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Jan 25, 2021 5:37 PM
Kappa and Maggie run a class at Mind Control University
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"...I..." He struggles with words for a moment, then sighs and shakes his head. "I don't know, which part do you want me to explain?"

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Shrug. 

"You looked like you wanted to talk about it." 

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"I guess I do. I—it's complicated. I guess the short version is—there's these... things, people, monsters, I don't know what, we call them the Endbringers, and every few months one of them will pick a city somewhere in the world and show up there and spend a while killing everyone in sight and then leave. And it's not really possible to... do anything about them. People fight them, and it helps, or at least it seems to, but they've never been hurt, just driven off. And... in a world like that, it's hard to ever really feel safe. I can protect people from a lot of things, but not from that."

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"And... the thing I do is, I find someone who's unhappy, and I offer to make them happy. And if they say yes, and they like it enough to stay with me, I keep them. It's—nice, having people around who—want me to make them feel things. But—unhappy people are usually unhappy for a reason. One of my people—the first one, the one I kept longest—when I met her she was trying to kill herself, and when she was with me she didn't want to anymore, and then—she said it felt too much like a lie, feeling safe and okay in a world where the Endbringers could just wipe you off the map anytime they want. So..." He trails off into an unhappy shrug.

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"I think what I want to do at this school is... find a place where she would've been okay, and move there. Or become someone who could've protected her the way she needed me to."

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"And you, I guess, want to become someone who can protect yourself."

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"...Yeah. Or. Find someone I can trust." 

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"...I'd protect you, if I could. If you wanted."

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"I--maybe. You sound trustworthy so far, but..."

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He shrugs. "Yeah. That's fair."

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"Thanks, though." 

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He smiles.

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She smiles hesitantly back at him. 

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He flops back down to snuggle his pillow some more.

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She lies down and closes her eyes. 

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Earlier, back in the orientation hall: 

Elodea shifts awkwardly. Students are explicitly not protected from each other. She bites her lip, glancing around, and finally strides forward and snatches a key off a hook that only has one. She doesn't really see how she can do better than random chance, not knowing anyone here. 

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The unfairly beautiful elf and his unfairly beautiful friend take a pair of associated keys at nearly the same time; they clearly know who to trust.

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Unnnnnnff.

They are unfairly pretty. If someone has to force themselves on her, which, sigh, talk about a good choice. Pity it's two a room. 

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One of them seems to have caught her looking.

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She flushes involuntarily and turns away, noting the room number on the hook she got her key from and gloomily wondering who's in that room. 

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They linger in the room as other students grab their keys and disperse. Soon there's no one left but the three of them.

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...Weird coincidence, or...?

(She hopes or.)

...Hesitantly, she turns to leave. 

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