Oct 28, 2021 10:42 AM
in which we coerce a bell into learning mind control
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"That sounds like there's a story." 

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"There's always a story. I can't tell them every time one comes up." 

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Kiri finishes her lunch. "Okay, so what are our groups for chi and magic teacher visits?"

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"Chi was me, Emily, and Erek, unless someone else is interested." 

Nobody else displays an interest. 

"That's everyone else to magic, then." 

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"Alrighty." Kiri consults her map, gets up and leads the magic group to the magic teacher's office.

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The magic teacher opens the door on the first knock. 

"Hello. It's not often I get students coming to office hours on the first day like this," she says, stepping out of the doorway in implicit invitation to enter. 

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"...really? It seems prudent to get a jump on things."

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"Oh, lots of people come in before the first class, when I'm scheduled later in the week, but on the first day lots of people are more concerned with seeing who else is low-hanging fruit and who's a threat than being proactive about classwork."

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"That's concerning." 

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"Who's a threat and who isn't is always a good idea to keep an eye on. You're used to being a big fish, little starchild, but you've just swum into a much, much bigger pond." 

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Lucy makes a face that quite effectively conveys, "I have to admit that you're right but I don't have to like it." 

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"The targets part is still disturbing." 

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Shrug. "It is what it is. Mesmerra's only priority is maximizing the amount of mind control, and that does tend to appeal disproportionately to a certain kind of person." 

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"Mesmerra recommended visiting you because I expect to want to learn magic outside what I have natively, which is fairly strong within its sphere but is very limited in what that sphere is."

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"I can help you with that! And I might as well give the rest of you some pre-emptive homework while you're here." She waves a hand and conjures a variety of puzzle-like objects and puzzle books. "I'm going to ask you to do a few of these, and say which ones are easiest and which ones most enjoyable--different magic systems work according to different mental strengths, you see, so I like to test people's aptitudes before I select a magic system to instruct them in." 

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"That's a nice way to approach it. How many do you know?"

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"Lots. Not every magic system I've ever encountered is trivially transferrable, but plenty of them are, and I have encountered as many magic systems as I could."

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"That's not a very specific answer." 

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"Nothing against any of you in particular, but I have rivals and enemies of my own. I don't hand out precise information about my limitations." 

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"--Fair enough, I guess."

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"Order of magnitude?"

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"Four digits in base ten."

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Emily gives an impressed whistle. 

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"Wow. Should we each try all of these if we're interested in the result?"

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"Yes. I can produce extras if you can't smoothly work out an order of turn-taking. How closely allied are you? I'm thinking of dividing you into groups based on affinity, if there's sufficient overlap, so that you can help each other learn and practice, but that only works if you don't have some kind of zero-sum internal politicking." 

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