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Succubi offer biomancy services for proper payment
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Myra is nothing but eager for this development.

That's how Friday evening goes.

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On Sunday afternoon, Myra texts him again:

"Slightly" sketchy friend who'd like to meet you. Do you read superhero stuff? He's kind of a mad scientist or inventor type. It's definitely A Thing, but like, a weak one. But he insists we both go to this self storage place to meet him instead of your or my or his home. This isn't the kind of sketchy I was trying to be vague and evasive about, different thing entirely. What do you think?

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Alex almost texts back:

Sure!

But then thinks on the sketchiness of it, and adds some qualifiers before sending

If you don't think they're being the potentially dangerous kind of sketchy, sure! do you know what kind of stuff they invent / mad science they do?

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We can still have our planned sesh~ You'll finish paying off the hair treatment and get well started on the next~

I don't really understand it but I think it's a lot of super-metals and weird magnets?? They have a floating robot. Also some antimagic handcuffs. Those were fun.

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I'll be looking forward to it!

Neat! And I'm now curious on what the difference between using antimagic handcuffs and just using regular ones and not using magic is like?

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It's not REALLY bondage unless I actually can't get out. So is that a yes or a no on the warehouse visit? I think it's fine. He's just a slightly to moderately paranoid weirdo. 

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Huh, it's neat learning the details of your kinks / what you care about with regards to them. 

and yes on the warehouse visit then!

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She texts an address. It's a self-store place in some kind of office or industrial park, well away from houses.

3pm? And back to your place after~

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Sure, to both~


And when the appointed time is getting close (but not close enough that he'd be late if he got lost on the way), Alex drives off to the address Myra gave, waits in his car until the time is getting closer and then walks the rest of the way to the self-store place.

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Myra meets him out front with her eyes looking more normal than usual and her more outlandish bits missing- Invisible, apparently, given the familiar feeling of a wing brushing against his side affectionately.

"So, my mad scientist friend is going by the name 'plasmatic'. I don't know if he... Has any plasma. I barely know what plasma is, admittedly. I think he's going to show off and try to make friends with someone who's not really a threat? Anyway, it's back here- Unit seven."

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Alex happily leans in against Myra's invisible wing and gives her a brief hug before following her to Unit seven.

"Watching a mad scientist show off sounds like it'll be fun!"

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Once they enter Unit Seven, which turns out to be a pretty big garage-sized room, the door shuts itself behind them and a curtain dividing off most of the room falls away.

Standing there in a confident pose and wearing a lot of metal doodads, many of which are glowing, is (presumably), Plasmatic. He's standing on a round metal platform of some sort, and the device on his chest is glowing brightly. Little trailers of lightning arc off of him. A hovering cuboid robot floats behind him, large metal pads on folded-up manipulator arms glowing softly.

"WELCOME! It is a delight to meet another who has seen BEYOND the boundaries of the ordinary, and importantly- Who won't try to control me."

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The drama in his voice vanishes all at once. He lowers his arms. Glowy things stop glowing.

"Welcome, welcome, one Alex, was it? And Miss Myra. Good afternoon! Thank you for indulging me in this out of the way spot. Drinks, snacks? Well, either way, I suspect you have some sort of potential, much like myself. I've channeled my genius into-"

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"-SCIENCE!!!-"

There is a crackling of lightning from the thing on his chestplate.

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"-However much Myra insists that it's actually magic. I don't even disagree, if you use 'magic' to mean 'esoteric capabilities that only some people are capable of'! Now, if Myra is bringing you on board- She did not say this but I can connect the dots- I think you are also a latent talent, of sorts, perhaps?"

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Alex is unreasonably tempted to applaud at Plasmatic's incredibly dramatic introduction but refrains out of uncertainty on how that might be interpreted and instead says. "Hihii yeah I'm Alex, it's nice to meet you Plasmatic! And I do have a bit of magic, though I don't really know how to use it for much due to having only discovered it a few days ago when I attempted demon summoning for the first time and got Myra, and uh having not attempted much other magic afterwards due to the main stuff I'd want to use magic for in the short/medium term could be more efficiently gotten by paying Myra in magical essence to do it then by slowly learning how to do it myself."

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"That just means you're an UNBIASED OBSERVER perfect for experimenting on!"

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Myra sighs. "Plas. Phrasing. 'Experimented on' implies invasive and dangerous procedures. Not the measuring stuff you mentioned."

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Alex gives Myra a brief hug when she sighs, "I'm fine with being experimented on if it's just measuring stuff?"

and turning to face Plasmatic as he says, "So what things did you have in mind to try and measure? or would some of them have been the type of thing it's better for the experimental subject to not is being tested because otherwise it'd bias the results?"

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"Some of them would, and some would not. We're not exactly going to get published in a peer reviewed journal here but the principle of bias still holds, yes! So I would rather not explain more than necessary until afterwards."

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"Got it! I shall wait until after the experiments are conducted to ask any questions about them."

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"Then LET US BEGIN!"

Plasmatic will have Alex stand (or sit, he doesn't care) in front of half a dozen different tubes and panels, and also put on a bracelet and headband and heart monitor sticker.

Plasmatic's tests include:

  • Asking Alex to think about various things, like magic and work and Myra and the color blue
  • Asking Alex to 'push' as if he was going to do a summoning ritual
  • Asking Alex to guess what shapes and colors are going to show up on a monitor before they actually do
  • Asking Alex to try to will himself to knock over a small house-of-cards (does not work)
  • Having Alex try to talk to him or Myra telepathically (does not work)
  • Having Alex try to figure out how a weird cube thing is supposed to work (he has no idea if he was right)
  • Having Alex try to consciously control his magic with a few different mental exercises (he can't tell if any of them did anything)
  • Asking Alex to read Myra's mind while she holds his hand. And then to repeat several of the other tests while she holds his hand.
  • Repeating the above tests with new configurations of devices arranged around him
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"It seems..." Plasmatic eventually concludes, "That I can measure magic flows with the correct arrangement. This is far, far from proper science, mind you, more a test than an experiment but I think at the very least my thaumic resonator can tell when you are attempting to do some sort of magic, as well as roughly how much energy is involved. Imaging is going to be painfully slow, either a large array of detectors or panning them over you... It's much clearer with you than me for some reason. Almost as if whatever magical potential I have is solid and structured, while yours is not..."

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(Myra plays with his palm and fingers occasionally. Is that distracting hand play part of the test? Who knows.)

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Alex will initially stand for the tests, but after they've been going on for a while, asks if he can switch to sitting or would switching mess up some of the results? and will try to do the various things Plasmatic asks for during the tests.

With his's attempts at guessing at what colors show up being occasionally correct, but not noticeably more often then random guessing would be, and his attempts at guessing shapes ends up worse then randomly-guessing-if-you-know-the-distribution, with a bias towards shapes he remembers the names of. And his attempts at reading Myra's mind straightforwardly fail as well. 

Repeating the tests while Myra continues to hold his hand does not result in changes to the results beyond Alex occasionally squirming and getting distracted when she plays with his fingers and palm (which he has no idea on whether she decided to do it on her own, or if she was directed to as part of the tests).

And when the tests finally conclude, Alex replies to the last thing Plasmatic said with.

"Completely wild speculation on my part but if that's the case maybe the unstructuredness of my magical potential would reflect some combination of : lack of it being natively specialized, it having been barely used yet, my own lack of training in how slash ability to use it for stuff, and yours being structured and solid would be from it being specialized to help you with inventing stuff and whichever other esoteric capabilities it helps you with?"

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