Jul 19, 2019 10:12 AM
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"Yes, that would be nice, if you can actually get us there. And I doubt Hank wants to come along."

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"Pfft, no. I've got my hands full with one kingdom to improve. Do come back with that thing, though, Skeeve; I've got a dimension to visit. Assuming it works reliably enough to make a trip alive, of course."

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"OK, anyone who's coming grab one of the handles and we're off."

Skeeve holds out the D-hopper to Kithabel and twirls some dials.
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Grab.

She grits her teeth.
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Merlin snaps his eyes open and whispers in the ear of the guard on his right. When the man recoils in fear, the enchanter twists away from the other and grabs for the device. He reaches it just before Skeeve presses the invitingly large red button.

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And the three of them are back at the top of Kithabel's tower.

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Where it is pouring rain, and Kithabel is now quite helpless to avoid being drenched. She heads for the stairs to go inside. "I don't know why you did that," she remarks over her shoulder to Merlin.

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"Is it not obvious?" the wizard asks. He and Skeeve both head for the stairs. "For years I've been a magician. If what that one said is true, there is more magic to be had here than there ever was before."

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Kithabel does not attempt to strand them on top of her tower in the rain. "It takes a long time. And whatever Skeeve's doing to let us communicate won't last, I can't duplicate it myself and I doubt you can either. When he goes off elsewhere you'll be stranded in a strange country without any clear idea how to use the local magic, speak the local language, or abide by local customs."

The stairs lead down to a corridor; the palace is very pretty. Kithabel starts down it. "If you want to stay anyway I'll show you how to get off the waterfall and into town, but I'm going to be too busy getting my momentum back to play tour guide."
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"I will accept whatever help you offer, but there is nothing you can say that will convince me this was not the correct decision. Would you have stayed in Britain, though returning cost you your tongue?"

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"The decisions aren't parallel. This is my home. Besides, apparently you can learn Skeeve's kind of magic anywhere. Most people don't have what it takes to keep up with proper sorcery."

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"I need not even know of what requirements you speak to say that I do."

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"Aren't you charmlessly arrogant. Skeeve, are you going to leave this guy here?"

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"I'm not going to take him back by force, if that's what you mean. I'll leave him this." He takes a small gold chain off his wrist and tosses it to Merlin. "Dunno how long it'll last, but I can get another on Deva. He should have a few years to learn the language.

Besides, he knocked me out. I'm not too concerned with what happens to him."
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Kithabel sighs. "Fine. ...Look, obviously I can't undertake much interdimensional travel myself without losing things it takes ludicrous amounts of time to get back, but if you're amenable I would not mind being visited for occasional swaps of otherworldly souvenirs for anything you might find useful locally. I won't be up to sorceress quality strength again for several years, but lower-grade momentum can still accomplish things and I'll be where I was again in another decade or so."

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"I've got no objection to that.
See you later, then?"
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"Take one of these," she says, pulling a wooden bead off her bracelet. "I don't know if they still work after having been removed from the world, but if they don't they won't do you any good anyway. Talk to it and I'll hear you, if it works, and vice versa."

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"That's clever. I wouldn't have the first idea how to make one of those." He accepts the bead, and squints at it. It continues to look like a bead.

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"Testing," Kithabel whispers to the master bead on her necklace.

"Testing," echoes the bead in Skeeve's hand.
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"Eep!" squeak both beads.
"I...should've been expecting that."
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Kithabel giggles.

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"Hey! Master magician here! It's not funny!"

"Anyway," as he turns slightly red, "I'll see you when—" zap.

The next thing Kithabel hears, first the usual way and then through the bead, is "Not again."
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"Where'd you land this time?" she wonders, motioning to Merlin and heading for the lift that will take him off of her waterfall.

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"Volcano."

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"And this was an 'again'? You didn't mention this ever happening before." Merlin is shown the lift and given directions from the bottom of the falls to the town.

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