A Sufficiently Superior Science
Except for the gasp from his mother the room was so quiet that Carl could hear the cockroaches in the walls. He looked from face to face. His mother was wide-eyed, staring entranced at the miniature sun floating above Carl’s hand. His father was almost bug-eyed. The two Homeland Security Agents were the least surprise or scared.
“Do you recognize what it is?” Carl asked them.
“We call it witch fire. You start with lighting candles and then develop control of the fire.”
“But do you know what it is?”
“So you really don’t know what it is.” His voice dropped as he closed his hand extinguishing the sun.
“Son, Carl, as far as we know it is Magic. Anybody that can learn magic learns it as the first step in practicing the art, watch.” Agent Drake said. He held out his hand and a flame appeared dancing over his palms.
Carl jerked, trying to sit up. His gazed locked onto the dancing flame, then in his mind he came to the conclusion that “Flame minus ‘C’ equal no flame.” And the dancing flame in Agent Drakes hand went out.
He lay back down and took a deep breath.
The flame reappeared in the Agent’s hand and he relaxed. “What happened Drake?”
“I’m not sure just all of a sudden the flame went out.”
“Well, we still don’t know what happened in the basement at their house.”
“Thanks for the reminder. Mr. and Mrs. Black, Carl, that is what we need to know; what happened in your basement? The other agencies are trying to find the chemicals or device that exploded in the basement of your house. From the results they can calculate out the force of the explosion and it is contradictory. It has to be x big and 2x small which is impossible. That, of course, brings us on to the scene. It took them about two hours to come to that conclusion. Let me tell you, none of them likes it but there is a standing order now; if it’s impossible, contact and turn it over to the HLS Anti-Terrorism Division.”
Sometimes we are able to come up with a scientific and rational explanation and can turn it back over to the right agency to finish the investigation. But we have found two flags that say this belongs to us. The first is this book. This book is a big red flag. The second is that flame you showed us a minute ago. We now have two really big red flags.” He turned to the other agent who had been talking on his phone.
“Our agents bounced. She has a force five ward on her home.”
“They joined forces and the ward went up to force 7. The house is now in a shining ball of light. I told them to evacuate the neighborhood and contain the area.”
“Star Trek shields.”
“What did you say?”
“I said she has Star Trek shields. Watch out for her phaser and photon torpedoes.”
“Oh my god! Wolf, tell our agent to pull back but continue evacuation of that neighborhood! Symbolic logic of course, the symbol is the thing!”
“Well, of course Drake almost the first thing we learn.” Wolf answered.
“Carl, explain, how did she visualize the wards?”
“What are you talking about? Wards? Star Trek shields? Phaser?” His dad interrupted them.
“A minute Mr. Black.”
“I told her I did not believe in magic when she loaned me her book.” Carl paused.
“Then she tried to quote me a saying in science fiction. Arthur C. Clarke said it, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” She explained that she had no idea how they made shields on Star Trek but she could make wards that were no different. So I would imagine she would mix her visualizations from her favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies, and she has seen a lot of them. Plus, she has a genius IQ. When we left her house the other night my last sight of her was her floating in a lotus position three feet off the ground. If you hit her wards you might be in trouble. Get me out of here let me introduce you to her.”
“Okay, strong visualization, Wolf, alert Abrigal that we have a super genius sorceress.”
“Do you know what she did in your basement?”
“She did nothing. It was the result of my follow-up to the first example in her book. After I made it work, I took it apart and examined it to determine why and how it worked. When I finally figured it out, I simple rewrote the spell and simplified it. Then just as I did the new spell a complete understanding of the FLAME came to me. It affected my visualization.”
“Oh, how long had you been practicing with the book?”
“Two times, first with the book lighting a candle and then with my simplified spell.”
“What was the change you made in the spell? Circles, four candles for the four elements, name them, and then call on fire to the light the fifth candle.”
“’a’ = ‘A’, ‘b’ = ‘B’, ’c’= ‘C’, ‘d’ = ‘D’, then A plus B plus C plus D equal FLAME”
“But my visualization of FLAME was of the ultimate source of FLAME the SUN I was lucky I used a very small sun.”
“What did you mean that Einstein hated Quantum Physics?”
“Well he did, he called it ‘that spooky thing that works at a distance’. He spent most of his later years trying to come up with unified field theory to explain everything but Quantum Physics kept getting in his way. He could not do it without explaining Quantum Physics and the effect it had on the universe. The laws of contagion and Quantum Physics are the same thing!”
“You are kidding?”
“No I am as serious as a heart attack. That’s why I need to get up and over to Peggy’s house. What if she set up a worm hole? She could suck the whole solar system into it.”
“Wolf, get his doctor in here now!”
“Wait a moment! Carl, you are not going anywhere! You have been injured.” His father was frowning at him.
Wolf came back through the door dragging Carl’s Doctor. “Doctor you need to discharge this kid. We need to go now!” Agent Drake told the Doctor.
“He will be released in the morning.” The Doctor was getting on his high horse.
Agent Drake held out his hand and flames appeared over his palm.”Now doctor! We have no time. The whole town could burn to the ground.”
The bug-eyed doctor grabbed Carl’s records and ran from the room with Agent Wolf on his tail. “Mom, where are my clothes?”
“They cut them off of you when the ambulance brought you to the hospital.” A nurse rushed into the room and began to disconnect him from all the equipment in the room. Needles came out of his arms and patches on his head and chest were ripped off taking hairs with them. The next thing he noticed the room was full of men. One each took his parents by the arms and led them away. Two more moved him into a wheelchair and he was pushed down the hall. His bare ass was freezing against the plastic seat.
In minutes, he was in the center of the middle seat of a black Tahoe with tinted windows which was speeding down a street. In front were two more Tahoes and when he looked over his shoulder at least two more were behind the one he was riding in. Special Agent Drake was not in the Tahoe with him but Wolf was.
“Excuse me Agent Wolf, but what has Magic got to do with Anti-Terrorism?”
Agent Wolf who was riding shotgun turned to look back at him; “That book you had was written by Abrigal Silverlocks. She is 172 years old and about three years ago she decided she wanted to be a published author. Now, as she tells it, she is one of the ten most powerful adepts in the world. She is not sure who the other nine are, which is understandable. Well when she got her book written and published, over one million copies were sold as a kid’s book. Kids have the right mind set to learn magic; they have not reached a time that has hardened their mind to ‘magic’. These kids started to do magic: Real Magic.”
“Some started speculating on whether they should change their older brother into a cute little kitty cat. One boy was thinking “if only that girl was in love with me. Could I write a spell to make her love me?” By the way, Abrigal states that there are no spells for love, just lust. Well, when her fan mail started arriving Abrigal freaked out. Soon she was writing letters to kids all over the US explaining why they should not do what they were speculating on.”
“Hugh, our boss had been on medical leave from a bullet he had taken and the doctors said he would probably be crippled for life. He found the book in a pile of donated material to the rehab he was going to and just to amuse himself he tried the fire spell. Now that spell has a geas on it, so that it is the easiest spell in the book to cast and get to work. Abrigal did that to help encourage the readers to try other spells. That helps to thaw the frozen mindset which is really frozen in adults.”
“Well, he used the health section of the book to help cure his wound and was soon walking with no help: a real miracle cure. He made up some protection charms and shared them with the people on his teams. It did not escape the attentions of his bosses that he was solving cases faster than any other team leader. They also noticed that his people were having fewer injuries than other teams. He got promoted and then he started leaving a copy of the book lying around where members of his teams would pick it up. Soon, he had created a couple of teams whose members could do some magic. Then he started having team meetings after hours and letting us know why we were having such success. Then the day came when we met Abrigal. When she explained to Hugh what had happened and how there were now millions of young budding wizards all over America and how she had to make sure they did not trip over the Tri-fold law, he volunteered our division to help. You really do not want a million Mickey Mouse’s in The Sorcerer Apprentice loose in America.”
“It has become a full time job now! Terrorists? God I wish it was that simple. We had a Novice Sorceress in Texas six months ago who actually met a Goddess and became her appointed Priestess with the ability to call out the Great Hunt. She has now gone off to college in Missouri and we have four agents assigned full time to watch over her.”
“Young females seem to be the best target for learning this stuff.”
The Tahoe slowed down and eased through a road block in seconds. It then turned and headed down the street on which Carl’s aunt and uncle lived.
“What about my aunt and uncle. Uncle Rick should have been at work still?”
“Your father called him and he came home in case your Aunt wanted to go visit your Mom. So, we believe both of them are at their house.”
The Tahoe stopped a block from the house. It was obvious which house it was. Surrounded by a hemisphere that glowed bright even in the mid-day sunlight. “Wow, that is bright. What is the effect you are getting from it?”
“Electrical shock, less than a stun gun on contact. Nothing physical can penetrate it. Laser range finders explode like a stick of dynamite.”
“Ouch that was Dune.”
“Yeah, in Frank Herbert’s book Dune. When lasers are used against the shields the laser generators explode almost like atomic bombs.”
“God, not quite that bad! Our man that tried that ended up in the hospital with his hand shattered and his arm broken but he will recover.”
“Good, but you see why I insisted that I needed to get here?”
“Yeah, we have learned not to kick the door down and rush one of you kids when we find you. That Sorceress I was talking about, we still have not been able to get into her lab in her basement. She has these real huge dogs that are three or four hundred pounds with red glowing eyes that seem to be able to walk through walls. She says they are Hell Hounds and we believe her. She is more like you, not your cousin. She once got to talking about quantum entanglement and just lost all of us.”
“Quantum Entanglement? I had not even thought about that. Let me think, yeah… that would work!!!!”
“Agent Wolf! Tell Agent Drake I need that book he found in my room.”
Carl stood outside the Tahoe about a block from Peggy’s house. Carl was making a circle in the dirt of an alley. In the circle, the book lay on the ground and Carl stood over the book. The circle was over eight feet in diameter. He pointed at the north side of the circle and a flame appeared burning brightly. He rotated to face the south side and pointed and another flame burst into being. Then the east side and the west side. His parents stood outside the circle near the Tahoe with a couple of agents who watch interestingly.
His mother was in his father’s arms as both watched with gaping mouths. Carl relaxed, trying to not think of his parents. He had to get to Peggy. A field appeared around him, glowing brightly like the Ward around his aunt and uncle’s house. He did the mental equation that showed the book was part of Peggy and as such belonged inside her house. Since the book was part of his circle, if the book belongs inside Peggy’s house so did the circle. With a loud bang the circle imploded and he, the book and the circle were all gone.
For a moment he was dazed. Then he got a grip on himself and stood up straight. He was standing in Peggy’s bedroom. He bent over to pick up the book. His backless gown split wide and he mooned the whole bedroom. Standing up he exited the bedroom. He could hear Aunt Clara and Uncle Rick talking down stairs so he headed there. He found them in the Breakfast room. Peggy was setting quietly in her chair eating a cookie and drinking her milk.
“Rick, what is going on? Those trucks drove up and men surrounded the house and then that glow surrounded the house and now we can’t see out or leave!”
“I have no idea Clara. When I touched it, it shocked me but not like a deadly electrical shock more like a warning. When I punched it with the broom handle it could not go through it.” Carl could see Peggy looking from her mother to her dad. When she was not drinking her milk she was biting her lips.
“Aunt Clara, Uncle Rick, I will try and explain it to you. Oh Peggy, I really believe in Magic now!”
“Carl! How did you get here? How are you? The last we heard you were in the hospital.”
“Rick, hush, can’t you see he’s wearing one of those awful hospital gowns.”
Carl, in the meantime, had caught his cousin up in his arms as she had thrown herself across the room. “It’s ok, Peggy.”
Then Peggy backed out of his arms and looked him over. “How did you get through my shields?”
“Shields, what shields? What are you talking about Peggy?”
“Everybody hold it!” Carl held up his hands.
“I was in the hospital until I heard what was happening here at your house. I did not even have any clothes; they had cut mine off of me. Peggy, I simply did a ‘Beam me up Scotty!’”
“A transporter beam! Cool!”
“Well not really a transporter bean; but something similar. I had your book and that book was yours and should be with you. I had the books so I should be with you too. Get it?”
“Oh, Carl you are so smart!”
“Hey Kiddo look!” with that a ball of glowing flames appeared floating in mid air!
“It is not burning any fuel here it’s being fueled at its place of origin.”
“What the hell!” Uncle Rick had grabbed Aunt Clara and backed away.
“Wow, that’s really cool! You are the smartest person in the world Carl.”
“Any way Peggy we have a lot of Federal Agents outside that wants to talk to you. They really like your shields but they are kind of scared that something could go wrong. It turns out that the author of your book has to police all of her fans that read her book. She has to keep them from causing real problems.”
“Aunt Clara, do you have anything of mine here that I could wear?”
With that question, she settled down and hurried to find him some clothes. “Those cookies look good. I have not had anything to eat in hours.”
Peggy rushed into the kitchen and came back with a plate of cookies and a bottle of orange juice. She set it down on the table and hurried back into the kitchen. She returned while he was busy drinking the orange juice and gobbling cookies. She had made him a lunch meat sandwich. The sandwich quickly followed the cookies into his stomach.
“Here you go Carl, I don’t know how I got them but I knew I had seen them not to long ago.”
Carl grabbed the clothes and stood up. Looking around, he saw both Aunt Clara and Peggy watching him. “I know I am kind of interesting but can you please turn around until I get dressed.”
With that, they both laughed and turned their backs on him. He quickly dropped the gown and slipped the jeans on without any underwear and then pulled the shirt over his head. He felt a million times better being covered up and he sat back down.
Carl explained about Peggy loaning him her book on magic and how he had caused an explosion in his lab in the basement.
“You’re saying that Magic is real?” His Uncle Rick had asked.
“Of course Magic is Real, it’s in the Bible! That means it’s real.” Aunt Clara insisted. His Uncle waited until she was looking at Carl and Peggy before he looked up at the ceiling and shrugged.
“I don’t know how to answer that question, it is and it ‘ain’t’. Arthur Clark said that Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Peggy used her idea of science fiction and fantasy to create effects that were basically pure magic. I could not accept that until she reminded me of what Arthur C. Clarke had stated. I approached it from the viewpoint that it was not really magic but a superior science or technology and that worked for me. A spell is an equation that expresses what you want to happen. I took a spell and rewrote it in a form I understood and not only did it work but it was a hundred times more powerful.”
“But you have to be careful who learns it. It is like nitroglycerin. It’s really quite simple. I could write out how to make it so that any high school chemistry student could make it. But that would not be a good idea, because most high school kids are not mature enough to not make it. Oh Peggy, when I did that beam me up I used a ritual to do it and I felt that ruler being waved behind me in that really big hand. It was a very scary feeling. But when I almost blew up our house, I felt nothing.”
“We need to lower your shields and make contact with the Feds outside.”
It took a couple of hours, not just to drop the shields but to do it in an orderly fashion.
Over the next couple of days things in the small town went back to normal or as normal as a town with two new young magic users can ever get.
My thanks to Grumpybear and TeNderLoin and TxAgBand for their editing and proofing help. But the final results are mine and all criticism should be loaded onto my shoulders.
© Virgil Lee Fuqua III and ‘vlfouquet.wordpress’, 2008-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vlfouquet and Virgil Lee Fuqua III with appropriate and specific direction to the original contents.