Last Magician

I am tired. Protecting a timeline on your own was hard, and I have been alone now for .. how long? I don't want to remember. The Sociologists engineered the split that created this reality while Cheops was building his mausoleum, and ever since, I had been the figure in the shadows, pushing and moulding this branch of humanity.

I weave the spell from herbs and blood - life and death and watched the glyphs come alive on the wall in front of me. The socio-mages had been right, as the timeline diverges along it's new, and unique path and modern beliefs replace old, the structure of this one reality becames stronger, more resilient to the damage permeating the rest of the multiverse.

Success brings remembered pain. Truth is, I am an agent of destruction, administered slowly, inflicted over years. But this damage is necessitated by the impending death of the wider universe.

It wasn't always this way. Once, magic gave life and cohesion to each reality - binding them together. But magic is limited. And when it is used it can never be replaced. Humankind's true reality began to fail, held together by ever more powerful spells that drained the power ever faster. The end hastened.

So they split off this dangerous bubble and cast it adrift, leaving me as guardian. My mandate was to destroy belief in magic and replace it by the long-theorised cold, hard logic of science. Many died. Holy men were destroyed. Cultures were warped. Animism - the underpinning of true magic - was slowly erased.

As my spell fails and the glyphs fade for the last time, I feel the emptiness of true success. Here, in this timeline, humanity's collective psyche had performed the greatest spell of all - reforming reality and replacing the flexibility of a living universe with the dead strength of mathematics.

As I step into the sunshine, a tear runs down my cheek.


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