This too shall pass.

The duty watchman waved them out of the circle sharply. It flashed white, the challenge and countersign were exchanged, and two men in arctic uniforms appeared. A third was supported between them, furs dark with blood. Medics rushed forward.

Neatly stepping out of the way of the chaos, Ellesmere led Newkirk outside. Even at a time like this, people subconsciously gave the wizard space, and they were soon out into the corridor. It was a modern facility, constructed of concrete with some kind of low-grade antimagic component. Not a severe impediment to a trained spellcaster, but enough to keep them on their toes.

"Los Alamos?"

"Negative, Newkirk. We need to look into the ambush just now as a matter of priority. Until we have, we can't send you on with any confidence."

"And Beckton...?"

"Is not above suspicion himself. We can't be too careful on a project like this - there aren't many of you left."

Newkirk thought of Dumas, Varenne - and all the others. He bowed his head for a moment in respect.

Comments (3 so far!)



This is clearly a very populated base. The identity of the incoming troops is not stated.

I mentioned in the notes for "Scorpion" (41834) that there is a physiological reaction to magic users from the untrained. Newkirk has his wards - protection against mundane and low-level magic threats - up, which is clearly just enough magic to make you want to give him a little space.

In this world just as the magic can interact with the mundane (see previously, the casting of spells into ordinary bullets), ordinary materials can interact with the arcane. Here, some kind of chemical compound has been mixed with concrete in order to throw off enemy spellcasters that might attack the facility. Designed for quanitity rather than quality, it seemingly only gives the defending troops a slight edge. Such is the nature of mass construction.

Dumas, Varenne, Ealing and Newkirk are all members of one particular group, it seems. How they are connected is not stated.

  • #3865 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0


Following Operation Tumbler-Snapper, Operation Upshot–Knothole tested a variety of nuclear designs and components, but one of its most notable was the tenth shot named "Grable". It was the first test of an artillery cannon firing a shell with a nuclear payload, successfully sending a 365kg shell a distance of 6.8 miles.

Such weapons were subsequently deployed in Europe and Korea as deterrent systems, but never fired in anger.

  • #3866 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0
Robert Quick

Robert Quick

Glad to see this moving forward. The care you use in writing and in the additional footnotes really shows. I think it's a super-unique take that hasn't been explored in proper fiction yet.

  • #3876 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0

Inspired by (sequel to):

Newkirk and Beckton appeared in a cascading flash and swirl of short-lived white particles as if tel…

  • Published 3 years ago.
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