Nov 16, 2018 5:49 PM
Rockeye's new character meets Gem
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"Oooooh, precogs."

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"Yeah. Precogs! I figure they must be limited by something or precogs would have taken over the world by now."

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"Any guesses what it is? - Winnipeg's that way, it's about a mile to where I dropped off my rental car."

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"First guess is power limit - they can only do so much magic per day like all the rest of us. Or a range or scope limit on what they actually see."

Tara starts walking.

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"I assume they see contingent futures they can affect?"

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"That's what I've heard anyway. They help at monster fights sometimes. Calling important shots or saying when to retreat."

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"Good for them. I think precognition is not available for local magical girls but I could be wrong, it's the sort of thing that can be hard to get for sure out of the aliens."

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"I think I need to hear more about the aliens. They're getting something out of the whole process - wouldn't destroying the world ruin their production line? Do they not know about it?"

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"They know about it, I think they could stop it, and they won't. I think they can extract enough from the witch in question getting that big to solve their energy budget for the foreseeable future."

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"If they could stop it, finding a button to push that they care about enough might work. Sounds like it needs to be a very very big button. I'm not sure what you've tried, how many loops you've had so far."

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"...they don't have emotions. They don't care about things. They just want to power their civilization. I think if I had a way to do that I could trade them, but I don't, currently."

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"And - nuclear power, or fusion, or solar panels won't cut it?" And, a little more quietly, glancing at Kaff, "...I wonder if genies could make something for them."

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"Maybe. It'd have to be executed very carefully, I'm not sure how to do it through a... not super deft... third party. Also this loop is half over and I didn't optimize it, there's people I know how to save that I skipped..."

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"...I almost said 'you can't save everyone' just now, but that's- I have to help you save everyone. Doing anything else would be like walking right out of the hospital during an emergency. This might be a one-time opportunity? What if it wasn't? Genies can do just about anything. I could ask Kaff if he could join me to your time loop."

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"I could also have you wished into it locally since that's known to work, although it might take a wish apiece and that's dicey because the evil aliens know when wishes are made and I might want to reset immediately after one tipped them off."

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"...Honestly that's probably a better plan, if you can swing it. Kaff might suspect he'll never get my forty hours' work and refuse to do it no matter what else I promise."

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"This loop I convinced Raine not to be a magical girl, so presumably she is not a witch now and I can go back and do a 'well actually' and probably get her to wish for something custom, possibly if I perform unspecified sexual favors. I'm less confident in all other custom wish angles."

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This is not a time to be squeamish about manipulation, it's going to get erased if it happens anyway, Tara tells herself.

"Well. It can probably wait at least a day? We should talk over the other options some more. But it's a possibility, I don't mind signing up for an indefinite task when it's this important. I'm just much less sure about Kaff. Genies are... Hard to predict."

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"I can see that. Yeah, a day probably doesn't make a difference to Raine, although I might email her to make sure."

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"You know her and I don't of course... So the broad options I see are, bribe the aliens to stop the witch, kill the witch - which is better than letting the world end but not ideal, or find her before she turns into one and help her not do that, or maybe subvert the aliens' system in some other way."

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"She might already be a witch as of the start of the loop."

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"Maybe. Setting your - loop - back another month or two doesn't seem possible?"

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"I haven't tried applying wishes to it, because of the alerting the evil aliens thing. It's not possible with the powerset I currently have."

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"...How observant are the aliens? Or rather, how sneaky do we have to be? Would they try to kill us both at the first sign of anything off or would we need to do something that's obviously dangerous to them before they react?"

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"Local magical girls have a telepathy power using them as relays, I don't use that for anything sensitive. They keep tabs on most magical girls. They wait-and-see if I am merely slightly suspicious, which I am by existing when they don't remember granting me a wish, but they can turn on a dime if I ask too many of the wrong questions."

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