“Come on,” Vayner hissed at the tablet at his feet, “take Gods damn you.”
The tablet, a piece of slate fifteen inches by fifteen inches, stayed stubbornly still at his feet. At the centre of the tablet was a small circular hole two inches across.
Vayner groaned, looking over at his notes. According to the transcription, the spell should take by now, creating a light at the centre of the tablet. The light would then reverse gravity, forcing the tablet to hover in the air. Not much, but it was something. If he could do this, he could demonstrate that the Ancient Words were more than just a religious chant from ages gone by, they did something.
Vayner sighed, calming his mind once more. Magic in the modern day was a natural thing, like breathing. Anyone could do it, to varying degrees, and if you went to the right School you could learn to harness the power even further.
But the Ancient’s didn’t have the luxury of Traana’s gift. They lived in a time before the Gods ascended to the mountains, before everyone was gifted natural magics-
One more try, Vayner thought. He had to give it a go it should work.
He hummed the start of the chant, placing his finger over the edge of the tablet and drawing it from one corner to the other, following the tablet’s outer edge. He could feel the magic travel through the air to his finger, following the pattern around the edge of the tablet-
There, Vayner thought. A small break in the flow, where the magic got tugged into the tablet by something else.
“Aeshv,” Vayner whispered.
This time the magic followed his command. Instead of dissipating, it flowed into the tablet, running down the grooves he had carefully carved out into slate. The slate began to shudder gently, vibrations running through it.
The magic slowly slipped out of the edges of the grooves, pooling in the hole in the centre. This time, the magic began to swirl around itself, forming a small yellow ball in the centre of the slate.
The slate itself began to lift, ever so slightly off the floor. It wobbled upwards until it was almost half a foot in the air.
It’s true, Vayner thought, the stories a real.
In a flash, the magic vanished. Vayner snatched the slate from the air as it tumbled back to the floor, lest it get damaged. It was warm to the touch, something that he’d not recorded before.
Let’s make some notes, Vayner thought, then we go for experiment number two – working out how the Ancients flew.
- One of the Crew (Stories on a Theme – “Family”)“Let us raise a toast, to Mito!” Captain Ralaydin raised her mug high into the air. The rest of the crew followed her example. Mito blushed. Not from embarrassment, he appreciated … More One of the Crew (Stories on a Theme – “Family”)
- Solitary Confinement (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)“Can I sit?” Yanet looked up from her lunch. The woman, a newbie by the yellow stripes on her arms, stood with her tray of food. She had her newly issued … More Solitary Confinement (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)
- Memories of Hope (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)Fuane sat on the floor, deep in her memories. The memories were the access point to the future. They were a window to the past, pulling time from a place that … More Memories of Hope (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)
- Expel (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)Nainea held on tightly to her copper badge, curling up around it to stop them taking it off her. The cave floor was cold, still wet with the blood of the … More Expel (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)
- The Jewel of Hanerath (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)“HOLD IT!” Cathen yelled. I’m trying gods damn you, Thyren thought. He forced himself to hold onto the spell book, despite the heat radiating off it. The magic poured off the … More The Jewel of Hanerath (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)
- The Anyentr (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)Don’t move. Don’t move. Don’t move. Calsei changed the motto over and over in her head. Her backpack straps pulled at her shoulders, encouraging her to drop from her crouch and … More The Anyentr (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)