Aug 20, 2018 1:24 AM
a misuse of magic
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A discworld wizard lands on Jackson in Eclipse
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This is not a wise experiment. Ponder Stibbons knows this is not a wise experiment, but he can't bring himself to care. It has the potential to break down the walls between dimensions and let him look into other universes. Of course, it also has the potential to kill him horribly, possibly while taking out half of the city, but he's choosing to ignore that. 

The experiment is ready. He pokes the button.

And then, he is somewhere else. 

 

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He is in a suburban American living room where two young men, one using the other as a footrest, are watching a movie and eating popcorn. (The footrest eats from the other's hand.)

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He blinks at them.

"This is... not quite what I was expecting."

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Footrest looks up at him with a mouthful of popcorn, alarmed, and doesn't quite make a coherent word, given the mouthful of popcorn.

"Who are you and why are you in my house?" asks the one with his feet up.

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"Ponder Stibbons and I, er, really don't know. I didn't know teleportation was even a possible failure mode. It's nowhere near precise enough yet! Not to mention the amount of power required. I ought to have landed in tiny pieces, if I landed at all."

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"What were you trying to do?" asks the footrest, who has swallowed most of his popcorn. The one on the couch pauses the movie.

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Ponder blinks at him, seeming to register his position for the first time. His brow furrows. 

"Look between dimensions. Er, pardon my asking, but why are you on the floor?"

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"I'm holding Brian's feet up for him," says the footrest. "- wouldn't looking between dimensions be a psion thing -"

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"He could... use a stool?" Ponder says, sounding puzzled. 

He shakes his head.

"I've never heard the term psion before."

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"I'm comfier than a stool," says the footrest. "- wait, you've never - what?"

"Is English not your first language?" asks Brian.

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"No, I'm actually quite proud of this one. I found an old translation spell and managed to fix the part where it made you sound incredibly obnoxious to everyone who heard you, and I only have to cast it once a month."

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"That's definitely a psion thing," says the footrest, "so how do you teleport -"

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"I couldn't tell you. If the viewer worked, I had theories on teleportation, but I hadn't even begun implementing any of them."

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"But teleporting's a mage thing," says the footrest.

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He adjusts his glasses.

"I don't know if it's translating correctly. I'm a wizard. Perhaps you're thinking I'm a sorcerer? A sorcerer could likely teleport with little effort, but everything they do can be replicated with time."

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"- no, psions do nonphysical stuff," says the footrest, "and mages do physical stuff and you can't be both..."

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"Why not?"

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"Nobody knows but you can't."

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"Perhaps magic obeys different rules here."

He holds out a hand and a tongue of flame appears in his palm and then quickly vanishes.

"Though it feels no different to me."

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"Where did you say you came from?" says Brian.

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"The Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork. On the disc," he adds, as an afterthought.

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"On the what now?" Jackson says.

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"The disc, the thing that everything else sits on?"

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"...the planet? The Earth?"

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"I've heard planet before. I believe it's some obscure astronomy term? I'm not quite sure what it means."

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"...it's... the thing we're standing on... well, I'm not standing..." says the footrest. "It's a ball though, not a disc."

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