Friday, January 9, 2015

exceeding operational limits

My body is a machine. He reminded himself. This is an expected response. It is unimportant. My controls are in place.

Andron Comutus tensed, his thin frame a wound spring of near perfect control. Only the metronomic grinding of his teeth and beading sweat betrayed him.

My body is a machine. This is an expected response.

His breath steamed in the surreally cold room. The seething chaos of holding bound two spells at once raged in the back of his mind. Eager energies yearned to be free and wreak havoc and oddness and wild changes upon the world.

It is unimportant. My controls are in place.

His black eyes remained intent upon the task at hand. With carefully measured movements and pristinely clean hands, he continued to peal apart the muscles on his right thigh. One of the spells kept his flesh at the consistency of soft clay.

It did nothing at all to stop the pain.  

My body is a machine. This is an expected response.

Eventually he pulled himself wide open, all the way down to the bone. With great care, Andron withdrew a silver scalpel from a nearby crucible.

It is unimportant. My controls are in place.

He then carved and seared certain specific glyphs and symbols into his still living femur. As each scalpel cooled, he withdrew another from its candle-fired crucible. All the while, he slowly trickled the throbbing and honeyed second spell into each glyph.

It took seventeen scalpels and thirty-seven symbols, just as he had planned. The eighteenth scalpel remained in its place, just in case. He never expected to use number eighteen. All was on pace.

His hands were beginning to shake, however.

My body is a machine. This is an expected response.

He hurriedly smoothed his muscles, fat, and skin back together.

It is unimportant. My. Controls… Are. In PLACE!

He was rapidly losing the war within his skull. Andron tried to leap forward, but simply careened off the bench instead. The yard between him and his staff stretched into a mile of misery. Desperately, he tried to hold the spell in his mind. His consciousness wavered, and his spasming limbs refused to obey him.

“My body is a MACHINE!” he screamed and hurled his palsied hand forward.

His bloody fingertips brushed the edge of the staff. He sent the last of the seeking magic into it, before succumbing to quiet oblivion.

And finally, Andron slept in sanguine relief, knowing his misjudgment of bees would not be his ending.

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