“Whadd’ya mean, you could easily crush me in a fight?!” Zach exclaimed to Mike over a freshly cast spell. The contents of it roiled into a miniature storm inside the magically-sealed bubble shield used to contain new spells while testing. Lightning flashed inside of it with small hints of thunder that thrummed in the background, which actually accommodated the mood between the two mages quite aptly.

“Of course I’d win. I’m a far better mage than you, with way higher damage-dealing ability.” Mike responded in a matter-of-fact tone to the younger man.

“Just ’cause you can blow stuff up, doesn’t mean you’re a better mage than me. I bet you can’t even summon anything yet!” He declared to the larger and stronger man, not ready to back down from this argument.

Mike crinkled his nose and then looked down at him with amusement.  As this happened, the storm inside the shield began growing in intensity. The atmosphere within began to turn black as well.  Neither seemed to notice this occurrence as it unfolded under their noses; both were too busy arguing their point of view.

“So?  You don’t need to summon to be a good mage.  I could blow you away with a fraction of the energy you spend on a measly summon.”

“But I can call up a swarm of pests to absorb whatever you throw at me before you can even get a shot off!”  Zach exclaimed rather loudly, almost losing his glasses in the process.

“As if.” Mike scoffed dismissively. The shield now began to shake as it floated in the air, clearly a bad sign.

“Seriously, I could easily beat you!”  Zach’s voice rose further and for a moment drowned out the rumbling noise of the spell going awry.

“Look, just because you’ve been included in some of Tom’s little experiments, doesn’t mean you’re a good mage.”

“Right, you’re one to talk!  At least I was able to work with a planeswalker. You don’t even get that.  How long have you been working by yourself trying to attain the same stuff?” Zach spat back.

“It just shows I have enough talent to do this on my own instead of needing someone else to hold my hand,” Mike snarled.

As they argued back and forth the shield vibrated more and more violently until it could barely hold back the storm within.  If they had noticed it then, they might have prevented a disaster from occurring, but instead pride overtook rational thought. Now pitch black with only flickering flashes of light, the orb began to expand before them.  It swelled quickly, till the formerly watermelon-sized orb was on the verge of bursting, Zach and Mike both glanced up, too late to stop it.

The orb exploded into a typhoon around them, smashing them into the walls of the lab and destroying all the fragile equipment in the room. Bits of incomplete spells mixed with the storm.  With each new ingredient the storm would shift in color from black as night, to neon green, and then to an odd magenta color. The water continued to rise in the room all the way to the ceiling.  Finally the bottle labeled Extract of Peace broke against a table leg and the maelstrom shifted again to a glowing white color.  The flood died down suddenly before it could drown the two.  Looking at the door, Mike carved a sign in the water with his finger propelling an explosion which released the water as the door was blown off its hinges.  As they hit the floor coughing, the enraged Mike made an attempt to stand.

“(Cough) Idiot! (Cough) (Cough) This (cough) is entirely your fault!” He bellowed in-between coughs.

“My (cough) fault?! Your the (cough) one who (cough) cast the spell (cough) (cough)!” Mike slows his breathing till he can speak normally again.

“You’re the one who cast the shield that failed!” He boomed back.

“What?  You were the one who insisted on a low powered one!” Zach sputtered, leaning against the wall.

“You said it would hold!”

“No, I said it might hold!”

“I’ll show you a spell that might hold!” Mike rose from his seated position glowing with power. Chaos surged into his fists he attempted to strike at Zach.  Zach rolled out of the way and stood up ready for a fight.

“I’m going to kick your butt!” His eyes began to glow with a red hue.  As Mike charged him a second time, he let out a blast of energy from his eyes against the larger man.  Mike struck the opposite wall and flew through it into the courtyard.


An explosion was heard across campus as Maytee took the first bite of her sandwich.  She looked over as the smoke rose in the distance, and let out a sigh looking down at her sandwich.

“Man, I was so close to having a nice, calm lunch too.”  Chebon, heavily engrossed in the contents of his laptop, only looked away from the screen when he felt a rumble.

“Did you feel that?”  He looked at Maytee quizzically.

“Yeah.  Someone’s picking a fight again.”

“Shouldn’t you stop them?”

“Give me a minute!  I wanna finish my sub.  It’s meatball marinara after all.”




Half-stunned, Mike fell a story before he mustered the strength to project a pulse of energy beneath him, cushioning his fall.  Fragments of concrete flew everywhere, as a cloud off dust encased the area around him.  Up at the hole, on the third floor, Zach jumped after him.  In midair a blade of glowing energy formed around his hand and wrist.  It extended a foot in length ready to create pain. Now in free-fall Zach slashed through the air, which created flying blades of energy that sliced across the courtyard into the dust cloud.

Not at all fazed by this, Mike jumped into each attack as they bounced off his shield.  Now with momentum and control on his side, Mike caught the falling Zach by the ankle, and slung him into the fountain several yards away. Stunned by this assault, Zach climbed off of the broken fountain as water gushed from the broken piping, sprinkling him. His shield was flickering, from when it almost collapsed from the impact.

“Give up now and I won’t send you to the healers!” Mike yelled.

“Like hell! You’re going to regret that; you left a bruise, jerk!” As they shouted more and more pest constructs filled the hole Zach made in the ground under the fountain. Each one moved away from the opening of his conjured nuisance engine, just waiting to strike.

“Alright then, here I come!” Mike flew through the air at an impressive speed for his size. Holding his hands back, he waited until the last second to unleash his double lightning bolts towards his opponent.


An even louder explosion was heard in the cramped conference room, just a little ways off from where the fight had begun.  Nick stood at a white board, explaining for the fourth time why adding at least some predators to the surrounding forest was a good idea. When interrupted by a second blast that rattled the building, he put down the blue marker he held. After that, he calmly dusted off his shirt and addressed his audience.

“Excuse me. I need to take care of something.”


Mike flailed recklessly as the harmless artifacts swarming over his body.  He would rip one off and smash it on the ground only for another to cling onto him in an endless cycle.

“Enough!” Red lightning flashed off his body electrocuting all the pests in the area around him. Their remains crackled with his energy, then popped into smoke and debris one at a time around the combatants.

“Alright, time to show you what Tom taught me!” Zach declared, calling up more mana.


Swallowing the last bit of her sub Maytee got up from the table. By now people were running away from the fight. A few were even helping others escape.

“They must not be pulling punches.” Chebon commented on the increasing amount of smoke in the air.

“Yeah.” Maytee’s shoulders slumped over downheartedly.

“You better hurry before it gets outta hand.”

“Yeah.” Maytee began jogging to the site ready to hurt someone.


Zach’s eyes began to glow red with power as he chanted a few words.  Red runes also flowed from his feet, creating a magic circle. Mike not wanting him to finish the ritual rushed at him with full force. He threw energy balls, cast lightning again, and even threw a fire ball at him. All they did was glance off, and hit the surrounding area. Not ready to give in, he backed off and landed ten feet away.

“Fine, looks like I have to bring out the big guns.” He chanted his own words of power, and rose in the air a few feet. Where he was standing cannon barrels protruded from the ground lifting him up. They charged up about ready to fire.

At this same time very gruff looking barbarian armor began to form on Zach’s shoulders. He was even levitating, from the power he that he was ebbing with. Only a few more seconds needed.

“Fire!” On that word new pink circles formed at their feet. Spells interrupted they both fell on the ground exhausted. The magical power they were using to keep going was gone; Zach standing first he looks around through the clearish pink field. Nick walked up from across the campus, finally stopping when he was in front of the two cells. He scowled the whole way over.

“What the hell’s wrong with you two?! You blew up half the courtyard, the fountain is gone, and I don’t even know how many people you guys injured!”

“Hey! We had shields up!” Mike countered.

“On yourselves, look I see people barely able to limp away from this because you broke their leg!” As if seeing the area for the first time they saw the full extent of the damages. Water is gushing from the fountain that they destroyed, mixing with dirt and cement dust making more mud. Giant holes are also seen in the ground, big enough to fit a car in. The side of their lab had holes on four different levels with people peering out of them. A couple held onto the barely standing wall as they attempted to leave, small droplets of blood followed their path. A young girl was huddled up in a ball crying, her mother nowhere to be seen.

“It’s not like we can’t fix everything.”

“No! You can’t! What if someone had died in that fight, either of you – or a bystander?! What then?!” Maytee jogged up listening to her friend rant, and yell at what was probably the culprits. This was the loudest she’d ever heard him yell. He was literally shaking with rage. Now next to him he calmed down, but still shaking as his main sign of anger.

“Hey Nick, why don’t you get back to your meetings I can handle this.”

“No.” He muttered sternly. “This is going too far.”

He turned to her now, his face actually neutral. This wasn’t surprising, but still intimidating. She took a step back, as if to be ready to block a punch. That was stupid though. He never hits others, unless defending himself.

“They are staying like this. This is a mark 2 oblivion ring. They can’t leave, they can’t harm each other, and they can’t cast magic.” He turns back to the two men imprisoned. “I have six more hours of meetings to go you both are to remain here until then, and you’re both suspended from magic use until further notice. I will apply it when I return.”

“You can’t do that!” Mike yelled to him.

“Yes, I can.” Nick turned back to Maytee. “Get some mages to clean this mess up, and under no circumstances are the oblivion rings to be removed till I return.”

” ‘Kay.” He walked away. Waiting till Nick was out of earshot, she looked at the dunces responsible. “You know you guys are lucky. We have to clean up your mess, and all you get is a time out. Be glad I didn’t get here first, or that no one was seriously injured.”


“Sorry about that.” Nick picked up the marker, and began where he left off as if nothing had happened. Not even an hour later, a knock is heard on the door. Nick let out a sigh. “I got it.”

Nick began to walk to the door, and collapsed mid-stride. Now on the ground he slept, exhausted from the days events.


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