Magnus and Tegan drove into the small town, riding their motorcycles and enjoying the passing scenery around. Magnus was a large man, broad in shoulder and strong in looks. He had strong features and a neatly cropped beard. He was dressed in thick leather and a sword strapped over his back. Tegan was a little smaller but no less impressive. She was well muscled, strong but yet still feminine. Both were patch wearing members of the Knights of Olympus, a gang of motorcycle warriors tasked with defending those who cannot defend themselves against threats that normal society both ignores, and is ill equipped to fight. However, on this particular ride, it was easy to get lost in the scenery and temporarily forget all the problems in the world. It seemed like small little places like this were immune somehow. Both were considering driving through when rain started to hit the front visor of their helmets. If it picked up it would be hard to keep going and it was growing rather late. The riders saw a nearby inn and drove in to see if they could get a room for the night. The pair parked their bikes, taking off their helmets and stretching to shake off the tense muscles of a long day of riding. Both riders put their helmets on their bikes and headed into the office.
Inside the lights were on, the place seemed open but there was no one in sigh. Tegan walked up to a bell and rung it. Within seconds the pair heard a back-door open and a person start walking toward them. It was an older woman and she had her cellphone in her hand, looking at it intently.
“Sorry to bother you.” Tegan replied. “I need a room“
Without warning the woman behind the counter picked up a baseball bat and came around, swinging it at Tegan. Tegan stepped back, narrowly missing being hit.
“Hey!” Tegan shouted as she backed out of the office, just missing being hit by another swing. “What the hell?”
Magnus stepped in, catching the baseball bat mid swing and stopping it in its tracks. The woman showed surprising strength, wresting the much larger man for control of the weapon. Magnus shifted, the force of the struggle sending the woman through the front window of the office. Magnus looked concerned, worried he had used too much force but the woman sprang up as if she felt no pain, as if she were ignoring the blood from her now glass filled wounds.
The woman swung and swung, refusing to answer anything Tegan asked of her. Tegan looked back to where their bikes were but saw that two teenagers, each with a phone in their hand and an improvised weapon in the other heading toward her.
“Just what the hell is going on?” Tegan demanded again. “You hate outsiders that much?”
“They look like they are out for blood.” Magnus stated as he went to draw his sword from his back.”
“They are civilians!” Tegan stated, stopping Magnus from drawing his blade. “They seem to be controlled somehow.”
Magnus sighed and turned to the oncoming attackers. “Stand down…this is your final warning!”
No one answered, instead attacking the Knights unconditionally. Magnus put up an arm as one of the teenagers swung with a small length of chain. The chain wrapped around his arm, blocked from doing harm by his thick leather jacket. He yanked, ripping the chain out of the teen’s hand. He grabbed it, using it for himself, swinging and trying to keep the attackers at bay. He did not want to hurt them but since they seemed unable or unwilling to reason with him he might have no choice. He kept them at the chains length; even in their violent state they had some semblance of strategy.
“They all seem glued to their phones!” Tegan shouted. “If there are answers to be had, one of their phones is the key”
Magnus nodded, swinging the chain, smacking a phone out of one of the teen’s hands, watching it fall to the ground. He swung the chain again in a distraction before Tegan rolled under the other two attackers and grabbed the phone. She pocketed the phone, rejoined Magnus and the pair ran to their bike. Magnus beat back one of the attackers with his helmet, buying time for the pair to start their bikes. They tore off, causing the attackers to chase her for a few meters before they all gave up.
Though they were out of danger and could leave they did not. Even despite the spitting rain could be far from danger in moments. However, there was something very wrong going on in the town and as Knights of Olympus, they knew they had to do something about it.
Magnus and Tegan drove around, making sure they were not being followed and parked between two buildings. Tegan took out the captured phone and found it still open into an app called “Enchantech.”
“Some kind of game?” Magnus said as he looked over Tegan’s shoulder. “I wonder where their head office is.”
“I am sensing some magic in it.” Tegan replied. “It is quite difficult to blend enchantments and technology, but the result is usually frightening. “I will see if I can track it down.”
Tegan took out her own phone and looked it up, soon discovering quite a bit about the mysterious company.
“What do you have?” Magnus asked.
“As you can imagine the the head office is actually in this small town.” Tegan explained. “It is not unusual for tech companies to set up in small towns, far away from competition or prying eyes. I think we should go pay Enchantech a visit and see if we could get to the bottom of what was going on.
The pair decided to go on foot. Though where they hid was fairly empty, there was bound to be more people around and the sound of their bikes would easily alert them. They had to be stealthy, it was the best plan.
Magnus and Tegan went from alley to alley, hiding mostly in the shadows. They saw more and more people, all moving in small groups as if they were searching. There were some people off to the distance, running from others. Magnus was about to run over and help but saw the attackers catch up. They did not kill the runners, instead taking the persons phone and putting something in their ear. Within seconds the individual went ridged, getting up and joining the party.
“That has to be it!” Tegan said with a nod. “They are somehow being controlled, and we got to go to the source.”
The pair kept going, moving as stealthily as they could, soon finding the main Enchantech building and sneaking inside. There were many controlled people protecting it, those they could not sneak by Magnus knocked out. Tegan took the devices out of their ears but they were out as if they were exhausted.
“Thank goodness someone is here.” A voice said over the intercom. “Are you with the police?”
“Knights of Olympus.” Tegan replied. “We are here to help. Who are you?”
“I am a project manager.” The voice replied. “I think I might be one of the only ones not affected. I need your help.”
“Where are you?” Magnus replied. “We will help.”
A security door opened on its own and a short woman leaned out. “Quick in here!”
Tegan and Magnus went through the door; shutting it behind them and hearing it automatically lock. Magnus then looked to the woman. “You need to start explaining…now.”
“It was meant to be the next phase of video gaming.” The woman explained. “We would use a device to send signals to the brain and simulate aspects of the game beyond anything available. However, there was a problem, the game was too real and people were caught up in it. Their minds are like zombies, all they care about is finishing a game that never actually ends.”
“How do we stop it?” Tegan asked. “Is there like a central server or something?”
“No…” The woman responded. “It is backed up on the cloud now, linked to all the devices. I can make something that is immune to the game but I would need one of the affected devices.”
“Well you are in luck.” Tegan replied handing over a phone and one of the earpieces she recovered from the infiltration. “I have these.”
“Perfect.” The woman replied. “I can configure them easily, I just have no way of testing it.”
“I will do it.” Magnus offered. “Just tell me what to do.”
The woman reached out and put the device in Magnus’ ear. “It will work instantly.”
Magnus went to talk but found himself unable, his body seeming to go numb.
“You have done really well.” The woman said with a grin. “Tough, intuitive and strong…you will be my best player yet.”
“What have you done?” Tegan asked, watching Magnus slowly draw his sword, his gaze falling to Tegan with murderous intent on his eyes.
Tegan could only stare at her friend, his body taken away, locking his mind away.
“He will be the new flagship character.” The woman continued. “For when the game goes global next week! Prove your worth, kill your friend!”
Tegan began to back away, staring up at Magnus as he went to bring his word down…however, at the last moment he stopped.
“How is this possible?” The woman asked. “I should have complete control over him!”
“It is simple.” Tegan replied, not breaking her gaze from Magnus. “You are an enchantress and have fund a way to use your bewitching over the cell signal. However, I am a witch, a strong one and your simple game power is no match for my abilities.”
“No this is impossible!” The woman called out. “My plan is perfect. He will be the penultimate warrior!”
“He is.” Tegan replied. “Let me show you!”
Without warning, Magnus turned, swigging his sword and beheading the woman. Instantly the app crashed on the phone and the network began to crash, no longer fueled by the dark enchantment. Magnus snapped out of it and looked to Tegan. “She enchanted me, didn’t she?”
“Yeah she did.” Tegan admitted. “Nothing I couldn’t turn around.”
“I am glad I have you watching my back.” Magnus admitted. “I suppose we will have a lot of confused people in this town.”
“Well that is a job for the authorities.” Tegan admitted. “We took out the enchantress, so our work here is done.”
Magnus smiled. “Sounds good to me…Let’s ride.”