With each frantic step, ripples distorted the glow of neon in filthy puddles. Stumbling around a corner, terrified hands fumbled at a glowing rectangle, the crashing sound of pursuers clearly audible in the street behind her.

//OUT OF SERVICE AREA// said the helpful message on the screen, resulting in a hissed “Shit, shit, shit.” Lungs and limbs burning for air, she climbed over a fence, hitting the ground harder than intended as her sprint resumed.

She didn’t know what was behind her. Some beast of shadow and flame, summoned by those the woman had crossed, certainly - very possibly a vengeance spirit of some sort. But knowing the summoners? She did not want to be caught by that thing.

Coming out of a tunnel at breakneck pace, the smokey beast lashing at the back of her heels - there was a chime in her pocket as her phone finally reconnected to the network.

//SIGNAL ACQUIRED. WELCOME TO MAGINET// the device declared. Fumbling fingers mashed at buttons on the screen, finding what she needed - and as she pressed the button, the tension began to bleed out of her body, despite the beast’s teeth phasing into and out of existence mere inches away from her.

But now it was the phone’s job to work, instead of the woman’s. Laplacian calculations churned inside its core, offloading processing power to the MagiNet towers for the expensive calculation that had been requested.

An equation that would change the world.

//SOLUTION FOUND. EXECUTING VECTOR// its synthetic voice hummed.

Reality shifted.

Scrolling text, too fast to read, sigils in some unknown language - the air began to burn with the cold shine of holographic light as the spellwords inscribed themselves upon the air. The beast of shadow, smoke, and flame began to fade, screaming ancient obscenities as it was forced back to its plane of origin.

//VECTOR CALCULATION COMPLETE. ‘exorcism_class_4.mag’ processing costs have been deducted from your account.//

There was one more wince at the thought - her balance hadn’t been looking so great lately. Raising a hand as she caught her breath to push her hair behind a pointed ear, the woman leaned heavily against a railing.

Sometimes she missed the glade.