Jul 02, 2022 3:49 AM
taylor in wish
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"Sure."

A piece of gravel glows gold and zooms over into Taylor's hand.

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.........

 

 

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Ok. uh, well. that happened.

Taylor examines the rock and clearly feels its weight. In every way she can tell, it's a genuine piece of real gravel.

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"Ok yeah uh, that seems.. pretty conclusive of something, give me a minute to process this, I guess."

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"Sure, no rush."

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Taylor isn't an expert by far but she's pretty sure this is not at all how hallucinations are supposed to work. this is... too immersive, too real. But the idea that magic is real feels so impossible, why isn't it common knowledge? Why keep it a secret? She pauses in her musing for a moment to check one more thing.

"hey, can you levitate me for a moment?"

 

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Tanya makes a bit of a face. "Sure, but just for a sec." Up Taylor goes, down Taylor goes.

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...Ok yeah she absolutely felt that, this is feeling more and more like something real. Taylor slumps casually against the alley wall, shaky and uncertain about where to go from here.

"So... Magic is real, then? Huh. Why isn't it common knowledge? Why keep everything so secret?" she voices the concerns she thought of a moment ago.

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"Well, most people can't see Kyubey, or witches," says Tanya. "I think they'd make being a magical girl much more difficult and annoying if they knew what was going on, really."

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Taylor briefly considers all the teachers and students who've done more to get in her way than actually help her when they learned about the bullying. Her mood sours.

Something about that explanation still feels incomplete but she's not sure how to press for more.

"Fair enough," she says.

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"Witches do affect regular people," clarifies Tanya, kicking up one foot to rest it on the wall behind her. "But it makes them violent, or suicidal, things like that, it's not like they're werewolves or something ripping out people's throats themselves. It's really something when you kill one, though, it can be a slasher film when you go in the barrier and everybody's chilled out and started helping the paramedics when you're done. They don't really remember the details, but..."

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"In the barrier?"

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"Witches hide in little pocket dimension things. You have to wander around in them for a while, trying to find the middle that's the real witch, and kill that. Otherwise you can get distracted for ages fighting familiars."

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"huh, pocket dimensions... Just how big do these get on the inside? and how common are witches? have I been walking past some ever day on my way home from school without realizing it?"

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"I'm not sure they're a consistent size but it usually takes like, five, ten minutes to get to the middle? That's having to fight your way in, though, I bet if I could just walk it it'd be a minute. And - depends where you walk? They like dense busy areas."

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She nods.

"So, just a rough guess, how many are in this city right now?"

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"Full-on witches, ballpark five, but there's also ones that budded off and aren't grown up yet, more of those. They grow up when they kill enough people."

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"Ah, that already answers my next question, which was where witches come from in the first place."

She purses her lips uncertainly.

"Though, actually, how well do witches hide, that seems like a small enough number for extermination to be possible, or do witches tend to sneak in from other cities if you manage to clear out every one?"

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And then some of what else Tanya said finally seems to click into place and Taylor stiffens.


 "Wait, these things kill people, and we're just standing around talking? If you know where one is let's get moving, I'm not going to slow you down while someone might be getting hurt, I can ask you more questions once it's delt with."

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"- so, remember I said about magic not being unlimited? Fighting them is dangerous and it takes magic, and the only way you get more magic is by killing witches - grownup witches. I can kill a couple of those a week, but killing the baby ones trying to take out the whole lot of them costs magic and doesn't get me any back. I can keep pace with them, I don't see how I'd wipe them out, and some might move in from farther away if I did anyhow."

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