A Spell Kicks In

When Kyle could see again, Thomas was still there. He had apparently been knocked off his feet because he now crouched in the hallway rather then standing in it. His spell had been disrupted and he was blinking and shaking his head back and forth, but he hadn’t been cut in half. Kyle looked behind him, but decided if he ran now he’d get a spell in the back. From beside him Jessie fired her gun. The bullet flashed and vanished. He looked at her, “Do you have any ideas?”

“Can you fire another of those?”

“No I maxed the power, and I can’t hand cast because I only ever gave it a UUMID. There’s no manual trigger.”

“We could attack directly,” Jessie looked and sounded doubtful.

Kyle didn’t think it would work. If Thomas had managed to block both gunfire and the tesseract he probably had a fairly solid defense against a fist to the face.

Thomas stood, and shook his head again, “Good shot kid, but I’ve cast for blue light before. Now you die.” He drew in magic again and started to twitch his fingers and chant.

Kyle was about to try to run through the flames behind them when the ceiling above Thomas began to rain dust and shards of rock. Perversely, it most reminded Kyle of something out of a movie. The lights flickered and dust started to shift down around them. Then cracks formed just above Thomas letting more dust go. The cracks widened, and shards of rock and concrete tumbled away.

A normal person would have been buried. Thomas was still wrapped in his shield. The smaller rocks flashed into nonexistence like the bullets had. The larger ones went white hot on one side and sort of skittered away from him like water boiling and skipping on a hot pan. Thomas looked up at the ceiling. He seemed to have a better idea of what was going on than Kyle did. At least he started to trace lines of magic in the air segueing into another spell.

Kyle looked behind him considering running again. He decided not to. There was still a strong possibility that turning his back now would be a good way to get killed. He at least needed to cast a shield first. More than that, he hoped this earthquake was actually good news.

“What’s going on?” Jessie said at his elbow.

“I hope it’s a plan coming together!”

A green cylinder that looked a bit like the base of a small tree pierced the ceiling just above Thomas. It descended exposing first some thorns, then giant leaves, and finally a black rosebud.

“Is that the Registrar?”

Kyle’s eyes were wide and he was facing down the hallway, but he answered Jessie without looking at her. “I guess. I used the summoning spell earlier. I wanted to ask it for help. Thomas can’t have been acting in line with the compact, but I thought it would come immediately. When it didn’t I assumed there was some component of the spell missing. It wasn’t a shock, really, I just traced the symbols in the air while standing outside. I think maybe it worked.”

“Yeah, maybe…”

Jessie was interrupted by the voice of the Registrar. It boomed so loudly that a bit more dust shifted out of the cracks in the ceiling and they had to cover their ears. “Archmage Thomas, you have violated the compact, signed by your own hand, against which you have registered spells and enjoyed privileges. You have attempted, through murder and treachery, to withhold knowledge of the tekhnikos from those that rightly gained it. You have engaged in magical duels, and used spells that were not yours and to which you had no agreement. How do you respond to these charges?”

“With fire!” Thomas clapped his hands together and then flooded the lines of magic around his head with energy. Kyle suffered an instant of surprise when he noted it was a modern spell and the lines of magic spelled out altered equations. Then the hall was once again filled with blinding light as a lance of plasma erupted from just above Thomas aimed at the Registrar. It was now fully in the hallway, but still floating off the ground with its top near the ceiling.

The lance of energy never reached the Registrar. Instead it splashed off something invisible just in front of the flower forming a half hemisphere of pure burning death and cutting deep holes in the floor, ceiling and walls around them. Some of those flickered with brief lived flame, but there was nothing to burn in a sustained way. The hallway filled with stinking smoke that couldn’t have been entirely safe to breath.

If the Registrar was bothered, that didn’t show in its booming voice. “Your attack will be noted as an admission of guilt. I hereby sentence you to death under the rules of the compact.”

“Medieval justice is sort of swift,” Jessie said from beside Kyle. She sounded strange and Kyle looked over at her. She was breathing fast and her pupils were wide. Whatever was going on with her, she needed a hospital.

The Registrar launched an attack at Thomas. Kyle didn’t see exactly what it was, there wasn’t much light or any sound, but the temperature of the hallway jumped by at least 20 degrees in an instant. It felt like walking out of an overly air conditioned building in the middle of a hot July day. Kyle looked back at Thomas in time to see him stumble back a few feet. He was now surrounded by a glowing bubble of energy. Kyle had no idea if it was a new spell or the same spell that had been protecting him all along.

Thomas traced more magic in the air forming a circle with the writing. Again it was modern. It looked like a strange combination of the current equations and a mangled version of the laws of thermodynamics. Kyle didn’t have anything like enough time to interpret the glowing symbols, but he thought it might turn a small current into a larger one.  Thomas then shouted something in a guttural language that sounded vaguely German, though not a modern dialect. He finished by slashing his hand down through the air leaving a glowing jagged pattern that resembled a lighting bolt.

Final Boss
Victory

For some reason I cannot adequately explain, even to myself, I'm trying to write and to write better. So if you like my story let me know. All feedback is appreciated.

Posted in The Beginners Guide to Magical Site Licensing Tagged with: ,
16 comments on “A Spell Kicks In
  1. Sebastián says:

    Yeah Thomas’ run out of fucks to give by now, it seems. Still, a beautiful response to some self-entitled entity going on about a milennia old contracts… I kinda like him now, a bit.
    Hopefully Kyle can do something to help Jessie before it’s too late.

    Looking forward to the next chapter!

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      It’s going to be interesting to learn if the Reg has heard “Burn!” as a line of legal reasoning before. 😉

  2. DeNarr says:

    Dues Ex Magicka

  3. Thaumaturgical_Support says:

    Readers will remember Kyle casting a spell in the middle of “Breaking & Entering”. I didn’t say it, but I’m sure some people guessed he was summoning the Reg. He studied that spell back around “False Trail” or “Misplaced Loyalty”; whenever he was sitting in his hotel room trying to figure out what the archmagi were up to. I’m not sure why it took so long to kick in. I think maybe the Registrar was in the shower.

    Summoning the Reg makes a lot of sense from Kyle’s standpoint. It’s kind of robocop for magical IP violations. The entire compact exists to prevent magic users from killing one another over spells. I guess we’ll see if it’s up to the task next time. Thomas clearly has “Globe of Invulnerability” running and I think he just cast an empowered lightening bolt.

  4. Evan says:

    “Kyle looked behind him, but the fire spell was still there”

    ??? I don’t recall him being walled in by fire. I went back one chapter and searched on ‘fire’ and didn’t see anything …

  5. Evan says:

    “The Registrar launched an attack at Thomas. Kyle didn’t see exactly what it was, there wasn’t any heat or sound, but the temperature of the hallway jumped by at least 20 degrees in an instant.”

    No heat, but the temperature jumped? Perhaps “there wasn’t any light or sound”?

    BTW, I’m greatly enjoying this series. Great writing, fascination concepts!

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Wow, I was getting sloppy when I scheduled this! It looks like I never had Thomas fence Kyle in. He was meant to… I’ve taken out the references to the fire that never was. Long term I need to rewrite the previous part a little.

      Also, yes, I wanted light or sound. Thanks for those catches.

  6. irrevenant says:

    Hihi. I haven’t read this far yet, but I’m posting it here ‘cos I couldn’t figure out how else to contact you. :/

    I noticed you didn’t have a banner over at http://topwebfiction.com/ and, being both presumptuous and bored, I came up with something that’s hopefully at least useful as a placeholder until something better comes along.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxn-j12bT8Ljd19IbXdZR1hvSFE/view?usp=sharing (banner-sized version)
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxn-j12bT8LjMDh1X3hNa0R5eWc/view (larger version)
    I have the .xcf (GIMP) file too if that’s useful to you.

    I drew the background. Since magic is like engineering in your setting it’s supposed to look almost like a magical circuit board. And I made it all colourful to suggest the nature of Kyle’s spell. It was going to kind of ‘distill’ the input but I got a bit carried away. >_>

    Hope it’s of some use. If not, I still had fun doing it. 🙂

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Thanks, that’s totally awesome! I love it. I don’t know how to upload a banner at top web fiction yet, but now I have a good reason to learn. 🙂 I’ll look into it this weekend.

  7. AvidFan says:

    Humph. NOW he shows up. I’m curious as to what use the Registrar is when he is completely ineffective until someone decides to call him. Although when he is called, we get what’s happening now. 😛

    Also, my theory as to why he took so long: He must have taken a right turn at Albuquerque.

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Well you gotta call the cops before they show up. 😉 Still, hopefully it won’t be a total pushover. We’ll see soon.

      • AvidFan says:

        It!? How dare you refer to the Registrar as an it! It is a living, thinking being! It deserves more respect tha- … Nevermind. Carry on.

        Just something I’ve noticed, but… None of the newer chapters are named with as much hilarity as chapter 2, 3 and 4. Those three were hilariously named. xD

        • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

          The Registrar is a thinking being of some sort. I suppose we know that much. But does it have a gender? Hmmmm…

          The names are tricky. I may even go with ::sigh:: a system of some sort next time. Try figure out what the actual chapters would be and all that then name *them* rather than just every update. We’ll see.

          • Euodiachloris says:

            Well, being plant-based… you’ve got the choices of; male, female, both, neither and variable. ;P

  8. irrevenant says:

    Random thought: I wonder if this scene would be more effective if Kyle *knew* the registrar was coming and he and Jessie’s had to desperately hold Thomas and his men off long enough for the Registrar to get there and see the evidence etc…

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