The thing a lot of people don’t realize is that the skills available to a person are directly impacted by the contents of their day to day world. In the old days, the natural life energy that flows forth from the Divine Source might have graced a lucky Greek warrior with strength or high-invulnerability. The Chinese occasionally found their entreaties for ten thousand years of life at least partially granted, and magicians were able to call on at least some of the cantrips that are now associated with them in legend.

But today? Living in a consumer society with disposable income? The gifts that flow from the Divine Source reflect that environment. Gifts like miraculous extra mileage in an SUV, the occasional 500-calorie chocolate bar that registers as zero, and an intrinsic field that causes iPhones to lose their charge.

And then there’s Alethia Bussel’s gift: sodamancy.

She could manipulate any carbonated beverage, with the degree of control varying by how carbonated it was. Full bottles of soda pop could be levitated and manipulated, while flat Coke could only be coaxed to dance a little bit. She could also cause soda to instantly release all its carbon dioxide, shattering its container, or instantly cause painful gastrointestinal swelling (or monstrous belching) in anyone who’d recently imbibed the stuff.

Her favorite trick, though, was to take control of the stream that issued forth when you dropped a Mentos into soda. Soda dancing was perhaps the only joy Alethia got from her otherwise bothersome gift.

Then again, that was before the Agnates launched their secret campaign against everyone with a gift from the Divine Source…

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