This story takes place in a Reality quite different from those of the Magic Ink stories. It is similar to our own Reality with the difference that Magic actually does exist and works there for those who can master their Talent, and therein lies the problem.
First, there are those who have the Talent, but they are unaware of it and never try to learn or do Magic.
Second, there are those who have no Talent, but who are aware of its existence as well as the existence of Magic. While they can’t directly detect the Talent themselves, one of the government’s scientists has developed a secret machine that can sense the presence of the Talent in those with it when they are near it. Naturally these people all work for the government, and they are determined to make use of what they see as a new resource to use against their enemies. This discovery had been made during the early days of World War II, but it had required considerable time and resources to develop it to a usable form.
Finally, there are those few who had learned that they had a Talent, learned to use it, and had then learned something of Magic. Many of them had learned on their own by a process of stumbling onto something that worked for them, and those who had survived that experience had gone on to experiment. Some of the more successful eventually went on to study the more ancient and arcane texts along with the legends on the subject. It was through some of these individuals that the government learned to use and control Magic. It wasn’t a good day for most of them when the government took control of them.
The last group, and the one that we will be considering consists of those trained by the government in the use of Magic for military purposes. The government had only been partially successful in this, and there were presently few of these Military Magic users remaining. One of them is Major Maximilian Hardtrick.