Jed sometimes despaired of the mages that he met at conferences.. The people were either too bored to argue with the views presented or too afraid to express an opposing view. After over an hour of listening to the speaker tell about the dangers faced by mages living in a non-magical world, he’d had about enough. Then the place got interesting.

With a groan, the man to his left got to his feet and made for the door. “Sir, are you leaving?” the emcee asked before he’d made it to the aisle.

“Yes,” the man said sharply. “I’m done listening to this… ‘poor me, I have magic’ rot. You’re acting like it’s impossible to keep the veil intact in a world of non-mages. It’s a fact that people see what they expect to see. It’s surprisingly easy to hide magic, unless you’re stupid enough to be overly obvious.”

“In less developed countries, like those on the African continent –” the speaker started.

“They’re more in touch with their folklore. That actually makes it easier to hide. If you do magic and the local folks see it, no one outside of the village will believe them and they’ll just figure that you’re a mighty powerful shaman. In that kind of environment, people are less panicked by magic. I’m done listening to this rot. Goodbye.”

Jed had to admit that the man was interesting. His views might be a little backward, but then, Jed didn’t think that the veil needed such strict maintenance. With a little coaxing, he figured the nonmages and mages could get along just fine.

“He’s been a little off since he went down there,” Mack whispered. “I think he might have caught something.”

“Down where?” Jed asked. “Africa?” The other professor nodded and Jed shrugged, watching the man stamp out of the room. “He has a point though. Nonmages are fascinated by magic. The time to worry about witch-hunts and whatnot have long since passed. Why maintain the veil? Would it really hurt to see if we could interact more closely, without the veil?”

When Mack looked at Jed like he thought the other must be joking, Jed held up his hands in surrender. “Just a suggestion,” he said, before returning his gaze to the speaker.