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Aug 18, 2019 3:28 AM
Dusk in Fabulous
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Yeah, she really wouldn't be surprised if it's that bad or if they're just not telling them, either one.

At least they still have the choice. She wasn't sure they would.

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"There's no way to stop magical girls from starscaping. They're doing research on it," says Winona with distaste.

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- she expected being drugged to do it. If it doesn't and they're still drugging them anyway that's probably part of why so many of them go cryptid, it'd be really easy to do by accident like that.

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"'Drugs' aren't a single specific thing," Winona says. "They're looking into drug-based methods but so far none of them reliably prevent girls from starscaping and most of them increase the risk of mysteries if they do starscape."

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Yeah, that's - she means the kind of drugs they used at the institution, when someone was acting up; that's exactly what she'd expect from them.

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"I don't know what kinds were favored there but they might be some of the same kinds."

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Yeah. Okay, that pretty much answers that question.

She knows they don't know a whole lot about cryptids but there might be some advice to give about being one?

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"...Dusk, once somebody falls into the mysteries she's almost a completely different person. There's some reason to believe that she'll recognize some people and things that were important to her, but mostly they just - go do their own thing. They aren't going to take any advice we could give to their pre-mysteries selves."

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Yeah, she knows that. More, like - cryptids are the shape they are at least to start, probably, are there good shapes? If being a cryptid doesn't get her out all by itself, do they do different things with different kinds when they find them? She gets that going cryptid is dying and making a new person but she wants the new person to be okay too, if there's any advice she can give about that at all.

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"...I still don't expect advice to be useful, but, uh, they can still shapeshift, and will if they need to - the specialist facility has to let those girls go out into the wild, or they start doing property damage on their way out."

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All right.

She knows this is tough to think about, sorry. She wouldn't do it if it wasn't important.

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"We understand," Winona says.

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Okay.

Hugs, anyway.

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Hugs.

 

They pack sandwiches and fly out to the woods near the institution that evening.

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She plays close attention to landmarks on the way, and sets up chairs and passes out binoculars once they're back on the ground.

And then -

Janet? It's Denice. She's okay. Things are good. She found out some things about the magic, that other girls should know if they get it too.

There's no way to make a girl get it if she doesn't happen to, and no way to make sure she gets magic that will let her leave, sorry. The safest thing for someone to do if she gets magic but she's okay there is still to not use it. One of the adults she found is working on that and she'll come back if it changes.

If a girl gets magic and wants to use it, she should wait until night, change her face and body so nobody can recognize her, and get wings. Once she has wings she can change her outfit; a pretty outfit will give her magic. Making her body pretty will help too but it's not as safe. Picking a theme helps a lot; it's a good idea to spend a couple days trying to think of pretty things to make an outfit of before using the magic. The trick Janet told her about making a tiny change will work to give her more time to think about it. Some girls get one kind of magic that gets stronger as she gets prettier and some girls get spells and get more as they get prettier; girls who get spells can usually only get three. It's worth trying for all three if the first two don't work; if the girl is only changing her outfit that's safe to do.

If a girl gets magic that doesn't let her leave, she still has a choice, but it's not a good one. She can't go back to looking normal but if she changes her body more than is safe she'll turn into a cryptid. Just being really small will do it, or turning into an animal, or anything like that. Cryptids are probably people but they're not the same people they were when they started, and cryptids get to be free. The other choice is to let them drug her and take her away; they take those girls to another institution with more drugs. Most of them wind up turning into cryptids anyway.

If a girl does get magic that lets her get out, there's a place to go where she'll be safe and get help. Here's directions. The grownup there that they want to talk to is called Flora and looks like this. Flora will help girls who go to her find adults of their own; she knows that sounds fake but she tried it and it worked great. Flora knows where she is and can bring her in to talk to any girls who make it there, if they want, too; Flora doesn't know her real name and she's going by Dusk these days anyway.

She hopes Janet is doing okay. She misses her, and everybody. It's so so so good to be out, though. She hopes this gets somebody out.

She'll tell Christa and Tom this, too - she thinks she remembers them well enough to talk to them with her magic, anyway. And she'll repeat it again so Janet can catch any things she missed the first time.

 

She does that.

(There's no response, of course.)

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Winona and Julie wait patiently next to her.

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She really wants a hug, when she's done repeating all that six times. And then they can go.

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They hug her. They go home.

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She's quiet and snuggly all evening, but not tense.

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They sit up with her and snuggle her till they need to go to sleep.

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She's still a little quiet in the morning, but more thoughtful than sad.

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She's getting up early enough these days to be introduced to breakfast cereal.

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She accepts this as readily as anything else.

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"Anything you wanna do today?" Julie asks.

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Just read, probably. She's still kind of thinking about last night.

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