Fiction — The MagicLand Chronicles
The First Reckless
Helping someone revisit their past can come in handy once in a while. Just ask Gladstone Freely.
This short story takes place about 1700 years before the events of my debut novel, MagicLand, to be published by Morgan James in June 2021 (available in paperback in December 2021). The characters in this story do not appear in the novel.
It’s not an ordinary thing for an augmented human to walk our land.
We are magicians. We don’t take kindly to Augmenters. No. Let me rephrase that. Our city has always been an Augmenter-free zone. I had never seen an augmented human in our city before her arrival. It is our city, after all. Not a place for those who are often referred to as The Destroyers.
But Gladstone Freely was a mistake. Or a defect. Or, she sometimes said, the result of a hacker’s vicious sense of humor. Maybe, she said, she was all of these things. Could a hacker have done this thing to her had she not been defective in the first place?
In many ways, she was indistinguishable from us. Her human form, perhaps too perfect, her face, perhaps too beautiful, were both designed in a lab, I suppose, where she was grown and nurtured in an artificial womb. She did not go through the process of squeezing out of a birth canal. She did not experience the sudden, unexpected fright of birth. This alone made her a different species.
At least ten generations have passed since the Third Eradication. It has taken that long to secure the city. Our magic rules the air, so the augmenters’ drones cannot attack us in our homes at night with aerial bombardments.
I found her wandering, stumbling, really, unaware of who she was. Her memory had been wiped clean.
I didn’t know who I was but I do now. Merrick has helped me. I owe him more gratitude than I will ever be able to repay. How did he revive my memory? I don’t know. He’s just gifted. I’ll stay here in the land my people call MagicLand, away from my own people, for as…