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A shared world for story telling.

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Shadows [24 Feb 2007|07:20pm]

[ mood | curious ]

So I've decided to [try to] revitalize our Shared Ficton. Please suspend your disbelief.

I think the reason it dried up was trying to write the same story (but who knows, maybe people just got bored). SO:

Rather than write a whole story, I think that's something best done solitaire, I think shared_ficton should be more like, say, resource material for a shared multiverse.

To that end, I'm proposing, to all interested members, that we contribute a world, some of the inhabitants of that world, a few world-travelling characters, mix and match as necessary. It was the "shadow contributions" from kalivor's old PBeM game as inspired me.

Note: part of me is thinking of Amber-ish spinnoffs from this; I have no real objection to that, but neither do I really want Corwin or Caine wandering through the story arc. Tom Cruise with a beard, though, that's cool.

So there's my challenge. Come up with a world, detailed or glossed over, and a few people what live in it.

I think I may cheat and use some of my disappeared Amber characters as thinly-veiled World Walkers. I miss Markus.

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[19 Jul 2005|08:06pm]

chthonic (THONE-ik), adjective:
dwelling in or under the earth; also, pertaining to the underworld

"Driven by dæmonic, chthonic Powers." --T.S. Eliot

"The chthonic divinity was essentially a god of the regions under the earth; at first of the dark home of the seed, later on of the still darker home of the dead." --C. F. Keary

"The chthonic imagery of Norine's apartment, which..was black as a coalhole and heated by the furnace of the hostess' unslaked desires." --M. McCarthy

"Two great and contrasted forms of ritual: the Olympian and the Chthonic, the one a ritual of cheerful character, the other a ritual of gloom, and fostering superstition."

ALSO:(from Greek
χθονιος-pertaining to the earth; earthy)
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My Portal Story [12 Jul 2005|12:59pm]

PORTALSCollapse )
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Pez's Untitled Story [13 May 2005|03:02pm]

Pez StoryCollapse )
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Job Security by Sean the Bastard [09 May 2005|11:15pm]

Warning: Contains icky things of a not-nice nature. Like child abuse and such. Don't read if this kind of thing is likely to upset you enough to hate me.Collapse )
This story is about the Boogeyman. For those of you that don't know about the Boogeyman he is in the business of fear. This story mostly reflects things I fear, namely child abuse and the destruction of innocence by those people who are charged to protect it. This is not an excuse for the graphic things depicted above, just an explanation of where my mind was when I wrote this.
X-Posted to my journal.
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Project? [09 May 2005|11:06pm]

[ mood | creative ]

I have noticed that the Shared Fiction community is somewhat dead of late. So I have a project that you can all participate in or not, whichever makes you most happy.
It is simply this, instead of all writing in a shared world, which is a neat idea but I find a little contraining, we all write on a common theme. So I have written a short story which I will soon post. It is entitled Job Security, and is written to be put into an Anthology that I've been thinking about for awhile. The subject of the Anthology is: The Boogeyman. I figure that it is something almost everyone was scared of at some point, and is something we are all at least a little knowledgeable in. I also know that besides my own story Al has written one that she gave me as a gift a few years back (remember that Al?). So there, I already have two entries. Now I challenge you to give me more.
Horror, comedy, action, non-fiction, essays, Hell even a romance. A straight out story about a Boogeyman (or Boogeymen), or something a little more Twilight Zoney. What do you say?
X-Posted to my own journal.

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Briefs/Musings/Horror Stories [28 Jan 2005|02:53pm]

(I can't seem to write anything substantial lately, and any one of these may be inappropriate, let me know if you think so)

Strawberry Fields
The little yellow schoolbus turned that last familiar curve, and Kaylee Marie grinned joyfully. School was done, school was dumb, the sun was shining and she had so much energy left to spend. Which isn’t to say she didn’t try at school, but her antics turned her teacher from the wonderful friendly lady she’d met on day one, to a horrible yelling, punishing monster. She pictured Miss Bailey with green scales and glowing laser eyes in her head, and laughed out loud, as the bus came to a stop. She left the bus and started down the driveway, each side lined haphazardly with evergreens and shrubs, to the little white house her mum kept spotless. She banged on the window, leaving her Power Puff Girls backpack on the porch and took off into the rolling hills that surrounded the house. She was a fairy princess, a sly kitty, a space astronaut, and a dancing butterfly. She inhaled the scents of the wildflowers that grew in the fields, and smelled the delicious aroma of strawberries. There weren’t any around that she knew of, but she followed her nose to where the scent intensified, and discovered a shimmering pinkish light, on the other side of the hill she had climbed. She moved closer and the aroma enveloped her, and she was giddy with delight. The light pulled and pushed at her, and finally drew her in, to a world of aromatic phenols, and very little oxygen.

The Pool
Dirk Janson had had enough. For the last month or so, he couldn’t maintain his pool at all. He’d added massive levels of chlorine, cleared the debris daily, and he finally had a service come in to analyze his water. Salt water, they said, like you’d find in an ocean. They even pulled a lionfish out of the pool that day.
“One of your buddies is pulling a pretty good prank on you,” they said, laughing, and told him to have the pool emptied before trying to clean it again.
He did, but within a week, his pool was heavily salted again, and he couldn’t understand how. He set up cameras around his pool, began to threaten friends and family. His blood pressure shot up. He caught nothing on tape, but more and more odd debris ended up in his pool, including a single shoe, two empty beer bottles, bit of shells and coral, and the odd fish. He drained his pool and refused to refill it. In a couple days it was full again. He forbid his family to use the pool, an unpopular decision. He came home from work several times to see bathing suits on the deck, evidence that his rule was being disobeyed. He lost his temper, time and again, his friends and coworkers became distant and uneasy around him.
He was found by his kids, slumped on the deck in the sunshine, dead of a heart attack. Their mother’s bloated, mangled body floated in the water, and an eight foot tiger shark swam cramped circles in the pool.

Haggah Merai didn’t speak English. In fact, English was a foreign concept to her, and to the other denizens of the world she lived in. Her people were a lean and agile race, with the potentially unfortunate visage of earth gibbons. They were intellectual and curious and had pioneered great advances in technology and exploration in the last 1000 years and were beginning to explore the stars in earnest. Haggah had failed out of her educational program, her dreams of leading a ship of scientists into space crushed, and her subsequent depression swallowing her life, day by day. She managed a meager career in environmental regulation, and never imagined that one day, she would lead a team in exploring a strange phenomenon that opened her worlds borders to that of a strange place called Earth, from the very soil she tread daily.
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Did I post this week yet? Well, here it is if not. [28 Jan 2005|11:45am]

The sun was streaming in, almost blinding him as he sat at his terminal. The curtains never quite closed, leaving a vertical strip of light that was just at the wrong angle. He leaned closer to his monitor and tried to shield his eyes with a piece of paper as he read the news.
The headlines exclaimed in loud fonts:
"Witnesses Report Strange Glow From 'Portal' over Transamerica Pyramid"

Shaking his head, Richard mutters about tabloids leaking into his webfeeds, and then re-reads the articles. One mentions a group of cultists that were gathering a block away from the 'disturbance', another of a man who somehow navigated through the police line for a closer look. His name was Jonathon Malley, and his was quoted as saying "I could hear... they were calling me... coming from the other side". Malley was led away by police and was being held for questioning.
Richard clicks his browser closed and sits back with a sigh. The beam of sunlight has moved slightly; forty-five minutes have passed. There is a knock on his door, and then Samson from Marketing pokes his head in. He's carrying a copy of today's New Amsterdam Times. The headline reads "OUT OF THIS WORLD!"
"Didja read the paper today, Rick?" Samson displays the front cover, turns it over and begins to read.
"'Dr. Jeffery O'Donnel, a professor at CalTech, said that a gateway between worlds was not as far-fetched as it seems. 'Any amount of matter perturbs the space and time around it -- just a little. The Earth bends space-time, giving us the sensation of weight. The Sun bends the space-time around it, causing the Earth's revolution about it.' While the phenomenon some have called a 'portal' does not seem to have any gravity associated with it, O'Donnel does not rule out the possibility that it could be a 'wormhole' to another point in our universe, perhaps in another galaxy. 'We simply don't know enough about the phenomenon to be able to say what it is. I think it's premature to conclude that we're dealing with a gateway to another world.' But outside the scientific community, a large number of 'true believers' are demanding access to the portal, which they claim has been 'opened by God to allow the faithful to depart the corruption of this world'. Bartholomew Hanks, representative of the cult calling themselves "Earthly Redemption", explained how his group was petitioning the city of San Francisco to build a church on the site of the portal--"
"Frank..." Richard interrupts, holding his hand as though to banish story, newspaper and possibly the entire department of Marketing. "Frank, I've been reading this shit all day. Look, it's gotta be some kind of hoax or something. It's just a joke that's gone way past being funny."
"But Rick, those scientists that are studying it -- they're getting readings like nothing they've seen before." Samson flips pages, looking for absolute proof within the pulp and ink of the Times.
"Frank... I've got work to do. I'll talk to you later." Richard turns back to his monitor, ignoring Samson with all the fervor he can muster.
"Alright, Rick... I'll come get you for lunch."
"Sure." Richard sighs as the door clicks shut. He rubs his neck, stretches briefly, and begins his working morning.

Lunchtime finds Rick patiently listening to a conversation between three of his co-workers. Samson is gesticulating wildly with his increasingly battered copy of the Times, nearly upsetting Susan's waterglass. Susan worked in Marketing, too, but was much better dressed than her animated boss. She was also listening with an air of amusement curling her mouth into a small half-smile.
"But Frank," Sylvia interrupted Samson in mid-rant. "All that's been proven conclusively is that there's a big glow in the sky over San Fransisco. That and big glowing things tend to freak people out."
"As you're demonstrating perfectly," added Richard dryly. "Seriously, I think that by next week this whole thing will be over, and the ones responsible for it will make a laughingstock of the entire 'scientific community'."
Samson, sensing his momentum being slowed by opposing forces, turns about for support. "Well, what do *you* think, Susan?"
Susan's smile increases fractionally. She arches her eyebrows, looking across at Richard. "Honestly, Frank, I don't think it's a hoax. I don't know what it is, but I think it's real."
Samson, vindicated at last, beams triumphantly at Rick. "See? No one knows! That's the exciting part. I think it's real, or else how would the scientists..."
"Frank, have you ever talked to scientists? Most of them are so far up their own asses that they see everything in terms of their particular research. This isn't the first time they've had the wool pulled over their eyes by someone cleverer than they are, and it won't be the last."
"You have to at least admit that a wormhole between points in space-"
"Frank, if you don't cram it with the general relativity soon, I'm going to warp *your* space-time so that you *are* up your own ass." This gets a giggle from Sylvia and half an eyebrow from Susan, while Frank's jaw hangs open wordlessly. "I'm telling you, there's no such thing as portals between worlds. Wouldn't we have noticed by now if there were?"
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On the topic of practice/preaching... [22 Jan 2005|11:39pm]

my latest contribution:

Character sketch

Deacon Krumes, the Chelsea Bachelor.

Deacon occurred to me outside an apartment buliding I biked past several times in Victoria, the Chelsea, advertising a bachelor apartment. It got me wondering who the recently departed Chelsea bachelor might be... and came upon the balding middle aged Deacon.

Mr Krumes has occupied the same desk job at a local accounting firm for the last twenty years. He is thoroughly convinced that his mediocre job suits his mediocre life and consequently does not seek to better himself. His apartment is decorated in a faded red patterned wallpaper, the exact colour of long-dead passion. He suffers a slight bronchial disorder, and is losing his hair to entropy (or possible Entropic mages living next door, who knows). He does not often speak, generally absorbed in his own interal monologue, and when he does he hesitates and stammers, often speaking in a rush, as if in a hurry to be done with the business of communicating with another human. He has a habit of muttering under his breath to no one in particular (at least, no one visible).

I had planned Deacon for a story of my own, in which he becomes increasingly entangled in the affairs of modern day alchemists. I've sketched some of those persons as well, including a first encounter with a wealthy patron of alchemy, and a doctor of medicine who will not even entertain Deacon's far-fetched notions involving a young girl cured of a terminal brain tumour.
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[22 Jan 2005|01:29pm]

[ mood | determined ]


As I understand it, people stopped posting because they were working on "the big picture", not wanting to post story fragments until they got it all together.

The way I understand the function of this community is not for published work. We're friends, not editors, and the whole idea of sharing your work is to build a world in common.

I had been toying with the idea of starting a campaign; however in my heart of hearts I know this will not happen, mostly owing to the difficulties associated with getting people to share neighbouring points in the space-time continuum.

Thus, I think that rather than GM, I'd like to take over the role of kicking people's asses and getting them to post to http://www.livejournal.com/community/shared_ficton/ at least once per week.

Who is in? Who is out? Is it the frequency that takes you out? What if I said once per month.

What if I pointed out that StB wrote 50,000 words in *under* a month?

This is a project I don't want to see die the ignominious death of so many other of our online projects/games, and I'm prepared to kick people's asses over it.


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[Meta] New Thread [02 Nov 2004|09:44am]

In an effort to get other people somewhat motivated, I'm going to propose another little writing exercise.

Everyone detail a character sketch (not hard; I know role-players, and we're always trying to make up new characters).
A little background, not exhaustive. You can do point form notes, an intro scene revealing some of their quirks, etc.

The catch: you can't use this character in any of your stories.

Anyone else can, however.
So now we have seven characters, all freely useable in whatever scene we need them in.

We can do the same thing with places, etc, but I think this is good place to start.

What can I say, I'm inspired this morning.
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Beginning of a labyrinth... [02 Nov 2004|09:27am]

Jonathon Malley looked up at the knock on his door.

He set down his battered copy of Borges' Garden of Forking Paths and went to the spyhole. He saw three women standing in the hall, waiting patiently. They looked up at him as the door opened.

He stood blocking the entrance, arms crossed. The woman directly in front of him was young, perhaps in her early twenties, with long golden hair and piercing blue eyes. She wore a skirt and jacket, and carried a briefcase. The other two flanked her, a middle-aged woman wearing brown and red smiling benignly at him, and a wrinkled matriarch whose grey eyes held no warmth at all.

"Uh -- can I help you, ladies?"
At that, all three seemed to share an inside joke, the old woman in black laughing hoarsely. "Ladies! Feh!"

"It's not such much you helping us, as we helping you, laddie" said the brown-haired woman.

Jonathon glanced between his strange callers. "Uh... you're not from the church, trying to save my soul, are you?"

The three women chimed into laughter again, the sound strangely discordent in his ears.
"No," said the blonde. "Not from the church."
"Though your soul may indeed be in danger." The old woman cleared her throat noisily.

"Uh... sure. Look, I'm sure you've got several more people in the building you can talk to, so I-"

The large woman in red stepped closer to him, looking directly into his eyes... or maybe deeper. Jonathon felt the pull of those eyes, much older than the face containing them. "We're not here to sell religion, sonny my lad. We're here to give you a message, and you'd do well to heed it."

"Feh! He's deaf to our voices. We should have sent someone else."
"He can be brought around," said the shapely blonde. "Can't you, Jonathon?"

"Uhhh..." Jonathon was utterly perplexed. Rationally, he thought, he should just close the door and do his best to forget this strange encounter. But there was something in their eyes that suggested that might be a dangerous action.

"Jonathon, my dove, listen to us carefully: this is your only chance to set things right."

"He has another; but he'll like it less than us!"

"Let's not mention him, dear. Jonathon," the blonde turned the full force of her eyes on him, blue as the sky, deep as the sea. "You must pay close attention to everything that happens to you, however trivial it might seem at the time. In a time like this, every action counts."

"A time like this?" Jonathon repeated.

"A nexus in time, chicken. Very dangerous for everyone."

"Especially those caught in the centre of it," laughed the old woman.

"I don't -- what is this about? Why are you telling me this?"

"Your time is near, boy."
"Time to choose."
"Time to leave."
"Look out the window if you don't believe us."

"Uh... what? What's going on?" Jonathon turned his back on the three and glanced out his window. What he saw made his jaw drop open. He crossed his living room in three long strides.

Somebody pick it up from here. The next turning in the labyrinth is yours.
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[Meta] More Thoughts on Writing. [02 Nov 2004|08:13am]

Here's a thought. Just found a literary definition of "magical realism" here.
More or less my take on this little (non-)project.

Also, most of us are *not* doing (I forget the acronym that means you're trying to write a novel during November) -- none of alone can come up with 50 000 words -- but combined, perhaps.

If everyone does like 500 words twice a week, that's 5000 words apiece. That's a realizable goal, and it would actually mean we WRITE something instead of saying we will.

Sound like a good idea to anyone else?

In other news, I think I'm going to try and create a few characters and places that can be shared in common.
BTW, if anyone else likes that Lighthouse I wrote up a while ago, you go for it.
I'm kinda going for establishing a backstory, specifically on modern-day researchers of Atlantis getting caught up in the whole portal thing as the ones that made the Atlantean civilization possible begin to re-open.
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[14 Oct 2004|08:13pm]

The wind was cold, colder than she has expected. It drove the waves hard against the rocks along the shoreline, just visible in the thin light cast by her lantern.
Turning her back to the hard, cruel sea and the bitter north wind, she began to climb. The stairs were rough-hewn rock, slippery in the sea spray, and they spiralled up and up until they seemed lost in the clouds above.
The chamber she had awoken from was at the base of this spire of rock, slightly below sea level. The symbols in the rock that had led her to the stairs were definitely Atlantean in origin, confirming her initial guess upon waking.
On and on she climbed, her boots finding easy purchase despite the wind that tore at her thin gown. She was cold, bitterly so, and tired, but she continued her march heavenward.
She wanted answers to her questions... needed answers. About how she had come here, seemingly through her dreams, about how the portals functioned, and what any of this had to do with her.
Most of all, she wanted to know where her sister was.

The stairs wound on and on, seemingly endless, a coil of broken rock, preserved against the relentless motion of the sea by some forgotten art. She continued, placing one foot above the other, without resting or even pausing. Her breathing was even, her heartbeats slow, as though she were lying back in her bed and not thousands of feet above the ocean climbing an impossible staircase. So incredibly cold, and yet still she climbed, through what hidden reserve of stamina she did not know.
The circle she traversed was growing smaller; she was nearing the top. A sudden break in the clouds, seemingly just above her head now, showed her how near it was. A few more spiralling loops....
The next moment, she was at the top. The clouds danced around her, some of them rumbling ominously, sweeping past her. The wind whipped her gown about her legs like a panicked bird, white wings flailing away from her, away from the towering clouds.
Then she saw, by the starlight flickering in between the clouds, what had once been the beacon. From her vantage point, she would have been able to see the entire coastline of northern Europe, had the sun not been banished to the other side of the world. Since the beacon had gone out, she realized, it had always been night here.
She walked the last few paces unsteadily, the light from her lantern dancing her shadow across the entire continent. She knelt next to the rich, bubbling pool of oil that the Atlanteans had used for their Eternal Flame.
As her own strength finally gave out, she lit the Beacon once more.
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{meta} Comments [26 Aug 2004|11:42am]

Thus far, I've been posting comments to the story tid-bits I've read -- is this a good habit to encourage or not? I'm working on the assumption that people want feedback; if this is not the case please do tell me.

For my own part, I would welcome any constructive criticism -- or even just your reaction, if any. I always have an image in my head, and I'm never sure how effective I am at conveying it in my words.
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GutterTown; Prologue [25 Aug 2004|08:41am]

read more...Collapse )
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UFOs in San Francisco. [24 Aug 2004|07:15pm]

San Francisco had always been a strange sort of place.

When the portal had begun to appear, over a year ago, not more than forty feet to the West and upwards of the Transamerica Pyramid, it was just a smudge, or a shimmer in the sky. Nobody knew what it was at the time, or, more importantly, nobody really noticed it (except for a couple astronomy geeks who had become certain it wasn't a heavenly body). In the fraction of the second the mind had to percieve it, it had been passed off as a smog effect, or other fault of air pollution. The disc of laughing ripples had grown to be approximately man-sized, though speculation held that the field of activity was closer to the size of a labrador retriever.

The newscaster gathered her notes in front of her, more out of habit than necessity. She was given the countdown, and gathered her breath. The camera was running.

"The strange portal hanging over Montgomery street continues to confound the minds of academics, and philosophers. Even local psychics are eager to speculate its origins, but can't agree to a consistent scenario." The newscaster flashed one of her trademark grins. "City officials have declared the location off-limits, until a conclusion concerning its identity can be reached. Last week's attempt by an unnamed parachuter to explore the anomaly ended in disaster when the jumper missed the portal and landed in one of the street trees, suffering cuts and bruises. Further attempts, officials say, will result in legal action. A scientific investigation is being organized with the help of University San Francisco, to determine the safety of this portal, and ultimately determine its content."

Play with it, name the newscaster, confront the jumper, be the jumper. These are just some ideas to get the ball rolling, if you're feeling uninspired. I didn't think I'd post until it was well under way.
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Brief Introduction [18 Aug 2004|12:48pm]

I can never get over how it glistens, how my face ripples back at me. Walking down the path the reflection off the portal blinds me for an instant. It’s a small one, about 6 feet, I’ll have to duck to get through if I don’t want a hair cut. A moment ago is was 20 degrees but as I got closer to the portal the bleeding becomes more pronounced, the temperature drops gradually the closer I get, snow and ice covers an area of 20 metres around the door. I look back to my reflection in the door, a glow surrounds my body in my image, it’s almost angelic, my father could never see the portals or the bleed, he couldn’t feel the affects or use them, genetics they say.

Putting on my winter clothes I step in. Its like walking into a pond, as your face breaks the surface the pull begins. Imagine being on a roller coaster going straight down but without the sense of speed or movement, I know it doesn’t make sense but that’s the only way to describe it. It lasts but a moment, one step is all it takes, there is no in-between just the pull. Half way through I look around to make sure no one is about, or to be more specific, to make sure there isn’t any Yeti. This is there home world, they call it Thoh, a very primitive people, easily frightened especially with a man appearing in the middle of nowhere, almost as if from thin air. If one were behind me now they would see a cross section of myself, slowly growing across the horizon of the portal.

After taking the customary look and not seeing anyone I make towards the closest enclave of humans, its only about 2 kilometers away, but with the sub zero temperature and the high winds it won’t be that fun.

Looking back at over my should it appears to wink at me, letting me know that I’ll be back this way again.
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Stories. [17 Aug 2004|12:31am]

[ mood | quixotic ]

Not to complain but there seems to be something missing from this story writing group: The writing of stories.
I know it's an important thing that we all agree on the world and how it works but can I start yet?

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{meta} More thoughts [12 Aug 2004|09:22am]

[ mood | geeky ]

Since we've more or less decided the genre, a few more (non-portal related) ideas pop up in my mind:

- Enchanted rockets and spaceships
- Mars is no problem, now that the Gaians have their magic back.
- maybe mechanical things work well with magic, but it fucks with electronics in interesting ways.
- can the powers that be (ok, the President and Joint Chiefs of the US of A) somehow shield themselves in a magic-proof bunker once I gain the abilities to fry them with my mind?
- in fact, what are the reprocussions of scholarly-minded people who can learn magic without the help of a mentor can now fry people with their minds?
- I want a magic car. The kind that pays for its own insurance
- I also want a pair of goats that come back to life after you eat them.

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