Part 9: Yeah, But Can The Higgs Do THIS?On this day, July 4th 2012/14th Shaaban 1433, the Higgs Boson was found.
In honour of the Higgs Boson's finding , I am posting this update. Okay, so I was going to post it anyway, but if this isn't an auspicious day, I don't know what is. Let's see if I can post through my tears, eh?
Chapter 7: Yeah, but can the Higgs do THIS?
"The idea?" Kyo asks, and I nod.
"That you like her," I tell him.
"I never said-" he begins, but my scowl quiets him down soon enough.
"Kyo?" I ask him.
"Does this look like a wacky high school sitcom to you?"
"Good boy," I tell him. "Look, you said she doesn't even know you exist, right? Nothing makes a guy exist more in a girl's mind than him complimenting her, even if it's blatantly insincere and just there to reinforce his bad boy image. Anyway, maybe she won't like you back, maybe she will. The point is for you to try- as long as she doesn't have a guy in mind or in hand, she'll consider it, at least."
I shoot him a withering look. "Kyo, what did I say about this not being a high school sitcom? The only girls who'd do that would think that way too, and they're crazy. You don't go for crazy. Any girl sane enough to spell correctly would give a guy a chance, go out with him and see how it's like- and if you really think of her as a girl, and not some angel on a pedestal, you'd do the same and give her a fair shake, warts and all."
"Yeah, that'll be hard," he says sheepishly. "I mean, about the 'angel on a pedestal thing'."
I sigh. "Kyo, don't do that. If she's nice, she might feel like she has to live up to your heightened expectations, and if she's not, she'll break them just to see you cry. If you really, really like her, and you want a permanent relationship-"
"I do," he says with quiet determination.
"-then you'll accept her for all her bad habits. You don't want to be her boyfriend, not at first- you want to be her friend. Someone you can talk to, tell the filthiest jokes to, that kind of thing. Someone she can count on if she's in trouble, not because she's looking for a white knight- and someone you will go to if you're in trouble too."
I shrug. "You'd be surprised how many guys get all weird when they're in need of help," I say. "Especially with respect to their girlfriends. Just don't treat her as a crutch, and she'll be happy to help, girlfriend or otherwise."
Kyo looks thoughtfully into space for a moment, then nods at me.
"You gave me a lot to think about- a lot I didn't even think about," he says. "I really appreciate it, Mary!"
"Anytime!" I say, and we shoot a few more hoops, and I'm not nervous about teleportation anymore!
The next day...
"Virginia can't be bothered," Ellen pouts. "Says it's boring! With the test so close, I thought she'd be more into it!"
"Well, you have to admit, they're probably not going to go with anything too hard for our first test," I tell her. "That said, I don't think Virginia's the studying type, no matter how important the test it."
"And you, Mary?"
I sigh. "...the studious type," I say. "And honestly, I think I've been neglecting my other magics- a short study session would be great. Unpleasant, but great."
"Yeah, I know," Ellen smiles. "But it's just for a few hours, and the payoff's for life!" she exclaims, pumping her fist in the air. Maybe Virginia's having more of an impact on her than she'd admit. I know I wasn't that much of a bookworm before coming here, that's for sure.
Grabby's entrance doesn't do anything to settle our nerves, though it's doing wonders for our vocal cords.
"Open up your notebooks- if you have them," he instructs. "This is not a test, let me remind you. If you don't know the answer to a question, then ask your friends or look it up. This is for your own benefit, if you haven't figured that out yet."
Well, if he says so, it is so, and I share Ellen's notes as he gives us a short refresher. We don't actually touch on the magics themselves, but we do learn quite a few general spellcasting tips, most importantly mana channeling. Come the tests, I should have enough mana for my spells.
"Now," Grabby begins, "I assume- and I am aware of what this makes me and you- that there are plenty of uses for magic in the pentachromatic system. Mr. Arias!" he calls out to the wolf-eared boy I saw at Initiation. "If I wanted to cast a spell to make a beast's fur fall out, what colour of magic do I use?"
Just including this so we can be sure who Manuel is.
Grabby's scowl has an almost physical force. "I would have hoped you would be able to answer that without asking for my approval. Miss Sue!" he says, turning to me. "I want to change a lump of coal into a diamond as I want to mold you all into actual spellcasters- what form of magic do I use? Assume I want to actually succeed in this task."
"Blue, sir," I say through gritted teeth.
"Good guess," he sneers.
Suddenly, his voice cuts off mid-sentence. "Mr. Danson," he hisses. "As you don't appear to have any need of these revisions, you are excused. Fear not, I will ensure you have material better suited to your disposition come Saturday detention."
Donald looks at Grabby all agape for a moment, then slumps. "Yes sir," he says, and walks out. I don't know what he did, but I and Ellen are at the front, and Donald was at the back, so no wonder there. I do ask Ellen, but a sharp glance from Grabby shuts us both up. Man, I hope this revision is worth it, and I slump into bed later that evening all exhausted.
It's not a total wash though- we do get another point of Smarts, so yay!
I look around the room, but both my roomies are still asleep; Ellen's usually the earliest rising, but she stayed up to revise more, so I guess it's up to me to answer the knocking. Still half asleep, my mind's full of thoughts of stuffing a monkey's paw down a raven's throat when-
"Um, hi," is what I say, instead of 'PLEASE NO ZOMBY ME' welling up in my gut.
"I'm here to deliver your exam schedules," she says cheerily, proving that she is indeed the harbinger of the apocalypse. A small one, but it's the thought that counts. "It's an individual test," she adds, "so each student has a seperate timeslot and test room. Please report to the proper rooms at the proper times for your instructions, and pass on your roomates' schedules to them."
I nod, and close the door as she looks away. I look at my schedule, and my gut sinks.
Guess who's first?
Okay, this is my time, my place. Funny, I thought I'd have an army at my back when this sort of thing happened. I'd make a speech about freedom and apple pie, and we'd charge the British-Nazi catapults on woad-painted horses-
Gah, got to get it together. I knock on the door-
Huh? What the heck just happened?
"Uh, you sure I'm in the right place?" I ask, looking around. "Because I think I got transported to a goblin's cubicle or something," I say- the room I'm inside is indeed nothing more than a box, 6x6x6 all around.
"The exit in the dungeon lies in the wall in front of you- it is solid stone, but it contains a magical trigger that will teleport you out if the right magical colour's energies are cast on it. Good luck."
"Wait!" I call out. "What if I cast the wrong magic?" I yell. "Hello? Anyone there?" I ask, but the voice has fallen silent.
No, no! Magic got me into this, magic can get me out! But how...?
All right, goons, Mary's next course of action may seem obvious, but there is something we can do, thanks to being dumb (Smarts 24 instead of 25)- fail the exam! And yes, this will have REPERCUSSIONS down the line! So tell me, do we want to:
-5 Sigma the hell out of this test, acing it?
-Fail more miserably than the dumbshit reporter who asked "So did you find it?" at the Higgs discovery conference seriously how could anyone be dimmer than a black hole Jesus Christ?
Voting ends at 0000 GMT Thursday!