17

Back on Schedule

Samis was yawning by the time he headed back to his room. His friends had left just before the sun rose; the black-robed wizards had gone before them. Whispers echoed down the hallway as he passed the rooms on the way to his own. One student, nearly ten years his senior, smiled approvingly at him as he passed him in the hallway. That was the first time he had received encouragement, from someone other than his parents, for his accidental displays of power.

The hall behind him became crowded and he caught the hushed conversations of others as they watched him. He finally reached his room and he yawned as he opened the door.

Danveer sat on his bed, his knees drawn up to his chest and his hands were wrapped around his ankles. He stared at Samis with bloodshot eyes, his expression so jumbled that even Samis had a hard time discerning what the boy felt. He was too tired to reach out with his senses. Besides, he didn't think it was worth the effort, Danveer would feel the same whether Samis knew how he felt or not.

He finished walking in the room, discarding his sandals as quickly as possible. The stone floor felt like rough ice on his young feet. He slipped out of his brown robe, still covered by the full-length night garments.

"Why do you always have to show off?" Danveer suddenly asked. His voice was harsh and filled with raw emotion. Samis sighed.

"I didn't mean to do anything," Samis explained, approaching his bed. Without warning a weight landed violently on his back, sending him sprawling toward the metal frame of his bed. He barely had time to fling his arms in front of his face before the impact. There was a loud crack and an eruption of pain flowed up his left arm until it covered his entire body. His head became dizzy with it.

He landed on his arm and he cried out. He struggled to turn around but he could feel hands trying to keep him down. He panicked and squirmed trying to lie his hands on whomever it was that was weighing him down. He touched flesh that was not his own and he heard a loud yelp. The weight was off him, and he quickly sought to regain his feet. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Danveer staring in surprise at his arm. Just as he struggled to his feet the young prince attacked again, screaming wildly this time.

"There always has to be someone better than me!" he was screaming. "Milkayl will inherit the throne. Andis has such skills with his studies and the sword I could never compete! And now there's you! A peasant boy and still you challenge me!"

"Danveer!" a booming voice shouted. "Remove your hands from him! Now!"

The young prince fell back, his face turning immediately pale. Samis lay prostrate, panting in pain. His arm felt like it was on fire, and his vision seemed to be reeling about the room like a drunken man. Quick steps approached him and he saw the white man looking down at him in concern.

"Let's get you to the healer," the white man said, picking Samis up. Already Samis felt some of the agony of the pain go away, he wondered if the white man was doing it. The trip back to the healer was quick; he saw the soot covered ceiling change to the graystone of the main academy. Then it changed to the whitestone of the healer's wing, Samis knew he was in good hands then.

He was laid on a cot and the white man's concerned gaze disappeared only to be replaced by the grim face of the healer. This time the healer was a man. He looked Samis up and down, examining the damage to Samis' body.

The boy gathered his strength and looked down at his own body. His left arm was bent at an impossible angle, right in the middle of his forearm. The sight made his stomach churn like river rapids, making a sick sound. He saw blood soaked into the chest of his brown robes and wondered where it had come from.

"This is going to hurt quite a bit, I think I should put you to sleep," the man told him. Samis wanted to shake his head, but the effort only made him dizzier. The man put a warm hand on his feverish forehead. His eyelids felt like lead and he closed them, just to save his strength.

His body was wracked with spasms from the pain, and he sat up, crying out. Sweat covered his body, and the room seemed too bright. "What in the curse's name?" came the voice of the healer. "He shouldn't be able to wake himself up!"

Samis was screaming in pain, and unchecked tears streamed down his young face. "This is Samis," the white man told the healer, as if that explained everything. The healing man grabbed the boy and looked him deep into his black eyes. Samis suddenly grew silent, and the man seemed entranced.

They both held still as statues as the white man gazed on in confusion. He saw the recently reset arm change from an ugly purple to its normal color and the broken nose straighten itself at an impossible rate, even from a wizard healer. All the minor cuts and bruises faded into nothingness, all that remained of them was the small flecks of dried blood on the young boy's face.

Suddenly whatever connection that the two held was severed. The healer dropped like a rock onto a healing cot, in a dead faint. Samis stared at the white man for an instant longer then fell back onto his cot in a deep slumber.

The white man stood still in shock; he had never seen anything like what he had just witnessed. He still didn't understand what had happened. Once he had seen the healer go into a trance he had used his lifesight to observe what the boy had done. There had been some kind of magical connection between the two minds, and then a thick stream of magic had poured itself into the boy's body from the healer.

Several healers came sprinting; they had probably heard the boy's cry of pain. "What's happened?" one asked, looking at the now snoring form of his leader.

"I'm not quite sure," the white man mused. "I think that the boy realized that he could heal himself quicker than master Borik. So, he pulled the information from the man's mind and used both their energy to completely restore himself."

The healers looked at the white man incredulously. "I mean no offense, but he is merely a child, sir."

"Ah, but he is a very special child at that," the white man said. "He has already done things much more incredible than what I have just told you." The healers looked at each other as if to ask if the white man had become imbalanced.

The white man laughed, but it was cut short. Samis stirred, opening his eyes. "Never seen someone recover so quickly," the white man whispered in amazement. The boy rubbed his eyes and stretched as he turned his body to hop off the cot.

"I'm not sure you should be getting up already, young man," the white man admonished.

"Why not?" Samis asked simply. "Why am I back in the healer's wing?"

"This isn't a time for jesting," the white man told him.

"I'm sorry. I just don't know why I'm here. I was sure I remembered the lady healing my burn," Samis apologized.

The white man cursed and approached the young boy. "You've done it again," he said quietly.

Before the boy could ask what he had done again the white man cupped the Samis' head in his hands and stared into the boy's midnight eyes. The two made contact, and the white man felt himself being sucked in. His mind dove in, trying to access the deep recesses of the boy's mind before he realized what was happening and shut him out. He could already feel the boy's sharp mind analyzing and deciding what to do with the intruder. He searched frantically for his target, he didn't have much time. Then he found it. An impenetrable wall built up around the boy's recent memory like a dam. He knew it was going to be painful for both of them, but the knowledge of what the boy had just done was priceless.

He quickly encompassed the boy's memory with a second wall. Pain suddenly grabbed at the base of the white man's skull. Already the boy's mind was retaliating. He quickly refocused his mind on its task and searched with his own wall for any flaws in the boy's memory dam. He was young and inexperienced there were bound to be some. The pain pulled at him harder, but he kept searching. Finally he found a leak, into the boy's dream center. His mind felt like it was being pierced with a thousand white hot needles, he wanted to weep with the pain, but he wasn't ready to give in yet. He took advantage of the small leak and forced his considerable mind power into the crack, causing a wider rift in the memory dam. That was all he could manage until the pain had weakened him so much that his mind was ripped from the boy's own and hurtled back into his own body.

His head snapped back and he fell to the floor, sobbing from the pain. The boy stood, looking at him seriously. "I didn't like how that felt. What were you doing to me?"

The white man choked back the sobs, "Just trying to help you remember."

"I don't remember anything new," the boy said simply.

"You will," the gray man told him, wiping the tears from his face. He couldn't believe the boy had been able to tear him from his mind. Most adults didn't have the strength to do that. He moved ever so slightly, trying to regain his feet, he moaned and stayed where he was. His head was pounding like the wild peoples' war drums.

The healers rushed to his side, "Are you all right?"

"It's the boy, he's done something to the white master," the skinniest healer proclaimed, alarmed and angry.

"No," the white man growled. "He just reacted naturally to something I had done to him."

The healers stood between their leader and the small young boy, baffled.

"He had better get back to classes," the white man told the healers. "His are starting soon, I don't want him to miss a single one."

"I'll take him," a calm, middle-aged woman volunteered. "I'll get him right back on schedule."

The white man nodded at her, wincing when he did so. The other healers pulled him gently up to one of the cots, glancing intermittently at the woman and the boy as they exited the healers' wing.

"Who exactly is that boy?" the skinny healer asked the white man.

"His name is Samis," the white man told them. "As far as to who he is, I am still trying to find that out."

"What do you mean?"

"That boy is much more than a simple shepherd's son. Even if he himself does not realize it," the white man explained to the best of his abilities. The healers just shook their heads as they helped the white man settle down.