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So since that first imaginative thought, magic came into being.
More agile than water, it can pass through any material on this earth and beyond, hide in any vessel and manifest into what is known as good or evil amplifying the light and dark within human thoughts. It can be playful and helpful. Have you ever found you needed a cooking recipe which just happens to be ‘recipe of the day’ in a daily national newspaper? Or after chatting to someone about a movie, that particular movie appears a day later in the TV scheduling. That is magic at its most basic form trying to please its masters.
But magic untamed can lead to serious consequence. It can give life to fearsome folklore and deadly myth, the creatures that feast on flesh in the forests or hide under the bed.
It was the stories that came first, the boogeyman then followed.
“Why must I get to this library?” asked Kellan.
“In this realm, the library is a very magical place. A powerful old magic dwells within its walls. There you will be better protected from the Luddites. Here in the city you are not safe, you are easier to find by the Luddites and it is imperative you are not caught by them.”
“So who are they? What do they want with me?” Kellan choked a little on the question as he didn’t really want to know their violent agenda with him.
“The Luddites are a natural phenomenon. As I said, they are in essence the anti-magic. Nature has provided a safety catch as it does with many things. It stops magic from being all consuming. It is the opposite reaction to magic. In this place as magic gets stronger, so too does the anti-magic which has manifested itself in this realm into the Luddites. They shun magic, it slowly weakens and destroys them, and they exist within this realm yet fight to destroy it. The Luddites want you, Kellan, because you have something humans have that no being within this realm has … the power to break a computer simply by using it! They want to extract this power from you and bring upon this world a terrifying legacy.”
“Extract …” said Kellan timidly.
“I don’t know how they would do it, but it is important we keep you away from them for the safety and security of us all.”
“I can agree to that,” said Kellan.
“How did I actually get here then? Why can’t I go back home now? Surely that would be the safest thing?” “Honestly, we are not entirely sure how you came to be here. We know you travelled via the portal but how exactly that happened, the actual magic behind this, is still unknown.”
“Yes. The USB portal.”
“Seriously!” Kellan said aghast, “I entered via a USB port! That’s ridiculous. Why hasn’t this happened more often? Loads of people would have had it happen to them. How the hell did I get attached to the USB port?” “Something used magic to make your body a USB-portal compatible device. We believe it was King Ludd, the leader of the Luddites. That would also explain how they were aware of your arrival so quickly.”
“Does that mean my fingers are now a conductive material?”
“No, you were simply made compatible with the relevant spell. Obviously, the spell was modified to work with your body but your body would not have changed at a cellular level.”
“So every USB key …?”
“Has been made compatible using the USB compatibility spell, yes,” replied the wizard.
“Seriously! So how come I attached myself to the USB port? How did they get me to move over to the computer?”
“It is not too difficult to control a human mind while it is in a state of sleep, certainly not for basic simple movements.”
“SERIOUSLY! So people aren’t always in control of their actions or they can effectively be kidnapped like me!”
“It is not often that a human is controlled by us, the wizards. Unless it is in the vested interest of the realm we would have little purpose in controlling a human host. It has never been done by the Luddites before, which worries me as they rarely use magic.”
“Right! … So was the guy they kicked in, right in front of me, a case of mistaken identity. I mean they meant to get me didn’t they?”
“Yes, that was mistaken identity, they intended to get you. It was extremely lucky they didn’t.” “Why can’t I just go home back via that USB portal?”
“We only currently have read permission on your body.”
“Seriously! So, I’m stuck here!’ Kellan exclaimed, the gravity of the situation smacking him hard in the face. “It was possible for something or someone to manipulate your body in such a way as you could travel here via the portal. We will find a way to do the same. I’m sorry; I can give you no more absolutes at this stage.”
“How long will I, might I, be here?”
“It could be days, months, or worst case scenario, years, many years.”
“You’re kidding!” Kellan said, chuckling with nervous disbelief while shaking his head feeling dizzy. “But what about my parents? They’ll notice I am missing at some point.”
“Not for quite a while but it is less of a concern for us here. Time moves at a different pace in this realm.” “How long before they notice I am gone?”
“Well, effectively you could exist for one human lifetime for five minutes to pass in your realm.” “Oh good God!”
“I’m sorry. That is probably not what you wanted to hear.”
“I could die of old age before you find a way to get me out of here?”
“Well, luckily if you do die, it won’t be of old age here. You won’t age in this realm while you are here.” “Oh, well that’s something,” said Kellan, finding it all a little hard to accept.
“Let me get this all straight, I’ve been transported into my … a computer and am currently wanted by a group of, effectively, computer viruses or the close equivalent. I am sitting in a bookshop about to head to a library where I will be safe according to a bookshop keeper and a man who claims to be a wizard. It’s all a bit much yet, after what I’ve been through I’m starting to believe it. I swear I must be going crazy. So who are you in all this?” said Kellan with a new found confidence to air his concerns and become more inquisitive.
“I am, I suppose, a caretaker here.”
“What, for this computer?”
“Well, this ‘realm’ is more accurate. This place is not just for your computer but many computers, and there are many realms for many computers and many different realms for different devices.”
“I see,” Kellan said. Of course, he didn’t really understand. How could he?
“‘Sorry, so who are you? A caretaker?” Kellan delved deeper into the meaning of the title.
“I am one of many who help maintain and control magic. I help tame it, keep it under control, and stop it from becoming too unwieldy. We ensure that the magic stays regulated while following the enlightened plan creating a place for magic to dwell without interference from mankind.
“There are others?”
“Yes, there are many of us, many caretakers. Actually, I would suppose the best way to label us is wizards.” “What, like Merlin?” Kellan laughed at this preposterous sounding notion.
“He did come into existence after the stories, but no he is not one of us.”
“So you and a bunch of wizards got together and decided to create this whole computer thing, not human inventors?” “We helped them along.”
“So all the circuit boards all that technology in a computer …”
“Illusions, they give humans something obvious and logical to work with. Humans need that comfort. The true chaotic reality would not rest well with mankind, but humans would also strive to control the powers and use them for their own destructive gains, it would be disastrous for both our worlds.”
“So what is the deal here? I mean, what am I here … am I still human?”
“You are a being of this realm. You have been created from … your essence … your soul, if you will.” Again Kellan laughed in disbelief.
“All your thoughts, everything that makes you YOU has been used to create what you are now.”
“So am I human? Do I need to eat, sleep?” Kellan subtly reached into his pocket and slowly moved his hand over his leg toward his groin to check he still had a dick. He was certain he did but couldn’t take it for granted now he’d thought about it. He felt relieved once he felt his old familiar friend. Really relieved.
“Yes and no. You don’t need to replenish in the same way you would as a human, here you feed off emotion more. You will eat but it is more an attribute to keep defining you as a humanoid. You won’t need to eat as often but it is something you will find you need to do now and then here in the city.
“In the library, you will need no nourishment from consuming food or liquids. The further you are from the library the more you will require sustenance.”
“In the library, the magic is stronger. It has a preserving effect, being there.”
“You said earlier, I can die here.”
“From what? How?”
“You can be broken, like a human body can be broken, but it will take far greater forces. You won’t age but you can be psychically destroyed by violent action.”
“So are you the same, can you die?”
“Not really, no. I am of humanoid form, as you can see, but I am more permanent within this realm. I am more rooted in this place than you are. It would be hard for me and others like me to die.”
“So, how did you get here? Were you born here?”
“No, I simply began to exist here.”
“Is magic only on Earth?” Kellan had to ask.
“I am afraid I don’t know the answer to that.”
“So what are computer programs? What are programmers doing when they code?” Kellan was just asking anything that came to mind now.
“Effectively, they are casting spells.”
“Oh,” said Kellan, now a little unsure what to ask next. He’d heard so much. It was weird but the whole thing sounded plausible. He knew it also sounded ludicrous but then so much of the real world could sound implausible or insane. Like ghosts, whether or not you believed in them, there had been too many people reporting sightings of whatever ghosts were.
In fact, the whole actual manner of existence was pretty crazy. No one could prove for sure what created the earth and the universe it sat within, but at some point there had to have been absolute nothing before there was something. That something created from nothing then went on to create the universe which mankind dwelled within. But what was it made from as there was NOTHING before it? Magic didn’t sound all that implausible when you thought about the maddening complexity and mystery around human existence.
Kellan felt he had to say something more but his head was crammed full of associative imagery that needed processing from the wizards explanation. Instead of another meaningful question he just said, “You know you have monkeys driving cars here, right?”
Of course, the wizard knew he had no more questions.
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