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Aug 25, 2019 1:50 AM
Slayer Naruto is going to befriend ALL the demons!
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She laughs a bit. "Might not hurt."

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She frowns pensively.  "What if we... pre-staked the corpses?  How big does a piece of wood have to be to count as a stake?"

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" - Huh. No clue. Maybe Giles knows?"

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"I'm sure it's in here somewhere," she says, flipping through her notes.  "But this is assuming they even go through the morgue at all..."

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" - Yeah a smart vampire'd probably keep the body with them until whoever finished turning..."

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"Depending how long it takes."

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" - that I remember reading about, it varies based on how much blood, you know, went each way, but supposedly it can be as quick as a couple hours.  I don't know if that's the median or - best-case-for-the-vampire - or what."

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"Yeah that's fast, possibly too much... Guess Giles will know?"

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She nods, and jots down a note in the back of her notebook.

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"Ugh. I don't have any other bright ideas right now..."

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"There might be something we can do with holy water, but - me neither."

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"Ugh. This is - I hate complicated sticky situations like this."

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"It's possible that three teenagers aren't enough to save the entire world," he says, sympathetically.

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"Ugh. So much for a mystical destiny... Which is still why I think me being all diplomatic's gonna do the most good."

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"We'll check out Giles's books on human passing demons tomorrow."

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"That seems good, yeah."

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It transpires that "human-passing demons" are only half the story.  Some demon species, like sand demons, look human, or almost-human, or Star-Trek-alien, in their true forms, but there are also several species of shapeshifters.  Most of the second category couldn't be mistaken for humans in their natural form, but can assume human shapes with effort ranging from "slight constant expenditure of energy and/or focus" all the way to "ritualistically consume one human brain and one human heart from humans you recently killed."

Also, "species" is not always a particularly apt term when it comes to demons.  There's plenty of precedent for different types of demon being mutually interfertile, for one thing.  Sometimes you'll get a single clan or family of demons whose members all have common characteristics that don't correspond to any recorded species.  And then you have the types whose population is maintained mostly by abiogenesis; or who are created intentionally or unintentionally by some other type of demon; or who are unique, or single-digit in population, and haven't been recorded reproducing at all.

This and more, Kaylee and Tag and Nausicaa will learn in their researches over the next couple weeks, in between studying vampires.  (It's easier to wound a vampire with any wooden weapon than it is a human, not just a stake - and much harder to harm them with metal or other traditional weapon substrates.  It's hard to tell exactly how pierced a vampire heart needs to be by a stake, since successful stakings don't leave corpses, but the consensus is "probably needs to pierce at least one ventricle to a diameter of more than half an inch".  Holy water is an effective ranged deterrent but you're not going to kill a vampire with it unless you trick them into taking a hearty swig of it.  Crosses aren't any more physically harmful than holy water but they're strongly psychologically aversive.  In general the people who can invite a vampire into a house are its legal residents, but there are plenty of weird edge cases, here are an example dozen, can you guess what would happen in each case, answers printed upside-down for your convenience.  And so on.)

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Giles is still reluctant to bring a crossbow onto the actual grounds of the school, but he's happy to arrange to discreetly meet with Nausicaa and company outside of school grounds, if they can convene to practice regularly without arousing suspicion.  He teaches her to clean and care for her punching dagger - "The actual shaft is reinforced with metal, but if the tip of the metal shaft is exposed it's not going to be anywhere near as effective as a wooden stake no matter how sharp it is" - and continues coaching her in martial arts.

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Tag and Kaylee both enroll in self-defense classes - mundane ones, but recommended by Giles for being focused on real-world use.  Tag forms a habit of ducking unobtrusively in and out of the local Catholic church to collect water from the font.

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Kaylee buys and tries out a bunch of water guns; she paints the ones with the longest range in drabber, less eye-catching colors and hands them out to the group, repurposing the leftovers as birthday presents for assorted little cousins.

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Nausicaa now always runs too and from school, and to basically everywhere that takes less than an hour. Over the roofs, where she can. It helps her learn the town, and build her fitness. She takes note of how to escape from different places, how to drop down, essentially patrols.

She practices her fighting, especially with Gaara. She forces herself to read the identifying characteristics of more common Sunnydale demons. She learns CPR and first aid. Her foster mom's excited she's taking a proactive interest in skill like that and gets her enrolled in a wilderness first aid class, that apparently is part of a series that can get her first responder certification. She practices her aim with the water guns.

And then, one night when she can't sleep, she spots a humanoid figure lurking outside her house, off in the shadows.

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He isn't doing much, just lurking and watching.

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The hell.

Unlikely to be a friendly -

She opens her window (it makes no major noise) and scrambles down the side of the house. She's practiced this. She's pretty fast at it, and knows she doesn't have to get far before she can jump down and start running at spooky dude.

(She grabbed a stake-knife on her way out. She super doesn't intend to use it, but it might be good for intimidation.)

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He snaps his head around, growls, rushes her - yep, vampire -

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She twists, and tries to grab and throw him onto his back. She doesn't want to make noise - dusting him might be best even if she doesn't want to kill anyone - why is he hanging around her house that is suspicious -

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