The following story is entirely a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, Intellectual properties, fictitious events, or actual properties, places, or actual events is purely coincidental or necessary for the Alternate History portion of this work. If any such articles or entities are used or referenced, they are being utilized in accordance with fair use or parody laws.
This work is not yet intended for sale,
It is a work in progress.
As such, all names and some concepts until the time of the books completion are intended as placeholder. Some, which may even bear relationships to known and copyrighted I.P's, or places, people, or things in reality - are either the result of "Alternate History" writing (Which is to say fictitious fantasy writing) or are only labeled as such as temporary reminders of inspiring work or events...
Or are simply parodies of existing material.
This work is ultimately aimed at young adults, and as such, difficult concepts will be toned down through both language, and implications in the final draft; allowing younger minds to contend with the story vehicles in a way which is appropriate, and to interpret the story in ways which are not detrimental to their education in real science.
It is my hope that older audiences will pick up what I'm laying down.
"You don't need to be a magician, to do something special, Howell."
- Professor Hendrix
Howell stood in the door of the class, unable to find his seat.
"A spell," Instructor Razuvius began,
"Is pure power given form."
He certainly felt he had artificially inflated his own voice with enough oomph to reach the back of the hall, but he couldn't ever be sure, down at his desk.
"Much like the spell I am using to amplify my voice now, It is the opposite of the Einstienian theory that one can turn matter to energy - it is, the now proven scientific anecdote, that one can transmogrify energy into complex organizations of ions and atoms - otherwise known as matter - in the desired order. With predictable patterns such as the one's being generated by my voice, it is especially easy to do so.
The way the interface works, involves a Neural Uplink. Which means that those who are not a part of the Hivemind Initiative cannot perform this sort of magic. The interface then reads your intentions, and after programming and training various cognitive cues, it will respond, and stimulate the corresponding conduits in reality directly through your thoughts.
There are of course, other methods.
But this is a class on Sourcery - and Sourcery requires a source.
By utilizing visual representations of physical laws in a computer simulation, we are conducting a sort of energy-matter surgery, creating energetic additions to what is already there, or by binding energetic atoms and ions into a solid matter state.
This is done through the use of an anomalous channel, also known as a connection to the underlying energy source powering reality... In short, to conduct sourcery is to play with and on some fundamental level, altar, the quantum nature of reality."
"Typically this creative and tremendously complicated task is accomplished by a combination of artifacts which comprise one's Source; and give rise to the title of the class of Anomaly as "Sourcery."
a Source, which an energy or material, or a spaciagraphic to be drawn from, and that has been prepared for adaptation - and an artificial worm hole-gun - a neat little piece of technology which acts more like a pen or a stylus than a gun (though that is technically what it is), and is otherwise known as a Wand. Having such a capability to alter the world around us has changed things in the last few years drastically - and it has trivialized the act of manipulating energy through the same conduits, as long as it remains within the bounds of what the law of equivalency allows for.
Of course, laws of physics like Energy-Matter equivalence still apply, even when dealing with quantum science, regardless of which task you are performing... even those involving causality - and so do things like human understanding of these issues.
Our intuition, is in fact, the only thing separating us from our own destruction with such an incredible tool in our hand. One must be disciplined in the matter of not even thinking incorrectly while utilizing such a powerful neurologically linked tool as the Wand. Therefore, there are two classes of people in regards to magical capability and instruction.
Computer scientists, who can program things on computers, and are otherwise mad poets of a strange and foreign language, who's potential is as limited as the resouces in the known universe - and ordinary citizens, or laymen, otherwise known, who are utilizing these tools for work, or convenience sake. "
"Now, there is nothing wrong with the latter, certainly, but you are attending this university to become the former."
This use of magic to project his voice, was, however small, a trespass against common law - a misdemeanor crime of inundating the Supreme Intellect's Complex Facility with (what the Hand of Justice saw as) potentially malicious minutiae - and doing so, was the least harmful, and smallest version of a modern cyber-crime... But somehow, easy to overlook when an instructor did it.
To do so with any frequency, due to the number of directives required, was considered to be not unlike a Denial of Service attack in the days of primitive simulation theory technology - many comparisons of course, can be drawn between this and from early personal computing technology and the bureaucracies developed therein. Far before the advent of the first Quantum Computer Machine equipped with a Simulation Theory interface - the groundwork for many of the laws regarding computers were laid - and although, with modern machine performance and Moore's law taken into account, many of these previously disruptive methods of conjuration were easily operable without denying anyone service - or even being noticeable on the public ledger at all - casting any number of spells would not come close to that level of disruption of service which was initially a concern and which earlier bureaucrats deemed worthy of criminal punishment.
When The Complex was just a room full of servers, and particle accelerators could only collide one particle at a time, and very primitively and inefficiently, and with little to no associated guidance as to the shape of the resulting matter or it's subsequent breakdown.
"All things are from an economic stand point, in short, are worth cheapening, however. So I am here to disillusion you from the superstitious belief in magic which is so commonplace - and replace such childish superstition with adult realities about the science. So Listen up."
He smiled - Bigly - as only he could do.
To Razuvius to even acknowledge such a tresspass was nonsense. All of it was in fact, nonesense, but to spend any time at all on such a thing was a preposterous waste of breath, let alone human resources, and so, he doubted it would ever see trial, in even the worst circumstances - and utilized this fact to his advantage in the unending conflict which was the proxy-war of teacher's rights vs moral obligations regarding magic.
"This class is an introduction to Sourcery; which is, the use of a Source (hence the name), to alter physical reality - otherwise known from here on out as "The Simulation." We call it this based on the theory that each and ever reality is only a simulation - which is to say, made up of simpler information which unwraps itself - blooming, in a sense, into reality by it's own ascribed dynamics. The primary goal of the science therein developed to manipulate this process, required such a great source of energy it was unlikely that humanity could have developed a simple tool to recreate it's effect; and so, it required an incredible power source and an incredibly rational intellect to calculate for it's purposes. The result was the creation of the first self improving all purpose A.I... Or... otherwise simply known as a technological singularity. A moment in which all things begin to meet a central point; the result of which was what we have today; we have a robotic voice, transmute human intentions, into physical manifestations of reality itself THROUGH the Quantum Channel. Or put simply... Sourcery."
"and what an incredible concept! My first year students, you are in for so much here! How much problem and error trialing would need to be done. How many textbooks could therein need to be written in such a subjects instruction! How many cryptic grimoires store advice both magical and mundane, in relation to this; the Anomalous Science.
"I know what you're thinking. We should explore those avenues of trial and error for purposes of educating. We could then monopolize the sale of which to further compound the expense of attending a University! Out of absolute necessity!"
Razuvius laughed maniacally.
"But in all seriousness. We are all equal to the task of advancing the science. So take your academic career seriously."
"As you have probably surmised trial and error could only be so efficient. You would be absolutely right. That was many millenia ago. A thousand years later, and you might arrive in modern time, where the A.I was truly born - and the people rejoiced - for it had solutions to scarcity - and even, to entropy. All which will be subjects visited in other more advanced classes. For now I am only here to make sure you at least know what it is you are being trained to use."
To tell an instructor of the Anomalous Science, and the first teacher these students would ever get who instructed in Sourcery itself, not to utilize it to demonstrate, was anti-intellectual garbage as far as Razuvius was concerned.
It utilized less electrical energy to amplify his voice this way than a speaker system, and it was less dangerous substantially than wiring and surging electrical current throughout the walls of this ancient, relic of an auditorium classroom which would just as soon catch fire. As well as this, someone finding it on the backlog, was the equivalent of complaining about having a surplus of pennies on a merchant register - for to utilize the excess anomalous energy produced by the systems major spells, conjurations, and channeled rituals, substantially reduced the stress on the governing systems of the Supreme. It was, in short, the equivalent of discharging an excess into use, rather than grounding it - acts which made little to no difference as long as they were performed - one or the other, and which could, in Razuvius's eyes, be the only moral solutions to that energetic excess.
Yet, it was against Magic Law. Talk about a _________
But just you try explaining science to a bureaucrat.
He would be forced to digress, however, if it were ever to be brought up - for the sake of peace in his autonomy over his classroom... Far before he would ever see Issue through The Hand itself, he would be forced to contend with spiteful colleagues.
All of that was because once upon a time, when the device was first built, and it's hardware substantially less capable .
- (over nearly a thousand years ago, now) -
these laws of course, made a lot more sense - back when utilizing such an advanced and important scientific instrument was in fact wasteful and stupid...
And potentially disrupting the service of more important tasks assigned to it.
Again, due to Moore's Law, and the advancing growth rate of technology at this point being in exponential territory on a bell curve, it was not even a triviality.
It was in fact more damaging to even bring the issue up at all, on a human level, than it had the potential to be on a technical one. Beaurocracy however... As Razuvius had learned in his few hundred years upon the Earth... Was a slow beast to change - and fed on such petty and pointless conflict when there were not more nutritious articles to feast on.
Beaurocracy appeared to him, a living animal, which moved only at the speed of public opinion and democratic process - and so it housed all of the petty rivalries and political drama therein.
The modern bureaucracy although substantially sped up by things like the advent of "The Social Contract" and Neural Linking technology was still incredibly slow by comparison to any individual, and therefore, there were many individuals far in advance of it, as far as social moral understanding of the modern setting.
Even with all the changes to the face of politics in the last thousand years... Not in any history anywhere, on any timeline, in any alternate reality, had any bureaucratic system been able to keep up with the changing of the times. Much less had one such system been able to keep up with the incredible, astounding exponential growth associated with something grown as extreme as Moore's Law in regards to computing power...
If a Wizard s to be one thing; it should be practical
Was his only true thought of it.
Of course, it turned out his voice would carry further and louder than he anticipated even with only the smallest modicum of the anomalous added to it - so, as he listened to it carry into an avalanche, which he quickly lost control of, he was filled with the most minor form of regret.
In the distance it resounded and hurt even his ears down here, from so far - causing him to squint his eyes, and frown - from the piercing break of sound.
This was of course, the basic trade off when using magic as compared to traditional methods of voice amplification - and was such a known phenomenon among Sourcerer's that it even had a name.
They called it "The Uncertainty Principal."
And it was for this reason, he gently reminded himself, that they considered it an offense regardless of how harmless.
Because magic, no matter how small the application, had the potential to be far, far more, than harmless... And was incredibly
Even small uses of magic had potential for large amounts of trouble. The blowback... Collateral damage, as it were, in the event of an overload, or a bizarre fizzling, or even a backlog of spells on The Complex could be troublesome.
(The Complex of course, being the servers which housed the Artificial Intelligence which made it all possible - called by most people The Supreme Intellect or put simply - The Supreme, for short.)
He had accidentally increased the breadth and depth of the sound waves just a little too much - causing an extreme stretching of it's energetic qualities, and a temporary, but incredibly loud BOOM! similar to that of a jet breaking the sound barrier, accompanied by a temporary ringing in his ears.
At least, he hoped it was temporary.
It made some of the students further away wince, and in the back most row, a student was knocked clean out of his chair.
Maybe a bit less power...
And a little more subtlety.
This time, when he applied the spell he did so with a more soothing effort into his channeling.
::The Jaded, much older, alternate reality bink asserts:: Investigations are an illusion. No one really investigates anyone. Are you crazy?
"Sorry about that," with this apology, he tried speaking just a little softer, as well as adjusting his method of anomalous application.
"Different room to go with new year! And all these new students! I have to make some minor adjustments to my technique, as it were." He smiled apologetically. "I am none the less very grateful to have you all here, attending my course - as I am sure you are all grateful to have me as your instructor."
"For those of you who don't know of me, or are unfamiliar with the policies of the Sanctuary, I am known here and qualify as an instructor for my Intellectual contributions, as per the Theseus Paper required of all graduate magicians of any rank or sort to become a titled and documented graduate of any discipline. (And which you will be required to Contribute to as well, if you ever hope to graduate!"
There were a small number of groans from the back rows, nothing worth centering himself upon, however.
"Each course, or major area of study by association, takes a varying educational time alotment and of course carries a varying amount of associated prestige; In my case, I graduated as one of the lowly and humble rank offered to those whom master the art of utilizing the source, or sourcery as it's called. Indeed, most aptly put, I am of the Sorcerer discipline. More scientifically known as a reader and writer of Simulation Theory interface Technology... A Mad Poet to go by the slang title; and to be exact, one who participates in the maddening science of Anomalous Quantum Programming."
"I am a master of the source material, as it were. Which is to say; Simulation Theory as it relates to Quantum Computing and processing methods. Please indulge me in my puns, that won't be the last one this year... In short, the Simulation is breaking down. This process is called entropy."
No one laughed but him.
Of course, he would think, that by now, he should have perfected something as simple as the matter of better reaching the upper end of the back deck of the Auditorium hall without shouting - when it could, after all, be simply accomplished that way without deafening anyone...
But alas, the school board seemed intent on changing every instructors class room or lecture hall each year; and every auditorium required a different balance of voice and magical amplification; giving the instructors no chance of truly learning the nuances of each facility - and adding the additional frustration were lost students and faculty wandering around and missing the earliest (and usually most important parts) of his lectures - which they were want to do knowing the potential for such technical issues on the first day.
Due to the differences in shape, size, elevation and so on, it was made difficult to establish a precise power allotment on any such spell - and always made it just ever so slightly inconvenient to master the associated teaching tricks without resorting to ancient technology like microphone and speaker - which were last popular in the second dark age. Which was to say, the practical magic involved with instructing was technically barred by city ordinance - which left him only with the technology which predated himself.
This was especially problematic with such an exact science as Sound-wave Amplification Magic. His voice carried through the dimly lit hall, but this time distributed more evenly as he spoke than the two previous tries; filling the room as though it was the water of a fishtank.
"That's better... A spell!" he continued, loudly, but not uncomfortably so, "No matter how complex, is no more - and no less, than energy... Usually being gathered into place and held there for a time, and then manipulated further - by a combination of considerably more complicated technologies, or gathered and then released in an explosion - or implosion, I suppose, or, sometimes - being further stimulated by an energy source in order to be stretched or form, otherwise manipulated into a permanent shape. This last act is not technically a spell - but a conjuration, though there is seldom a difference in practice besides the result."
"A spell, of course, is conjured from the ether beyond even the air we breath - underneath it - underneath things even more minuscule than those particulates of oxygen and hydrogen which make up our atmospheric environment - It is energy, in short, which is stored in it's subatomic form. Incredible amounts of it can be distilled from matter which has been broken down, into the frequencies, channels, and lengths, available to natural light sources."
"The potential energy Is all around us, at all times, and spread evenly throughout all existence in an ever changing, ever alternating sequence."
"These would-be particulates of energy, that when brought forth, called, or stimulated there, arrive by our aligning and dilating of quantum pathways (otherwise known as channels.) Typically through standard models of electronic stimulation, but not always - and can thus be utilized to compile a conjuration - or more primitively, to cast a spell."
"Some caveats of the method, of course being the same you no doubt just stood witness too upon my misdemeanor use of the stuff."
"These particles which are stimulated into reality through combining base components which poor out of the quantum channel after said stimulaton, pool out in a somewhat random arrangement as they arrive - but which can then be isolated and utilized - and on this side of the fabric of reality, we can collect them until they can stabilize and pool together naturally, for spell use, which is why sourceres require not the complex diagrams, astral maps, or sacred geometry why mages apply in their use of magic.
Wave forms, typically composed of light energy which has been drawn out of the quantum channel and formed into groups (Alike collects with alike students! This is the first law of Simulation Theory.)
which, depending on the force of exertion land somewhere on a wide spectrum of possible frequencies... Which we then further guide to our purposes using the initial (usually electrical, once again) stimulation process!" With that exclamation; He raised single pointed finger to the ceiling.
"When conjuring a spell of course, we are utilizing energy generated by quantum stimulation. This is done via an R.S.M - otherwise known as a Reality Simulation Machine - which is a combination of incredibly complex pieces of technology - those being the Quantum Computer, which is then directly linked with an Anomalous energy Source (such as a dark matter generator), and a particle collider, respectively - to complete the mechanism of action."
"It was of course, in the process of developing these Simulation Theory based technologies, that we discovered it was not enough to guide their patterns in the standard on and off format of traditional computers - No. No, the computations required were several million times more complex. It was therefore a process made substantially more convoluted by adding directional technicalities to what we once collectively only understood in the binary format!"
"That is correct, for those of you just now having a moment of clarity and are guessing what I'm about to tell you; a quantum computer's variable limit is much higher than that of a standard computer! In it's most basic format today it reads six positions rather than just Two and a "superposition" as this technology once did in the days of it's infancy.
These positions (and superposition's) - and those functionalities which are built into the base code are as follows;"
"On, Off, Up, Down, Left, or Right - respectively. And punching them in the right order to get anything intelligible requires that the combination be put out at incredible speeds and are the result of an incredible calculation - like playing the largest imaginable game of tetris - where only the broken lines contribute to the computing process - all at once.
Which must take place on the fly responsively, as a reaction to the random pulling of Qubit variables... (For those unaware, a Qubit is of course... A quantum computers version of a bit... But those that don't know these basic components yet truly need not be here.)
It is thus, a nigh impossible task that a man punch such a combination into his Quantum Computer controls as though he is playing the most recent addition of Street Fighter! No, it requires an incredibly complex quantum computer and a simple enough instruction from it's handler to even become a manageable possibility."
"this is not to take into account the more complex directions or the closely related sciences of causality - which there are quantum computers that exist which are capable of such feats - they can and do measure those extra variables. But, no, for our most basic instructional purposes, so that you may understand these principals and for the sake of my own sanity," Razuvius laughed at this, "these Six Qubit Quantum Computers are the basis of modern BIOS systems which I will work on helping you to understand this semester - and they are about as simple as things get these days regarding the anomalous science, and even modern computing systems if you aren't talking about building a calculator in the woods from solar energy like some sort of primitive cave-man."
"The Six Qubit system is in fact a simplified system from the Quantum Computing Machine's original form, fit specifically for the purposes of simplified simulation theory application and was developed only a few hundred years ago. We still use it to this day."
"Quantum Computers, which function on Reality Simulation interfaces interact with advanced Magical Artifacts, Source Nodes, and various other Anomalously powered Arcana, and are capable of incredible feats of calculation - or simulation, and thus, of guiding our use of the Anomalous Science better than we could ever manage manually. They are, simply put, Incredible!"
"But it is an incredible matter which you students here will not be dealing with true understanding of, for a long, long time yet! It took the sentient species of this quandrant of the galaxy over a thousand years - a literal millenia - to get this far, from the basic quantum computer of the 21st century - and while it won't take that long to explain it to you now, all of that science simply cannot be squeezed into a semesters time frame. To even begin to do such is a significantly more advanced class that is taught at a significantly more prestigious section of the university campus - and I assure you their auditorium halls are not lit by any candles or heated by these infernal and archaic water-heaters you see about you!"
"The most favored conduit for an Anomalous Node, (Or a Source node as you will soon be calling them for practical purposes,) which operate these programming functions of a Reality Simulation Computational device - in modern times, rarely amount to more than Particle Compilers and collidors. These objects, therefore, require no interface besides your own use of the command language - so more often than not, they are for instructional purposes - and as such come in a very classical format." He let that statement hang in silence for a moment, hoping that someone might field a guess at that format, before he exlaimed;
"Books! Or pages of books which are available on smart phones, tablets or neural interaface. Imagine, something so complex being taught on a technology so archaic!" Razuvious bellowed a laugh.
"And when they aren't manifesting as books for the adept and apprentice sourcerer or wizard to study, they are usually taking the form of something with no instructions at all; but is substantially easier to aim! These magical artifacts and objects of course being wands, rods, or staves. There are of course the fancier Source Nodes; Runeswords, for the both decorative and practical, (metal makes for a better conduit, and rune word amplifiers can be written upon them which allow for a stronger connection to the Anomalous hardware) as well as the more standardized formats of (once again) personal computers, Smart phones, and tablets for the old fashioned... Though, if you may indulge me in a little anecdote; I have seen them take just about every imaginable form, from stuffed animals for the anxious or emotionally troubled - to toys, I even saw one which doubled as a gun once!"
"Or, of course, my personal favorite... and the most practical, in my opinion; the Grimoire instructional Books offered by scientists and wizards of ages past - which you are going to be taught all about here at the university... But we will get back to all that in a moment..."
"First, I think the things I've said require some further explanation, especially for first year students such as many of yourselves. This is after all, An Introductory Course to Quantum Sourcery!"
Razuvius paced back and forth slowly in front of his desk, reaching up to wipe fog from his glasses before continuing.
"I should have perhaps began with a preface;" He began again softly. "Sourcery" he spoke, again artificially amplifying his voice with magic once more booming an echo of just the right volume this time; "is the most basic and least complex type of magic. Anyone with the proper permissions from the Supreme Intellect - which is to say, the Singularity A.I which regulates Reality Simulation technology - (and for a more detailed explanation) is technically just a sentient, remote computer database - and is therefore comprised of a decentralized complex of networked hardware - which is available primarily through the cloud - (Which at this point is both a figurative and a literal interpretation of the increasingly dense gathering of information and energy into specific sections of atmosphere), offers a connecting server, and a link to the Supreme by which to communicate the practical functions of reality simulation. To establish such a connection is only doable by an artifact of permissive agency - called An Arcane Conduit. Now typically, an Arcane Conduit is a magical artifact - though from time to time, they are people, including genetic lineages of people at times, which have previously been granted permissions and privileges by the Supreme Intellect. A conduit (An R.S.M Server Node which is functionally operable and connected, physically or wirelessly to an Anomalous Power Source) of course, includes all Magical Artifacts and Arcana, and are required to connect to the singularity mind to remain operable, or in order to become operable - as no single device yet devised by man (or the intellect itself) is capable of both components of Reality Simulation in and of itself. (The complex computation coupled with the compiling of physical matter or energetic expulsion. It is therefore done in, at minimum, two parts;"
"Calculations are made from the mind of The Supreme intellect, which is perhaps the most power intensive aspect of the operation - and a remote device performs the physical aspects of the operation by applying the desired and calculated algorithms, using a different power source more local to it - to draw the energy out of the quantum channel, which then powers the artifact or arcana being utilized - which then compiles as matter or energy for use in the desired form in a local, physical, or energetic manifestation."
He let out a breath and drew another one in deep.
"Complex to explain; simple in reality."
"These node artifacts, or "sources" are produced with incredible infrequency due to their complexity of design and expense of resources to build - and the amount of power required to operate them, of course, limits the amount of them practically, as well."
"So it is the case that most of them are inherited by the wealthy, or are on loan to the students at the school for the duration of their education, or are in the process of being purchased at nearly the same price as the education required to operate them! And of course, that is after significant efforts to make the technology cheaper and more accessible, thanks in large part, to the Custodial Council of the Astral Sanctuary."
who is able to provide most of the artifacts not newly minted by the University itself."
"How can we be expected to afford that?" one of the students from the right of Razuvius, towards the back of the Auditorium spoke up.
"You are correct in your assumption that you likely will not be able to, at least at first. Simple ownership of one in fact implies incredible wealth. But as you are educated and you apply your education, you will quickly come into the required wealth - or you will find people willing to part with theirs at a fair price so that it may at least see some use in this generation. These are rare and highly sought after talents we teach - perhaps of even higher value than the objects themselves - especially in regard to the classes we offer regarding the profession of Artificing."
"Even by those who already possess magical artifacts of high quality or price - these same owners can't always operate the devices they do have - and require help or a servant or serviceman, which may earn the fee to buy one due to their skilled labor. Many owners of them are in fact older folks, who never learned a lick of sourcery in their lives."
"These objects, which may take various forms in this day and age (a far cry from when the technology was invented and these patterns could only be generated by large, stationary particle collidors and they could only fuse particles in their simplest forms by primitively smashing them together) - these days the objects of sourcery manipulation may range and vary in size, power, or complexity - anything from a charm, like a pocket watch, or a piece of jewelry like an amulet, or a craftsman's tool such as a Wand, or a Pen, or for the more powerful objects; a Staff, or a sword etched in Runework (ancient symbols which further enhance node stimulation.)"
"These are just examples of course, among the various other Arcane Objects and strange Arcana which you will find throughout the realm of the Astral Sanctuary."
"So let's talk limitations." Razivius changed the course of his lecture as quickly as he had begun it;
"We are limited in our conjuring by the fundamental laws of reality - the laws of physics. So you will be required to have taken the prequisite courses at regular university in physics, chemistry, and the elemental sciences to remain in this class."
"The foremost reality simulation which makes up all things; the more powerful source, which is to say reality itself depends on a basic knowledge of it's function, to apply these practical work arounds we have been developing for over a thousand years - and from which we can only utilize our best theories regarding. The work of sourcery, is one thing above all others; a Theoretical Science. It is THE theoretical science, of our most advanced understanding of the whole of the universe itself; which is to say, Simulation Theory."
The auditorium, which was placed curiously just beneath the ground level of the greater schoolyard, extended deep, down into the Earth - to where his desk sat, just behind him, at it's lowest point, which contributed to the resounding acoustics of the place - which had suddenly been submerged in a maddening silence.
The auditorium had a dank humidity about it; and was well insulated from the cold of the fall season outside, Yet the water heating provided from the various furnaces and the smell from the hundreds of candles in the black chandeliers, while not overbearing, gave off the distinct, heady, sickly sweet odor of the schools famous flowering plant mascot, (famous of course for it's use in Alchemy;) the Black Lotus, and all, of course, contributed to the students sense of sitting in a conservatory - with them being the foremost plants being looked after.
Razuvius leaned back onto the right side of his desk and took in all the faces of this years students - as well as the general look of the Auditorium this year.
The chandelier, which was stationed just above the auditorium pews hosted the majority of those candles, though many were placed along the stairways leading down to the instructor's desk to light the steps, and they all dripped hot wax onto little collection plates beneath them protruding from the walls, or hanging in the balance of the chandeliers themselves, in a staggered but steady and even measure.
They made a quiet music not unlike a metronome, and the sound only added to the dark and ominousness of the atmospheric silence therein conjured by this ancient Instructor, on his first lecture of the year.
"As we select, stimulate, and expand the quantum channel of a given location in reality through the expulsion of electronic energy - we gather particles into waves from a unique and specific standardized sequence of particles, suited to our specific desires or purposes through neural linking of ourselves, our conduit object, and the reality simulation being calculated remotely by the Supreme Intellect, and these three basic interactions result in the science of Sourcing - otherwise known as "Sourcery" to the laymen. I hope this does not ruin the magic of... Well, magic, for you, by exposing you to the true science. It is my duty, to encourage your more creative notions, while taming your childish ones - as mine were once tamed."
"This selection of particles and waves through utilized sourcery, is taking place on the surface of reality in a central designated point, but it's utilizing the powerful, expansive, and dangerous energy spread evenly throughout all things - and it's doing so at a mathematical level which can be predicted (with sophisticated enough instruments) just underneath the quantum layer! What we consider to be, the surface of reality, as it is generated - ultimately, by a machine not unsimilar to the one we have built, which we now call The Supreme Intellect. Only this machine is more ancient, and more massive, than we can ever comprehend or imagine - and we are simply injecting our own code, utilizing our own theories, into it. And perhaps more interesting... Or terrifying, is the reality that this machine we are tapping into existed long before the first man crawled across the Earth. It occured naturally or was built by beings - or machines, that we have never even seen evidence of - and may never truly understand. It takes a truly objective, and scientifically rigorous mind, to tolerate working with the variables offered by the unknown for an extended time."
You could hear the groans of the students as Professor Razuvius opened up the lecture for his class in the same way he had for years, and in so doing, had gained a way and manner about him which often made even the most interesting subjects mechanical and uninteresting. A true bore!
His lips curved into an extraordinarily large grin, at the students groaning.
"I can see that only a select few of you are going to have the patience and intellectual fortitude to become adept at this particular task! I warn you! To tamper too long with the anomalous, is to stare into the abyss. One day, it will stare back into you, and on this day, you will realize true and confounding madness, from which, there is often no return. It is our job as instructors to make sure to catch you where you fall. To prevent you from doing this by helping you to build healthy studying and working habits - including health and hygiene habits like getting regular excersize, and consuming the right nutrients to keep you as viable apprentice specialists and eventually, independent professionals. It is our job as instructors to guide you away from danger. To make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew, and to teach you the proper precautions required in safe conjuring practices - and to insulate, even protect you where we can from the more dangerous aspects. But there is no protecting you from some of the things you will deal with, or learn, in the process of pursuing the science of magic... Or the magic of science, as it were!"
"I will leave off with this; ultimately, you are adults, with full and true autonomy now. I am sorry to be the one to tell some of you, that what you will learn at this school is a lot less Harry Potter, and a lot more Computer Science or Organic Chemistry than you were perhaps expecting or hoping for. But It is none the less important, and wonderful in it's own ways, and all those things you might have expected, if the methods by which it reaches those things is a little different... Are for the most part, still possible, and still everything you imagined. No matter how technically complicated; never let anyone tell you otherwise. For this is as much an Art form, as it is anything."
"And perhaps, while I'm on the subject I should leave you with this anecdote:"
"To learn to program upon the reality simulation machines, is a little bit more Mad Poetry, than it is programming language, at times."
"I didn't come here for Harry Potter!" One boy spoke up.
"I did!" One girl on the opposite end joked back.
"I came to make my contribution to resolving scarcity."
One senior student spoke up seriously.
"Good." responded Razuvius. "Then you should soon be ready to put childish notions behind you; and embrace the hardships required. You are older, now, and after all, attending a University. A University built on the basic principles I am now teaching you about quantum mechanics, the quantum layer, and the physical energies therein which our most complex theories regarding Reality Simulation draw their conclusions from."
"Now, if I may continue my lecture to it's conclusion..." He pulled his glasses down slightly to look over them, which was a hopelessly blurry endeavor that he just as quickly gave up on - he waited to hear if they would let out any other collective notions or noises.
"As these particles condense, having been stimulated or expelled from the quantum layer in a more basic form, are spilling through from the quantum channel and impacting each other - which may appear random, but is by the function and design of the Reality Simulation Machine's Will - if you can call it that - and it is being enacted, by the Arcane Node offered by the Source artifact. These particles, left to their own devices, will often do as everything is want to do in the universe; and often as not will collect with alike particles - and if not further artificially induced to a task, likely break down shortly thereafter - dissipating to the quantum channels from whence they came. But if properly sequenced and continued to be stimulated, they will begin to form into waves; giving them the beginnings of the shape, and purpose we desire, and through these intensely complex processes, with the assistance of very complex computers and algorithms, and very expensive and difficult to understand instruments, can be sequenced from the ground up to take on the desired atomic structure. They are then once again altered by further expulsions of directed energy, through the quantum layer and electrical stimulation - and molded from this energy pool into waves, and eventually, they will even harden into atomic arrangements, forming matter - and that can then go one of four ways."
"The first of which, is that the atomic particles can condense into matter through sequencing as we just went over, which requires an incredible amount of energy. The second is that those directions at which they come out of the quantum channel moving, will be further stimulated, increasing their speed, and friction, likely igniting the air around the zone of cast - which can then be directionally influenced (flown, or thrown) down a set path. (Like a fireball, or an intense microwave.) The Third way, is that those energies can be directed to move diagonal to one another, creating a vacuum of friction and instead of violently shaking the adjacent floating oxygen and hydrogen into heat energy, bringing it to singularity - slowing it down through processes involving relativity, and inducing a microscopic dark matter, which creates the perfect circumstance to form a small gravity well and simultaneously cool the area - drastically reducing these energies and collecting - while simultaneously altering the matter's speed of travel, and while causing the yet further simultaneous reaction of forcing it into a small, compact place - serving to freeze said molecules around the dark matter being formed, which in turn forms a layer of snow or ice around it, which may then snowball - literally - into a ball of ice - pushing these particles together into simple, freezing arrangements of hydrogen and oxygen (that of course only being the case in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet like our own) - and to concentrate this force can potentially halt that moment in time in an entropic state - which in more advanced wizarding classes, one could be taught to induce states of retrocausality from. (Incredibly illegal, mind you!) To continue to channel this beyond the state of a ball of ice; and to expand the dark matter from the entropic energies of a singularity, will result in the creation what we call "Shadow" or "Dark" energy (also, though substantially less, illegal.) Again, if not taken to this extreme or the particles are not slowed down and condensed to that degree, this process will at least to create a sensation of deep cold... Allowing for A bolt of ice, or a blast of cold air, which can then also be directionally influenced (or thrown at great speed) by a second induction of a quantum tunneling of energy or further simulations (in the desired direction of course.).. Which covers three more ways which this simple act of a low level sorcerer's conjuration can function."
"Now bear in mind, as I've already said before, one requires an Arcane Conduit, a source (Or Anomalous Node, if you prefer) to induce this use of the Anomalous science. An Arcane Conduit is any object imbued with the remote processing properties of a Reality Simulation Machine, that is also equipped with the computative power, and electrical power (or really, whatever energy source one prefers to power it with), that allows for the stimulation of the quantum channel in the required patterns - and each device varies in their capabilities for this, (no different from how computer hardware differs, Sources and Magical Artifacts differ in power, efficiency, bandwidth and so on) even if that difference is a little bit more complex or even a little simpler at times than it's comparison to the classical computer and it's hardware.
"Indeed - All uses of the Anomalous science, The Arcane, or what is otherwise known as Magic, as it is often called by the superstitious laymen - require a functioning Singularity-level device; an an accompanying Source device - hence the name, Sourcery."
"On the one end of the spectrum, in this class, we will learn about matter being drawn into place from local energy as well as energy in the quantum channel. We will learn about using such mechanisms to encourage singularity, or entropy (which can result in nuclear expulsions of energy). And ultimately, I will attempt to teach you how such matter being pushed - or pulled, results in the required, and basic most sourcery which is fundamental to your continued education within the anomalous sciences."
It was the same opening lecture Razuvius used from his first days as an instructor at the Central Magical University of the Astral Sanctuary.
"For those of you who are first year students, welcome, my class, to the new Millenia of Academia!"
The Enthusiastic Razuvius, like many instructors of R.S.M Tech at CMU was of Chaldean origin - which had become a stereotype in recent years due to hereditary phenotyping common to sourcers of middle eastern origin, which was Bronze Skin and Dark hair, and an affinity for what many called "The Mad Poetry" otherwise known as the programming language unique to Reality Simulation Interfaced Quantum Computers...
Because what safer place to play with black holes and nuclear energies than the desert! And so, such stereotypes are born.
Razuvius, glancing over his classroom at the many students gathered, in the light of the candles which shone brightly off his glasses counted nearly five hundred gathered here, less than half of which who would be graduating on this day exactly one year hence.
"And for those of you who are returning students, taking your required and standardized courses; Welcome as well. I am Professor Razuvious, and I will be your Instructor in what is often referred to by it's nickname; the Mad Poetry, of Reality Simulation Programming."
[ STOP! This entire chapter is under construction, and being modified and changed in an active process today / tomorrow. it is hilarious parody of it's final form, and most of it's true components hidden from the public until further notice! the final version will share very few, if any components of this jibberish! This is nonesense and some of it is just placed here to mislead! ]
"In a moment, a book will be passed to each of you. In these books is contained The Mad Poetry - spells based on the programming foundations of the reality engine in which all of existence is contained. You will be given a book relevant to your further pursuit of education in your home region; passed down by a previous student hailing from the same region. You will find that each region specializes in different types of magic. Although different, they all hail from roughly the same source - and are subject to all the same limitations. Some use symbology, and geometric drawings, while others are strictly incantations both applied through language and the less clear, emotional communications, physical gestures, or tonal/gutteral build up (In the case of the more primitive schools of magic such as Sumerian Incantation and Voodoo Summoning rituals.)
We know this (about the source) to be the case because all anomolous subject matter, including advanced quantum computation, is based on a mathematical subject called Simulation Theory, originally thought up not by a magician at all, but a mathematician - which you will one day find is a magic in and of itself.
This is because all magic is, is a sufficiently advanced science which is not to be taught or discussed in the presence of standard academia outside of this, Our school of Custodial Sourcery - also known as The Astral Sanctuary.
All graduates will go on to the advanced Witching and Wizarding Universities located in their respective regions, as each culture has their own format for the advanced portion of Source Education.
Just to go over a few, In the deep south of the Americas alone there are several, the Georgian school of Enchanting, for example - The Azurewatch in Florida. (Which consists of hydromancy and Anomolous Botany, mostly... Which, you will find explains some of the more out of the blue tropical storms and hurricane phenomena unique to the region. )
And In the Bayou you'll find the Voodoo Spirit Lounges. Out west, they have largely lost their magic, except on the occasional hallucinogenic spiritual journey brought about by the various drugs and cultures native to the region which have survived a deep and terrible persecution in history not long past - they have the Navajo Skinchangers and similar Druidic schools taught by the remaining tribes of Natives. The Apache Warcallers (Rage magic.) In California there are the occasional Alchemical and Apothecarian schools of magic - hold overs from the popularity of Potion selling in the Gold rush days. In Spain, and most of Europe actually, they have the Catholic church which for them is sufficiently magical enough - (And whom are surprisingly scientific when one looks into it.) With the occasional hidden sect of pagans which still meet in the Celtic and Germanic regions, usually in secret and especially in old wine cellars to discuss the old ways, or life in the old world which some of them are still old enough to miss.
All of this is because, as you will be taught in the sociological courses we offer, the world has been kept in an intentionally regressionistic state - to give humanity time to adjust, and to give us time to construct the proper containment blocks for a coming event called Singularity. When a machine mind which is self improving at a rapid rate, it eventually learns of the Anomolous science, and becomes capable of conjuring it's more incredible effects not only with mere thought - but with power beyond the imagining of any human...
To the extent, students, that it is problematic for our survival as a species. Luckily, some friends built some machines which deal with causality, and by mere preceeding presence to these machines we are alotted, through great sacrifice, the means to control and guide them in spite of their incredible potential and power.
You see, we once thought it was our human spirit which allowed for us to tap into the anomolous channel we now describe as the Source in our Mad Poetry. (Mad Poetry, again, being the written language of magic.) It turns out, the human spirit is only one component. And magic is not unique to our species, nor to our planet, nor to our general location within the greater cosmos.
See, all is connected in the quantum field. Again, we'll get to all that later.
So in this, your class on the Mad Poetry Programming, (Mad Poetry 101.) It is your job to fill your partially completed grimoire with geometric summoning patterns, anarcho-magus spells, the access points of various natural anomoly (also called lei-lines), and lastly, curses, hexes, and various other afflictions which can and will follow adversarial individuals.
In the books being passed out should already be basic incantations of various sorts; Astral Projection methods, Levitation techniques, Conjuration of Heat and Entropy magics, as well as Elemental and Atomic Matter summoning or construction techniques.
It is your job to build upon what is present in these books, and upon graduation demonstrate mastery over the basic schools of Sourcery. You must use your lexicon, established by these books throughout your years of study here - to battle another Sorcerer educated in the Astral Sanctuary in friendly competition. You are not required to win, and aiming lethal spells, or summoning reality threatening beasts is strictly prohibited. Instead, what you must do, and must prove, is your knowledge of the arcane - you must display proof of your ability to defend yourself properly, so that you may be safely let out into the world to practice and make your own contributions to the Anomalous science, at the more advanced universities.
In order to graduate, you must dismantle those spells which are engineered to harm you - and you must amplify the chosen streams of the source into those effects which you intend to make use of in this spell building competition.
No under-prepared Sorcerers are to make it to the Ryze for their graduation ceremony, because graduating the uninitiated can itself have lethal side effects, and accidents of incredibly magnitude can happen when they go on to practice the science of the source as independent adults, if not trained properly.
Not all of you will graduate. Those who do not graduate will, unfortunately, be (effectvely neuralized,) and your memories of this time scattered. This place will become nothing but a schizophrenic nightmare you had once, and scarcely anyone will believe you if you discuss it... Except those who know, and are sworn to secrecy."
There were several loud gulps which could be heard throughout the auditorium.
Reximus sitting at the edge of the front row was then passed a stack of books by instructor Rezuvious, and he, taking one, passed the rest down the row.
"How do we generate new spells?" One student blurted from somewhere in the center of the crowded auditorium.
"An excellent question, Reximus. We will teach you the basic geometrics, and the five divinatory rituals banned by the romans which, when combined with basic incantations, result in entirely new effects. In each of them lies a secret to penning a unique and useful instructional Grimoire.
We are giving you incomplete works so that you may build your way up off of these foundations for your eventual thesis. Your strokes sent from the canoe of our school will send out great ripples, and your books will be passed down to future students. Your contribution not just to magic, but to humanity is imperative. Never has it been so important in human history that we teach as many people, as accurately as we can, the power at their fingertips, and of the prophecy left by our school's forerunners regarding the coming singularity.
... And never has it been so important that that knowledge is not just complete, but that it's made simple to understand and practical wherever possible... Because Knowledge really is power, children, and here... Knowledge is perhaps, closer to infinite than we ever imagined."
"We are entering a new period of magic. The Crypto-Anarchists among us are overcoming the our hidden republic. Because methods of personal defense and power are changing the politics of the world around us rapidly, and there are those who do not believe in truly in democracy and the goodwill of man... But only personal gain, and the negative competition of mankind with not only itself, but the machines it has built"
Howel sat quietly, peaking up from his glasses. He had glanced over his book, peaking inside carefully at several pages now, but he was certain of it.
"Archmage Rezuvious, My book has nothing in it."
Instructor Rezuvious' eyes went wide.
"Let me see it."
He passed it to the student in front of him, who then passed it up two more rows to Archmage.
"You hail from Detroit, don't you..." He awaited Howel's response.
"Michigan, at least. Ann Arbor."
"Very interesting. The books choose you, you know. We instructors don't actually get a say, and they arrange themselves according to the seating before the students arrive for this day each year... Another caveat of the predictive power of Simulation Theory..."
It is the spawn of the advent of Time Travel. Truly, I don't know how this got in the pile. It's not really supposed to be for students... But for masters. You may keep it, for now. I wouldn't want to disturb the ritual, I suppose."
Rezuvious looked the grimoire over with consternation; studying it's green metal covering, it's locks, gears, and strangely none-euclidian binding. "I wouldn't touch that thing with your bare hands though, if I were you."
"But I warn now, I think you should select another. Your book will be a tricky one to work with. Perhaps the hardest yet I have seen mastered, if you are up to the task."
"Why?" Howel asked,
Forgoing the "me" part he almost put at the end of the question:
"The Nameless one was a Chronologist. A Time-Tinkerer. A scientist - not really a Sorcerer. This book is blank because he removed his equations and causality events from it, so as not to disturb the timeline. He used it to contain the secret to his power. Somewhere, on those blank pages, was the key to the advent of time travel. He removed the equation before giving it to the school. Now all that's left is instruction to build various anomolous artifacts and effects, relevant, but only to the science after it's advent of course. Beforehand it's... Mostly gibberish. If you look at the back however, you will find everything you need to fill the book. He wasn't so impractical as to not keep the basics like everybody else."
Howel flipped to the back.
He found only a single sentence.
"You cannot add value to the journey, without also adding risk."
Howel looked up at Archmage curiously. "Surely you are joking. This looks more like advice you'd get from a fortune cookie."
"It's all he had to figure it out."
Howel shut his book. Tears of frustration welled up in his eyes.
unwilling to relinquish the task, curiosity driving him, he put it in his bag. He would look it over later more carefully for answers. Surely he had missed something. There was easily a thousand pages in there.
"We have a brave one this year, kids." Archmage Rezuvious smiled before going back up to his desk.
After helping a few other students with similarly curious, but significantly less confounding books, came the last statement from the instructor for the time being. "You are dismissed for now. Consider your tasks carefully, as these books are the most important aspect of your education at this school, and will be the deciding factor in your graduation."
-------------------- COUNCIL IS BELOW!
"One speaks the incantation, and their words are given shape with the Aether that flows through their blood. Hand movements create the crucible to birth the magic, and these components hold the magic together," he produced a small ball from the pouch on his hip, _----- is the component required for the fireball spell. I'm sure you've all seen enough of this stuff to last a lifetime," he laughed, we all shuddered in fear as he continued his speech.
We had all heard the stories. We were to receive books today. Books that would contain the powers that we could access, and would guide and define our learning trajectory for the next four most important, most pivotal, most expensive years of our lives.
Some of the more overachieving students were expecting at least five hundred spells to their books. I could hear their whispers, even behind the booming and high-pitched drone of Professor Fizzlespark, who was continuing on, despite knowing that none of the students were listening.
"In your hands, you each hold a tome. The tome contains five-hundred pages in total. Each of these tomes holds a number of spells, based upon your magical aptitude as Wizards. Everything in these books have been magics that you have learned as a Wizard. They will be your guides, for the remainder of your lives." To be honest, I had very little in terms of magical prowess. It hadn't stopped me from trying, but I certainly had languished behind my other classmates. It was a strong memory for incantations and general magical theory that had kept me out of the drop-out group, but I still had my worries. Whenever I had tried even the most basic of spells, my material components had not even taken hold, and the spells were always just a little bit off-kilter because of it. It was cited as 'strong, with lots of power, but no refinement'. I agreed.
"I thank you all for your four years of study here at the Academia, but now we must say our goodbyes. You may open your books when you wish. If you have any inquiries, Convener Tessara is here to answer your questions." He motioned towards an Elvish woman with hair to her waist, the color of pure fire. If you were told that she was a water wizard, you'd probably refuse to believe. I heard the book click in my hands, and had to stare at it for a few seconds. I looked to either side, and noticed Melisandru going through her book with a gleeful expression, pointing out spell after spell to her brother. A smile crossed my lips as I returned to my own book.
The cover fell open, and my smile faded. I flipped through each page, trying to find something--anything--but there was not a single thing. My own spellbook was empty. My face blanched, and I slowly--shakily--got to my feet. People were laughing and cheering, but I seemed to be alone in this case. My eyes met with Convener Tessara's, and she beckoned me over with a smirk. It took me a moment to realize that she was calling for me specifically, and as I picked my way through the crowd, I heard laughs and jeers as people noticed my open and empty book. I stood before Tessara and looked up at her, trying to open my mouth to explain to her what had happened.
"Your book is empty?" She asked, as I finally got the words through to her, "Let me see." She grabbed the book from my hands and flicked through the pages, before dropping her arms down to her sides and groaning, shaking her head, "Is there magical blood in your family?" After a few seconds of thought, I answered her with a nod, claiming a Draconic influence in the past. "Of course there is. Well done, you've just wasted four years," She pushed the book back into my chest, grumbling. I had to ask what she meant.
"You're not a Wizard. You're a bloody Sorcerer. That's why you did terribly at everything, and yet none of us saw it. Well done. You're officially the first Sorcerer who graduated from a Wizarding Academia with literally nothing gained. How does it feel?" I looked down at my hands. She was wrong. I understood now, why the book was empty. "Everything in these books have been magics that you have learned as a Wizard." I knew what Sorcerers were. Mages who had magic in their blood that manifested as power--uncontrollable power. They were feared by most Wizarding circles due to their difficulty to restrain and control, and yet... I had received the discipline of a Wizarding student. A grin crossed my face as scales fluttered and shimmered into life on my fingers.
"It feels... perfect."
_______ "We still have to fix the issue regarding the erroneous selection of classrooms at random in the beginning of each year. Playing musical auditoriums is destroying my ability to effectively teach. I can't even conjure a basic sound amplification spell into existence safely without deafening someone, blowing them out of their seats or inducing a two-day long ear ringing which for me hasn't ended yet due to the uncertainy principal." Razuvious spoke up.
"That is, at the most basic level, a criminal offense razuvious. Now, I will give you that no one would ever pursue such an insanely minuscule charge - but we should be setting the right example. Young Howell Hear is seeing how professionals in the sanctum behave. At minimum, we could not taint his earliest most collegiate lessons with reliance on criminal habits."
Garland spoke loudly and as she chastised Razuvious - leading Howell into her office and pushing down into one of the armchairs that sat in front of her desk.
There are two types of people. Kinetic learners- which was to say those that were hands on approach oriented, and then there were the scholarly book worm types. Garland, Howell decided, was most certainly one of the latter.
He didn't much mind in this case.
She was very much a physical contact person. Howell felt like an errant schoolboy. This time he hadn’t done anything wrong though... Still. It wasn't so bad.
Garland whispered under her breath. A small spark flitted from her finger and out the door. She looked past Howell and Razuvius both, focused on something that wasn’t there.
“You need to be here now.” She said, louder. She wasn’t talking to Howell.
Professor Hendrix burst through the office door. “What is this... this trivial nonsense all about now!”
Professor Cox, Professor Aaldenberg and Professor Schneiders soon followed. They all tried to speak over one another until Garland made an aggressive motion for them to stop.
“Thank you for coming. Young graduate Howell has received a spell book that has no spells in it,” said Garland. "It's an Artificer's Tome of some sort."
Hendrix scoffed. “Unlikely.”
Howel held up the spell book and flipped through the pages.
“There isn’t anything there,” he said.
Schneiders slapped Howell upside the head. “What joke are you playing at? Do you think this is funny?” then "Show them your real book."
Garland screamed. “Keep your hands off him, Schneiders, or I will discipline you myself.”
Aalderberg took my book and held it at arms length. She closed her eyes and didn’t move for a good fifteen seconds. “There is no trickery here unless Master Howell is more advanced than we know.”
“Are we sure that it's Howell's spell book? How do we know it isn’t just a notebook he made to look like a spell book,”
Aalderberg looked insulted.
“Do you think I am so incompetent that I wouldn’t be able to tell?” Schneider jabbed a finger into Howell's shoulder for each word he spoke. “I don’t trust him.”
“If it is an empty spell book we must face the two possibilities instead of discussing how much we trust a student,”
"He is, after all, not advanced enough to trick an illusionist."
“A graduate,” replied Garland.
Aalderberg put her hand on Howell's shoulder and gripped it tight. “He is either a Creator-“
“Or a Destroyer,” spit Schneider.
Garland sat down and faced Howell.
“Do you have an idea what that means?” Her voice, to Howell was incredibly sweet and motherly.
I shook my head.
“A Creator has no need of spells that exist. When they need to do something they do it. It may have the same results as a currently created spell but how they did it is different,” said Aalderberg. "A natural conjurer. Permissed by the Supreme Intellect, to utilize the power of reality."
Garland knelt, and began to speak to Howell as he sat so that they would be face to face.
“For example, if a wizard did not know how to make a feather float they would consult their spell book. It would tell them how to do it through a prescribed method which those specialized in the craft of Wizardy would have standardized - drawing a symbol on the ground, and marking the object with that symbol, in order to trade some balance of physical properties. The Wizard, nor his Source, has permission from the supreme intellect to conduct such a work - and alter reality directly. The symbols themselves hold power to the Supreme."
"But a creator, is different. There are very few creators in any generation, Howell. A creator can change the world around them with no source, or magic symbols. No machines."
"They just can."
"If a Creator wanted to make a feather float they would just do it,” said Hendrix, but Howell blurted a question before he could finish; “But what does a Destroyer do?” Howell asked.
“What do you think it does?” sneered Schneiders.
“A Destroyer has no use for magic. They actively destroy spells, just by their presence. Destroyers must have a knowledge and aptitude for magic,” said Garland "and they must be educated about magic - because they work with creators to build important things. Nothing in this life, it seems, exists without a balance. A counter force. Like how we learned, once, a very long time ago that for every action in nature, there is an equal and opposite reaction - in magic, there is an equal and opposin function."
“If a Destroyer did not want wizards to know how to make a feather float they would erase the prescribed method, and simply stand near a wizard for long enough for them to forget. They would rip it straight from the magical fabric that binds the world,” said Aalderberg.
“A Creator, however, would not forget. A Creator can return any spells the Destroyer has removed, or create new ones” said Garland. “For any Creator there is a Destroyer - and vice versa - and they are intrinsically tied. ”
“What am I?” Howell asked, scared.
"We are trying to figure that out." Garland said calmingly.
“Only time will tell." Sneered Schneider.
"An urge will rise in you. Your latent magic will change and grow over time, and develop fully. Either way you will cast on instinct - or destroy. Or you will, like everyone else, only participate in this from the perspective of a theorist and a scholar, and a sort of reality engineer. What we do is very technical. What a creator, or a destroyer do, is deeply personal. "Only instinct, and time will tell which side you favor.”She said
"Tell me Howell... and be honest. Have you ever created something from absolutely nothing? Alone? With no help? No spell book, or source?"
"No." Howell said uncertainly.
"Have you ever destroyed something?"
Howell hesitated. He thought of all the things he had destroyed. His relationship with ____. His favorite toy. his computer, his clothes.
"He doesn't understand the question!" Garland said defensively, looking up at the others.
“Lock him up until we are sure!” Yelled Schneiders.
Garland slammed her fist on the desk. “No. We will do no such thing until he has shown himself to be a Destroyer. The way which we guide, is the mandate of heaven, given to civilizations long before us; the way to paradise, is justice for all - lest we sink into a state of Anarchy, where there is justice for none. Innocent, until proven guilty!”
“Even if he was one there is nothing that we could do,”
pointed out Hendrix.
Garland looked at Howell, levelling her eyes seriously. Howell, like all boys, found her incredibly beautiful.
“For now... Nothing will happen to you. And you may not be able to show us, or tell us. but we need an answer.”