Brave Adventurers - Er, Wait, Wizards-In-Training - & Asplosions

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Elyd, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. On a semi-secluded island in the south, the sky above University Realia bubbled and crackled with leftover magicks and strange particulates, patchwork colors indicating to all the normal people to Keep Away: Dangers Abound. That was why the University was on an island, keeping people with newfound magickal abilities far away from where they could cause mayhem and chaos. Here, on the island, they could experiment to their heart's desire, without hurting or maiming the people or disturbing the dragons in their lairs. (The dragons have big teeth and short tempers, after all!)

    Here on the island, young men and women with magical power are taught how to use it, abuse it, and not accidentally cause earthquakes! Grad students work on projects and teach first- and second-year students, and professors supervise grad students and upper-class undergrad students in their work so that ALL students safely graduate and either go on to graduate work or go back to their homes and become a wizard in their community.

    University Realia is where Sarah wants to stay forever.

    Sarah, a recently-promoted grad student, woke up in the middle of a pile of books in a corner of a library. Pushing her glasses up her nose, she looked around fuzzily before remembering what, exactly, she was looking for. Dark matter. Where was that book on dark matter…? Oh, yes, she thought, finding it in a pile under her head. She picked it up, checked it out, and went back to the lab she shared with Liam to work on an experiment.

    She yawned as she entered the lab, not bothering to glance at the clock over the door. Grabbing a stool at a messy table, Sarah propped the book on dark matter up on top of the mess, and located an apple from her bag to chew noisily while she read. "So. Dark matter can be a great way to get this experiment started," Sarah mumbled to herself and dove herself into the book.
  2. Liam had managed to fall asleep in the floor under the table that Sarah was working at. He hadn't meant to, he had just gotten warm and decided to lay on the ground for a while. He didn't even realize he was tired, let alone about to fall asleep. Hearing the light scraping of a stool, he jolted up and just barely avoided hitting his head on the bottom of the table. Not that it would have hurt, since even if his head touched the table it would have only barely grazed the top.

    Looking around drowsily, he saw a pair of legs and squinted in confusion. When he laid down he was alone, so when did someone come in? Before he could even consider who it might be, he sprawled back out to look behind him to the clock on the wall.

    2:47 am

    "Are you for real?" he mumbled before pushing himself out from under the table. Smirking, he shifted into a crouch and counted to three before jumping up and shouting, "Heya!" in an attempt to scare the bejeezus out of the person sitting there, whom he had decided before crouching must be Sarah since this was their shared space.
  3. "Heya!" crashed through Sarah's consciousness and interrupted her thoughts on dark matter. She jumped in her stool, reflexively threw her apple core at the source of the sound, and finally frowned when she gathered herself enough. "Liam! What was that for? I've been trying to learn enough about dark matter to harness it as a power source, and now I'm going to have to start this chapter again!"

    Sarah snapped the book shut and jumped off the stool. "It needs a better power source than our magic, because that would just drain our own reserves. So. Dark matter. Why can't we use it? Why are you still being childish about this?" She pushed her glasses up on her face again. Then yawned. Then looked at the clock.

    "Oh... is it really that late? Were you sleeping over there? I'm so sorry, I hope I didn't wake you! This idea just seemed so perfect that I couldn't get it out of my head." Sarah grimaced, angry at herself for forgetting once again that there were rules with other people, and that she never seemed to get them right. She shouldn't have come back to the lab. She probably should have checked the time and gone back to sleep. But she so wanted this to work out.
  4. Liam grinned, looking a little sheepish. "Sorry 'bout that Sarah. I hadn't meant to startle ya like that."

    He picked up the apple core and dropped it on top of the overflowing trash bin by the door, a fleeting thought regarding having it taken away to be dumped crossing his mind before he turned back to Sarah and forgot about it again.

    "I know you're dead set on this dark matter theory, but it'll still be here tomorrow. Why don't I walk ya to your dorm hall? I don't think sleeping a full night on the lab floor is good for either of us, and we've managed to cover the couch in books again," he commented, looking over to the wall. Another fleeting thought crossed his mind that they should clean that off, but again it was gone when he grinned at Sarah. These tasks weren't important enough for continuous thought after all.

    "Your dorm is on the way to mine," he finished off. "It's the least I can do for scaring ya."
  5. Wrinkling her nose, Sarah looked down at her table and took stock. The table was covered in books, crumpled-up papers, and ritual supplies. She had fallen asleep in the library in the middle of finding the book she wanted. She really didn't want to spend any more time cleaning up, and she was going to have to do that if she wanted to test what she'd learned. She sighed.

    "Fine. You're right. I am tired and it is late. Thank you for pointing it out to me." Sarah tried not to make it sound too much like she was pouting. She really wanted to get the dark matter to work as a power source. Another yawn escaped her. She wasn't quite sure when she slept last... "You're right. I am not concentrating well enough. Let's go."

    Sarah got up, picked up a book for bedside reading, and strode to the door, opening it for Liam. "You know where my dorm room is?" she asked, slight surprise creeping into her voice. She would have no idea if asked where Liam's room was, for all they've shared a lab for a year...
  6. Liam stretched and opened the door, offering Sarah another sheepish grin.

    "I've walked you back a couple times," he reminded her. "'Course, you tend to walk and read, or walk and think really hard, at the same time so I doubt you'd have noticed."

    Closing the door, Liam contemplated putting a lock spell on it. Most grad students would probably be able to get past it if they knew his "key," and professors definitely could, but it would keep the undergrads from entering and snatching their books or supplies. After a moment he decided to drop one just to be safe.

    "Shall we go, m'lady?" he joked.
  7. Huh... Liam had walked Sarah back before, and she hadn't noticed. That was slightly disturbing. She wondered if she'd forget this time as well. She wasn't sure when she'd last slept, really slept in her own bed. They walked down the corridor in silence, and Sarah supposed Liam was used to that. Her mind wandered, thinking of current and future magical experiments, ideas accumulated and discarded before they'd even get a chance to be formed into a theory. Oh she loved this! If she figured out how to use dark matter as a power source rather than an individual wizard's source of power, a spell could be performed by any wizard, no matter that wizard's own power limit! It would be amazing and level the playing field for the lesser wizards in the university, the ones that usually had to go back to a small village and make potions.

    Suddenly Sarah found herself in front of her door. "Oh. Right," she said, remembering that she'd been on her way to sleep. "Thanks for walking me, Liam. Good night." Without another word or glance at him, she opened her door and looked with dismay at the state of her room. She really needed to clean sometime. She could barely find her bed under the mess. With a yawn, she shoved enough off her bed to give her space to lie down, took her clothes off, and fell asleep as soon as she hit the bed.

    In the morning, Sarah got up, showered, and wandered to the cafeteria for some coffee. She also grabbed a pastry and sat down with her notes on her classes. She had to start teaching in the next few days, and she wondered if she could work the dark matter in to the conversation. She'd even had dreams about it. While drinking her coffee, Sarah kept daydreaming about the dark matter, drawing swirls on her notes and staring off into space while she daydreamed.
  8. Once Sarah disappeared into her dorm, Liam walked along to his own. Opening the door, he looked around. His own studies weren't nearly as consuming as Sarah's, so his room was mostly just covered with materials that were hanging from the walls or settled on shelves around the room. There were many spells that tended to be complex but useful, so Liam was studying ways to make them easier but just as effective. Unfortunately, he wasn't all that successful, nor was he the only grad student working on it. His specialty was in the mental casting spells, a very common specialty unfortunately, which only made his work even more difficult since these spells were pre-prep spells and needed materials.

    Collapsing onto the bed still wearing his clothes, he sighed and fell asleep quickly. He never bothered to undress for sleep anymore, after waking up to run to the lab after being struck with an idea in his sleep many times in the past and discovering later that he'd ran through campus in just his boxers for several hours. It didn't particularly bother him to be seen in boxers, but many times the ones he would wear were covered in cute little animals or something instead of "manly" things.

    It wasn't his fault he found puppies and bunnies cute. Well, it was, but he still liked his boxers even if no one else did.

    When morning came, Liam didn't wake up right away, and was unconscious until almost midday before showering and changing clothes. Since breakfast was long since over in the cafeteria, he had to make due with a couple fruit and a coffee. He considered whether he should go to the lab or to a classroom where he could actually help. Grad students were supposed to teach the first- and second-year students, but he was pretty successful at dodging that duty. However, that meant that as soon as he was discovered without a class, he was handed a tutoring schedule for the afternoon and would have to be available during that time. Because of this, he found himself with a couple hours to spare before he had to go to the tutoring room.

    Not in the mood to deal with more younger students than he had to, Liam returned to the lab and looked around at the mess. Setting down his coffee, he started cleaning up a little. It would irk Sarah later when all of her books had been moved, which made the effort just a little more worth it. His lab-mate rarely ever realized he was the culprit when she'd walk in to find her books moved and usually blamed the janitorial staff.
  9. With a start, Sarah realized that her coffee was cold, the cafeteria was mostly empty, and the paper in front of her was covered in doodles. She sighed and put her dishes away before heading back to the lab. The halls were quiet and she didn't have to teach for another day or two, so she wouldn't be ordered into tutoring. She had the rest of the day to daydream and think up experiments... though her supervisor would rather that she spent the rest of the day working on lesson plans.

    The book on dark matter should have been sitting on the top of the pile on her table.

    The pile on her table had disbursed.

    Sarah stood and looked at the table for a moment, trying to figure out what had happened to everything in the few hours since she'd last been in the lab. She definitely did not notice Liam on the other side of the room. Finally she started checking around the table and stools. "Aha!" Sarah muttered. Neat piles of books rested on the stools and floor next to the table. Sarah assumed most of the materials for making potions and general chemistry had been put back in the cabinets. She supposed they were easier to use if they were cleaned once in a while. Finally she dug out the book on dark matter then glanced over at the other table, where Liam was busy with his own experiments.

    She realized that she didn't really know what Liam was working on, and if it would help with her own experiments in powering magic in a different way. Sarah gazed at Liam thoughtfully, opened her mouth... then shook her head and opened her notebook and the book on dark matter again. "I really hope this works..." she said under her breath. "Because then I can get on to the fun part!" With that thought Sarah gleefully dug into her studying and forgot about the time.
  10. Liam had fallen asleep sitting up. Anyone casually glancing at him would think he was studying rather hard. But if they watched long enough, they'd realize he wasn't doing anything, the work in front of him untouched and unchanged. In fact, they'd wonder what he had even planned on working on anyway, as the book in front of him was opened to a rather simple compound spell and his notebook was opened to a blank page.

    The sound of the lab door opening and closing made its way into Liam's unconscious, sleep-addled mind but he didn't bother to open his eyes and investigate. Chances were it wasn't someone who would be coming to harm him, and if it was he wasn't entirely sure he cared right now. He didn't feel like waking up, even if his neck was getting a little stiff...

    Suddenly, he heard Sarah speak, her tone rather joyful, and it jolted him awake. The movement caused him to fall off the stool, which was thankfully rather low as it only came up to a little over his knee when he was standing, and onto the floor. He groaned and got to his feet, looking over at Sarah to see if she even noticed him falling.
  11. A noise in the corner of the room caught Sarah's attention a moment after she got working and she glanced over to Liam standing rather than sitting. "Ah, Liam, you are there," she said. After realizing that he paid more attention to her than she did to him this time, she wondered what he knew about her experiments that she didn't think he knew. "Were you following my theories on dark matter? I'm about to try an experiment to see if I can contain its presence. The important first step."

    Sarah looked back down at her once-again messy lab table and adjusted a glass tube. Hm. Perhaps she'd need to put a magic forcefield around it. She muttered a quick spell to put one in place, then looked up again at Liam. "Was I saying something...? Or were you?" Her train of thought had gone off course again. "Wouldn't it be marvelous for this to work?"
  12. Liam just grunted from his spot on the floor. He really didn't feel like moving, because maybe if he stayed here it wouldn't look like he'd just fell but had actually planned on moving to the floor. Of course, the only person in the room to pretend this to was Sarah and he'd be surprised if she even realized he had fallen.

    "You need some help there, Sarah?" he asked, knowing the chances of him getting an answer would be slim while she was in the middle of her prep. He didn't know a lot about her research, only knowing she was looking into dark matter as an energy source. It would be awesome if it worked, because a lot of the things he was working on used a lot of energy and usually dropped a wizard for a while before they could shoot off another spell. And if they were ever sent out to do some major damage against some kind of foe, that would really suck.
  13. Sarah had put on magnifying glasses and was looking at her ingredients and tools cabinets when Liam asked if she needed help. She shook her head vaguely at the cabinet. "Where is the mandrake root? I need the mandrake root..." she muttered to herself, hardly paying attention again to her lab-mate on the floor. With a start she remembered that he was there, a resource to be used. "Liam!" she called distractedly, not taking her attention from the cupboard. "Are you using the mandrake root?"

    After rearranging the cabinet looking for the ingredients she wanted to use, Sarah suddenly glanced over to the clock, forgetting that she had also asked Liam about the mandrake root. It was five minutes past her class time. She was very often late to class, which made her the subject of pranks more often than not. "On second thought... I suppose I'm supposed to be teaching a class." Sarah slammed the cabinet doors shut. "Tell the janitors to stop trying to clean my table! I am tired of not knowing where everything is." She threw her lab coat over the table, grabbed whatever book was on top of the table, and hurried out the door again.
  14. Liam blinked after Sarah, not sure what exactly had just happened. He looked at her table, and chuckled.

    "That, my dear partner, was not the fault of the janitor," he said through his chuckles. Walking to the cabinet and moving some things, he found a mandrake root and dropped it on the table before grabbing his things and also leaving. "Might as well do some tutoring," he mumbled as he walked towards one of the rooms that he was assigned to tutor in. Inside sat three younger students, who immediately perked up when he walked in. "All right, what're you guys needing help with?"

    They were immediately receptive, to his surprise, and they spent the next hour going over their individual struggles and the things they had difficulties with as a group as well. He knew this was basic knowledge, but they were first years and he didn't want to make them feel stupid for not getting most of this. Besides, it's not like they were at exam time, yet. They still had time to get better at learning the material. In the meantime, he would do what he could to make sure that they learned at least one thing before they left.
  15. Sarah arrived late to her class, as usual, and found it in a state of disorder, as usual. The students who weren't staring into space were poking the ones who were staring into space and making paper airplanes. The students who had actually done some studying were practicing some of their new-found magical powers in the back of the room and attempting to burn down the paper airplanes. Sparks shot out of their wands at the airplanes and fizzled out before reaching them. The one or two that reached an airplane smoldered a tiny piece of it, but not enough to be make a mess. Sarah sighed and rapped her wand on the teacher's desk before enhancing her voice to make her next command stick. "Everyone. Drop your hands and SIT." Seconds later, every student was in a chair and looking to the front of the classroom. "Now, pay attention."

    Dropping the command spell, Sarah went on to test the students' dismal retention of their studies. Very few of them seemed to have studied, and the only students to reliably produce sparks were the ones who had been using the sparks to put the paper airplanes on fire. Sarah started her lesson from last week again, feeling let down that she had to go over another lesson yet again.

    Partway through the lesson, the hum of a bell reverberated throughout the hallways and classrooms of the school, signalling an important announcement. Sarah dropped her lesson and motioned to the students to sit still and pay attention, adding some magic again to get them to stay.

    "Students! Teachers!" boomed a deep, commanding voice: the headmaster of the school. "All undergraduate students please return to your dorm rooms and stay there. All graduate students please return to your lab rooms, where you will find a memo. Please carefully read this memo and follow its directions. All teachers please meet in your subject area conference rooms. Thank you very much."

    The bell reverberated again, signalling the end of the announcement. Bewildered, Sarah released the students from the spell holding them in place. "You heard the headmaster. Go quickly and quietly." Once every student had filed out, Sarah closed and locked the classroom and hurried to her lab to find the memo. Whatever was going on was truly urgent. She had never had classes interrupted before.
  16. Liam was getting bored with his tutoring. They were still sifting through the basics, but it was starting to really stick. He was pretty proud of himself for actually doing something helpful for once. The first year students were preparing for the last lesson he'd be going through for this session when the announcement came on over the loudspeaker.

    "Students! Teachers! All undergraduate students please return to your dorm rooms and stay there. All graduate students please return to your lab rooms, where you will find a memo. Please carefully read this memo and follow its directions. All teachers please meet in your subject area conference rooms. Thank you very much."

    Liam groaned; this wasn't the first time they'd done something like this. But last time it was because of some storm that never actually came. He gathered his stuff and helped the three students get their things together.

    "Hurry to the dorms, all right? Don't pass go, don't-" They had blank looks on their faces. "You know what, don't worry about it. Just get going."

    They rushed off and Liam made his way to the lab. Sarah was already there.

    "What kind of trouble do they think we're in this time? Another major storm? Oh! Is it a meteor shower? I haven't looked at the astrology readings recently, but a random meteor shower would be pretty awesome!" he joked.
  17. Sarah frowned vaguely at Liam as he entered the lab. "The memo hasn't appeared yet," she stated, shuffling through the papers and books on her desk. As she said that, a pop crackled in the air and the memo floated in the space between Sarah and Liam. Another booming voice sounded.

    "Dear Graduate Students," it began.

    The memo floated to a mysteriously clear spot on the counter and stuck itself there, the letters burning gold so that Sarah and Liam could still read them. Sarah frowned. "We're just supposed to sit here when our country is under attack?"