Diast brought up some graphics of Cani transporting themselves into the void.
“Because of our bioelectric signals and DNA makeup, we have the unique ability to visit the void dimension, which is warbly. I probably have a better term that’s science-y but warbly is good. It’s not a real stable dimension, and it can get pretty freaky and dreamlike in there. The void’s tethered to our dimension, but nature works a bit differently than it does here.”
The display changed to show the water cycle, like water on ground, water go up, rain come down, that loopy thing. Then it switched to the void, and that same cycle was there but like an abstract art version.
“In the simplest terms, thoughts and feelings in this world can blow up there. Sometimes they become cool little things, like your imaginary friend kinda shows up for a second or something in the right node. Other times them bad thoughts turn into bad monsters. The void needs a lot of cleaning up to make sure them bad monsters don’t slip into our good, stable home dimension.”
A graphic of a blotchy monster looking thing flopping out of a portal came up next. The little fanged graphic characters all used their powers to smash it, then were shown cheering together.
“So naturally, since we’re the only ones that can aid this process…we gotta do void fighting, lest it bleed over into our stable world. Basically, we’re the force that turns the void monster rain cloud into a void monster lake. Oh, and vocab term, put this in your notes, every void monster and the like there are made of a substance called Elka. It’s malleable and turn-into-monster-able.”
Diast so far explained the void a lot better than the author of So It’s Been Established That You Are a Cani and NOT a Vampire or Werewolf, Now it’s Time to Learn about the Void: The Interdimensional Travels all Cani Must Face (Also Features Cani Puberty: From Body Hair to Changes Down There).
“There are two basic kinds of places in the void,” Diast said. “Nodes, and like nothing. Void, it’s in the name, right? When we go to a place in the void, we’re going to a node. We’ll get into the types later, because there are lots. There are so many nodes in the void that we don’t even have a rough estimate of how many exist. Some are affected real bad by our dimension’s mental state, like full on you can imagine a pizza and a pizza appears before you, and some less so, just having void monsters caused by us. Our class node has already been decided for us, at least, and it’s where we’ll be doing our exploring and void monster fighting.”
The display of the nodes of the void looked like a bunch of eggs floating around a sparkly background.
Diast shifted to going over the syllabus and told us she’d have to have one on one meetings with those of us in her group about advising which she didn’t sound happy about. She wrapped up class shortly after, giving us like a half hour to hang out between classes.
I just went with Oka and Kalei to wait for our next class, which was literature with Mr. Soleri, a mid-thirties looking teacher with kinda curly hair that went down to his shoulders and that “I haven’t shaved in five days because I don’t have time I’m a professor” style. He was also a "sit cross-legged on desk while teaching" kind of teacher.
“I’m sure many of you haven’t been exposed to the great pieces of Cani literature,” Mr. Soleri said. “As this is a class about books, and the way our world was shaped by them, you really have to feel the books before you even think to understand them. Look at the binding. Touch it. Give the book a massage, it deserves it for all the unwelcome hands that have roamed amongst the pages.”
We thought he was joking, but then he actually instructed us to give our textbooks massages.
“This is creepy,” Kalei whispered.
I had to force back a snorting laugh. A quick glance at Oka confirmed she had to do the same.
“Hey, are we going to do any actual Cani stuff?” Ovie asked. “Because I thought this class was good for our powers too.”
Mr. Soleri scowled, then took off his glasses and closed his eyes. I felt something rumble at my feet, and I looked up to see all the books begin to float around us. Soleri walked through them, stopping when he got to Ovie’s seat.
“To use your gifts, you must strengthen your mind first.” Mr. Soleri said. “You may find your gift is of the mind, of the school of Calestia, but a weak mind will find nothing.”
The books slowly fell back down. A bookmark with one of those little string tail things remained floating, and gently smacked Ovie.
Our third teacher was more Soleri weird than Diast weird. Mr. Atrax, the portly social studies teacher, lost control of the class almost immediately when he dropped all his papers and swore loudly. He eventually gave up trying to get people to stop laughing and dismissed us early, telling us “THIS IS REAL LIFE!!!” over and over while tossing handfuls of syllabi at us.
Just in the first few mini classes, I already had some impressions on my mix of new and old classmates. Kalei spent most of class doodling or trying not to sleep. Oka was a diligent note taker right out of the gate. Laenie mainly looked terrified. Lillia Cadence had an answer for every question. Aira Orbis managed to tell every teacher she used to eat glue.
“The way she kept saying it made me think she totally still ate glue.” Kalei said to me between classes.
“Definitely.” I said. “I mean, she licked the orb thing for the void test. Like, she’s entirely unpredictable. I fear her.”
I didn’t get to sit by Oka and Kalei for math since Mrs. Poppi, a constantly giggling teacher, said she had developed the perfect formula for seating which I immediately disagreed with. Kalei hated Poppi almost immediately, and clenched her fists when Poppi loudly giggled every few seconds.
After a brief gym class with Mr. Krangel, who spent most of class explaining how much pain we were gonna put on the void monsters, said he was gonna put us through some hurt to teach us proper fighting methods, which was great for my lingering worries.