May 27, 2020 5:10 PM
Walta in Moondust
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Flora is making an elixir. She is responsible for it. She times everything perfectly, correctly slices the ingredients, fusses over the pot she is using for her elixir.

And then she sneezes right into the pot. 

No no no no the potion is dark, this means dangerous, think, think, aha, chamomile and jasmine, okay, right.

The potion is now neon yellow. The color of wierdness. 

She backs away.

 

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There is a cascade of split-second views of dozens of places in the air above the potion. Ocean-forest-farm-glade-farm-swamp-grassland-city-beach-

 

And someone wearing what must be a hundred pounds of metal on various tool belts stumbles through the- hole- and falls flat on her face.

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Right.

She strides over to metal person and tries to help her up. "Are you alright? Can I help you in some way? ...Can you understand me?"

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"Ouva sut- Mein gott is that English?"

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"Yes, but -" she switches languages "- but I can also speak German, if that's better?"

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She starts clambering up, keeping to German. "Okay so this isn't Milliways, how did I end up here-"

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Flora helps. "It's our magic system. If you make an elixir incorrectly, and it turns some neon color, something weird is about to happen. The something weird... Some examples: a-" she gets stuck on contagious, thinks of another word, "- multiplying disease that literally only makes you sneeze pink glitter, a talking boot, an intelligent hat that changes color to talk, things like that. Interdimensional visitors are a recurring theme, and I assume that's what you are. Welcome to our world. The consensus was to name it Moondust, after the powder used in elixirs, since that seems like a unique feature so far."

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"How delightful. I actually liked the world I was in, unlike my original one."

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"The weird stuff is usually pretty harmless. I'm pretty sure I can put you right back where you were after some studying?" she offers. "Can you please tell me about all the worlds you've been in? And what's, what did you call it, Milliwatts? Milliways?"

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"Yeah, you need to send me back. I've been in two. Don't have names for them. One where Germany is in a really bad situation after the damn Great War, one where a kind stranger I met invited me so's I could not be interrogated for having red hair. Milliways is a random interdimensional bar. It grabs doors and invites you in sometimes, I get it like once every few months."

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"Wars shouldn't happen. I'm sorry." She notices the ambiguity of that statement and clarifies, "As in, I am sympathetic about the situation with your home world, and also I'm apologising for... the elixir, I guess. Not being able to totally defuse it to the harmless and inert white in time. Anyway. Our magic is actually pretty shareable and pretty nice too, so I could sprinkle you and give you a moondust-producing crystal ball as compensation? For the interdimensional kidnapping thing. Also, I cannot, on my own, give you a place to stay, but I'll put in a good word with my master and other locals if he doesn't agree to it. And yes, regardless of where you stay I'll try and get you back to the right dimension. ...What is the right dimension like? You only mentioned your original one."

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She makes a face and nods at the war comment.

"You're gonna have to explain what the magic is like some before I think of whether to take that offer or not. I've been a mechanic in two different worlds now though, adding a third might not be much challenge if mechanicing is something that people tend to need. The right world is - not Earthy. It's got gravity and a sky and no magic, but it also has Pokemon, which are easier to show than tell." She glances around at the room. Is it big enough for Feume?

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Plenty big enough. It's an elixir making room! Of course it's big. It's also well-lit, clean -- except for some neon yellow left from when the elixir malfunctioned -- and it smells flowery. Not any particular flower, just the essence of floweriness.

"I don't know much about mechanics, but I would love to explain all the everything about magic, it's pretty neat. I should probably eat first, though, making elixirs is a whole lot of work and I'm hungry. Do you want to eat?"

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"I might as well. And let me show you a 'mon. Don't be alarmed please?" The little white-and-red ball on her belt swells up to hand size. She tosses it out and says, "Feume, we're somewhere new. No milliways this time."

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Feume is a horse that is on fire.

He gives a sarcastic-sounding whinny at the news.

"Yeah, but I'm not too worried. This isn't a warzone or wasteland, she says she can send us back, there's milliways if nothing else."

Snuffle-whuff.

"You'll just have to live with fewer treats, then."

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She is not alarmed, but she is somewhat startled by that. She twitches when Feume is revealed, but after that she only raises her eyebrows.

"Uh. Wow. Was Feume in the ball somehow? Why is it on fire? It understands you, is it in fact an "it" or am I being disrespectful? For that matter, how do you understand Feume?"

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"Feume is a he. His species is Ponyta. I'm still not sure how the balls work, 'mon can be compressed into information somehow and are sort of asleep inside but it's not magic just really cheaty physics and computer science. He's on fire because that's what Ponytas do, fire type. There might be a little psychic backchannel thing but mostly I understand him because I'm used to him. He's smart for a 'mon but not as bright as a human."

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Feume peers at Flora curiously.

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"Sorry Feume. How do you tell it's not magic? Can it be mass produced or something? What does being a fire type do, other than that? What are the other types? How does he sustain the fire, how is he not hurt by it, can it catch on something else? What does the psychic backchannel do? ...Anyway, maybe let's start heading toward the kitchen?" She heads kitchen-ward.

It is big enough for Feume for a short while but then Walta should probably put him back in the ball.

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Feume accepts balling with good grace.

"The psychic backchannel helps him understand me and be tied to me. Different people can have different numbers of them, my number is two but I only have Feume permanently. Balls can be mass produced, 'mon can be sent as information. Magic detecting people I find in milliways detect no magic. He doesn't burn stuff unless he wants to. There somewhere I can let him graze later?"

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Flora looks around in the fridge and the cupboards, doesn't find anything substantial, and starts a low-effort omelette. "Will that be okay?" she asks, absently, and continues, "Aha, right. A very strange system, but of course I'd find it strange. ... There's a park near here? Or does he need, like, a great big field?"

 

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"A park will be fine if nobody tries to arrest me for setting a horse on fire. And omelet is fine too."

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"Heh, no, they've seen weirder. They're going to assume one or the other of you is Dusted, though, so they're going to try and point you to the emergency station. In that case, just explain that you're from another world. -- Dusted -- or Active -- is the word for people who have been sprinkled with moondust and who then did lots and lots of random stuff until one thing turned out to be their activation condition and they transformed in some way -- a horse on fire would be very rare but not out of the question -- and got a cool superpower. Then, if an Active-- Detour, Dusted is if you've found your condition, it doesn't say anything about whether you're currently transformed, and Active is if you're Dusted and transformed and able to use your power -- if an Active is distracted from maintaining their transformation they detransform and have to perform their activation condition, usually reduced some, again. Have to perform it to retransform, that is."

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"So that's how it works huh? Why would they send me to the emergency station?"

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"Yes. There's also extra bells and whistles, for example if you've activated you can sprinkle your pet, and it, or in your case he, might also activate at some point and give you and himself a bonus passive power, which is pretty likely compared to sprinkling yourself a second time.

"Oh, yeah, there's organised disaster relief and etcetera. Active stations. Actives go, or are asked to go, to a station. They say what their power is, and then stations coordinate to give the Actives very simple tasks they can just do without having to risk losing their concentration and their power. It's actually really good."

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"Do you get paid to do it? Do dusted have to help? I mean, it sounds noble and all, but..."

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