Dawn in San Francisco

The Book

Kevin pulled the switch, and the bookcase moved. “Well, this probably merits a follow-up”, he said to himself, and stepped into the newly revealed room.
The walls were filled with diagrams. He didn’t understand much of them, but based on what he did understand he was glad that he didn’t understand more. It looked pretty horrible.
He took a pen out of his pocket, and began to – almost absent-mindedly – make minor alterations to the diagrams. Subtle enough that it might not be noticed, significant enough that it might radically change what it meant.

He had initially wanted to search the basement, but Marco had called dibs on that. Secret evil labs were usually underground. Maybe Satan isn’t big on clich├ęs… or he keeps his evil lab on ground level because he is hiding something even worse in his basement?

Kevin forgot all about the basement when his gaze shifted and he noticed the big book on the table. It looked important, and it looked menacing. And it’s hidden in the secret lab. Definitely worth closer inspection.

He flicked through the pages. It was all written in some foreign language, one he hadn’t seen before. But based on the images and diagrams, he could easily deduce what it was.
Dark Magic.
Forbidden magic.
It was the kind of magic the queens wanted the world to remain unaware of – shadow magic, but also other kinds, by the looks of things. Was Satan inventing new magics? He was unsure if magic could be ‘invented’. Discover was perhaps a better word? Regardless, it was pretty damn impressive. And fascinating.

He ran a finger down the page. I could do great things with you… defeat the Devil, save the world, maybe finally have a breakthrough with my sentient robots project. But at what cost?
Kevin didn’t believe that power corrupted, that dark magic left scars. But Wendy did.
No matter how many times he had tried to explain to her that Morpheus wasn’t evil – and even if it was, the magic and technology behind it could still be used for good – she hated it. It horrified and disgusted her.
If I learn the secrets of this book, if I use it, even once, even to protect her and save the world, she will see me the same way: Scarred. Tainted.
Marked by evil.
Without it I might lose her. With it, I will lose her for certain.

He slammed the book closed, and put it into his backpack.
I’ll give this to Willow. We’ll defeat Satan, but not with his own magics.
Maybe my robots will never work. Maybe the only way is in this book, and this is my only opportunity to learn it.
So be it. She’s worth it.



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