Julie Solis stood in at the front of the conference room patiently while the company directors filed in and found their seats. Nine directors including the CEO, Daniel Winters, and the company’s founder, Matthew Sanchez. They sat around the horseshoe-shaped table and stared at the well-dressed woman standing in front of a screen ready to present. Julie took a deep breath.
“Gentleman, we’ve done it,” Julie said. She pressed a button in her hand and the screen switched to a new slide. The new slide showed a pair of black gloves. “These are prototypes, but we’re already working on stylish final designs that people will want to wear. Not that they’ll need much encouragement considering what the gloves can do.” Julie advanced to the next slide. The picture shown was of the moon, taken the night magic returned. The moon appeared golden-orange, with a large star decorating the center; all the directors in the room recognized it.
“9 months ago everything changed. Everyone scrambled to find a way to access their magic. Everyone looked to the past; Wiccans, druids, everyone that glanced at a quartz crystal thought they knew how to tap into magic. My team decided to look in the opposite direction, the future. Instead of trying to use old ways, we measured every metric we could monitor about magic and went to work designing our own method.” Julie walked to a small rolling cart that held a black briefcase. She set the presenter down, opened the briefcase, then reached in to put on a pair of black gloves. She flexed her fingers in them to test the fit, and once she had them on comfortably she walked to the center of the horseshoe-table.
“These gloves…,” she caressed each one as if she were a gameshow hostess showing off prizes. “act as a channel for mana.” Julie held her hands up with fingers splayed wide; a blue “100%” appeared on the back of her hands as she presented them to the board. “The readout estimates how much mana I have left. I can direct my mana into them,” the entirety of the gloves began to glow with blue light. “…then casting a spell is as easy as,…” Julie made several quick movements, that resembled sign language, with her hands. When she stopped moving her hands a small ball of flame appeared in her right palm. She held the back of her left hand up to show the readout: “99%”.
“The gloves can channel mana, but you still have to tell them what you want to do. We created our own ‘programming’ ” Julie used air quotes. “language. It’s a bit difficult to learn, but we have several simple spells that kids will be able to perform out of the box and we hope that’ll encourage them to learn more.” Julie paused to ready the next slide, and an audible chuckle came from the CEO.
“Kids?” He stood up. “WE CRACKED MAGIC!” he said, spreading his arms wide, and using a good portion of his volume. “We can go straight to the Defense Department. Give our soldiers some magic, and poof! We’re the greatest country in the world.” A murmur began to run through the rest of the board members, while a red flush crept up Julie’s cheeks.
“This isn’t a weapon!” She said. “You want to have a great country? Teach the kids how to be great. Let them explore their world using their imagination,” Julie said. She performed another quick flurry of hand movements, then pointed her palm at Daniel, the CEO. A jet of bubbles shot out from her palm and popped against his face. Daniel wiped his face, then chuckled with a shrug.
“Having a great country is just a bonus. As long as I have a great house, I’m fine.” He smiled. “As CEO I happen to have a great house, AND I can fire you. Thank you for your hard work, but we will be presenting the gloves to the Defense Department.” He said cooly, then walked back to his seat. He began straightening papers while Julie gawked at him.
“You can’t do that… I did it. My team solved magic!” she said. Daniel looked her in the eyes, then his eyes floated towards the door. She glanced and saw a burly security guard open the door. She realized he must have pressed a call button at some point.
“Everything okay?” the guard asked.
“No,” Daniel said. He stood again and smiled at Julie. “We have an ex-employee that needs to leave the premises.” The guard entered the room and walked towards Julie. She did not know what to do as the guard grabbed her arm. She debated using magic to escape, but then what?
“Wrong one, Sammy,” Matthew Sanchez said. He spoke for the first time. “That’s our new CEO, Ms. Solis.” Matthew gestured towards Daniel. “Please escort Mr. Winters out of the building. His greed is no longer welcome on these premises.”