Aug 21, 2019 4:06 AM
Link turns Fabulous
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"Believe me, I did my research," says hummingbird girl.


Suddenly, there's anxiety. She has no idea what she's doing, really.

"...Maybe I should go do that then. The scarf is a nice touch, by the way."


"Thanks," says hummingbird girl.


Aaah. Why is she feeling useless and intimidated again... Hummingbird girl didn't even say anything.

"Er... Bye, then."

She goes home. Puts the armor vest back on. Makes little adjustments to patterns and colors of things idly, probably not making much of a difference. She tries to do her homework but as usual can't seem to focus on it.

Perhaps searching the internet for other girls who used gemstones and armor well will be inspirational?


Public figures in armor:

"Knight", who does silver and purple gems, no wings, instead she's a centaur in full armor and barding with a heraldry theme.

Monica Chapman, under fire for using samurai styles despite not being Japanese, armor covered in red and black enamel and decorated with clouds made of inlaid opal.

Becky White, who rocks gold bikini armor plus a lot of silk scarves (her magic does a personal force field).

Coast Paladin Squad 29, who all rock studded leather with different colored diamonds as studs (white and blue, pink and black, and yellow and brown).

Olivia Nguyen, who obviously started with Wonder Woman and iterated from there till plagiarism stopped costing her. She's also got wings.

Cindy Li and her teammates, who all adhere to a dress code of approximately "video game armor", but according to their press the armor is not functional and it's super lightweight so they can fly.


The centaur thing is certainly... A thing. Maybe she should invent a heraldic symbol. Or something about as Knightly as that, at least. The feathers are already sort of a theme with her. Oooooh, force field. That would be sweet. Using Japanese styles doesn't seem unreasonable to her, but people are jerks on the internet too. Apparently. The opal is pretty. Maybe something like liquid pearl, swirling off-white - maybe she should go for pauldrons? Those don't seem very on-theme, looking at what's here, though.

She tries adding bands of opalescent inlay - on the underpanels of the skirt that only show if it flares, bands of it around her upper arm, inlay surrounding all the gems in the center of her mail shirt wherever there's not already a gold pattern. (She vaguely wonders if this counts as plagiarism, but doesn't really have a way to check.)

She also studies wings for a while and eventually makes hers bigger, and does some feather adjustments that supposedly will help with control. She also tries out having the different colors of feathers sort of fade gently at the borders, instead of being solid blocks of color, and keeps that if the magic likes it.

Does the vest improve any if she turns the trim the same blue as her cape, instead of red, and adds little dots of red on the feather pattern to make them match her earrings?

(Also, wow they all look so very strong, especially Becky White and the Paladin Squad, and - this is what she used to think about some guys. Well. The internet did warn her.)


If it counts as plagiarism, it doesn't count enough to stop it from helping - but it doesn't help much. The magic is neutral on her wing adjustments, and likes the color fade, and still doesn't seem to like the vest.


Apparently the vest has to go. She gets rid of it. She's not sure what should replace it, but probably something...

...She idly wonders if, since she has functional wings, she could do other weird biology. Gills? Poison stinger in her fingertip? Extra eyes on the back of her head? Those are probably all really ugly... And cryptid-y. She doesn't try any.

Rubies have worked well so far. She adds more - to the cape, to the wing accessories. She acquires gloves, leather and ruby-studded. She changes the big one on the center of her armor to a trilliant cut after some quick googling.


Rubies keep helping for a while, but she'll run into diminishing returns by the time the gloves turn up.


Yeah, the rubies are getting a little excessive. She switches a few out for the colors of diamonds that worked the best.

...Wow, she's made herself very shiny.

She realizes she can change the metal on all her armor pieces and chains out for something less heavy. Aluminum, or thin titanium if that makes it look too pale.

She thinks about direct body-mods again. She can always get rid of them if they're awful, she just can't get rid of everything, from what she's read. She tries changing her eyes further, eagle-eyes. Even better if it improves how she sees. She grins and sharpens her teeth slightly. She removes the gloves and tries out sharp talons for hands - inconvenient, probably not as stylish as the gloves, but it feels powerful. She tries tattoos with gemstones inset in a variety of colors and shiny metals and picks a small one to be placed on the top of her right forearm, a little stylized eagle head and wings.

She makes the opalescence slightly more golden, maybe slightly red for some of them, and keeps it if it helps.


Eagle-eyes help some with the vision. The magic doesn't like sharper teeth or talons but it does like the tattoo. Changing the opal color helps; it suddenly jumps by quite a bit once it's playing into her color scheme.


Fine, fine, she'll put the teeth back. For now. She's keeping the eyes, they're very different, but they're pretty and useful.

She's about done with this for the day, probably, though. Run down her initial enthusiasm and inspiration. It's still pretty great, she looks awesome, and she's got magic that probably has something to do with fighting monsters. She flies around a little more, feeling the differences of the new wing design, then spends some time with her mom (who is a bit disconcerted but happy Laura is so much more cheerful) and her dad (who is much more disconcerted, but also happy).

She looks up stardarters. If she can't have a cool sword, she at least needs the standard magical girl weapon... Money: Is a thing.

She asks her parents about it, maybe as an early birthday present? They say they'll think about it, so clearly she's going to have to get some money. Somehow. Well, she can worry about that tomorrow. For now, she takes the internet's advice again and has her mom take lots and lots of pictures of her whole ensemble so she doesn't lose all this cool design work, then gives herself comfy PJs and figures out how sleeping with wings works.

She practically radiates self-satisfaction while standing on the corner waiting for the bus the next day. No armor, that seems likely to get objected to by the school. But the undershirt, yes, and a ruby necklace, and her shiny wings, and the leggings and a simpler, un-armored skirt.

...You know what, forget the bus. She'll fly to school. Buses are slow and ugly and crowded. The sky is none of those things.


The sky is indeed uncrowded! She makes it to school without encountering any other fliers.


...She looks for the guy who said 'we're all doomed' to her yesterday. If she finds him, she grins at him with sharp teeth that she puts back to shiny perfection a moment later.

And she'll go to class and - not pretend nothing is changed, everything is changed, she is awesome now, but she's on time for once and she doesn't go boasting or anything.


At lunch another magical girl who's never talked to her before tells her there's a club and she's entitled to be in it.


"Oh hey. That sounds maybe interesting! When, where? What d'you guys do at it? Just chat, or what?"


"It's Tuesday afternoons," that means this afternoon, "in the soccer field in nice weather, in the gym in bad weather. We do style critique and target practice and calisthenics and power testing."


"I will totally be there. All dressed up in everything. This isn't everything, everything's a bit much for school."

And she is there, armor and cape and all, after scrutinizing her somewhat old phone for a bit to get everything mostly the way she had it yesterday.


There are eight girls in this club. They introduce themselves:

- Amelia, in nice but very plain civvies, her only visible mod a lizard tail;
- Jodie, with bat wings and a goth look;
- Gwendolyn, who has twi'lek-style hair-replacement tentacle things and a weird science-fiction-runway getup that is probably not compliant with the school dress code;
- Melissa, angel wings and extra arms and white hair, lots of white and hardanger embroidery, tiara, centerpiece belt entirely made of emerald the only non-white thing on her person;
- Vera, deer-inspired mods including ears, tail, and antlers, wearing green velvet;
- Aileen, duck-inspired angel wings, heavy on the purple and the pleats;
- Clarine, blue skin with light applications of scales in some places across her 6'6" frame, yellow-green dress that may actually be attached to her in places;
- Queenie, red-fox-tailed and pterodactyl-winged complete with functional extra fingers at the bend, fox-colored tunic over very form-fitting leggings and eye-catching boots.


Aileen and Vera are particularly appealing somehow? And Melissa, but in a different way.

She waves at Melissa and Aileen, flaring her unusually large eagle-inspired wings. Her armored shirt and all the rubies clink a bit. (She waves at Jodie and Queenie too as an afterthought.)

"Wing buddies!"


Queenie snorts. Melissa and Aileen smile and Jodie waves back.

"All right, I think that's everybody we're expecting today," says Melissa, ticking off attendance. "What's your name, Laur-something? Laurel?"


"Laura. Rossi." She's practically bouncing on her feet, wingtips twitching. A magic club is pretty exciting!


Melissa writes that down. "Welcome, Laura. All right, agenda this week - Clarine's agreed to do an aerial obstacle course -"

"Woo!" says Jodie.

"- based on the 2012 Olympics, and for our terrestrial members there's the usual parkour on the bleachers, assuming Vera's been keeping up with her lessons to relay them to us -"

"Yep," says Vera.

"- followed by everyone's choice of target practice and style consultation, which today may as well focus on Laura since she's new."


"Aerial obstacle course sounds like loads of fun. Target practice too. I, uh, might not be able to get a stardarter any time soon though. And, hey, how long does it take to figure out what your magic actually does? I met someone who said maybe it only works on swarms..."


Clarine sets up the aerial obstacle course; her power appears to involve stationary smoky images.

"You can borrow my off-hand one," says Queenie.

"Mine took forever to figure out," says Vera. "It's very subtle. You'll find it eventually, faster the better it gets."

"It's always worth pointing unarmed at a target and seeing if that opens anything up," says Melissa.

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