Sep 18, 2018 1:32 PM
White Wishes
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Rockeye's new character meets Gem
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"It's rechargable but only using despair monster byproducts."

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"Hm. So you - defeat monsters to recharge? Fighting monsters helps raise your power level, for us, but it's not strictly necessary. What are your aliens getting out of this?"

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"Magical girls turn into the witches - that's the monsters - and the aliens are getting something out of the process of turning into a witch and the process by which we recharge."

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"And causing many deaths in the process, it sounds like. How efficient of them."

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"Well, it is, by their standards, just set your value of human quality and continuation of life to zero and you get this apparently."

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"Right, why should aliens care about human life. Perhaps Kaff can make monster byproducts for you."

"I would need an example."

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"I have a couple but they can hatch into witches again, so you shouldn't go making them willy-nilly."

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"I will keep this in mind."

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"...and witches, unchecked by magical girl predation, can and do get big enough to destroy the planet, so don't just keep it in mind, actually don't make them at home."

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"Kaff, they will kill you if you create monsters."

A sudden gust of wind that dies down in a moment. "Very well. I will not create these things except when asked to."

"When asked to by her."

"Yes. Fine."

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She displays two grief seeds. "This one is fresh, this one has had some gem taint offloaded onto it."

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"These are strange things. I could make these things. For the amount of favor the white one promises, I could make eight of these things."

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"In either form?"

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"Yes."

(On the other side of the genie, Tara finishes her light-construct and takes a deep breath. It's as vague as the genie's form is, and stands about three feet tall.)

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"Is that a power constraint or a willingness constraint?"

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"Yes."

"Kaff, you know she wants more detail than that. You need to pay attention when talking. We've been over this."

"That is the amount of power I am willing to spend."

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"...does anything other than trading in information about things you are currently curious about affect your willingness to spend power?"

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"If a human can credibly promise favors I can call upon or resources that may be useful, that affects my willingness to spend power."

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"I have time-stopping powers and other freeform magic with different constraints than the kind available where you're from, may be able to extract wishes made in the local magic system from potential local magical girls to spec, and can infinitely duplicate small material objects."

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"I do not know with certainty if I will be able to do anything useful with your magic. I do not trust local magic very much. Gold is valuable to many humans. I can carry some immaterially. I would be willing to do magic equivalent to thirty additional Grief Seeds in exchange for as much gold as I can carry."

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"Can you give some examples of things you could do that are equivalent to various numbers of grief seeds?"

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"I'm not sure of the ethics of manipulating people into wishing certain things," Tara speaks up. "Compared to saving the world, it's an obvious choice, and twisting time adds wrinkles to that too... But we do only have your word for its imminent destruction and the existence of the time loop."

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Uncaring, the genie recites, "Transforming an elderly person to a youthful one is one half of a grief seed. Creating a magic item that will somewhat protect against bullets and swords is three grief seeds. Empowering a person as a Spirit Bearer is approximately sixty grief seeds. Creating a ring that allows the user to teleport short distances is six grief seeds. Transforming a person to the opposite gender is one half of a grief seed. Resurrection is approximately fifty grief seeds."

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"...I mean, I know I'm in a time loop and have satisfied myself about the ethical quandaries therein but if you're saying you don't want me to go do things that I could do if I felt like it anyway to trade with this genie who is not you because you don't trust me on whether it's even happening, I'm not sure what you want me to do with that. Anyway the gold thing does not require me to manipulate anyone."

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"I agree that you could probably go do whatever you want anyway, modulo Kaff's willingness to do things for you. I also agree that saving the world is an important goal and that you could really really use the help! And that 'what if this person I'm helping is actually evil' is not a useful argument! But I don't know you, don't know this world, am most likely entirely without the bureaucratic structure I'm used to for approval and backup, it's doing wonders for my self-doubt, sarcasm, and snippiness."

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