September 23, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Taikie was clearly trying not to ask Saydrie questions, but it was making her bounce and twist her face up in strange positions. Finally, halfway through class, he smiled in her direction and whispered, “go ahead.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” She was clearly trying to keep her voice quiet, and only succeeding partially. Luckily, the instructor was busy with another student.
“To be honest, I’ve always been a little confused,” he murmured. “It was clear humanic aether existed — look at your tea-engine!”
Taikie ducked her head and covered her face with both hands. “I was just trying to understand,” she muttered.
“You know, if I’d know you couldn’t sense it— really, can any of you?”
Enrie shook her head mutely.
“I admit, that’s a little strange.” He shook his head, and then turned to pay attention to their instructor.
Enrie chewed over if for the rest of the class. There had to be some use in knowing that Lirnilalie’s aether was “wrong”, but she couldn’t figure out what it was. If it was known that Bitrani could read the aether — but if it had been, all of these studies attempting to disprove humanic aether would have been known to be pointless.
There had to be a reason there were so many proponents to saying humanic aether didn’t exist. Unfortunately, she didn’t think it related to one lost treaty. And if people were pretending that Bitrani couldn’t see it — pretending, or had been told that wasn’t true — it wasn’t like she could just wave Saydrie in front of Instructor Pelnyen without getting him in trouble.
Later. That was a concern for later. Right now, her concern had to be the Coffee Treaty, Lirnilalie, and why she wanted to get rid of it. And who they were going to take this all to. Enrie looked down at her notes — they were almost incoherent, but at least this was an easy class — and started her way through the list of potential adult allies.
“Enerenarie? What can you tell us about the mending techniques involving woven aether?”
Enrie looked up guiltily. “Mending techniques…” that had been in the last reading, hadn’t it? She’d snuck a peek at it.
Oh, wait! That had been in the part about decorative mending. She cleared her throat.
“Yes, ma’am. That’s the part, that is,” she wasn’t starting out well at all… “When you begin with a decorative mending technique, so that you’re owning up to the rip and making it part of the pattern—”
“That is a lovely and quite interesting way of looking at that.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Enrie bowed from her chair. “But, when you’re doing that, that was the same time period as many of the most elaborate uses of aether for writing and weaving. So you could set another meaning into a document by laying it on the paper—” oh, no and they couldn’t copy that — “or you could add a dimension to your mending, so that it might glow, or shine a little in the darkness, or even sing at the right time. It’s said to be a lost art, but I believe it simply fell out of favor.”
And how did you look for that in the mismatched pieces of an ancient document?