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May 29, 2020 3:13 PM
lucy is a different kind of eldritch
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Color returns to Dr. Vaughan's face immediately, and to the half a dozen other passengers in the radius of the Wastelander's light. "Good lord," says Dr. Vaughan. The others fade away, returning to their bodies.

The Boatman shrieks and flinches away from the light. "No, please! I'll grant you this one if you'll leave me in peace!"

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"Alright." The glow fades. "--Oh, one question, first: do you know what happens to babies who die unborn?"

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"They don't come to me," he says. "Not until the first light hits their skin - all light carries a little shard of the Judgments, you see."

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"Mm. That's good to know." 

She offers her hand to Dr. Vaughan. "Shall we?"

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Dr. Vaughan takes her hand -

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and she wakes up, fully clothed with her hair damp, feeling hung-over and still holding Dr. Vaughan's hand.

She doesn't wake to screaming, per se, but there's a very intense conversation happening outside the door to the lab. "-my business!"

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"It becomes my business when it's in my lab, Diana! I have a nose, I can smell the blood - is this even a real experiment, or more of your shady revolutionary-"

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"Shh! I think she's awake."

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"She? Is this an experiment or a-"

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"I said shh!"

There's a knock on the door. "Wastelander? Did all go well?"

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"We're good! All the blood's mine and I consented!" she adds for the Provocateuse's brother's benefit. 

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"That is... better than the alternative," the brother admits.

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"Excellent!"

The Provocateuse opens the door to the lab and lets herself in, followed by her brother. "Wastelander, this is my brother, the Incandescent Investigator; Henry, this is the Light-Hearted Wastelander. And we all know Dr. Vaughan. I wasn't really expecting you to be awake so soon, but that's what I get for underestimating you, I suppose." She uses a glass pipette to transfer a drop of blood from the cauldron to a microscope slide, then begins to examine it.

Dr. Vaughan looks surprised. "Miss Dresden! I should've known you'd be involved with this project."

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"Dr. Vaughan! I heard you were irretrievably dead!"

"I was!" she says. "But this young lady retrieved me anyway. It was very considerate of her."

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"I'm pretty excellent that way. If either of you have need of someone irretrievably dead being retrieved anyway, let me know." 

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"...she's well past the Boatman. And she's buried on the Surface."

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"...Have someone who can still go to the Surface fetch the body and I'll see what I can do."

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The Investigator stares. "...you mean that. I'll- I'll see what I can do."

Dr. Vaughan clears her throat. "Now, as I recall, when you came for me you mentioned a 'most unorthodox case' in need of my skills. Is now the time to explain?"

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"What, if anything, do you know about the Orphanage?"

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Dr. Vaughan's eyes narrow. "That they've done a great many terrible things," she says. "And that they have a moon-miser held captive."

"What in the world is a moon-miser?" the Provocateuse asks.

"It's a creature from the ceiling of the Neath, a kind of giant insect, sometimes called the 'false-stars'. They secrete a venom called 'moon-milk' that can cause obsession with the first thing that the afflicted creature sees."

The Provocateuse shivers. "How unpleasant."

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"Well, the good news is that they no longer have a moon-miser held captive. The bad news is that they decided to get a human woman pregnant by them before I could jailbreak the both of them, and while I can mend whatever that does to the mother, we're rather concerned for the viability of the baby."

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Dr. Vaughan looks uncontainably excited. "A hybrid? With a moon-miser?"

Remembering her audience, she composes herself. "Well! Ahem. I couldn't possibly ignore a woman in such a position, especially not when you've done me the favor you have. Lead the way, dear."

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Lucy bows to the Incandescent Investigator as they take their leave. 

"They're hiding out in the Prickfinger Wastes," Lucy explains quietly once the front door of the house has closed behind them. "I can take you there safely, but it will require showing you...well. The truth of how it is that I can revive even the so-called permanently dead."

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Dr. Vaughan nods. "I'm not easily shocked."

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"Then let me assure you that the moon-miser's child is not the strangest hybrid you shall have encountered today."

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