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Dec 09, 2022 3:56 AM
A new Loki is born
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"It does, though there's a lot of people who tend to forget that there's actual people on the other end of their connections."

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"I won't do that, then. How do I use the internet?"

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"I'll get you set up when we're back where you and Thor are staying, okay? - Though, speaking of, I'm not sure how twelve you actually are - you might want to look into school options. At least online education stuff, and maybe some way to meet other kids."

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"Gods don't grow up like mortals," she says, confidently. "We're the age we're supposed to be, for as long as we're supposed to be it. I'm a preteen because that's who I am, right now. I might be a preteen for a few days or a few decades. Still, learning stuff sounds neat, and I guess I can meet some other kids."

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"Might be good to start with introducing you to other super's kids - they'll be better about any secret identity issues, and you'll be able to use your magic around them without worrying."

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"Why would I have to worry?"

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He sighs. "Do you - remember the general concept of Asgard's disdain for male magic users? Earth - it's not quite like that, it's not a gender thing, but there are people who discriminate against people with unusual powers. Especially against one common type, mutants, who tend to manifest as teenagers and tend to have less control. Sometimes the discrimination is violent."

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"Then I should be friends with mutant kids so I can protect them from bullies," she says, like she's testing the words.

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Captain America nods. "You'll want to be careful you don't become a bully, but - that's a fine line to walk, sometimes. I can help you with figuring out what's enough and what's too far, though, if you want it."

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"I haven't even tried to use my magic yet, so I don't know if I even have powers, but - yeah, I see what you mean, I think. I'll experiment, then we can figure stuff out?"

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"Sounds good to me. But first, let's get you on the internet."

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"Right!"

The internet turns out to be awesome. She gets shown Project Gutenberg and falls in love; she discovers online art museums and has to get up to spin around gleefully; she finds free programs for digital art and discounted programs for really cool digital art and breathlessly requests a way to draw on the computer from Thor, who has to pass it to someone who knows more about the ancient technology Earth still uses. There's entire sites for 'transformative fandom,' which Thor explains is because weird American laws made it arguably illegal to rewrite and rework Earth's versions of sagas, if those sagas were written recently, but of course transforming sagas is what you do with them, so there's a bit of a legal battle there. Currently the transformative parts tend to just try not to get attention. There's sites for specific interests, and fledgling journal sites where you can write about whatever you want.

Captain America takes his leave, and Loki starts trying to figure out which fandoms are popular, so she can get caught up on the original works. It's a bit hard, with decentralized fandom and all.

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And Thor tracks down - if not education, then at least socialization opportunities for Loki.

He ends up several times circling back to Xavier's Institute.

Fortunately, they're willing to take even a de-aged supervillain technically using magic and not mutant powers. He gets help to get Loki set up with catching up to Earth's quite frankly paltry education requirements, so she can start school.

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She already knows math, and there's not much to learn that's different about science (she writes up corrections for their courses), but English literature and history is new enough to be entertaining.

She blows well past the middle grades. She figures if she finishes all of their normal grade school stuff she'll be able to focus on her magic and making friends, so.

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And then orientation day arrives. She's given a dorm room - single, small, with a shared bathroom, but it's hers - so she can stay here while Thor is out being a superhero.

And she's introduced to a mutant girl in her late teens, old enough to be considering joining the X-men next year, who'll be her dorm RA and her guide while she gets settled in.

"Call me Adela," the girl says, hands in her pockets. She's wearing dark, well fitted jeans and a nice red blouse, in contrast to the graphic tees most of the other kids are wearing.

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"Hi! I'm Loki! I'm hoping to have a really good stay here!" Loki chirps, grinning.

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"And I'm Thor. Thank you for looking after her," Thor says, smiling more gently.

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"It's no problem at all. Let's get her settled into her room, how about?"

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"Alright!"

She doesn't know a ton of magic yet, so she can't expand the space inside, which meant she had to bring only a few of her favorite physical books. Rude. (The rest are stored on an e-reader and on her computer.)

Then: "You can leave if you want, Thor. I'll call you if anything comes up, okay, but I'd like to go meet the other students now."

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"Alright. I'll get out of your hair." He reaches out to ruffle hers. "Have fun."

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She laughs and bats his hand away. "I will." Then a hug, goodbyes, and shortly thereafter she's waving to him as he flies off.

To her RA: "So... Meeting everyone else?"

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She looks up from her flip phone. "Yeah. This tower's mixed ages. You guys are responsible for keeping your own spaces clean, including the bathroom. Your floor leader should help with a cleaning schedule for the common areas, though. Speaking of, I've texted your floor-mates to meet us in the lounge. You'll have to meet any other students as they wander through."

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"Alright! Sounds reasonable."

She had a map pointed out to her earlier, which she remembers enough of to lead the way to the lounge, bouncing a little.

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The lounge is rather nice, a long L-shaped room with a good sized meeting area full of comfortable couches in the middle, a piano and a small circular table for four in one leg, and a dining room table that can sit eight in the other leg. The floors are carpeted, and the walls seem to be designed somehow so acoustics are good. There's already two other students in the meeting area, a girl Loki's age and a boy a bit younger than Adela.

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"Hey Kendra, Al, this's Loki," Adela says. The boy waves.

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