Prologue: The Mysterious Island
Matthew Hinten was an undercover weatherman. This was indeed a strange occupation, but he was a brave man who liked to believe he stood for what was right and worked hard for his government.
On this particular day, he happened to be observing charts to predict the weather for the coming week when Janet, his supervisor, called him over to the broadcasting room. “Matthew, come here.”
“Yeah?” he asked as he walked up behind her, while she was clicking on satellite images at her computer.
“Look at this,” she said directing her mouse over a picture of an island in a large body of water.
“Yes, an island. It’s never been sighted before.”
“Really?” The topic caught his attention. “It’s not on any maps? None at all?”
“How long have you known about it?” Matthew asked, now becoming suspicious.
“Just a few minutes. Why?” Janet replied, wondering why it was so important.
“How much do you know about it?” he inquired, ignoring her question.
“Well,” she turned to glance at him, then clicked on other images that showed the same island from other angles, “It’s really wide. I think it might be about as big as half of Australia... and never being sighted... How could that be? Are fishermen and cruise passengers really that blind? Matthew, what do you think? Is it some sort of accident that it was formed? Maybe by an undiscovered dormant vol-”
Learning this, he knew what he needed to do for his country.
“Timis!” he said and everything froze. No one moved. No one could. He had stopped time. He had pulled out his wand quickly and quietly, so that he could perform the spell without drawing attention to himself.
He pointed the wand at his supervisor, Janet. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, although there was no need. “Infinete.” Janet wouldn’t recall anything that had happened in the past ten minutes when he unwound the time spell.
Matthew walked to the front entrance and stepped out. He knew what he must do. He had to, it was what he had been sent to preserve. As a government official, the protection and safety of the citizens he served came before all else.
“Otentum,” he muttered. A velvety ribbon-like substance shot from the end of his wand. It was The Signal, so that all magical citizens living in New York would know that the protection around their country had been broken. Only witches and wizards could see this aqua ribbon, which now began swirling in the air, splitting in two. One went down toward the north end of the avenue that curved around several buildings in the distance and the other down the south, where he watched it split again and twist down the streets that branched off.
When the ribbon reached every home with magical citizens – and someone who knew of his or her magical abilities saw it – it would disappear. All the people of his community would know. They would be informed. There were other government officials who would pass the message on to his country when he broke the time spell. He went back inside and performed the complicated magic that rid the computer system of any and all information concerning the island and replaced it with false calculations. He then waited.
It came just moments later; a bright red ribbon. Protection was restored.
“Continuis.” It was ten minutes before; Janet was busy consulting her images. He disliked tampering with time or using magic to make someone forget but in his line of work, as a government official for the Magic Administration of the unheard-of Zartia, this was an occupational hazard that sometimes had to be done.
Moments passed but Janet didn't call him over.
He may have grown to admire her, but after this incident he knew he would be relocated once more. Finally, he would return to Zartia. Home. He wished he could tell her how he felt but, sadly, he would not get the chance – duty called.
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