Forming a System - Smugomancy

"Rey." Then there's THIS ass hole. Lionel was a taller guy, wore the traditional red robes of the Justiciary. "Li." He grinned behind his stubble. Strange occurrence actually, since Magi always tried to keep the badass super serious look going. How dare he show up in MY work space asking ME questions! "Any news on the integration problem?" Looking at the Pangean seal tying his robes together was the only comfort I could take.

It was a reminder we were on the same team. If we weren't, you bet his ass I would have overloaded his personal terminal with incriminating images. Thank goodness they couldn't see my AR terminal. I was drawing horns on his head as we spoke. "Well, I have a theory." He only responded to confidence. If I didn't pretend like I knew what the hell I was doing then he would accuse me of incompetence.

"Would you mind sharing it with me? Perhaps I can help?" he said like the smug bastard he is. That's the problem with Magi. They always assume their 'magic' can fix everything. I don't even like that word! It's Ley-Energy Manipulation! We need a better word for that... "Um... I'm not sure I'm cleared to share that information Li." He looked surprised. Why did he look surprised?

"So... It's more serious than we thought?" He scratched his chin in thought, staring at my boobs. Stupid bastard. I drew a penis hanging from his chin with my AR program. It was actually much more satisfying than a slap. "If you want to know you'll have to talk to Irving." I said that without realizing that Irving was walking along the grating to get to me. 

"What did you need to talk to me about Lionel?" I was in for it now. Irving never specified a certain level of clearance for the issue. I was just blowing smoke out my ass. "Oh, um... We were just discussing the integration problem." 

Irving cocked an eyebrow at me. He knew I don't like talking to people about problems with my integration system. I think he knew I didn't even like people knowing they existed. "Well, it's under control Lionel. I assure you, it is in perfectly capable hands." Irving obviously couldn't have made it any clearer. Yet Lionel still insisted on pushing the situation.

"You're SURE there's nothing I can help with?" Lionel looked at me seriously. This time with caring eyes. I didn't get the smug bastard feeling I always get. I erased the penis on his chin, but kept the horns on his head. "Obviously there's something you would like to say. Would you like to give input on what you're thinking?" I was surprised to find he looked relieved.

"Something has been bothering me the last couple months. Spells aren't as consistent, and though they are minor issues, miscalculations with spell strength can lead to a very unstable manifestation. It's entirely possible there is a structural integrity problem with the Ley-Line itself, and not just our equipment." Did he... Really just give me valuable information? A fuckin' Spell Jockey just gave me valuable information. I was blown away by this.

"Rey?" I may have looked a lot more shocked than I thought I did. "Um.. Yeah. I'll take it into consideration. If you'll excuse me, I need to use the restroom. Thank you gentlemen." That was awkward. "Are you blushing?" Lionel laughed heartily along with Irving. They both looked at me like I was some kind of lab animal. Like I had just done something for the first time in my life. I rushed out of there to the restroom.

I couldn't believe what had just happened. Not only had I learned that the Ley-Integration problem wasn't purely an electronic one, it was a manipulation problem as well. Honestly, Lionel may be a dick but he's a skilled Magi. If he's noticing problems with spells chances are good he's on to something...