Ch. 6.1 – Alex

Alex stared at the ring of pipe sitting on the anvil. Its diameter was the length of his forearm, give or take. “And this is…?”

“A home-made synchrotron,” Alice replied brightly. “Sort of. It’s a type of particle accelerator.”

“Why is it on an anvil?” Alex asked, voice milder than he expected.

“That’s the ‘Majestic’ part,” Alice explained, looking away suddenly, then heading back into the cabin. “Which reminds me – I’ll need my mini-sledge. I’ll be right back.”

Sara chuckled as Alex watched the young genius go. “You’ll get used to it,” Sara said.

“If you say so,” Alex replied quietly. “Do you know what we’re doing here?”

“Basically? We’re making a bracelet for me, that will let me access some of my Blaze and Anima talents,” Sara explained. “How are we going to do that?” She grinned. “Not the faintest idea.”

“The principle of Majestech is actually quite simple,” Alice said, walking back towards them with a one-handed sledge hammer. “Take the idea of enchantment, add logic circuits, program it to do what you want, and drive the whole thing with a self-sustaining Blaze field.” She fiddled with the pseudo-synchrotron for a moment in ways Alex couldn’t follow, even with his new senses. “Normally, it’s a long, involved process, because you have to start by making the frame of what you want. Still faster than ‘pure’ enchantment, but more complex, because Majestech does have principles of its own.”

Molly emerged from her Ghost Dragon stealth to raise an eyebrow at Alice. “And how are you getting past that necessity?” she asked.

“We have him,” Alice said, smiling broadly as she pointed at Alex. “I’ve already got the schematic in my head. We’re going to use the synchrotron, Sara’s Weaving, and Alex’s raw Blaze power to manifest the device directly out of the Weave.” Molly nodded and vanished again.

Alex’s jaw dropped for a moment. “You can do that?” he asked, amazed in spite of everything he’d seen.

“No, but we can,” she replied, patting him on the shoulder with her free hand. “I provide the know-how, you provide the Blaze talent, and Sara provides the Weaving. Together, it’ll be almost simple.”

“Sounds great,” Sara said carefully. “What’s the catch?”

Alice shrugged, gesturing for them to come closer. The pair approached the anvil. “There’s a non-zero chance that the Global Complex will pick up the Majestic power we’ll be using.” She glanced up, looking around at the trees and brush. “Molly and I have shrouded the area, so it’s unlikely that anyone will pick it up, but the Complex is looking for us. Molly and Max are on perimeter watch.”

After a moment, Alex followed her gaze. “How much of my power will you need?” he asked slowly. Sara gaped at him. “I mean, will I be able to help if things go bad?”

“I know what you meant,” Alice said, shaking her head, but she was still smiling. “God you’re crazy, Alex, but you’re my kind of crazy.” She guided his right hand to the synchrotron. “I’ll need your undivided attention for a minute or two while we manifest the bracelet into physical reality. After that, Sara and I shouldn’t need more than half your power to keep the process running.”

“You’ll still be low on juice,” Sara insisted, putting her hand on his. “Maybe you should stick to throwing a force field over us.”

Alex shook his head. “It’s not being heroic, just practical. We can’t just sit here getting pasted by the bad guys, not while trying to do something this precise.”

“Uh-huh,” Alice replied, her smile at clear odds with her words. Then her expression switched to one of absolute concentration. “Ready?” Alex nodded, and as her mind slowly flowed into his, he focused on letting go of the Blaze, turning it over to Wonder Rose’s brilliance.

While the actual genius didn’t transfer to him, Alex caught glimpses of it. Alice’s inspiration, passion and intelligence flickered among his own thoughts, somehow as obvious as the trees around them while remaining ineffable in nature. Bits of raw knowledge on the technical aspects of Majestech passed through his memory. Alex worked to let them go. *What are you doing?* Alice asked, incredulous at his effort at releasing the data.

*The Majestic tutoring was…necessary,* he replied psychically. *Learning like this, I don’t know, it feels like cheating.*

*That’s exactly what the Complex wants you to believe,* Alice retorted, more heat in her Vision than she’d intended. *Sorry. It’s just, the Sovereign Mandate has put a lot of time into propaganda about how much effort learning is. They teach the masses that learning is hard, while using every mental and psychic shortcut we know. Take whatever you get, Alex.* The smile returned in their collective thoughts. *I really want to see what that armor is like when you can add Majestech to it.*

*That makes two of us,* Sara insisted, her Vision shrouded in shadow and lace, but a fondness for them both radiating like velvet light.

Alex accepted their replies, absorbing all he could of Alice’s knowledge. It took nothing from her, merely copying what she knew. Blaze surged out from him even as imprints of logic gate patterns in electric blue and rainbow shimmers of enchantment wrote themselves on his mind and spirit.

A sense of menace, of pure threat, threaded into their collective Vision. Spotted. Found. Attacked! The words were in all their voices at once, and a single voice that was unique to their union. Alex was suddenly aware of his body again, seeing through his own eyes, the Blaze surging around him partly his own. A quick glance at the anvil showed Alice’s hammer rising from a wide bracelet, mostly made of platinum, but it was alloyed in ways he couldn’t quite follow. There were a handful of crystals inlaid on the surface, arrayed in a starburst pattern.

As much as Alex wanted to study the wonder, he turned to face the threat he’d sensed. Molly was a flicker of human lightning, striking and vanishing. Max exploded from shadows to rip through machines and hammer at flesh, only to dive into darkness again. They were a devastating pair. That was fortunate, because they were vastly outnumbered. Four teams of four agents each were spread out around the cabin. Three of the teams, wearing the ubiquitous business suits, approached in careful two-by-two formation. The fourth team’s agents were on floating circular platforms, each controlled by a single handle. They wore lightly armored jumpsuits Alex didn’t recognize.

All four teams were armed with devices right out of an SF movie. Their Majestech was simpler than what Alice forged beside him, but Alex was unhappily certain that they were no less effective for it. Outnumbered. Outgunned. I’m at half power. The newly-empowered Majestic frowned. Well, you wanted to be a superhero. Terrible odds come with the territory. Tightening his jaw and gathering his power – and courage – Alex flew out to face the Complex.

Written by Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan was born in the Bronx, New York, giving him the right to root for the Yankees while making less than six figures. After a long, largely pleasant interregnum in suburban Connecticut, he moved to the Inland Empire, California to be with his wonderful wife and muse, a stepson, and a crazed feline. An occasionally too-avid player of and writer for tabletop roleplaying games, his other passion is metaphysics, which informs most of his fiction.

Comments are only enabled on News/Blog posts. Please log in as yourself or with username and password "guest" to comment.

?php else : // comments are closed ?
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed
Stay up to date
Sign up to be notified of new chapters and other updates. You will need to reply to the subscription email to be added to the the list.
Recent News/Blog Posts
Tip Jar
Feedback is a great way to encourage the writer! If you'd like to give a more tangible from of appreciation:


Please note that PayPay keeps 2.9%+$0.30 per transaction, so keep that in mind when deciding how much to donate. And thanks!
Krypton Radio – it’s Sci-Fi for your Wi-Fi!
Epiguide - The World of Web Entertainment
Member of The Internet Defense League
AWSOM Powered