• Published 13th Dec 2014
  • 691 Views, 15 Comments

Magic Exchange - sunnypack



I'm just a witch studying my magic when my teacher comes around and asks me why I haven't been keeping to the curriculum. Boredom I say. Magic isn't practical most of the time...

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2 - If You Witch Upon A Star

Chapter 2: If You Witch Upon A Star

One thing you should know about the school is that it basically sits on top of a star. Yep, that’s right, we’re basically inside the corona of a star. This is mainly a convenience thing. Stars and celestial bodies give witches enormous alignment reinforcement. It makes spell casting easier, especially for weaker witches in training. For more highly trained witches, they can simply abstract the alignment without having to resort to contact with a physical object. Obviously, I’m not able to abstract the alignment yet, but I’m trying!

Another useful thing about stars is that they are natural dimensional corridors. Bending space and time is relatively easy with such a huge power source nearby. All you have to do is align yourself and boom, you’re off!

For mainly these reasons were exactly why Mort and I were standing on the surface of a star. I consulted the book and mumbled a few things, focusing on the grid. I made sure my alignment was right and the flows worked. If this went wrong, we could end up scattered in space and time. As itty bitty little chunks. Even surviving that, it was not very pleasant, seeing as most of the universe was deadly and most of the time wasn’t very shall we say… favourable to witches.

Mort gave me a look that spoke volumes about his trust in me. The headmistress had debriefed me on Mort’s role in all of this.

————

“As punishment for… his clandestine activities, Mort will be required to accompany you as a familiar. Mort do you have a personal preference to a particular type of animal? No? I’ll let Lyssa choose for you then. The place I’m sending you is a small country on a relatively peaceful planet. The country is called Equestria and it’s mainly inhabited by race called—” she consulted a parchment on the table “—ponies. Make sure you read this—” she handed me some documents in a manilla folder “—before you get there and double check your traversal charms.” I nodded, taking the files and stuffing them in my personal dimensional pocket. It nestled there with a few knick knacks. Curious? A lady doesn’t tell.

“Anything else I need to know?” I asked, resigning myself to the Journey.

The headmistress laughed at that, catching me by surprise. “That would defeat the purpose of a learning experience if I hand-held you the whole way now wouldn’t it?”

I shrugged self-consciously. I could manage, somehow, but the prospect still unnerved me.

Journeys were usually taken by final-year students. Course work was usually inflexible, which meant the faculty had simultaneously voted for me to take the Journey early. A journey was meant to be a peaceful sojourn to some world in the universe at some point in time, to acclimatise a witch to her magic. After completing their Journey, witches were declared fully licensed users and were permitted to use magic unsupervised. Well, magic that wasn’t illegal of course.

...provided they survived their Journey.

–––––

I checked my traversal charms once more, nodding to myself.

“It’s fine,” Mort growled testily. “Just go already!”

“Well excuse me for double checking the charms to make sure we don’t fry, or burn, or get crushed into a speck.”

“We get crushed into a singularity anyway.”

“I meant permanently, without traversing space.”

“Whatever.”

Grr, that trainee-wizard was incorrigible.

“Thank you,” he replied with a taunting smirk. I started. Dang, I must of said that out loud.

“It wasn’t a compliment.”

“I know.”

Infuriatingly egotistical too.

I consulted the book to make sure I hadn’t missed anything and chucked the book into my dimensional pocket. Dusting my hands, I prepared to give the circle power.

“Hey,” Mort interrupted me and I groaned. I took a steadying breath.

“What?”

“Shouldn’t you read the documents the old crow gave you?”

I blinked at him. He was right but I had already constructed the gate.

“Eh, I’ll pick it up as I go along,” I said, shrugging. Mort smirked.

“Heh, that’s what I like to hear. Okay, let’s go.” He waved a hand imperiously at me. I suddenly had an idea.

“I know what you should be,” I muttered and I inscribed another circle. He raised an eyebrow at it.

“A cat? Really?” He looked a little annoyed. “Couldn’t you transmute me into something more impressive, like a dragon?”

“You’re about as selfish as one,” I retorted.

He smirked. “I take your point with pride.”

After that I fell silent, concentrating on the spell. Mort also kept silent, even he knew that breaking my concentration would probably result in very dire consequences to the both of us if we didn’t get this right. Within me and without, I felt the steady flows all around me. The varying wisps of energy brushed at my skin causing me to shiver slightly, and I dove into the mindscape, feeling the pulse of magic flow through the universe. Sounds poetic, I know, but experiencing this and retelling it just isn’t the same. I kind of understood why Coven witches tended to get all rhymey and eloquent in their spells. It felt.... beautiful.

“Oh just hurry up, you witches are so touchy-feely,” I heard Mort mutter. I ignored him for both our sakes and delved deeper into the flow.

Dimensional magic wasn’t like conventional magic. As one witch had recorded whilst discovering dimensional travel: ‘Conventional magic was like holding the wheel of a car. Dimensional magic was like steering an avalanche with a paper cup. At least, that’s what it feels like with the power involved.’

I touched the streams, gently manipulating the currents to tap into the circle. At first, I was worried when the flow suddenly cut off. I strained at the void, trying to see what exactly went wrong. After a few moments, I was relieved when the magic surged back. I thought it was weird, but I discounted it. Probably something the book forgot to mention.

The rest of the experience is a little hard for me to describe. Hmm. Try imagining your body is elastic. Super, super elastic. It stretches for a few miles and then it compresses itself to the size of a marble and then it crushes itself out of existence faster than you can even process. Then, imagine you wake up from a pleasant dreamless sleep, only to realise you’re hurtling towards the ground at an accelerated rate.

Those dreams of flying? It’s more terrifying when you’re not dreaming, and you can’t fly. I thought that would be obvious.

The wind rushed through my hair making stream behind me like a flag. I flailed my arms around and spotted Mort dropping like a stone too. I laughed hysterically then, because I thought Mort would be okay since he was a cat now and he’d just land on his legs. I looked down and saw clouds. At this height though, we’d probably be pancake no matter what orientation we ended up in.

My mind blanked and I just screamed.

“Hold on!” I heard someone shout. I was twisting uncontrollably in the air but I managed to spot three of the strangest looking creatures darting towards me.

With a lurch, and a painful wrench, I was taken by an arm and a leg and I rapidly slowed down. Mort mewled something because, heh, he was a cat and we drifted down towards the ground at a less frantic pace.

Dizzy, disoriented and a little loopy I staggered around on the soft grass and collapsed upon it. I think at one point I kissed it, but if anyone asked me, I didn’t do it. I glanced over at Mort who was looking adorable, staggering around on his kitty paws. An added bonus was that he was unused to his form so it wasn’t as if he could have stood properly even if he hadn’t fallen a few thousand feet with me.

“Are you alright?” a deep voice prompted me. I turned towards the golden armoured pegasus. That’s right, I said pegasus. I tried to focus on the pony in front of me. I gave a woozy bow, felt a pain in my gut and vomited in front of them, instead of giving my name as I intended.

...and that was how First Contact went for me.

Author's Note:

That's torn it.

Booga booga.

This story is going to be relatively short I think. I'm not sure. Whatever. So much tiredness going on in this bizz.