In the distant future, an organisation known only as "The Bureau" surreptitiously spread its tendrils across the world, slowly taking control. They manipulated media, controlling the people and dominating the world; all the while they went unnoticed... until the decision was made. They outlawed magic, mankind's birth-right, and prosecuted magicians. Over decades, they picked off the gifted and enlightened ones, slowly destroying what was left of magic. Those who stood and rebelled became few and

The man stood in a black suit, a crowd drawn around him. Magic was a popular show, as proven by the crowd, and they eagerly awaited his next trick. Next to him, his assistant performed card tricks among a small group of people. It was hardly anything special, but the people of their time had never seen it before. It was a time of headsets, holograms, computers and online entertainment; a time when all was controlled within a tight system, one surveyed and enforced by a bureau. People liked what they were told to, watched what they were told to, listened to the music they were told to, and they never thought anything of it. It was a system maintained by the technology of twisted minds, of ambitious dictators that hid under the guise of the net. No one was ever the wiser, and that was just how they wanted it. Long ago, magic had been outlawed; the very “magic” the two performers entertained their crowd with. It was outlawed because it was feared, it was outlawed because it was uncontrollable; thus terrifying to the ones who wish to control everything.

 The man in the suit bore the typical attire of a gentlemen, now atypical based on the culture of their present day. The people loved the vintage look. He wore an old fashioned, finely pressed suit with golden couplings, bowtie, cane and even a monocle to complete the look. He usually wore a tophat as well, yet it was now on the table in front of him, prepared for his next trick. He had a finely groomed mustache, perfectly cut to a point on both ends; the kind of mustache an evil mastermind might twist when overcome with joy as his scheme came together. His assistant -a young man with long, dark hair slick back and nicely groomed- made a show of his fantastic dexterity and sleight of hand. But he knew it was more than sleight of hand. He wore old fashioned apparel much like his companion, his going more for a different style. He wore a coat resembling a duster, boots that complemented the former quite nicely, and fine, black gloves.

 He passed around several cards to several people, pulling one card consecutively for each person and asking if that card was the same one each person had. No matter how many cards were taken out of his deck, the deck itself never seemed to decrease in size. He awed the crowd with his mastery of his tricks, taking one card between the index and middle fingers then splitting it into five.

 His companion, the gentlemen, pulled a rabbit from his hat as if there was an endless space inside it. The crowd gave a collective moan of awe at the sight; it seemed almost too easy to entertain them. Then, seemingly out of the blue, the gentleman noticed the slowly approaching bodies of stone-clad, grim-faced soldiers. They approached, guns drawn, doing what could only be surmised as grimacing behind their already grimacing masks; the dark faces and soulless red eyes seemingly piercing the gentleman's mind, prying for thoughts. He nudged his assistant, nodding toward the approaching bodies.

 He cleared his throat, “For my next trick, I shall awe and confuse you as I delve into the ether and retrieve a magical item!” he shouted, intentionally loud enough for the soldiers to hear.

 He reached down into his hat, the soldiers approaching the stage.

“Step down and face the wall, you are under arrest!” called one of the soldiers, his voice distorted by his helm to a static hiss; like white noise resembling words.


The End

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