You must log in or register to comment.

gaborrero t1_ixrvgel wrote

"Could you imagine how catastrophic it would be if people learned to use magic?" Director Bell asked me and the other new hires. "That's why it's of utmost importance that we find and use ways to reduce mana in the environment and in people."

I couldn't help but speak up. "What about the terrible pain migraines bring, that you said is mana building up to dangerous, even critical, levels?"

"What about that pain in particular? I don't understand," responded the director.

"People have killed themselves over agonizing migraines before."

The room went silent as the fact I had stated hung in the air. The director gave a sad smile as she said, "Some day, you will understand, their deaths were for the better. It allows for built up mana to safely return to the environment."

The icy hand of stark realization placed itself on my back, unsettled goosebumps spreading from the top of my spine, down. "... for the better? Does... does this department advocate suicide?"

"It is an unfortunate side effect of critical mana overload," said Director Bell. "It isn't as if we are going to these people suffering migraines and suggesting they kill themselves."

"You kind of are? The current treatments out there for migraines are inadequate. What is this department doing to mitigate the damage from mana overload?"

The director smiled tensely. "We have better things to spend our time on, as do you. You will learn to adapt and overcome that conscience that guides you, at this job, in exchange for vast knowledge of mana and techniques that will help you manage it."

One of the other recruits asked, "What if we release those management techniques to the public?"

"You will never have to worry about being employed ever again. On that note... if any of you wish to quit now, it will not be held against you. I'm sure nobody will believe your stories of your time here, so you are free to go."

I watched as the other recruits all left without a second thought. I turned to leave as well, but my feet failed to propel me forward. I was stuck in place.

Director Bell came and placed a hand on my shoulder. "There's a lot of learning to be done. Let's get your paperwork finalized."

I felt a sinking, sickening feeling in my gut. What had I just signed myself up for?


mafiaknight OP t1_ixrvwi1 wrote

Now you need to work with the system to hire as many ‘mages’ as possible

Good story. I like your take on it. Thanks for sharing


escher4096 t1_ixrw9q7 wrote

Now add a first day in the field. What would happen if someone had learnt a little on their own? Critical mana levels and their head explodes? Maybe they could see some of the fallout from mana at play.


Etzlo t1_ixt14xs wrote

I feel like I know this one, sort of, was this based on a leaked meeting or something?


IamN8Wright t1_ixrw0nf wrote

"Welcome to your first day at the Federal Bureau of Magic and Enchantment, or the F.B.M.E. We are the Men in Black."

This has to a hoax right She thought. Just a weird migraine fueled dream, this is just too much. She felt the throbbing pain inbetween her eyes, and winced at the light. Well, not a dream then...

"You there, Imogene Pettit, it is very important that you listen very carefully to my next words."

Oh man, what did I do now... and can he please be more quite. Crap, this is turning into a full blown migraine. "Yeah, ok." She winced.

"Hold up your domainant hand, and repeat, "Lux!" And imagine a ball of light."

"Yeah ok sure whatever." Imogene held up her left hand in the same manner as the sharply dressed man in the charcoal suit, and black tie. "Lux!" And two things happend that surprized her, there floating in front her was a ball of white light writhing like she often imagined the sun doing, and the pain behind her eyes evaporated! No amount of medicine ever made her migraines go away, the only thing that ever worked before this was a hot bath with epsom salt, while listening to celtic folk music, with the lights off, and then even only take the edge off long enough for her to go to sleep. By the light of her little sun she could see that he once had an earing in his left ear, but it had healed over due to none use, and a faint scarline above his left eyebrow, "How?!"

"As we mentioned when we picked you up, migraines are your mana reaching critical levels. If you do not use it and expell the mana in some fashion, it will cause physical pain. Its similar to when your laptop overheats and shuts off."

"Ok, but why all the secrecy? Why do we all believe magic is fantasy, if its real?"

"That will be covered later at Quantico. But short answer is: We dont know. People often see magic and ignor it, or think aliens or drugs. To the best of our knowledge, someone or something is making it hidden."

"Weird. But people like me, who suffer from migraines, we are somewhat immune?"

"To a certain extant. For now though we need to determine what sensitivities you have, and how best you can serve the F.B.M.E. We will determine this with an aptitude test."


Optimal60 t1_ixt9mx9 wrote

I hiked up my last pair of six-dollars-and-fifty-eight cents socks and prayed for a slightly-under-forty-k-after-tax miracle.

The Essential Service Provisioners’ building was beige, buried in trees, hopelessly unfindable without GPS. Despite the foliage, I had to shield my eyes from the morning sun. Everything smelled like asphalt. With a nervous flutter, I realized I was creasing my résumé folder.

Opening it to check, my mother’s letter was still unbent. That was good. There was no way to get another one ever again, so I needed to keep this one safe.

With that pleasant thought, I closed the file and walked through the front door.

A grandmotherly looking receptionist completely ignored me as I stepped in. She was focused on- a typewriter? God, what century was it going to be in here? A quick check at the room’s entrances and exits showed me two hallways, a window just next to where I’d come in, and no directory.

“Is this the Essential Service Office?” I chanced aloud.

No answer but the clack of tapping.

I shuffled in place, not quite sure if I should muster the courage to bother her again. It was supposed to be a long day and I needed spoons in my drawer for it.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” I settled, quietly.

Lo, these must have been the magic words, except that I had picked the wrong spell to cast. She made direct eye contact with me for an uncomfortable interval before producing a strip of white gum from somewhere on the desk.

The only noises were the wrapper of the gum, and the hum of florescent lights above. They were annoying- and I couldn’t resist the urge to rub my temple to ease the stinging pressure. I couldn’t help but stare at her teeth (partly stained by her crimson lipstick) as she began to chew, mouth open.

“Which way to the um. The interviews?”

She blew a bubble.

“Your left,” she smacked. Baffled and hoping to put some distance between us, I started down the hallway as directed.

There was a clatter behind me. I yelped, turned- she was staring even more intensely.

One more gum bubble, a pop, and: “You can hear me.”

“…am I not supposed to?” That was a dumb question, I nearly kicked myself just thinking it back in my head. She furrowed her brows, but sat again.

“Maybe not,” she smacked with her final gum bubble. She sat back down to continue typing.

Though it pained me to turn my back to her, I did have somewhere to be. The hallway was low ceilings and humming static, but at least it was well lit. Paper signs were pasted against the walls with various pictures.

I gulped my fears down, picturing them in a bottle with a ship, sailing my anxieties away with the tide. So deep into this image was I that I ran straight into something- as it turns out, a gruff looking woman with lanky, brown hair tied under a baseball cap.

“Oh! I’m so sorry,” I squeaked. She was way taller than me and muscly to boot.

“S’fine. Are you, by chance, Christine?“

With a hesitant nod, I held out a hand. “Yes, Christine Priyanka. Nice to meet you.”

The woman nodded. “Call me Doc. Everyone does. Please leave.”

“…but I just got here,” I managed. “What’s going on?”

Instead of explaining, Doc frowned. “Go home.”

“I’m here for an interview,” I asserted. In my head, all I could think was, what’s with the chilly reception?

“…Huh. That usually works the first time,” she chuckled. “I mean it. Leave and never come back, never mention this conversation, in fact you didn’t hear it at all.” She raised a hand in my direction and snapped her fingers. I jumped.

…was that smog coming out of her forehead?

I closed my eyes, partly to ward off this ridiculous headache, partly to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.

“Look. I need this job. I’m down to my last tank of gas. You could be spitting fire and brimstone and I’m not going anywhere ‘til I’ve said my piece to whoever the recruiter here is. If you’re not here to help me, I’ll find someone else who will even if we’re the last two people in the building. But for goodness sake, please stop with the routine? Ok?”

I opened up my eyes and came face to face with a large, black smoke creature in the room with us.

Doc stared at me instead.

“Well! Guess you really are the one. Congratulations!” With a grin, she took my hand and shook thoroughly.

I couldn’t move, riveted as I was to the sight of a giant smoke demon. Doc inhaled deeply for a moment before blowing the fog away- dissipating it into a harmless cloud. I hoped I was not breathing it in.

“You’re confused, I get it,” she smiled. “Here, come with me behind the desk, there’s a trapdoor to the real office. And yeah. You passed the interview. You’re hired.”

“…just like that?”

“Unless you want to go home right now,” Doc nodded.

Well, I did sort of want to get away from these crazy people and snuggle up in bed with a book, but no more than I usually felt.

“No,” I answered. “I came here for a job.” With a shove, Doc moved the heavy desk six feet to the right, revealing a wooden panel that slid back with a kick.

“Then you’re in the right place.“ The trapdoor made a creaking sound as it slid away. Underneath the panel, I could see brighter lights and hear louder conversations.

“…what exactly is it that you do here?” I asked.

“Never know if you don’t find out for yourself.” With a smirk, Doc jumped through the opening in the floor. I heard her land with a soft “oof.”

Shaking, I reached for the edge to lower myself in after her.


mafiaknight OP t1_ixta6n6 wrote

Well this is interesting

Down the rabbit hole we go!


Canuck_0511 t1_ixtf2r0 wrote

”As much as this seems like a request, it’s not,” The tall man at the side of Sebastien’s bed explained, “This is your opportunity to do something for your country, and the Fatherland won’t take no for an answer.” The intent in his voice hung in the air, as if pressuring Sebastien’s hand to sign.

Silence slowly filled the room as Sebastien flipped through the pages on the clipboard, everything about this seemed official, but there was something off, he couldn’t quite place it. Maybe it was just the pain emanating from the base of his skull getting to him, but as his eyes came back to the sheet on top of the stack, he noticed the ministry crest in the top, left hand corner.

“Magical Investigation Bureau?” Sebastian thought to himself. He slowly turned to face the two men at his bedside, “You must think I’m crazy, right? This is a joke? What the hell is a ‘Magical Investigation Bureau? I think I’d know if magic were real.”

The smaller man tittered slightly, he looked up from fixing his tie, “Mr. Faer, I promise you, we are quite genuine. The Internal Ministry is looking into this seriously. One of the researchers at Vroln Metropolitan University recently published a paper on what she thought might be the cause of the massive uptick in people who suffer from migraines. Most of her peers read the paper and called her a kook, a crackpot, hell, some even suggested the university revoke her funding.”

Sebastien cocked his head slightly, “Okay… I don’t totally understand how that proves anything or why you guys are supposedly from this department of the central authority that I’ve never heard of.”

“Well, if you would let me finish explaining,” he snapped, he sighed slightly and continued, “She came to us, begging to run trials, at first we didn’t think much of Dr Beck’s hypothesis either, but the higher ups wanted to humour her, they had some extra funding from the budget and thought it would be a smart way to burn it. We tested some sample subjects and found that, yes, there was more to the migraines than we originally thought.”

Sebastien laughed, his brain, still somewhat groggy, was having difficulty piecing this together and actually believing it to be true. The men looked at one another briefly, they each nodded in agreement. The taller man went to keep the door locked, as the slender one pulled the blinds of the window to.

“I understand you may be having difficulty with this. Let me provide you with some evidence to support our claims.” the man turned to his partner, “Mr. Stone, would you please switch on the light?”

Mr. Stone grunted and pressed the button on the wall beside him before returning to the foot of the bed. The fluorescent light in the ceiling slowly hummed to life, it’s sickly yellow light just barely illuminating the room. The man beside Sebastien turned to him,

“Now, Mr. Faer, seeing is believing, no?” the man grinned, he slowly raised his arm, holding out his hand, palm up, he whispered but a single word, “Nox.” And in an instant, the room fell into an inky blackness.


mafiaknight OP t1_ixth1a7 wrote


Where do I sign?


Canuck_0511 t1_ixth6zl wrote

On the line at the bottom of course! But beware, there's more to it than you think 👀


mafiaknight OP t1_ixthj08 wrote

“Of course there is.”

“Hmmm...” flips page “...what’s this ‘afterlife’ clause?’


Canuck_0511 t1_ixthnfp wrote

Oh I wouldn't worry about that, it's just your standard NDA and general insurance policies.


mafiaknight OP t1_ixtie8i wrote

Uhuh. I get that contracts have fine print and all, but I’m pretty sure this line here actually says something about ‘eternal servitude’ instead of just underlining that clause


Pedro_PigeonEater t1_ixthhuw wrote

I like to believe that nobody wants to be gagged, kidnapped, and sent to a facility in God knows where and be held captive in a cell while being ordered to take anti migraine medicine every 8 hours, and while I don't judge personal kinks, I find that to be very uncomfortable to say the least, mainly because that's exactly what happened to me in the past 48 hours. At least my migraine stopped, that fucker has been a thorn in my side for months, long live the magic pill!

After around 18 hours since my containment, I was guided to an interrogation room, in which a jackass was waiting inside for me, and while he told me his name, I literally can't be bothered to even remember, so for now we will call this fella Bob. Bob has what is called "The insufferable bastard syndrome", you will see in a second.

I was ordered to sit, and Bob put on the table a folder, with my medical record and information inside. "Ana Williams, 25 years old, your parents died in an accident while you were 5, you lived in an orphanage until you reached legal age, and began working as pizza delivery to pay rent. At age 22, you began to experience horrible migraines that would last weeks at a time. over the years, the migraine would only worsen, with your last visit to the hospital reporting 8 months of constant migraine." Bob looked at me in the eyes. "Do you know what's wrong with this?"

"Yeah, that you guys are some creepy motherfuckers, have your mom ever told you that is bad manners to kidnap a lady?"

Bob slammed the table. "NO YOU IDIOT, YOUR MIGRAINE!" he shouted, making my ears ring. "Migraines are not supposed to last more than 72 hours, yours lasted 8 fucking months!"

See? I told you he was a bastard. "Ok, you'll have to explain to me why a migraine warrants a kidnapping, because you are not making any sense."

Bob sighed, as if he can't be bothered to explain the situation. "Ana, do you believe in magic?"

What? " do you mean like, real magic, or like the song? do you believe in ma-"

"Stop singing" *he ordered, which I did, not because I was ordered to but because I didn't remember the rest of the song anyways. "Magic is something we humans have been cursed with, a powerful tool in the right hands, and a collective suicide most of the time. That's why we mages have gone underground ages ago, and eradicated all proof of our existance to the public, and that includes magic too. To do magic, we use mana, a type of energy that flows naturally inside our body. However, there are times when a magically gifted person has way more mana than what their body can handle, in that case, the body will try to release the excess mana with migraines. Do you see where I am going with this right?"

"...That I am magically gifted?"

"Well, yes, but more important than that, is your migraine. Normally, the migraine will dissipate the excess mana without problems, but sometimes, the excess of mana is too great that the migraine is not enough to liberate it, in those cases the body will not resist the amount of mana and will simply die. However, in your case this is different, by all accounts you should have died 3 years ago during your first migraine, but not only you survived, your body adapted itself to contain more mana!"

"I don't see where this is going"

"What I am trying to say, is that you are basically a time bomb. If not treated properly, your migraine will get so bad that your body will release an uncontrollable blast of magic powerful enough to wipe an entire city!"

"Oh. Ooooooh. Yeah that kinda makes sense, I too would have kidnapped myself in those circunstances. You are still a dick though."

"I didn't ask your opinion, idiot." he scoffed "Because of your high magical aptitute, we believe that with proper training and treatment, you will become a very valuable asset for our agency. Thus, we present you an offer: you will join the agency as a trainee, you will receive an apartment to live in with all expenses covered, a salary, and be given treatment for your migraines. In turn, you will not speak of the existance of the agency to anybody, you will not use magic unless authorized or in self defense, and you will be monitorized to avoid having your condition go out of control."

"And if I refuse?"

"You will be terminated, your existance expurged from all databases across the globe, and all people that ever knew you will have their memories of you remo-"

"OK OK, I get it, when do I begin?"

"On monday, my associate in the meantime will led you to your new home. Welcome to the team, Ana Williams."

"Like I had any say in the matter, what's the name of your agency anyways?"

"The Bureau for the Containment of Magic."


beginnerwriteralt t1_ixvtvxk wrote

"Welcome, we are Earth's Last Hope. Grim? Yes! A quality shopping experience? Also, yes! if you wish to find our shop please continue to the northwes..." The irregular rhythm and revving behind the voice was blatant, my frustration began seeping out,

"You'd think voice automation would be more advanced in a building meant for a job of this caliber, no?"

"It's bold of the fresh meat to be picky this early, Roy, and laughable you think we get any of that sweet, sweet taxpayer money. Nobody knows we exist."

"you're right, Dean, just been stressed all day, after the peer reviews I've been damn near concussed by this headache"

"I'm all too familiar with that electric pain behind the eyes, I think it's best we take a left to the ELH"

it's pretty evident the shop's a victim of low funds, the early morning buzz from the workers around us is worse in the shopping division, a modernistic look from the 2020's would best describe the interior, however, the neon sign heading the front looked like it had seen the Cold War. As we entered there was a barrage of Items lined on the walls from enchanted ammunition to

"Rizatriptan? headache meds next to heavy artillery?"

"Yeah, you'll need some of that."

"The meds or the artillery, Dean."

"mana is one of the few forms of energy that can be destroyed, however, it seems to have a strong preference towards staying around the short time the unrefined stuff lasts, it looks for a host in everything including us, if it was alive, I'd say it's scared of death"

"Dean... you told me about the magic behind mutants created in Japan before you told me I might need to bring some ibuprofen? to stop magic from invading my body?"

"Well, it's not magic, just the energy which magic relies on, and sometimes the byproduct of magic. Migraines are caused by your own mana levels affecting your brain, in most cases, you might've been exposed to a catalyst like Epinephrine. It is possible to be "invaded" though.

"Not exactly what I had in mind for a promotion." I said, gazing at everything for sale, like a newborn baby soaking in their new world, unfortunately this newborn baby felt like it had been dropped a few times.

"it takes very refined and powerful mana to do any serious harm via "invasion" I do feel bad for those born with great amounts of latent power, living off of medication without knowing the true potential that's behind feeling like your skull is gonna cave in."

"So how do I get my own skull from caving in? you seem to have it under control."

"Well a few of the people here do rely on serious medication if they need it and are important enough to keep around, but once you learn some basics in the field your body should adapt."

"Dean? The field?"

"Yes, Roy."


TheThirteenShadows t1_ixuaahe wrote

This is ridiculous. Literally. All my life I'd studied magic, transforming the mundane to the magical. Waking up at dawn and not sleeping till dusk, fashioning wands of the oldest, twisting trees in the forest. Painstakingly double-checking every line and angle in the sacred circles until I fainted from pure exhaustion.

And now, here I am, forced by the government to uproot everything I thought I knew. Magic...was REAL. Ridiculously Easy Alternative Learning. How am I supposed to deal with this? Magic is not something you could teach in a classroom. It has to be learned, as all the masters did, through trial and error. No matter how many limbs you lost or had to regrow. Because it is all worth it in the end.

And the concept of MANA? Mentally Advanced Natural just plain stupid. We do this for spiritual advancement, not natural...whatever! How dare they attempt to destroy our traditions? How dare they suggest that magic could be anything other than what I read out of dusty old books?

It is clear that humans have lost all respect.

That is all I will say on the subject.

Thank you.


Snowdog1967 t1_ixzn7v8 wrote

Jonas Salk wanted to create a cure or at least a treatment for diabetes.

Maria Curie wanted to learn more about radiation.

I was trying to concoct a better way to get high. Yeah, I said it. I was experimenting with "magic mushrooms" and cross breeding them to be able to grow them in my basement instead of having to run out to cow pastures and fight off hippies and curious teens. What I discovered was a migraine cure. Take one milligram at the onset of the stars, and within moments, it all goes away, and no skull splitting headache either. I never should have started selling it over the Internet.

That's how I ended up in this windowless room in some building in a town somewhere, talking to two guys in black suits and a man wearing what looks like wizard robes.

"... Mr. Hargrove? Are you even listening to us Mr. Hargrove?" the suit on the left was waving his hand in my face.

"I might have zoned out, now that you mention it." I deadpanned. "So, I'm uh, in trouble for selling a substance that is currently not illegal, for a homeopathic migraine cure? Have you seen the other SHIT people sell as cures on social media? Do you guys work for Big Pharma?"

"Young man, they do not. Nor do I. I belong to a consortium of... Professionals, would be the best word to use, who practice some of the same experiments that you do, among other things. "

"So you're a hippy? Do you own one of the pot farms out west? Mad that you can't sell CBD or Cannabis oils to cure migraines any more? I know some of you are a little eccentric. Look, my stuff isn't illegal, and NOBODY has gotten sick from it, Heck, the current formula doesn't even get them high. It was failed experiment number three hundred and something on my way to being able to get really rich."

Suit on the right spoke up. "Mr. Hargrove, Agent Smith and I are here as part of a US Government association to limit access to unlicensed magic. The Professor with us is a representative of an alternate nation who live within our boarders, but do not subscribe to our laws. They have been here since the time of the colonies and lived in secret. "

"What does that have to do with me and my Magic Mushroom Migraine cure? Are they wanting a cut? Isn't that how the government works? Cars that run on water? Shut down by the Oil companies. What else do you have to do to keep the little guy down?" I started to get up and the robed one spoke a single word and all I could do is sit. "What the hell?", I whispered.

"Migraines are an overabundance of magical energies building up in the body with no release path. Your migraine cure allows the Manna, magical energies to dissipate without the pain of a headache or the loss of vision from the initial ocular annoyance. Now, our interest in this particular cure you have created is two fold. One, most people who get migraines are probably genetically related to our people, and we would like the opportunity to welcome them back into our fold. Two, we would like to pay you, handsomely, in gold, for your services in continuing to manufacture this cure. Finally, they," he gestured at the two agents, " would need you to sign some documents stating that you are going to work for the, IRS, was it? As a field agent. At least that's the paperwork part. "

Agent Smith spoke up, "Hey Randal, that's not the deal we discussed!"

<unintelligible phrase> and a wave of the hand later.

"Oh, my mistake. Yes, you will work for the IRS as a licensed agent. You will have a security clearance and a GS18 pay grade, but we will give you the rate for living in the Capital. That will pay enough for you to not talk about what you are doing, really. For him."

"Randal, is that your name?" I studied the wizard. "Wizards, MAGIC is real? Why don't I notice people in robes out and about?"

"Where are you going that you would see us? New York City? Down in the financial district of your town? The trailer park where you sold that failed experimental blue meth?" He grinned at that last on.

"Hey, let's not talk about the blue meth in front of law enforcement, okay?" I chuckled nervously. "That was food coloring and diet pills."

"We are, around, most of us don't participate in your perceived normal society. Some of us live on the fringes of it. You have actually met a few of us buying your cure. That's how it came to my attention. I then, contacted my friends here to have a controlled conversation. Now, I would like to introduce to some more of my friends, alchemists who would like to study with you. Plus there's the matter of your payment from us. That is, if you are willing."

"How much gold are we talking about?" I asked nervously. "I know, we aren't supposed to talk about the pay in the initial interview, but this isn't a normal job interview, is it?"

He reached into a pocket inside of his robe and pulled a leather pouch about the size of a softball, and tossed it on the table in front of me. The clink of metal coins was very loud in the room. I carefully opened the drawstring and saw more coins than I could count. I wordlessly tied it back and picked it up. It was heavy.

"You would spend those in our society. That is a LOT of money. You could rent a home and live well with us, on that bag for a month. And every month you work with us, you will get another. They will pay your in this world for your life here." He reached in his pocket for a watch and smiled. "I've got to go. They will provide you with your paperwork and take you home. I'll be in touch." With that he disappeared in a puff of smoke that smelled like sage and cinnamon.

"I hate it when he does that." Agent Smith complained as he waved his hand around. My ex used to sage the place before we divorced. Said she was trying to get rid of bad spirits."

I laughed. I knew what spirit she was trying to exorcise. "I think it worked then."

"Ha ha, very funny. We are going to take you home now. This week you will receive a FedEx package with your new hire packet. Meet your new manager, Agent Jones." he pointed to his partner who was extending his hand for a handshake.

"What next?"


punkcoder t1_iy1uyv0 wrote

"There is no way that magic is real." he said to the man who was sitting in the driver seat of the government vehicle.

“Believe me, it’s a lot more mundane than it sounds. Most people never experience anything that couldn’t be described away as basic good luck, or coincidence. But those are the lucky cases, worst one that I know of happened back in the 1960’s, apparently a couple in Hoboken figured the whole thing out and nearly destroyed the fabric of society. Took the bookstore, almost a decade to straighten everything out.”

“Okay we are going to come back to that, but why do they call us the bookstore?”

“They call the CIA the Company, the FBI the Bureau, and they call us the bookstore. They do it so that they can talk about us in open company. Besides, I assume that the bookstore was one of the more acceptable things that they could have called us. We handle things that are of an occult nature. Which honestly sounds cool till you've been on the job for about a month. Most people who figure their magic, out blow it in the first couple of days before they can really control it. Seriously the number of people who get caught trying to beat the lottery makes this the most boring job ever. Then again that's probably why we run the game.”

“Back to the Hoboken thing, you mean to tell me that the entirety of the 60’s was the responsibility of people from New Jersey?”

“You can look the whole thing up your self, you have the clearance now. It’s all part of the training documentation, hell it should have been part of your onboarding training. The story goes something like this, an old couple in their mid 70s, grandpa has a failing libido and grandma suffers from migraines. One day she snaps, and figures if she can focus all of her mental energy on a sewing needle the headache goes away, and she finishes her cross-stitch at meth addict speed. Next thing she’s working on grandpa’s muscles, and suddenly he’s like a twenty year old. Over the next three months she teaches him and the two of them start tugging at the fibers of reality as we know it.”

“So all of the things that we know about the 60s are because of these two people. All of the sex the drugs and the rock and roll, all because of those two?”

“God no, seriously didn’t they teach you this stuff. Most of what you know about the 60s is from the bookstore cleaning things up. As you put it the sex, the drugs, and rock and roll were all of the tools that were required to get everything back into order from the mess that the two of them created. You hear about people taking acid and seeing sounds and tasting colors? Well here’s the thing, there were two types of ‘acid’ that were going around at that time, one was LSD, the other was an open door to magic that people shouldn’t be experiencing. The worst outcome wasn’t communism or free love, it was the complete unraveling of reality as we know it. Everything else was part of the cover up.”

The recruit looked down at his pressed shirt, everything had been okay when he had left the house this morning, everything felt right about the world. But now there was something that was deeply wrong and he wondered if it would ever be right again.

“Cheer up, like I said in most cases we don’t deal with anything anywhere close to that. The system is designed that way, most of the people blow it within the first couple of hours of making their first awakening. So we really aren’t anything more than glorified tax collectors. Seriously, flash your badge and see what kind of response you get. Most groups will look at you like your from land management or from the county health inspector, you know… check that, the county gets more respect. If, they recognize the letters then they will probably not give you the finger, but it’s never guaranteed. Some you flash the badge and it just pisses them off more, because now not only are you walking into their jurisdiction they now have to look up what backwater agency the letters stand for. I stopped using my badge about two years back. I think it’s still in there. It honestly if it wasn’t I couldn’t tell you where I lost it.”

Mike knew that he was trying to cheer him up but he still didn’t know what to make of all of this. The lead up to all of it had been so weird, and now that it was here and they had basically dumped all of it on them, he didn’t know what to think. He had sat though the orientation but all of the information that they had given them had been veiled in science speak, and he hadn’t been particularly good at science through school. Most of it went over his head and once that started the rest of it washed over him pretty quickly. They explained, in the most clinical way that they could, that there were people who could modify the world around them using their thoughts. They explained that most of the people would be harmless and that they would just need to be redirected. Then they assigned them partners and sent them on their first run. The whole thing felt rushed and reckless.

Sensing the stress in the silence his partner broken in, “The reason that the trainings are so short is statistically speaking most of the runs that we are going to go on are simple ones, and they make sure that the first couple are going to be routine. After a week they are going to take you back in and give you the full briefing and more training. They do it this way to make sure that you don’t freak out with all of the information. Retention has always been a problem with the bookstore, mostly because its super routine until it’s not. Once you’ve had one of ‘those’ experiences you either hang around or your out. Hang around long enough and you get special training to use some of the skills yourself. Outstay your welcome then they put you on patrol and give you a rookie.”

He let out a small chuckle, and it seemed to ease the tension in the car. The radio cut in, “Mike need you to go talk to Sean, over on willow.” He picked up the radio, “Alright, loud and clear, we’re on it”. He chucked the microphone into the center console. “Well rookie, welcome to your first house call, you’ll like Sean… just don’t look at the paintings on the wall.”


mafiaknight OP t1_iy1xxi5 wrote

This was fun. Reminds me of The Laundry Files


punkcoder t1_iy20h5h wrote

I hadn’t heard of it, but with a quick trip over to the wiki, it’s going to be my next read. Thanks for the suggestion.


mafiaknight OP t1_iy2o4jb wrote

It’s an excellent series! I’ve greatly enjoyed every single one.


AutoModerator t1_ixrqi6x wrote

Welcome to the Prompt! All top-level comments must be a story or poem. Reply here for other comments.


>* Stories at least 100 words. Poems, 30 but include "[Poem]" >* Responses don't have to fulfill every detail >* See Reality Fiction and Simple Prompts for stricter titles >* Be civil in any feedback and follow the rules

&#127381; New Here? &#9999; Writing Help? &#128226; News &#128172; Discord

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.


joethebro96 t1_ixt6f75 wrote

The Ascendence of a Bookworm is a fantastic anime with this premise!


Tepigg4444 t1_ixtezi8 wrote

can confirm, burned through all the light novels in like 2 weeks


mafiaknight OP t1_ixti1ov wrote

Can also confirm. Desperately hoping for another season for the anime


Devil_May_Kare t1_ixt0iex wrote

Nitroglycerin causes migraines. Ergot alkaloids treat migraines. Do they affect mana capacity or mana generation? Or do they bypass the mana mechanism and cause the same symptoms by an alternate route?


mafiaknight OP t1_ixt48sy wrote

Nitroglycerin is an extremely energetic explosive. Ever wondered why?

Ergot Alkaloids are mana sinks. They absorb some of the mana in your body and allow it to be passed like food.


Devil_May_Kare t1_ixtoohx wrote

Nitroglycerin is an explosive because it has oxygen and fuel in the same molecule. Benzoyl peroxide is another fuel/oxidizer mix and is also explosive, even though it doesn't cause migraines.


mafiaknight OP t1_ixtyfp3 wrote

Work with me here. I’m making this up as we go


Devil_May_Kare t1_ixu0hsg wrote

Maybe mama is stored in arterial blood but not venous blood, and when there's a lot of mana the body expands blood vessels to make room. That'd make mana overload one of the multiple vasodilators that can cause migraines.


NealCruco t1_ixvewif wrote

Interesting. So where does the mana go between arteries and veins? Would it be distributed throughout the body via capillaries, like oxygen is?


50sat t1_ixtfp07 wrote

Oh my god, I just got home from work with a HUGE headache.

Seeing this prompt at #1 gave me a perfect laugh, thanks reddit.


mafiaknight OP t1_ixti7eg wrote

My friend canceled on DnD night because migraine. She’s a Druid, so we joked that it’s been too cold for gardening. That lead me to this.


ph30nix01 t1_ixsfi3m wrote

Unless you use a pressure release valve. 😏


claricia t1_ixtm9hf wrote

This reminds me of The Halfblood Chronicles! Migraines were a side-effect of using too much magic. It was one of the things I loved so much about it, because I have had chronic migraine since I was a child. So I pretended that I was using magic subconsciously and that's why I was getting migraines. 😆


Oookulele t1_ixtsxpk wrote

Good news, I can now tell my neurologist that I actually am just an extremely powerful sorceress or smth. No more need for treatment! I'm gonna get rich off performing actual magic and won't be in pain every other day anymore.