Dec 06, 2019 7:57 AM
Sadde in Wonderland
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"Thank you," he says, and in pops a grape and -

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- well, he's naked, so although the changes are not immediate they are obvious.

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The cat does not appear to care. 

"You're welcome," he replies, already starting to disappear - in patches, this time. Left leg first, then right ear...

"They're waiting downstairs..." is his last contribution before his mouth vanishes.

The last thing to go is his nose, which hangs in the air for a second or two after the rest has disappeared. 

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...he wants to find a mirror.

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There does not appear to be one in this room.

Maybe he should ask Hatter, but he might want to get dressed first. Clothes he was wearing last night, or hunt around in this wardrobe that looks like it belongs in a museum?

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Wardrobe, why not.

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The wardrobe contains clothes in the same style as the Hatter's: old-fashioned suits, waistcoats, and shirts with mildly ridiculous sleeves. 

Would he like a black, grey, or blue suit? And a green, purple or red waistcoat?

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Aaargh. He'll wear yesterday's clothes.

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The Mad Hatter is waiting outside the room. 

"Good morning, Sadde." He doesn't seem particularly surprised; perhaps he was the one who provided the grapes. 

"I can find you some better clothes if you like, but it'll have to wait until after breakfast. Queen Araminta wants to meet you."

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"I'd love that, thank you, and I'd also, ah, love to find a mirror."

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"That can be arranged."

A mirror is found. Sadde can study his new face while Hatter makes him some breakfast. 

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Oh wow he's pretty. He giggles at this reflection. "I'm gonna declare this whole 'falling into a hole' thing a stroke of luck."

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"I'm glad you're enjoying it!" Hatter calls from the kitchen.

"Come and have breakfast."

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"I make for a very hot boy," he announces when he hands the Hatter the mirror.

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"I'm glad you approve. It would be terrible to finally get to be a boy and then discover your nose wasn't right," Hatter jokes. He declines to comment on Sadde's attractiveness beyond this remark.

He leads Sadde through to the breakfast-room, where a table is laid with options including buttered toast, tea, coffee, porridge, and various kinds of fruit.

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In the breakfast-room, a stern-faced woman with strawberry blonde hair is seated at the table, drinking a cup of tea.

"Good morning," she says. "Sadde, I presume? I am Araminta; you may address me as 'your ladyship' or 'ma'am'."

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May he?

"Good morning. It is a pleasure to meet you, ma'am."

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"And the same to you."

She gestures imperiously for him to take a seat.

"Let us get straight to business. What are your goals, what are your capabilities, and what do you need from the Diamond Court?"

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"My goals are to not have an Evil Queen harassing this place anymore, my capabilities are those of an extremely intelligent baseline human plus having ever read a fantasy book in my life, and I don't need anything other than perhaps clothes that aren't, ah, suits." He glances at the Hatter. "No offence." Back at the Queen. "All joking aside, I'm not sure I'm an extremely important asset except for the fact that this place seems to be acting like I'm the Chosen One or something."

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"The 'Chosen One'?" she repeats, carefully pronouncing the capital letters.

"What a strange concept, although I can see how it might be useful. Can you elaborate? What should we expect to result from your status?"

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"It's a trope in certain genres of fiction where I'm from. The basic format is that there's some great evil - might be dormant, might be active, might not be recognised as properly evil in-universe - and no one has been able to vanquish it completely, and then someone, chosen by the fates or a prophecy or chance, who is typically not particularly skilled or special in any way but may have interesting personality traits, like being very empathetic or courageous or selfless or something, shows up and via narratively contrived happenstances gets the tools needed to vanquish this evil once and for all."

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"Well. Marcella certainly counts as an evil in need of 'vanquishing'." She sighs, looking much older and very tired for a moment.

"You describe yourself as extremely intelligent; would you say that fulfils the requirement for an 'interesting personality trait', or do you have other relevant qualities?"

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"Maybe? I'm glossing over a lot here, but the personality thing usually has two parts. One is that the hero should be relatable - it's often some random schmoe with no special qualities exactly because the readers are by and large random schmoes with no special qualities so it's easier to put oneself in their shoes. That part's fulfilled by my not even being from here. Then there's the extra thing they have that makes them not-quite-so-random-but-still-in-the-realm-of-possibility, which is something the reader can aspire to be. In my case, I'm not sure being very intelligent is the thing; I think it's more likely to be the, mm, the way I think about things, if anything? Here I'm abandoning all pretense at humility, but I think I'm pretty good at strategising and planning and coming up with contingencies and things like that."

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"Well, that will be useful in its own right if nothing else," she says, nodding in approval.

"I try, but there is only so much a single person can achieve, and I am further constrained by the inability to show my face in public. You do not, yet, have the particular disadvantage of being a confirmed Resistance member, although I doubt that will remain the case for long."

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"Are there not berries that change one's face?"

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