It turned out the modern spell could magnify a lot of current into an incredible amount of current.
Lightning jumped out of the lightning bolt symbol, through the ring of physics equations, and hit the Registrar as a full sized lightning bolt. Which was to say: enough electricity to span miles of clouds, light up the entire countryside, and contain a billion volts of power. The Registrar’s shield did a yeoman’s job of deflecting the power. Tendrils of electricity hit it, reflected, and grounded on every available surface. Power licked out and into the floor, more hit and ran to ground down the bubble of power around Thomas, and thick lines reflected into the lights. The power to those lights blew, and a shower of sparks rained down rapidly followed by a rain of glass still glowing with the chemicals of the florescent bulbs.
The hallway wasn’t rendered dark, because the lightning wasn’t gone. Instead it broke through the Registrar’s shield and hit the Registrar itself. Strands of light branched and rolled all across the rose shape running up it to discharge into the electrical work and down it to ground into the floor. The strike seemed to take forever. The Registrar didn’t really react, as such, but it stopped rotating, sank down a few inches, and then all its colors faded, grew washed out, and it vanished.
Thomas stood. His shield was gone and, as he got to his feet, he grabbed his head in a gesture Kyle recognized very well. He apparently had a migraine from over-using magic. However, there was also a broad grin on his face. “There, I never did like that busybody.”
He took another step forward and drew in a big slow breath maybe intent on saying something else, maybe drawing in more magic. Whatever it was, he didn’t get the chance. From the central point of the space where the rose had been a knife stabbed into the air out of nothing. Kyle didn’t really know much about medieval weaponry but he thought it was a long sword. It was very long at any rate, it looked pitted and used as well. Another blade stabbed out after the first, this was a Damascus steel dagger of some sort, or at least the blade of one.
Thomas had taken a couple of steps away from the blades and looked worried. They began to rotate and a third joined them. This blade looked modern and industrial, like the ceramic machine blades Kyle had seen for assembly lines. A fourth appeared almost immediately, a broadsword which looked like a cross between a club and a blade. Then there a fifth and sixth slid into reality too quickly for Kyle to get much of an impression of them beyond metallic deadliness. The blades were all spinning blurs at this point. They seemed quite capable of passing through each other, which was good because dozens of new ones were joining the mass every second. It looked like nothing so much as a mechanical grinder constructed by something that was a little hazy on the concept of contiguous space-time filling the hallway.
The Registrar spoke again. Its voice was painfully loud but hadn’t otherwise changed to suit the new form, “Your sentence will be carried out now!”
Thomas drew lines of magic and shouted the words of a spell while backing away rapidly. This time Kyle didn’t recognize any of it. The Registrar slid rapidly down the hall toward him. About three feet from Thomas some sort of shield sprang into being. It looked like the air had frozen or grown solid. Presumably it was a good shield, but it didn’t last long. The solid air exploded into white flakes when the blades hit it covering the ground with something like snow. The Registrar moved forward again.
Thomas turned to run, but the Registrar jolted forward faster than Thomas could react. Kyle spun away so he wouldn’t see something he couldn’t unsee. The sounds were bad enough. The hallways behind Kyle were empty, the bounty hunters had escaped at some point. Kyle was no longer worried about Thomas attacking him from behind. He shot a look at Jessie and they ran for it.
* * *
They didn’t make it out of the parking garage before the Registrar caught up to them, but it was in its tulip form so Kyle decided not to flee in abject terror. It spoke without preamble, “I will play what Thomas said to you before I made my presence apparent back to the other signatories of the compact, and I will inform them about his punishment. Have you contacted anyone regarding your own knowledge of Technicos Lux?”
Kyle nodded then asked, “Are you going to call the police?”
“I have no agreement with the police, and I do not require their aid. You are free to call them if you wish. How long ago did you attempt to contact the Archmagi about the technicos?”
“A couple of days.”
“In that case, someone will probably contact you shortly. They are busy and even I have difficulties eliciting a quick response from them. Though, perhaps, reports of this incident will be an exception.” The tulip floated calmly in the air. Or, at least, Kyle thought the things voice had seemed calm. He wasn’t really sure. He had a hard time thinking of anything that was less suited to displaying emotion than a floating flower. Perhaps a spinning mass of non euclidean blades; though that had displayed malevolence quite effectively. “You will be trained. This is the first time I have known a signatory to the compact to shirk their training responsibilities.”
Kyle nodded mutely, “I can call the police if I want?”
“Yes, but you are no longer in danger. Thank you for alerting me to this violation of the compact. I will go now.” With that the tulip floated away. It was a somewhat anticlimactic departure. Kyle had expected, at a minimum, a teleportation spell or some sort of understated fade out. It just drifted over to the stairway and ascended like it planned to take a bus home. Perhaps, it was going back to where he’d originally cast the summoning spell. Either way it was going. Kyle decided not to complain.