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Sep 16, 2019 4:12 AM
The meeting of some space werewolves and some silvers
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"No... anywhere on the planet is fine."

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"Okay.  Let's get you someplace you can dry off, then-  name's Peg Tarlin."

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"Thank you... sorry for your fish tank."

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One of the other triplets says something polite sounding.

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"I can fix it later, fish'll probably be fine.  This way, I've got like two towels down here-" She turns away and heads back in the direction she came from without checking to see if they follow.

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They follow. The last of the portal's light winks out.

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Past the end of the tanks, there's a workbench made from a plastic pallet resting on stacks of bricks, and an assortment of boxes- none of them wood, they haven't seen any wood in this mishmash of equipment so far.  Peg switches on a light dangling from one of the taller stacks and pulls towels out from a lower one.  "There you go, that'll have to do till we can get up to the hab levels."

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They take the towels...

...Felix is done with his in a blur.

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Peg blinks, then gives a slight smile and takes it to wipe her hands on.  "Right, how are you at seeing in dim light?"  'Dim' is a bit of an understatement, actually- with the portal gone, the single bulb over the table shrinks the visible world to the size of a small room.  Smudges of green and blue luminescence off in the distance serve more to highlight the darkness than reduce it.  "I can leave the lamp till you're partway out, but I didn't bring a flashlight or anything."  She hangs the towel off the edge of the workbench to dry and picks a brown scarf up off a different stack of boxes.

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"We have some magic of our own."

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Felix produces a tiny flame above his hand.

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Fernando asks something which Thomas translates. "Do you still think we are changelings?"

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"Uh."  She tucks the scarf around her hair.  "Less likely but not impossible?  Sometimes they come out with their memory fucked up, but you're sure not acting like most changelings I know."

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"Fair enough. Fernando was just concerned that you might put us something that zaps non-changelings or something."

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"Oh, nah, don't worry- even if you were and didn't want me to know, it'd be none of my business." 

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Nod. More translation. "Uh, so what sort of fun things are we likely to find out there?"

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"...algae tanks, then residential above that, then an EPS manifold testing facility?  I don't- know what you're used to, what'll be new- uh, you don't have to worry about carnivores or anything, biggest animals we have are the glow dogs."

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"I am not sure how it compares either. We don't have glow dogs, that much I can tell you. Also, we are feeling heavier than we are used to."

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"Ah.  Right."  She flicks the light off and gestures for them to follow her.  "This story is true: a hundred and- twenty-six years ago, some mages tried to do... something.  No one's sure what they were aiming for, if anyone found what was left of them to ask they're not telling, but what happened is gravity's permanently out of whack, which is also why we don't have an atmosphere anymore."

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"Well... that sucks. I assume that you can't use your magic to make more atmosphere?"

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"Hah.  No."  She leads them around the corner of the pile of rubble- the ceiling is much lower here, barely tall enough to stand up straight, with rusted pipes hanging from it that are large enough to block the view unless they duck.  Up close, the source of the blue-green light turns out to be some sort of small puffy fungus, growing directly on the concrete.

"...mages could maybe do it, if enough of them worked together, but even if they weren't illegal no one would trust them to fix what they broke without making it worse."

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"Okay... and did these mages used ritual magic that drained their lifeforce or something?"

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"I don't actually know that much about how mages work?  I think rites are involved for bigger things, at least."

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"Our kind of magic does ritual stuff for like, nearly everything. Each person can get only five non-ritual powers apiece."

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"Huh.  I don't know of anything that straight-up limits you like that here- more often it's just like, someone wants to be a healer so they focus on doing that one thing really well rather than seventeen different things."

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