Aug 11, 2020 2:16 PM
Isabella Swan is a high school student who gets struck by a motor vehicle
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Isabella Marie Swan is an unextraordinary, if not neurotypical, high school student in Forks, Washington.  Her senior year is unextraordinary, if not purely uneventful, for the first few months.  Many strange events entirely fail to occur.

Accordingly, when a van driven by a panicking teenager screams out of nowhere across an icy school parking lot towards Bella, the laws of physics apply in full force.  The pain is horrific, but brief.

There are processes that occur after an event like this.  On Earth, Charlie Swan is summoned to a scene on which there is no need to dwell.  Death is pronounced.  Family is notified.  Friends are told.  Teachers remove Bella from their class rolls.  Jessica cries.

Not at all on Earth, an entirely different process is derailed by the fact that the memories and beliefs of a certain soul cannot be analyzed.

This is rare, but not unprecedented.  Scans of many other souls from the same continuum are substituted to generate an proxy estimator for use in further routing.

『Analyzing... no consensus expectations for disposition of souls.』
『Focusing on souls from similar cultural backgrounds.  Analyzing... no consensus.』
『Clustering attitudes.  Analyzing predictive factors.  Weighting for specificity of belief to circumstances...』

In Bella Swan's continuum, many people her age have positive attitudes towards one particular scenario for who gets disposition of the soul, when a high school student dies after being struck by a motor vehicle.

When Bella opens her eyes again, she's sitting on a wide tatami mat floating within an endless blue sky, before a table set with two cups of steaming tea, across from a grandfatherly old man wearing a white kimono.

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"Uh.

Hello?"

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"How odd," says the grandfatherly old man.  "I can't seem to read your soul... oh.  It looks like you've already selected your 『Unique Skill』 to be 『Inviolable Mind』.  Well, we don't have long to speak, but I should have summoned a soul from a higher world that has roughly correct expectations about my current situation.  I am a God; one of my worlds needs a hero to save it from a Demon Lord; most things should be as you expect, given that.  If you have any other questions, please ask them quickly; time spent in this place is expensive."

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Bella opens her mouth. She closes her mouth. She opens it again and says, "Can I affect the world by altering my expectations?"

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"Not until you've realized a great deal more of your potential."  The old man looks fidgety; when he reaches for his cup of tea, he drinks it in a gulp rather than a sip.  "Was that all?"

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"If I come up with more questions that seem worth asking you is there a way to do that?"

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The old man shakes his head.  He takes another, larger gulp of his tea.  There probably isn't much left in the cup.

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"What do you mean about my potential?"

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The old man is starting to look nervous.  "It seems you're not as familiar with my situation as I hoped.  Yours is a soul of a higher world, entering a less orderly place.  Like everyone else in that position, you can expect a 『Unique Skill』, the ability to learn magic of any element, chant shortening, and the ability to reach truly great heights given time and trials.  But if you didn't know that already -"  The old man takes a final gulp of his tea and sets it down with a sharp clack.  "Then you'll have to seek the rest of the knowledge on your own.  Good luck."

And Bella is standing in the middle of a grassy plain.

There is a dusty, sandy road here.

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This is a stupid dream. Bella allows herself about fifteen seconds to attempt to take control of the dream and fly into the air.

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If this attempt at spontaneous 『Flight』 has any consequences, they aren't obvious or visible.

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Figures. Well. She checks herself for what possessions may be on her person. If it's the same stuff she was wearing when she got hit by the van she should have her backpack.

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Bella has her winter coat and jeans!  She's already starting to feel a little warm in the late-spring weather now around her.  Her backpack was still on her back, and if she looks inside, she'll find whatever she had inside there previously.

There's now a new belt through Bella's jeans, with a shiny silvery heavy buckle.  On her left side, this belt supports a short scabbard, maybe a half-meter in length, with a hilt rising up from it.

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She ignores the sword for the time being. Shucks backpack and coat, fishes out notebook, writes down everything the dude said as best she can remember, backfills what her questions were.

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The Sun moves a little bit downward in the sky, at the usual pace as time passes.  An occasional breeze stirs the dusty road in front of Bella.

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She walks down the road in the direction she was originally facing.

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The plains are hilly.  Not very hilly, nothing compared to the mountains in the distance, but sloped enough that now and then Bella crests a hill and sees... more road and more grass, mostly.

Oh, wait!  Is that the sound of faint yelling?  Maybe the distant clash of swords?  It's coming from further down the road, maybe from behind the next set of hills, or the hills after that.

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Okay. Bella has a sword and will fucking kill herself if she tries to go use the sword for anything. So she's going to take a moment and see if she has any fucking... magic spells. Can she conjure a li'l bit of lightning, is that an element. Or fire, that's even likelier. Chant shortening was a thing, suppose she makes up a long chant, does it work if you make them up. "Invulnerability invulnerability invulnerability invulnerability invulnerability." She pinches her arm.

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The pinch might hurt a little less?  It's hard to be sure.  There isn't any lightning, certainly.  Or fire.  There might be a sudden breeze if she talks about air, but who knows, that could be a coincidence.

(If the sword has any advice for Bella, her 『Inviolable Mind』 isn't hearing a word of it.)

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Okay, inventory. Phone. No signal. 911: also no. Textbooks calculator homework notebooks pens pencils ibuprofen. Sword. She inspects the sword; maybe it can go fight bad guys on its own by flying through the air and is merely shaped like a sword for aesthetic reasons.

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The sword definitely feels rather... wieldy, for a piece of metal this size.  Like it's not hard at all to move it around.  Like it goes where Bella wants it to go.

By the way, Bella may or may not have noticed before now that she has yet to trip on her feet even once while walking on unpaved dirt slopes.

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She was being careful, but in retrospect that's suspicious! She pulls out the sword, gives it a swing.

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Whatever Bella had in mind for that swing, it is exactly what happens.

That's definitely a scream from the other side of the hill, by the way.  It's not the kind of scream you associate with sudden, unexpected happiness.

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Yeah, okay, she'll break into a tentative jog and speed up from there.

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Bella's feet go where Bella's mind wants!

When Bella reaches the top of the hill, she'll see a carriage with two horses.

On the ground beside the carriage lie two motionless women in shining plate mail, blood leaking from wounds that look kinda fatal.  It's mixing with the blood from five motionless men wearing dirty leather and with rusty weapons scattered around them.

Two men in dirty leather remain.  One is almost to the carriage, holding a bloodied longsword.  The other must have heard Bella rounding the hill, because he fires a crossbow aimed at Bella the moment she enters his vision.

Bella will dodge this bolt before she has a chance to think about the process literally at all.

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whatthefuckwhatthefuck

"Hey, uh, stand down!"

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