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Jan 27, 2020 6:55 AM
Margaret in Medallion
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So far none of those!

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She starts writing up a new page about the option to send in artifacts and have them examined for magic, turned into invisibility items, and/or made durable. She doesn't expect to get it done today, or even this week, but writing up what she has lets her notice unanswered questions like, "should she ask people to send in their own return packaging or are her own packaging standards going to be higher" and "what's a clear way to explain the problem with making things with moving parts durable" and "should she offer to disenchant things people want disenchanted or will mentioning that she can do that just scare people off".

How are the tadpoles doing? They should be noticeably bigger by now, with all the old polaroids to compare to.

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One of the enchanted tadpoles is dead.

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Possibly that version did nothing; possibly it made it worse. This is why she has each clause repeated across multiple tadpoles in various combinations; it should be clearer eventually. She makes a note next to the failed incantation and flushes the dead one. Maybe she should get a big magnifying glass and a bunch of fruit flies; they'll be a lot harder to handle but faster to get results from.

On Wednesday she gets all her homework done by working on it during lectures; in the evening she looks for real estate postings in Wyoming and Montana.

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Lots of houses for sale. Cheap, compared to her area.

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Margaret makes a file of the ones that look most isolated and least in need of repairs while still being cheap and having a suitable floor plan. This one is in a valley all to itself but the plumbing needs work. This one has air conditioning but the common area is split into lots of annoyingly small rooms. This one is on a lake and really cheap per square foot but mentions a backup generator in a way that suggests unreliable electricity.

It's kind of nuts that she's thinking about buying real estate at seventeen, even if she is planning to go halves on it with Bella. They'll want to pay cash rather than figure out how to convince a bank they have income. 

It occurs to Margaret that she doesn't know as much as she should about what infrastructure type things runecasting can do. Can she repair things, vanish things, generate electricity, filter water? She spends the rest of the evening drawing up a diagram centered on the lightning, control, and border runes. On Friday she tapes the ends of a wire to a light bulb and tries replacing the battery with French: "Make electric current flow through this circuit, sufficient to turn on this light bulb".

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The lightbulb turns on, briefly, then off.

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Yes, proof of concept! What if she adds "until the circuit is broken"? Probably what will actually happen is it will work until it runs out of . . . whatever spells run out of when they wear off . . . and she'll need a bigger diagram to make it last longer, but this is potentially a simple way to test how much diagram gets how much lightbulb time.

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This diagram is apparently good for five minutes and sixteen seconds of dim light.

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It's not as good as a glowing rock for lighting qua lighting, but she could totally recharge batteries with this. Or have a portable electrical outlet. She makes a note to stop by the hardware store on Friday, and also to add the lighting spell to her website, and in the meantime she grabs a jumper cable. "Whenever both clips of this cable are attached to something such that a complete circuit is formed and a person touching the cable says "voltage on", make electric current flow through it so as to produce a difference of one point five volts between the clips, until either clip is detached or a person touching the cable says "voltage off". And now she should have a cable that works like a AA battery.

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On goes the light.

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That is so cool. And she's out of diagrams. She checks the voltage with her multimeter, then leaves the battery-cable powering the light bulb overnight to get a sense of how long it lasts. On Friday she makes a bunch more photocopies, buys a rechargable battery and a power strip suitable for plugging things into, adds the voice-controlled glowing spell to the list of enchantments she can put on things, and still has what feels like lots and lots of time to be excited about her date with Bella tomorrow. But before that, maybe she has time to get the outlets on the power strip enchanted to maintain the proper voltage differences between the ports, including a clause about turning on and off with the switch and a clause about turning off if the temperature of any part of the system goes over  50 degrees Celsius.

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The current diagram doesn't cover the temperature shutoff.

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Ugh, no, of course it wouldn't. At least she got alternating current to work. She disenchants what she has and starts in on a temperature-and-control diagram to add that part. She had really hoped to have a finished product to show Bella tomorrow, but if it didn't involve a lot of do-overs they wouldn't call it re-search. And now it's time to go to sleep so she can be well-rested for her ~second date~!

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"Hey."

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"Hi! So, medallions first to get it out of the way, or pyramids first because it's already evening there?"

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"Ooh, good question, let's go check out sunset over the pyramids."

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This time Margaret is prepared! She has the latitude and longitude of a nice bit of boring desert near the pyramids picked out for invisi-porting to.

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Then invisible they go!

"I'm not sure how we'll keep track of each other invisibly while we fly."

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"Hmm. I specifically did the invisibility spell to work on anything we picked up, so we can't carry visible things . . . We could try divvying up the airspace? Or we might just be able to hear each other's wingbeats if we get too close; I'm hard to hear from the ground but I can definitely hear myself."

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"I'm pretty quiet. Not like an owl but I wouldn't bet on you hearing me over yourself."

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