Jun 18, 2019 5:16 AM
Foresight in the less fun parts of Kith
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Margaret is on her way to work, walking instead of flying today so she can drink her coffee without spilling it, when she sees the cryptid. She's a truly far-out one, no limbs to speak of, just a long snaky body with a mirror for a face. Margaret smiles at her and goes to walk on by, but the cryptid slithers right at her all of a sudden and--hits?--Margaret with the giant mirror. Except she doesn't experience getting whacked with a sheet of glass.

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This is: some weedy ground, with a roughly-made wooden hovel that way and some meat hanging from clothesline-like apparatus to dry in the sun outside of it, and a silty brook that way, and four suns in the sky, and a weirdly sharp curve to the horizon.

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That snake did not look nearly pretty enough to be able to teleport people to . . . outer space? But apparently the magic disagrees with her. At least the air is breathable. She'll head towards the hovel, paying attention to anything her danger sense has to say about it or anything else.

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The hovel says it's pretty heckin' dangerous over here.

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Oh no she's in space maybe they have alien pathogens. She is now wearing a lovely white gem-encrusted fully functional filter mask, and also going the other way.

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It's less dangerous the other way, till she spots another shelter, this one with clay tiles and a cooking fire out front.

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Is this shelter also relatively non-dangerous? She's worried her danger sense wouldn't warn her if she was going to infect someone else with Earth pathogens, but if there are humanlike dwellings in space she's probably in the future and the future probably has ways of dealing with that. Maybe. She hopes.

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The shelter is less dangerous!

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She makes sure her gloves go up to her sleeves and her leggings go into her boots and her filter mask is securely parked over her nose and mouth, and knocks on the wall of the shelter.

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No answer.

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"Hello!" she calls out. "Is anyone there?"

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Nope!

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She takes to the air to investigate more of the area at once. It's not at all guaranteed that there's anyone alive on this planet, but if there is she'd like to know about them.

The gravity drops off really fast once she's more than a couple dozen feet up. This must be a tiny planet.

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There's somebody over there, building a fire! Next to her is a corpse!

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Oh no! What if that snake cryptid has been putting lots of people here and some of them have been dying. She knows from disaster stories that magical girls can generally survive alright in relatively nonhostile wilderness, but random people dropped on an alien world would have an awful time.

She lands a ways away from the person and approaches on foot with her hands open. "Hello!"

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The person screams in alarm, scoops as much of her kindling as she can, and runs away with a clumsy armful of firewood.

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Wow, it's like they've never seen a high point count before. It's not like she commutes to work with fangs and claws or anything!

She sits down on whatever nearby patch of ground looks least likely to stain her dress and tries to look harmless. 

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Now she is hanging out with the remaining firewood and that naked plump dead guy over there.

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She'll sit here for a while and hope the screaming person comes back.

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She doesn't.

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Running away from a scaly high-point-count magical girl after getting flung into outer space by a snake cryptid, if that's how the screamer got here, is not the most unreasonable thing ever.

Margaret hadn't had breakfast yet when the snake got her, and she's getting hungry and thirsty. It's time to undo enough of her mods to feed herself, and she might as well pick ones that make her a bit less frightening to unnerved baselines while she's at it. She starts by changing her eyes from silver, slit-pupiled, and reflective to normal brown ones. She'll miss her night vision, unless the four suns means she won't, and she can always go back and forth.

Next step is removing her horns, and their associated jewelry. It makes her head feel weirdly light and slightly off-balance, but she never had any nerves in them. Then she takes the scales off one hand and forearm, to drop some more points and make room for a plant there--and spends several minutes scratching it raw. She hasn't had skin for years and it feels so wrong and itchy, how did she go the whole first half of her life with skin everywhere and not go insane?

Eventually she manages to stop scratching, heal the damage, and take stock. Has she dropped enough points to safely add a plant? Maybe. Enough to be sure it's safe? No. And she's not going to risk turning into a cryptid heaven knows how many light-years from home. She grits her teeth and takes off her wings.

It feels a lot like you'd expect losing limbs to feel, apart from the lack of pain. Whole swathes of sensory input she was so used to she never noticed them anymore are gone. Her center of gravity is in the wrong place; if she hadn't been sitting on a rock she'd have had a good chance of falling over. It's weird and it's wrong and she almost wishes it would hurt so she'd be justified in feeling as awful about it as she does. Getting the wings in the first place wasn't nearly this unpleasant.

But the sooner she manages to eat, the sooner she can put them back, so she pulls herself together and sprouts a strawberry vine out of her arm, crowded with large red strawberries, and starts eating and replacing them. She keeps an eye and an ear on her surroundings as she does this, partly because she's not at all sure she's even pretty enough for danger sense with this asymmetrical mess, partly to distract her from the bizzareness that is a plant growing out of her skin.

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There's a sound that way; might be a bird.

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She stands up and looks over that way, braces herself to drop the plant and add the wings and book it in the air, but doesn't stop eating. The more calories and water she can eat the longer she can go before she has to do this again.

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It's a bird. It flies from one scrubby little shrub to another and yells again.

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Huh. She was a bio major in college, but that was a while ago and she focused on pathology and epidemiology; she tries to tell if it's an Earth bird or some kind of bird-like alien life form.

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It is a bird, but it's not any specific bird she can recognize. It's brown and white and bluejay-sized with a long single feather bobbing on top of its head.

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