A Deleted Scene From Enchanted, Inc.
This scene takes place on the first day that Katie begins to office in the R&D department (after she catches the intruder). I ended up cutting it from the final version of the book because while it was cute and established the way things might go in the office, it didn’t really move the plot along and the book was getting rather long. I may bring back the computer wizard character in a future book, just for fun …
It was the least eventful day I’d had so far at M.S.I. Considering that my week to that point had included my first day on the job, foiling an attempted scam, nabbing a corporate spy, getting knocked on the head, developing and implementing a marketing campaign and observing the test of a dangerous new spell, a relatively uneventful day wasn’t necessarily boring.
For one thing, R&D was an interesting working environment. There were occasional explosions and bursts of light, often followed by cries of pain or shouts of frustration. I didn’t even want to know what they were up to. I did wonder what was going on down the hall in Theoretical Magic and hoped that none of the explosions or pain came from there.
I didn’t have any verification calls, so I concentrated on my marketing plan, straining my brain for any additional ideas that would make people say no to evil spells, but I was afraid my efforts would have about as much impact as most of those anti-drug campaigns. The people who were already into it or interested weren’t likely to be swayed by any marketing messages. But I had to try. I’d seen what that spell could do to a supposedly powerful wizard. I’d hate to see what it could do to someone else, like my friends.
At noon, Ari stuck her head in my office door. “Can I get you something for lunch?” she asked.
Feeling like I was ordering in a deli, I said, “Roast beef sandwich on wheat with a side of coleslaw.” Before I finished, it had appeared on my desk.
“Something to drink?”
“Diet Dr Pepper.” I had the devil of a time finding it in restaurants in New York, but a tall, frosty glass popped into existence with the sandwich. “Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it. Let me know if you want dessert.” Then she fluttered away. I turned my attention to my sandwich. I could get used to this. This was the kind of magic that could be highly useful. I wondered if the food ordering was a spell M.S.I. sold or if it was just an innate magical ability. There was a lot I still had to learn about this place.
I was just finishing my sandwich when the computer guy showed up. He was the first person I’d met here who fit the stereotype of what you’d expect from a wizard or sorcerer. He wore long, flowing robes, much like those Merlin wore in the illustration in that King Arthur book I used to have, complete with stars scattered all over it. The guy inside the robes would have fit into the IT department of just about any company in the nation, which meant he looked more like he was wearing his Dungeons and Dragons costume to work than like he was an important wizard.
“You’re Katie Chandler?” he asked, peering through thick glasses at the work order he held.
“Got a computer for you.” I couldn’t see one, unless he had it hidden inside his robes. Just then, though, a laptop blinked into existence on my desk. “’Scuse me for a sec.” He leaned over my shoulder and typed a few things. “Okay, you should be all set. Passwords are keyed into your aura, so you won’t have to remember anything.” He scribbled a couple of things on the sticky pad on top of my desk and added, “Here’s your user name and e-mail address. You have full Internet access.” He winked at me. “Just don’t waste time on any porn sites.”
“I’ll try to avoid that. Or, at least, getting caught.”
He grinned at me. “Hey, you’re pretty cool, Miss KatieC.” I looked down and saw that was my user name, “KatieC.”
“You’re a computer wizard?” I asked, pointing at his robes.
He laughed. “You are cool. You got the joke. It’s my trademark. Computer wizard on call. If you need me, my user name is ‘TheWiz.’”
“I’ll keep that in mind, thanks.”
Once he was gone, I looked again at the notepad. My e-mail address was “KatieC@MSI.mgc.” I wasn’t familiar with the .mgc extension, but I suspected what I had was a magical e-mail address. It would probably be best to stick with my web-based account for communicating with my friends.
Speaking of which, I brought up the web browser and went to my e-mail box, then sent my friends a message, letting them know I was online at work again. Then I checked my company e-mail. There were two new messages. One from RodG said, “Welcome to the e-mail system. I’ve got you on the distribution loop for anything major that goes across the crystals. Thought that might help. Let me know if you need anything else. Rod.”
The other was from OwenP and said, “Welcome to the madhouse. I thought the computer might make your life a little easier, so I pulled a few strings. I hope you don’t mind. Feel free to drop by whenever you have a spare minute, or if you have any questions. I’ll see you around. OP.”
I think that was more than he’d ever said to me at one time. He was probably more comfortable communicating in writing than he was face-to-face. And now I knew which boss had ordered the computer, and which boss Ari thought liked me, in a way that earned a wink. I would have to be very, very careful if I didn’t want to earn a reputation, regardless of whether or not I was going to break Owen’s heart.
But I thought an e-mail wasn’t likely to cause any major disasters. I hit reply, then typed, “Thanks for the computer. It should make the marketing work go more smoothly, and Rod already has me on the distribution list for important messages. Don’t get yourself zapped too many times today.” I signed my message simply, “Katie.”
I sent a similar e-mail — without the caution about being zapped — to Rod, thanking him for putting me in the loop. I wondered if the other verifiers were getting similar treatment. I’d feel bad if I’d been singled out in just a few days at the company.