        You know, I’m sorry I keep picking on you in the comments. Among your comments on the last chapter were some that were more insightful than a number of other people’s comments. I am in a lot of pain, physically, these past few days and it’s making me cranky and prone to venting frustration.

        Obviously there’s been enough in the story that you’ve enjoyed to keep you coming back. I hope that’s even more so in the future.

        Current score: 0
        • drudge says:

          No harm done. If I wasn’t willing to put up with a bit of foulness I’d never have gotten to know some very great people. Besides, if we weren’t able to put up with your physical condition affecting your online presence I doubt we’d have been here through the year.

          I hope you have a speedy recovery from your pain, and wish you good health in the future.

          Current score: 0
  5. Oniwasabi says:

    She has finally discovered web browsing via smartphone during class (or the local equivalent thereof) Her GPA is DOOMED!!!

    Current score: 1
    • Ducky says:

      Oh, nonsense. It’s simply a welcome distraction when there’s nothing valuable to learn.

      Current score: 0
    • NatalieF says:

      Yeah I was half expecting her to be thrown into detention for cheating on a test for browsing the net and, potentially, looking up answers. ;-p

      Current score: 0
      • Kevin says:

        They have detention in college? I think my college experience lacked that cause when I was in college being caught cheating just meant they failed you.

        Current score: 0
  6. readaholic says:

    Mmm, nommy MU. And finally! Mack makes a decision!! It seems clear that part of Mack’s reluctance to see a healer of any kind is due to her grandmother’s conditioning of her to see herself as not worthy of help.

    Current score: 0
  7. Burnsidhe says:

    Peter, there’s plenty of time to discover the world as the story goes along. There’s plenty of time to advance the plot.
    Heck, if you think even the possibility of Mackenzie getting pregnant isn’t a plot point, then honestly, this story is not for you.

    An update like this does fill a purpose, and I liked it. I’m expecting, fairly soon, the Leda/Iona/(Feejee?) plot thread will stop dangling, possibly in a very, ah, energetic manner.

    But you know, this story isn’t about the world per se. It’s about Mackenzie living life and attending college in that world. In life, not every moment is a dungeon crawl or an advancing plot. In addition, though you clearly didn’t notice it, this also advanced the plot. It’s called “setting the stage” and we’re likely to get a good look at mind magics, mind healing, and the state of ‘psychiatry’ in the world soon.

    I’m sure you’ve noticed this as well, but colleges are also very insular communities, focused on students and academics, not on world exploration or action/adventure.

    Current score: 0
    • Peter says:

      Noticed it all, and loved it, I’ve spent 8 years in post secondary, in various levels, I love how all the politics and pettiness and bonding rings true.

      “plenty of time”, -well, yeah, i’m pretty sure Alexandra’s not going to die any time soon, so the first semester could go on as long as necessary

      -Mack maybe being pregnant, yes, it’s a plot point, touched upon when the first “unprotected sex” reference came up. But -(protecting myself form the onslaught) -the endless mental discussion in Mack’s head…

      I love it when, by her actions
      , she shows the changes in her character.

      Current score: 0
  8. Kiam says:

    three cheers for mac actually thinking about herself!

    Current score: 0
  9. Tomo says:

    “I realized that in the two days since we’d had sex, I’d been in Amaranth’s presence plenty of times, and she could tell when someone was pregnancy.”

    There appears to be a typo, having to do with the tense of pregnancy

    Current score: 0
  10. drudge says:

    “I felt like I had a delayed blast fireball between my legs, just waiting to go off.”

    Given her particlar set of immunities and problems, I believe a delayed fireball would be the PREFERABLE option.

    Current score: 0
    • Cernael says:

      Depends on if the fireball has the property “Magic” or not.

      Current score: 0
      • 'Nym-o-maniac says:

        Can even magic fire hurt her? I got the impression most magic fire wouldn’t hurt half-demons, though true demon fire was up in the air.

        Current score: 0
        • Rey d`Tutto says:

          She may not burn from the fire, but the concussive force would still apply. Getting a kick in the junk isn’t fun, even if your gonads are internal.

          Current score: 1
          • Marx says:

            You guys ain’t making it easier for me to get that picture out of my head… I’ve actually laughed pretty hard picturing the fireball combined with the ‘kick in the gonads’ comment.

            Current score: 1
          • Gorgonopsid says:

            That depends on whether fireballs in this world follow real-world physics or D&D style flashes of heat and light with little to no kinetic force.

            Current score: 0
            • fman0801 says:

              That also depends on which edition of D&D/AD&D your using to describe the fire ball.

              Current score: 1
  11. Kallio says:

    Hey, new commenter here (I’ve been reading for ages. I really should’ve commented by now…). I just wanted to say that I think you’ve actually paced the story quite well, on the whole. I mean, when I first started reading, I’d sometimes go into a new chapter hoping for an update to a certain part of the storyline. Then I realized that while I’ll always have my favorite elements of the plot, there isn’t a single part I don’t enjoy, because you make it all so interesting.
    And honestly, if you somehow managed to cram everyone’s favorite things into every single update, the story would suck and we’d all get bored.
    So I guess basically what I’m saying is I think your story is brilliant, and thank you for writing it.

    On a more chapter-specific note, I hope Mack isn’t pregnant. Poor girl has enough to completely fail to deal with as it is. 🙁

    Current score: 0
  12. Zergonapal says:

    I do not see this conversation as frivolous. It was a timely reminder about the possible consequences of Mack and Ian’s unprotected romp and it advances the subplot of Mack seeking help with her mental issues.

    Current score: 0
    • beappleby says:

      I agree. It’s getting back to several things that happened a number of episodes ago at this point, and setting the stage to go in a new direction.

      I wonder if she’ll end up talking to the same woman who was the twins’ therapist in that OT story?

      Current score: 0
  13. Goinstadi says:

    About the “slow” development of the story. There is A LOT going on, in the world, between the nearly fully developed characters (fully developed would have complete backgrounds for all of them and the story would likely still be at the start of the Semester instead of about halfway through), in the backstory and side plots that flesh everything else out, in the mythology and how it directly affects the world/characters and of course whenever a new character is introduced or a new idea to modify any one of those, we have a main character who is a heavy thinker who has to consider all of her opinions and options rather than blithely wandering through the world.

    I mean, look at my explanation and it’ll give you an idea of how complex this story has gotten. The pace inside the story is perfectly fine for the kind of detail we are getting. Personally I’ve found several recent chapters to be kind of jarring, where hours pass with a minimal amount of words to describe them.

    If the pace outside the story is the problem, that’s due to several issues that AE has shared or kept to herself. I just hope that she has found a good stride and will continue on. This is honestly one of the best stories I have read in the last 2 years and I am very happy to wander along with the Author wherever she wants to go.

    Current score: 1
  14. dagnammit says:

    Man, i’m just happy that you’re back and MU’s back. i’m happy that you’re interacting with readers and that i desagree with you and that i agree with you, and that i pick up stuff from the comments that I either missed or wouldn’t have considered… i’m just glad there’s more!

    I know ToMU isn’t a book in the traditional sense… but to me its just a hyperbook. There are links backwards and forwards, multiple threads, and its *engaging*. I *want* to read more, even if there are some bits that make me go aaaaargh, hunh, or – why would you DO that? I’m engaged, and glad you’re back.

    my word, Mack annoys me, but i’m glad she does… it means i’m involved 🙂

    Current score: 0
  15. Zathras IX says:

    If female Demons
    Are natural temptresses
    Then why not tempt Fate?

    Current score: 0
  16. Wysteria says:

    In a funny way, the general crankiness these past few days has been nice to see. It’s been a while since I’ve seen AE dive into the comments section and talk to all of us the way she has lately.

    Current score: 0
  17. Brittany says:

    Ack, pregnancy scare cliffhangers are the worse… They make me feel all stressed out. 😀 Looking forward to the next installment!

    Current score: 0
  18. Kirine says:

    YAY!!! Mack is finally considering going to a mental healer. This opens up a whole lot of possibilities and insight.

    Keep up the good work!

    Current score: 0
  19. Robert Bates says:

    just as a side note here, but, had any of you “typo nazi’s” considered that AE put in “pregnancy” in that context on purpose, as part of how Mack is thinking of the matter? I mean, not everytime someone thinks or says something in a not grammatically correct way is it necessarily a typo.

    (Yes, first time commenting, had fun reading through the entire archive the past 5 days around work, look forward to the story continueing in all of it’s facets in the future)

    Current score: 0
    • Kevin says:

      From the line of thought of “not a typo” someone saying “was pregnancy” rather than “was pregnant” would work better in dialogue than in thought.

      Also… it would be a kinda funny bit of dialogue.

      Current score: 0
    • beappleby says:

      Do you regularly get typos when you are thinking?

      AE has stated before that she appreciates us pointing out things like that.

      Maybe there needs to be a disclaimer or something, because someone new is always jumping to her defense when she doesn’t mind it in the first place!

      Current score: 0
    • fka_luddite says:

      If you haven’t noticed it, there is also More Tales of MU” to check out. “More Tales” overlaps “Tales” following a different group of characters.

      Current score: 0
  20. Yumi says:

    While I normally enjoy the class scenes, I’m glad this one was glossed over because oh my god, is Mack pregnant?! I don’t think I would’ve been able to focus on the class even if she had been.
    I don’t think she’s pregnant, but I really want to find out for sure. Also, future therapy scenes promise to be interesting.

    Current score: 0
    • anelfgirl says:

      I really don’t think she could be pregnant without Amy mentioning it.

      Current score: 0
      • Yumi says:

        Well, I don’t have quite as much faith in Amy’s abilities as… Amy does

        Current score: 0
        • Zergonapal says:

          Well maybe Amaranth is good at sensing this sort of thing, but it may be that Mack’s demonic heritage could be blocking Amaranth from sensing anything.

          Current score: 0
          • Chips says:

            Y’know… Amy hasn’t been really, really visible in the story recently. It makes me wonder if ~she~ has something distracting her.

            Current score: 0
  21. ElectricHarpsichord says:

    Another first-time commenter here. I just wanted to say that I, personally, love the pace the story is going at. I really like stories that have multiple plot threads, and seeing them grow and then appear to be dropped, only to pop up once again.

    The pace that the updates, themselves, are being posted is a bit disconcerting to me, but only because the story is best read altogether, from start to finish. The more time that elapses between updates, the more you forget about certain elements, and it makes it seem (but only seem) to take longer to address and resolve certain issues.

    And this is not me demanding that you update more often. If I had my way, you would update with 5 chapters every day. But only because it’s THAT GOOD and I want more. 🙂

    Current score: 0
  22. Zergonapal says:

    could be worse you know, AE could try following a town full of characters like Robert Jordan or George RR Martin. You seriously need to keep notes on what the characters are up to and whose killed or kidnapped who or done what.

    Current score: 0
    • Kevin says:

      Kind of surprising when considering my love of fantasy but I have yet to read Wheel of Time or A Song of Ice and Fire, though they are both on my list. That being said when I think of a story of a whole town full of characters going about their daily lives it sounds more like a bad soap opera than an epic fantasy novel.

      Current score: 0
  23. Bilbo says:

    uhm.

    Given that Violet has been a mind reader her whole life, can SHE look into Mac’s mind without flinching ?

    Will we see Violet doing work study in the healing center?

    Current score: 0
  24. Alan says:

    “So, basically, you’re okay with it as a kinky sex thing but you don’t think she should be trying to tell me how to live my life?” I asked.
    “Basically, yeah,” Ian said.

    Ian, my hero. You’ve put your finger on exactly what I’ve never liked about this story.
    Of course, the rest makes up for it.

    Current score: 0
  25. Arakano says:

    @Zergonapal: Not to sound arrogant, but… do you really have a problem following the events and such in GRR Martin’s works? Because I think, especially with the “Dramatis Personae” added to each book, it’s mostly quite okay to follow.
    But while we are at it: I am VERY glad I do not have to wait as long for new TOMU than I do have for the next ASoIaF book! Oh boy! I much prefer the TOMU piece-wise progression. 😉

    Current score: 0