The window didn’t make a lot of sound breaking. It was more like a dropped bowl than anything more dramatic. It did come apart with a fair amount of force. A small shard of glass tumbled out and stitched a cut across Kyle’s cheek. That was the first thing Kyle noticed, the sting of it in his cheek. He reached up, and touched it, and when he brought his hand away it was bloody. He looked at it in confusion for a second before turning back towards Jessie.
He never got to complete the action, and as such, he never quite figured out what he was going to say. Probably something stupid like, “Pardon me, but does my face have a hole in it?” The interruption in that bit of eloquence came when he saw a small canister laying on the floor. Kyle thought it looked most like generic bug spray. The can was mostly silver, short and squat with a lot of writing on the side. The only thing that set it apart from any other store bought aerosol can was the bit on the top. Jessie had seen the window break as well. She’d had enough time to stand and turn toward the can. Then there was a little, “pop,” sound like a muffled fire cracker and the can transformed itself into a rapidly expanding white cloud.
Later, Kyle would have time to take it all in and realize he’d been looking at a canister of riot control gas. Furthermore, it hadn’t transformed at all, just triggered and ruptured under the pressure of it’s contents. At the time, the cloud of white swelled up and engulfed him before rational thoughts could form.
Kyle had a bit more time to process while standing in the cloud. The cloud of gas could have been several different things, a phosphorus smoke grenade, laughing gas, tear gas, or stun solution. Given that he was neither vomiting or feeling like his eyes were being burnt out he assumed it wasn’t one of the irritants. Further, given that he’d suddenly become dizzy and the floor was looking like a great bed he thought stun spray was the most likely of the remaining candidates.
He’d read about stun spray, though perhaps in this form it would be better to call it stun gas or stun mist, when he was researching magical products. The compound, was a mixture of chemicals that weren’t actually magical, but that were manufactured using magic due to their complexity. In the ordinary course of events those same chemicals were output by the human glandular system to prepare the body for sleep. So ingesting the artificial brew via inhalation caused the brain to trigger a sleep cycle in about three quarters of the general population when there were no external factors like amphetamines or magic in the mix. The remaining quarter of the population had various reactions ranging from an immune response in certain genetically recessive populations to a complete non-reaction. However, the lion’s share of individuals not rendered unconscious sort of failed to sleep, but didn’t exactly stay awake either. The literature had said it was a sort of conscious beta cycle much like a drug induced fugue or meditation. This state was also said to be suitable for crowd control.
And, Kyle found, it was.
Laying on the floor of the low rent hotel room he was at one with the universe in a way he’d sought, but never found, during countless Karate classes. He saw, or at least visualized, the vast curve of the world beneath him and on it’s surface he was a tiny thing. His problems were tiny things. The men outside were ever so close to him, and though they bore him animosity that animosity was tiny as well. In the grand scheme of things. He exhaled and tiny fragments of his being floated away to join the universe. He inhaled and the universe flowed into him. Magical energy came in with the universe and relaxed him and expanded his mind. It was all very straight forward and Kyle felt bad, in a sort of a distant way, for not getting it earlier. He thought he might have to talk to Jun about getting some stun grenades for the meditation period of the class. Surely he wouldn’t be the only student to find them a useful aid.
Time had passed while Kyle lay on the floor and experienced a drug induced true oneness with all things. That was bad because the gas had mostly cleared and soon the small men with their small animosities would be coming in to scoop Kyle’s largely limp form up and drag him off. He still wasn’t exactly clear what would happen at that point. The best possibility was probably that he’d face a coercion attempt from Thomas the Illusionist. There was also a distinct possibility he’d experience a fake accident and end up in a shallow grave where his body would rejoin the universe via the somewhat more permanent and total process of decomposition.
The hotel room was clearly visible again. There was a patch of white clinging to the floor where the canister had been, but the wind from the open window had swept everything else out of the way. Breathing clean air made Kyle feel a little more alert and he took deep breaths. It was also nice to picture inhaling universal magic. He thought he was building up a pretty good charge. He wasn’t laying such that he could see most of his body, but his nose was glowing amber in the corner of his eye, and the skin only started to glow when a mage was pretty near their absolute limit.
“I think we’re almost clear,” a voice called from outside near the window. “I don’t see any movement. I think we got them both. Back the van up.”