Dec 12, 2019 5:32 PM
Sadde in Wonderland
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"Not just any fruit," Everless clarifies. "Different foods have different effects. For example, the bottle of sparkling juice that was on the table where we met would have changed your size in alternating directions if you drank it. Blackberries, when I eat them, turn me from a raven into a raccoon and back again. Hatter, would you...?" 

Hatter obligingly goes to fetch some berries. 

"I am not entirely sure what, if anything, would happen if you ate one. Thankfully, with discrete foods like berries it is trivial to avoid unwanted effects by eating them two at a time."

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"How curious. Can any food do that? As in, is there a pattern?"

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"Most foods here do something. The majority only have very small effects, such as changing your height a little, or the colour of your eyes or hair. Others can accomplish more dramatic changes. But yes, the same food eaten by the same person will always have the same effect, and the same food eaten by different people will have a similar effect."

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"...I wanna try some. Spoilers: there'll be one that changes my biological sex."

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Everless tilts her head to one side and thinks for a minute.

"...Grapes," she pronounces eventually. 

The Hatter, sighing melodramatically, turns right around and goes to fetch some. 

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She giggles. "I like you."

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Everless bursts into her cackling laugh. "I like you too!" 

When she has calmed down a little, she explains that she very rarely hears that, and even more rarely from someone whom she also likes.

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Grin.

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Hatter returns carrying a bunch of purple grapes arranged on a silver platter, which he presents to Sadde with a flourish.

"Your grapes, my liege!" he intones.

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She giggles and takes one -

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...and feels a very curious sensation take hold. Sadde's body shifts and reshapes itself into a new form, one never before experienced but somehow quite familiar.

The whole thing only takes a few seconds, leaving her standing there with clothes which fit rather differently than they did a moment ago. 

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- and she's grinning. "Wow this is amazing I want like a million grapes."

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"Perhaps not a million," Hatter says wryly. "I'm a hatter, not a duke. 

"Those are yours for now, and I can get you a similar number probably every few days if necessary, although I'd rather not dig too deep into the reserve fund."

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"Are grapes particularly rare and expensive? And is this magic a property of Wonderland food or of food in Wonderland?"

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"Not prohibitively so, but if I bought a bunch a day it would only take a month or so to severely deplete Wonderland's supply of them. They don't grow terribly well in this climate, you know, so it all has to be greenhouses."

He frowns. "I'm not entirely sure what distinction you're drawing, there...Everless, what's the difference?"

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"It is a distinction between food originating from Wonderland, and food currently in Wonderland," Everless answers. "And the answer is, unfortunately, that I do not know. I have never left Wonderland, nor do I know anyone who has done so and returned, and all of our food originates here."

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"We can test it later. And no, several a day won't be necessary, I tend to spend a few days feeling like one thing or another. And today I'm very much a girl so -" In she pops another grape.

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The same sensation results, but somehow in reverse. Again, it's over in two or three seconds, and then Sadde is back to how she started. 

"...Oh," the Hatter says. "So you could maybe take it home - if you end up going home, that is."

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"Yeah, although honestly I'm not sure I wanna go home anytime soon, I might have higher leverage to help people here than back home, and maybe I can export things that will be very useful once I've spent long enough here to understand the place."

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"Help people," he echoes.

"An admirable goal."

He shakes himself, and is cheerful again. "Anyway, it's getting late. You should eat something less magical and more filling, and then sleep."

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"Fair enough." Then she giggles. "Oh dear, my father will be so annoyed that I disappeared."

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"Annoyed? Not worried?"

One might get the impression that the Hatter does not think highly of anyone whose first reaction to their child's disappearance is annoyance.

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"Oh he won't get worried at all, no."

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"Well. That's...probably good for him. I'd hate to think of your parents sitting at home thinking you dead or worse, when you're perfectly fine and discovering the wonders of grapes."

He leads her through to the kitchen and begins preparing a more substantial meal for the three of them.

"Now, the trick to eating Wonderland food without any unwanted changes is in the numbers. With grapes, it's easy: just eat a second one to reverse the change. With foods you can't eat in one bite, it gets a little harder, but the rule is still the same: even numbers of bites. Think you can remember that?"

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"My parents aren't because my mother is dead," she says approximately matter-of-factly. "And I can remember to only take even numbers of bites of everything but - shouldn't it be obvious? If something changes, I eat another bite of whatever."

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