Born Immortal Chapter 12

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Astyr woke the next morning feeling good. She went for her jog and met up with Randy just past the driveway. They jogged in a comfortable silence for a while and after they turned off of the paved road and were headed back towards home, Randy asked her if she would go to lunch with him that afternoon.

"I know it's not a lot of notice," he added, "but when I thought of it yesterday, I realized I don't know your phone number."

"Oh, I can give you my number," She said, "and I'd really love to go out this afternoon. I just have to ask Grima first."

"Cool," he said, "I thought since we're going to the dance together, you might want to hang out sometime when we're not on the run together."

Astyr laughed at that and agreed that it would be nice to be able to get to know him better. She gave him the phone number for her cell phone; Grima had bought her an iPhone the first week she was here, and told him to call after half an hour to see if she could go. She waved goodbye and headed back to her house.

She took a quick shower and then went to talk to Grima. "Do you think it would be ok if I went out this afternoon with Randy?" She asked. "He's the one I'm going to the dance with."

Grima smiled at her and said it would be fine as long as Astyr was home before curfew.

Astyr thanked her and when Randy called, she gave him the good news.

"Be sure to wear pants and a warm jacket, ok." Randy added before he hung up.

This left Astyr with some free time and she decided she wanted to spend it asking Grima some questions.

"Grima, do you mind if I ask you about something?" she started

Grima told her to go ahead and Astyr paused for a moment to figure out the best way to open the subject.

"Why does Gunnar have to stay home until he turns sixteen?" she asked. "I know he said that his energy levels would be unstable, but what does that mean?"

"Well, dear, that's complicated." She said. "It has to do with both the way our species absorbs energy and the ways in which our bodies can use it afterwards. The start of the regeneration process requires a great deal of energy and yet the body of a fifteen year old is not quite ready to process it in large amounts. Do you see where this imbalance might cause problems?" she asked.

"Not really," Astyr replied, "I think you should probably spell it out for me."

"As you wish," Grima said and continued, "Just before an Aesir's sixteenth birthday, or any of the races of our species, his body will start to absorb energy in large quantities in preparation for the start of regeneration. However, before the process actually begins, his body isn't equipped to store that much. All Aesir are able to use the energy in their bodies in various ways such as seeing what is in someone's soul, changing their shape, manipulating the minds of humans, and even discharging bolts of energy out of themselves. I've even heard of people using it to fly, although I can't imagine they could go very far. All of these things and more are possible through the use of the energy in our bodies. Some things require very small amounts and some can completely drain a person to the point where they can barely sustain life.

"Before most of that is possible, he needs to get through his sixteenth birthday.

"The last couple of weeks before this birthday, the body can be unpredictable in the ways in which it tries to compensate for the energy imbalance. It isn't unheard of for a person to go from spontaneously changing forms to being unable to do so much as lift a hand. It is rather hard to be in public during this time, as you can imagine." She finished.

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