Joel looked down at the cup in his hand. The new lord was a very odd one. First off, he made Joel captain of the guard… which he didn’t want. He still didn’t want to do it… but the better pay was nice. At least the lord pretty much let him handle the job how he wanted. He was still a strange one, though.
If not, he wouldn’t be carrying a cup out into the gardens. Why did he have a metal cup anyway? Well, there was more than just a cup. It also had things attached to it. Normally, that would have made it a chalice or something… but those were supposed to look good. This cup was ugly, even if it was probably expensive. Well, there was no telling the taste of lords. At least this one was just weird, and not terribly unpleasant. It made him feel better about where he was getting the money to support his sister and family from.
So, he found himself standing out in the garden, holding a weird cup… awaiting further orders. He didn’t know why the lord couldn’t have brought it out here himself, or why it had to be Joel himself carrying it… but at least he didn’t have to run drills right now. The guards complained, as always, but as the one technically responsible it really started grating on him. Not that he didn’t understand the need. If they weren’t strong, why would the lord even keep them around? The best they could do was fill in the numbers for a larger fight, but if they weren’t strong and well coordinated, they could be easily replaced.
For a moment Joel thought he heard something like the lord’s voice. He looked around but didn’t see him. He should be coming soon, then. “… ear!” Joel blinked. That had certainly been something like the lord’s voice, but it had a strange echo as it came from somewhere far off. “Put the cone up to your ear!” Joel looked down. This voice was still echoing as if from far away… but it sounded like it came from the cup. He couldn’t help but bring it closer to hear better. “Hopefully you heard me by now… Hey, Joel, can you say something?”
“Lord? Where are you? What’s happening?”
“Talk into the cone! I can’t hear you!”
Joel repeated himself. “It’s like magic. Your voice is coming out here…” There was a pause for a few seconds. “It is magic, isn’t it.”
“Of course it is! I’m sure you can see that…”
“Yes, lord.” At the same time as Joel spoke, he heard something, but it was all garbled. “What was that?”
“You can come back now. Come to the lab.”
Joel sighed. Had he come out here only to be told to come back? Well… he supposed it was the means by which he was told to come back were what was relevant here.
Joel entered the lab. William gestured to the table next to him. “You can put it there.”
Joel looked around, “Why not over there, next to the other one? There’s room.” Joel walked closer to the other cup. In a moment he heard his own muted footsteps, and then a horrible screeching sound started. He fled backwards in a panic.
“That’s why. This table here, please.”
William shook his head. That was one problem currently. They couldn’t be turned off… and when in close proximity any noise would cause horrible feedback. Another was that they were currently terribly inefficient, and also took in a wider range of sound than they should have, just to only play it back poorly. Such problems had already been solved on Earth, but William didn’t have the right schematics or knowledge to do anything even if he didn’t have to also do something similar using magic instead of… normal technology.
Thinking of Earth, William wondered what sort of technological level they were at now. Assuming time flowed at the same rate… they should have long started a colony on Mars, if nothing else. That or everyone died from nuclear war, or Earth was becoming horrible overcrowded. William couldn’t actually imagine how much technology would have advanced. He would like to find more people reincarnated from Earth, but he wasn’t even sure if the language would be similar enough anymore. Nearly a handful of… centuries could certainly change language. Perhaps William would try anyway, though it might be best not to do something he couldn’t explain to other lords before he was better established. William was glad it had gone so well the first time, instead of turning into a disaster like it possibly could have.
William looked at his phone/radios. He had no idea how many years it could have taken to get them to even this point if he didn’t have knowledge of the idea, resources, and a base idea to work from. Well, without the idea he knew it wouldn’t have been possible at all. Metal and string weren’t cheap enough for people to just play around with, though certain people might have had enough knowledge to understand the idea might work.
William grinned. It was still pretty good for half a year. He had no doubt he had just been lucky to stumble onto the right things, because otherwise it could have taken many years… and in a way it had, based on how long before he’d known about the disks and wanted better communication. He’d certainly idly pondered the idea before, but hadn’t taken the chance to throw himself at the problem. William frowned. Maybe he could even get a version that continued to work for more than a few days by the time Lorelei came to visit.