Boston, August 1760: Ethan Kaille has just returned to his adopted home in the province of Massachusetts Bay, after nearly fourteen years laboring as a prisoner on a sugar plantation in the Caribbean. Scarred and half-crippled, bereft of his one love, shunned by his sister and her family, embittered by a past that dogs him still, he is desperate to build a new life for himself, to find his place in a world that has moved on without him.
He is the son of a wealthy man, born in Bristol England. He has served in His Majesty's navy and been second mate aboard a privateering ship. He is also a conjurer who has forsaken magic since the day of his incarceration. For now, though, he is reduced to mopping floors and cleaning tables in a rundown tavern in Boston's South End.
One night, he witnesses the brutal beating of a cooper, an older man who has been robbed of his tools and thus denied his livelihood. Turning to his long neglected spellmaking powers, Ethan heals the old man. He then takes it upon himself to recover the cooper's property and impose some semblance of justice on those who have stolen the goods. And thus he takes the first step down the path toward becoming Boston's first conjuring thieftaker...
"A Memory of Freedom" is the feature story in Issue 27 of Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. Below find Wayne Miller's striking art work, which accompanied the story.