Mar 24, 2019 2:47 AM
A Margaret in Fabulous
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She'll be back out of pajamas soon enough. Breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal and a banana and No Coffee even though it really couldn't matter less if she stunts her growth now, and then she'll take a jog around the neighborhood. Flying is great, but she shouldn't let her legs atrophy either. 

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There's a swarm over there. She can't tell if it's new or not; it enters her range when she approaches, it doesn't start within it.

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She should call 911, but they'll want to know how big it is, and if there's anybody else in the area. She heads a bit closer.

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She can tell where the swarmlings are, but not how big. There are a couple hundred of them, and they are spaced closely enough that they could be new.

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She'll get airborne, try to get a line of sight on them.

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They seem to be inside that parking garage there.

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That would be a really easy place to get trapped if you can't fly. Flap flap to the appropriate level of the parking garage, hoping there's nobody in there.

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Nobody's in there! Just cars.

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But can she see the bugs?

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Around the corner, mostly clustered under a Jeep and adjacent Audi, yes, there they are, roiling across the pavement.

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Okay, that's enough to be calling emergency services with. Cell phone out of disguised skirt pocket, dialing 911. 

And while she's doing that, she notices that what she's feeling is more than the combination of swarm-sense and ordinary trepidation. She *knows* the bugs are a threat to her the way she knows that water is wet and fire is hot.

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The bugs have noticed her. They creep along out from under the cars in her direction.

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Come on, 911, pick up.

It is at this point she realizes she has made a tactical error by landing in the parking garage. There's not enough room to take off in here. If she wants to get out of this building, she has to either get past the bugs, get all the way to the roof, or jump out the side and hope really hard that her wings catch air before she eats asphalt. And she knows that last thing isn't happening.

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"911, what is your emergency?"

Some bugs sprout wings. They are plenty small enough to maneuver in here.

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She realizes they must be about to sprout wings a couple seconds before they do, and the resulting moment of How on Earth did I know that? is enough to make her trip over her words. 

"I'm, uh, I'm in the parking garage at ninth and commerce, and there are bugs, I mean the black swarm bugs, between me and the exit, and I don't have any combat anything, please send somebody."

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"Ninth and Commerce parking garage," repeats the voice, "all right, I'll send a swarm response team. You may be able to outrun the bugs, or get into an elevator they can't enter before the team gets there."

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"Okay, uh, okay." She turns and starts legging it up the parking garage, awkwardly trying to keep her phone on her ear in case the dispatcher has anything else to say.

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The bugs are not quite as fast as her, though they're getting faster. "What floor are they on?"

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"Third floor, or fourth I think, they're following me up." Keep going, keep going, if she can get a decent lead on them maybe she'll have time to call the elevator on the next floor--

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The bugs chase her faster and faster; she's still gaining on them but by less with every passing second.

"The girls are on their way. Just keep running."

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Feeling the swarm flying and hopping behind her is weird. Her swarm-sense seems to be seeing double, with one set of bugs lagging a few seconds before the other. She gets around the corner and into the next level, the bugs gaining precious meters from going over and under cars she has to go around.

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There's the elevator.

It doesn't come right away when she calls.

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Of course it doesn't. But she can't stay ahead of the swarm for much longer; she'll make a stand here with a wall at her back and hope.

There's a moment of almost relief when she turns around and sees that the further-back instance of her "double-vision" is the true one. But a skittering nasty about to leap at her face isn't much better than one that already is. Now seems like a good time to put those claws back on.

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Individual swarm bugs are not very threatening. She can geesh it. This deteriorates her magic on account of ick.

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Yuck. She gets another two, then takes advantage of a second's gap to delete the claws and put them back clean. 

Where is the elevator???

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