Birthright-The Technomage Archive

Free Birthright-The Technomage Archive by B.J. Keeton

Book: Birthright-The Technomage Archive by B.J. Keeton Read Free Book Online
Authors: B.J. Keeton
slammed into the window, it took him a minute to even register what happened.
    And when he did, he registered the three things:
    First, pain. Second, he was lying on the ground. Third, a large boy a few years older than Ceril was standing over him, laughing.
    “ Welcome to the Sigil , noob,” the boy said. His voice was meaty, but he enunciated his words. Which to Ceril, meant the boy wasn’t stupid.
    “ What the hell, man? Why did you do that?”
    The boy shrugged. “Why not?”
    “ Why not? ” Ceril almost shrieked. “You almost broke my nose.”
    “ It’s not broken, though. You’d be bleeding if it were.” The boy put out his hand, like he was offering to help Ceril to his feet.
    Ceril accepted, and when he was upright, he said, “I’m Ceril Bain.”
    “ Lame,” the boy said. “I’m Ethan Triggs.”
    “ Lame?” Ceril asked.
    Ethan nodded. “Your name. You’re just all-around terrible for a Recruit, aren’t you, Ceril?”
    “ What’s your problem, Ethan?” Ceril said. “I was just standing here, and you come in and start insulting me. What gives?”
    Ethan shrugged. “Don’t really like Recruits, I guess. Most of you guys are idiots, most of you fail, and if you’re not enough of an idiot to fail, you get in my way and screw up my training or my missions.”
    Ceril cocked his head to the side. “What does that have to do with me?”
    Ethan shrugged again. “Who knows? You were here, so let’s just say this is my way of telling you to stay the hell out of my way.”
    Before Ceril could say anything, Ethan placed both his meaty hands on Ceril’s shoulders and pushed again. This time, the back of Ceril’s head slammed into the window, and his vision flashed. He felt himself fall to the floor again. And he heard Ethan Triggs chuckle and start to walk away.
    “ Welcome to the Sigil , Recruit.”

Chapter Five

    “ Who had ever heard of a Charon before setting foot on my ship?” asked Roman, the muscled captain of the Inkwell Sigil . The room of two dozen teenagers stared ahead. Ceril and the other Recruits sat at their own desks, which were really unlike any desks at Ennd’s Academy. Instead of a blank slate, the desks were equipped with a touch-interface computer embedded in the tabletop, which projected a floating hologram they could interact with by waving their hands through any part of the display. Every single student—even the most privileged ones—gawked at the computers as he or she sat down for orientation. The technology was advanced beyond anything they had been allowed to get their hands on at Ennd’s, and that was saying a lot. Who knew about other schools? From the looks on the other Recruits’ faces, though, Ceril didn’t figure they had any more experience with it than he did.
    This was technomage stuff, and if this was what they were given access to on their first day of training, Ceril couldn’t wait to see what he would get next month, or even next year, if he lasted that long.
    Regarding Roman’s question, Ceril actually knew very little, only what Gramps had told him about the Charons. He thought about raising his hand and offering that information to Roman (that is what he insisted the Recruits call him. “There will be no titles and rank as long as you study with me”), but before he could, a girl in the front row started talking. Her hand had shot up like an old classroom pro, and her mouth had opened simultaneously. Roman had no time to give her permission to speak.
    “ The Charons,” she said, then paused. “I suppose that most people called them technomages, though. Charons or technomages, either one.”
    Roman nodded and motioned for her to continue.
    “ Right. The Charons began as a group of scientists. According to most of the Yaghian legends I’ve read, the founding members were tired of the way science was handled thousands of years ago. A man united the four major city-states without a war, and began calling himself the Untouchable.”

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