The Broken Path

A Mage, a Warrior, and a Machine, all locked in a dance spanning worlds, times, and universes. Locked together throughout history, guided by their friendship though struggles, pain, and suffering.


8. Chapter 5

Not Fast Enough

     I looked over at what I was going to be running at. I was at a local lake, with a bike path that curved gently around it. My goal was simple- I wanted to get going as fast as I could, and then see if I could teleport at least a half a mile, obviously through some houses or buildings that were around the lake. That was my challenge, and I would do it.

    I was wearing the comfiest set of sneakers I had, that would hopefully be able to withstand the massive forces that I was going to exert on both me and the space around me. Teleportation is a strange concept, but from what I read in some of the books that dealt with the more theoretical parts of magic, it was a three step process- Speed, Focus, and Concentration. To start the process, the person needs to be going fast enough to be able to break themselves down into the space in between our world and the others out there. That's where the focus comes in. If the caster is unfocused, then the spell isn't going to be able to break them down and rebuild them properly, so a large amount of focus must be dedicated to making sure that the magic works properly. The last part is concentration. The caster needs to visualize where they want to end up, and have to concentrate on the details of that location, to make it seem in their mind's eye that that is where they are. That is the trickiest part to get to work, because so much of the mind is busy with taking care of keeping the magic safely contained to prevent the caster from fading away.

    Fading away is something that all the books I read agreed on. If the caster loses focus in the middle of teleporting, their molecules are no longer bound together so what can happen is the molecules start to spread out. If too much time is spent in that unfocused state, the caster, even if they manage to successfully teleport, will be too far gone to survive more than a few moments after coming back to our world.

    Some other books mentioned something called a Focus Stone, a theoretical object that could be used to keep the molecules from splitting apart, effectively guaranteeing safe teleportation. Considering that nobody has successfully teleported yet, there is no way to see if such a Focus Stone really exists.

    My plan was simple- I get up to speed by going around the track, then when I am ready to teleport, just stop going around the lake and go for it. This is stupid and idiotic because if I miss I will basically be a bug on a windshield. I began by starting off at a jog down the path. I wasn't afraid of my muscles failing, because I put up a TON of wards ahead of time, all sapping power from the lovely, and freely available, energy source that is the electrical grid. I grinned to myself.

     Wards are like lamps. They need an outlet to plug into for them to work. The most practical method is to use something close that isn't your own body, like electricity. The only drawback is that when you move too far away from the location that you use as the magical "socket," the connection is lost, so the wards fail. The other option is to use your own body and have the wards draw from your power, but that can backfire if you pass out and the wards that are supposed to protect you kill you instead.

    I remembered what I was doing and called to the wind to help bring me up to speed. Which being to use? I thought back to my room. Dogoda. "Please aid me." I felt some energy drain from me and the wind behind me kicked up, propelling me forward faster and faster. I needed to go even faster. I thought back to all the beings I knew could make me go faster. Hermes. Another incantation and I felt my energy fade even more, but I was rewarded when my feet suddenly no longer touched the ground nearly as often. I made a quick mental calculation. I was going fast enough to run on water, but the theoretical speed for teleportation is slightly faster than 100 meters per second. That is the barrier that I need to cross. I had a while to go before I would be able to go that fast. I willed myself to concentrate on the task at hand. I called another being to my aid. And another. Another. Another.

    My energy fell more and more. My vision shrunk down to only what was necessary, and I called forth another being to help me. I was so close. At my current estimate, I was lapping the lake once every minute. If I could drop that number down to just about once every fifty seconds, I would be ready to go for it. Forget turning towards the lake, if I could pass through some buildings and appear on the other side, I would be setting at least five records, probably one for sheer stupidity.

     Calling one more should do it, I thought. Zoran. Calling him to help me sent shivers down my body, and I realized that this might be my only try at getting this right. My feet were touching the ground once every few seconds, each stride sending shockwaves up my body. It was time. I knew I needed to keep moving around the lake, but it was time to visualize where I wanted to be. It could be a confined space, as teleportation negates forward motion, so there is no need to slow down. I could pick my home, but I knew that it would be a bad idea. As an idea came to mind, I smiled at the stupidity of it, but my fatigue was too much for me to care at this point. I thought of my teacher's classroom, a wide open space with books stacked up on the walls all around, and a few desks for writing and working located on one side. That image was the best one I had, so now it was just time to keep that image in my head and call forth the spell and focus on it as best as I could manage in my state. The words came easily to me, to my surprise.

     "Call me forward, beings of the unknown, and grant me passage through your realm, for I must travel with haste to a place I know well." My part was done. It was time to go for it.

     I felt a sudden lightness as my body lost a considerable amount of energy, and I no longer had the strength to turn on the path I was running. It was too late to stop. All I could do was focus, and hope that the magic ran its course.

    The last thing I saw before my eyesight failed was my arms turning to nothing- and I was gone.

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