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Stories from the Verse
Garden of Versers
Chapter 14: Kondor 139
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Previous chapter: Chapter 13: Brown 162
“So,” Zeke began, “that was quite remarkable what the kid did. But you say it’s not magic?”
“It’s not magic,” Kondor replied. He did have to admit to himself that it was remarkable and he did not have a working theory as to what he had just seen--yet. After a moment, he continued. “Magic has always been a fallback explanation for things we don’t understand. Someone in my world once said something about how sufficiently advanced technology can’t be distinguished from magic. For example, I’ve got a kinetic blaster. I have learned how it works, generating artificial gravity and forming it into a sphere with an outward push, then propelling it across space to hit a target like a blunt instrument. But if I used it to shoot someone in this city, they would have no idea what that was, and would assume I hit them with some kind of magic missile or spiritual hammer or something. So just because you don’t know how something works doesn’t mean it’s magic.
“Besides, Derek says it’s not magic. Maybe it’s some kind of weird mental power he developed, or maybe he’s right that there’s some kind of strange biology happening, but it’s not magic, because magic doesn’t exist.”
“So that weird stuff the Lady was doing in the desert, that wasn’t magic either, even though she said it was?”
“I’m sure it was some kind of mental power. I’ve seen that some people are able to impose their will on reality by what they call psionics. Sometimes they don’t realize that’s what they’re doing.”
“I guess. If you say.”
Kondor stood. “So, Derek is flying over the area outside, Shella is using her clairvoyant abilities, perhaps you and I should wander through the castle a bit. I’d like to know the emergency exits, even though of course we have our own.”
Zeke gave him a puzzled expression, then got it and laughed. “Yeah, I’d rather not have to rely on that one too often. I’m with you.” Together they left the room and headed back toward the dining area, exploring as they went.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #277: Versers Resettle. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: