Dec 01, 2021 2:05 PM
if these kids get to grow up they're going to be so cool
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Annisa guards the canon of Avicenna and everyone's bookbags while the rest of her Group ransacks the cabinets, and tries to look pleased to see Marcy but not in a way where she particularly conspired to be at the worktable next to Marcy, just in the way where, when Kevin made that decision because of the Group's obvious merits as neighbors, she was pleasantly unsurprised. She looks around the room to see who else got their crucible heating first and who is going to be unpleasantly surprised when it takes like an hour to heat, it's a decent proxy for who has drilled the assignment before.

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Malak returns with a small pile of goodies, mostly unrelated to the current assignment, and tosses a snack token to Annisa.

"Help me figure out the thing you were talking about for taking a cast of my knife? Bronze is heavier than steel so I'll just cast it and then grind the bronze one a bit thinner."

She follows Annisa's lead and starts up her crucible before getting started on her frame and plaster.

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She is just slightly late for shop, and comes in with a cluster of freshmen who got the same advice she did. She looks for Annisa - oh, there she is, with Malak and Naima and some Asian boy she doesn't recognize. Annisa's wearing a bright blue scarf, which seems like a strange thing for her to have wasted weight allowance on. Maybe it's enchanted, although why would you lay an enchantment for shop on a scarf, it'll inevitably get caught on something.

"Hey," she says, "is this seat taken?"

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"Nope!" she slides some copper and tin over to the empty space indicated, "You'll still need to grab plaster and wood for the frame unless you're using Annisa's. Do you mind if I ask you some questions about Kiev? Maybe at lunch if we're too busy here."

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"Thanks!" she tries not to look surprised at the offered metal. "Do you know which cabinets have the plaster and wood? We can talk about Kiev but maybe lunch, yeah, I want to get a good grade for my first couple assignments so I have slack to skip later if I need to."

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"That one over there, there was nothing dangerous in there when I got mine." The metal is a bit of a big bribe but it's why she grabbed more than she needed, and the questions she's planning to ask are maybe sensitive ones, and it's better to overshoot and have an enclaver vaguely in her debt than to undershoot.

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She smiles cheerfully at Daria but doesn't interrupt her in her going off to get materials; they can talk later. 

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Della rollerblades into class, notices Anissa’s sign, and then rollerblades over to Annisa. 

“Hi! I know a few people who might struggle, should I send them to you? Or does the sign only apply to the one class.”

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"Feel free to send them! Prices might be higher if I have to go to shop when I was planning to work in the library, but I figure lots of the people who need help didn't put themselves in Tuesdays before lunch."

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“Great! And I know another person who might want a dueling knife, depending on how they work, do you have an example model?”

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"Daria's holding it as collateral at the moment - hey Daria!"

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She starts and looks over from where she's gingerly poking the leftover plaster with said knife.

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"May I borrow my knife back for a minute to demonstrate its uselessness at stabbing humans? I'm selling that feature. You can have a cut of my growing pile of lunch tokens for it."

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"How much is a cut?" She wraps up investigating the cabinet for particularly patient mals and collects her supplies.

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Oh drat, looks like Connie is in her shop section, that's going to make pretending they've never met and can't perceive each other tricky. Doesn't mean she has to stop doing it right now, though. She scoops up supplies for herself and Kevin, including a coil of wire and a bag of rock salt that seem like they might come in handy later, and goes back to their bench.

 

"Hi Kevin! Hi Annisa and Malak and Julian and Naima."

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"Hi Marcy! You probably won't like French poetry."

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"Maybe that's why the grading is so inscrutable, it's secretly grading us on liking things," she jokes, handing over mold materials.

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"Awww, does French poetry suck too? I have been disliking my English poetry class and was wondering where all the good poetry is hiding. You can have a lunch token for every dueling knife demo that results in a sale," she adds to Daria.

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Julian returns to the table carrying lumps of beeswax and bits of wire, and – score! – a block of sandalwood, which is too soft for most artificing applications but could make a perfect stand for his big ungainly mana rock. 

Because Julian is a responsible person, he's decided to save his next panic attack for after his supply run. So, without that out of the way: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH. Naima is in a class with upperclassmen. Probably other people are in classes with upperclassmen. He's not in any classes with upperclassmen. This can only mean one thing, namely that the school has already evaluated him and concluded he's a normal dumb fourteen year old and has no chance of cracking the top ten and should just a long walk through an empty hallway on the shop level right now because he has nothing to offer to a graduation alliance. Okay, so he doesn't have to pass through the nine circles of medieval Arabic medicine hell, but it's not like he wasn't planning to work hard. Besides, Naima is smart and she has a superhuman capacity for work. Naima can handle it. Naima probably isn't even a little bit contemplating how she's too incompetent to live. 

...he's not dead yet, though, so he's going to turn to Annisa and Marcy and say, as brightly as he can manage, "I can trade help with poetry for tips in shop." 

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"Hi Marcy! Are you planning on making a normal knife or - I'm making a copy of Alhadiat that Annisa's going to put a safety enchantment on for practice - "

" - Don't worry darling," she croons to the knife in Arabic, "I'm never going to replace you, but I need something else to practice with so that you can stay dangerous."

" - Anyways, I see you have a dagger, I was wondering if you're planning to do the same."

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"Deal," she says to Annisa. She hands the knife over the Annisa with a bit of a pang - it's a very nice knife - and starts setting up her crucible.

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It is a very nice knife. They couldn't afford the kind of knife enclaves buy, but Annisa's father is an artificer and spent the last two years making it, showing her every step, letting her sing along with all the incantations.

She slits her wrist with it. Or tries; it skims the surface almost like it is actually a butter knife, leaving an angry red mark but no cut. She smiles at Della and hands it back to Daria.

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"I'm going to make mine balanced as a throwing knife but otherwise pretty normal, yeah. Safety enchantment could be useful, I didn't bring anything to spar with."

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She sets the knife carefully by her crucible, in grabbing range. "I've been using it for a couple days, it's really an excellent knife," she says to Annisa's potential customer.

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“Thank you for the demonstration! I’ll let her know about it, I bet she’d love one.“

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"I'd ideally like safety enchantments paid in mana, but no one's paying mana these days; I will also take rare materials or spells, though they'd better be good spells."

 

The safety enchantment is nothing any random junior or talented sophomore couldn't do, but Annisa's major edge is that it'd take them about ten hours each knife and a sophomore or junior's time is quite expensive. She can do it in five or six and her time is somewhat less so. On the other hand the very limited mana requirement is going to eat her alive, whereas they'd barely notice.

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