Year 2056. A new breakthrough in science was publicly announced to the whole world. It was a discovery of a new substance called 'MN01'. This substance could not be seen or felt, but it was all around us. It was a supernatural energy transcending every law of nature that could be compared to magic energy that was used in fantasy games, novels and movies. As such it came to no big surprise when public soon started to simply call it 'mana'. Soon it became hot topic worldwide with every country investing huge amounts of money into research of this energy. In a few years first devices capable of using this energy were created and tested out.
In a year of 2061 first home use magic device was released to the public by the company called 'Magitech'. The device was simply called 'Grimoire' and received quick popularity. Grimoire was a device that formed physical magic by reading a program called 'spell module'. First few spell modules that got introduced with the device simply made tasks like cleaning clothes completely trivial and managed to do them in just few mere moments. More and more spell modules followed, helping with storage, transportation of things, precise weather forecasts and so on. Grimoires received quick innovation and became more and more elegant and sleek in their design and new spell modules were developed almost daily.
The next few years that followed release of first Grimoire were the years of technological revolution. Magic soon started to be used for almost everything. From every day life to medicine to military use - soon magic spread to every facet of human life. Magic seemingly created a new golden age for humans to enjoy. Of course, the darker aspects of humanity also got their hands on magic and soon news of organized crime syndicates that used magic for crimes reached the world. The underworld black markets where one could buy illegal spells appeared. A slave trade that would modify people with use of magic was created. New forms of crime that became possible due to magic spread through world like wildfire. Some form of control over magic and people that would abuse it was required. As such an international organization responsible for control of spell modules and investigation of crimes related to magic was created. It was called 'Magic Investigation Bureau' or simply 'MIB'.
With MIB taking control of the matters related to spell modules and crime involving magic, the world got guardians that protected people from magic crimes. Nonetheless, crime still existed and some terrorist organizations and criminals that used magic remained in spite of the organization's attempts to curb and remove such elements. Magic hackers that used illegal spell modules for various crimes would appear on the news from time to time. They would often be caught, but some hardened magic criminals would manage to slip away from MIB clutches.
Despite such crimes the world was overall in peace - magic removed a lot of pressure world used to have due to dwindling natural resources. A lot of world's problems were solved with discovery of magic. New science branch completely dedicated to research of mana and magic was created called 'Thaumaturgy' and a new generation of youths started to study and contribute their ideas and research into this new science. A 'Magic Research Bureau' was established as depository of magic knowledge. It soon became number one magic research organization that had a lot of experts in newly developed magic science branch. A lot of new professions were created: 'Grimoire engineers', 'Spellscribes', 'Mana researchers', 'Magic surgeons' and so on and on. People were forced to quickly adapt to the changes, some of old professions simply became obsolete. Not everyone liked just how much magic changed everyone's lives, but everyone were forced to adapt.
After all - like one of 'Magitech' advertisements would say: 'Magic makes everything better'.
'Magicraft University', Student Apartment Complex - Room 5B
September 4th, 2078
'Magicraft University' was established in 2073 and is considered the best university in the field of newly developed magic science and technology branches. Established by 'Magic Research Bureau' and supported by magic technology leader 'Magitech' this university was created to nurture specialists for new sciences and technology that was developed since the discovery of mana 22 years ago.
'Magicraft University' has wide variety of courses that are aimed to develop specialists for new professions associated with magic technology. There are even some magical fighting courses sponsored by MIB to develop new field agents to fight against magical crimes. The campus of university has a wide array of various science labs, has a lot of technological innovations that are not widely available to the public yet (like experimental magical wardrobe) and is considered a place where future inventions are most likely to be created in.
Acceptance into university is strictly regulated and only the best of the best receive invites to this prestige education center. Studying in 'Magicraft University' is considered to be a dream coming true. Students not only receive substantial stipend, but can also conduct experiments and research on new spell modules or Grimoires with help of professors. Successful innovations are quickly patented and their creators receive substantial royalties. Besides that - all living expenses are completely covered by university, students receive free living space in campus and after finishing their studies they are guaranteed a job in one of leading magical technology companies or one of many branches of 'Magic Investigation Bureau'.
Currently it was Sunday morning. Tomorrow would be an official start of education for new students. As such many students from all over the world already arrived early to claim their assigned apartments in campus and settle in before the studies start. The university had a policy to make two students share same apartment in campus to encourage partnership. Students are expected to show a certain level of maturity and as such it was not rare for students of opposite genders share same apartment in campus. Certain rules were, of course, established and those who violated them would receive quick punishments. Incidents rarely happen and no mater the gender or nationality the students quickly learn to work together in their studies and experiments.
Nick Thompson was one of new students. He was a thin and tall teenager standing at around six feet tall. He had short dark brown hair and stormy grey-blue eyes. He seemed to keep himself in shape, at least somewhat - you would not really be able to call him super sporty, but he was fit and healthy. His face was not what you would call 'handsome', but he was not ugly either, some girls would probably even call him cute. He wore baggy dark hoodie on top of dark blue T-shirt and black jeans. Overall one could call him about average, especially in an age where modern magical surgeries could create really handsome guys.
Currently Nick was alone in his newly assigned apartment. His roommate has not yet arrived and he had no idea who he was roomed with so far, so he enjoyed peace for however long it would last. He already claimed one of the two available bedrooms and unpacked his belongings. Currently he was sitting on the couch in small living room, watching TV. For a bit his eyes wandered over the rest of the apartment as he examined it once more. "MU really does not hold back with expenses." He thought to himself briefly.
Apartment reflected his own thoughts. Modern style with top of the line magical technology systems that perfectly regulated inner climate of the apartment, even going as far as to emit pleasant smell. The system had an AI that automatically cleaned apartment itself and could take care of a lot of daily chores, like cleaning clothes or cooking. There was a small kitchen with large small fridge that magically would preserve food stored inside. The cooking appliances were modern - you could cook a steak in as fast as couple minutes. Sure, preparing of ingredients still could to be done by hand if one so wished, but why do extra work when AI could do it all for you?
Moving away form kitchen into living room one would see a large big TV and entertainment center. There were a few arm chairs and small coffee table. Nick also knew that bedrooms were really comfortable - there were large, soft beds in each bedroom together with magical storage system that would magical store your clothes and things. There were study desks with completely new sleek modern computers that were connected straight to new magical equivalent of 'World Wide Web' - 'The Weave'. While 'World Wide Web' still existed and was used by some, Weave had some perks that it did not - like being accessible anywhere in the world with extremely fast speeds without the need of cables. That and ability to connect Grimoires to it to charge them up with mana or to get new spell modules.
Apart from comfortable bedrooms, nice kitchen and lovely living room apartment also had a large bathroom with bath and spacious shower cabin. There was also a small laboratory that Nick knew would be used to complete some of future assignments he will get during his studies here.
Overall it was really nice living space and Nick still could hardly believe that he got lucky to land a spot in 'Magicraft University'. He knew that only really small percent of people wanting to get in would actually get invites. He considered himself lucky that his father was one of the scientists that got involved with magic technologies early on - he managed to pick up some things from him. Nick was quick to discover that he had talent in creating spell modules - a fact that actually got him into this university after he submitted one of his creations to 'Magic Research Bureau'.
Having finished his observations of apartment once more, and again confirming how lucky he was Nick watched TV for a bit. Currently it was on news channel and he was reading some of the scrolling headlines as reporter talked about terrorist attack in Paris. Some of the headlines were 'Magic hacker known as Phantom still eludes MIB'; 'New sightings of an anomaly in New York'; 'First Virtual Reality MMORPG game 'Yggdrasil' is scheduled to launch on September 10th. Pre-order and get access early!'; 'Anomaly sightings increase in frequency - is this work of terrorists or something more serious?'; 'Mage Wars league starts again! Experience the spectacular magical fights live on our channel'.
Nick sighed as he read various news headlines that soon changed to some adds that showed new models of Grimoires or announced various magical sports events. He rolled his eyes after seeing an add where bunch of people were flying on magical brooms. "Turn TV off," he ordered and TV instantly turned off as he got off from couch and moved to his room. Today he was going to spend some time exploring the campus, but it was still early morning so he was not in a hurry. Besides, there was something else that needed his attention.
Entering his room he walked to the table and took a device out of one of the drawers. Nick sat on his bed and examined the device. It looked like some of old models of smartphones - it was a bit bulky and not as paper thin as some of the current models, but it fit comfortably in his hand.
He received it a few days ago before he left his home. The package it was in was addressed to him, but there was no return address or any notes. The only thing in the package was the device Nick was holding. He messed around with it for a bit and powered it on a few times. It was encrypted. There was a complicated code that locked behind most of device's functions. He managed to crack a part of the code, revealing that the device was in fact a Grimoire. A rather odd model, but fully functional. There were a couple strange spell modules in it that he managed to unlock but they were unlike anything he ever seen in his life. They did not seem to have any descriptions, just some icons, and after he connected device to his personal computer and examined the code of spell modules he was even more surprised by their complexity.
Nick not for the first time thought about where this could have come from. Only plausible explanation was his father, who was researching magical technology in one of 'Magitech' research sites. But he was not sure if that was the case and cracking the rest of the code that was locking features of Grimoire was slow. He was willing to find out, though, as this puzzle made him really curious. Sure - for all he knew this could be elaborate prank. However to Nick it seemed unlikely that someone would go through the trouble of encrypting Grimoire so much just for prank. While he had no idea what spell modules in Grimoire did, they seemed to require a lot of mana. Grimoire also seemed to be able to store more mana than the model he himself owned and considering he owned pretty new model it was quite weird.
Nick turned Grimoire on. After a few seconds and a brief flash of an image of a snake eating it's tail the screen flickered into life. Nick briefly examined the symbols on screen. Currently there were three icons unlocked. One was like an outline of human form. The other was what looked like icon of a brain. The last one was a simple cog. First two were spell modules, the last one lead to Grimoire's menus and encrypted workings of Grimoire itself that Nick had yet to unlock. Nick did not have much time to examine any of them in proper detail, considering he was packing for trip to university at the time, but now he was eager to figure this thing out.