Apr 18, 2019 2:56 PM
Margaret in Neuroi World
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"Yes, I'm Margaretta. Pleased to meet you, Senora." More staring at her clothes and the broom and her hair and the broom. Can she tell what metal it's made of from here?

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It's a new metal! It's mostly like the specially-forged kind of iron, but moreso. It has very complicated shapes and seems slightly hollow.

"Likewise." She lands, smiling. "We like to get to know as many witches as possible, since magic is so very useful."

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"That makes sense. Also, your broom is amazing. It's like iron but also like nothing I've ever seen. Can you tell me what it's made of, please, or how it was made?"

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"Certainly. It's called 'steel'. It's iron, but specially cooked to be harder and stronger than normal! I'm afraid I'm not a smith so I don't know the details - except that it's very expensive and difficult to make, even if the research divisions are trying to make it less so. You can tell that from there? Your special?"

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"Yes, my special is stuff to do with metal. I can tell where metal things are without looking, and sense other things about it, and move it around without touching it."

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"That sounds like a fun one! I can tell things about other witches, but I can't move them around." She grins. 

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"I guess it's a good thing we can move ourselves around, then!" she gestures at Freya's broom and grins back.

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"Yes. Couriers are very useful. And if they deliver things for the Defense Force they get the best brooms we can provide. Unusual specials can be even more useful, of course."

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"I'd like to find a way to be really useful with my special, somehow. I already help people move heavy things sometimes, if the things are metal."

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"There are great foundry yards being built in places like Barcelona, Paris, Tours, Manchester, London, Berlin, Venice. I really think we're making more metal than has ever been made before to help with the Neuroi. I have no doubt such a special would be useful in a place like that."

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"That sounds amazing. I would love to see the foundry yards somewhere, and maybe work in them too."

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"I'm sure we'd be glad to show you around. It'd be a bit irresponsible of me to whisk you away right now, of course." She laughs. "We do actually have witch schools for girls as young as you, but if you're as interested as all that I would surely need to talk to your parents first."

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"I wouldn't just leave without my parents' permission!" she says, wide-eyed. "I'll take you to meet them now if you like; my house is just over there. What is witch school like?"

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"We call it 'flight school', because it's meant to teach you everything a young witch should know, particularly flying. We teach reading and writing, arithmetic, a little bit of the English language, a little bit of history and sciences, and then navigation, flying, and a few lessons in using the other common witch powers, shields and manalight and how to store mana in gems and metal for later. I'd be happy to meet your parents if now is a good time for that!"

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"I want to learn all of those things! Papa's probably still in his workshop, but we can see how busy he is."

He's just finishing up with a customer when they arrive.

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Freya leaves the steel 'broom' where she landed, just out of the way of the main street, apparently confident that nobody would or could steal it.

She gives a restrained professional smile to all the curious onlookers and stands back, hands clasped, when they go into the workshop.

Once he's free, "Good morning, Señor Perez. I'm Freya Sofingsur, with the Defence Force."

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"Good evening, Señora Sofingsur. What can I do for you?"

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"Well, I overheard from one of the lovely ladies in the courier association down here that your daughter had been blessed with magic and shows a lot of potential, so I came down to see for myself. I can tell with my own magic that she's learned to do a lot with hers in just a short time, it's very impressive."

Yeah, the courier association will be annoyed if she poaches their recruit, but owing them a favor is well worth it to recruit someone bright with a niche but high-potential special.

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"We're very proud of her, yes, and so glad she was blessed with magic."

(Margaretta beams at this. Parents being proud of you is the best.)

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"I actually wanted to invite her to one of our schools - Flight School. It teaches everything we think a young witch ought to know. We do our best to support young witches and let them grow. She'll get a stipend if she attends, and we like to get flight school graduates to work for the Defense Force for a while." And time to head off the usual alarm, "There are plenty of jobs that need doing but aren't very dangerous. I think she would do very well helping in a forge, as just one example. But if she wanted to accept, that's an important decision, so she wanted to talk to you. And it doesn't need to happen today."

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"Well--hmm. It would be good to get her educated, and goodness knows Flight School will be better able to do that than anyone here, and anything that helps get rid of the Neuroi can't be all bad. But isn't she a bit young to be leaving home? How often would she be able to come visit us? And what if someone somewhere decided that she should be on the front lines instead of working in a forge, would she have a choice about it?"

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"We don't want to send people who aren't ready for it to fight the Neuroi any more than you do. She'd have to go through Combat School before that happened, except in a dire emergency where the city she's in is being overrun or something. And we don't make people enroll in Combat School."

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"Okay . . . But again, what about visiting home? I don't want to just send her off and not see her again for years."

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"Oh, of course. I'm sorry, I am not as fluent as I could be in this language. There aren't really very many flight schools because there are so few witches. There's one in Venice, and one in London, those are the two that I would think are good options for her. London more than Venice - there's a metallurgists' guild in the city, which may be a good opportunity. Flight school gives three breaks a year, winter break a month long and the others two weeks. Venice is four or five days' flight from here for a young witch, and London is closer but takes about as long - you have to go east and then north. However, London is more accessible to boat trips. The fastest boats can make a trip in two days if a witch flies the first and last parts herself, and we'd certainly help get her a spot on those to visit home if she - and you - wanted that."

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"Then I suppose London is satisfactory, if her mother agrees. And of course she'll want to visit."

"Of course! And I'll write you so many letters!"

Margaretta's mother is then called out, and similarly persuaded by the promise of education and safety and visits and So Many Letters, I Promise.

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