[ominous music play. We hear a knock on a wooden door]

 

DEAN: Come in, Katya.

 

[door opens. footsteps]

 

KATYA: I thought you didn’t read the staff without permission. As a policy.

 

DEAN: My apologies. For a telepath of my level, it’s hard to avoid sensing a familiar presence. Rest assured, it doesn’t mean I’ve gone any deeper into your head than that. Except perhaps to see that you’re troubled, which, let's be honest, anyone can read on your face. What brings you to my office today?

 

KATYA: I can’t stop thinking about Ms. Donovan’s performance in the duel. Even under the tutelage of Mr. Burns, there’s no way we get from the ineptitude I saw in my classroom Friday to the finesse she displayed on Saturday. I’m telling you there’s more going on with that girl.

 

DEAN: I see. So your saying she’s had practice?

 

KATYA: I’m saying she’s had training. She was doing her best to look clumsy but her voltage control was precise. I don’t think we’re looking at a late bloomer here at all.

 

DEAN: Hmmm. Thank you for bringing this to my attention Katya. I’d prefer you not share these suspicions with anyone else. At least until I’ve had a chance to interview Ms. Donovan’s associates and sort this out.

 

KATYA: Yes sir. But the last time there was a group training rogue mages-

 

DEAN: I’m aware of the implications. That’s why we need to handle this carefully. I will be in touch, Katya. That will be all for now.

 

[Electromancy theme plays]

NARRATOR: Electromancy, created by Nathan Comstock. Episode 5 - Introduction to Psychology.

 

DYLAN: Hey.

 

JENNA: Hi.

 

DYLAN: Is this seat open?

 

JENNA: Waiting for my friend.

 

DYLAN: Oh, gotcha. Well…

 

JENNA: But she’s not here yet.

 

DYLAN: Alright. Uh, I’m Dylan, by the way. 

 

JENNA: You’re in my math class, right? I’m Jenna.

 

DYLAN: I know who you are.

 

JENNA: Guess everybody does.

 

DYLAN: Heh, yeah. Cause of those sick moves you pulled out the other day.

 

JENNA: Thanks? 

 

DYLAN: I don’t know if I would have accepted a challenge like that my first day here. You’re fearless. I like that.

 

JENNA: Well, there wasn’t any real danger. You know, healers on site and all.

 

DYLAN: Hey, uh, you doing anything after dinner tonight?

 

JENNA: I don’t think so…?

 

DYLAN: Why don’t you let me show you some of my favorite spots around the grounds. There’s this abandoned tower way out on the edge of campus- sometimes people like to go up there, look at the stars… I can light a fire, if we get chilly. What do you say?

 

JENNA (uncomfortable): Maybe some other time?

 

DYLAN: Okay.

 

JENNA: I think I see my friend.

 

DYLAN : See you in class.

 

(footsteps and a bit of crowd noise)

 

ELLIE: Was that.. did what looked like it was happening really just happen?

 

JENNA: He asked me out, if that’s what you mean.

 

ELLIE: And?

 

JENNA: And I politely declined. 

 

ELLIE: Not your type?

 

JENNA: I’m not even sure what my type is yet.

 

ELLIE: But it's not Dylan?

 

JENNA: I don’t know him! Not really. And I’ve got too much on my plate anyway. Catching up on magic…

 

ELLIE: You seemed pretty well caught up on Saturday.

 

JENNA: I got lucky.

 

ELLIE: No. Uh-uh. Don’t try to play this off as you got lucky. You were smart and you kicked her butt.

 

JENNA: Well, whatever. It’s not going to help me on that history test tomorrow. 

 

ELLIE: I can help you study for it tonight, if you want.

 

JENNA: Thanks. That would be nice.

 

*beat*

 

ELLIE: For the record, Dylan is totally *my* type.

 

JENNA: I will keep that in mind.

 

ELLIE: Maybe I should get myself challenged to a duel.

 

JENNA: Uh, sure, if you want to…

 

ELLIE: Course the whole school wouldn’t come to watch that. Probably. 

 

JENNA: (moves her lunch tray out of the way) Ellie, are you okay?

 

ELLIE: I’m fine, why wouldn’t I be?

 

JENNA: C’mon Ellie. I might not have known you that long, but I can tell when something’s bothering you. 

 

ELLIE: You know it’s... it’s not anything you have control over, and you’re under enough stress as is so, like, don’t worry about it.

 

JENNA: Okay. I don’t want to pry.

 

ELLIE: It's just… you have to understand that you’ve been handed what everyone wants, okay? And you don’t want it. And that’s not your fault - it's not your fault, but it still just… really sucks for the rest of us to hear about, okay? And when I heard you were coming I figured, you know, late bloomer, you’d be a one or a two like me and I’d have, like, a real friend. I mean Pem is fine but they’re… not someone comfortable. Easy to be around, all the time, you know? And then you turn out to be so powerful, and I watch everything just fall into place for you, and you’re still so miserable. I don’t know, I'm sorry. It’s stupid. I know it’s not your fault.

 

JENNA: Ellie, hey. I’m still your friend. At least I want to be.

 

ELLIE: I know that. And I want to be your friend - that’s why I didn’t want to burden you with this.

 

JENNA: I’m glad you did. Cause that’s what friends do. They listen to each other. 

 

[KATYA approaches the table.]

 

ELLIE: uh, hi Mrs. Harper.

 

KATYA: Hello Ellie. Jenna. Sorry to interrupt. Ellie, would you mind coming by my classroom this evening? Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble or anything. I just wanted to ask you about something.

 

ELLIE: Uhhh… sure?

 

KATYA: Thank you. And Jenna, I’ll see you at 3.

 

JENNA: Yes ma’am.

 

[She walks away.]

 

JENNA: What was that all about?

 

ELLIE: I don’t know, but ‘you’re not in trouble or anything” is never good.

 

JENNA: Isn’t it better than being in trouble?

 

ELLIE: Maybe! Who knows? I’m going to go back to our dorm and freak out about this for ten minutes before my next class.

 

JENNA: I’ll come with you.

 

ELLIE: No it’s fine. Finish eating.

 

JENNA: You should finish eating. You can freak out just as easily here.

 

ELLIE: I guess I can. I guess... I can. Everything is going to be okay. Breathe, Ellie. Breathe.

 

[transition music]

 

BRYNN: Uh…

 

HEALER: Good morning, Ms. Tessek. Feeling any better?

 

BRYNN: A little. Headache’s starting to go down a bit.

 

HEALER: That’s good. You had a visitor stop by while you were napping. Do you want to see him?

 

BRYNN: Sure. [Footsteps.] Dr. S?

 

LEONARD: Hello, Ms. Tessek. How are you feeling?

 

BRYNN: Fine.

 

LEONARD: Just taking advantage of an excuse to miss a day of classes then?

 

BRYNN: You know what I meant.

 

LEONARD: I certainly don’t. Next thing you know everyone will be challenging Ms. Donovan to duels just to get more time to study for midterms.

 

BRYNN: What are you doing here, Dr. S?

 

LEONARD: Just thought you might want some company. Even if you did cost me 200 lekkin.

 

BRYNN: Not here to give me the history lesson I missed this morning?

 

LEONARD: I can if you like.

 

BRYNN: I’m good. You really bet 200 lekkin on me?

 

LEONARD: I did.

 

BRYNN: Why?

 

LEONARD: Because I’ve never known you to pick a fight you couldn’t win before. Well, until now.

 

BRYNN: I got cocky I guess. 

 

LEONARD: Indeed.

 

beat.

 

BRYNN: So you really just came to… keep me company?

 

LEONARD: More or less.

 

BRYNN: Ha. I knew there was something else.

 

LEONARD: Alright. I wanted to talk to you about why you challenged Ms. Donovan to a duel.

 

BRYNN: I gave my reasons. 

 

LEONARD: Yes, everyone at this school knows your… philosophical differences with the administration. I’m asking what you thought you’d be accomplishing. For all you set yourself up as a defender of the meek and lowly, you’re still one of the strongest mages in the student body. There was no good outcome for you, Brynn. You lost. Now you look weak. If you’d won, now you look like a bully. Neither one makes people rally to your cause.

 

BRYNN: You’re talking about me like I’m some kinda revolutionary. 

 

LEONARD: That would be a dangerous thing to say. And an even more dangerous thing to be.

 

BRYNN: What are you playing at Dr. S?

 

LEONARD: I like you, Ms. Tessek. I like how you… get under the skin of the administration. I don’t want to see you take that too far. 

 

BRYNN: Now who's saying dangerous things?

 

LEONARD: Precisely. I… should be going. You should be more careful. My door is always open if you want to talk about… philosophy.

 

[Door opening and closing.] 

 

ELLIE: Uhh… Ms. Harper?

 

DEAN: Sorry, no. I had Ms. Harper arrange this meeting because I didn’t want to unnerve you. 

 

ELLIE: Dean! Dean Ventrassi? Am I in trouble?

 

DEAN: Not that I know of. It sort of depends on how you answer some questions.

 

ELLIE: Okay. Sure. Of course. Of course, of course. Go ahead.

 

ELLIE: [telepathically] oh my gods oh my gods I’m in trouble with the dean ok breathe Ellie, breathe.

 

DEAN: Please try and relax, Ms. Francis. How is Ms. Donovan settling in?

ELLIE: Jenna? What about Jenna? I mean she’s fine of course she’s fine she won the duel Dylan asked her out she seems to be able to do magic effortlessly even though she complains about it. What am I supposed to say here? 

 

ELLIE: [aloud] Fine. She’s doing fine.

 

[swiping noise]

 

DEAN: Mr. Burns, I heard you helped give Ms. Donovan some extra training before the duel, is that correct?

 

LUCAS: Couldn’t have her embarrassing the lightning mages could I?

 

DEAN: And did she ever seem to have more knowledge than you expected?

LUCAS: No?

 

[swiping noise, ticking clock]

 

DEAN: Mx. Pem, you’re a very observant pupil. That’s one thing all of your instructors have admired about you. Have you observed anything unusual about Ms. Donovan?

 

PEM: Unusual is an interesting word. It implies a baseline. I’m not sure what that is. I’ve never met a late blooming twelve stripe lightning mage from Ardova before. I don’t think I would know if Jenna was unusual.

 

DEAN: Has she said anything that might make you think she wasn’t telling the whole truth about her past? Especially her past experience with magic?

 

PEM: I’m very bad at telling when people are lying, Dean Ventrassi. It’s part of why I don’t lie myself.

 

[swiping noise. water pouring]

 

DEAN: Bruce, you accompanied Ms. Donovan to the school. Anything noteworthy happen on that trip?

[teacup clink]

 

BRUCE: Her father did seem…a little more suspicious of us than I would have expected. But you, know, Ardova. Always had a bit of a rebellious streak to them, haven’t they? And then… you know the girl’s mother just… vanished, right? 

 

DEAN: Are you implying anything in particular?

 

BRUCE: Well, it is the sort of thing that gets the ex-detective in me going a little. Such a strange disappearance, then Jenna’s situation- seems like something worth poking at, at least.

 

DEAN: Interesting.“Poking at it”, as you say, is what we’re doing. Donovan’s mother was a pupil here, wasn’t she?

 

BRUCE: Yeah, I looked into her. Sylvia Rene Vance, class of ‘44. Class 3 Electromancer. Totally unremarkable student. But- look who I found her smiling and laughing with in the yearbook. [pages flipping]

 

DEAN: Oh. Well, that’s certainly something. It may be worth having the magecorps investigators pay Mr. Donovan another visit. See what he knows about this… connection.

 

BRUCE: I’m not sure I’d go that far...

 

DEAN: Not really your decision. What about Ms. Donovan? You’ve spent some time with her. Have you noticed anything unusual?

 

BRUCE: Nothing worth mentioning. She’s bright. Kind of charming. Seems like she’s working hard not to stand out, when maybe her natural inclination is to do the opposite.

 

DEAN: You seem to have taken a bit of a shine to the girl, Bruce. Is that accurate?

 

BRUCE: Well, I did promise her dad I’d keep an eye on her.

 

DEAN: I would also appreciate you keeping an eye on her. She seems to trust you.

 

BRUCE: What are you asking me to do?

 

DEAN: Just what you’re already doing. Cultivate a friendship with the girl. A, a… mentorship, if you will. Keep her on the right path. And just keep your ears open. That’s all.

 

[Sound of Electric buzzing, opening of common room door. Footsteps.]

 

JENNA: Hey.

 

ELLIE: Oh! Jenna! Hi!

 

JENNA: How did it go?

 

ELLIE: Uh, fine, just fine. Ummm… there's nothing to worry about.

 

JENNA: What was it about?

 

ELLIE: Oh, uh, just standard orientation volunteer stuff, I guess? They just wanted to know how you were settling in.

 

JENNA: (not convinced) Oh. Okay. Nice of them, I guess.

 

ELLIE: (obviously lying) Yeah, yeah they just really care about you being happy... and comfortable… probably because, you know… they don’t get many elevens. Ummm.... Do you still need help with that history studying?

 

JENNA: Sure. If you’re not too tired.

 

ELLIE: No, no I’m not tired. Let’s read about some ancient battles!

 

[Closing credits music]

NARRATOR: Electromancy is written, produced and directed by Nathan Comstock. This episode was sound designed by Aemyn Connolly with music by Thomas Dwyer. It starred Azul Nova as Jenna, Austin Hendricks as Ellie, Sena Bryer as Pem, Aubrey Poppleton as Lucas, Joe Kearney as Bruce McCray, Leslie Gideon as Brynn, Zachary Robb as Dr. Leonard Sumner, Karim Kronfli as Dean Ventrassi, Kira Apple as Katya Harper, Chris Magilton as Dylan and Nathan Comstock as the Healer. You can find out more about us at www.electromancypod.com. If you enjoyed this episode, please write a review on Apple podcasts or tell your friends about us! We’ll be back with another episode in 2 weeks. And stay tuned at the end of the episode for a sneak peak at another show you’ll love!

 

DEAN: Ah, Dr. Sumner. come in.

 

LEONARD: Bruce tells me you’ve been investigating Donovan.

 

DEAN: News travels far too quickly in this school. And the wrong sort of news at that. I am just trying to protect a valuable asset.

 

LEONARD: And make sure we’re protected from that asset.

 

DEAN: Indeed. In essence, exactly what I have you doing with Ms. Tessek. How is she by the way?

 

LEONARD: Fine. Only her ego is bruised.

 

DEAN: Well, that may serve us nicely. I need you to plant a little idea in her head.

 

LEONARD: You’re the telepath. 

 

DEAN: Good one Leonard. But you know what I mean. Next time you speak with Ms. Tessek, try and stroke that bruised ego of hers.

 

LEONARD: Where are you going with this?

 

DEAN: What we have, Leonard, are two very powerful potential problems. And the best way to make sure they aren’t our problem is to make them each other’s problems, you understand? They’ve done half the work for us. Now all they need is the gentlest nudge...

MUSIC: The Curtain Falls by Trace Callahan fades in, mid-song.

 

FEL: [excitedly] You want to join our troupe?

 

DALYN: [skeptically] You want to join our troupe?

 

LEONA: I do.  If that’s acceptable.

 

FEL: That’s more than acceptable!  That’s fantastic!  Let me be the first to officially welcome you to the Carouvel Traveling - 

 

JYRSA: [brusquely] Outta the way, molten glass coming through!

 

VELETTE: Hey, move your feet!  You’re standing on the hem of the general’s coat!

 

GLENN: What is death - but the next stage in our paradigm?

 

FEL: [sheepishly] I, uh...I’m explaining it badly, aren’t I?

 

LEONA: This is all very different from what I was expecting.

 

DALYN: For heroes are not meant to be forged through destiny - 

 

AKSOL: Were you admiring my perpetual motion wheels?  I’ve got big plans for these bad boys.

 

LEONA: For months now, I’ve been searching for a way to serve a greater purpose, and I think with you, I’ve found it.

 

FEL: Trust me, Leona.  The troupe is gonna love you.

 

NARRATION: Starfall.  A fantasy audio drama.  Premiering July 23rd.

 

MUSIC: Fades out against the final line of dialogue.

 

LEONA: I think I understand that.