65 Mana Energy
"Give my thanks to the council for their concern. As you can see, I am back at work. Give me some time to get back into the groove and we can continue with our lessons."
The strained smile on Nor's face told me it won't be that simple. "I'm afraid the lessons are the reason I am here. I would be happy to continue our lessons, but the council had asked me to get certain reassurances from you."
"Oh, do tell."
"Certain members of our community are wondering if the deal we have with The Fat Tinkerer favors you too much. They believed this arrangement we have with your company benefits you far more than us, and they are seeking to terminate our agreement."
"I understand their concern but to be fair, the lack of progress is due to my injuries. I wasn't able to work during my rehab."
"Something we totally understand, and most of the council do wish to continue with our agreement. It's just that we need some clarification on what you intend to do. With more information, I am sure we will be able to propitiate the more doubtful members of the council."
"You want to know what my ideas are?" A simple nod of the head was my answer and I waved the two of them to some chairs. Although my office was embarrassingly bare, there was a desk where my computer was stationed and a few chairs around. I sat behind the desk while Howard and Nor sat across me. After making sure the white noise filter was on, I plugged my cybernetics into the computer. I accessed the Solar Net and pulled up the web page of the 'Conference of New Energy and Technology". Nor looked at the page with interest before turning to me.
"The Conference of New Energy and Technology," I said. "It is an annual conference that usually attracts scientists, scholars, and their like. During the conference, they will discuss new discoveries in science, ways to tackle popular scientific conjectures, and try to predicate where science is going."
"So, it's an academic conference." Howard said, completely lost. "What about it?'
I smile at the duo and dropped the bombshell. "I can't do it. I thought about it a lot in Thailand and I conclude I will not be able to find a way to combine science and magic at this moment."
My answer shocked them, and for a long time, there was nothing but total silence in the room. Nor recovered first.
"So, it's over? The agreement between the council and The Fat Tinkerer is over."
"Not so fast, Mdm Nor. I may not be able to do it now, but I do know the way forward."
"What do you mean, Mr Wong?"
"After several months thinking about the issue, I conclude that the reason no one has been able to combine science and magic is due to the simple fact that no one knows enough about this energy you magicians are using to power your spells. You know it's there, you know how to use it, but you do not know how it works. More importantly, you do not have a measurement for it."
"No one can measure it. Mr Wong, I told you this at our first lesson."
"Yes, but why is that? If it's energy, then we should be able be measure it. The fact that you can't tell me one thing; we don't understand it enough. That is why we need to expand the field of study in mana energy."
"We were going to call it Mana Technology, right? So calling it mana energy seems like a right fit."
"I still don't understand."
"I need the council to get someone to attend the Conference of New Energy and Technology … and introduce mana energy to the rest of the world."
Silence reigned for a few seconds before both Howard and Nor cried out in unison. "WHAT?"
I smiled, but instead of answering them, I just clicked on the web page. I found the page that showed that the history of the conference and the famous people who had gave speeches during past conferences. I especially highlighted two pages: one showing Sara Hughes who gave a speech announcing her discovery of Power Core Technology, and another showing Loki Vollan who announced his discovery of Transforming Technology in a much earlier conference. I pointed at the screen and asked them.
"What do you know about scientific discovery?"
Howard and Nor looked at each other blankly. Neither of them was a scientist, and I would be surprise if either of them had ever asked themselves this question before. Finally, Nor answered.
"They do research, find something, and then announced it to the world."
"In essence you are correct, but that is a very simplistic way of looking at it. In fact, almost all discoveries of new technology are nothing more than a series of research results announced in boring conferences like this. No one come out with a new technology on their own. You know why?" I waited for both to shake their heads before continuing. "Because it is both difficult and expensive. It takes a lot of money to do research, and it's a big gamble. Not all research comes to fruition. In fact, most don't. Also, the theorical and technical side of science are two separate field. Scholars and scientists make new discoveries in the fields of science, explained how they worked, and then engineers like me design things based on these new fields of science."
"What does that got to do with us?" Nor asked
"We lack understanding of how mana works, so-"
"Forgive me Mr. Wong but that's not true. We know exactly how it works. Mana is all around us and magicians can gather the energy-"
"How do you gather this energy?"
"You feel it. You feel it in the air, in the earth, in the water, and then gather that energy."
"Can a machine feel?"
Nor was surprised at the question, then realized where I was going with this. "No, machines can't feel. Humans can."
"And that's the problem! A huge problem. So big that it might be one of the reasons why no one had ever found a way to combine magic and technology together."
"Please explain further." Nor did not try to disguise her interest and I obliged.
"From what you had taught me, mana is an energy that you need to 'feel' before you can gather it. In a way, that makes sense. You need to know the energy is there before you can gather it. If you can't measure or quantified it, then you can't gather it. But since machines can't feel, how can they use the energy even if we hook them up to battery full of mana energy. Simply put; how do we mechanized an energy that is in biological in nature?"
Nor frowned. She stared at me for a second before asking, "Why do you say it's biological in nature? While it is true only magicians can access the energy, you don't need a magician to be on hand to activate it. Take your cards for example. The scribe who created them used mana energy to make them, but he doesn't need to be around for the cards to work."
"True, but according to what you told me, the cards won't work if it is on a machine with another form of energy going through it. The energy will interfere with the mana. Why?"
"If we know the answer to that, what do we need you for?"