This too shall pass.

An explosion echoed outside. The pair, seasoned veterans both, were in motion without a word. Beckton drew his pistol and ducked behind a workbench. Newkirk joined him a moment later, handing him a Springfield rifle which he took gladly. Both men watched the door with some trepidation.

"Did you catch that?"

"Firebolt. It lit up something - a gas tank, perhaps."

"That might have been the car. How are your spells?"

"I can take a few, but if they have serious firepower we could be in trouble."

Both men hunched down as the firefight started. First it was the popgun sounds of pistols, then sharp cracks of rifle fire began.

"There were two MPs in the car. They'll cover us if they can. We'll find the car -"

"Left of the door - bearing 0-3-0 at forty yards. At least, it was there two minutes ago. I can't see anything right now. At least two groups of hostiles were coming from the south and east."

Newkirk would be entirely wasted on the front lines, Beckton mused, but it was certainly handy having him around.

Comments (5 so far!)



The M1903 Springfield is a bolt-action weapon that was standard issue in the First World War, but was still common in the Second World War due to a shortage of the M1 Garand model of rifle that suceeded it. How and why Newkirk acquired one is not stated.

As mentioned in the preceding story "Helen of Bikini" (#41641), Firebolt is a low-level evocation spell, a common bread-and-butter offensive spell of lesser magicians. Often used for explosive effect, as seen here.

It is fairly common knowledge that wizards have a limited reserve of magic each day. More powerful wizards are commeasurately more capable, and Newkirk is nearly as good as they come, but there is only so much he can deal with.

  • #3067 Posted 1 month ago



One of the eight main schools of magic is the school of Divination, concerned with seeing the past, present and future. While Newkirk is not a divination specialist, at his level of proficiency he is more than capable of looking at small and mundane facts in his close proximity. Why he can't see into the present is not stated.

X-Ray is the name of the first test of the round of tests codenamed "Sandstone" that followed Crossroads. The bomb (Mark 4) employed a new design of core that rendered all previous designs obsolete (including both the Little Boy and Fat Man bombs that were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

  • #3068 Posted 1 month ago
ElshaHawk LoA

ElshaHawk LoA

I thought maybe his spell gave him a sort of X-Ray vision as to where the enemies were.

  • #3069 Posted 1 month ago
Robert Quick

Robert Quick

Not that it matters but are you researching WWII and this story is a side-effect or is it the other way around? Either way this series is rapidly becoming my one of my favorites among your works.

  • #3076 Posted 1 month ago


I usually have a good idea of the facts, then the story comes and I fill in the details. World War 2 is particularly well-documented, so there are tons of small details I can cram in.

  • #3079 Posted 1 month ago

Inspired by (sequel to):

Beckton smoked a cigarette himself while Newkirk scribbled down a long note for his factory chief.

Helen of Bikini
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