I was waiting in the Federal Building, in the Director Of Magic's office. Ever since I had been promoted to the rank of Wizard, the Office Of Magic had been shifting into high gear to get a new contract locked down onto me. I had been telling them 'no'. Now, yet again, here I was. I was cooling my heels in their waiting room, so they could appear important (to themselves, mostly), for yet another face to face.
The past three months had been busy for me. First there had been the fiasco at work with Mathew Spath. He had definitely been the cause of the disruption of the magic field at the power company I had worked for. He was now wanted for terrorist activities, also. I still had no idea why he had done this.
Then there was my new job with Magical Solutions, which I had accepted as soon as I passed my test at the university. I had received several classes from the MagiSol people, in security spells. They were rather clever. None were in any of the spell books I had bought from the university. These spells were held by the company as 'proprietary items' and belonged solely to Magical Solutions.
Then, there was my fight with the demons. Well, one demon, anyway. I had used my new 'power punch' spell to take one of them out. It had worked, beautifully! Plus, I had the added benefit of making friends with three very unusual religious people.
"Wizard Richmond? You may go in, now," the secretary said, smiling a smile that never reached her eyes.
"Thank you," I responded politely, and went through the door marked: Director.
The office was very well appointed. There was a large oak desk with a leather chair behind it. Paintings were all over the walls, and a leather couch was just off to my left and another leather straight back chair in front of the desk. The director himself was standing in front of his desk with his hand out, so I shook it.
"Ah, Carl! Come in, sir, come in," he said in a booming voice.
Director Greg Stein was about forty years old, and was a huge man. He topped my six feet by at least four inches and had about fifty pounds on me, none of it fat. He gestured me to sit and went behind his desk.
"First things first. I have your new identification card here. Plus I have expedited your passport application. It should be in your hands in about a week. You will need it, soon, you know. We plan on sending you overseas in the near future," the director said, then handed me my new identification card.
I signed for my new identity card and looked at it. It was similar to my old army ID, but with a few differences. The edges were gold trimmed and it had my pay scale listed as 05.
Wow! 'Oh five' was the same pay scale as a Lieutenant Colonel in the army! It also had my photo on it of course. Wizard was stamped in bold black across the top of the card.
"As you can see, we have upped your pay to be commensurate with your new status as a wizard. After you have had a couple years experience as a wizard, we will up your pay scale again of course.
"As it stands, you still owe us almost four years of service to offset our paying for your schooling in magic. However, we would like you to consider renegotiating for a new contract. While we can't meet what you are being paid now from Magical Solutions, I am sure the benefits will more than make up for it," the director said, then launched into the government's pitch.
An hour later I was back outside and headed to my car. I'll give the director this, he tried his damnedest! Some of what he offered was actually pretty good. Still, I would have been a fool to sign. It would have committed me to seven more years as a government employee. While working for the feds was not all bad, I had a better deal in the private sector.
As I opened the door to my car, I took off my cloak and tossed it to the passenger side along with my staff, then slid in. I did not wear the half cape that most wizards wore. I wore a full cloak. I liked the pockets that came with it, and I also liked the flair of a cloak, as I thought I looked good in it.
As I was hungry, I decided to head for my favorite place to eat, a Denny's Diner. Ok, I don't know why I liked this Denny's so much. It was a friendly place to eat, and I had gotten to know the waitresses and the managers pretty well. Besides, I was tired of my own cooking.
I thought about what the director had said about me going overseas, soon. I wondered what that was all about. Was I going as part of a military exercise? Or was it something else? He did say I would need a passport. If it had been strictly military, my id card and a set of travel orders would have been enough.
I pulled into the Denny's parking lot fifteen minutes later, and got out of my car taking my cloak and wizard's staff with me. I wanted all the accouterments of my rank with me. It was in the park across the street, that the demons had attacked my three friends, just three months ago.
I managed to get a booth for myself, and took off my cloak. I stood my staff in the corner and got comfortable.
"Well, Carl, what's the occasion? You're all dressed up, and you're wearing outfit an all?" Theresa asked me.
"Just came back from a meeting, and thought I would get something to eat. I'll have the meatloaf special," I told her. I added my drink orders separately, as I wanted coffee now, and my cola to be served with my meal.
When I had been at the director's office, I had received several items, including a slim book of spells. I was instructed to memorize as many of the spells as I could, or at least become familiar with them all. So while I was waiting for my order, I started reading and memorizing spells.
A lot of them were very complex security type spells, while others seemed to be advanced combat spells! I decided to put the book into my cloak pocket and save reading it for later. It wouldn't do to let a novice see some of these spells.
The meatloaf special was great as usual. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, bread and butter, plus my large coke. For dessert I had strawberry shortcake. I got another refill of coffee after finishing my meal and relaxed a bit.
I thought again about Mathew Spath. What had possessed him to do as he had? Security cameras had caught him casting the disruption spell. Then he had left the area by way of the roof ladder. He had to know he would be seen, so why do it? Also, the disruption spell was supposedly beyond the ability of a sorcerer, yet he had done it.
I shook my head and picked up my bill. I grabbed my cloak and staff with my other hand. Soon I was back in my car and heading for home. I sighed as I got to my apartment. Now that I had a really good job, maybe it was time for me to buy a house.
The next day at work, I was given an assignment to do security at a house in Compton Heights. The owner wanted magical security added to his more mundane electronic security. Gus told me the guy was paying for the best, and to give him the works. I was to cast the deluxe package for him.
I had the use of a company car during business hours. It was a perk of the job. It was bigger than my car. It was a much smoother riding vehicle, to say the least. Twenty-five minutes later I was in Compton Heights, which was a really wealthy part of town.
To get to the house you had to go through a gate, which had a human guard. He checked me on a list, and let me through. I headed up the driveway. The house itself was a three-story monstrosity.
Jeez! You could have fit three normal sized two-bedroom houses in this thing easily, that's how big it was. While I was told this customer wanted the deluxe security package, his wife was suspicious of magic.
She had been working on her husband to cancel our contract, as she thought it would taint her in her god's eyes. I assured her that the magic I was using was not evil at all, just a use of forces recently discovered, the same as electricity or any other force of nature.
She remained unconvinced. I had a sudden thought.
"Mrs. Kyle, you are worried that my magic will somehow offend your God, and subsequently hurt you spiritually. Am I correct?" I asked her.
"I have the number of a catholic priest, if you would care to talk with him? I met him three months ago, and I am sure he can set your mind at ease," I told her, trying for a soothing tone of voice.
"Fine. Have him come here, and if he approves of you and your magic, then I won't object," with that, she walked out of the room.
"Sorry about that. My wife has been very leery about this ever since I told her I was going to hire your company. This has caused her a lot of anxiety," Mr. Kyle said by way of explanation.
"Not at all, Sir. We want our customers satisfied and comfortable with our work. Let me call Father Clancy, and explain the situation to him," I replied.
I got on my cell and phoned the number on the card I had been given. I got his voice mail and left a message explaining what was going on and left my cell number.
"I have left a message with the priest, and I shall return after he has had time to talk with your wife," I told him.
He escorted me out, again apologizing for his wife. I waved that off and told him I understood. I got into my car and drove off while hitting speed dial number two, which was the company I worked for.
I got Gus only after a moment's wait, and explained the situation to him. He asked me a couple questions. Then he told me to come back to the office, as he had nothing else for me.
I pulled into the parking garage for the company, and parked the car. I grabbed my cloak and staff and carried them into the building. I made my way to my office, letting the secretary know I was in. She nodded and kept on typing.
Since coming to work for Magical Solutions, I had become fascinated with security type spells. I had a couple ideas in mind for making new security spells, and since I had the time I was going to work on them. Between the government, and the company I worked for, I had a good background in security type spells.
They were also known as wards. There were a number of types of wards. They ranged from minor little one shot spells; to those very strong ones that once cast, were permanent. The latter wards took time and power to cast, but were always worth it.
I was working on a ward I had been thinking about, when my phone rang.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Carl, my boy. I got your message, which was forwarded from the rectory. I think I can solve your problem for you. I have made an appointment with Mrs. Kyle for tomorrow morning," Father Clancy told me.
"I can't begin to thank you enough. The poor lady seemed to be under the assumption I was doing evil or something else nefarious," I said with a sigh.
I heard a laugh from over the phone.
"Nefarious? I have never heard anyone use that word in a sentence before, outside of a news report or a book," Father Clancy said, and laughed again.
"Well, I have a way with words," I responded modestly.
He laughed even harder.
"I'll see you tomorrow. I have an appointment with her at nine in the morning, so why don't you drop by at about forty-five minutes later? I think I can have things straightened out by then," he said.
We talked a few minutes more about life in general, and then he hung up. A most curious man, was Father Clancy. He was deeply religious, and also fought demons in a head on in your face sort of way. Not many men could do that.
The next day I was back at the Kyle estate in Compton Heights, at 9:30 AM. Again my name was on the list, and the guard waved me through. I drove up the long drive and parked by the front door.
The door opened even before I got to knock on it, and I found myself face to face with Mr. Kyle again.
"Welcome back Wizard Richmond. I must say, the two people you sent have been most convincing and speak of you in glowing terms," he informed me.
I was a little confused. While I was glad to be vindicated, I had no idea of what he was talking about. I knew Father Clancy was coming, and that was it.
"To think we have hosted such a holy person in our home!" Kyle said excitedly.
Hmm, must be sister Mary then. That was the only person I knew who exuded holiness.
Sure enough, as we got deeper into the house, I started feeling the gentle power that Sister Mary always seemed to exude.
"Carl!" Sister Mary exclaimed to me and took my hand in both hers as I entered the room
"Sister Mary. So nice to see you again," I replied, smiling at her with genuine feeling.
"I was just complimenting Mrs. Kyle on her home. She has a very lovely home, here," Sister Mary stated.
Mrs. Kyle smiled a pleased sort of smile, and nodded graciously. Father Clancy and Sister Mary visited a few more minutes then had to leave.
"I'm sorry I was so reluctant to have you cast your spells Mr. Richmond. However, Father Clancy and Sister Mary convinced me that I was being foolish where you were concerned," Mrs. Kyle said by way of apology.
"Not at all, Ma'am. People have to be comfortable with their decisions, and this was an important one. I am pleased that you now trust me," I responded with sincerity.
After that I got busy. It took me two hours to place all the internal spells first. This meant I had to go to each and every room and cast all the base spells and build from there. Finally there was the major spell for the entire house, which I would cast from outside. This spell would be tied to and anchored with the internal spells I had been casting.
By the time I was finished with the house, I was tired. I called the office on my cell and told them I was headed home and taking a nap. I was even more tired than I thought, and when I got home I fell asleep quickly.
Edited by TeNderLoin