Oct 21, 2019 10:50 AM
Jaime in Fabulous
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She approves of her shadow contour (and the video she watched on how to do it correctly), and doesn’t really care about those comments. If she’s immediately banned that’ll be a mildly entertaining anecdote. 

She spends a few hours practicing extremely simple aerial ballet in the wispy dark of early night - she’s very good at it for someone who’s just starting out, but that’s an important qualifier - and looks again at the forum to see if anything interesting happened in her absence.

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Somebody has a checklist of things people often forget to optimize that she appears to paste on everybody's posts (soles of shoes! magic looks up your skirt! don't have hairy ears or nostrils! make sure you don't have tongue fissures, lunulae, or asymmetrical veins visible through your skin!)

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Jaime hadn’t previously thought to do much optimization of her tongue, the soles of her shoes, or the inside of her skirt; she spends a little while fixing them up, and then she goes to bed.

She wakes up the next day, and arrives at swarm emergency response headquarters, fully expecting nothing interesting to happen for the duration of her ride.

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They get a call. It's an older swarm than the last one and appears in eighty clumps instead of brand-new-size bugs but is still pretty readily dispatched.

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And is she still just watching from the truck?

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Lauren gives her permission to take shots from the truck if she gets a clear aim at a bug.

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She doesn’t. Alas.

She dances in the park. She entertains her dog. She cooks, and does a brief spree of organization. Her dog barks enthusiastically at her; she entertains her dog for a while more, accordingly. She checks the forum to see if anything of interest has happened.

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Someone has a really dumb suggestion about her accessories.

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She doesn’t implement it.

The next few days until her power testing appointment pass by. She arrives early.

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Then she gets to sit in the waiting room for a while.

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How exciting.

She didn’t bring a book, but she did bring a sketchpad; it becomes steadily more filled with sketches and doodles.

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Eventually she is called in for her test. "Welcome!" says a dude in a labcoat with a huge nose. "Jaime Berlanga?"

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“Yes.”

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"I have borrowed some swag for you from our chums at the metrology lab. Let's see what you've already learned about your power first, though - lights camera action -" He flips on a video camera. "Show me what you got."

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She forms a blob of darkness in her hand; it turns into a loose swan, and - as it was preset to do - starts rhythmically flapping its wings and cycling between tints. She gestures it down to the floor. She forms another swan and gestures it down to the floor; it doesn’t flap its wings or change color, but it does switch between being shaped like a gliding swan and being shaped like a strutting chicken every three seconds.

A third blob - much more translucent than the other two - forms in the shape of a swan attached to a pogo stick; the pogo stick bounces. The swan seems alarmed by this situation, and becomes dramatically darker whenever the pogo stick hits the ground, lightening up gradually during the following jump and then darkening again and so on.

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"Are you controlling that in the moment, or...?"

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“I can program how my darkness is going to behave when I create it, and alter it manually by gesturing at it afterwards.”

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"Innnnteresting. Okay, ballpark how much do you want to make an hour doing magic?"

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“... the amount paid by the market? Why is that relevant.”

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"Ha, that's not an answer I usually get. If you want to make a ton of cash per hour right now, that can probably be arranged - it'll depend some on your range, do you know your range? If there's something else you want - interesting work, steady work, creative control, experience in some particular industry, an easy commute, chance to meet girls - then that might trade off, see?"

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“I haven’t experimented much with my range; it isn’t so short that I’ve run into it on accident. I’d ideally like to make a ton of cash per hour right now; you can write down whichever large number signals that.”

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"Yeah-huh okay. I can't guarantee anything off the top of my head but stuff I'm gonna follow up in is things with our buddies in the metrology lab, they might have lotsa fun measuring your thing or things you're darkening or whatever, and with movie and stage effects people - probably movie more than stage, they can't call the show off if you're sick for a theatrical, see?"

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“Makes sense. Do you have more tests you want to perform here and now?”

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"Yeah, gotta know your range. Let's go out back."

They have sticks in the ground at ten meter intervals in the backyard; he has her plop a blob of darkness at one and then start walking away from it.

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“Can I dance away from it instead, it’s been a day.”

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