She slipped her glass fountain pen from behind her ear, and with it, conjured her aethercircle: a referential window of magic, within which different sequences could be connected in order to cast a spell.

With a fluid, practiced motion, she drew a connection she knew far too well, and threaded the green, vine-like strands of her magic through the mechanism in her hands. As her aether weaved through the inner components and double-checked her calibrations, the screen flickered through various diagnostics.

She watched with professionally-tempered panic. (Technology could sense fear, after all.)

The systems check came back clean.

“That can’t be right,” she insisted. “Are you seeing this, Bradley? A reading of this magnitude--no, an evacuation alert would have gone out ages ago--”

Still, the readings did not falter, their steady warning of catastrophic emergency haunting her office with every quiet beep.

Chapter 0, Page 3

 23rd Oct 2020

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