Jul 19, 2019 4:13 AM
Aether at Whateley
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"Definitely! We have plenty of students without money to spare, so we make allowances as much as we can."

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Bella smiles at her and trots off to the store to collect her books and gi and anything else that looks like she might need it.

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The Mystic Arts syllabus recommends she purchase a quartz crystal, as crystals provided by the school are synthetic and therefore mystically inferior. There is, conveniently, a display of quartz crystals for this exact purpose.

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It's so convenient. She likes this store. She gets the nicest-looking quartz.

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There's a couple different bins of quartzes of various grades; the very nicest is a lovely piece of rutilated amethyst, which costs noticeably but not bank-breakingly more than a simple chunk of rock crystal. There are helpful signs indicating the differences between the various types of crystal (this one helps with clear thought, apparently), and clarifying specifically that any of these stones will be acceptable for Intro to Mystic Arts.

Her books, gi, and quartz are rung up and she's free to go.

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It's not quite lunch time yet so she goes to the library and reads a bit until it is lunch time yet.

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Once it is lunch time, there is as usual something of a rush on the Crystal Hall.

Despite this, Morty is seated by himself, looking introspective.

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Bella loads up her tray with weirdly good cafeteria food, mostly a generous quantity of frittata and some spaghetti squash, and goes and plops down next to him. "Hey."

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"Oh! Hi."

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"How's your curse?"

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"Um, supposedly removed? I don't... feel any different? But, like, Circe said it's gone, and Circe is scary enough that I trust what she says, I guess."

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"Scariness is trustworthy?"

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"When it comes to magic, kind of? Like, I'm not scared of Arjun, I just know he's good at what he does. But Circe's super old and powerful and she kind of has this air of- not scariness per se, just 'I saw the civilizations that birthed your ancestors rise and fall, and I'm still going to be alive centuries after you die, and I'm allowing you to talk to me'? I guess I'm kind of conflating the scary part of that with the respectable part of it."

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"Huh. She sounds - yeah, scary."

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"I'm told it goes away when you get to know her. Which I do not plan on doing."

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"Makes sense. Were you expecting your curse disappearing to feel like something?"

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"I mean, sort of? Maybe a weight lifting off of my shoulders, a veil falling from my eyes. Some kind of object changing its position relative to my body, probably vertically. Instead I got Arjun waving his hands at me for fifteen minutes with a very intense Greek woman standing by in case he waved his hands wrong, then both of them nodding decisively and sending me on my way. It was like getting an MRI, or something. That's a kind of medical scan, you lie down inside a big machine and it makes loud noises and then they have a picture of your brain. Anyway, supposedly my inventions will stop exploding now, except the workshop's not open until school starts back up, so I can't even verify that. It just feels weird."

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"Huh. Well, what do you suppose you'll invent now?"

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"...probably a laser gun? I could start with something more, uh, useful, but I've never been able to make a working gun, not once, and they're supposed to be so easy to make. And apparently it's really satisfying to shoot things."

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"Things like... what? Is there a target range around?"

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"Oh, yeah, of course. I'm not gonna go out and- hunt rabbits with a laser gun, or something, that'd be crazy. And mean. The firing range is a thing."

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"Why is hunting rabbits mean, are lasers a very bad way to die?"

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"Not really. I just don't like the idea of killing things. And, like, I know that's hypocritical when I eat meat and stuff, but - rabbits are cute? Also there aren't any on campus, I don't think."

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"Huh. Okay."

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"Most people don't like killing things, way more people than you'd think looking at the stats on vegetarianism or whatever. -I know I'm kind of harping on vegetarianism but it is genuinely kind of weird that we're so willing to let animals die for our food when we wouldn't kill animals in person and it'd be really easy to go vegetarian, but like, chicken is delicious and vat meat is expensive and I guess I don't care that much about being a good person when there's an actual cost to me. Like I said, it's weird to think about."

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