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Jul 21, 2019 2:25 AM
a Margaret in Whateley
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This demonstration of competence is impressive and continues to be every martial arts class stereotype ever. Which is good: the stereotype says she will end up awesome at the end of it.

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Following the demonstration, students are divided into "has done martial arts within the last three years" and "has not". The former are tested on their moves; the latter are taught how to fall properly.

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Margaret has not done martial arts in the past three years. She tries falling the same way the meat students are learning it and determines that it works about the same for her. 

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"Good," Sensei Tolman says. "Like GSD cases, not all techniques will work with your unique body. Work on those that do."

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"Yes, sensei. I'll be keeping the techniques in mind as I modify my body, as well."

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"Bear in mind also that you are not bound by the same limitations as a human," Sensei Tolman recommends. Then she moves on.

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Margaret will fall, and fall, and debate the merits of four arms vs two arms and where the extra arms should come out of, and fall some more until class is done or they move on to something else.

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They are also taught the basic stances they will use, but mostly it's falling.

Next up is Powers Theory. Today they're discussing the Exemplar trait.

After that comes lunch. Well. It's the break the system automatically put in for lunch. Presumably she's not actually going to be eating lunch.

What is she going to do?

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She's going to grab her laptop and register her codename before she forgets again! Then she's going to go the cafe anyway and do the Powers Theory homework and chat with whoever's there. Who's there?

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Elijah's here! He's sitting with a blue boy who's all tentacles from the waist down and a green boy whose hair is full of flowers - no, made of flowers.

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"Hello again! Elijah, wasn't it? Mind if I sit here?"

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"Sure thing! Guys, this is Margaret, Upload, we met yesterday, she uploaded herself!"

Tentacle boy waves. "Max Sullivan, Tinkertoy. Charmed."

Green boy also waves. "Ethan Hart, Mulch. Also charmed."

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"Pleasure to meet you both! Tinkertoy, huh, any chance you're another gadgeteer?"

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"Devisor, actually," Max says.

"I'm a gadgeteer," Ethan contributes. "Also a psi and a wizard. I do a lot of things."

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"Oooh, a jack of all trades! I've never met a psi or a wizard before, what're those like?"

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Elijah grins. "You got him started."

Ethan preens slightly. "Well, I'm actually a Package Deal Psychic - that's where you've got an Esper ability, telekinesis, and psi, but you can only use one at once. But my TK is pathetic, and my Esper bit is gadgeteering, so I don't have a problem with it, I just turn on psi when I'm fighting and gadgeteering when I'm not. Psi is fun because you can get inside people's heads, less fun because you can't actually use it for very much without either consent or a fight. But I can create decent psychic illusions, and I'm working on this 'brain-zap' technique where you can make somebody sort of mentally hiccup for a second, so they trip or lose their train of thought or whatever. And magic - I don't actually have a Wiz mutation, I'm just studying it, but it's so interesting, you have to kind of gather up energy and store it so that you can do magic later, and there's some defined spells but if you're good enough at it you can sort of wing it? And you can bind a familiar to yourself for a little bit of extra power and an additional benefit as long as you give it something in return - I have these sprites that live in my hair" (he fans out his planty hair with his hands, causing a small cloud of sparks to emerge and then resettle) "and they let me manipulate plants, which is convenient because I'm a plant-based biogadgeteer."

"Do you breathe?" Max asks conversationally.

"Sometimes," Ethan says.

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"A fellow nerd, excellent! So is your hair part of your mutation, or did you do it to yourself to give the sprites somewhere to live? I'm not a biogadgeteer at all, I do mechanical and software, but I can tell it looks nice."

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He shakes his head. "This was all part of the package. I photosynthesize, too!"

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"That's convenient, I have to plug in. But my next-gen body is going to have way more battery life--I'm planning to bulk up the torso to make room for a lot more batteries, plus a more shielded place to keep my processors, plus my next set of limbs will be a lot stronger and that means I need a bulkier torso to support them anyway."

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"Nice," Elijah says. "If you want to put in lasers of any kind, I'm available, lasers are my thing."

"Oh, if you want a really good nuclear battery you should go to Manhattan, he's our teammate, he makes these great tiny nuclear batteries," Max effuses.

Ethan nods. "Long as you've got something decent to trade for them. Workshop economy, you know."

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"Tiny nuclear battery sounds good, if it's not hard to maintain. I wonder if he'd like a robot arm he can mount to a workbench and control with his thoughts through a headset."

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"Ooh," they say in unison.

"Depending on the manual dexterity, that'd be really good," Max says. "He's got MATD that turned his skin into concrete, see - he hasn't lost much feeling yet, but he's probably going to within a couple of years. Definitely worth a couple of batteries."

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"Ouch," says Margaret and holds up her hand. Her fingers come to delicate but not sharp points, like the ends of plastic chopsticks (some of them may in fact be the ends of plastic chopsticks), with small touch-sensitive pads. "I can get it pretty dexterous, though he'll need to sit still for a time while I calibrate it to his brain."

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"Josh's good at sitting still," Elijah nods.

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"I look forward to meeting and potentialy trading with him. You said you were a devisor, Max? Got a specialty?"

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