“You’re on fire!” Colaxil whispered behind me. I looked down. Sure enough, my lower leg had ignited. I reached for my personal fire extinguisher and sprayed a couple one second bursts. I checked the gauge, I’d used over half the coolant already this morning. Ugh, professor Utleg was so frustrating! I stashed the extinguisher beside my chair and tried to focus.
“The warrior clans have the most difficult time learning the techniques, but crossbreeds, for some reason, have even more. Even a crossing of the most peaceful clans, sibvenner and congitslat, produce offspring with an excessive lack of control.” My upper right arm burst into flame. I sighed, and reached for the extinguisher with my lower left. It was like he was trying to prove his point, and I was helping him. I sprayed the coolant and decided to keep the extinguisher in my hand while I took notes. If this was his topic today, I’d be better off not putting the thing down.
“However, if we breed within clans the reverse is true.” Professor Utleg paused when a student’s hand went up. “Yes, Brieont?”
“Professor, do the warrior clans still have difficulty with control when they breed within?”
“That’s hard to say, Brieont, because they don’t often do that. They actually pride themselves on finding mates from other warrior clans.” Utleg continued in that vein for a while. It annoyed me watching him. He didn’t even carry an extinguisher, like he was so controlled he didn’t need one. Maybe he didn’t. Maybe his ‘pure sibvenner for nine generations’ really did give him excessive control. I’d never even seen him spark!
I raised my upper left hand, indicating a desire to speak.
Utleg sighed, “Yes, Krisilloc?” I guess he was anticipating not liking my question, he usually didn’t.
“But, professor, why do we have the spark at all? The fires don’t even hurt—”
“You would know.” Maritax said under her breath just loud enough for me to hear, but not Utleg.
I turned to glare at her, but continued, “They don’t, so why are they a problem?”
Utleg crossed both sets of arms over his torso. I almost wanted to take the question back, but it seemed like he might actually answer it, so I kept my mouth shut. “Krisilloc, your exoskeleton will burn eventually. And when it does, it will make your body hot enough to do damage.”
“But isn’t there a reason we have the spark other than impetus to learn to control our tempers? It doesn’t make sense! –”
“Of course it doesn’t to you. You want to be special. You want your curse to be a blessing. Well it’s not.” My shoulder ignited. I sprayed a five second burst. “Your parents made you an abomination. You must live with it.” My hip ignited, then my upper left elbow. My coolant ran out.
Colaxil reached his extinguisher forward, “Here, use mine.”
I looked at it. What would happen if I just let myself burn?