Aug 05, 2020 8:32 PM
holly and crystal in actualization
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Hi.

Unlike Liro, Radha doesn't echo what she's saying out loud. 

If you're not from a planet, what are you from?

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...I don't really know what other kinds of things you expect people to be from. It's not round? Honestly this doesn't look round either but maybe it's just big. Ours really isn't round, it's flat and goes on forever.

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Huh! That's strange. And—yes, planets are really big. Ours is, um...nearly eight thousand miles in diameter, I think. Approximately. You can see the curvature if you go out on a boat in the middle of the ocean, or if you're flying, but not from on land. 

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:We've never been on an ocean and can't fly but I think it has to be really flat because of how suns move.

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How do your suns move—suns, plural? Ours works like so—

Simplified mental model of planets spinning around a sun. 

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Oh, that's neat! We have lots of suns and they go by overhead in straight lines. Mental image of a very sunny day: six suns in various colors scattered across the sky. A low blue one, a high red one, a big white one, a little yellow one, a fast-moving purple one, a ponderously slow orange one. Sometimes no suns come for a while but there's always more, that's why we think it goes on forever - people used to think there was an edge that made suns and then ate them when they got to the other side, but we've been exploring much farther now and are pretty sure that isn't happening.

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So—is 'where do they come from' the wrong type of question—do you know what they're made of? If they're big balls of plasma, like ours, I wouldn't expect them to act like that, but obviously there's different physics involved somehow...

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I don't know, we can't fly.

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Fair enough, I suppose. Do—

Radha's next question is interrupted by Liro coming back with food.

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I wasn't sure what you'd like, so I brought you a few choices. We'll eat whatever you don't want, so don't worry about waste. 

Holly and Crystal can have their pick of fruit juice, water, or coffee. Also on the tray is a selection of pastry confections, an orange, and a peach. 

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It transpires that they do not like coffee. Everything else is amazing and they are hungry.

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Liro dumps a slightly excessive amount of sugar and milk into the coffee and drinks it with apparent enjoyment, with Radha making faces of performative disgust. 

Has Radha been answering any of your questions or just asking them herself? 

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Omnomnomnom. Mostly asking them. I'm not really sure what we need to know, here!

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Okay, well, you hadn't heard of mages, so we should probably explain those. Sometimes, in this world, people between the ages of about 9 and 20—that should translate to your years or however else you count age—get magic. We call those people mages. There aren't very many of us relative to the rest of the world, but there are more every year.

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What does the magic do?

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Depends on the person! Everyone gets the ability to transform into their magical self, which can look however you want—we both went with 'winged human' and made a bunch of smaller changes to how we look, but some people end up looking as weird as your demon thing, or weirder. 

And then on top of that every mage gets powers on a single theme—like, my theme is telepathy, and Radha's is time manipulation which she's somehow managed to extend into telekinesis. 

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I started with the power to make things stop in midair, Radha explains. And then it grew in two different directions. 

There've been studies done on why people get the powers they do, and it correlates pretty strongly with the powers they would have wanted if you'd asked them in advance.

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Huh, neat. We have troportation, everybody can do it but some people are better at it. Holly's good.

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I can get a general idea from the word, but what's troportation?

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:Moving traits between things. Like drowsing mice. She turns to display her backpack, which turns out to have a compartment that is a mouse cage at the bottom. With live mice.

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Radha leans forward to peek at the mice. 

So you...make the mice sleepy? Instead of yourself, I assume. Or is it taking their wakefulness, rather than giving them your sleepiness? 

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It's swapping our sleepiness for their wakefulness!

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Huh! Do you always have to swap things like that, could you take something without giving anything back—is there any limit on what you can swap, that seems really powerful—

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You have to touch both things. Some stuff you can just take.

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...I wonder if you could take someone's magic

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