Good things, Small Packages
School is hard.
I want to be here, don’t get me wrong. I was home-schooled for most of my life. Primary school was a distant memory. My powers appeared at age four but I didn’t do anything with them until I was seven. That is when it all came crashing down. No more friends or birthday parties. I only interacted with my grandmother, family, and Fergus. A trash talking, nasty minded mini-Unicorn is not the best-friend for a Witch. To him it’s all about the horn. Trust me when I say that dress up and tea parties with him were not the fun you can imagine. Grandmother’s huge cat Zeus was more fun.
Here I have found at least one good friend and a few that respect me. Having Cat, my roommate, has made up for some of what I missed out on as a child. This school is here to provide a background needed for Government Law enforcement service. It’s supposed to be hard. This is my first year and they are cramming a life’s worth of math, science, and history into my brain. One of the things that has stuck in my mind is how special this place is. For many mundanes if you want a job in law enforcement you go to school for it. There are law enforcement programs in most colleges. The problem is those places don’t normally accept Paranormals into their student bodies. Paranormal racism isn’t against the law at least not yet. We require special needs and conditions. The FBI saw the need for para’s for law enforcement duties. Were’s make really good trackers and take-down specialists. The problem was that most lived on the reservation and the education levels were non-existent. Something needed to change.
The FBI Academy became more of a boarding school for those students that qualified. It began as an experiment in diversity that evolved into a special place. Humans and paras could all go to school here together and learn to both protect our country and it’s people. Several of the other Government agencies have since done something similar. The CIA actually has teenager’s as Agents! This brings us back to my point. School lessons here are very intense and difficult. I have a lot to catch up with. Especially being the only Magical person on campus.
The dorm that Cat and I live in is filled with Were’s. There is a very loose pack structure here. The few Alphas on campus kept control and formed mini-packs that might not stay together come graduation. Cat was one of the unaligned Weres. She had yet to choose an Alpha or pack. Even though she was to be an agent she still claimed her pack back home. Dominance was a form of entertainment among the Weres. Or at least that is what she keeps telling me. Fights and power struggles were very common. Cat stayed very far away from all that. She kept a very low Were profile. Personally I don’t blame her. Shes short, blond, and has one heck of a temper. I have seen her throw things across the room that stuck. I would hate for her to be harmed in the games the boys keep playing.
“Cat who is that guy?” We were watching one of the dominance fights from our dorm window.
“Who?” Cat stepped over to the window and peered through the blinds.
“The tall guy with the muscles. The one leaning up against that old green car.”
“Oh, him. That’s Charles. He’s new like us this year. He’s a WereCat like me.”
“Another cat? Were is the other cat?” Fergus, my familiar came running out of his home on my desk. His shoe box sat in a prominent spot at the back.
“Fergus calm down. The only cat in here is the one that lives here. Go watch TV or something.”
The mini-Unicorn gave us a dirty look and snorted. He held his head high as he returned to his sport-shoe box. It was getting a bit worn-around-the-edges. I made a mental note to go shopping and look for some new shoes for me. He could have the new box. Poor Fergus. Cat’s were his enemies and we lived with one.
“That little guy cracks me up! You never told me why he hates cats?” I glanced at my roommate and smiled. It was pretty funny.
“Grandmother has a cat. His name is Zeus and he’s a Savannah Cat.”
“I’ve heard of those. Aren’t they really big house cats?”
“Right. Zeus is huge and he thinks that Fergus is his personal plaything. I told you how Fergus came to live with me. What I didn’t mention was that part of the spell that shrank him also made him indestructible. He can really take a beating. To Zeus he was an eternal plaything much better than the field mice. Those fight back.”
“They fight back?” She was looking at me like I was crazy.
“When animals live among magical people they pick up certain traits. A tribe of mice live in the grandmother’s garden. They have a tiny town and are armed with swords and armor. Fergus plays with them sometimes. He’s scared of them. Zeus hunts them on occasion but they can hurt him. Fergus doesn’t fight back so the cat uses him like a cat-toy.”
“They have a town?”
“I’m not suppose to know about it but I found it when I was eight. Grandmother knows about them but told me to leave them alone. It’s hidden but I followed Zeus one day and found it. So Fergus hates all cats because of Zeus. Grams says that Zeus misses him.”
Cat glanced back at the window and froze. “The fight is starting.”
I looked out the window and watched as two large Weres began fighting. I recognized the larger of the two he was one of the RAs down on the first floor of our dorm. He was wrestling with a tall lanky Were that looked new. A rough circle was painted on the ground. The two men both removed their shirts and began trying to throw the other onto the ground. The tall Were arms were not long enough to reach around the bulky residence assistant. He broke free easily and started punching the tall man.
I winced as the tall Were took a hard hit and landed flat on his back on the ground. The RA stood over him and smiled.
“So much for him. He gave up.”
“You could tell his heart wasn’t in it. He just wanted to attempt a fight rather then expose his throat and be done with it.”
“So he wanted to bow but didn’t want to seem to be week?”
She looked at me and smiled. “Yes. You have been paying attention. Weakness is bad for Were’s. Those who are the most dominant feel the urge to protect them.”
She nodded. “Yes, like me. Wait…What? Damn it Agatha!”
“Cat it’s really obvious. I only see it because we are together so much. Is that why you avoid them?” I pointed out the window.
“I can’t Agatha. I just can’t fight. My cat wants me to, but I tell her no. It will work out.” I watched as she gathered up her books to go to go study. I grabbed my bag and tagged along. The library was beckoning.
We were halfway there when we ran into Charles from the fight.
“Don’t you two look cute. Want to go out for coffee? I have a car we could take.” He practically appeared right in the middle of the sidewalk.
“We have to study. Please move out of the way.”
“I wasn’t talking to you Witchey Poo. I was asking your short friend. She’s tiny enough to be a dwarf. Is she a dwarf?”
“No, she’s not a dwarf. Move out of the way, please. I really don’t want to hurt you.” I could feel my hand growing warm. Tossing a fireball at another student would be very bad.
“Leave her alone!” I looked over at Cat and could see the anger in her eyes. Uh, Oh.
“What’s the matter shorty is the Witch your pet?” He stepped forward and physically pushed Cat. “Such a tiny little WereCat. You know you want to bend a knee to me. Let me see it. Show me the neck!”
“Go away! Leave Cat alone!” I really didn’t want to attack him but Cat was my friend.
“Agatha, stop!” Cat’s eyes were slowly changing shape and color. “Leave us alone or meet me in the circle!”
The large Were started laughing. “The circle? You want to fight me, shorty?” He pushed Cat again.
Her voice much deeper she replied. “Yes. The circle. Three hours.”
The Were looked surprised but nodded. “OK, challenge accepted. See you in three hours.” He gave her another shove and headed back toward our dorm.
“Cat, what just happened?”
Cat’s eyes were going back to normal. “I just accepted my first challenge.”
“Can you win it?”
Cat was staring off into space. She slowly turned and smiled at me. “That guy has no idea who he’s messing with. Wanna bet that those idiots on the lawn put him up to it?”
“I won’t bet you because I agree with you. They are scared of me.”
“Come on. Let’s go study. I have a fight this afternoon.” We headed on toward the library. I was worried for her but she didn’t seem to be bothered with it.
Studying was harder than I thought it would be. All I could think about was the size of that big guy. I think she said his name was Charles. I have asked Cat about size and not in a dirty way! She explained that the laws of dimensional science didn’t matter when it came to Were’s. You turned into what you turned into. Some of the non-predator Were’s could change into things like rabbits or weasels. Big person, little animal. It has driven more than one mundane scientist insane.
When it was time to leave I told Cat I would protect her if she didn’t want to fight. “Don’t be silly Aggy. This is what we do as Were’s. It’s about time I have at least one of these.”
When we got back the dorm the Were’s were gathering. Cat was one of the few on campus that had not participated in any of the fights. Many of them had expected her to bow, not fight. We hurried back to the room and cat stripped off her clothes. She dug around in her dresser and pulled out her gym clothes.
“Don’t want to mess yours up?”
“Something like that. I intend to change into my cat form. I’m not large enough to take him as a human.”
“Is your other form big enough? I know you explained this but you are sort of smaller than him.”
She smiled. “Don’t worry. I’ve got this. No one has seen me change. No one living that is. I can take him.”
“OK, if you say so. If you want me to blast him I will. I would zap him and make a new squirrel but the Council is kind of down on me doing that on purpose.”
“That’s OK. Come on, I can’t be late.” She grabbed a towel and threw it over her shoulder. I triggered the wards and closed the door behind us. I didn’t bother to lock it. Only an idiot would try and rob us.
The challenge area was full of Weres of all sorts. A large fresh circle had been spray painted on the ground and Charles was in the middle of it showing off. He was flexing his muscles and preening for the few female Were’s besides Cat.
I was an unknown factor here this year and many of the older Weres gave me lots of room. A hole opened through the group fairly quickly when we arrived.
I nodded to one of the other girls at the edge of the ring. Her name was Lucy. She was a forensic tech major. Lucy set the spray can down and stepped over to me. “Sorry Agatha. They have been pushing Chuck to challenge her. She’s the only independent here.”
Chuck. I loved it. That was going to be Charles, new name whether he liked it or not. I’m not sure why Lucy bothered to whisper to me. Every Were on the field could hear what she said. Damn freaky hearing.
Our dorm’s RA the Alpha from the previous fight stepped into the ring. He looked hard at Cat. She just smiled back at him. “I want a clean fight. No weapons other than those you were born with. Anything else is fair game. If you step out of the circle you have ten seconds to get back inside or the match is forfeit. Do both of you understand?” He go nods from both Cat and Chuck. He stepped out of the ring an the fight began.
Chuck charged Cat and grabbed her by her arm with an intent to toss her. She twisted out of his grasp and bent his thumb backwards making him scream out a curse. He snatched his hand away from her and backed up to the edge. I could see his finger move back into position as he healed. Cat turned and growled. Her eyes were changing shape.
Some of the Weres in the crowd looked concerned. Very few fights were fought in the other form. I could see Cat’s arms begin to lengthen and fur peek out of her clothes. Chuck had one chance to pin her before she changed and he took it. Cat growled louder as the big man tackled her, smashing her to the ground.
The Weres in the audience cheered. That was a classic move and usually resulted in a win for the one on top. Money began to change hands in the crowd as many assumed the fight was now over. Chuck seemed to grow in size until I realized it was Cat who was. With a screech Chucks entire body was thrown to the ground and a large Cat rose from the ground. Big didn’t begin to describe Cat’s other form. She was massive! Saliva dripped from her mouth as she stalked her challenger. Chuck was still on the ground but faced away from her. Everyone in the crowd took a full step backward when she approached him.
Chuck woke up from the shock and blinked his eyes. The crowd nearest him were all but cowering in fear. He could smell the waves coming off them. All of them were staring at him. He felt warm air and realized they weren’t staring at him but over him. He turned his head and began to scream!
Cat’s large saber tooth head was inches from his body. She was breathing her hot breath on him as she held him down with a dinner plate sized paw. His entire upper torso would fit in her mouth so she spread her jaws and held them over his groin area. The big man and about half the crowd instinctively pinched their legs together. Chuck tilted his head back and showed his neck. The big cat huffed at him and ran toward the dorm. Fight goer’s stumbled to get out of her way. I stepped into the ring and picked up her clothing. No one spoke to me.
It was one thing to worry about me now they had her to worry about too. She might be small but she could be a real monster if she needed to be.
I want to apologize for not having a story last week. My wife has been sick with pneumonia, so between helping her and getting book 1 of Federal Witch out I was crazy busy last week. She's still sick but has good meds now. I'm working on Athena Lee 10 so expect that on in a week or so.