Class started the moment their professor appeared at the front of the room. She was a middle-aged woman with graying hair and a kind smile. Though her eyes showed years of endless study and nights without sleep, she never complained.
Taryn admired her for her ability to mix historical fact with both human and Elven legend to fill in the missing gaps. She quieted down and poked Merrin, “Shh, you’re going to get us in trouble again. Professor Pacewitz is here.”
The professor looked up at Taryn and smiled, “Thank you, Ms. Arrigan. I trust you managed to complete the paper I assigned?”
Taryn nodded, “I emailed it to you last night.”
“Very good.” She replied. “I look forward to reading it.”
Professor Pacewitz sighed as she spoke, “Now class, who can tell me where we left off on Wenesday?”
Merrin raised his hand while giving Taryn a smug look as though he were saying, “Yeah, see? I pay attention too!”
The professor looked up and nodded to Merrin, “Go ahead.”
“Ma’am, ye was talkin’ bout the Boston restorating effort a 2014, followin’ them unexplained attacks on our city.”
The professor nodded, “Very good, Mr. Telog, you are correct. Now the initial attack was a combination of dragons, centaurs, griffons, and other creatures that, up until then, we had long dismissed as fantasy and folklore. Their inexplicable departure was cause for concern and kept the National Guard on its toes. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the city was already on alert when the corpse army began to form. Can anyone tell us who was responsible?”
Taryn raised her hand, “Ma’am, it was the result of a domestic terrorist organization that had acquired a piece of the Lux Mundi.”
The professor nodded, “And the name of their group was…?”
“The Filis de Lux, ma’am, which translates to Children of Light.”
“Excellent Taryn,” Professor Pacewitz replied, “you have been doing your reading.”
Taryn sat back and listened to the professor talk about events that she was all too familiar with. She’d heard these stories over the years, passed down by her family, but they differed from the official accounts in a few key places.
As the professor began to wrap up her lecture, she looked out at the class, “Now, can anyone tell me how the corpse army was defeated?”
Taryn raised her hand with a devious look on her face, “Professor, a lone group of college students, led by an enchanter infiltrated their base and defeated their leader.”
Giggles and low laughing came from around the room as Professor Pacewitz rolled her eyes, “Ms. Arrigan, I am well aware of your family’s history, as well as their involvement in fighting the Filis de Lux, but the stories of your great grandfather having supernatural powers has long since been discredited. Now can anyone tell me the historically accurate ending?”
Another student spoke up, “Ma’am, it was a surgical strike by our combined naval and air power.”
Professor Pacewitz nodded, “Very good, that is the officially released version of what happened.”
Taryn sat back with a smile and shook her head. She knew that this was nothing more than the government attempting to slowly rewrite history so that what happened would soon disappear into myth. She knew the truth and it was passed down by her family. In the end, that’s all that mattered.
Merrin looked over at her suspiciously and whispered, “Ye enjoyed that.”
Taryn nodded, but said nothing as the professor finished up, “Okay, so does anyone have any questions before we adjorn for the weekend?”
The class sat silently for a few moments. Taryn didn’t see a single hand go up. The professor nodded, “Very well see you all on Monday. Have a good weekend.”
Merrin got up and turned to Taryn as he packed his bags, “Ye really love tryin’ ta git under people’s skin, don’t ye?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
Merrin’s eyes narrowed into an accusing stare, “Yeah ye do! Ye knew exactly what de professor would say bout that. Ye just wanted your story to be heard.”
Taryn shrugged, “Maybe…”
“Ye as sneaky as a sharpy,” Merrin said through a smirk, “I swear.”
A spark of anger entered Taryn’s eyes, “Hey, not cool!”
She turned her head slightly to the side, giving Merrin a clear view of the points on her ears. Merrin’s eyes widened as he realized his error, “Shit… sorry. I keep forgettin that you be part elf.”
Taryn nodded, “Its fine, just ease off, okay?”
Merrin had never met an elf before in his life. With the increase of interspecies breeding and the lack of viable offspring coming from the few purebloods still breeding, elves had become extinct. Half elves were about as close as anyone could get, “By the way, how much elf are ye?”
Taryn shrugged, “Who knows anymore. Less than 40%, I think? My great grandmother was an elf who married a human, and my grandmother married another elf, but my father was human… So now here I am.”
Merrin nodded as Taryn stood up, “Yeah here ye are, a pain in de ass. Do ye really believe those stories bout yer family?”
“Yes I do.” Taryn replied. “I don’t know why, I can’t explain it, but I feel like they’re real.”
Taryn followed Merrin out of the room, “By the way, are ye seein’ Bobby again tonight?”
The very mention of his name caused her cheeks to flare up. She wasn’t sure if they were blushing bright enough for Merrin to see, but she could feel them, “I… well I assume so. He’s a nice guy after all.”
“Ye like ‘im.”
Taryn rolled her eyes, “Oh shut up…”
Merrin laughed as they walked outside, “Well for what it’s worth, I think ye should give ‘im a shot.”
“Well ye very particular bout who ye spend time with.” Merrin replied. “Heck, yer fucking picky as shit. The fact that ye spend time wit ‘im at all says something. Think bout it.”
Taryn shrugged, “Maybe…”
“Ye getting’ some food?”
“At some point, I’m not hungry at the moment.”
“Aight, well I’m off to de café then. Call me later if ye want to hang.”
Taryn nodded and headed in the other direction. She tapped on her small wristband, “Sentinel, can you locate Bobby Nielson?”
The wristband emitted a holographic image of a human figure. It had no gender and was almost featureless. It processed for a moment before responding. The image’s voice was mechanical and barely had any emotion in it, “Checking his key code… I’ll need the pin he gave you to access that information.”
Bobby had given her that code a while back. She was at a party when she met Bobby. The two of them talked for hours on end. When he brought her home, she began to suffer from odd visions like the one she’d seen that morning. The next thing she remembered was waking up in her room.
Bobby met up with her on campus later and gave her the pin just in case she needed help. Since then, the two had become very close, though emotionally, she still kept him at arms length. As far as she was concerned, she was heiress to a proud family name. She had no brothers or sisters, so it was up to her to choose a suitable mate and she wasn’t sure if he met her standards or not yet. Some might view her as a bit of a princess if she’d ever revealed her feelings, but she didn’t care.
“Pin number Alpha Whiskey nine, five, five.”
The human figure nodded, “Thanks, I’m processing that info now… let’s see… it would appear he’s in Arcanus’s main classroom hall… room 206.”
“Cross reference that time and location with Arcanus’s course catalogue, what time will he be out of class?”
The figure looked at Taryn suspiciously, “Taryn, some might consider this stalking.”
“Just do it!” Taryn said in an annoyed tone.
Sentinel shrugged, “Okay fine. What do I care, it’s not like anyone will think I’m creepy for this.”
“He gave me the pin for a reason, you know?” Taryn sighed.
Sentinel brought its legs up so that the figure was in a sitting position on Tayrn’s arm, “Cross referencing… processing time now…”
It took Sentinel a moment, but he was able to come up with the information she needed, “Got it, he’ll be in class until 2pm. Course catalogue lists him as in Course 421 ‘European Socialism of the 20th Century.’ Quite the specific course.”
Taryn nodded as she started back to her room, “He’s always been into politics. That sounds about right for him.”
“Query,” Sentinel asked, “if you’re so interested in this boy, why haven’t you persued a romantic relationship with him?”
“Must every relationship between a guy and a girl be anything more than plutonic? What if I’m not interested in him like that?” Taryn asked.
“You are.” Sentinel replied as they reached the door to Leslie house.
Taryn glared at the human figure, “How the hell do you know?”
“Your pulse increases whenever you see him, your pupils dialate and you begin to persperate. Also, your pheromone level…”
“Okay, enough.” Taryn replied in almost a yell, certain that her face was bright red. “Of all the AI personal assistants I could have bought, why’d I go for you?”
“Because you have wisdom that transcends your age.”
Taryn rolled her eyes, “Yeah right.”
“You still haven’t answered my question.” Sentinel said.
Taryn climbed the staircase and headed down the hall, “I… I don’t know why I haven’t. There’s just… something about him… It seems like my dreams and visions only happen when he’s nearby. It may be coincidence, but it gives me pause.”
Sentinel processed that information as Taryn opened the door to room 204 and entered the room, “The Elven brain is designed with an extra sense. Perhaps it’s trying to warn you about some danger surrounding him?”
“But I’m not even a half-elf.”
Sentinel nodded, “True… which may be why your impressions aren’t easier to decipher. That part of your brain may not be as well developed as a pure blood elf. I could access some articles on the subject if you wish?”
Taryn shook her head, “No, that’s okay… So what are your interpretations here? Do you think my sixth sense is trying to warn me that he’s dangerous in some way?”
“I’m not programmed to be able to interpret feelings or dreams. They could be a warning about him, but they also could be a warning that something could happen to him.”
Taryn collapsed on her bed, “So you’re basically telling me nothing.”
“Your dreams are your own.” Sentinel replied. “You’ll have to figure that out on your own.”
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