Oct 16, 2021 1:04 PM
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"...What do you think we should do with her? I imagine she's not going to leave Milliways until she's come up with something better than what she previously had, but...even if she was handling it badly, I'm still not comfortable just throwing her back into whatever broke her."

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"I don't know. I don't think I dare leave through somebody else's door myself, considering, or I might help if it seemed like something I could manage..."

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"If she stabilizes enough to get a good read on and the read is promising sending her through my door like we did with you might be a good idea. There isn't even an enraged supervillain on the other side this time."

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"Yeah. And if that works and she needs a lot of oomph I could get her an evil furball, although it's anyone's guess if she'd get the spell to sustain herself in my cheaty fashion without witches..."

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"Depending on how long you're interested in staying to help she could probably get it before it would be a problem that she didn't have it even if she didn't get it to start. ...Although...maybe it would be a good idea to chuck her through my door now, if she agrees to it. Take advantage of the personal achievement boosts from figuring out how to put herself back together." She nibbles her lip. "It's a gamble, if it turns out she puts herself back together badly and then she has this power, but it could have a high payoff if it worked out."

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"Security can take her if it has to but that's a short term solution..."

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"Yeah...I mean, it's unlikely that she's going to come out of this doing something worse than what she was already doing. I, uh," she winces. "I got a look at what she could do when she checked my sincerity. She...was actually showing nonzero restraint. Not that this excuses what she did, but..."

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"Do I want to know what she was restraining herself from...?"

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"Short version is that her mindreading can be pretty selective and she was mostly refraining from touching anything that she didn't feel she absolutely needed to."

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"What's in that category?"

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"I'm not really sure how to explain it. Basically, um...intentions? Motivations? What do you want to do in relation to me and mine and why. That's not quite comprehensively it, but that's most of it."

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"Still intrusive but at least it wasn't comprehensively looking at everything..."

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"Mhm. Like I said, not saying it was okay. But."

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After another minute, Rogue Edie gets up. She looks Cerebella in the eye, and they stand there for a little while, just (apparently) staring at each other.

"...Okay," Cerebella murmurs to Bella after a bit, "so, she's less, um, repentant than I had guessed, possibly to preserve what's left of her sanity, but she's perfectly willing to never do that again if I make her my kind of magical girl because if she works hard and manages to come up with a resurrection spell it is theoretically okay for anything to be okay ever again, basically. Also that kind of communication felt a little like the fluff's, but more...comprehensive."
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"Like the fluff's? In what way is it like fluff telepathy?"

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"In terms of...sensation? Like how if you stick your hand in a bucket of water and then you stick your hand in a bucket of, I dunno, milkshake, it's really different but also there's a unifying feature of wet?"

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"Okay..."

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"They're both telepathy-flavored. I dunno, I'm just thinking about how the fluff telepathy felt weirdly natural and this felt more natural and less weird. Possibly because, warped or not, she's a one of me."

She addresses her alt. "No offense, but so far our only interactions--on that level--were under your control. If you want me to decide to throw you at even more power than whatever it is you have--well, there's an obvious thing that it would be a touch hypocritical to object to, but of course you do, regardless, have the right to withhold consent."
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Bella snorts slightly.

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"You're clearly not a mutant, much less a telepath, so I wouldn't say it's obvious," she says, "but no, I do not in fact care, go right ahead."

"Mmkay." Mind Mirror! She steps inside.

"...I'm sorry," the other one offers after a moment. "I was. Um. I shouldn't have even tried and I'm sorry."
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"I'm sure you are, right now in this nice safe environment with an alt to telepath at. I'm worried about what happens when you go home."

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"I wasn't doing it because I wanted to. I'm--I'm not saying that makes it okay, but I was a traumatized teenager making terrible choices because trauma, not--a mustache-twirling villain who'd keep on doing it even if--" she glances worriedly at the mirror. "That's why I want more options."

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"I'm going to leave it up to her whether to give you her kind of magic because she knows more about it on two counts."

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