Dec 07, 2021 1:04 AM
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"You wouldn't go for it so she asked someone else and Jack took her up on it. Most maleficers need some kind of consent to get anything off a wizard."

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Jack's cabinet contains the clothes he was saving for senior year, a shirt and pants with the telltale unpleasant crinkly feel of ultra-lightweight polyethylene and nylon. You don't want to burn half your weight allowance on clothes, but you also don't want to go around looking tattered senior year, when you're trying to nail alliances down. And a good pair of shoes, she's delighted about those, and some alchemy ingredients she can sell, a pound of protein powder and six more snack tokens, and a sealed sandalwood chest -

- with a loving note from Jack's parents engraved on the inside, we'll be thinking of you every day darling little one, be careful and be smart and we'll see you soon blah blah blah. Annie doesn't know why parents think that making their kids miss the outside world will be doing them a favor. If she has kids she'll raise them someplace like the Scholomance, so they're used to it, and she'll be a raging bitch so they don't spend lots of time missing her since they're glad to be free of her. That's how her dad did it and she's grateful.

Inside the chest there are mana-storing prayer beads, drained dry - maybe why Jack picked up his maleficing to the level of murder - and antibiotics, and two family photos, who spends thirty grams of weight allowance on that, and a thin membrane that looks like it does something protective - "oh, I think this would've stopped me slitting his throat, if my dagger weren't sharper than he expected -" and a little lead case which was now empty but which he hadn't yet melted down for materials, probably having contained some really sensitive potion. 

She closes the chest and picks everything up. "All right, I'm done here, let's go do some homework." 

 

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"I've a carrel in the library."

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Is she inviting Annisa to study with her and her boyfriend? Neat. And Jack's stash was good but not that good so she doesn't think the two of them will kill her over anything in it. "Can I leave the stuff in your room for now, if we're going up to the library? You can have first pick of his alchemy ingredients in exchange."

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"I'd sooner take his shirt."

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"Sure, all yours." The plan for Annisa is that her sister will bring a senior year outfit for her through, and Annisa'll buy it off her in exchange for whatever she's invented to make things safer for freshmen. 

 

And she sets the stuff down in El's room for now and follows them up to the library, cautiously, because probably this isn't a murder attempt but you bite a lot of 'probably's and one day you've bitten down on something you can't swallow.

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The library's very friendly with Orion around, and he doesn't seem to notice that that's weird at all.

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El's carrel is tucked away aisles and aisles back. She checks it over. Orion doesn't help and looks confused.

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Annie is a civilized person who wasn't born yesterday so she watches El's back while El's checking the desk. "Do you just, like, not check on the principle you'll be able to blast whatever it is anyway," she says to Orion. "Surely if there were a digester on your seat you'd be screwed before you could dust it."

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"I look before I sit but how often is there anything on a chair?"

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"Reasonably often! I guess maybe stuff stays away from you."

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"Even if you get attacked more than me how often have you been jumped, like, four, five times?"

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"A week."

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"You've only been jumped four or five times ever?"

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"Something like that? But, like, look," he rolls up his sleeve to display his watchlike power-sharer, "this buzzes me if Chloe or anybody else from New York is in trouble..."

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"Key word is 'from New York', you're not the metaphorical slow zebras, Lake."

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"Enclave kids move in packs, you've got power-sharers, and losers like Jack know if they go after one of you the others will retaliate. Everyone else has somebody going in for a nibble couple times a week at least."

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"Somebody? How many malificers are there in here?"

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"At least four now Jack's gone."

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There's at least six. Annie does not volunteer this. "How'd you catch onto Jack?" she asks El, instead. 

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"Well, his room stank, for one."

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"Ah. Man, what was his plan." Annie knows the basic principles of how to draw malia, as a last resort, and it can give you a useful mana boost in an emergency but you're not going to be able to regularly go through fellow students without attracting opposition. If she did it it'd be to finish a really big working that she thought could get her through graduation, and she'd have a plan to dispose of the body because she's not stupid.

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"Beats me. Didn't seem all there by the end."

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This, folks, is why you don't send your kids off to school with cutesy notes about how much you love them! A couple years in they'll be someone they know perfectly well those words aren't true of, and then they'll go insane. 

 

Annisa does her homework.

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Orion... looks at some of his homework but doesn't do much of it.

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