[MISC] Welcome To The School
pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri May 7 11:10:19 PDT 2021
Since Dave's been publishing new stuff in this world, I figured I'd go back and,
you know, actually read this. X3;
On 6/20/20 7:03 PM, Dave Van Domelen wrote:
> "Welcome To The School"
> copyright 2020 by Dave Van Domelen
> A Sources of Magic story
Ooooo, I wonder what that means.
> [Now, at The School, and in trouble]
An excellent opening caption.
> Not for the first or last time, I really regretted unlocking those
> Who knew that deeply contemplating 8-dimensional pure
> mathematics would turn out to be the key to magic?
yessssss <3.<3 Love that kind of shit
> No, this was very cool, and maybe someday I'd link enough stuff up to
> risk going public, but for now it made for one hell of a hobby. Might be
> worth sounding out a few of the people working in my field, though, see if
> any of them are secretly flying around too.
I love that idea. A hobbyist circle of flying mathematicians.
> Landing, I ran through some of the permutations I'd devised in the
> lattice. The real reason for this trip wasn't just to practice flying, it
> was to see what some of these other "spells" did.
> "A simple inversion should move everything except me...I hope."
Not what I would start with, but I admire the experimental spirit!
> I tossed the rock up as straight as I could, then focused again.
> It would have been nice if it had actually bounced, but the fact it
> veered sideways when it got close to me was still proof of concept. I had a
> defensive shield.
> "Relax, I'm not here to hurt you. But if you attempt any destructive
> magics, those who would come to hurt you will definitely pick up on your
Gasp! Magic cops???
> "More or less. I considered sending an owl, but that joke got old years
> ago. And I'm told it's a bit problematic, too.
Sadly so. @.@
> "Yes, my divinations...and googling...spoke true.
> You are definitely
> the model of an antisocial mathematician who uses sarcasm as a defense
> mechanism to keep from having to get too close to people. I'm afraid that
> you will need to unlearn some of your defense mechanisms if you're truly to
> master your new powers...it is in the nature of your magic to seek friendship
> and even love."
Ooooooh! Yesyesyes. :> Good stuff. <3 <3 <3
> "I wish I could. Thousands of years ago, maybe longer, something
> happened that locked away most of the magic in the world. Our best guess is
> that this was the price of preventing some horrible fate or binding up a
> terrible demon.
You know, standard stuff.
> "Of course. But it's like...do you know how to use a slide rule?"
> "Um, no. I mean, I could figure it out if I wanted to, but why?"
> "Once, in living memory, everyone in your field and related fields knew
> how to use them, and owned at least one. Now, nearly no one does. In
> another generation, there will be almost no one other than collectors who
> have them, and fewer who can use them. It didn't even require a memory-
> mangling calamity in that case. People who can use magic are far rarer than
> people who use slide rules, and many started off self-taught in both cases."
Very nice metaphor. <3
> "Your source of power doesn't lend itself to hyperfocus, unfortunately.
Not like mine, then.
> "Oh, your grandfather was certainly weird in a mundane way. No, until
> your breakthrough, as far as we knew there was one absolute fact about the
> expression of the inherited magical talent...."
> * * * *
> [Five days ago, at The School, location unknown to mundane ken]
> "A school for Magical Girls," I said, disbelievingly, for what must've
> been the thousandth time since the encounter in the forest. Inherited magic
> was only expressed in women, and almost always very young women. Girls.
> No, I wasn't XXY or a transman or anything like that. Boring cismale
> with no uncommon genetic tricks aside from, apparently, magic. They had a
> genetic test for that now, too, and confirmation came in today.
> I'd be
> talking to some Wizards later on, to see if there was anything at all about
> my hyperlattice that was magical, but the admissions people at The School
> suspected that it was less the details about my mathematics and more that I
> was in the correct state of mind at the time to unlock my...Magical Girl
Veeeeery interesting. <3
> "But since you obviously don't need most of the non-magical courses...
> you might want to sit in on some of the Secret History classes...that leaves
> you at loose ends most of the day. And we may be magical, but we're not
> miraculous...there's still paperwork and regulations. It's WAY easier to
> 'hire' you as a math instructor and let you sit in on the magic classes than
> to try to change all the red tape that assumes all students enroll as preteen
You know, makes sense. X3
> Grant stopped as we got inside the foyer. "The magical life is always
> optional. Never forget that. We're not stealing children and turning them
> into an army, we're helping them learn to protect themselves.
Very good. <3
> "Move...the school?" I blinked. I think I blinked audibly, like a
> cartoon character.
> To their credit, none of the girls asked anything adorably mortifying
> like, "How come he's a Magical Girl if he isn't a girl?"
> Prima was all the first year students, regardless of age.
> Sometimes there were teenagers in Prima, but this batch all looked to be
> elementary school kids.
> "If SecundaBlue doesn't get into Tertia this year, I might have to
> change my color," Karen frowned. "That's bad luck."
> Miss Vermillion smiled and shook her head. "Yoriko is coming along
> nicely, I'm sure the SecundaBlue slot will be open when you're ready for it,
> "But she's sooooo bad in the classes we're in together," Karen
> grumbled. I sympathized...being held back by classmates was an all too
> frequent part of my own gradeschool experience.
> "What's your color?" a girl with pink ribbons in her hair asked me.
> "Gray, like my name."
> Before the dubious expressions of the class could erupt into objections,
> Miss Vermillion added, "Because his situation is quite unusual, we felt he
> might not resonate with any of the traditional Colors. But he does resonate
> with his own name, which is sort of a color, so the Sorting Committee decided
> he would be PrimaGray.
Nicenicenice! I love that. :>
> I had strong suspicions that the art teacher on the committee had pushed
> hard for my codename too, for the pun value. Primer Gray indeed.
> "Sometimes mocked with terms like 'Care Bear Stare,' you shouldn't put
> it down...what you're doing is lending your strength to a teammate so that
> their magic is stronger. You will all eventually choose one or more
> specialties, very few Magical Girls are good at everything, just like no one
> is good at all mundane skills. But you can still help out at any task by
> using Support Magic to help your teammate do what she...or he...does best."
YEAH!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
> "Okay, make sure you're all spaced out enough," Miss Vermillion gestured
> at spots marked on the field. I tried to ignore the ominous scorch marks
> here and there. Especially the ones I'd been responsible for.
> Summoning our uniforms externalized our magical
> power in a rather intense light show...but energy is energy, and it could get
> out of hand at times. They don't usually show Glitter Green detonating
> nearby cars when she transforms.
> At first you get tired quickly, but
> with exercise comes endurance. You don't realize you can walk for hours
> until you do it," she gave me a little grin. Apparently everyone on staff
> knew I'd hiked out to the middle of nowhere the day I got recruited.
> Mutters of "pink pink pink pink" or "bluuuuueee..." filled the practice
Heeheeheehee X3 <3 Adorable!!! <3
> "No!" Vermillion shouted, looking up. I followed her gaze, and saw
> several distant winged figures. "Everyone, this is what the drills are for.
> FORCE TRANSFORM!" she gestured with her sceptre and suddenly we were all in
> "Ow," I winced. It felt like someone had forcibly shoved me into a
> tuxedo, and some of the girls actually cried out.
Ooooooh, neat. :o
> "Almost never!" she replied frantically. "Either someone got lucky and
> found a flaw in the shields, or we have a...not your problem. SHIMMER
> VERMILLION!" she shouted, transforming into an absolutely no-nonsense combat
> rig that bore very little resemblance to the frilly outfits of my fellow
> Primas. It was more like something Tony Stark would invent, but without a
> full helmet. The little skull clip holding her hair back into a ponytail was
> a touch disturbing, though.
:3 Nice nice.
> And that brings us back to the present, with what I can only assume is
> hellfire raining down at random, combined with rainbow colored friendly fire.
> They weren't kidding about not building a magical army here, there was no
> real unit discipline...just a lot of Magical "Girls" ranging from about my
> age to positively grandmotherly mixing it up in aerial combat with what I
> guess were demons. I'd read that they did monthly faculty combat training,
> but like any "weekend warriors" it only went so far.
I appreciate that!
> "Oh, we were out in it, all right. But PrimaPink and PrimaGreen here
> are very good at Support Magic, and they let my sh...not very good shield
> spell stand up to a couple of stray shots, including some rather un-friendly
> friendly fire," I tried to smile reassuringly.
> "Oh, regular drills. Plus we tend to use them during promotion exams,
> just in case someone tries a spell too powerful to control. We lost part of
> the old gymnasium that way a year after I got here. But actual attacks?
> Never saw one myself. I looked it up, the last time anything hostile got
> inside was 1958, and that was a scrying spell that formed a pathway for the
> thing it was observing."
> "Well, can I hope that my second week will be boring by comparison?" I
> smiled wanly.
> "DON'T JINX IT!" several Tertias and Primas shouted all at once.
X3 <3 <3 <3
> Yes, "...Hope You Survive The Experience!" is the implied subtitle to
> this story.
> This started as a dream, in which I was the viewpoint character.
Oh, love it!
> Also, I distinctly recall
> saying to the elementary math teacher showing me the large lecture halls that
> while I didn't think much of their pedagogy, at least they tried to cover
> regular classes and it wasn't "some Harry Potter ****." Yes, in addition to
> all the other "JKR is problematic as hell" stuff going around lately, I also
> find her vision of Hogwarts to be deeply offensive on a PROFESSIONAL level.
Yeah, that sounds right. X3
> Disclaimer, most of what I know about the Magical Girl genre is second
> and third hand, from social media posts (meme-heavy), some inspired-by
> stories (Princess Holy Aura by Ryk Spoor, Jade Street Protection Agency from
> Black Mask), skimming the Glitter Hearts TTRPG, and watching maybe eight
> episodes of the "Glitter Force" translation of one season of Precure (which I
> am informed is an injoke heavy partial deconstruction of Precure in a similar
> way to how Power Ranger RPM treated the super sentai genre).
Huh, interesting, I didn't know that. :o But, as someone with a lot of direct
experience, this feels good. <3
> Ms. Cerulean doesn't have any particular inspiration other than "the
> brainy one" (I think the blue magical girl tends to be the smart one, but I
> may be wrong)
Definitely a thing. <3
> Miss Vermillion was definitely on one of the secret Sailor Scout or
> Pretty Cure teams after graduation. Her inspiration is "What of Yokho from
> Gurren Lagann was in a magical girl show instead of a super robot shot?"
Niiiiiiice. :D :D :D
> resisted the temptation to have him know too many SF/comics references that I
> know, so passed up a few opportunities to do so in the story (such as Johnny
I was *absolutely* thinking of Johnny Quick.
> I tried to avoid real math terminology, but I might have
> accidentally jargoned together some actual things people in Pure Math work
> on, for which I apologize.
I didn't notice anything?
> Anyway, getting this written got most of my thoughts on the topic out
> onto the screen. It had better have, given how much exposition there is!
> While no one
> brought it up on screen, Wizards aren't exclusively male, but it's like STEM
> fields...traditionally male-dominated. A few generations ago, female Wizards
> were assumed to be weird Magical Girls, but they're gaining more respect and
> recognition now, especially since they test negative for the Magical Girl
> Gene. (Yes, this is still a sore point in the magical community. For the
> longest time it was assumed there was a hard gender divide, like in Molly
> Ostertag's Witch Boy series. Mark isn't the first to challenge that in
> general, but he is the first to do so from the Magical Girl side.)
Yessssss goodgoodgood. <3 <3 <3
Drew "catching up on the good shit" Nilium
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