by The Urban Blabbermouth
Mage sat on his ancient wingback chair and watched his eight-year-old grandson, Mats, practice porting a mug across the workbench. The mug apparated in midair, missing the end of the table, falling to the floor.
“Granpa, I can’t get the cup on the table,” said Mats.
“Try moving it to the middle of the table,” replied Mage.
Mats apparated the mug in midair over the table and it fell with a clang.
Mage reflected on the time when he was apprenticed to a Master Wizard. My Master instructed me to port a mug across this very work bench. It took a week before I could do it. Kept missing the end of the table. Mage smiled. Fortunately, the mug was metal.
“Good, good,” said Mage, “keep apparating over the table and make it lower each time.”
Mats was a non-magical child. The younger folks stopped believing in magic and now were followers of science. They believed that through science, everyone was a wizard. You did not have to be born with The Talent anymore.
Scientists took this simple spell and invented a device allowing non-magical folks to port objects. The device was a headband but looked like a crown on Mats’s head. The headband read his brainwaves to determine what object to port and where to port it. The marketing people came up with a slogan, Think it, Move it.
"Your father will be home soon. You can show him how well you are doing."
Mage's son was using The Transporter for a quick and easy commute. Scientists created a home device that transported people from place to place. They called it The Transporter, after a similar device on a famous TV show about space travelers.
A teacup dragon entered the room, ran to Mats, leaping at his legs. The cup clanged as Mats reached to scratch the dragon’s head.
“Jawala, sit!” commanded Mage. “Mats, concentrate on your exercises.”
Mythical creatures like dragons were now household pets. Science used their knowledge of genetic engineering to create dragons but without a fierce nature. It’s true that some dragons did burn up parts of their owners' homes but that was seen by the public as the same class of problem as a pit bull biting its owner.
An off-shoot of the genetic engineering was transmutations. You could buy a device that would turn you into any creature you wanted. In theory, a human could transmute themselves into a fairy, at least a creature who looked like a fairy, but Mage had not heard of anyone doing so.
The cup clanged on the table.
“Granpa, can you show me how?” Mats removed his headband and held it out towards his grandfather.
Mage looked at the headband but did not move to take it. How will those born with magic manage? Would they know they were magical? The magical would seem very skilled in using these, these... scientific devices, when it's truly their magic at work.
“Granpa? Can you show me please? I want to do it. Mommy promised me extra apple pie if I could do it.”
“Your headband will not fit me. Too small,” said Mage.
“You can just rest it on your head and show me how to work it Granpa,” said the child thrusting his headband towards his grandfather’s head.
Mage looked at Mats smiling at him, then at the headband. I should retire my wand. No one will want it now. Mage sighed. He reached out, taking the headband from his grandchild, placing it on his head.