You are the son of an eccentric professor of quantum physics at MIT. That is to say, you were raised to be his apprentice: insane, geeky, and creative. You had independently determined the existence of other dimensions by the time you were seven, and had proven the true nature of Dark Energy by the time you turned eleven. You were your father’s pride and joy. You had a full-time job at the particle accelerator at age thirteen.
One day, you were overseeing some MIT students working with the accelerator, testing some crazy theory of theirs. You loved crazy theories. You were looking over their notes, finding all their silly errors and grinning madly at them. None of the errors were particularly dangerous, just amusing. It didn't once occur to you that they might input their data incorrectly or anything. But they did.
The alarms only flickered for a few seconds. The magnetic containment fields had been misaligned—by a few nanometers, no more. But when you’re dealing with quarks and antimatter moving at seventy-five percent of the speed of light, a few nanometers can mean the difference between interesting data and the death of thousands in a catastrophic annihilation. You had no time to react—less than no time. You closed your eyes and concentrated, and suddenly the crisis was over. The alarms turned off, and the students were safe.
The accelerator was later dismantled, to examine the inside for any damage. They found no damage, no errors... only the wall you knew was there. Somehow you had created an immensely dense wall inside the accelerator, slowing down the quarks and antimatter enough to prevent catastrophe. The material was of a type completely unknown to the scientists, but when they tried to examine it, it crumbled to dust and blew away in a nonexistent wind. A week later, a strange man named Nod came to you, and told you that you were a summoner. He brought you to California, to his sanctum. You told your father you were going to teach at CalTech—he was pleased. To keep him happy, you do actually teach a class once a week down at CalTech—Nod ‘walks you there. For the most part, though, you spend your time deep in research towards the nature of the universe and the most interesting particles of all—quarks. You tend to get along well with most people, even though they regard you as really eccentric. You took an immediate dislike to Journeyman, though. He’s far too religious! He should trust more in science. Your personal hero is Moebius, a near-legendary mathematical runecaster who supposedly discovered the true name of God. You’ve heard rumors that he knew Nod, but Nod always gets angry when you bring him up.