This post has the following content warnings:
Aug 08, 2020 8:20 AM
meanwhile,
« Previous Post
+ Show First Post
Total: 897
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Then I think we'll be okay.  Lianne?"

Permalink

"I think so too, yeah."

Permalink

They're correct: the trip back to the hotel to gather their things and check out, and the drive out of the city, goes uninterrupted.

Permalink

It's Kaylee's turn to drive, which is good; she's still not feeling very talkative.  She focuses on the road.

That night they check into a motel on the road, in a roadside town small enough to probably not have any magical girls at all.

Permalink

That night, Kaylee -

 - can't sleep.

She's thinking about her wish.  She didn't just say, "I wish to be braver," "I wish to be brave enough to save Lianne if she needs me to," which - if she was going to mess around with her own head at all, would've been the smart way to do it.  She said...

She can't even remember what she said, which seems unspeakably, humiliatingly stupid when she admits it to herself.  Something so important, something that changed the way she thought and acted, and she didn't even - memorize it, or write it down, or anything.  But she remembers distinctly saying she wanted to be the sort of person who would make a good magical girl.  That was something she talked about with Kyubey.  She wanted to be someone who could stand to fight witches, without being scared, without being worn down by fear.

She hadn't said, I don't want it to turn me evil.  It hadn't occurred to her that it might.

But apparently, if she isn't afraid of fighting witches, of fighting other magical girls, she - she likes it.

*

She can't sleep, at all, so she doesn't.  She climbs tentatively out of bed and takes a pen and notepad into the bathroom and writes,

Out for a walk.

-K

and leaves the notepad on the end table, and walks out.  Of her room, of the hotel.  Around the block.

She - still can't bear to tell Lianne that she would've been to cowardly to run into a witch's labyrinth to rescue her, the way Lianne ran in after Kaylee.  She can't imagine Lianne being angry at her for it, but - she can barely imagine it at all.  Someone saying to someone else, someone they love, "no, I wouldn't have been brave enough to try to save you.  I know you did it for me, but I would've been too afraid."  She can't picture it, and so she can't picture what might be said in reply, and - she grimaces, clenches her fists, at the thought - apparently she's still not brave enough to find out.

Which means she can't tell Lianne her wish, which means she can't talk to Lianne about whether it was a bad idea, or what to do about it.

But she can't keep not talking about it.

*

And Mal, she remembers, also made a wish that changed the way her mind works, and also talked about regretting it.

It's not the same situation, really, but - it's not as scary, somehow, as admitting something like that to someone's face.

She gets out her phone, and, slowly, she types:

Are you awake?  No emergency, but I think I need to talk.

And she hits send.

Permalink

Yeah. I'm pulling an all nighter right now, but can take a break. What's up?

Permalink

I'm starting to think my wish was a really bad idea.

I don't remember exactly the wording I used but broadly it was supposed to make me braver and more able to handle fighting witches.  But it kind of made it *fun* to fight witches, and also to fight other magical girls.  Today me and Lianne were in a fight with three of the magical girls who live in Albuquerque, and she was focused on subduing them nonlethally, but by the end of the fight I was just sort of fighting her the way I'd fight a witch or a familiar.  And I hit her with a throwing dagger, and I don't know how badly she was hurt but if it was an ordinary person it would've been really bad, like she would have had to go to the emergency room.  And I realized I hadn't been thinking about hurting her at all, I was just fighting her, and it was

She has to stop, and grimace, and grit her teeth, before she can bring herself to type out the next words.

fun and exciting and exhilarating and I didn't care about hurting her until I did.  And I don't think that's what fighting someone would've felt like if I never made my wish.  So I don't know exactly what my wish did to my brain, how it changed me, what sort of person it changed me into, and I don't know if I like or trust the person it changed me into, and if it did change me into a bad person I don't know what to do about that.

Permalink

Morality is - complicated. Especially 'bad' or 'good.' If you want my view - there aren't good or bad people, only actions that cause more good in the world and actions that cause more harm. I think as long as your life balances towards 'reducing harm' you're alright morally, but... I'm aware my view isn't the only one.

Permalink

She turns this over in her head. It's better than the worst she'd been fearing, certainly, and now that she's read Mal's actual response it's hard to even imagine what she'd been afraid Mal would say.  But...

Well, part of my problem is - even if I accept that I just need to do more good than harm in order to be a good person, which I'm not sure I agree with - I don't know if I *will*.  I don't know if my actions caused more harm than good when I was fighting the other magical girl today, but I know I caused more harm than I *needed* to.  I wasn't thinking about whether I was doing more harm than good.  I think I did the things I did because I liked seeing the other girl scared, and if that's something that can make me hurt people then I don't think I'm a person who

She mulls over her next words for a moment, as she worries at her lip and stares into the bright blue-white glow of her screen.

is in fact going to go through life helping people more than she hurts them.  And I don't think I've ever done something before because I *wanted to hurt someone*, maybe except when I was really little, and I didn't realize I was going to until I did.  And I don't know if I can just say, "okay, I'm not going to do that again," because if you'd asked me before I did it I would've said I wasn't going to then too.

Permalink

That is a reasonable worry. The ways that wishes can change our minds - put them out of our control - can be terrifying. For solving it - you'll likely be under its sway less when your soul gem is full. Also, there's ways you can gain greater self knowledge and control. It's hard, long work though.

Permalink

She - reads this, and thinks, and breathes.  Her heart's racing less.

She's not too optimistic about being less swayed by it when her soul gem's fuller.  The way it changed her mind was her wish, not a side effect; it was what she thought she wanted.  But it's a smart thing to keep an eye on.  And work - work she can put in.

I'm willing to put in work.  I think I have to.  ...Looking back I think there was a moment that I could've - held back, or not gotten so lost in what I was doing.

...but the opening's too good, some instinct in her tells her to press the advantage...

But I'm a little worried about keeping an eye open for things like that in the middle of a fight.  Everything moves so fast and it's dangerous to get distracted.  Is there anything else for it other than that sort of thing?

Permalink

Other than getting another potential to make a wish that cancels out yours - which is very hard - I don't think so, no.

Permalink

I don't want to pin my hopes on something like that, if I can fix myself some other way.  I'm not sure it would be a very good use of a wish.  I can try to keep one eye on myself.  We've practiced a lot of nonlethal fighting, I know how to do it, I just need to... do it.

...How much does it hurt a magical girl to get a knife stuck in her shoulder?  I think one of the reasons I was in my head so much about it was because I was imagining an ordinary human getting injured that way, which would've been *really bad* I'm pretty sure.

Permalink

It depends on how much she's focusing on her body. It's incredibly dangerous to do so, but magical girls can ignore their wounds entirely, and most will reflexively dull pain.

Permalink

But it wouldn't be a medical emergency or anything, the way it'd be for a regular person?  Just something to regenerate from like any other injury.

Permalink

Just something to regenerate from, yes.

Permalink

Okay.  That makes me feel better.  I could've probably held her off nonlethally and I'll try to in the future, but it's good to be sure I didn't hurt her as badly as I was imagining.

Thanks a lot for talking to me about this.

Permalink

You're welcome. And I can help with mental exercises to develop better self awareness for the future.

Permalink

I would like that.  Thank you.

Permalink

She sends over detailed descriptions of exercises, as well as a note she can get Kaylee some books that're more in depth next time they see each other.

Permalink

Thanks!  I should probably head to bed now, though, I'm pretty tired now that I'm not so panicky.  Good night!

Permalink

Good night!

Total: 897
Posts Per Page: