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May 11, 2021 9:35 AM
summer camp!
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"Sounds good!"

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Then she can try climbing things with the same belaying setup as everyone else!

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Karen is totally capable of doing this and diligently follows all rules given to her.

Climbing is a lot easier than it used to be. Admittedly the last time she gave it a serious try she was like nine and got yelled at for trying to climb trees with a skirt on, but still.

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There are additional challenge courses for kids who've gotten competent with the regular course. There are additional even-more-challenge courses beyond that.

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Oooh.

When she's got the rules down she would like to try the challenge courses. And the even-more-challenge courses. She'll do them all in order, but she does want to just keep going until she gets stuck.

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She probably won't get stuck. Her belayer looks delighted. "Tomorrow we can drive out to the mountains. I'm sorry there's not enough time to do that today."

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"No no it's cool! I mean we have lots of time."

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"We do! But it took us this long to poach you from the survival classes, I want to make sure we make the most of it."

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"This makes sense. Tomorrow, then."

That is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of two out of three. She writes a long report that night to Wishbone about her various quests, and also things about summer camp that suck and things that are mostly OK. She is beginning to suspect that it's a better use of everyone's time to write super-long letters to Wishbone and not inflict super-long letters on Alex and Azalea, even though she misses both of them kind of a lot.

Also she has to check how Trace is doing. Because Trace is important and her friend and stuff. "Classes go OK today?"

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"In survival we actually just hiked into town and got milkshakes, it was pretty good. I know some ways to tell if people are possessed by demons, now. There's really way too many things that can possess you. How's climbing?"

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"Pretty good! I have graduated from all of the courses and so tomorrow we are going to the mountains. How do you tell if people are possessed by demons? Besides eating people, I think eating people is typically best taken as a warning sign."

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"Uh, changed memories or personalities, inhuman strength, fainting, jolty weird movement..." A notebook shuffles. "Ethros demons leave this residue around the foundations of any building they spend a lot of time in, Sluks are incredibly thirsty all the time and make you drink, like, gallons and gallons of water, Haxil demon babies mindcontrol the women pregnant with them..."

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"Eugh." She looks over notes and copies them.

She doesn't have a hard time sleeping that night. Tomorrow she's ready to go to the mountains.

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There's a big cliff face with hooks in it for advanced climbers; her instructor talks her through the safe route to the top. "This takes even experienced climbers a couple of hours, typically; I don't know how quickly to expect it to go for you, and it's wise to stop if you get too tired."

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"OK!"

 

She remembers being really tired just before Billy woke up. She thought, at one point, that she might collapse in the snow. That was after climbing up a mountain for several hours, barefoot. It was after breaking one of her hands on the ugly man. It was after carrying Billy all the way back down the same mountain, again without shoes. At the end of that, yeah, she was something in the neighborhood of exhausted, though she's not sure whether it even counts if your body is literally freezing as you move it.

Apart from that? She doesn't actually remember having been purely physically tired out by anything since before she became the Slayer.

She doesn't want to show off or take any undue risks, so she doesn't optimize for speed. She reaches the top in just under two hours.

She's not tired.

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They drive up behind her. "Wow, that was impressive! Did you have fun out there?"

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"Yeah! It was neat. It was very, like, I was doing something that I had to put a little bit of effort into? But I had the effort. So it was nice."

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"Cool! There's, uh, other courses designed for humans at that skill level out here, but there aren't really harder ones. So I guess we'll just drive you out to those, as often as you'd like to do them."

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"OK! Maybe I can try going a little faster next time, or something."

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"If you'd like. We can also think about a curriculum for less secured climbing - up walls or around buildings or something - but I'd need to consult with some people, I don't want to assume that just because you're supernaturally good at this it wouldn't be as dangerous for you to fall off a roof as anyone."

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"I think it's a little less dangerous." Citation: one time a fake magic silmaril spat her out of hell like thirty feet above the ground, and she managed to walk away from the impact. "But I can also definitely be hurt by stuff, so it makes sense to want to be really sure."

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"I mean, ultimately it's your call. If we don't throw anything dangerous at you and you're doing it for the first time in an emergency, that's no good either. Boot camp is a bit dangerous. But - well, you haven't enlisted, you're a kid, for one thing, and secondly, we know how dangerous it is. I think my big hesitation right now is that I'm not super sure how dangerous various stuff is."

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"That makes sense. Is there, uh, freeclimbing stuff we can do not very far off the ground? I kinda feel like endurance is not gonna be the sticking point, so maybe it's not as important to practice long climbs as it might be otherwise?"

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"Absolutely!"

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"OK! Looking forward to it."

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