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Chapter 1: Destiny's Wake
What are fate and destiny, really? Is any event truly preordained to occur by some higher power or are fate and destiny just myths humans use to comfort themselves when misfortune greets them unexpectedly. Sooner or later, every mage has to deal with events that lie far out of their control and scope, strange happenings and twists that they can barely explain. Is this evidence of fate, of destiny? Michael Winchester didn't presume to know and he really didn't care; all he cared about was his company and results.
Starlight Industries was Michael Winchester's heart and soul, his flesh and blood. He had built it from the ground up, using what little startup capital hand to turn a small tech company into a interstellar conglomerate that offered the most cutting edge technology in the empire. Starlight Industries and his own were household names in the empire, as well as his companie's holodexes. But there was more to Starlight Industries than just tech; Michaek was using it as a way to recruit and train young mages and as well as offer them a job to help them survive in life. His very own bodyguard was his apprentice, Avery, and a fast learner too, he might add. A bit ruff around the edges, but an outstanding student and mage all the same, Avery was.
Michael sat reclining in his office, deep in thought, dreading events yet to pass.
"Unknown frequency detected. Incoming transmission. " his A.I. assistant Mary chimed in, a holographic projection of her beaming out from the experimental holodex on his wrist.
His thoughts broken and his fears now realized, he said, "And here I was hoping I was wrong. Mary, hold the transmission and contact Avery, Spark, and Lionel. Have them meet me at the hangar," in a hurried and worried tone. "Notify them that this is urgent, and no, this literally cannot wait."
"Yes, sir, Mr. Winchester. Is it the-" Mary replied in her usual programmed cheery tone. Michael had designed her to be semi-sentient with a little help from Mind magic, so she worked a little beyond what normal programming would allow.
"Yes, it's that. But we'll discuss it later when everyone is together. Now, if you'd please." Michael quickly explained, making a mad dash towards the hangar. "Maybe it all won't come true. Maybe we can stop it." he hoped to himself, trying his best to calm down and think rationally. "If only.." his thoughts trailed off. The worst was yet to come and little did he know that the skeins of fate were taut around him and the others, they were nothing more than marionettes before its divine will.
Avery was in the lower-levels of the Starlight Industries corporate headquarters, doing one of the things he did best: tinkering. To be more exact, he was fixing up a previous drone design he thought up when drunken --it was a rough workday; he had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and broken ribs-- after work and bored. The drunken design wasn't that bad, it just needed a little fixing up and enchanting.
The new design on the blueprints reminded him of a metal bird that lacked a head, instead replaced with the highest quality digital camera credits could buy. It had special engines --engines that cost him many credits, one in each wing. These engines converted energy of any form into mana and vice versa, which would then trigger one of the many enchantments, causing it to levitate above the ground amongst other things, such as make it invisible, both physically and digitally, inaudible, and give it a similar forcefield to the rote Unseen Shield. Atlantean runes carved into it would bolster the power of these enchantments. Inside of the hull would be reverse-enginered holodex technology along with a motherboard and Mind Arcanum-created A.I. that could control the entire thing according to his orders sent from his holodex. In other words, it'd be next to undetectable.
He was smiling at the labors of his genius, ready to grab his tools and get to work constructing his latest masterpiece. He walked over to his tool shelf when his holodex went off, signifying he had an incoming transmission.
"What is it, Mary?" Avery answered, slightly annoyed at this interruption.
"Mr. Winchester has requested your presence at the hangar. He, and I quote, said 'this is urgent and, no, this literally cannot wait'." Mary replied, her vocal subroutines adjusting to the notice of annoyance in Avery's voice. "He has asked the same thing of Spark and Lionel and they shall meet you there." Mary continued.
"I'll be up in as fast as I can, Mary." Avery said, his gruff voice infused with a bit of excitement. Although he hated being interrupted in the middle of tinkering, but he always loved missions, so he was torn between whether to be annoyed or excited. Avery ended the call and walked towards his armory.
He put his hand on the scanner while another scanned his retinas. "Identify confirmed. Julius C. Ramsey. Welcome, Mr. Ramsey, are you going out on a mission today?" the digital voice of the armory said.
"Yes, Alexa. Ready my suit for me, if you would."
"Right away, Mr. Ramsey." the digital voice responded.