For a short while, JD had been the typical all-American hero. With the discipline and backing of wealthy, well-connected parents, he had dedicated his young life to achievement, excelling in multiple sports, and graduated with honors from an Ivy League university.
When JD was recruited by the CIA immediately after graduation, he knew his dream was finally beginning to take shape. Then the aliens came and fucked it all up. Not once --- not once --- in all his dreams of being a hero, had he ever worn a god-damned, star-studded cape. Or a fucking wand.
It occurred to him often that, as mages go, he was very unusual. Some mages were legendary figures who commanded the powers of life and death, who rode the wind, set fire to oceans, and battled demons for thousands of years. Other mages were very minor figures in vast plots. Still others were nothing but entertainers, putting on a show, trying to keep wolves from their door.
The vast majority of wizards throughout history, however, have been something else entirely: bullshitters; wannabes; pitiful souls who try to make themselves feel better about their lowly existences, by pretending to be something they're not.
JD, much to his dismay, was all of the above.
Almost at the doors, he shook his head violently, as if trying to shake off the foggy dread of a dream that had seeped into his waking life.
How the hell did I get myself into this mess?, he wondered -- not for the first time.
He took a deep breath, bowed to the alien guards, made a magnificent, sweeping gesture with his hands, intoned words of magic for all to hear, and with a foot hopefully hidden beneath his robes, gave the door a solid kick.