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May 29, 2020 4:11 PM
lucy is a different kind of eldritch
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"Ah. Well, don't worry about shocking me that way either - just show me to the patient."

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She nods, and they make their way to the edge of the Wastes, and she takes off her concealing outfit. 

And then she turns into a gigantic diamond crab again, picks up her clothes and the doctor, and heads off towards the house. 

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"I'd love to sketch you sometime," Dr. Vaughan comments. "Those curious structures on your shell... I don't know what biological function they serve, but they're lovely."

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"Thank you! I don't know either. I'll sit for you if there's a good time between everything else."

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"Oh, yes, I was thinking after this was all over."

When they reach the clearing, Dr. Vaughan hops down and stares at the moon-miser for a moment. "I'm going to want to examine that later," she notes, before striding into the house.

"Alright, ladies, where is-" She notices Clarabelle. "Oh my. I'm guessing you would be my patient. How far along?"

The Music-Hall Singer shrugs. "She lost her mind for a time, and we were forced to induce amnesia to rescue her from the moon-milk. Nobody knows but Poor Edward and Mr. Fires."

Dr. Vaughan grimaces. "I'd prefer to have a definite time estimate, but we work with what we have. What has she been eating?"

"We were fed mostly on fungal meal and potato bread," Clarabelle says. "But I got bat-meat or fish with mine most days, I remember that. It was unusual. The others thought I was sleeping with an orderly."

"Good," Dr. Vaughan says. "-that they were feeding you better, I mean. Sounds like they were trying to keep the baby healthy. We're going to be doing something somewhat similar."

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"Somewhat similar like how."

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"The hybrid is growing past its mother's capacity to contain. We need, first, to strengthen - what's your name, dear?"

"I'm the Eccentric Opera Singer."

"I said your name," Dr. Vaughan says primly. "I don't hold with all these pseudonyms."

"...Clarabelle."

"First, we need to strengthen Clarabelle until she can bear it to term. And second, we need to convince the hybrid to be smaller, so that it can fit through the relevant portal. For the first, we'll need to go down to the Rubbery Men and get quite a quantity of Warm Amber. For the second, we'll need to go up to enlist the assistance of the father's own kind. The False-Stars."

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"Can you help with that?" Lucy asks the father. 

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The moon-miser buzzes his wings and chitters.

"He can help by getting us up to the roof of the Neath, but only the Moon-Mother can produce the chemical we'll need," Dr. Vaughan clarifies. "And we'll need to get a few other supplies while we're up there - stalactite nectar and moon-silk, certain other sundries. But first we should focus on getting the Warm Amber to reinforce Clarabelle's constitution."

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"I'll talk to my brother about it. He, uh, he has Rubbery Man acquaintances."

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"Half-brother. Technically. He can't do what she can do."

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"I'm sure he has his own talents," Clarabelle says gamely.

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"He's very smart. We can't all be miraculous diamond crabs."

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"Quite."

Dr. Vaughan begins asking Clarabelle clarifying questions about the pregnancy - has she felt morning sickness? Has the baby kicked, and if so, how many legs at once? Has she ever found herself glowing? Clarabelle answers to the best of her ability.

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"Wilbur's at the University, do you want me to grab anything for you while I'm there?"

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"Oh! That would be dear of you - I had packed for a Zee-voyage before my assassination, if you could just bring me my valise I'd be much obliged."

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"Okay! Uh, is there anything I can say to people so they know you're alive and authorized me to pick up your stuff and I'm not some random burglar."

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She writes a note reading No longer dead; authorized the bearer of this note to collect possessions; schedule of return to active teaching uncertain, embarking on extended research project and recovering from traumatic death. -Jacqueline Vaughan.

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"Thanks!" 

She heads off for the city; she transforms and dresses; she heads for the University, explains the situation and the need for amber to her brother, collects Dr. Vaughan's valise and delivers her note, and decides to swing by Hephaesta to update her before going home again. 

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Hephaesta is in her dressing room, pacing frantically. "Oh, thank God, it's you! I went to visit Angie, but the Under-Secretary said she'd been taken by Fires' men - then I hear about some kind of giant beetle rampaging through the streets - what the bloody fuck is going on?"

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"The giant beetle is a friendly and Angie and her sister are hiding out at my mother's place in the Prickfinger Wastes. Don't blame will for giving her up, they threatened--um. Did I ever get around to telling you the part where I am extremely weird and Angie's baby isn't dead anymore."

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"He told me you'd brought her back with some kind of miracle. I don't believe in miracles, but it's hard to argue with a reborn baby."

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"It really depends on how you define miracle. I didn't call on anything the church would sing hymns to. It's more like...an extension, or amplification, of the effect that makes death not permanent in the Neath in the first place. Anyway, they threatened the baby to make him give her up and she agrees that not letting the baby get hurt was the right choice. They were holding both Angie and her sister at the Orphanage, and also the giant beetle, and I broke all three of them out."

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Hephaesta nods slowly. "Well, whether you're a miracle worker or not, you've done something great. Thank you. I won't ask you to bring me to her, that'd be a risk and I don't want to add any more risk to what you're doing. Just... is she alright?"

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"Yeah, it's her sister who's got medical complications from the whole mess."

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