Dec 01, 2021 1:46 PM
Landon helps Rebecca with mana storage
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Landon looks very preoccupied; he's clearly keeping a lookout, still, but not sparing much attention for small talk with Rebecca. 

"Cassie's room first," he says tersely, and starts walking. 

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Okay, she's not gonna, like, complain about him being antisocial considering. "Okay." Follow follow. She spins around once on each stair landing to see if anything's coming up behind.

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No mals are following them, only a few students also heading places. 

Cassie's room, on the sophomore level, is locked by magic but Landon apparently has right-of-entry, and unlocks it. Inside, Cassie appears to have modified her bed into a loft, and set up a miniature combination-lab-shop underneath. The entire opposite wall is crammed with floor-to-ceiling metal shelving, heaped with supplies and ingredients. 

"Stay out there a second," Landon warns her, "Cassie's messy and I'd better check for mals first." 

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"You got it."

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No mals! 

"Well, come on in," Landon says after a couple of minutes of thoroughly overturning every randomly-piled item with the point of his enchanted knife. "Here, come have a look at this shelf, see if anything - feels right, or like you'd especially enjoy holding it or fiddling with it...?" 

The shelf contains: 

- A stack of balsa-wood slats. 

- A pile of walnut shells. 

- A geode sliced in half, showing a beautiful purplish crystal interior. 

- A glass eyeball, which is a very pretty shade of gold-flecked hazel.

- A single oyster shell. 

- A....dog skull?? (Small. Maybe a chihuaha skull.) It looks bleached an clean, at least. 

- A jar of beautiful beads, some of which are probably glass but some of which look like real gems or amber? 

- A basket of more one-inch tungsten cubes, maybe twenty of them. 

- A cup of half-inch steel ball bearings. 

- An enormous conch shell at least as big as Rebecca's head. 

- A spool of very fine copper wire. 

- A mummified rat??? 

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"The beads are pretty... I could make them into a rosary maybe. The shell is also very awesome though..."

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"It's a really excellent shell! Hmm. It'd definitely take more time and work to make the shell into a mana sink that wouldn't leak, but if you wanted to invest in that, it would have a much higher capacity. - And if you do want it, I think you'd better claim it here, Cassie found it on Friday and it'll get snapped up soon. ...Also I wonder if Cassie and I could work with Vanya and make it an instrument, too, I think I've heard of conch-shell horns? And the way I do items, having it fit with your affinity can make it work especially well." 

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"Ooh if it could be a horn definitely the shell."

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"Sounds good!" This earns her an actual smile, albeit a very halfhearted smile. "Right. So - I can get more done in this session if we head down to the actual shop, but also it'll be putting both of us at more risk - I'm sure I can look out for us but if I have to then I can't be working on your mana storage instead. What do you think?" 

Landon is very tired and his brain is mostly full of homework and scheduling and he does not feel especially prepared to make decisions. 

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"I could ask Orion to come?"

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"- Sorry, Orion who? Is that someone from New York–" Pause. "...The kid from New York whose affinity is literally just for killing mals? I mean, sure, I'd take you up on that, if you think you've got the leverage to convince him to come along." 

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"Well, he does really like killing mals. But I'm not sure where he is."

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"Most people are still at lunch so he's probably still in the dining hall? We could try looking there, but I don't want to spend too long walking around instead of working on this." 

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"No, he left, he finished eating before I did and went somewhere. He could be hunting mals in shop already."

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"Okay, well, I don't especially feel like wandering the school in hopes of finding him, so why don't we work in here for now. And maybe you can plan a time later this week and ask him in advance? I think I've got Wednesday work period free." 

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"Okay, I'll ask him about then!" She writes that down in the little notebook she scored last language lab and has turned into a makeshift planner.

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Landon, who approves of planners, smiles at her. "Right. So, to start, all I want you to do is hold it. Just - play around with it a bit, figure out the way of holding it that feels comfortable and natural for you." 

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She picks up the shell, carefully, both hands, tries to figure out which end you'd blow into. Pets the silky smooth inside and runs her fingers over the ridges.

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Landon just watches her intently for about thirty seconds. 

"- I need to cast a divination spell," he says. "It's in Mandarin." 

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She puts the shell to her ear with one hand and covers the other and hums.

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...Cute. It's very her, which should help. 

He casts his divination spell and watches the mana interactions for a minute or two. 

"- All right. Have you ever tried to send mana through a piece of artifice before?" 

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"No, I haven't even had shop yet."

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"Do you think you have a sense for how? If not, you can try pulling a little bit from my power sharer and then putting it back, maybe, to get a feel for it?" 

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"I don't think I can guess, at least not fast - if it's okay to try your sharer that seems like it would help."

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