Sep 21, 2020 2:41 PM
fabulous rebecca in whateley
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- aren't cryptids supposed to be helpful? Rebecca was expecting this one to dive off the boat as soon as it appeared and go engage the sea monster.

Instead it eats her, and she's somewhere else.

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She's in a classroom, surrounded by teenagers sitting at metal desks. They look startled, but not particularly surprised per se, when a strange girl pops into the room.

Hey, are you alright? asks what might be a magical girl silently, putting down... her? book. (If they are a magical girl, they're high on points; they've got no face at all, they're seven feet tall, and there's wings and eyes all over their body.)

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Rebecca blinks at her. "Um," she says. "Excuse me. Where am I?"

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Dunn Hall. ...Whateley Academy, she continues when this does not immediately cause recognition. Massachusetts. America?

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"Oh. I guess that's not too far."

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Where were you trying to teleport to? the girl asks.

An adult at the head of the room clears her throat. "I'd like to continue with the reading, if you don't mind. Ananda, would you escort this young woman to the office so they can handle whatever she needs handled?"

Sure thing, Mrs. Wolfgang. Come on, uh- what's your name?

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"Rebecca Arden. I wasn't trying to teleport, a cryptid did it."

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Nice to meet you, I'm Ananda, says, apparently, Ananda, leading Rebecca out of the classroom. What's a cryptid?

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"Do Americans call them something else? The thing you almost are, where you change too much stuff."

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Um. I don't know about being 'almost' anything, I'd say I'm just a mutant. Like you, presumably.

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"Do Americans call magical girls 'mutants'? Why?"

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...Mutants aren't just girls. Anybody who gets powers is a mutant. Well, not everybody, there's origins and power gems and Dynahosts and all that, but that's mostly just irrelevant and confusing. But like, my sister's a mutant and it turned her into a dragon, I'm a mutant and it turned me into this angel-thing, a lot of folks are mutants and they just get really pretty or don't get changed at all.

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"Look, I can read and stuff, you can't just say anything and have me believe it."

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Um? I'm... not actually sure what you think I'm lying about.

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"It's only girls! And none of those other things you said are real. And you have to change something and it doesn't just do it for you. - well, I guess maybe if you're a cryptid it might keep going without you? Are you a cryptid? Who talks and stuff?"

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...okay, that's a big disconnect. I don't think I'm a cryptid but I'm still not quite sure what that means except that they're slightly more of something than I am.

They pass by a boy wearing denim shorts and not much else, covered in fur, with dog ears and something of a muzzle. Oh, Fred! Hi, this is, uh, really weird, but can you like, confirm that you're a mutant and not a girl?

Fred blinks. "I'm a mutant," he says slowly. "And not a girl, though you'll have to take my word on it. Is this... I don't actually have a hypothesis for what this is."

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"...Well, I suppose I wouldn't have to look like a girl if I didn't want to, but I'd still be one."

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"I don't think I can prove that I'm not a female shapeshifter," Fred apologizes. "Absence of a negative, and all that. What's this about?"

She believes that only women have powers, that all women with powers are shapeshifters, and that if you shapeshift too much you turn into something called a 'cryptid,' one of which teleported her here for some reason.

"...that doesn't sound like she's wrong, it sounds like she's from another universe."

It is pretty weird.

"No, like, non-figuratively from another universe. Like, we're universe A and she came from universe B."

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"I'm from Birmingham, England. But I was in Boston a little while ago before I got on a boat. Then I was on the boat. Then the cryptid ate me."

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"I guess another universe could have its own Birmingham in it," Fred muses. "And its own Boston."

This is getting weirder than it already was. Let's just go to the office so we can arrange a teleporter. Talk to you later, Fred, Ananda says.

"Oh, sure. Talk to you later."

What kind of boat was it? Ananda asks as she continues down the hallway.

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"Big second-rate."

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Huh. I meant more like 'cruise ship or freighter' but obsolete British naval terminology works too. 

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"That's what they told me it was!"

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No, I actually meant that, it's helpful. What year is it, from your perspective?

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"My perspective? What are you, pagans?"

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Well, yes, actually, I'm Hindu. I was actually saying that because we don't seem to agree about any facts about the state of the world so far, and I suspect we won't agree on what year it is either, because last time I checked it was 2012.

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