KATYA: Ok, pupils. Let’s see. Ms. Donovan. Ms. Francis. Ms. Tessek. Mr. Lancook. Mx… Pem, what are you doing here? You weren’t out last night. You don’t have detention.
PEM: I should have been! I missed seeing an elemental construct fighting Mr. McCray empowered by a mana battery and Brynn banishing it with a scroll spell! I am not going to miss any more cool magic.
KATYA: *deep sigh* That’s not how it works, Pem. You can’t just give yourself detention.
PEM: But the mages from the capital are coming today to put up the new wards. This could be my only chance to see wards put into place. I mean hopefully - the last ones held for 200 years-
KATYA: Pem, please go back to your room. I promise you detention is not going to be exciting. I will… talk to the Dean about getting you permission to talk to the mages from the capital. But no promises.
NARRATOR: Electromancy: Episode 10 - Independent Study
KATYA: Okay, those of you who are actually supposed to be here. This is detention. It’s a punishment. It’s not supposed to be fun, so I’m not going to be putting anyone with their friends. Mr. Lancook, Ms. Francis- you’ll need to carry these four damaged book shelves down to the woodshop for repairs, then go to furniture storage and get new ones to replace them.
DEVON: That's a long way.
KATYA: They’re not that heavy.
DEVON: They’re kinda heavy.
ELLIE: We have a lot of teleporters. Why are we carrying furniture?
KATYA: It’s a punishment, Ms. Francis.
ELLIE: Okay, but Lucas has some muscles. So do Mel and Ezer, for that matter.
KATYA: I have a special task picked out for Mr. Burns. And I think pyromancers with short fuses should not be anywhere near the library or the woodshop when the wards are down. Donovan, Tessek - you’ll stay here and sort through all of these damaged books. Anything you think is too damaged to be recirculated put in a pile over there, everything else please alphabetize by author.
ELLIE: So they get to sort things and we have to carry stuff? This is so unfair!
BRYNN: What’s unfair is us being punished for stopping the monster and protecting the school. I should be getting a freaking medal! This is bullshit.
JENNA: Brynn, can we please just try and get through this without getting into even more trouble?
BRYNN: And let’s not forget Ms. Snitch over here was only out ‘cause she was trying to stop us from stopping the… thing.
KATYA: All of you violated the lockdown and put yourselves in serious danger. It was lucky that it worked out and no one else got killed. But you still disobeyed the Dean and made the situation a lot more chaotic than it needed to be. That sort of insubordination won’t fly in the mage corps. There need to be consequences.
JENNA: I don’t understand why that means I have to spend my whole Saturday alphabetizing books with the one person in this school who hates me more than anyone else.
BRYNN: That’s a little egotistical, princess. I hate a lot of people more than I hate you. I mean, generally I hate a lot of people, so…
JENNA: That’s not how I meant… never mind.
KATYA: You can keep bickering while you clean. I’ll be back in a few hours to check on your progress. Now I need to attend to the upperclassmen..
[she walks out]
DEVON: Okay, Ellie- you get that side, I’ll get this side. Remember, lift with your legs, not your back.
ELLIE: Or, I go get my little brother, Justin, and he teleports all four of them directly to the woodshop.
JENNA: Ellie, there’s no way you get away with that. Also, it took Justin four tries to get our bags to our dorm.
ELLIE: Give him a break, he’s ten!
DEVON: We can do this, Ellie.
BRYNN: I like her plan. Tell you what, I’ll make an illusion of you two carrying the bookshelves while you go find your brother.
DEVON: Okay, so maintaining an illusion that complex, at that distance, is way more taxing for you than just carrying these damn bookshelves is going to be for us. You’d literally be doing twice the work just to not do it the way you’re supposed to.
Which, come to think of it, is classic Brynn.
BRYNN: Fine. Just don’t come crying to me when you throw your back out.
ELLIE: Ugh, fine.
DEVON: 1, 2, 3 up!
ELLIE: I hate everything.
[they exit, carrying the bookshelf]
BRYNN: Just you and me now, princess.
JENNA: Great. Why don’t you start with that pile over there, and I’ll start with this one?
BRYNN: [reading] Ritual magic of the western isles… oooh.
JENNA: You don’t actually have to read the books to do this.
BRYNN: You’re not in charge of anyone, princess.
JENNA: Why do you call me that? Isn’t your boyfriend literally royalty?
BRYNN: Eh, nobility, technically. And why do people keep thinking Devon is my boyfriend? He’s very gay.
BRYNN: Yeah, it’s not a secret.
JENNA: You two are just - together basically all the time.
BRYNN: You’ve never had a best friend?
JENNA: Can we get back to why you keep calling me Princess?
BRYNN: I don’t know. Everyone treats you like royalty. And you look like a cartoon princess in one of those old movies.
JENNA: I do not.
BRYNN: You do! You got those big eyes, and that shiny hair. And that very… mountainy complexion. Real “protagonist” vibes. Didn’t Ardova have a monarchy? Before Oswer, uh…
JENNA: Conquered it? Yeah. So did a lot of places.
BRYNN: Not where I’m from. We’ve always prided ourselves on self-determination, self-governance, and not taking any crap from anybody.
JENNA: And where are you from, Brynn?
BRYNN: It’s a Saturday. I don’t have time for a history lesson. Unless.. Huh, this is interesting. Umbramancy: A Cross-cultural Survey.
JENNA: It’s a textbook. What’s interesting about it?
BRYNN: Since when does the Institute do anything “cross-cultural”? There’s the Oswer way and the wrong way…
JENNA: Probably why this book is sitting on a shelf in the library and not in circulation as a textbook. You’ve been here a few years. I’m surprised you haven’t scoured this place for any books related to your own aspects.
BRYNN: I have. And I never saw this one.
JENNA: Maybe it’s new. You can check it out later. I want to get through this…
BRYNN: “The Lanu people of Southern Dakora had an unusually high rate of Umbramancy. They believed they could increase the chances of a child being born an Umbramancer by conceiving the child in a special hut under a full moon.” Huh. Wonder if my parents tried that?
JENNA: Are you from Dakora?
BRYNN: Could be. It’s possible. Hang on I want to see if your people thought anything weird about Umbramancers.
JENNA: I’m already halfway through my first pile, Brynn. You’ve looked at two books.
BRYNN: Here we go. Ardovans. “Ardovans have long harbored a number of superstitions about mages in general” but everybody knows that part.
JENNA: We’re not- that’s actually kind of an offensive way of putting it.
BRYNN: “Ancient Ardovans revered Umbramancers as specially favored children of their trickster god, Senkir, who played a crucial role in their mythology” - wait a sec I’ve seen this before.
JENNA: It’s only mythology if it's a dead belief system. We still practice our religion so it’s called “religion” - what are you doing?
BRYNN: The symbol here in this book is the same one on the necklace you’re always wearing.
JENNA: Yeah, you just said it, Senkir, he’s an important god to us. It’s just a necklace, jeez.
BRYNN: “The talisman of Senkir is commonly worn by Ardovans who either are Umbramancers themselves, worship Senkir exclusively, or have taken a vow of secrecy.” Ooooh vow of secrecy. That sounds interesting.
JENNA: It’s a necklace Brynn. With the symbol of one of our gods. Yes we have many. Look at the backwards, superstitious Ardovans with their polytheism. Laugh at us. Ha ha.
BRYNN: What’s your vow of secrecy about?
JENNA: I haven’t taken a vow of secrecy. And if I had I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about it, because that’s what a vow of secrecy is.
BRYNN: Can I see it?
BRYNN: Why not?
JENNA: Cause it’s personal. And it’s mine.
JENNA: Can we please get back to work?
[BRYNN walks back to her pile of books. only the sounds of them picking up books and flipping through them for a few seconds.]
BRYNN: Oh interesting. Very interesting.
BRYNN: It’s extremely well done. I’d never have seen it if I wasn’t looking for it.
JENNA: Looking for what?
BRYNN: Umbramancy. That necklace is a talisman. It’s some kind of stored spellwork.
JENNA: It’s a necklace, Brynn.
BRYNN: Okay, okay. Fine. Don’t mean to pry.
[More rustling of pages.]
BRYNN: Gotta say I like you a little bit more now that I know you’re brazenly wearing an illegal bit of magic. Word of advice though- I’d stay away from Ms. Cotton. Or any umbramancers over a six. They probably won’t be able to see it if they’re not looking for it…
Oh, now I’ve got your attention.
You know a little bird told me the Dean’s been asking some questions about you. Bet he’d love to hear about this.
JENNA: You hate the Dean.
BRYNN: Yeah. But I like having something on you.
JENNA: It’s nothing.
BRYNN: If it’s really nothing you’d take it off.
JENNA: No. Will you stop bothering me and get back to sorting books? I’d like to go home some time today.
[We hear a bit of Ellie’s theme as a musical transition]
ELLIE: Ow, Ow- hold on, I have to put it down for a sec. Just a sec okay?
DEVON: Whatever you need. *yawn*
ELLIE: [telepathically] Wow he actually does have some muscles on him. Hard to notice in those blazers I guess.
DEVON: Enjoying the show?
DEVON: You were, uh…staring. A little.
ELLIE: No I wasn’t. Just, uh, staring, into space. Just spacing out. You know?
DEVON: Okay. Just so we’re clear you’re, uh not exactly my type.
ELLIE: Yeah, like, I got that. I just, have never seen you not in long sleeves, and I didn’t think you were the sort to have muscles.
DEVON: Why? You know I play Pazik. Speaking of muscles, you ready to, uh…
ELLIE: I need another minute.
ELLIE: And yeah, I know you play Pazik, but I just think of you as a…
DEVON: As a what?
ELLIE: As a skinny, nerdy guy! And, like, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a skinny nerdy guy, I just, was surprised, you know? By the biceps.
DEVON: Can we stop talking about my biceps? You’re making me uncomfortable.
ELLIE: I’m sorry. Okay I’m ready.
DEVON: 1, 2, 3 up!
[More labored breathing and footsteps.]
DEVON: How’d you get roped into this anyway?
ELLIE: It’s detention.
DEVON: Yeah, but what were you doing out past curfew? You’re not one of those…
ELLIE: Those what?
DEVON: Lucas and his gang.
ELLIE: It’s not really a gang. Some of them hate each other. Actually most of them do. More of a taskforce. Or a posse. Or a mob?
DEVON: And you just got… swept up in the excitement? Or the anger?
ELLIE: I just wanted to be useful I guess. I don’t know, what were you doing out there?
DEVON: Same thing I’m always doing. Letting Brynn drag me into trouble and making sure she’s able to get herself out of it again. URF. Let’s not talk about this.
ELLIE: Okay. What should we talk about? Cute boys? Please can it be cute boys?
DEVON: Or maybe how to get our best friends to stop hating each other?
ELLIE: Ugh. That’s entirely on you, Devon. Ugh. Urk. Jenna has nothing against Brynn except, you know, Brynn making her life miserable at every turn.
DEVON: Maybe they’re *urf* making amends right now…
[We hear the same sound effect we heard in episode 8 when Brynn cast the silencing spell.]
JENNA: What was that?
BRYNN: That was me giving us some privacy. You’re welcome.
JENNA: And no one’s going to notice it?
BRYNN: It’s umbramancy! It’s the magic of not being noticed. Trust me a little.
JENNA: That librarian? Right there?
BRYNN: Is seeing what I want him to see. Look, you don’t want to tell me the necklace secret? Fine. Let’s talk about what we’re doing here.
JENNA: Or we could just do it so we can have the rest of our weekend back…
BRYNN: But that’s wasting a rare opportunity. The antimagic wards are down. But why does the library have anti-magic wards in the first place? The rest of the school doesn’t.
JENNA: I don’t know. Aren’t there, like, powerful magical books here or something? Or scrolls?
BRYNN: Right? Whoever summoned that thing did it to get rid of the wards so they could take something from here. Something powerful. Because if it was just a normal book they could have just checked it out, right? So what else is here worth stealing?
JENNA: They obviously locked up anything else worth stealing before they assigned us here, to do this. Given that you are, well, you.
BRYNN: Fair point. Locked it up where though? If they have some secure vault somewhere, why wouldn’t it have been there in the first place?
JENNA: This is a fun Saturday for you? Playing detective?
BRYNN: Kinda, yeah.
JENNA: You’re not actually going to help me sort these at all, are you?
BRYNN: I wouldn’t count on it. These books are probably all mundane… they wouldn't ask us to work with any of the magical stuff… although maybe the book that got stolen wasn’t a magical book at all, maybe it was, like records or something? Maybe some foreign agent wanted detailed info on the powerful mages coming up headed for the corps- or in the corps, they’re all alumni.
JENNA: You could speculate on this while you actually helped me, you know.
BRYNN: Could be some kinda domestic terrorist group, too, I guess. I just feel like most of what’s worth stealing would be at Magecorps HQ, or up at the capital… what do you keep at a school? Records of the school. Educational texts. Nothing top secret. Nothing valuable. It doesn’t add up.
JENNA: Why do you always insist on drawing as much attention to yourself as possible?
BRYNN: Photomancer. It’s in our nature.
JENNA: But don’t you just get… tired? Of fighting everyone?
BRYNN: Look. This situation? This school? Being trained up to go fight wars and conquer more countries for Oswer? It’s messed up, okay? You go along with them. do your part for King and Country? You’re gonna end up fighting someone. You say ‘no’- run away, dessert? You’re gonna end up fighting everyone. Being born a mage in this world means being born to fight one way or another. So I might as well do it on my terms.
JENNA: Eventually they’re going to realize you’re more of a liability than an asset.
BRYNN: Oh I know. I’m counting on it. Question is, princess, whose side are you gonna be on when that happens?
JENNA: I’m just trying to get through my time here without any trouble.
BRYNN: You know what they call people who are just trying to get through their lives without any trouble, when they work for fascists?
JENNA: You don’t know me.
BRYNN: Maybe not. But I know what it was like not to realize how much power I really had. And you’ve got quite a bit of power yourself. So I kinda have a vested interest in you thinking for yourself.
CYRUS: I’m sorry, the library is still closed for repairs.
PEM: Oh, I know. I was hoping I could help with the clean-up.
CYRUS: I’m under strict orders not to let you, specifically do that.
PEM: I figured you’d want the help. Getting open faster.
CYRUS: I would, if it were up to me. It’s a punishment, Pem. It wouldn’t be fair if their friends could come help them finish it faster.
PEM: *annoyed noise*
BRYNN: Oh, man. Pem’s probably aces at this sort of thing. Organizing and stuff.
JENNA: Eh, I’ve seen their room. Not as clean as you’d think. Ellie’s the neat freak. Of the three of us I mean. I mean, right now I’m neat because I have absolutely no stuff, but once I start acquiring stuff- well- it’ll look about like this place. Only I won’t have a rampaging rock monster as an excuse.
BRYNN: That also makes me like you a little more. Hang on, let me see if I can grab us some help. (footsteps, shuffling) *whispers* Hey Pem.
PEM: Oh, you’re invisible.
BRYNN: Say it a little louder why don’t you?
PEM: That’s a very convincing illusion of you over there cleaning.
BRYNN: Thanks. Kinda my specialty. Now do you want me to sneak you in there with us, or does that violate your weird lying rule?
PEM: You don’t understand my rules at all.
BRYNN: Hey, I don’t even like actual rules, I absolutely don’t understand self-enforced ones. Want to come help us sort books or not?
PEM: Don’t want to risk making Cyrus angry.
PEM: The librarian.
BRYNN: Of course you’re on a first name basis with the librarian. Hey wait, you do spend a lot of time here-
PEM: So do you and Devon.
BRYNN: Right, but only because it's neutral territory, not because we actually like books. You got any thoughts about what might be valuable enough to summon a monster to help you steal it?
PEM: Not really. There are- err, were, some locked cases that you needed a teacher’s permission to open, I assume it would be something in one of them.
BRYNN: But you don’t know what was in them?
PEM: I don’t. I caught a glimpse of some of them once though. They were really old, like leather bound books? Some of the pages were yellowing. And the writing looked hand-written.
BRYNN: Hand-written? Like journals?
PEM: Primary sources of some sort. Probably one of a kind.
BRYNN: That’s.. useful. Thanks Brynn. I need to get back in there. Maintaining decoy Brynn for too long makes my brain all fuzzy. Wait… I don’t suppose you know anything about where those locked cases were being kept?
[Ellie’s transition music again]
ELLIE: Okay, here we are.
DEVON: Bookcases, bookcases...
ELLIE: Lucas? What are you doing down there?
LUCAS: Ms. Harper thought it would be funny to make me oil all of the joints of all of the automata she uses to train the younger lightning mages.
ELLIE: Are you serious? She has us moving bookcases! I’d trade with you in a second!
LUCAS: You sure about that? I’m never gonna get this grease outta my hands. Plus this place is so dusty.
ELLIE: Well, I’m like, definitely going to throw out my back.
LUCAS; That’s what healers are for. Ugh. Healers. I’m supposed to be kicking their ass at Pazik right now.
DEVON: I think you guys probably have a pretty good shot even down a player.
LUCAS: Down our best player. I’ve got Amir playing center forward. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he can shoot lightning, but he can’t shoot the ball worth a damn. And Jenna still won’t join the team. After everything I’ve done for her.
ELLIE: To be fair, she also has detention.
LUCAS: Yeah, I suppose. Your bookcases are over there by the way. That librarian dude was here this morning and put post-it notes on them.
DEVON: Thanks man. And…
DEVON: Thanks for coming through last night. When we were fighting those automata. I really thought we were goners for a moment.
LUCAS: Hey, you had it handled. I saw the way you were slingin those ice walls at them- that was impressive spell work. Especially for a four.
DEVON: Really? [beat] I- I better…
LUCAS: Yeah, we don’t want to be here all day.
DEVON: Ellie, you ready?
ELLIE: Ready. This is the shorter leg at least.
DEVON: One, two, three- up!
[sounds of struggling to get the bookcase out the door.]
ELLIE: *singing* Someone’s got a cru-ush.
DEVON: I do not.
ELLIE: Um, I’m no psychomancer but I saw your face when he complimented your spellwork. You got it bad.
DEVON: I don’t have it bad. I don’t have it all. He’s kind of a jerk.
ELLIE: A sexy jerk.
DEVON: He did sort of save my life last night. That would make anyone… anyway I don’t know if he even likes guys.
ELLIE: No, he likes guys. But maybe not...
ELLIE: Maybe not fours. Sorry.
DEVON: Oh, Right.
ELLIE: I mean, Lucas just, takes the stripe thing pretty seriously. At least like, everyone I’ve heard rumors about him hooking up with have been, like sixes or higher. You know?
DEVON: Knew there was a reason I didn’t like the guy. Just.. forgot it for a moment.
[footsteps and bookcase-carrying noises stop.]
JENNA: Are you real Brynn again?
BRYNN: Oh, were you trying to talk to decoy Brynn? Sorry, decoy Brynns who can hold a conversation take way more power than I can muster at the moment.
JENNA: I don’t suppose Pem convinced you to just buckle down and do the job we’re supposed to be doing here?
BRYNN: Nope. Exactly the opposite, I’m afraid.
JENNA: Hey, that’s not where we’re supposed to be going!
BRYNN: Never said I wanted you to come with me.
JENNA: You’re going to get us expelled.
BRYNN: Ha! We can’t be expelled.
JENNA: You’re going to get us locked up or killed then.
BRYNN: I’m going to get us answers.
CYRUS: Tessek! Donovan! What are you doing?
JENNA: You didn’t leave the decoy up?
CYRUS: Oh please. You think they didn’t warn me about your decoys? Please get back to sorting those books.
BRYNN: Sure, okay. But first- what’s that?
[we hear a weird, shimmery magic noise]
CYRUS: That’s… new. Uh, students, I think maybe we should vacate the premises for a bit. The mages from the capitol are coming to, uh, replace the wards, and I’m sure they’ll have the expertise to-
[we hear a louder, more sudden magical noise, and then a few seconds of silence. Then, footsteps and panting. Finally, a bookshelf being plopped down.]
DEVON: Mr. Graves, where did you want this? Mr. Graves?
ELLIE: Jenna? Brynn?
DEVON: Where did they go?
ELLIE: Uh… I think maybe they went through… there.
NARRATOR: Electromancy is written, produced and directed by Nathan Comstock. This episode was sound designed by Olanrewaju Odatayu with music by Thomas Dwyer. It starred Azul Nova as Jenna, Austin Hendricks as Ellie, Leslie Gideon as Brynn, Tuesday Orion Ibert as Devon, Aubrey Poppleton as Lucas, Kira Apple as Ms. Harper and Bryan Green as Mr. Graves. Thank you so much for listening to our first season. We’re hard at work on season 2, and we’ll be having a crowd-funding campaign in February to make sure we can pay everyone for their hard work. Be sure to follow us on Twitter or check www.electromancypod.com for updates. The more you share the show with your friends and leave positive reviews on podchaser and Apple Podcasts, the better we’ll be able to make the show.