It had taken Kyle three hours on the Mag Lev to reach the secret facility where Thomas did his illegal medical work and magical enchantments in Chicago. The address of the building had been the first piece of data in the dossier from Jessie’s email. Kyle wasn’t sure why Thomas had chosen Chicago. Thomas Illusions had relatively little to do with the city; there was one small corporate office there but like most of the big magical firms their headquarters was on the West Coast. Thomas himself had a home about an hour from the city, a lesser vacation retreat on the shore of Lake Michigan. It was a nice place, but by the standards of the Archmagi it was probably a humble cottage. Of course, the relatively weak ties to the location might be just why Thomas had chosen it in the first place. No one would find it odd that he was in the city, but it wouldn’t be the first place someone would look if they were investigating him. The size of Chicago would probably also put off searchers. Likely most of the patients at the facility knew they’d gone to Chicago, but if someone picked them up and blindfolded them after they arrived in the city they wouldn’t know exactly where in Chicago it was.
The facility was on the western edge of the downtown district. As such, it was several miles from Lake Michigan, but someone hadn’t told the cold wet wind that blew through the streets that. As soon as Kyle had stepped out of the cab that brought him from the Mag Lev station his teeth had started chattering. That was OK. He’d be going indoors soon, and he imagined whatever happened next, cold would be the last thing he had to worry about.
He sized up the office building. It was midsized by the Chicago city center standards and had lots of mirrored glass, but very few features. Kyle supposed the lack of character was a plus for someone trying to keep a secret. He closed his eyes and meditated for a moment seeking, and fairly rapidly finding, the flow of magic. It felt exactly as it had when he’d first touched it. The magic didn’t care how it was used. It could heal or it could kill. Humans were as little to it as they were to the sun. Perhaps less. Kyle scooped up his usual thimble full.
He looked around, but the cold and the lateness of the hour had driven most people off the streets. He supposed that was just as well. He didn’t want to attract a crowd. Kyle had brought a backpack of supplies along with him. He pulled chalk from it and drew on the sidewalk tracing out the words and symbols of an old-school spell. It was a long winded piece and he was careful to get it just right, so it took him five or ten minutes. When he finished he could tell it worked, because he felt some of the magic he’d gathered leave him. He waited, but nothing more came of it.
He sighed. A bust then.
The spell had been a risk, it could have left him worse off than before he’d cast it, but it had also been his only hope of getting help. He hadn’t expected nothing to happen. Somehow that was more disappointing than if things had gone poorly. After another few minutes of waiting he shrugged and pulled in more magic to replace what he’d lost.
He crossed the street to the office building and let himself into a parking garage. Its entrance was unmanned and most of it was empty at that hour. He crossed to the elevator at its center. As Dwennon’s notes indicated there were stops for all of the offices floors, as well as G1 though G3: the parking garage floors, and a SB4. If an ordinary person got off in SB4 they’d find a single hallway, some building facilities, and janitorial supplies. They’d be watched but ignored. If they were welcome a door at the end of the hall that seemed to go with a locked storage closet would be unlocked and they’d be able to get into the medical facility. It was the only entrance.
Kyle summoned the elevator then stood in its door and drew the loops of the tekhnikos in the air of the elevator reversing it for darkness. He cast the chi spark at its center then fed the resulting spell power and watched blackness boil out into the elevator. Just before everything was obscured he punched the button for SB4 and stepped off. When the elevator started to move through his spell he moved the spell along with it. Hopefully the guards in the medical facility would have received some sort of warning that a car was coming their way and they’d have a camera to look into it with. Hopefully they’d find the blacked out view distressing.
While the elevator made its way into the sub-basement Kyle hurried over to the building’s stairs at the corner of the parking garage. These went down only to the lowest level of the garage, they couldn’t access SB4 directly. Kyle hurried down them. Through his spell, he felt the car arrive at the bottom of its shaft and open its door. He pushed more power into the spell and it rolled out into the subbasement beyond. He filled the small public space with blackness. If the guards didn’t notice a wall of night rolling across all of their cameras one by one and go to check they weren’t worth their salary. Kyle was counting on Thomas having good guards on his staff.
He pulled the small autocaster he’d retrieved from his office the previous day out of his coat and hooked it to one of the midsized batteries he’d gotten at the same time. It was already set for the spell he’d downloaded into it that same night, the spell Kyle had discovered when he’d first cast blue light, the tesseract that cut through solid matter like butter and seemed to lead somewhere else. Kyle punched the on button and summoned the eerie glowing cube to life in front of him. Then he fed it more power and plunged it through the concrete at his feet. The tumbling lines of energy didn’t make a sound. There was no hiss or pop as they scooped up the concrete and made it vanish from reality.
There was, however, light. As the spell hit the concrete blue light flared so powerfully Kyle shut his eyes without thinking, and then when that was still too bright spun to face the other direction. He’d sort of wondered why that was the brightest blue the tekhnikos could find. Apparently it flared when it was eating something – like the air just after it was cast or something it was pushed into.
After a couple of seconds for it to finish cutting Kyle cut the spell and looked back at the hole in the concreate behind it. It was glass slick and more than wide enough for him to drop though. The only problem was the edges were sharp. He would have cut himself if he hadn’t been careful. He pulled a rope from the backpack, tied it to a post, tossed it into the floor below, and then descended.