May 11, 2021 10:47 AM
slayer karen confesses killing vampires to priest!macalaure
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"Your school has a lotta vacancies."

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"Yes. I think they're about half deaths and about half people who decided to get going while the going was good. Have you seen the death numbers for Sunnydale High students and teachers? They're even more appalling than the numbers for the rest of the town."

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"Is there more stuff lurking around the school, do you know?"

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"Probably. I feel like there's gotta be. Nobody keeps official records on just the school, but I told the school paper that I maybe wanted to join and asked them if I could look through old copies for examples of good writing. They've been running an obituary section for the past seven years, and if you compare the deaths there with the information on the murders in the Sunnydale Herald - aside from just the sheer number, a lot of them have been killed in really weird ways, things that don't sound like vampire attacks."

She frowns. "I wonder if the Hellmouth's near the school. If Hellmouths are even things that have locations that are that specific."

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"I think they do, yeah. Man, why do kids keep going to a school with an obituary section of the paper?"

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"It's very mysterious. I am sort of confused about how nobody seems to have... noticed. Or, like, there are people who have noticed, but how nobody says anything. I think the police are doing coverups, but you'd think at some point that would just.... stop working?"

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"You'd think, yeah."

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Another sigh. "Is there an answer, is it magic or something?"

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"I haven't looked into a Hellmouth in particular before, but if you compare witness reports when a nonhuman-looking demon charges through a crowded plaza to witness reports when a human wearing a rubber mask charges through a crowded plaza, people are much better at identifying the attributes of the mask and much less likely to say the masked person was a normal-looking guy. So there's something at play."

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"Huh. So I guess it's probably some combination of magical influence and not wanting to be the one to say that the Emperor has no clothes. But there's clearly some level of evidence that you can give people to make them realize that something weird is going on."

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"Yeah. And the government does know, though I don't know what precisely they're doing or which many people I mean when I say 'the government'. 

If it were up to me I'd tell everyone. Let them protect themselves."

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"Yeah. Though I guess if everyone knew it could escalate to just - open warfare, if not just mass panic. Which I guess could be better than the status quo, if it changed things enough. But the word from on high is 'not right now'?"

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"The problem with specializing in stabbing is that other people do all the international policy stuff. And yeah, they say not now."

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"Makes sense. I would probably not be any good at international policy stuff. I will keep this in mind when deciding what to write for the school paper."

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"I'd be awful at it but on the other hand when I leave it to other people they always make decisions I disagree with." He pulls up in front of her house.

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She knocks on the door; the door opens.

"Hi! Sorry we're late, there was a - thing. At the school."

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"A thing?"

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"The gym teacher got eaten."

She heads inside and runs upstairs to change her clothes, rather than staying to answer questions about that.

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Azalea lets her pass. She raises her eyebrows at Alex and pointedly neglects to invite him in.

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He comes in anyway. "You must be Karen's sister! I'm Alex."

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"Azalea. What's this about the gym teacher?"

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"Eaten by a Kulaxa demon."

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"Mhmm. What is that."

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"Clawed, slimy, not thought to be sentient, dead now."

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"I see," says Azalea, although she really thinks she probably doesn't. "Dining room's in there. Your brother was on time."

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