My grandfather often talks about the world before the Divide -- a cataclysmic event where half the population on the planet were cast into another dimension. Apparently, before then, mages did not exist. Everyone communicated through strange devices they called "facebooks," which I can only imagine was some sort of contact list where each page was mirror that would reflect another person's face. He would often mumble about how he was happy that at least "Suckerberg" wasn't pushing "the meta" anymore, but honestly... I have no idea what any of that means.

Somehow, after the Divide, ancient technology burst into flames. The scientists of the time thought that our universe might have been the one that split off into an "anti-matter dimension" where electrons were now positrons with fundamentally different properties. They say that electrons could be conducted across wires and channeled without human interference, but positrons were different. They could not be contained and instead burst out into all directions.

The factories from the ancient world, now imbued with new, positronic energy, spontaneously exploded, wiping out nearby cities. Humans naturally fled to places where ancient technology was not as prevalent: rain forests, deserts, tundras, even the ocean depths -- anywhere they thought they would be safe.

There was, however, a single advantage that we had over the ancients: magic. No one fully understood how or why, but over the next decade, humans became able to conjure fire and water at will. Then came flight, light manipulation, and several other disciplines of study.

The scientists of old quickly went to work and began recreating ancient technology with our new magic systems. Soon, magic circles became prevalent and were used to automate basic tasks. Over the next generation, we grew accustomed to our new lives and began to live as a single, united community known as the Federation.

About 20 years after the Divide came the infamous Great Proclamation, where the president of the Federation said:

These past 20 years have been tumultuous at best. We have lost all of our ancient technology. We have lost family and friends But we never lost hope. Now, with our new magic, we can cast away the old world entirely and start fresh. Today marks the first day in the New Era of humanity. From now on, we will no longer be focused on mere survival, but growth! We will rebuild. We will prosper! Long live the Federation!

For the first time since the Divide, humans felt hope, but the very next year, things changed.

Though we had thought the population of larger cities had been wiped out, that was not precisely true. A handful of people had survived and, fixated on the lives of their lost loved ones, had begun practicing forbidden magic: necromancy. Once a single human had been revived, it was found that necrotic tissue would spread, re-animating everyone who had been destroyed by ancient technology. Worse, the undead were also pumped full of positronic energy and could explode at any moment. They were indestructible and incredibly powerful. Frankly, humanity did not stand a chance.

We slowly began learning new binding magic to contain the undead and the Federation began enlisting soldiers to fight to protect those that could not protect themselves. For years, the Federal army fought every single day, constantly developing new techniques while involved in an all-out war.

Even with this turmoil, my generation was born. It was found that we had orders of magnitude more magical aptitude than previous generations, so we were immediately taught to fight and bind undead as soon as we could speak.

We are humanity's final defense against the hordes of undead and ancient technology now plaguing our world. Every day is a struggle to survive, but we still survive and will continue to do so until long after the undead threat is vanquished.

One day, after a grueling fight, I was cleaning blood and decaying flesh off of my armor when I saw a rather odd looking boy. He had spiky black hair and oddly colorful armor that clearly did not match his surroundings. Intrigued, I introduced myself, "Hello. My name is Lucy. What's your name?"

The boy said nothing, but instead stared off into space, as if taken aback by the question. He then nodded and said, "Lucian."

"Alright, Lucian, then." I inspected him from head to toe and realized that his armor was completely clean, no trace of combat. "Are you new here?" I asked,

"Yes." He nodded without saying another word. Not much of a talker, I guessed.

"OK. Well, let me finish cleaning myself off and I can help you out. Would you like to meet in the cafeteria after?"

"Yes." He again nodded.

Then something peculiar happened. I don't fully understand how, but time seemed to leap forward and we were suddenly in the cafeteria with food in our hands. I looked down and noticed my clothes were completely clean -- in fact, I had changed into a rather slim green dress I didn't even know I had. I must have been way more tired than I thought!

Anyway, Lucian was right in front of me, so I asked, "Lucian. Where are you from?"

He didn't say a word.

"Are you from around here?"

"No." He said.

"OK, well... It's kinda hard to talk without more information. How can I help?"

He again looked off into space, as if heavily thinking and then said, "Where are we?"

"The cafeteria." I said, "Wait, are you OK?"

He again paused and said, "No. I just want to go home."

I didn't know what to say... Then it clicked. The weird armor and speech patterns. This person was from the other side of the Divide. He must be. How would I even ask about that without seeming insane? "Hey Lucian. Do you know what a facebook is?"

Lucian nodded, "Yes."

My heart leapt a bit, "Does that mean you are from the other side?"


I knew it! This is great! Lucian might be the only person on the planet who can understand the ancient technology! This might be our chance to truly fight against the undead army!

"Hey Lucian..." I took a deep breath, "I know this might all be new to you, but I am willing to teach you everything I know. Please party with me."

Lucian thought for a moment and then said, "yes."

In that moment, his eyes flashed green. Wait. Was that binding magic?

Suddenly, everything became a blur. First, I was showing Lucian how to bind undead. Then I was putting on some bizarre armor that Lucian put together. Then I was following his orders!

It felt like every time I blinked, I found myself in another fight or else helping Lucian in some way or another. I was no longer Lucy. I was merely Lucian's puppet, unable to say even a single word out-of-line.

One day, while in the cafeteria, my friend Fira came to visit, and I found that, for some reason, I was able to speak again. "Hey Fira, How have you been?"

"Hey Lucy. Who is this?" She asked while taking the nearest seat.

"This is Lucian. I've been helping him train lately."

Fira looked at him and then back to me, "Ah, Lucy and Lucian! Don't you make two peas in a pod?"

I wanted to laugh and ask,What does that even mean? but instead my face flushed and I said, "N-No! It's not like that!" A subtle reminder that I was still under Lucian's control.

Fira laughed, "I have never seen you act that way around anyone before! You must be crushin' on him!"

I felt revolted. Lucian was not a love interest! He cast binding magic on me, forcing me to do whatever he says! Instead, my body acted bashful and didn't say a word.

"Oook..." Fira looked a bit confused. "Look, Lucy. I need your help. Can we form a party?"

"Well, right now, Lucian is the leader of our party. Feel free to ask him."

Wait. No.

"OK." She looked at me a bit and then said, "Look, Lucy. You are acting really weird right now, but if you want me to ask Lucian, I will."

No, no no! I see where this is going!

"Lucian." She looked directly at him, "Would you like to form a party with me?"

"Yes." He said, and his eyes flashed a familiar green.

It was binding magic again. Now my best friend was stuck in this endless nightmare along with me.

I gotta be honest, I like this world and the idea that Lucy is tied to Lucian as an NPC... But I wasn't able to make the binding magic as emotionally gripping as I would have liked.

I also wanted Lucian to be the "hero to unite" the divided world, but that didn't exactly come into play.

I will probably come back to this one when I get used to writing again. Might turn it into a full novel!

results matching ""

    No results matching ""