Finn stared at her like he was truly seeing her for the first time.
Was this one of her ploys? One of her ‘gotcha’ moments to make him feel stupid? No, it didn’t seem like it, and yet he couldn’t shake the last lingering bit of doubt from his mind. He scooted over to the side a little and cocked his head at her, unsure if she was really, truly offering to share her spark with him. “Will it hurt?” If his initiation into defiance had been anything to go by, the process would demand some sacrifice or another.
“Like a bitch.” she said. “Oh, so fuckin’ much. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 13 in metaphysical agony. I’m not going to lie to you: you will never forget what will be done to you here today. Should you want to continue, of course.”
Finn swallowed. “I’m… I’m not sure sis.” He knew exactly what she meant for he still remembered the floating and tumbling and drowning, and even the thought of it made him nauseous. “D’you think I can take it?”
She shrugged. “You’ll need something to bite down on.”
His eyes widened and for a moment it appeared he would shake his head, stand up, and leave. Instead, he remained, searching for the faintest clue that this wasn’t some bizarre dream. “How long for?”
“Until the energy runs its course.”
“How will I know?”
“You’ll know.” Zipper said, her voice still small and quiet. “You will definitely know. Last chance to back out. I’m not gonna judge you. Really, I’m not. It doesn’t end with the initiation. You’ll spend your life hiding it, fighting it, letting it hurt you, embracing it - but when the alternative is going through the world blind, finite, weak, human…” she trailed off. “We could be so much more, but the immortals keep us weak, keep us wanting narrowly defined power to compensate for a weakness they inflicted.”
“Will I have to eat the stuff you do?”
“Which stuff?” she asked, her eyes narrowing a little.
“The burnt stuff. The weird stuff. I saw what you did with that sword once. Do I have to do that all the time?”
“Not always. It’s called a mutation. It varies between every mage.”
He breathed a sigh of relief. “So how does it work? You can alter things but… how? What are the limits? Could you change yourself? How you look?”