The Quantum Knight
Copyright© 2011 by vlfouquet
"Well I'll be back tonight." With that he turned and left.
Carl turned and looked at Peggy who was looking at him. "Gods and Goddesses?" he said.
Peggy slowly started to smile, "Goddesses?"
"Alien most likely!" Carl said.
He watched as Peggy wander back over to the swing. He heard her murmuring to herself, "Fairies? Brownies? Elves!"
Carl left his aunt's house with his mother and headed to the hardware store. "Why do you need to go to the hardware store Carl?"
"I need some things to help me clean up our lot. Later I'm going to need a lot more things to expand my lab."
"Well, don't forget you got to get back to school tomorrow."
"Yeah, from what the Agent said, I'm probably going to need to replace almost all my things."
"I know we may have to hold off on some things, this is going to cost us a lot; especially replacing the house. I don't know if we can get another one as good for the insurance money when we get it."
"In the meantime we need to lease us another place to live so we can get out of my sister's home!"
"Yeah, sleeping on the couch is really awkward for me. Peggy is up a lot at night and she just wanders in. Last night she climbed in to the couch with me. Let me tell you that was startling, when I woke with her hugging me in her sleep."
"Oh, oh! I see, I bet that was funny."
"Well mom, she's more like my sister than a cousin or anything else. I would not want to wake up with my sister hugging me in her sleep!"
"Okay, then while you are in the store, I'll be on the phone to a property management firm trying to find a house."
"Yeah, do that mom!"
Carl got out of the car and hurried into the local hardware store. It was not the cheapest being one of the old family type stores. It stayed in business through service and location, being almost centered to the older residential area of town.
He was wandering around looking at everything. Every time he came in it happened. He would get absorbed in seeing the myriad of items the store stocked.
"Can I help you son?" An elderly employee had walked up behind him.
"Oh yes, sorry. It seem every time I come in you have something else I had never seen. I need some strong plastic wrap, or sheeting."
"How strong, does it need to be flexible or ridged?"
"It needs to be strong, but flexible is a plus. Especially if it can be folded up after being used so that it can be stored"
"We got some rolls of polyvinyl that is fairly strong but cuts easily. It's over here." He turned and headed toward the rear where the painting supplies were displayed.
"We only sell by the roll, and the shortest is 100 feet by 20 feet. That is $11.99 which is pretty cheap. The roll is 5 feet wide as it is folded twice before being rolled up."
Carl picked up the roll or tried to, it was heavy! "Wow, you would not think it be so heavy."
He examined the edges of the sheet and saw that it was very flexible and strong.
"This is just what I need! I'll take it." The man tilted the roll up on its edge then let it fall over his shoulder, straightened up and carried it to the front cash registered. Carl watched; he estimated that roll weighted a good 80 pounds. But the elderly man had handled it as if it weighed nothing.
He laid the roll on the counter. He saw Carl staring at him as he turned to walk away. Smiling at Carl he softly said.
"Technique, son, it's always about the technique do it right and you have no problems. Sloppy and I could have pulled my back."
The girl rang up the roll of plastic, charging it to the credit card he handed her. When she tried to move the roll she grunted and stepped back, looking around for help. Carl went over and got a shopping buggy. He placed it against the counter, and slid the roll edgewise into the cart.
"I'll bring the cart right back."
With his mother's help it took no time to slide the roll into the back seat.
"Now I need some foot wear to work in, these shoes you got for me are okay for school but not around a work area."
"I guess it's going to be Payless then Carl." His mother said.
"This area over here is out of the way and we will not need to work on it for weeks. There is nothing cluttering up the area, and no leaks or anything to damage your things if you stored them here."
Carl was looking this part of the warehouse over. His Uncle Rick was right this would be perfect as a temporary storage.
"Uncle Rick, could you help me bring that roll of plastic in here? I am going to need a clear area to cut it and this place is perfect."
"Sure Carl, let me get a dolly."
In no time his uncle rolled the plastic roll into the warehouse and over to the area they had designated as storage for Carl's family.
Using a tape measure from his Uncle, Carl rolled the plastic out and cut it when he had material enough to cover the area. Then he did it two more times. Leaving the roll behind, Carl folded up the two extra pieces he had cut and returned them to his uncle's car. Returning to the inside he took the final cut piece and unrolled the plastic. It covered the area they were going to use for storage.
Carl waited a minute until his uncle got busy with something else then did a quick enchantment. The plastic flattened itself out and held tight to the floor it was lying on.
"Whenever you're ready Uncle Rick; you can just drop me off at our house. I can make it back over to your place later on my own."
As we drove off from the warehouse he noticed his Uncle Rick looking at him.
"What you going to do boy, some of that magic you and Peggy been doing?"
Carl thought for a minute, "Yeah, I going to move our house into your Warehouse space."
They swerved for a second but his uncle got control of it. "That's going to be one hell of trick!"
"Yeah, and one of the reason I want to do it at night. Once everything is in the warehouse then mom can sort out what is damaged from the undamaged things. We are going to be hurting for money soon."
"Hum, can you move other thing not just your house?"
"I guess, I am really just learning Uncle Rick. Why?"
"I own this old warehouse Carl. Lock stock and barrel as they say. I plan on using it to store things I purchase for resell. One of my big expenses is hauling those things back to here."
"Right now, I've a chance to pick up a broken down Caterpillar real cheap. With a little elbow grease, I can triple the money I spend. But the cost for hauling it in is huge. If you can do it, then I can pay you, and I save money and time."
"That sounds great! If I can make some money it will help to make up for what happen at our house."
"It's a deal then. Let see what happens with your house, if that works we can see what 'Magic Transportation Company' can do for me." He laughed.
Two hours later they pulled up in front of Carl's old home. At first it looked just like the last time he remembered being here. Then you noticed the broken window panes. The house appeared to have a lean to it now. Carl and his uncle got out and began to walk around the house examining as much as they could without entering it.
From the rear you could see that most of the damage had happened where the kitchen had been. It was no longer there, the room above the kitchen was gone also.
Using the flashlights they had brought with them Carl peered in and saw that the floor above the basement was gone. It became obvious with a closer examination that something in the basement had exploded. It had blown the basement right up through the kitchen and out the second floor roof.
"Wow! How did I survive that?"
"Where were you Carl?" his uncle asked.
Carl pointed down and to the side in the open basement.
"Right over there is the last thing I remember Uncle Rick."
"Well, either you are the luckiest person on earth or one of the Star Trek shields you and Peggy have been talking about was around you."
"That's it! All the action was inside a circle that was cast around the working area. It directed the majority of the blast directly upward!"
"I sure will remember that. Never cast a major spell without a circle first!" Carl paused, thinking then he looked at his Uncle.
"Uncle Rick, do you still keep that camera in your truck?"
"Yeah, I take pictures of things I find that I am not sure about and look them up in catalogs and on the internet it helps me price them."
"We need to record this. Peggy needs to see what can happen if you are not careful."
His uncle looked him dead in the face and his eyes widen then he looked back at the damage done to the house.
"Yikes! Yeah, let me get the camera real quick."
Carl went with him and got the folded up sheets of plastic out of the rear of the truck. His uncle came back with his digital camera and began shooting pictures of the house from the front to the back. Then he took dozens of close up of the basement up through the kitchen area and the roof.
While he was taking pictures, Carl had laid the first sheet of plastic sheet across the front of the house and along each side. The last sheet he stretched across the back of the house. He stepped back afterwards and waited for his uncle to finish.
"I guess that enough. I will email you copies of all the pictures Carl. You need to keep track of what you do also."
"Thanks, I know, for a couple reasons. As a warning of what happen when you make a mistake and as a help to learning."
They stood there for a couple of minutes, neither of them making a move or saying anything.
"Egh? Carl, do you want me to go back to my truck?"
"Oh, no Uncle Rick, in fact I would appreciate it if you stayed with me. I was just thinking. 'How the hell am I going to do this?' It one thing to casually say I'm going to move our house from this lot to your warehouse, but when the actual act has to be done I've got to overcome my own fear of failure."
"Do you know how you are going to do it?"
"Yes, it's similar to how I got into your house through the shields Peggy had put up."
"So, you know that it will work?"
"Well, like I said your house proved the concept works."
"So this is just stage fright then?"
"Well I remember what I was told. The first time I had to stand up at the Mule-deer Lodge and give a speech. Imagine everybody sitting bare ass on the toilet. Do it boy!"
Carl grinned at his Uncle. Then he began to walk around the house in a circle. He chanted a little saying as he did so.
"Around and around the house we go
Bind, bind and bind this place
Cover, cover and cover it again
Plastic, plastic from ground to roof.
Cover, cover the house is covered.
Bind the house in plastic tight."
Three times he did this circling the house counter clock wise. As he passes his uncle he noticed him staring at the house with his mouth gaping wide. Carl glanced at the house and almost stumbled. The plastic was creeping up the walls of the house.
He stopped at the end of his third complete circling of the house and looked at what he had done. The house was completely covered in plastic; in fact it looked like it had been shrink-wrapped as the plastic was 'skin tight' on the house.
"Wow, that's something else son. If this works I can see great things for the 'Magic Transportation, LLC' in the future."
"Now, that will hold the house together so it does not fall apart when it gets to the warehouse. This is the big one. With that he chanted the formula he had invented.
"a=A, b=B, a+b = A+B" he visualized the steps he had taken one big roll of plastic. Three cut sheets from one roll. All sheets were one sheets, one sheet is in the warehouse all sheets are in the warehouse. There was a loud whoosh and a glowing hemisphere appeared over the house then collapsed.
Carl and his Uncle Rick stood there looking into a gaping hole in the ground. The house and all its contents had disappeared. Carl looked at the lot with the scattered rubbish left over from the damage to the house.
"Backup Uncle!" he warned him. The he visualized what he wanted and pulled energy. A cyclone appeared in the middle of the lot. As it whirled it suck up all the loose trash and then even the ground excavating an area twice the size of the previous basement. Then it rose and disappeared into the sky headed for the local dump.
Next he melted the earth hardening the walls and floor of the new excavated basement. His final act was to create a barrier to keep people out of the lot so they did not fall into the hole.
He was tired, being able to create energy from nothing or zero-point space meant he had not used his own energy to do the spell. Most old style Practitioners of the Arts would have had to do that, but the mental efforts to hold the thoughts and visualization was still work.
He took a deep breath and rested for a moment. His uncle eased forward but was stopped by the invisible barrier.
"Boy you are just full of surprises! That a $5,000 excavation and you did it in minutes not days."
"I am tired! That took a lot out of me."
"Well if you're through here let's get going."
"Could we stop at the warehouse? Just to be sure the house made it, Uncle."
"Can't think of a reason not to; a few to do." His uncle said.
This time at night it took almost no time to reach the warehouse. Inside they found the house all bundled up and shrink wrapped waiting to be opened.
Carl took a second look, the house appeared taller than it should. Stepping closer he tried to see through the plastic sheeting around the house.
"Well I be darn! Look at that." His uncle Rick exclaimed.
Carl did look, the house was taller, the basement and the ground around it supporting the house was now wrapped in plastic sheeting. That wrapping was holding all of it together.
"Uncle Rick, Mom's going to need some help getting into the house when she comes over here to sort through everything."
"I can help there Carl. I will throw a staircase up to the first floor and anchor it so she has no problems."
"Boy, I want you and me to go partners in a business I'm thinking about. I bring my business skills and contacts. You bring your magic. If you agree I can have my Lawyer draw up LLC papers and we will be in business within the week."
"What kind of business Uncle Rick?"
"A little of this and a little of that. First, transportation of heavy awkward objects. Then the demolition and excavating business"
"Our big profits will be in the lack of expenses. No big trucks or drivers to haul things around. Then no equipment to dig or blow things up or down."
"Like that basement you dug tonight the cost for something like that is around $5,000 and take maybe two whole days. You did that in less than an hour."
"I don't know Uncle Rick, mom might not like it."
"Your mother like my wife is conservative. If they had their way we'd still be cooking Mammoth over an open fire." Carl laughed. He could see it in his head. His mother, basting a hunch of Mammoth over an opened flame. "Yeah, you are probably right but still she's my mom."
"What I want is your agreement, I will convince the parents. Also, I can't have my partner getting beaten up so tomorrow we find you a martial art studio and you learn self defense. I can't have my partner getting shit kicked out of him. Don't worry I will pay for it."
The next morning Carl was dropped off at the high school by his Mom. Everybody was staring at him. He guesses he looked a sight. He had a bandage on his head, an arm in a sling and he walked with a limp. These were all injuries from the explosion.
Now he hobbled down the hallway to his first class of the day. Being a little early he was the first person in his Physics class. At least he would not have those four dumb jerks picking on him here. They had to take a non-academic science course such as geology. They would never qualify for any courses such as Physics, Chemistry or even Biology.
The Physics at least kept his mind in the classroom. Laura Taltson kept her eye on him through the whole class period. This was a little nerve racking as she was one of the prettiest girls in the school. When class was dismissed she hung back watching as Carl got his books into his back pack. At which points she asks the question he was totally unprepared for.
"Can I carry you backpack for you?"
Carl froze looking at her with his mouth gaping. "egh eh egh, what did you say?"
"I asked if I could help carry your backpack."
Carl just stared at her, but finally he had to answer. "Yeah, I would appreciate it."
She reached over and grabbed his backpack by the shoulder strap. Then she turned and followed him out of the class. That was when he remembered she was in his Government class as well as his Physics class.
They walked in silence until almost at the Government class room. "What happen to you?"
Carl did a quick glance at her, "We had an explosion in our basement last week. I got caught in it."
"Oh! My Dad mentioned that, I did not know it was you though. He did say that it was a mystery, that they did not know what could have done it."