ATTENTION! Starter serials goes dark on April 4th, 2016!
My plan is to see this as an opportunity, finish writing the second book before the 4th, then rework the books for submission to agents and after that when they’ve been roundly rejected self-publishing. If anyone wants to get an update when the book has found a permanent home my email address is crumjd @ gmail . com write me there and I’ll send you a message when the book finds its final home. I won’t spam you. It’s not a corporate account or anything and I have neither the time nor the energy to offer you ways to enlarge your genitalia. In the interim I’ll probably be doing some stories on https://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/ my username is crumjd there as well.
Kyle’s head hurt. He slumped in front of his spinning wheel and massaged his temple trying to quiet the roaring ache that had sprung up there some time a little after noon. He knew it wasn’t doing any good. The headache would only respond to two things. Rubbing his forehead, pain pills, even strong alcohol wouldn’t do any good. Sleep would help. That would come, ever so slowly, tonight when he was too exhausted to stay awake any longer. Then, somewhere around midnight he’d start to toss and turn, he’d probably feel too hot, he’d certainly feel hungry or like he had to go to the bathroom, and eventually he’d wake without getting nearly the sleep he should have to face a full day of work, but at least the headache would be gone for a little bit. He was trying to avoid doing the other thing that could help his head.
A light on the top of the spinning wheel changed from green to amber. Kyle willed it to go back to green. That could happen. It didn’t typically, maybe only about 10% of the time, but the very nature of the sensor now being tripped meant it could easily be wrong now and again. Kyle really hoped it was one of those times. He felt he was overdue. Instead the same little light went red and the machine started to emit a low unhappy whine. Kyle’s low moan echoed that of the machine for a brief moment. He was fairly sure no one in the surrounding cubicles would hear.
When he lowered his head against it man and machine made an odd scene. Despite it’s name a spinning wheel looked very little like classic textile equipment. The device was cylindrical, flat white, about a yard tall, and around a foot in diameter. There was a door in the front of the machine that could be opened to allow for the addition of more consumables which came in packages similar to laser printer ink. The top also opened, so the carbon nanofiber cable it “spun” could be removed. An oversized power cable hooked it into the buildings electrical system. A second, superconductive, cable carried merlitons into the machine. Finally, a USB cable linked it to Kyle’s desktop computer.
He swatted his mouse, waking the computer up. The machine’s diagnostic program was already up on the screen reporting the data from dozens of sensors inside the machine. Conductivity and temperature were in the red zone meaning physics for those items was returning to normal. Hypothetically, there was a wide range of diagnostics he could have performed to figure out the precise problem with the spell. In practice, Kyle didn’t need them. He knew almost all the ways the spell could fail and he already knew what would have happened to result in these readings. With that sort of predictability the wheel should have fixed itself, only that company had raced to market with beta release junk and now everyone was giving themselves migraines to keep it working.
Kyle closed his eyes. He could have been drifting off to sleep. His breathing slowly stilled becoming imperceptible. He could have been dead. It was actually a trance, his mind floated in a meditative state somewhere outside of his body.
Somewhere near magic.
Kyle always perceived it as a river of molten gold. A flow of energy both vast and beautiful. It contained more power than anyone could ever use. Power enough to destroy and remake the entire universe ten thousand times – ten thousand thousand. Gently he reached out and diverted a handful of the flow through his own body. That energy soothed the headache. That was second thing that could fix his headache. It also expanded his awareness beyond anything else a mortal could experience.
He opened his eyes which now glowed with a cool amber light and looked at the machine. With that expanded awareness he saw deep inside it. Below its broad physical structure, beyond the fine detail of the materials that made it up, beyond even the atoms of the molecules that made it up, down into the chaotic and ever shifting froth of reality’s lowest level.
He moved his hands over the spinning wheel. They left faintly glowing trails of amber behind them. He extended one finger, willing the power out into it and making it glow more brightly as he did so. Now he wrote in the air, quickly and confidently. He’d done this hundreds of time before after all, a good dozen even today. The glowing lines spelled out the equations of conductivity. First he wrote them correctly, then he struck out terms and replaced them with better more desirable states. Finally he sealed the spell to itself and to the machine with an intricate looping symbol and threw the last of his power into it.
There was a flash; his reality merged with another, the carbon atoms being processed by the spinning wheel stopped tumbling in an uncoordinated way. Instead the mundane components of the machine were able to grab and manipulate them. They began, once again, to roll and rattle along like product on an assembly line.
As the last of the magic in him evaporated both his enhanced senses and the magical suppression of his pain vanished. The migraine from earlier returned with such a dreadful vengeance he thought he’d pass out.