Jun 23, 2021 8:27 PM
sakura in eclipse
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"Magic pays the big bucks," Brian says, "can you do any?"

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"Yes," she says. "Though my skill sets might not overlap entirely with what's common locally."

And, of course, it's strategically dumb to share more here than the minimum needed for being polite.

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"That probably just makes it even more expensive, people who can do rare things are usually very expensive," says Jackson absently, typing.

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She nods, humming. "A familiar principle... The income gap between those experienced in a niche specialty and those who just graduated with the basics is rather astronomical."

Shrug. "Of course, I don't know how much would just be replicating what's easy local - my main specialty is in healing. I'm somewhat better at physical issues involving solely the patient's own body than at treating toxins, and better at toxins than at externally sourced diseases. Still, I'm at least proficient in all of them."

A rather dramatic understatement, of course.

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"Mages can do that and there's lots of demand so lots of them learn it but they still make bank," Jackson says.

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She nods. "It's an exceptionally common skill in my world, too - we try to ensure one out of every four people trained in chakra has at least some medical training."

"Many of my rarer skills benefit most from their recipient being able to use chakra as well..." She hums, making a little show of thinking her skills through.

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"Like, what, chakra transfusions?" asks Brian.

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"I can imbue items with chakra - it's very hard, especially to get fancy effects, and doesn't often last long, but it's very useful for short term applications - but activating them requires a small burst of chakra, even if it doesn't require any training."

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"Yeah, we probably can't do that," says Jackson.

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"I might think of something else, though, especially once I'm more familiar with magic here. Some things might seem too obvious to me to actually mention..."

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"Give her the basics on magic, Jackson," says Brian.

"Yes Brian. There are two kinds of eclipsed, that's people who can do magic, psions and mages. Mages do things with physical effects, like healing or flying or telekinesis or setting things on fire. Psions - I'm a psion - do things without physical effects, like seeing the future or telepathy or lucid dreaming or running a virtuality which is what I'm working on being able to do. - a virtuality is a sort of imaginary world that new eclipsed go into, so their powers think they're there instead of in the real world, and don't hurt anyone. New eclipsed are dangerous."

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She nods.

"Most shinobi can do all the same sorts of things in theory, though there's some things that're easier or only possible with a specific bloodline power. Children's powers aren't usually dangerous, though some bloodlines can manifest out of control."

Or that child can be the poorly sealed host of a tailed beast, but that's sort of a weird edge case.

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"What do kids learn first?" wonders Brian.

"Eclipsed start with control training but can usually come out of that with something minor like lucid dreaming or a bit of self-bioregulation," Jackson adds.

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"Kids mostly learn the sorts of small techniques that aren't dangerous if you mess them up, and that require a few different skills - the standard ones my school taught to everyone were a technique to make illusory copies of yourself, one to change your appearance, and one to let you move very quickly. We also learned meditation, how to control our own emotions, how to break illusions, how to feel the chakra moving in our bodies and use it for very minor physical enhancement, and some general control exercises that aren't really formal techniques - like sticking items to your body, or floating a leaf an inch above your skin."

"Children with a lot of power but almost no control do exist, but they're almost always doing things like 'making a large fireball while trying to make a small fireball' or 'pushing off too hard while trying to do a powered jump.' Out of control bloodlines can be less predictable, but they're usually things like 'a child with a talent for summoning ice gets very scared and summons a lot of ice reflexively.' Which any trained adult can avoid being hurt by, and any untrained adult with enough sense not to scare a shinobi child can avoid having happen. I've only known one case of a child who was consistently dangerous, and he was being abused and got into the habit of lashing out - but most children will pass out very quickly if they use more than a little chakra, and they're actually bigger dangers to themselves than to others when they have no control, since dying from chakra overuse is kind of easy."

"We also don't really have 'new shinobi', though - I started chakra training at five, but kids can start as soon as they can be trusted not to experiment without supervision. There are biological differences in how much power or control someone's inclined to have, which can make some kids more efficient to train than others, but the things stopping us from training everyone universally are pretty similar to what's stopping us from having a universal literacy rate."

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"...what's stopping you from having a universal literacy rate?" asks Brian.

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"Technology issues - especially technology roll out issues. Most of our agriculture is still at the subsistence level, so farmers and weavers can't spare their children for school. Infrastructure issues, too - we don't have very good roads or transportation technically, and most of our population is extremely spread out, so establishing central schools is hard. Greater needs issues - a lot of the countryside was destroyed or damaged in recent wars, and we're focusing on fixing that. Political issues - there's no a lot of funding for schools. Bootstrapping issues - we don't currently have a lot of people trained as teachers. Cultural issues, too, somewhat, though that applies more strongly to teaching everyone to learn to use chakra than to read. Chakra techniques are traditionally restricted to specific families. Teaching people outside your family only became an idea within the last century."

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"Huh. Since you mysteriously speak English maybe if you figured out how you got here you could import English teachers and stuff."

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"That'd be great, yeah."

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"...since you don't know how you did it though you can like, crash here, if you need to, we have a spare room," Brian says.

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"I wouldn't want to impose..."

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"I mean you probably can't stay forever but you don't have, like, money, right? Jackson, go fix up the spare room."

"Yes Brian," says Jackson, hopping to.

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"I'll try to find a way to pay you back, then."

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Jackson bustles around with sheets and spare toiletries. "Do you need anything in particular like, today?" asks Brian. "I can send him shopping."

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"I don't have any weird dietary things," she says, "And I carry a lot of supplies with me. Thank you, though."

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"...you don't look like you have a lot of supplies."

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