Wizard Casts Superior Darkness

Kyle realized the men would be inside in another minute. His head was still full of universal oneness but he knew that was bad. He was never going to get to forgive Jessie. Realizing that he’d regret that came as a bit of a surprise, but he quickly decided he really should forgive her. Maybe she needed the silent treatment for a while longer, but she hadn’t had any real malice towards him, and he had to take that into account. Then again he was on drugs. He should probably table a firm decision and focus on getting to safety. He wondered if he could move and swiped a hand through the air as a test. It moved just fine, so he could do things. Maybe he could escape. After all, he had magic.

He drew in the air. The bindings of tekhnikos lux were now almost as familiar to Kyle as his name. This time he flooded the power store with energy and inverted the bindings that selected for light just like he had when demoing the magic to Taylor at Dream Worlds. He lit off the chi burst with a small flourish just as the door to the hotel room started to open. Darkness ripped outward covering everything.

Kyle had never done the spell before with so much power or such a wide open limiter binding. It was, he rapidly realized as his head cleared by another notch, a mind bogglingly stupid risk to take. What if the best effect for absorbing light had changed oxygen molecules such that water broke down? That wasn’t far fetched, the atmosphere was 25% oxygen. He and everyone else in range would have been destroyed at a sub-molecular level more or less instantly.

For the first time since learning about the tekhnikos, Kyle wondered if the Archmagi were keeping a lid on them for a very good reason. Visible light, and visible dark yields for that matter, were at least a little bit safe because any magic going to non-light things like breaking down water was essentially wasted and thus there was probably a more efficient, and incidentally safer, way of doing things. However, if he’d tuned it to a frequency nitrogen tended to absorb…

Kyle didn’t really want to think about the fireball that would have made.

Still, he’d achieved his goal. There were shouts of, “I’m blind,” and other similar exclamations coming from outside and through the walls of the room. Kyle couldn’t see any better than anyone else, but that was a problem he could solve. He was still carrying a fair amount of magic, he reached out with it and injected some into the dark spell which allowed him to take control of it. Once it was a part of his magical awareness he could feel it extended about 7 blocks in all directions including directly up and down. It was also pulling power at a prodigious rate. Cheap didn’t mean free. Mentally he moved the magic until it was confined to a disk extending three blocks from him and 10 feet above the ground.

With that adjustment in place, he could hold the spell for a while. Next, he made a small hole around himself so he could see. He kept it pretty tight, but it was still big enough to expose one of the room’s small lamps. The scene that revealed was slightly surreal. A circle of hotel room was visible, and it was exactly the same: dingy, run down. However, it all ended in a wall of black like a felt curtain had been hung in a circle around him.  When Kyle moved he made the hole in the light absorption move with him, and that was just creepy. The black lost its illusion of solidity and his imagination was left to suggest reality was being created and destroyed just a few feet away. There was also still a little bit of the stun mist in his system, and that didn’t help his mental stability.

Jessie’s feet were visible by the bed so Kyle walked over to her exposing the remainder of her body. She was out cold and would probably remain that way for another fifteen to forty five minutes while the chemicals in her blood broke down. Fortunately, she was fairly light, and he was able to pick her up with a little struggle and the help of the bed she lay beside. With more fumbling, enough that he surely got to at least second base, he eventually got her slung over his shoulder in a rough fireman’s carry.

Aside from the physical work of it, getting Jessie out of the hotel was pretty easy. He didn’t see anyone as he did so. Kyle didn’t know what the ordinary people caught in his spell were doing. He assumed most everyone was trying to call 911 on a phone they couldn’t see.  None of them were near him. The people that had been hunting him had better reason to think “spell” when the lights had gone out. Kyle didn’t see them either, so they’d probably retreated to the edge of the darkness.

That was fine. Unless they’d brought a huge team they wouldn’t be able to cover the entire perimeter of his darkness, and he should be able to slip by them. He was having to leave Jessie’s car, of course, but even on foot they should be OK. There was some risk in takeing Jessie at all. He had to assume she had led them to him, either by accident or on purpose, but she couldn’t do that a second time slumped over his shoulder like a rag doll. The inconvenience of being carried around the city unconscious was also going to be a pretty good punishment if she’d been lying to him.

Following that plan he picked a direction at random and headed out of the zone of darkness.

Dancing In The Dark

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.

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12 comments on “Wizard Casts Superior Darkness
  1. DeNarr says:

    Ok, good. I was worried for a moment that he was keeping the darkness centered around him, which would eventually be a dead giveaway as to where he was.

    Also, I’m imagining all that damage he just did with that spell. A 3-block radius of absolute darkness. He will be lucky if he did not cause any deaths. Though I guess automated cars would help with that.

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Ooops, maybe I shouldn’t have cut the line about all the stopped cars. 😉 When I reread last night I thought it was distracting from the main action. I think the next update still talks about that a little.

      If we take cars out of the equation I’m not sure how likely he is to have killed someone. My gut feeling is anyone moving entirely under their own power would be fairly safe. People above the ground are also safe-ish because the darkness only covered them briefly. You might get some slip-and-fall accidents in showers, but that’s about the worst I can think of.

      Still, long term, this might be a place I need to change things slightly:
      * Make the initial sphere of darkness smaller.
      * Have him *expand* it to the three block radius, but maybe at a rate where people can see it coming and react.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • AvidFan says:

        Sorry to be a bother, but I noticed a small error in your reply.
        “at a rate where people can see it coming and react.”
        I think you mean:
        “at a rate where people can see it coming and panic.”
        Or more likely:
        “at a rate where people can see it coming scream as they witness what to them will seem like the apocalypse as the world is devoured by darkness.”

        If the police were to discover he was the one to create the darkness, he will likely have a few bills to pay for the treatment of the trauma victims. 😉

      • DeNarr says:

        I also find it interesting that the hunters would assume it was a darkness spell that they needed to get out of, as opposed to a spell that blinded them.

        • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

          Good point. That’s probably something I should address in my long discussed rewrite.

          However, they’ve got a couple of reasons to assume it’s darkness:
          * A spell directed at their vision would required targeting if the caster didn’t want to blind everyone (including himself) and they didn’t see him target them.
          * They aren’t in any pain. Magic (probably) exists to blind without causing pain, but most of it would hurt as the most direct way to blind someone is damaging their eyes.
          * They know Kyle is an illusionist and he isn’t considered that dangerous. Yet…

          There could also be some wishful thinking involved.

      • irrevenant says:

        He panicked and initially threw out a much bigger area of effect than he intended. He “didn’t know his own strength” Then he had to dial it back.

        I don’t know that it really makes sense to start smaller. Firstly, I don’t know if Kyle would be restrained enough to start conservatively under the circumstances. And narratively, you lose that “Wow!” moment where Kyle reveals how powerful the technikos actually is.

  2. Rai says:

    Hosed from work, so commenting late, but:
    I am curious how universal oneness works with that amount of strategical thinking Kyle’s doing about the situation. I guess it might make his thinking more clear? I always imagined if I went into universal oneness or something like that I’d sorta wanna bask in the calm oneness of my mind and isolate myself from the outside world. I guess I’m surprised he’s not isolating himself from the immediate problems. Then again I haven’t tried enough meditation to know.

    But man, Kyle needs more wide area knock-out spells (a.k.a. AoE CC) at his disposal.

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      I guess, I basically just saw his head clearing pretty rapidly.

      Tossing the spell was almost instinctual: “Oh, crud, I’m going to get hauled off to prison. Eat dark!” Then: “Ooops, it’s dark and I won’t hold this long, better pull it in some.”

      By the time he has picked Jessie up his heart is going and he’s thinking almost normally. Still his strategy mostly boils down to, “Run!”

      Also, yeah he definitely needs to learn a few more defensive spells.

  3. irrevenant says:

    Just checking: “Darkness ripped outward covering everything.” ripped or rippled?

    “The scene that reveled was slightly surreal”. Revealed.

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