Aug 05, 2020 9:28 PM
holly and crystal in actualization
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Holly is running for her life. She doesn't even know what kind of demon this is, some kind of snakey thing, she keeps looking over her shoulder to get a better look at it and this is a terrible idea, slows her down, makes it harder to navigate the terrain, and her toe catches on a vine and she pitches forward and lands, barely catching herself on her arms, and looks back one last time before her own reflection showing in its face comes crashing down on her. I'm sorry -

It's -

And then they're somewhere else.

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Somewhere else is a busy city street surrounded by skyscrapers. Pedestrians hurry back and forth over solar panels set into the pavement. An electric tram whooshes past on a monorail. 

A passer-by who happened to notice the girl appearing out of nowhere says something incomprehensible.

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...

The thing she says back is not in the local language. Or any local language.

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The woman tries one or two other languages, roping in a couple of other passers-by, before concluding that this is a problem out of her pay grade. 

After attempting to pantomime that Holly should wait here, she pushes back her blazer sleeve and starts tapping at the screen of a device attached to her forearm. After a few seconds, it speaks to her in the first language she tried, and she speaks back. After a few such exchanges, she taps at the screen some more and then steps back against a wall to wait out of the way of other passers-by. 

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After a few minutes the newcomer sits on the sidewalk and tilts her head curiously, looking at the device and all the people around.

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Shortly, a pair of winged people arrive overhead. They drop out of the sky, braking smoothly just above people's heads in some way that seems to have nothing to do with their wings, then drift the rest of the way to the ground. 

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One of them folds his white wings behind him and steps forward. 

Hi! he says telepathically, echoing it out loud in the local language. We heard someone needed a translator?

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- how are you doing that?

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Uh, magic? he says distractedly as the woman in the business suit explains what she knows of the situation.

Was it not obvious from the wings?

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The wings we thought you could have gotten off a bird, the this thing where would it even come from?

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—okay, I think we're missing a step or three here, how about we back up. Hi, I'm Liro, what's your name? And how did you end up in the middle of Corali without speaking any of the five most common languages in this country, because I think the answer to that might be important. 

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I'm Crystal and she's Holly and we were eaten by a demon only this a very odd place to be inside of one.

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Oh, there's two of you! I see it now, sorry, I was trying not to look that closely. Uh, I'm not sure what you mean when you say 'demon', can you send me what it looked like?

The telepathy is pretty intuitive to interact with.

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Crystal didn't actually see it, so Holly does that.

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...well, that looks like nothing I've ever seen before. So normally my first guess would be 'mage trying on a weird shape', but this doesn't feel like a normal situation. Uhhh, have you seen one of those before today, and do they normally eat people? 

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We've never seen that kind but as far as I know all demons eat people. Our brother might know what kind it is but he's not here. What's a mage?

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...person with magic, like me and the other winged person over there? Which should have translated as whatever your local word for us is. Are you from somewhere that doesn't have mages—and does have demons, which aren't a thing anywhere on this planet as far as I know—

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What's a planet?

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Big spinny round thing we're all standing on...? I promise my translation is normally way better than this, it should just match concepts—

He sends an image of the planet from space, a memory of a photo rather than something he's seen personally. A blue-green-brown sphere wreathed with clouds, floating in a dark starry void. 

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We're.... not from a that.

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He lets out a surprised laugh.

Wow, are you from a long way away, then. Uh, wanna go somewhere quieter and I can explain how things work here? And then we can work on—finding you a way home, I guess, if that's what you want. 

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Yes please. She gets up.

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Liro leads the way to a nearby café, his dark-winged companion—whom he introduces as his sister and teammate, Radha—tagging along.

Uh, if you're not from a planet I can't guarantee that we have any of the same foods, but do you want anything?

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Yes, please, we've been on troported food for ages.

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I can definitely get you something that is not troported food! On account of I don't think that's a thing we have here. 

He joins the queue to get food; Radha them finds a table. 

Can I loop Radha in so you can talk to her directly? I warn you now, she has questions. 

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Yes, all right.

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