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Feb 03, 2023 8:47 AM
A new magical girl!
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Lilith starts getting dressed. "I'll call you some time for sure. I'm not online a lot of the time though."

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"Of course!  You lead a busy life, and it goes many places the network doesn't reach!  And regardless, you do not actually owe us an answered phone call!  Still, let us also give you our email, speaking of online things, for potential asynchronous communication!  ...We shall also take this as an excuse to learn how to encrypt emails properly, according to Luna!"

Annnnd email and, hug Lilith again, and, "Probably going to the Spirit Association now, which I imagine you definitely don't want to do, but if you're going somewhere from here, we could give you a ride closer first?"

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"Nah, I need to actually sleep. Also I barely use email because uh. You know how monsters break shit just by existing?"

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"Oh, damn, that must fucking suck.  Is it, like, all the - no, my phone didn't notice you...I wonder if it's possible to twist somehow, or store and unleash later - you're clearly dampening that somewhat, somehow...

"Anyway, those questions aren't particularly time-critical; in the short-term, we really must go do the Spirit Association thing, and hope you enjoy your rest!"

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"I'm basically telling it to fuck off I'm being sneaky, but eventually it goes 'no fuck you', like, really hard, especially on shit I need, so I have to find, uh, acceptable outlets."

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"Ooh, do medical debt records.  And student loans.  If you aren't already.  Those are heinous."

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"Find me bee-and-ee instructions for the sole point of failure of a data warehouse containing those things and nothing like medical treatment records that'll kill people and I'll consider it? I mostly use junkyards now."

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"Oh, yeah, the big debt collector shits aren't hospitals, or even insurance companies - they're the, like, private shits that're probably half your spam calls by volume, who take on the debt nobody else collected.  I'll see what I can do."

And, with a two-finger salute, out she goes!

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The state of Maryland awaits her! She gets a couple of immediate curious glances from passers-by at the sight of visible raiment.

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She's still wearing Clara's normalish-clothing raiment - though it's now accented in her blue after several tries at stretching the switch-spell - but it is indeed unusual nonetheless.  She waves politely, but perfunctorily, at those that glance at her; she has business to complete, and can't spare much time to chat right now, unfortunately, if she's asked.

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Nobody actually tries to come up and chat with her as she goes to her car, though a six-ish year old girl out with her mom jumps around and cheers at being waved back at, after the sudden raiment-shift.

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Luna smiles, because childish enthusiasm is infectious.

Unfortunately, despite Clara wanting really hard about it, she suspects that the end result of talking to children unprepared would probably be a child that's crying because of something she said.  Not a good look, that.  So, into her car she goes, after giving the kid a thumbs-up, and on to the Spirit Association ...lodge?, nearest her.

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They have offices. And a few 'facilities' but those are even less public. There's one that looks like a one-room sort of place in Hagerstown, and two bigger ones in the middle of Washington and Baltimore, further away.

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...fuckit.  She'll - take the metro to DC, get a sense of the crowd's sentiment around MGs and the local offices on the train and then perhaps Wonder At The DC-ites Why Nobody's Fucking Said Anything About A Certain Cop Yet.

Also definitely yell at someone about Culpeper Cut's misleading description.

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Well, technically, Clara will be doing the train-gossipping part of this plan!  She likes talking!

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People on trains mostly either talk about whatever's on their mind with their companions or sit there on their phones, not talking. Aside from some passing nods/smiles/hellos, that's probably what'll happen unless she actually invites a conversation somehow or another.

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Well, she'll certainly do that if anyone seems to want to talk, but no, she's actually just here to prime these people to think about magical girls, eavesdrop until the subject comes up, and then maybe encourage the discussion!

(...Ophelia lurks behind her viridian eyes, perhaps steering Clara's actions towards emoting, though not feeling, evident distraction from the people she's not presently looking at...)

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"Hey, is that Viridian?"

"No, Viridian's blonde. She must be new, look at the..." They trail off. "Is she even magic, d'you think? You know what they say about assumptions."

"Nooo I actually don't. Why did you assume I did?"

There's a quiet whap and a giggle.

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Oh that decisive turnaround gets a coquettish giggle.

"I'm not Viridian, no; would you mind telling me a bit more about my future coworkers?"

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"Eep!"

"Um, hi! Um." It's a pair of tween girls. Middle schoolers. "Everyone from home knows Viridian Bloom, miss spirit bearer. She, uh, does flower shows and things. And makes plants that smell awful to monsters."

"She's a showoff," the assumption-maker says. "But I mean, magic is pretty cool."

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"It really is cool, isn't it?  A little bit scary 'cause we all know what I'm going to have to do with it, but you're right that magic is pretty cool," she says, quietly, but in a way that still carries, with a soft smile on her face.

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(Meanwhile, Ophelia dedicates her mental resources towards parsing the things the other passengers are saying, as Clara natters on to the tweens, seemingly oblivious.)

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"And, yeah, I'm pretty new; I haven't even been properly magical for a whole day yet, though I've kind of been doing the stuff I could train for a leeetle bit longer than that, so I'm heading up to the DC office to see if they've got ways to stretch my magic a bit more than I could in my backyard - I don't really figure a one-room office has much training equipment worth mentioning, y'know?  And that's the closest one!  But you can practice spears anywhere!  Mostly; a friend of mine told me that the basic katas we all learned in gym are, well they're good at what they're for, but they're kind of not built for transitioning to magical combat, where you've got environmental effects everywhere?  I wouldn't really know as well as she might; I'm a charmer, - um, not literally! - just someone who likes making friends and helping people, and not a weaponmistress!"

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"Stuff you could train? Like, before you got magic? I thought nobody knows what they'll get!"

"Are you a legacy bearer? Did you meet a ghost?"

 

 

Someone mutters, "Kids these days, talking about that in public..."

 

 

Someone else is saying, "Why's a magical girl on the train, don't they all have limos or something? It doesn't look right."

"Don't be so loud, Jim, you're embarrassing us. They can take the train just like anybody else."

"She's being loud."

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"Nobody knows...for sure.  But that doesn't actually mean that you can't have an idea of the kind of person you are, and the ways that that sort of personality has historically expressed when you're enkindled, plus, of course, spear drill, and - just, tactics; some videogames actually mimic real magical effects, monsters, and environments we might encounter, but, uh, trying to get out of homework that way...doesn't work... - monster-spotting, park ranger stuff...I'm actually still going to take a lot of the courses that were my second-choice career lead-ins, for firefighters, EMTs, and so-on y'know?  There's a lot of magical-girl skills that aren't about magic.

"No, I didn't meet a ghost, and if you do - be kind to her, and support her as best you can.  It might be hard, but as with someone who's mundanely depressed, sufficiently dedicated and intelligent support can bring a lost girl back to her shining self.  ...I've heard this is something you can also do with the spirit-bearers who've just kind of...stopped actually having the internal experience of being people, jar them out of the routine they're sleepwalking through, which...I'd think the claim of 'losing the ability to have internal experience' any amount absurd if someone hadn't actually seen it start to happen on their watch, but, apparently, sometimes you get magic zombies - that are entirely unlike movie zombies in any way besides not having any apparent higher thought, but I just refuse to appropriate 'golem' for this state when the Golem of Prague just wasn't like that, however it happened, and certainly most of the thusly-dissociated aren't Jewish!"

...Those background comments start a list, 'Magical Girl Problems To Watch Out For:'

  • Elitism and public perception thereof.
  • Relatedly, beware getting caught in an SA echo chamber; that's as bad as cops.
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