Oct 24, 2021 9:39 PM
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"I don't think we have those here but if we did someone with a miraculous ability might try to deal with it, or we'd try to get the attention of an angel."

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"Ah. Do you think either of those sorts of people can get us home?"

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"I would imagine so but I'm starting to think you're not from this planet so it might not be easy."

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"It does seem very different here. Uh, magical girls hunt witches. And we need the things they leave behind when they die. Or we will ourselves die. San Niang, can you detransform - save your magic -"

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"Jiejie is good to worry about San Niang." She glows, until she's just a silhouette in bright red sparkling with silver, and then dims, with a ring on her finger and the hanfu gone in favor of a neatly tailored grey suit.

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"Our options here, non-exclusive, are to go through the usual bureaucratic channels and pass your case on to... I genuinely don't know but maybe one of the people who bless ships and planes. That'll take a while and I don't know how long a while because I've never had to do that before but I'd guess we can schedule something in a couple days. Or we can pray about it together, I'd try Saint Sy first but if that doesn't work we can escalate from there, and that has the potential to get a response immediately but the answer might be no. If we're delayed in that we still might be able to get you to see someone who might be able to heal you of your, uh, hunger for dead witch things. Or, I don't really know what I'm talking about and might be barking up the wrong tree here, I am not completely sure your magic isn't itself evil and if you're stuck in some kind of violent cycle of evil magic that's definitely possible to break out of although I can't guarantee it wouldn't cost your earthly lives. Up to you what to try in what order."

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"Such inspiring confidence," murmurs San Niang.

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"San Niaaaang," chuckles Xie Lian. "Um, I don't think either of us really knows what you're talking about? I have only been in Christian churches when they made a particular point of offering free food, and in my experience the Sikhs are better at that. But I think I might have noticed if any of the things you are talking about worked very well for dealing with magical girl problems."

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"My understanding of 'Christian churches' comes entirely from the implications of the definition so I have no idea if I've ever been in one. How would I tell?"

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"Are you not Christian? I thought it was Christians who did - saints and angels."

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"I think you're using a categorization system that's sufficiently pervasively weird that just having some sense of what individual words mean isn't leading to comprehension. What's the type of thing that a Christian is, what are other examples of that type of thing and what makes them different...?"

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"Christians are a religion? They have a Bible and pastors and churches and there are various kinds of them. Sikhs are a different religion and they have gurus and gurdwaras and don't cut their hair."

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"We have a lot of religions here but most of the legally protected ones involve saints or angels, I think? And it's not your experience that the religion you know that involves those is useful - what kind of not useful, like, none of its followers can heal people, or...?"

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"Not unless they're magical girls. Or doctors."

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"And magical girls are... the religion whose followers can sometimes heal people...?"

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"We're not a religion."

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"Okay. Anyway, you seemed dubious about asking for help, but I don't have a lot of other options to offer you. I'm not sitting on a perfectly natural spaceship and it seems really unlikely that you're both telling the truth and from this planet although we can find a map to check just in case."

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"You sort of made it sound like someone might decide to kill us for being magical girls."

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"That's so last century. You would almost definitely not get worse than fined and banned from teaching kids even if your magic is actually evil. And I'm still not convinced I should tell anyone about it and if you don't either then how are you thinking they'll find out?"

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"...if we went and asked for help? Which to be clear we should still probably do, because I don't think we can get home on our own, and we will magically starve here."

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"...I think if we go talk to someone, I say 'I've literally never heard their language before and they keep talking about alien things and need to get home', and they pray for you and possibly touch or anoint you, that shouldn't result in it coming up. It's more likely to come up if we can't get you home and need to try a healer but they don't usually ask too many questions and you couldn't answer anyway. If we pray, of course the angels will know, but the angels would never want to hurt you."

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"Okay. It sounds like we should do that. San Niang, how long will our seeds last -?"

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"Mm, at least a week. San Niang can never be too sad in jiejie's company." With some effort, San Niang gets to her feet. She's steady once she's up.

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"A week's probably enough time to try everything, and if you end up needing a place to stay for that long I can probably make that happen. So, bureaucracy first or prayer first?"

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"I guess you can try praying first."

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