He awoke far earlier the next morning than he was accustomed to waking, but Adam Cain was already awake, and had breakfast prepared. After answering the call of nature, he returned to the cave and sat down to eat. After breakfast, Cain continued his story.
"Something I have been meaning to say about Henry Phage. he enjoys a good story, whether he is telling it or listening to another. Someday perhaps you will meet him. If you survive such an encounter, I believe you and he will somewhat enjoy having met one another. You are a writer, you said."
"Yeah. Well, I'm sure I'll be happy to tell him a story, or to listen to his."
"Yes. Ah, now, perhaps I should tell you a very little bit about myself. I've known the Phage for very nearly 40,000 years. You don't look surprised, I don't look that old, do I?"
"No, not physically. The general sense one gets of your soul would seemingly support such a claim, though."
"Thank you. It does seem that using the Wheel somehow extends one's lifespan. Now, I'm not nearly the first, and it is hardly likely that I shall be anywhere near the last, to fight him. People like me usually make the best meals for him, in the end. Of course, there is always a chance of killing him. People have come very close, even recently...
And now a bit more about the Alchemy, the thing which is growing in the Furnace. At the moment, this entity doesn't seem to be entirely sentient, but the day when it does reach such a state is growing closer. The entity, in the heart of the furnace, produces a mental barrier which cannot be penetrated by the Phage. Tiny fragments of the Heart of the Alchemy can sometimes be broken off, and they will continue to produce a small field around them which will ward off the mental powers of Teknophage."
And with this, Cain brings out a necklace and hands it to the young man listening to his stories. He looks over the necklace which has just been handed to him. On it is a little sphere. He opens it, and a bluish vapor comes out in a little rolling cloud. it is both hazy and shimmering, sparkling. A most intriguing and beautiful mist. After staring at it for a time, he closes the the capsule again, and slips the necklace around his neck.
"But be warned: this is not nearly enough if you wish to secret yourself within the Phage Building. There, even more than throughout the entire world of Kalighoul, he has spies and cameras observing practically every centimeter of the building. And he has spies watching his spies. Everyone who watches for him is also being watched. There is little point in secrecy within the Phage Building.
Oh, there are many more wonders across the Teknoverse, and the entire multiverse. I think, though, that what I have thus far told you is enough for now of a history lesson."
"Okay, so, now what?"
"Do you quite fully grasp the enormity of all this? Of course you can't. All you have thus far are words, and an imagination. And so, when you are as ready as I can soon make you, I will let you begin to explore things for yourself. You will soon learn much that could not be taught to you by anything but experience. First, I will train you. Prepare you."
"Kool. where do we start? I do hope it ain't gonna be a bunch of chores like Mr. Miyagi made Daniel do."
"No. I'm not exactly that kind of teacher. I never really intended to be a teacher, but I see that it is not entirely my choice. So I will simply have to do my best. ...Just be sure you do not turn to the Darkside."
"I do like that you are capable of both understanding and using pop culture references, Mr. Cain."
"You are lucky. It's not something I do often, if I can avoid it. But you bring it out in me."
So, they went out and Cain taught him a bit about physical defense for a few days, not that he had much in that area to teach. After that, he took more time to teach him as much as he could about majik. this took awhile, of this Cain had much to teach. He didn't have nearly enough time to teach all that he could tho, before he had to leave...
After nearly two weeks of training in majik, Adam Cain had to depart on a mission of his own. If possible, he would later return to complete the young man's training...
"...but I may not be coming back. I am going to Kalighoul, more likely than not. My hope is to stop Primus and Miss Hale from going to Kalighoul. They of course do not yet even know that that is where the path they are following will take them, but they will soon find out. They are following the trail of Primus' missing hand, to make him whole again. Along the way they will find clues which will be rather disturbing. If they manage to follow the path to its end, they will find far more than they are ready for. I must deter them, or help them. But if we go to Kalighoul, I will probably not come back alive. I wish I had brighter hopes for Primus and Miss Hale, but I can't say that I really do. But this has to be done."
"Ok. Um...Mr. Cain?"
"I really hope you do come back. Alive. And not just because you haven't finished training me yet."
"I hope so too. As for your training, there is really very little more that I could teach you. I think you are ready. But don't go trying to get to Kalighoul or Albion, just yet. You need real experience for many years, I think, before you are quite ready for that. Still, you do have a few advantages that some have not had before you..."
"Like such a knowledgeable teacher."
"thank you. Now, I must go..."
"Just one more thing. I...I think I won't use my real name much, anymore. I mean, in like, my adventures, or whatever. I suppose I'll still use it some with friends and family, and any business I may have here on Earth. I will try to maintain at least a little bit of a normal life, when I can, but-"
"You want a cool superhero-type name."
"Uh,yeah, kind of."
"Well, then, have you thought of one as yet?"
"I was thinking...Teknomage."
"Aiyaiyai. A bit too close to him, don't you think?"
"Well, perhaps," said Teknomage, grinning, "but I rather like it."
"very well, Teknomage"
"For short, if you like, you can sometimes call me Tekno or just Tek."
"Yes...well, so long, Tek."
"Until we meet again, Mr. Cain."
And then, Cain departed. Teknomage watched him walk off for awhile, then he himself started walking, in a different direction. He had but two items with him he hadn't had before meeting mr Cain a few weeks ago. His necklace which contained a piece of the Heart of the Alchemy Furnace, and his walking stick, much shorter and straighter than was Cain's, and with no designs on it. It looked rather plain, in fact. However, it did channel more majik than one would suspect just by looking at it. Plus, it really did make for a decent walking stick.
In a way that is difficult to describe, Teknomage walked farther than he should have been able to manage. It did have something to do with his stick. By nightfall, he was back in Caribou, and went home to sleep in a real bed and take a real shower and eat some real food and watch some television. In the morning, he would finally get to Mementos to pick up his comics. But tonight, after eating and watching TV, but before going to bed, he did some Net surfing, and came across a very nice website called the Dominion...