Chapter 2

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"A magician is a man who can study for a month and produce a rabbit from his cap. A wise man is someone who would walk to the butchers and bring you one within the hour."

Erik Cropper, "A Magician's Place in a Practical World", 1947

Above the Lundrun buildings ran the Sky-Train. Three main lines of railway had been built on metallic stilts high above the traffic. The platforms were split across two levels, a ground floor and a floor beside the rails with lifts that could carry the passengers from one to the other.

Harvey stumbled into one of these lifts and lifted his hand to magically pull the lift doors closed ahead of time. The lifts didn't come with buttons for closing or opening the doors, it was all down to automated timing. So several passengers were left looking a little annoyed to see the doors close so quickly.

There was only one other person in the lift with him as travelled upwards. A young man occupied with his phone and the music coming from his headphone, oblivious to Harvey's panting. He had run what had felt like miles, dodging crowds and trying to leave the Hudd Tech lackies behind.

He clutched his arm where it had been slashed by broken glass, more to hide the blood stains, than for any medical reasons. Harvey didn't want his appearance to raise too many eyebrows for fear his trail could be followed.

The lift came to a stop and the doors opened with an electric chime. A crowd of impatient commuters were ready to push in, even before Harvey could get out. He squeezed past them and on to the main platform. He checked the over-head displays for times and was relieved to see he wouldn't be waiting too long for the next one.

While he waited Harvey found a corner where he could hide behind a column. He leaned heavily against it as he opened his wallet to see all that he had with him. He silently cursed to see that he didn't have enough cash for a train ticket and for the moment using his card to buy one wasn't an option. He slapped the black leather wallet closed and thought of his options.

He manouvered himself so that he could keep an eye on the ticket office. He waited for an easy victim. To his dismay, everyone was placing their tickets in wallets, purses and handbags. Speakers blared into life above his head, making him jump. The train was approaching.

Could he risk waiting for the next one? He couldn't get onboard without a ticket. There was no sneaking on with the Sky-Train, conductors were at every door, checking tickets or accepting payment.

Finally he was graced with a bit of luck. A man tucked his ticket in the back pocket of his trousers while he typed something into his phone. Harvey checked no one was watching and then gently levitated the blue piece of card out of his pocket. He lowered it so that to a casual observer it might just be blowing in the window. He made it drift around him and then lifted it back up so that he could pluck it out of the air.

The train slowed to a stop. Harvey checked his arm and saw the large blood stain on his sleeve. He clamped his hand over it and just hoped that no one would see it. He pushed away from the column and joined the nearest queue.

Although it wasn't quite evening rush hour yet, the train was already packed. Most seats were taken and were being filled quickly. Harvey wanted nothing more than to sit down for a little while but instead he headed down the train to the nearest bathroom so that he could at least attempt to clean himself up a bit.

He locked the door behind him and soon felt the pull of the train as it started up again. Harvey leant against the tiny sink and breathed heavily. He felt a little relieved but it wasn't enough. He had only managed to save himself and for how long he didn't know.

Harvey stared at himself in the mirror and pretended the face was not his own. "I'm sorry Jen. I tried and failed. But I will get you out of there. Hudd Tech is not having you."

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