Oct 21, 2019 12:16 PM
Jaime in Fabulous
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"If you want to use them you need to bring them. We have emergency backups but they're not for new ride-alongs."

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"Understood. Have a nice day."

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"You too!"

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Click.

She looks up how much she'll have to pay to order a stardarter online, given that gaudy color schemes are a nonissue and she's willing to tolerate a used one with severe cosmetic blemishes.

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The cosmetic blemishes tank the price. She can get a pair of banged up ones in red and silver for twenty bucks plus shipping.

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She loves her power - and its ability to turn 'banged up' into 'wreathed with darkness' - very much.

She purchases the twenty dollar pair - it should ship by next week - and calls the same stylist's number that she tried on Thursday night.

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"Tanya McCord's office," says the receptionist.

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"Hello. I'd be glad to schedule an appointment."

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"Wonderful. When works for you?"

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"Do you have any open slots on Thursday or Friday, after four."

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"I can get you four sharp on Friday if you only want two hours."

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"That works."

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"What name shall I put down?"

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"Jaime Berlanga."

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"And there is a fee for arriving late, and a no-show fee, I'll need your billing address in case of the latter."

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Jaime supplies her address, obligingly. They go through further polite rigmarole, and the phone call ends.

Lunch! Warm-ups! And then: busking. 

She flies over to a much more heavily trafficked spot - though still one where she'll have room to dance - and set down the plastic vase in front of her, with a single dollar bill already in it.

She dances. 

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She gets a few tips but more people watch without tipping; she winds up with $14.57.

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She's deeply unimpressed by the people who tip with pennies, but she wasn't really expecting to make much more. The bills go into a little plastic bag, the coins into a little bowl.

She flies home. She superglues a pair of large googly eyes onto the plastic vase, and makes a little sign saying 'Please support the artist' in nice calligraphy out of thin piece of rectangular wood - her uncle does carpentry, sometimes. She double checks the time frame of her photo shoot, tomorrow. 

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It starts a bit after lunch and is scheduled to run four hours.

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- so she’ll be able to tag along with the emergency response team beforehand, that works.

She proceeds to experiment with her outfit.

What if each feather splaying out from her choker had little diamond flowers - edged by deep black, with the core crystal being smoothly faceted and some mix of rose gold and gold and silver - running down its shaft? What if the same were true of the feathers fluffing from her shoulders, only with the diamond flowers attached by discreet little rings instead of being directly conjoined? Hell, what if she tries doing the same with the feathers on her wings, with some subsection of the feathers on her wings, with the feathers extending from her not-gloves and from her boots?

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Adding the ornaments to the necklace feathers is an improvement; the rings, on her shoulders, are less good than direct attachment. On her wings a subset of feathers works best. Glove and boot feathers are improved by ornamenting.

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She doubts that she make crystal flowers grow directly out of her shoulder feathers, unless she wants to encrypt, but she can apply dabs of magically produced superglue where applicable and hope for the best.

The rest of her day passes uneventfully. She shows up at the swarm response HQ at 7:50, the next morning.

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She can wait on an uncomfortable chair! The women on her squad, Malachite, and their driver show up closer to on time; the pickup truck pulls up at 8:01 with only one magical girl still in it, and she hops out to get in her car. Squad Malachite talks over each other on their way out. "You must be Jaime -" "I'm Betty, this is Pam, that's Lauren - " "You got darters, newbie?"

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She hadn’t really thought about the fact that, whilst riding along in an emergency vehicle, she would have to interact with the people inside it. 

This is going to be a barrel of laughs, she can already tell. Or a wine cask of sighs. Either way.

“Hello. I ordered a pair online, they should arrive by next week.”

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"Cool cool," says Lauren. "They match, right?"

"What's your magic?" asks Pam.

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