Playing Devils Advocate

Lotharingia

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The power bracelet was making her anxious.

Evie sat in the visitation room, absentmindedly rubbing the thing on her wrist while she waited for the inevitable hammer to drop.

That morning Evie had been in a decently good mood. August had heralded two notable things. One: She was finally done with this high school nonsense; and two: she had her 18th birthday, which meant acquiring alcohol was a hell of a lot easier now that she could do it legally. She had her own little graduation plan fully ready to go when she opened her dorm door to find both campus security and the cops.

Everything else had happened pretty fast. She saw the destruction around the campus as she was taken away, heard a lot of murmuring and grumbling from campus staff about how far across the line she'd gone. She was uncharacteristically silent through the entire process, trying to think just what exactly this would mean for her. She hadn't done it, she knew that obviously, but everyone else wasn't gonna just take her word for it.

Eventually, she'd was allowed to see visitors, not that she particularly wanted to see people right now. The whole situation was reminding her of the days just before she was taken the island, locked up with no idea what would come next.

Which only made her more anxious.

@Kait
 

Kait

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And just like the days before Evie was taken to the island, Aranea was the first person to come visit her. But she wasn't here bearing good news this time, or a shot at freedom. She just wanted to offer what small comfort she could.

She related to Evie a lot. Honestly, this business with the fountain felt like something Aranea might have done herself in high school, if she had that kind of power, and if something pushed her over the right edge.

She was in her bipedal form when she walked in. Nullifier bracelet on. She hated the damn thing. Made her nervous. Made her feel weak. But at least she would get to take it off when she left in a little while.

The first words out of her mouth as she sat down: "Well! You really did a number on that thing, huh? Maybe they'll finally give it that power-washing it's needed." She smiled a little, trying to make light of the situation.
 

Lotharingia

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As soon as Evie noticed her entering the room that anxious expression she wore was quickly masked by her usual lazy smile, though Aranea could see it didn't reach her eyes at all.

"Heh, maybe." She said, slouching back in her seat. "Maybe they'll swap it out for something less boring looking. The thing kinda gets stale when you have to walk past it every day, y'know?"

She giggled, but her heart wasn't in it enough for her to keep the act up for very long. The smile faded, head seeming to shrink into her shoulders as her body curled up in her chair, eyes cast down to the table in front of her.

"This looks bad, doesn't it?"
 

Kait

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"It kinda does, yeah..." Aranea nodded, her look turning somber. She could tell Evie was in a bad way about all this. She read it as remorse.

"I have to ask. Why did you do it?" That was the ten thousand dollar question. And it could be a deceptively hard kind of question. Aranea knew from experience. The sooner Evie started thinking about it, the sooner she could process it, and the less time she'd have to spend with the shrinks around here bothering her.
 

Kait

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Aranea raised an eyebrow.

"...I can't say that I have, no. But that doesn't mean I'm not open to the idea. It wouldn't be the strangest thing that's happened here."

She leaned back in her chair, watching Evie carefully. "If it's not what they think it is, then what do you think happened?"

She was skeptical, she would admit. But she was also thinking of all the reasons why Evie would believe she didn't do it. Aranea was used to investigating potentially paranormal mysteries like this one - it was a big part of her job.
 

Lotharingia

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"I dunno." She shrugged. "I didn't even know it had happened until the cops came to grab me. Apparently the cameras saw me doing it, but it's not like they showed me that...All I know is that it wasn't me."

It was a pretty weak defence, she realised. Wrecking parts of the school may have been surprising but given her already poor reputation it was far from unreasonable to think she'd do something like this eventually. And she didn't exactly have a lot of friends to vouch for her.

"...But you don't believe that, and no one else is going to either." She went on, slouching further down, already resigning herself to it.
 

Kait

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Evie slouched, and Aranea sensed that she needed a pep talk.

"You shouldn't just give up like that. People here know magic is a thing! If you know you didn't do it, tell everyone! Keep saying it, even if they don't believe you yet. You can still fight this. Nobody's gonna help you if you don't help yourself, alright?" She was trying to encourage her.

The evidence was pretty damning, but that didn't make it hopeless. Aranea started asking a series of questions: "Do you have an alibi? Or do you remember where you were at the time?" And then, more quietly: "Were you drinking?" With Evie's answers to these questions, Aranea could start to sort out what kind of issue they were probably dealing with.
 

Lotharingia

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The pep talk, it seemed, fell on death ears. What did it matter how much she tried to defend herself? What difference did it make? Why should anyone give a shit?

But, at the very least, even with how cynical she was feeling she recognised Aranea was making an effort, so she looked back up at her.

"Pfft, I wish I was drinking right now. Maybe try and sneak me some booze if you're gonna visit me next time." She smirked, in a token effort to act like she normally did, before just shrugging. "I was in my dorm when it happened, by myself. I dunno if that's much of an alibi, being on campus and all."
 

Kait

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Aranea nodded, disappointed that this couldn't be easier for Evie. A proper alibi would have helped a lot.

"Well... There's some weird stuff going on around the island. My sister called in sick to work several days in a row, or at least they have recordings of her doing that, but then she just... went in anyway. And she doesn't remember making any calls like that. And she's not the only person I've heard about doing weird stuff she doesn't remember." She gave a meaningful look to Evie, hoping that she was following along. "There's a pattern to this stuff." And Evie was fitting it.

So if someone could just prove that this was some kind of epidemic...
 

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