When we had a moment to ourselves, I asked 42561 what she thought of the NVC’s story. Her response was that she didn’t believe any of it. She said it in a way that made it sound like she also didn’t care. I told her about Obaluaiye and Dennis “Scrap Iron” and what the old man in the wheelchair had told me about Eterno.
She gave me a funny look and asked why I was telling her about it. I told her that I knew we weren’t exactly friends yet but that I was hoping she would help me anyway, work together to resolve this. “This” being Eterno. Either freeing him from a curse or killing him or whatever needs to be done.
She expressed that she was not interested in this proposition by getting very angry.
I apologized. Then I asked her why she was so upset. Which undercut the apology, I bet. She said that she had already exposed herself too much. That she shouldn’t even be talking to me about this kind of thing. I asked her what the point of having magic was if you weren’t going to use it for exactly this kind of thing.
Up until then, 42561 had been pretty stoic, or reserved would be a better word, but at that moment she blew her fucking stack. She said that I was going to get her killed. She said that she wished she never met me. That she would give anything in the world to never see me again.
That didn’t feel great. I told her if she didn’t want to ever see me again, all she had to do was ask.
I understand where she’s coming from. Keeping your talents hidden can seem like the best strategy for survival. I thought about telling her that I knew for sure that the government already knew about magic. But I didn’t. That could send her off the deep end of paranoia.