Archive | March 11, 2019

Differential Diagnosis

A story of Faerie Apocalypse



Vianne’s Mentor pinched his nose and frowned.  He had been doing that a lot in the last three weeks.  At this point, Vianne was more than willing to just throw in the towel and call it a loss, the whole fae thing, the whole mess.

“Generally?” she prompted, out of some stupid urge.

“One’s Change gives one some clue about the gift that comes with it.  Or if not a clue, then a demonstration.  A lightning storm, for instance.   Sudden darkness. Fire.  Moving things from one side of the room to the other.”

“I didn’t have any of that,” she offered helpfully.

“Yes, Vianne, I know.  That – that is the problem.  One can assume that you have an innate gift.  Every fae does.  One can assume that is not the innate gift of any of the three ‘pure-blood’ groups, because you do not have the Change of those three.”

“No wings, no horns.”  She had long swooping elf ears and a wiggly tail, spots and skin that sometimes changed colors.

“Sometimes, one can look to the student’s parents.”

“Foundling.”  She could almost sound cheerful about that, even.  It had been long enough.

“-or one’s childhood environs.”

“Passed around like a hot potato.  I don’t appear to get hot to the touch,” she offered.  None of this was making her Mentor pinch his nose any less.

“All right.  So we are going to have to do this the difficult way.  I have a list of categories of powers.  We are going to attempt to test you for each of those.  And then, if we can find a category we cannot eliminate, we’re going to find sub-categories within that category.  Do you understand?”

Vianne sat down.  “You’re not going to just get rid of me?”

“Not going to – no.  No, of course not.  You are my student, Vianne.  And my student you will remain until you are ready to be an Adult.  Now, let’s start with fire powers.” Her mentor leaned back and smiled at her.  With a Working, he lit three candles. “So, first, I’d like you to try putting these candles out with your mind.  And then I want you to try lighting the other three.  And then-”

Vianna had a feeling it was going to be a long day, but at least her Mentor wasn’t pinching his nose anymore.