Mar 18, 2019 8:12 PM
James wakes up alone in a room
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"Is naked... bad?"

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"Nnnnnnno not precisely bad, everybody's naked at some point in their lives, multiple times even, but it's, um. It implies vulnerability? Like there is nothing covering any of your anything and everyone sees you exactly as you are instead of how you might want to present yourself? And that can be kind of uncomfortable and exposing and there might be bits of you that you don't want to show people! Which is fine, you don't have to, except sorta now because we had no clothes that could possibly survive the fire you'd make so we just didn't bother, I'm really sorry about that."

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He looks down at himself then back at the man and shrugs. "I don't feeel vul-nerable."

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"Okay! Well if you don't want clothes right now then you don't want clothes right now, I would really rather get you things that actually make you more comfortable than like, hand you things that make me comfortable? Uh, uh, do you want. Interesting things to burn, maybe? Or food?"

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"I... do not think I need food. Or water. Interesting things to burn would be interesting. And clothes, I do not care, I can wear them to make you comfortable."

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"Okay! Interesting things to burn, and also some clothes. Which, uh, might also end up bursting into flames, I'm not sure exactly how warm it is in there but if it's a certain level of warm then, uh, basically everything but the floor, the walls, and you is going to suffer from the experience."

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"Oh. How do I find out?"

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"Thaaaat is a good question, um, I know there is an answer because it's the sort of thing we'd want an answer to.... oh! Oh I'm an idiot! I have a charm for this, hold on." He fumbles through his pockets, then comes out with a copper bauble with a clear crystal in it. He then flicks it a couple of times, then holds it up to point it at the inside of the room.

The bauble's crystal glows purple.

"Oh. Oh my," he says, paling a little. "Oh, oh clothes are not going to survive in there, nope, wow. Um. And you're definitely comfortable in there, no, uh, exploding? Please don't explode."

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"No exploding," he agrees easily. "This is comfortable. Not the best but the best makes me explode, so."

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"Okay. So clothes are probably a no go for right now, but I can probably get you some things to burn? Or I could go get a book and read to you if you get bored, it's just that you kind of need to stay in the room for right now. There's no reason it should be uncomfortable, though! Except, you know, the reasons preventing me from letting you out of the room, but that's so you don't accidentally melt the building and cause it to collapse on us all!"

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"The building isn't made of the iron-chalk-salt thing?" he asks, walking over to andand knock on a wall.

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"No. I mean, there are wards? A lot of the building would survive? But the wards for the entire building don't uh, quite cover 'hot' as thoroughly as the ones for this room. They cover things like lightning, or cold, or deadly mold or whatever, depending on what might likely threaten the things. So in some places it might be fine, and in other places it might not be fine, and we wouldn't know unless we went over every square inch of the building with every possible protective ward, and that's just not at all practical to do, especially since not all wards will layer over one another. So instead you're in this spot that will definitely be fine."

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He nods. "Okay. How long until you are sure I am not going to explode?"

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"Twenty four hours before you can leave the room! And wow we did not prepare enough to keep you not bored, I am so sorry, usually subjects are not very coherent so early in the settling process and so there's not all that much we can do to help them, so, uh. Whoops, sorry, you're unprecedented??"

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"...subjects?"

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"Um! Okay so you don't remember right now, you should once you've had some time, but you consented to a ssssomewhat experimental ritual for magical power. This is why you are so, uh. Fire friendly. You're not the only one that's consented to this thing, but you're doing great. Really!"

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"Oh. And the others... explode? And I knew I could explode?"

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"They sometimes explode! Not always! And yes you knew you could explode, there was this whole long waiver thing and everything."

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"Oh. Well. Glad I didn't explode, then!"

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"Yeah, me too! Good job! It's very exciting! Keep up the good work! ... Unless I guess you... need to explode? Do you know if you can make it less hot in there and that you'll be okay? Actually wait never mind don't test that right now, it might screw something up, just, uh, hang out there please and try to stay comfortable and entertained."

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"I can make it colder," he says. "It just feels... wrong... but not bad or painful."

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"Oh. Okay. Well, whatever you're doing is working just fine, so uh. Keep... doing what you're doing? I guess? Since you haven't exploded?"

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"...I can just choose not to go hotter."

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"Huh. Usually there's not this much control in effects this early, but okay. Actually is the room at a steady temperature, I should check..." He holds up the charm again and squints at the glowing crystal. It flickers subtly between shades of purple.

"... Pretty steady, though there's a regular pattern to it, sort of like..." he taps his pen to his clipboard in a steady rhythm, frowning. "... oh. A heartbeat. Oh good! That's very promising!"

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"Do other people's hearts not beat?"

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