Some people just have a hard time accepting reality. Life would be too boring for them thing them if things made any sort of sense so they have all sorts of conspiracies, aliens, ghosts and psychic powers to amuse themselves with. Tom Callis was one of those people. Nothing mundane interested him in the slightest; he preferred to live his life jumping from one ridiculous delusion to the next. Today he seemed to have decided that Latin was a powerful magic language and believed he could somehow invoke the arcane arts by scrawling poorly translated words across the pages of his notebook. He was supposed to be copying down the notes the teacher was writing on the board but that was far too trivial for him. After writing 'Ego me ipsum stultum existimo' without producing any sort of effect, Tom threw his pen aside in disgust.
"Useless," he muttered to himself, adjusting his mirrored sunglasses to get a better look at the page. "Clearly it isn't working because I'm not using a red pen," as if this somehow made any sense. He rolled up one of long sleeves and carefully examined the numerous watches running up his arm before shaking his head in disappointment. "Wrong time as well, I should have known." Considering every watch was set to a different time and one was even running backwards, it was unsurprising that he didn't know much about the time.
"Callis!" snapped Mr McKinley from the front of the room, "who are you talking to back there?" Tom casually retrieved his pen and began to draw obscure symbols before answering.
"You, I was just saying how interesting I found this subject," he lied blatantly, disregarding the fact he barely even knew what class he was in at the moment. He was sure it was boring anyway.
"Really?" Mr McKinley rapidly strode to the back corner of the room where Tom was sitting and pulled his notebook from the desk. "Because I don't recall ever teaching you to lurk at the back of the room wasting paper, what's this supposed to be?" he asked, holding the book up. This sort of thing was common in the life of Tom Callis, on any other day he would simply offer some stupid reply, people would laugh at him and he'd end up in detention. Magic is a fickle force however and it chose this exact moment to strike. Before he got a chance to reply, a spark of light leapt off the page of his book and disappeared right into Tom's chest.
"Did you see that!" he demanded, leaping to his feet in shock, "Magic! Right out of my book!" Apparently no one else did see because the rest of the class just looked at him like he was mad. Well some of them did, most of them were used to his bizarre outbursts. Just the other week he heard a plane flying overhead and started shouting that they were about to be bombed.
"Sit down! You're far too old for this sort of absolute rubbish!" Mr McKinley may as well of been speaking to a brick wall for the good it did. Tom started to twitch uncontrollably as a sensation like fire spread through his limbs. Suddenly light-headed, Tom stumbled forwards and the moment his hand touched the desk its legs instantly gave away in a surge of power, sending him tumbling to the floor with it. "I can't believe this, of all the luck!" Mr McKinley tossed the notebook aside and reached to help Tom up.
"I destroyed the desk, I destroyed the desk, I destroyed the desk," Tom repeated again and again, staggering unsteadily to his feet with his sunglasses hanging askew.
"No, it just collapsed, it's old or something," explained Mr McKinley but it was no use, Tom began to gesture randomly around the room, hoping to destroy something else. Unfortunately he seemed unable to consciously control his power and he succeeded only in looking like a fool. "I think you've had a nasty shock, you should go to the sickbay" advised Mr McKinley, "right now, in fact."
"Yes," agreed Tom quickly, keen on the idea of getting out of class and trying to figure out what in hell was going on, "I'll go right away." Moving faster than anyone had seen him travel before, he practically bolted from the room with his glasses still hanging lopsided from his face, leaving people staring after him in shock.
"Now!" Mr McKinley announced loudly, can I have some sanity in this classroom again? Just until the end of the lesson?" Anyone who knew the fundamental rules of magic wouldn't even bother to ask, once magic shows up there's bound to be chaos.
Rule 1: Magic is a load of nonsense; you will never understand how ridiculous it really is.
Rule 2: Bad things come in threes, magic manifests in sixes, that's why hexagon has the word 'hex' in it.
Rule 3: Magic spreads like a contagion, six people who come into contact with it will gain the power wield magic.
In this particular case, there were now two sources of magic in the school, Tom wandering the hallways and his notebook where the magic had originally come from. The same notebook that the teacher had just carelessly thrown aside earlier. The same notebook that had landed on Henry Galloway's desk. Most students would just tell the teacher or brush it off their desk, not Henry, he loved secrets and whatever was in that notebook had disturbed the teacher, making discovering its contents priority number one for Henry.
Completely ignoring the fact the lesson was continuing, Henry turned his cold grey eyes onto the book and began to flick through the pages. Rare pieces of actual classwork were jammed in between the nonsensical rants Tom spent his time writing. There were sentences in ancient languages, long strings of symbols and runes and thrilling theories like 'why aliens control the radio' and 'mind control drugs in the water'. Henry was close to giving the notebook up as useless when he finally turned to a page that was different from those before it. There was none of Tom's cramped scrawl there, rather a message written in elegant and flowing script.
In the depths of his delusions a Jester has unknowingly called the force of magic to this world once more and thus he is the first to take this power. There must always be six, only then will the hexagon be complete. Who takes the power next?
1. Tom Callis
Below this message there was a single horizontal line in black ink and nothing else. Henry stared at the page blankly, this sounded just like the usual garbage Tom would write but the handwriting was entirely different. Could Tom have gotten someone else to write it? Or could he change writing style as easily as he changed his mind? Either way, Tom clearly thought that not only that he was some sort of magician but that he was the best, number one. Henry had no interest in magic tricks himself but he liked the idea of antagonising of Tom so he picked up his pen and drew a neat line through Tom's name.
Three things happened immediately. The line Henry had drawn came suddenly to life, wriggled down the page and spelt Henry Galloway next to the number two. A second line branched off the first one and the message written above changed.
The Schemer seeks to strike a blow against the Jester but his plan leads him to become the second to the take power. Now there are two, four more will complete the hexagon.
1. Tom Callis
2. Henry Galloway
Henry had barely finished reading the new message when the same surge of unnatural energy Tom had felt overtook him. Sweating profusely, Henry raised his hand to ask for a drink of water but as he did so the marker Mr McKinley was writing on the whiteboard with exploded in a fountain of colour, splashing across the room. Henry quickly slapped his hand back down, realising too late that this was exactly what Tom had done. For the second time that lesson, the legs of a desk buckled and it crumpled forward onto the floor with a crash. For a long moment there was only silence as Mr McKinley stared at his ruined shirt.
"What in the blazes is going on in this classroom!?" he demanded furiously, as if some student would own up to performing a prank. "Who's been hacking at the legs of the desks? And who tampered with my whiteboard marker?" Tom's notebook flickered briefly from where it lay on the floor, as if it was confessing its crime but only Henry saw it as the silence stretched on. "Fine then, if someone wants to muck around, then I'll just have to move the date of your presentation to right now." Groans and shouts of 'I'm not ready!' instantly filled the room but Mr McKinley was not interested in the slightest. "Galloway, move to another desk, Hull, you can go first."
While Mr McKinley's class was being punished for something a supernatural force did, Tom was still wandering the hallways in a daze. He had barely made it out of the room before he was seized by a sudden bout of disorientation. The world was swimming and lockers rattled as Tom stumbled past them. Finally he reached a drinking fountain and staggered towards it as if a drink of water would somehow cure him. He never made it; he was a couple steps away when a geyser of water suddenly exploded from the tap, effectively flooding this section of hallway. Tom's vision instantly cleared and he could think straight once more. The connection was obvious; whenever something unnatural occurred the illness momentarily vanished.
"Too much magic," announced Tom, totally at ease with conversing aloud with himself, "how do I control it without wrecking anything?" He was disturbed by the sound of footsteps against the wet floor and casually turned around to greet the approaching girl.
"Hello there Zoe, trying to escape the endless propaganda are you?" Tom often referred to his classes as propaganda designed to strip students of free will; people were used to his weird theories by now. Zoe Barker looked pointedly from the drinking fountain to the puddle of water before shooting a questioning look at Tom.
"Actually I was just let out to get a drink," she answered, "is that what you were trying to do?" Zoe wasn't exactly sure how he'd managed to flood the hallway instead but you never knew with Tom.
"Not exactly, I just developed magic powers," he said without any sarcasm, like that sort of thing happened to him every day. Sophie shook her head, sending her dark ponytail whipping around, now Tom was blaming magic for bad maintenance? Did he also believe his toaster was trying to kill him?
"Um, actually I'm pretty sure that leaking pipes are a more likely cause of flooding than magical anomalies. I don't think you should use that fountain again."
"Leaking pipes?" Tom laughed loudly, "That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard!" This was coming from someone who just claimed to have magical powers but Zoe was too polite to point it out. "If it's not magic then how did I destroy a desk?"
"You do realise vandalism isn't a magic power right? Because_" she never had time to finish her sentence as Tom suddenly stumbled forward and crumpled to his knees, clutching his head. The water around him fragmented into a dozen different colours. Before Zoe had a chance to react in any way, the multi-hued water rippled outwards until it reached her feet. "Ok, that was not vandalism," she muttered before the world around her dissolved into a myriad of colours and confusion.
Meanwhile, Mr McKinley's efforts to restore some sanity to his classroom were failing dismally. Like the others, Henry was incapable of controlling his magic and the clock had already flung itself from the wall and shattered a window. Student's belongings were suddenly skidding across their desks without warning and the classroom door was slamming open and shut repeatedly. Endlessly persistent in the face of this unnatural onslaught, Mr McKinley was still insisting on students coming up to perform their speeches despite repeated claims that the room was haunted.
"Well unless these so-called ghosts are intending to mark your presentation instead, I'm afraid the lesson will continue while this room is still standing," he announced, ignoring the fact he had no explanation for the events occurring in his classroom. Henry had retrieved Tom's notebook and was desperately looking through it for some way to solve this problem. He was out of luck though, there were plenty of references to magic tricks and bogus incantations that did nothing but that was about it. Finally Henry was left with no choice but to go back to the page that had started this mess and was startled to find a third line had been added along with a new a message.
Devastation follows where the lone gatekeeper walks; a third adds her seal and takes the power. Three more must be found if the hexagon is to be closed.
1. Tom Callis
2. Henry Galloway
3. Zoe Barker
Finally Henry had learnt something useful, a reference to a gatekeeper and closing the hexagon. Were the three of them gatekeepers? Would the destruction stop once all six were found? He picked up his pen and tried writing a question on the page. 'What is this and how can I make it stop?' An answer flickered into existence on the page in the same flowing script the other writing was in.
This is magic; once more a gate has opened and let it through to your world. As long as the gate remains open more magic than you can possibly control will flow through you. When six are joined the hexagon is complete and the gate will be sealed. The magic will no longer act on its own accord after this, whether you learn to wield it or not is immaterial.
So this would continue at least until another three people suddenly developed magic powers? Henry glanced down at the notebook, that's where he had found the power and presumably so had Tom. However Zoe had gotten magic was irrelevant to Henry at the moment; he went back to scouring the book for information. Whatever Tom had been writing before Mr McKinley had interrupted him had started all this mess, maybe reading it aloud would have some effect. The hexagon had to be closed soon or the whole building was going collapse at any minute. Funnily enough, one hallway was already pretty much in ruins at this point, though Henry didn't know it.
Tom and Zoe were currently unconscious in the sick bay, teachers investigating the racket had arrived to find a gaping hole in the wall, water everywhere and the two students passed out right in the middle. The principal was scurrying around the nurse's office in a state of immense agitation and confusion.
"The pipes in the walls should not just suddenly explode! I mean they haven't been maintained since they were installed but this sort of thing does not happen in my school!" Unfortunately his school did have a rather long running history of terrible maintenance, hence why Mr McKinley didn't find much strange about his classroom practically falling to pieces around him. "There'll be an inquiry into this, we'll be closed for sure," he paused his erratic pacing to look over at the nurse. "The two students, what's wrong with them?"
"They just won't wake up," she replied, "they both look completely unharmed but they are completely unresponsive. The boy was even still wearing his sunglasses when we found him, they weren't even scratched. We'll have to inform their parents soon."
"Inform their parents!?" the principal practically shrieked, "and what, tell them their children spontaneously fell into a coma when half the wall exploded next to them!? Oh that will go down well won't it?"
"We have to tell them all the same, you can't ignore something like this. You'll have to call an ambulance too, I've got no idea what's happening to them right now."
"Fine! This school is obviously finished anyway," the principal stormed off; unaware he would never be able to make those calls. Watchers monitoring the arrival of magic on this world had already moved to prevent anything leaving or entering the school until the hexagon was closed and that included phone calls. The official policy was to keep the magic contained in one area until six gatekeepers could be found, if an incomplete set of gatekeepers were allowed to leave the school, destruction would follow wherever they travelled. Zoe and Tom were in some sort of magically induced coma and if they didn't wake up soon the sick bay was likely to burst into flames. Henry was planning to release even more magic in a desperate attempt to finish the hexagon while the school was still standing and none of them had the faintest idea what was going on.
Isn't magic just a complete load of nonsense?