A fantasy novel that takes place in the near future.
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What if time were a pendulum that swung to and fro through the ages? At one end of the arc science and technology held dominion while at the other end of the arc alchemy, sorcery and magic ruled. In the very near future that pendulum is going to the threshold where science and technology holds sway and move into the region where alchemy, sorcery and magic are the mainstay of life. The result is that the science and technology that rules the world no longer works as designed … if at all. Instead people around the globe begin to discover talents they had no idea they possessed. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for who ends up possessing those talents. So begins the first steps in the rebirth of the 3 main talents of the new age.
Amazingly enough, the fairy tale of Merlin emerges with a kernel of truth behind it. Though one of the most powerful magicians of his age, he was one of the final caretakers of the last age of wonder. Cautions begin to reveal themselves regarding the location of his journal that contains information to not only improve the skills of emerging alchemists, sorcerers and magicians but also tips on how to restrain the forces held in abeyance by the age of science and technology.
An unlikely band of friends begin following the clues left behind in search of Merlin’s lost journal. Finding allies and friends in some of the least expected places they forge onward from clue to clue toward their ultimate destination and reward. Learning about each other as well as themselves they travel from the heart of the Midwest to Europe on their quest. Each step along the way they feel the impending arrival of the evil only hinted at in the various clues. Will the evil emerge into a world totally unprepared to defend itself against such power? Will Merlin’s journal contain enough help to guide them to a mastery of their unique skills and abilities in time? Will they be able to find the journal in time to do anything? Will the perils of the new world allow them to live through to see the end of the quest? Only time will tell.
Just when it seemed that I had the world by the tail, everything was turned upside down. The arms' races seemed to have become a moot point, the fuel problem had been resolved, crime in the streets was declining and a cure for acne had been found. Not only that, but the Israelis and Arabs had settled down to what they call peace (at least according to how peace is defined in their part of the world). I had found a great job, was doing well and going places with the company. Now nothing seems to make sense anymore.
Last month when I tried to use my computer, it seemed to develop a mind of its own. Every time I tried to load the program to update my household expenses, it started printing personally insulting remarks like "Listen butt-head, if I wanted to do your expenses I would have asked for them." And "Piss-off asshole! I'm resting." It seemed that I had a problem with the operating system, so I unplugged the computer with every intention of taking it to the repair shop the next day. The next morning when I went to get my computer to drop it off at the repair shop on the way to work I received a mild surprise. The power cord was plugged into the outlet on the wall again. Well, it was early so I thought that I had forgotten to unplug it the night before. As I reached toward the wall outlet to unplug it, the computer screen flashed "DON'T TOUCH THAT PLUG." Not heeding the message I grabbed for the plug and was knocked on my ass by an electric shock.
As my head was clearing I looked up at the computer display to see the message "I tried to warn you, shit for brains" displayed briefly. Well, I just couldn't take any more of this. I rushed out the door and pounded on Greg's apartment door. (Greg's the resident computer wizard of the suburban high-rise apartment complex I live in.) The tall, dark-haired Greg came to the door rubbing sleep from his eyes. When I say tall, I mean taller than me. Greg is about 6 feet 1 inch, which is a good 3 inches taller than I am.
"I'm sorry Greg, did I wake you?"
"That's OK Tim. I had to answer the door anyway."
"Hey, aren't you going to work today?"
"I really don't feel like going to work today. I think I'm gonna call in sick again."
"I hope you are feeling better soon, however, that's not the reason that I came to see you. There seems to be a problem with my computer and I wondered if you might take a look at it. But since you're not feeling well it can wait for some other time." While I was talking to him, a strange glint came into his blue eyes. At the time, I didn't think it was anything unusual, but it was a look that I would not soon forget.
"I don't think that there's anything wrong with your computer, but if it'll make you feel better I'll have a look at it."
It seemed odd that old workaholic Greg would take more than a few hours off work unless he was bed ridden. To my untrained eye, he seemed to be a little worn out and sleepy but not near death. Trying not to be too critical, I could sympathize with Greg wanting to take a few days off from the office without using that valuable commodity called vacation time. All the while I was looking down my nose and laughing to see the super dedicated computer freak act like a normal human being.
"Why don't you come in and make yourself comfortable while I put on some clothes. Then we can go look at your computer together. You have a few minutes before you have to leave for the office, don't you?"
"Sure, if I were to get there on-time the boss would either come take my pulse to see if I was sick or nominate me for a performance award. Besides, as long you're willing to come over to look at it, even when you're not feeling well, the least I can do is to stick around and keep you company while you're working on it.”
And with that I followed him into his spacious but plain apartment. Walking through the door, I was expecting to see the usual disarray that seemed to clutter his apartment. To say that I was in shock would be an understatement. I couldn't have taken more than three steps into his living room before stopping in my tracks and staring.