What Comes Around Ch 21 bit – crowdsourcing

It’s not complicated, Aladdin told himself fiercely, trying to sort through the wisdom of ten modern minds, two Djinn, and the poking demands of all the rukh that had lived and died in this tower. It’s star-stuff, and volcanoes, and lightning, it can’t be that complicated….

Only it really, really is.

Radioactivity and particles and isotopes and how things decayed and how life was damaged and fell apart-

A crackle of ancient fire. :Lean on us, young Magi.:

Alan and Amon. Fire and faith, steady as lighthouses shining on the sea.

This is where we are, Alan’s rukh, Alibaba’s rukh murmured, holding an image of invisible fire that tore at cells with unseen talons, and pointing toward the stable sense of iron, air, earth. There is where we need to get to. We’ve got the ends; you just find the things between, and we’ll hold it!

Find what came in-between. Aladdin winced, tempted to just scoop up all the slime and shove it back down the odd tunnel the Shays had left leading to a pool of water. That tank was meant to hold this deadly ichor, all he’d have to do was bury it….

But it might get out. I won’t let that happen!

Find the pieces. Mind by mind, he reached outward.

These are the forms of invisible fire, Ja’far’s rukh murmured. This is the damage it does; this is how you mend it, and bar it from tearing deep….

This is how it sparks in lightning. Baal and Simon, sharp and uncompromising as the Djinn’s sword. It’s part of nature. We live with it. All we need to do is lower the dose.

This is the threat of threats. Drakon, not quite a dragon’s rumble. The source of fear. But not all is alike. There are isotopes, other-forms….

This is what I learned in chemistry. Sarah, fresh and hopeful as a sea breeze. Harmful forms can change to safe ones, it just takes some time… and maybe a star….

This is the alchemist’s task, Callimachus snarled. Matter is mutable; here is how the rukh can change it, if there’s only enough power!

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21 thoughts on “What Comes Around Ch 21 bit – crowdsourcing

  1. Radioactive slime monsters. Whichever Shays flunky thought that up should be shot. Repeatedly. Seriously, that’s just begging for something to go wrong.
    “We wanted to create the world’s most powerful monster… And we succeeded…”
    (I dunno if that would be lucky or unlucky, and hey, isn’t the dragon that Alan bopped on the nose still missing? For the Shays to possibly capture and warp? These idiots would probably be the type to think a dragon that could breathe radioactive fire/rays/waste would be Win)

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  2. Poor Aladdin, this is the most horrible way to be introduced to the concept of radiation never mind actually having to fight it. Good thing he has a real intellect under all that cheerfulness.Informed allies to crib off never hurt either.

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  3. Having enough power will not be a problem mister. Aladdin is a Magi. Not a magician . . . Is it evil of me to want to see his “oh crude” expression when he learns just what he has been dealing with, he has some idea of how deep the water and big the sea monsters are from noticing that Alan = Fire Prince but he hadn’t seen Simon in Ba’al’s Equip or knew precisely what he was dealing with in Aladdin . . . and Yunan if he decides to stick around after saving Maria’s bacon (he might decide that discretion is the better valor until certain Djinn, Kings, Generals, Fanalis, Magicians, and fellow Magi have had a chance to calm down).

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  4. Re: Dragon on the Loose
    All, part, or none of the following might be uttered.

    “There are reports of a dragon running around. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, do you?”
    “…”

    “Did anyone actually see if it went back into the dungeon? Anyone? Anyone at all . . . Crap . . .”

    “Please tell me we don’t have dragon on the loose.”
    “Okay, we won’t tell you.”

    “Was that a dragon?”

    “Oops.”

    “How could you forget about a loose dragon?”
    “We had a lot on your minds!”

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  5. “We’re all in this Together~” (background humming: “Together, together-“)

    *is shot*

    I had to do that. I just had to. And now I feel old, because I… wasn’t exactly in highschool, when this was popular. 😐 But the cast of Magi, reincarnated or as their canon selves, starring in a musical directed by Hancock High kids would be epic. And would break a few brains, but…

    But this snippet is so nice! Aladdin learning about radiation the hard way isn’t, no, talk about one of the worse things he’s being forced to learn about while fighting, being on the run and spellcasting all at once. But the cooperation to get past it – it makes sense that each of the members of the group would have very different bits of information on hand to offer him.

    Callimachus snarling and grudgingly offering up information at the end is making me so gleeful. For all that he came across as rather nasty in the beginning, he’s starting to look more like an anti-villain. I suspect there’s much evil author laughter over the direction in which he and Phaenomena are headed, by the end of this… I assume that was the point of him being characterised as Neutral Evil? Wait, I think I got the second part of it wrong. Neutral, yes, but do you classify him as ‘Evil’?

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    1. I classify him as “Evil with the potential to learn better if he gets thwacked hard enough by people who can demonstrate their way works better.”

      Honestly, given the world I set up, Callimachus did something very, very difficult: survived several centuries of very low mana in societies where having magic and/or life-extension capability tends to be the kind of thing that gets you dragged off never to be seen again. Because human nature. And managed to keep a half-decent moral code – “Don’t get nonmagical innocents involved” – for most of his life.

      And one of the themes of Magi is that people can be redeemed. They just have to want to change, and work hard at it. So… Redemption is canon! 🙂

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      1. 🙂 Don’t worry, they will earn their way toward redemption. Our heroes will make sure of it. There will be times they wish they were dead.

        …But Callimachus gets to see magic working properly, and I think he’s even willing to risk redemption for that.

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      2. Excuse me while I bring up more Arabian Nights related stuff here, but… ironically, rehabilitation of individuals who’ve been led astray is pretty much canon for the source material too. And is the foundational theme of the stories. So I’m not even remotely surprised that redemption and working hard to change are so integral to Magi. 🙂

        It’s understandable that Callimachus us the way he is, in a world where the magical society has that kind of background. It’s not easy to believe the best of human nature when you can’t really *expect* anything positive of it. Ah, somehow, Magi’s feel-good, you-can-always-become-better-than-yourself physics being applied to this world now makes me very satisfied.

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    2. On Callimachus and Phaenomena grudgingly helping out and maybe eventually joining up: Hey, this is, technically, the start of a Shounen series! And one adage of pretty much EVERY shounen show ever; the first Bad Guy you fight (at the very least!) is pretty much guaranteed to become an Ally once he’s been beaten up! Sometimes it takes a bit of time and some plot, but First Enemy = Eventual Ally.

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  6. Honestly, I think one of the main things that makes them redemption material is that they are true partners. Having someone that you can trust bone deep to back you up let’s you stop and chose options. Which makes me wonder more about how they met! (And admittedly, people only snark that much with each other when they care a lot, in my experience.)

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