3

With Jessica gone Prysim had a problem. She was bored, she hadn’t been lying to Jessica when she said she was just in it for the money. The whole claim to sanity was a little fudged, however. People like her need a goal, a problem to work through. Otherwise, they would start getting unpredictable.

Uriel wasn’t too bad, but she was more of an exception rather than the rule; there was a reason most scientist types ended up villains with badly defined plans for world domination. They didn’t want to take over the world; they just wanted to try. Alecia did her best to channel that boredom as Prysim into making stupid amounts of money and the occasional giant robot for fun.

Now that goal was achieved, thanks to her teleport modules. They had sold at some of the most grossly inflated prices she had ever seen, so she had her money. Combine that lump sum with a specialized intelligence made to launder that money through the markets, and make a profit while doing so. She was top 100 list rich, or would be in a couple of years barring a major market crash.

Doing things in the hope of a profit was pointless to an absurd degree. That was something her particular brand of madness could no longer get excited over. So she needed something new to do, something fun, interesting, and wouldn’t end the world. So her atomic lizard breeding program was out; changes of a global level extinction event were too high.

She was getting a headache too, just trying to come up with something good. Well, something that was good and not blow up the world dangerous. Screaming in frustration as the pounding behind her eyes started she canceled all of her current projects, they were boring anyways. She then made a phone call.

“I’m bored, Owl help me.” Prysim moaned.

“Who is this?” Owl had an odd voice. It was human, that was distorted mechanically, then made to sound human again with software. Owl didn’t want her voice recognized.

“It’s Prysim, help me.” She was too prideful to beg, but it was close.

“Try not to blow up anything too important, or trigger an extinction level event. Rose would be pissed at you for that.” Owl said sounding like she wasn’t sure if the conversation was worth her time or not.

“Who is this Rose? I’ve never seen her, and I’ve only ever heard the name from you?” Prysim said latching onto a potential mystery.

“Him and he doesn’t get out much,” Owl replied.

“Whatever bored,” Prysim said dropping it.

“Build some new crazy thing to sell or something, isn’t that your shtick?” Owl asked.

“Crime might pay, but not as much as legal business practices. The shit you can do with enough money is downright criminal. It makes me want to take a shower as I indulge.”

“Harsh, uh I’ve got some funds that need cleaning.”

“I’ll send you the details just as soon as I finish declaring myself as a bank. Legally, because that’s a thing I can do. Prysim wasn’t even kidding, she was just waiting for the paperwork to clear.

“You’re kind of scary that way.” Owl was speaking in jest, and they both knew it. Owl couldn’t get scared, at least as far as Prysim could tell.

“Says the crazy fairy, who’s a least scary associate is Blackbird.”

“I’m not crazy, I can even prove it if you ever come to visit,” Owl said Prysim believed her which was a whole different can of worms.

“I Know the legends, I’m going to stay the fuck away from Mag Mell thank you very much,” Prysim said.

“Boring.”

“I’m not boring,” Prysim objected. “I’m bored.

“Fine you just need a project right?”

“Yes.”

“Try being a good person.”

“I did that for sixteen years, and you sound like Fey,” Prysim complained.

“We resent the implication Fey is not one of us despite previous associations, and probably won’t be joining us.”

“Probably?”

“Nightingale offered her sanctuary,” Owl replied.

“Since when does Nightingale offer anyone sanctuary? Since when does she even talk?” Prysim asked.

“She hasn’t said anything in a very long time, about as long as it’s been since she’s offered anyone sanctuary.

“Whatever, not worth the effort. Give me a project.”

“Make life, that should keep you occupied. If it works traditionally, it will keep you even more occupied.”

“26.544367% chance the atomic lizard trigger an extinction level event,” Prysim said with pride. Owl hung up on her, so Prysim tried calling back three times. “Pick up, pick up, pick up.”

Owl answered on the fourth try. “Fine damn it, why do you have the number just available?”

“Because I already designed the program and ran the simulations.”

“I didn’t want to know that, but I didn’t mean breed life. I said create life. Make it intelligent and give it free will.”

“Are you trying to get me killed? It’s statistically improbable for me to survive that, those things usually turn around kill their creators and become heroes.”

“I wouldn’t be lying if I said your death would reduce the chances of the world ending measurably,” Owl said smugly.

“Point to you, but cloning is boring,” Prysim said losing interest again.

“Start from scratch, don’t make it carbon based that’s boring.”

“But carbon is necessary for life on this planet, science can’t fix that. I would have no templates, no reference points, I’d need magical workarounds.” Prysim said mostly to herself.

“Non-carbon magic based life form,” Owl said. “Have fun.”

“You do realize this has a better chance of ending the world than the lizards right?”

“Shit.”

“Still doing it.”

Prysim hung up on Owl, she probably wouldn’t be too insulted. Even if she was, it didn’t matter to Prysim her mind was too busy thinking. Magic was always tricky stuff; not her area of expertise, not that she hadn’t dabbled. She could always learn the relevant stuff, it was never as hard as people made it out to be.

How would it all work? Animation spells of some kind if the power source was going to be magic. Wait no, start more basic, materials, base type. No carbon, other options. Why limit to just one thing, what has a bunch of variations?

Flexible, durable, with lots of options. Ceramics. They were good, lots of options, she could make room temperature superconductors out of them. Ceramic body, ok that would work. What kinds of magic? Well, ceramics have been around for a long time, long enough to be a concept. Golem spells didn’t have the intelligence for this, but the elemental magic did.

Wait no, too much magic she was a scientist damn it. Just add a computer brain. Some learning algorithms. A quantum computer out of ceramic would be an interesting project all on its own. An intelligent computer was tricky as well, Prysim hadn’t yet made a true AI.

Prysim couldn’t stop herself as she spun her plans. Making lists of materials, lists of people who could supply the magic, lists of those lists. She started designing the computer brain, found it inefficient and scraped it. She needed more information, better tools, and to stop laughing maniacally to an empty lab.


Alecia made it home about the same time the sun was rising. She was in such good spirits she’d been giggling the entire ride back home on her motorcycle. The bike had been a gift to herself, and it nearly gave her parents a heart attack every time they saw her on it.

It didn’t have any plates and got less street legal with the inclusion of a smokescreen, and a lack of lights. It was too fast for Alecia to drive  so all steering was automated. The cops didn’t even bother trying to pull her over.

Walking into her house she found the living room to be slightly more messy than normal. There was a scale model of her office sitting in the middle, it was surrounded by papers and notes, and the walls were being used to project more info. Her parents and Jessica were all on the sofa talking about something.

“Jessica, what are you doing here?” Alecia asked.

“Playing your little game, your know your dad has a creepy amount of info about you right?” Jessica asked not looking up.

“Of course he does,” Alecia replied grinning. “There have better be food in the fridge; I haven’t eaten.”

“There might be some pizza left. Why are you back so late, I thought you didn’t have anything big going on.” Jessica asked.

“I had a chat with a fairy; it spiraled into a massive new project,” Alecia said. “It’s going to keep me busy for a while.”

“Mag Mell, or dimensional?” It was her father who asked that, talking in his hero voice. Whenever fairies got, involved things got complicated. They weren’t usually evil, but chaotic, and they didn’t follow the normal rules of magic among other things.

“Mag Mell,” Alecia answered. “Don’t worry they probably aren’t up to anything. But Owl did try to kill Prysim earlier.”

“Please don’t let that lead to a war.” Her mother said, less of a statement more of a prayer.

“It was a formality, don’t worry about it. I’ve probably got it covered.”

“Damn it, there are very few groups who can say they have Mag Mell covered, and you aren’t in them.” Her father sounded frustrated, Alecia loved it.

“What makes you think I’m not?” She said walking towards the kitchen looking for some of the cold pizza.

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33

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2 comments

  1. It depends on how many people live there, but “a call from a Mag Mell fairy” seems like dangerously specific information to give out; if Ares calls up Owl to hear what he was doing with Prysim, and Owl says he hasn’t told anybody else yet – well, it could be a blow to her secret identity.

    This story is good stuff, looking forward to reading more.

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