(Patreon) Mage Among Superheroes 187

-–Chapter Index–-

The clearly tailored comfort of Doctor Patenaude’s office surrounded me as I lay in physical comfort. That was all he could offer, because his job was to cause people discomfort in all other areas. And maybe fix that, but that was mere speculation.

It was somewhat fascinating to watch the various sensory stalks protruding from his head move around. Maybe that was intentionally comforting as well, like his voice.

“So, Turlough, you were saying you met orcs?”


“And how did you feel about them.”

“Every second that I was there I wanted to punch Comhghall in the face,” I said.

“And did you?”

“Well, no. He was much more experienced with that kind of stuff so I never managed solid hits like that.”

“So you fought each other?”

“Well, it was a sort of training thing…” I explained. “Since like, it became clear that it’s not just speculation that orcs are more likely to have Curse of the Barbarian.”

“I was under the impression that you enjoyed training,” Doctor Patenaude said. “Physical expression of yourself and experience all bundled together in one. Did that change?”

“Well, no.”

“Mhm,” he said in that one way he did that was always followed by taking notes. “Did the interaction shift your opinion on orcs as a whole?”

“Not really. Taking advantage of that is pretty clever, but all the rest seem pretty stupid for not explaining such things.”

“So you met other groups as well?”


“Mhm. So what was your overall impression of this group and this Comhghall fellow?”

“Weird,” I said.


Midnight and I arrived in a vaguely remembered office building. It had been months since either of us had to show up at Extra’s HQ, and closer to a year for anything not involving translation work. This time we were escorted to a different part of the building, finding Malaliel and Zorphax at what looked like a big empty hall.

Well, it wasn’t quite empty. There were clearly marked zones in little alcoves along one wall. I expected there to be something special about them, but they felt extremely… normal. There wasn’t even anything differentiating them from each other. The only thing that stood out was the text on the wall behind them. Extra: New Bay.

“What are these for?” I asked Malaliel.

“Teleportation,” she said cleanly.

“But… they don’t do anything.”

Zorphax chuckled. “They’re for people with powers. So the actual effects will be provided by people on their own. We’re still a good bit of development away from having working teleportation stations.”

“But Doctor Doomsday-”

“Uses powers to make his tech work,” Zorphax reminded me. “Tech powers use the mere possibility of something working to surpass the actuality of it being functional. Though there’s a lot that can be learned from them.”

“We have teleportation,” Midnight flicked his tail nervously.

“Unless you brought full manuals with you, that doesn’t change our situation here,” Zorphax said. “Only a relatively small number of Celmothians have ever come to Earth.”

“Regardless,” Malaliel said. “We are here in this sterile environment to divine the limits of your powers. It has been indicated that you don’t know the full of them yet.”

“Until this last month, I’d only ever used Gate to rescue my apprentice,” I explained. “Reopening a temporary portal made by Doctor Doomsday. So now I can add to that returning from one of the planes of my home dimension to another, then back here.”

“Understood,” Malaliel nodded. “We have prepared various scenarios for you to test.”

“Sure,” I said. “But we can only make three attempts, then each additional one will take about two hours of resting.”

“We have plenty of other duties to busy ourselves with,” Malaliel assured me. “Perhaps we should make several attempts now, then ask you to come back this evening?”

“We can do that,” I nodded. “Unless you’re busy, Midnight?”

“I haven’t had time to schedule new social engagements so… no.”

“Alright then,” Zorphax said. “We have several ideas prepared. First, it’s of relevance to us particularly if you are now able to return to your home world from here. Of course, we’re not rescinding your refugee status-”

“And the Power Brigade would no doubt provide you a work visa.”

“Obviously,” Zorphax nodded. “Anyway, we need to determine the actual possibility of return. This is important for New Bay overall because of the recent events repeatedly involving your world.”

“I still wouldn’t be a good ambassador,” I reminded him.

“But you might be able to pass through someone who is,” Zorphax said. “And interdimensional transportation pays way better than translation services.”

I suppose I was going to be in the market for expensive statues eventually. It was certainly worth considering. And it seemed kind of important.

Before we could do any of that, however, we needed to know if I could get back. That was where Malaliel explained the setup. “You create portals. Is their appearance… safe?”

“I believe so,” I said. “But I didn’t have much of a chance to study Gate before I had it as a spell. Since I was low level until I came to this world.”

“Fortunately we’re prepared to test that,” Zorphax said. “You can do two attempts in a row, right? I can have people set something up.”

“We can,” I said.

“Alright,” Malaliel said. “If you could attempt to form a Gate back to your home world,” she gestures to one of the alcoves.”

“I can do outside Mossley, yeah,” I nodded. “Standard split, Midnight.”

Was it a little more difficult than in the other direction? Hard to say for certain. Pretty soon, the magic formed into its proper shape and the Gate opened. “… We’re not going through, right?” I asked.

“Not right now,” Zorphax confirmed.

It lasted about the same time- thirty seconds approximately. So it was about half what Gate was supposed to do, but given it was interdimensional instead of interplanar here, that was fine.

“So that is possible,” Zorphax nodded. “Good. Next I want you to make a portal to Mars.”

I looked up. Not that I could see the sky. “I don’t know if that will work.”

“That’s the whole point,” Zorphax said.

“Alright, but I haven’t been to Mars or really seen it. Besides vague pictures. I need a connection to it. And a proper destination.”

“How about a Martian?” Zorphax asked. He held up his tablet. “And this is your destination.”

The picture on the tablet was a room very much like this, except the text on the wall was all gibberish. Oh, wait. It had smaller text under it. Extra: Martian Headquarters.

“I suppose we’ll have to find out,” I said.

“Before you begin, is it safe to throw stuff through?”

“As safe as throwing stuff through an open door,” I said. “Unless the portal is unstable and you care about your rock or whatever surviving the trip. But it will be pretty obvious. I would suggest not sticking your arm through.”

“Noted,” Zorphax said, pulling out a piece of paper and crumpling it. “Please continue.”

I nodded. Once again, Midnight and I split the burden. I had seen that Assistive Familiar Casting had improved, which should potentially make this easier. I focused on Zorphax, and his home. I also focused on the particular image. It was slow, but the magic slowly formed into an open portal aimed at the very wall I envisioned. It was slightly wobbly, but it was there nonetheless.

Zorphax chucked the crumpled paper through it. He said something in a language I presumed was Martian, and then the portal began to wobble. It didn’t even last fifteen seconds.

“That one wasn’t very good,” I admitted. “It’s pretty difficult.”

“It is very strange that interdimensional travel is easier for you than interplanetary,” Malaliel commented. “But perhaps it is simply a particularly strong connection to your home dimension.”

“You can do one more, right?” Zorphax asked.

I nodded. “What was the paper for?”

“So they could tell me where your portal appeared,” Zorphax replied.

“It was where the picture was,” I said.

“Was it?” he raised an eyebrow, looking at the very similar alcoves along the wall here. “It’s not a universal truth, but similar looking locations that are similarly connected and situated tend to draw imprecise teleportation methods.”

“How is Gate imprecise? I may not be that good but I can put it exactly where I picture.”

“That is why it’s imprecise,” Zorphax said. “You don’t do calculations to get an exact angle and distance. You just picture a spot and arrive there. Anyway-” He showed me a picture of another similar wall. “This is your next destination.” Extra: Yew-Kay.

Midnight and I worked together to gather the necessary mana, then began to form a portal. Or rather, we released the magic… but it just fizzled out. “Hmm,” I said.

“What does that mean?” Zorphax asked.

“Well, this is still on Earth after all so I didn’t really expect it to work,” I explained. “But I thought maybe it would be difficult, and it wasn’t.”

“But it failed,” Zorphax said.

“Yes, but there’s easy failure and then difficult failure. This just… won’t happen,” I shrugged.

“Strange,” Zorphax said. “It should be easier, shouldn’t it?”

“Not necessarily,” Malaliel said. 

“It is easier,” I replied. “It’s just a different spell. And not a portal, I think. I don’t have Teleport though and I could be missing some details. It’s still a relatively high level spell that I didn’t get more than a vague overview of.”

“Interesting,” Malaliel said. “Do you have plans to acquire such a power in the near future?”

“Why?” I asked. “I don’t plan to go anywhere that far. And planes exist if I wanted to. I wouldn’t use Sending to make a phone call. Though I guess Teleport is actually faster instead of just slower like Sending.”

“Can you do another? Since that one failed?” Zorphax asked.

I shook my head. “We still expended the mana. It just didn’t do anything.”

“Well then,” he said. “I hope you can meet us here this evening. I’m sure we both have paperwork and the like to get to.”


With that, Midnight and I had the rest of the day off. He had the good idea to go visit Ceira. Her apartment was obviously unsafe- even if Doctor Doomsday didn’t know of her return- so she was currently under the care of the New Bay Hero Association until she decided what she was going to do. From what I understood, there was some sort of supervillain threat related relocation and witness protection thing.

But for the moment, we were still able to visit her as part of her approved guest list. She had a little apartment in a secured area. I knocked on the door.

“Yes? Who is it?” Before I could answer, she opened the door. “Oh, hi! I should have known it would be you two. The list of people who might come here is pretty small…” Ceira shrugged. “Would you like to…?”

As she opened the door to welcome us in, a golden labrador puppy charged up to us, hugging my leg and wagging happily as it looked towards Midnight.

“Bun! Off!” Ceira commanded. The dog backed away, but still wiggled in delight. Midnight looked at her with suspicion.

At about that moment, a calico cat leapt onto the top of the open door and looked down at Midnight from its slightly higher perch. It meowed.

“I don’t speak cat,” Midnight said. “Does anyone speak cat? Do they have a language?”

“… I can speak to animals,” Ceira said. “But… no. Come on Cel…ery. Let’s get you down from there,” Ceira held out her arms, and the cat acquiesced to being picked up. “Come on in.”

She set down Cel when she shut the door, and the puppy and it began to chase each other around the couch, which was about the only thing in the room besides an end table and some lamps. 

“It’s not super luxurious here,” Ceira said. “My computer was compromised by Doctor Doomsday so I’ve kind of been cooped up in here. I’m not sure if I should pick up all my plants or not.”

“Are they at your old apartment?” I asked.

“No. Because of the situation, the Association and Power Brigade cleared everything out and took care of it for me under the indefinite disappearance protocol. So they’re being taken care of, but I wasn’t ready to go through all that effort so soon after returning to this world. And I don’t have a cell phone or anything so it’s hard to coordinate anything.” She reached down to scratch the dog who had come up to her once again. “Of course I did have to get these guys as soon as possible.”

“What did you say his name was again?” Midnight narrowed his eyes.

“This is Bun…go. Bungo,” Ceira said. 

“That’s a weird name.”

“All pet names are weird,” she shrugged. “So was there something in particular you wanted or…?”

“No, we’re just here to check in on you and perhaps hang out,” I said. “Though I’m not very good at that second thing so you and Midnight will have to decide how that will work.”

Despite the situation, Ceira looked quite happy with being back home and not having to fight for her life, and also not being captured by a supervillain. So all that effort was ultimately worth it for her smile. And the levels were just a bonus.

-–Chapter Index–-