Sep 19, 2019 12:23 AM
Sadde and Bell in Worm
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They smile, having expected this. "Unfortunately we don't really choose to have powers. And while the Protectorate is currently pretty neutral about 'rogues,' don't you find it interesting that so few parahumans choose to become those?" They sit cross-legged in the air, and gesture idly to make the lectern disappear. "Can anyone here name a single rogue?"

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Coupla hands.

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They point at one of them. "Are you gonna say Sphere? I bet you're gonna say Sphere."

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"...I was gonna say Tiger Lady."

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"Oh, alright, I'm defeated," they say, throwing their hands up dramatically. "Ooor maybe not! Can you nnnaaaame... five rogues?"

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Nobody can do that.

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"Aha! I win!" they say, grinning, then clear their throat. "On the other hand, I bet some of you have at some point owned Alexandria lunch boxes or Armsmaster underwear, and I doubt none of you have speculated on who would win between Eidolon and Legend."

The projector finally comes to life when Glam mentions Alexandria lunch boxes, and starts showing pictures of various heroes, changing from one to another every five seconds. As they do, a few copies of heroes (Alexandria amongst them, naturally) start walking (or flying) in from the back of the auditory, floating above the students or joining Glam at the front.

"And it's not just a matter of PR, although we must commend the Protectorate there. It seems that, for better or for worse," and at the 'for worse' pictures (mostly blurred, from a distance) of various villains start replacing the heroes', "parahumans tend towards conflict." No copies of the villains show up.
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The kids are mildly interested in the copies.

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"Does anyone here know how people get powers?" Copies have stopped walking in, only about a dozen of them, but the pictures are still going. The speakers have also disappeared from behind the kids.

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There's a hand.

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"Oh, I'm actually surprised now, go ahead."

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"They came from Scion, right?"

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"Mmm, that's one theory, yeah. No one knows if Scion was just the first parahuman, or whether he was the origin of powers, or both, or neither, really. Scion himself doesn't seem to actually have all powers, though, unless he's holding back, which is reasonable - no hero or villain really shows all their cards. But my question is at a lower level - how does a person without powers get them?"

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The other kid keeps her hand up.

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"Mmhm?"

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"They happen when something bad happens to you. Except not if you go doing dangerous things on purpose, then it doesn't work."

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"Got it in one. Those moments are called trigger events, and no one really understands them. Now kid, I want you to suggest me a trigger event. Don't need to be specific or very detailed, something more general." The copies are congregating behind Glam and start disappearing there one by one, and the projector is blank again.

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"Uh... car crash."

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"Car crash, then. Now what's bad about it for you - is it the physical aspect, being hurt, or is it something more mental? Well, I presume everything's bad about it, but what would stand out, for you?"

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"I... don't know? I've never been in a car crash."

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"Hmm, yeah, fair enough. Let's go with mental, to keep things interesting. It's the fear, the anticipation that's the worst part. So, powers are related to trigger events. Physical trauma, physical power; mental trauma, mental power. Trumps tend to have trigger events related to other parahumans, tinkers tend to be working on long-term projects, masters tend to feel isolated, etc. So, let's see if we can come up with a power for that trigger event. Anyone has any suggestions?"

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Several hands.

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They pick one at random.

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"Con...trolling traffic lights?" says the kid, seeming to realize halfway through the first word that this is a dumb power.

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"That's promising! Shaker powers tend to come from more abstract environmental threats, so this would pit her," they gesture at the girl who suggested the car crash, "against the world, blaming the circumstances of traffic for the crash. Anyone want to expand and generalize on that, or perhaps suggest an alternative?"

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