[MISC] Welcome To The School

Drew Nilium 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
> equations....


> 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
> presence.

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
> Powers.

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
> girls."

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.

Ohhhh, nice.

>       "If SecundaBlue doesn't get into Tertia this year, I might have to
> change my color," Karen frowned.  "That's bad luck."

Heeheehee. X3

>       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,
> Karen."
>       "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.

Awwwwwww. <3

>       "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.

Awwwww. :>

>       Mutters of "pink pink pink pink" or "bluuuuueee..." filled the practice
> field.

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
> uniform.
>       "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.

Awwwwwww. <3

>       "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

> I
> 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
> Quick,

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!

Heeheehee :3

> 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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