Apr 19, 2019 10:30 AM
Fabulous Dusk in Pokemon Alola
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"It's definitely possible that we might be able to get a portal of some variety sooner than we get one safely traversable by people, so you might be able to send a message, but I doubt our internets or cell services will be cross-compatible and it seems unlikely that whatever location we manage to get open will be ideal for letters."

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And she doesn't actually have a phone with her, either. Maybe she could just, like, yell, once they have a portal? That's pretty rude to do to random bystanders but it could work.

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"It would probably be worth a shot, at the very least. I've never heard of a portal coming apart due to psychic powers - Ultra Space portals definitely don't, but those generally also are fine for people to cross. If you want, we could head over now and see what we can figure out!" 

As she finishes saying that, she catches hold of herself, and says, "...And I might have just realized that I didn't even introduce myself, much less offer any proof that I'm as qualified as I say I am. My name's Burnet, if you want to look me up."

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She'll check her out at the library later but she'd rather go try stuff right now. And her name is Dusk.

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"It's nice to meet you, Dusk. Would you be comfortable taking a Charizard - er, a large, winged Pokémon, give me a moment and I'll pull up a picture - or should I buy some tickets for a boat? Or, wow! Are those wings functional for flight? I wouldn't assume so, the wingspan wouldn't be large enough for something mechanical, but on a Pokémon they would be and I'm not sure how that paradigm carries over."

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She can fly with these, yeah. And take a passenger, with her other spell; it makes things, including hot air balloons.

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"Are your hot air balloons magically fast? It's a fairly long trip even on an express boat, which is why I usually fly or stay overnight."

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Balloons aren't - like, if she's pulling it it goes as fast as she does, but she's not that fast either. Riding a Charizard will probably be okay.

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"All right, I'll call us a lift. Unless they're busy, a Charizard should be here in 10 minutes or so, and they're rarely that busy."

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Cool.

 

Does Professor Burnet want her to explain magical girls or show her her magic or anything, while they wait?

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"I'd love to hear about it. Honestly, it sounds like it'd align more with Kukui's specialty than mine, unless I misunderstand, but it's not every day you get a chance to learn about extraordinary powers from another world."

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Okay.

So, magical girls are regular humans who got magic. It's always girls, and always between the ages of eight and sixteen - she got hers a little after her thirteenth birthday and hasn't had it quite a year yet. About one girl in fifty gets magic, and it's pretty much random; it does run in families but only a little bit. The basic magic that all magical girls get is that they can change their appearance however they want; magical girls have to look a certain amount of not-quite-human, and a girl who gets magic isn't a magical girl until she's done that, and then once she has she can't go back. Once she's done that, though, she can change her clothing, too, and she gets her spell or spells, which are different for each girl and always have a theme; Dusk's theme is 'things that aren't quite real', which is pretty abstract as they go - other girls she knows have force and water and art and fire and healing and things like that.

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"Wow. Feel free to tell me to slow down if I get out of hand; I'm told that can happen sometimes, and this is one of the most fascinating things I've encountered.

"Do you know why it's only girls? As far as we can tell, there aren't any differences between genders that are nearly pronounced enough that I would expect to have a Yes/No disparity; Psychic powers tend to show up slightly more often in females than in men, but that's not usually readily noticeable without doing lots of statistics and is easily confounded by external variables, and while Aura is even rarer and less understood it also shows up in both genders, and we don't know if the observed skew towards male users is even real. That's true for most Pokémon as well; I'm only aware of a handful of  species with notable sexual dimorphism for their capabilities, out of about 800 known species, and even these aren't usually as extreme as what you describe.

"Do you know if the running in families is due to genetic? I assume you don't know the exact cause, but if all magical girls have some special gene that could be fascinating.

"Are the specialties prescriptive, and there's a way of determining what they are, or descriptive?

"How does looking inhuman relate to the magic? Does it matter if the way humans as a whole change how they look?"

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She doesn't know why it's only girls. It is the case that whatever gives them magic has opinions, though - magical girls' magic gets better or worse depending on how pretty they are, by a standard that isn't their own and is consistent from one girl to the next - so maybe it's something like a person picking who gets magic and they don't like boys, that's a pretty common theory. It might be a little genetic but it's definitely not only that; a magical girl's identical twin has a little over 50% chance of becoming a magical girl too. There are people looking for genes that affect it but as far as she knows they haven't found anything yet.

She doesn't understand the question about specialties. For looking different, it goes based on what someone looked like to start with; it's dangerous to look too far from that. There's plenty of leeway for changing around normal features that any human has, and actually you can't be a magical girl at all if you only make changes that small, but for example a girl who changed what race she looked like would have to be a little more careful than a girl who didn't about what other changes she made, even if they ended up looking the same.

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“That... is fascinating. If I had lived in your world, I think I definitely would have focused on that, even over the interdream. I have no idea what would cause that, beyond some being’s preferences, and as a scientist that kind of puzzle is almost irresistable.

Let’s see if I can rephrase the question on specialties. How do you learn what your specialty is; is there some way to tell ahead of time the difference between Light and Vision? Or do those kind of overlaps not tend to happen?”

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She wouldn't expect someone who got a light spell to also get a vision spell, yeah. It could happen, but there'd be a different theme to it instead of either of those, like revealing or something, and both the spells would be tilted toward that.

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Their ride arrives. Charizard are really quite big; the fire on their tail isn’t even uncomfortably warm near the midsection, and although the scales do radiate some heat of their own the riding gear seams insulating enough.

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Burnet thanks the Charizard, and receives a perfunctory nod; she climbs on its back with practiced ease.

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Big.

Hi, can you hear me?

(She follows Professor Burnet, less gracefully and with some flapping of wings; once she's settled she switches to her more-streamlined moth wings.)

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It might have nodded? It’s hard to tell.

 

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“Heahea City, please.”

The Charizard flaps its wings, and pushes off the ground. It ascends rapidly, heading off east-southeast. It’s nowhere near as fast as a plane, but it seems to have no difficulty clearing a hundred miles an hour.

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Dusk tries to keep track of landmarks, insofar as there are any, and otherwise mostly just hangs on.

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It’s over the water, so there’s not much in the way of landmarks, but even at less than a thousand feet up it’s still possible to see the next island before leaving Memelene totally behind, and the other distance away from any islands is even short than that.

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She's much happier having the option to get back under her own power than not. Also: pretty.

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It really is! The ocean is especially nice, and the wind would be a bit chilly if not for the Charizard but with it is quite nice. There are more of the strange seabirds, which by now she can probably guess are Pokémon, but they don’t bother the Charizard or any of its riders

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