Jun 24, 2019 11:21 AM
Aether at Whateley
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So most people have to get by without any magic or subtle artistry or anything?

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Yeah, pretty much. I mean, they've got technology, plus whatever publicly available gadgets they can afford, but they can't do it themselves.

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...And the rest of you give yourselves names like early morning cartoon characters and fight crime or rob banks or whatever.

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...Sort of? The villains do things because they're jerks and they want more power so they can be bigger jerks, the heroes try to stop them from doing that. I think without the villains there'd be a lot less heroes. But there's still a big contingent of the mutant community that just, like, does things. Like strength guys working construction, teleporters doing courier work, gadgeteers selling inventions... Not superheroes or supervillains, just superfolks. My dad knew a real estate agent with the lower body of a snake. They just do stuff.

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...Is it just humans here? I have met people with the lower bodies of snakes but it is not usually a conversation starter.

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Um. Pretty much. Some mutants don't really look human, but they're closer to it than anything else. And the magic guys say there's fairies and stuff but they mostly just stay in the spirit world or wherever they live. I mean, demons and ghosts and all that sometimes pop up to murder people, but mostly everything that isn't human keeps to itself.

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...Okay. I suppose that must make things simpler.

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It's actually much more complicated, Morty thinks drily. We have to make do with hating people because they have the wrong pigments, instead of because their ears are pointy; it's so primitive.

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Oh, but we have that too, you see.

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He claps politely. Victory is yours. Anyway, yeah, humans are the order of the day. Mutants are almost-not-quite a different species, though. For what that's worth.

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Almost-not-quite? What, like part-elves...? I suppose you wouldn't know what part-elves are like.

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More like, uh, if elves sometimes had babies that came out looking like dwarfs. Or could breathe fire. But were still elves, in... many ways? Genetics is fucked.

He scrunches his face in confusion. Wait, why am I assuming you guys have orcs? Stop generalizing Tolkien to Fantasy Hellworld, Morty.

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We have orcs. And dwarves. And the occasional firebreather.

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Yeah, me trying to explain genetics was pretty hopeless. I'm an engineer. To whatever extent I'm actually an engineer instead of some bizarro technowizard. But mutants are, like... Sort of a neighbor species. It's not apples to oranges, but it's not apples to apples either.

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Like goblins and hobgoblins, maybe.

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Sounds about right. We can still interbreed, but there's definite differences in the genetic code.

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You sound like a cartoon character. It's weird.

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The science thing? I have to say, it is kind of fun being more exotic than the wizards for once.

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Wizards are totally normal to me. Well, wizard students, I don't take a lot of arcane magic classes so I'm less accustomed to wizard teachers, and you can't always tell who's a wizard out walking around unless they wear archmage getups.

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Same here, really. People are just more familiar with devisors just sort of... doing stuff? I guess? Everybody takes gadgeteer vitamin supplements or lives in a hypersteel apartment complex or something, so it's sort of become an everyday thing, but wizards don't do as much in the public eye.

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Why not?

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He shrugs. Less mass-production capability? If Algernon invents a new computerized ocular implant or something, he can make a factory to make more. Even if it's a true Devise, the kind that can only be built by hand by the one guy who came up with it, he can just do that as many times as he wants and sell it to as many people as he wants. Wizards are working from a finite source of energy. I think. That's what they say, at least. So they're not going to be flooding the market with enchanted backscratchers, they're going to save up for their own shadowy ends or whatever it is wizards do.

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Huh. I don't actually know that much about industry in my world, but we have plenty of mass produced stuff, including magic stuff.

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Again the shrug. Also possible they just don't want to sully their dignified hands with menial labor. Wizards around here can get kind of prissy.

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This is certainly going to be an interesting adjustment. Should you be telling some kind of authority figure I exist?

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