Nov 13, 2019 3:10 AM
Jaime in Fabulous
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“Something that makes matching irrelevant - I can make darkness, and cloak things in darkness, and perform elaborate dance routines in the park involving darkness, it’s handy.”

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"Huh. And you think that'll cover nonmatchy stardarters?" Lauren says.

"Dunno if it'll be any use in the field," muses Betty.

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“I don’t think that the magic cares about what a stardarter identifies as when it writes in its stardarter diary, I think it cares about whether it looks black. If I’m wrong I lose a week and twenty seven bucks, I’ll recover.”

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"Twenty-seven?" says Lauren.

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“Yes.”

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"That's a steal, do they work?"

(The truck has pulled out of the lot and is trundling along on its search pattern through the city.)

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“The website I bought them from has a decent reputation and they supposedly vet everything they resell, I think they’ll be okay. They aren’t going to be in peak condition, obviously.”

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"No kidding. I'm gonna want to strip them down and make sure they aren't going to jam on you before we get anywhere near counting on you to shoot at bugs," says Lauren.

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“I have no objections.”

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"How much do you know about how this all works, do you watch Dart Squad or anything?"

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“I don’t watch television. Or movies. I read a summary in a book?”

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"Okay, and what'd it say?"

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“We ride around in here and do various personal tasks: when we detect a swarm, we get out of the car and shoot at it. If we get a call about a swarm, we drive over, and then get out of the car and shoot at it. I stay in the back and shoot at it less assertively, and use darkness strategically if I can figure out how to and you approve. We have to be careful around artwork, pets, major property damage, and people; we can be less concerned about the first three if we encounter an older swarm.”

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"Good enough for government work," says Betty. "Which this is! Do you have any questions for us?"

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Jaime approves of Betty’s sense of humor.

“I’m curious about your respective magics. And names. I lost track of your names during the introduction, there was a Lauren involved.”

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"I'm Betty," says Betty. She's got hummingbird wings and feathers in her hair and a green-gold-pink color scheme. "That's Lauren -" Lauren has purple bat wings, purple hair, and four arms; she has four stardarters to match. "And that's Pam." Pam, conventional white angel wings and white robey clothes with a ton of malachite on top of everything. "For whose outfit our squad takes its name. I'm energy bolts, Lauren can make darts phase through walls and there's probably other applications -"

"There are," says Lauren.

"- and Pam's a hydrokinetic!"

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Jaime takes out a pen and scribbles down inscrutable curlicues on the bookmark of her latest book.

”Thanks. Do you have any questions you’d like me to answer? On a formal or social scale.”

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"Is that a code?" asks Pam. "You writing about us in code?"

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“It’s more of an invented language. It says ‘hummingbird:Betty’, ‘dragonfly:Lauren’, and ‘seraph:Pam’.”

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"...dragonfly?" says Lauren.

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“Six limbs, wings, bright color scheme, pretty? ‘Bat’ would’ve also been distinguishing.”

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"I have eight limbs," says Lauren.

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“- six human limbs, then. I didn’t deliberate at great length before deciding on the reference.”

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"Why do you write in code?" asks Pam.

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Jaime does not really want to deal with this at eight in the morning. 

“If you could write notes in curlicues, wouldn’t you? My dress has a quote from Hamlet written on it, twice, and most of the other curlicues are significant.”

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