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Sep 16, 2019 4:13 AM
The meeting of some space werewolves and some silvers
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"Can anyone learn that sort of magic?"

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"Mostly changelings?  Probably mages can heal too, mages can do all kinds of nonsense."

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One of the other brothers says something. Thomas translates.

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"Okay, so... it might be worth mentioning that our kind of magic is kinda contagious, meaning that everyone in a radius expanding at the speed of light can now use it."

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Peg stops walking.  Blinks.  Opens her mouth and closes it again.

 

"I think... you had better tell me where your magic comes from."

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Thomas makes a helpless gesture.

"I don't know...? What we know is that Elsewhere was empty for tens of thousands of years, then one day it started kidnapping people from Elan, and they got sorcery magic. Then the same thing happened to Earth and Efross. But we don't really know its cause."

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"Not... really sounding like not changelings to me right now, so you know.  But-"  She closes her eyes and runs her hand along the nearest pipe.  "Speed of light- might've reached the miners by now but it'll be just this system for years- I have no idea if that's a good thing or a bad thing, we really need to call Gran."  She starts walking again.  "Tell me about sorcery magic, I guess, how do you know you have it?  What does it feel like?"

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"Okay-" Felix interrupts him. "Don't blame me, dude. Anyway, I am not sure what you mean? You really only feel it if you're using it. And you can only use it if you trained to acquire a gift or if you're casting a ritual. Then it will spend one of the five lifeforce aspects, like breath, when you spend breath it feels like being out of it because you have been holding for too long." The other triplet says something. "She is worried because of sorcery is contagious." Another exchange of words. "Why are you worried that sorcery is contagious?" He asks Peg.

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"People are gonna- maybe less so if you need training but, if suddenly people are doing magic all over, no one knows what's going on- cops might get twitchy, think there's an, an outbreak of mages... I don't know what might happen, but no one else does either, so- people are gonna panic."

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"Does it help to know that acquiring sorcery gifts by accident is so rare that we have an entire planet that is unaware that magic exists? Also, you need to know the specifics of a ritual to cast it."

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"...yeah, actually, that's at least a lot less urgent."

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"Sorry for the scare."

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"No worries.  'Ware heads, here."  She crouches and ducks under one of the enormous pipes.  "How'd you three find out about magic, then?  If that's not private."

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They are mindful of the pipes.

"Ah, that's a very complicated story? The world of Elan - which was the first one to get Elsewhere-annexed in the modern era - discovered ritual magic through the ancient ruins. Flashforward four hundred years and our parents decided to move to Earth and live the secret magic life there. They only told us anything when we were teens."

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"You've been- mentioning Earth, a couple times now."  The view on the other side of the pipe is more of the same:  concrete ceiling, stone floor, glowing fungus.  "You actually mean... Earth Earth?  Birthplace-of-humanity Earth?"

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"Yeah, the fact that you know about it and the year you mentioned... I would rather assume coincidence instead of time travel. But it is weird. Also, human life has developed independently in at least four planets in different universes. But Earth was one of them."

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She walks in silence for a bit, fidgeting with the edge of her scarf, then finally asks, "What was it... like?"

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"Earth? Not sure how to answer that. We grew up there. It was home and it gets a bad rap in the other worlds. And to be fair it could fare far better. But you know. No place like your home planet." Felix says something. "Oh, okay. I guess you would miss the sky and the wilderness?"

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"Never seen either, except in vids.  What's it get a bad rap for- I guess it wouldn't have 'birthplace of humanity' going for it, if you move between universes all the time?"

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"You see. Earth is a war-torn hellscape plagued by constant conflict and the threat of nuclear annihilation, which is 80% propaganda to enforce the idea that Earth shouldn't know that magic exist."

Felix protests something.

"To clarify, Earth isn't a war-torn hellscape."

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"And I'm sure the other worlds are all perfect and with no problems at all?"

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"Obviously, just ignore the fact that Elan had more world wars than Earth."

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"Details, details.  How much effort are they putting into keeping magic secret, you'd think three planets would have better things to do."

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"That's actually... uh, suspiciously little? In the sense that allegedly all that they do is try to discredit your story if decide to go to a newspaper with maybe some application of memory-erasing magic. But I find that is suspiciously too efficient to hide things."

Again Felix protests, but a while longer.

"Calm down, or I won't remember everything. Felix thinks I am paranoid and pointing out that there is way less magical people on Earth and most of them have strong ties and incentives to prefer the masquerade."

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"Weird- I guess you must not get people doing obvious magic by accident that much?  But it wouldn't be the newspapers I'd worry about, if I was running a conspiracy, it'd be one guy who tells three friends."

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