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15. Athena reads the list of recen

14. The Wish Detector

13. Athena seeks help from Scarlet

12. Athena discovers the real caus

11. The Charity Stone: A Devastati

10. The Charity Stone: The Lost Ge

9. Knowing the Pain and Suffering

8. The Charity Stone: Monster McM

7. The Charity Stone: The Wrong B

6. The Charity Stone: Jon Thinks

5. Ugly Sarah

4. Jon Wakes Up

3. The Charity Stone

2. Switched Stones

1. You Are What You Wish

Charity Stone Dark Reality: Which wish caused it?

on 2023-11-06 20:28:38
Episode last modified by Christine L. on 2023-11-07 06:52:18

399 hits, 71 views, 2 upvotes.

Magic

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Athena, with the help of the reading glasses Scarlett had helpfully provided, was able to read the printout of the list of recent wishes. It was much easier than trying to read it on Scarlett's laptop screen.

The list, on both the screen and the printed sheets, read as follows:

"I wish my room was painted bright green." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Granted

"I wish my room was painted blue." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Not granted

"I wish I had DVDs and Blu-Rays of every new streaming series released in the past month." - Wished with Obvious Stone
Status: Granted

"I wish I knew where to find the Original Stone this stone is based off of." - Wished with Obvious Stone
Status: Granted

"I wish my shirt was green." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Granted

"I wish my shirt was dark green." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Granted

"I wish I knew where to find the Jewel of Cusco." - Wished with Proximity Stone
Status: Granted

"I wish I wasn't stuck in traffic." - Wished with Proximity Stone
Status: Granted

"I wish my shirt was bright green." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Not Granted

"I wish I knew where to find the original wishing stone that created this one." - Wished with Charity Stone
Status: Granted

"I wish I had a wishing stone detector." - Wished with Gender Reversed Stone
Status: Granted

"I wish the bark on that branch was blue." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Granted

"I wish the bark on that branch was red." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Not granted

"I wish the branch was very dark blue." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Granted

"I wish the branch was light blue again." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Not granted

"I wish I had long blond hair and big boobs and maybe then I'd get some of the attention." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Granted

"I wish I knew where the original wishing stone was so I could get rid of this one." - Wished with Omission Stone
Status: Granted (side effect Laura Mathis omitted)

"I wishy I knew where to find the original wishing stone." - Wished with Squishy Wishy Stone
Status: Granted

"I wish Sarah McMillan was the ugliest girl in school." - Wished with Charity Stone
Status: Granted

"I wish Laura Mathis was back and was a cheerleader at Forestville High School." - Wished with Original Stone (Jewel of Cusco)
Status: Granted

"I wish all the other kids at school knew what it was like to go through all this pain and suffering." - Wished with Charity Stone
Status: Granted

At this last one, Athena looked up. "Could this one be it?" Athena asked.

"Which one?" Scarlett asked.

"This one." Athena said. "The one where whoever wished it wished that all the other kids at school knew what it was like to go through all this pain and suffering."

"What do you think?" Scarlett asked. "Remember, you said the pendant gave you your memories back. What do your memories of the previous realities tell you?"

Athena paused. "I remember that there was another version of the accident with the Reality Branches machine. That time, Sarah McMillan was the only one who was hurt. She was horribly burned, mangled, and mutilated. Her father spent much of a fortune keeping what was left of her alive, and her mother was making her go to school anyway in spite of her looking absolutely horrific and being shunned by almost everyone."

"But I also remember a reality where none of us ever heard of this Reality Branches machine. There was no demonstration at Lake Point High School months ago, no explosion happened, and Sarah was still her normal self yesterday."

Athena paused again, as a realization hit her. "So all this started because someone wished that Sarah McMillan was UGLY? Wait ... so that must mean Sarah made the wish for all the other kids to know what it was like to suffer. When did she get a hold of a wishing artifact?"

"She didn't." Scarlett said. "Have you read up on all the imitations of the Jewel of Cusco?"

"It's been a while." Athena admitted. "I remember reading a bit about a few of them. I promised myself I'd read the rest of the book when I had the time. Tell me what the Charity Stone does."

"The Charity Stone works much like the Original Stone." Scarlett said. "Wishes alter reality, and everyone who doesn't hear the wish thinks that it was always true, and is unaware anything changed. Wishes can't contradict previous wishes, but previous wishes can be re-interpreted. Like the Original Stone, there is a range limitation, but that depends on how much energy there is in the stone. The main difference is that when someone makes a wish affecting someone else with the Charity Stone, that person also gets a wish, even if they didn't hear the wish or even know the Charity Stone even exists."

Athena took another look at the list. Both the wish for Sarah McMillan to be the ugliest girl in school and the wish for the other kids to know what it was like go through her suffering were made with the Charity Stone. While the names of the wishers were not included in the list, it was clear the one who made the last wish had been Sarah. And Sarah, not knowing of the Charity Stone, had no way of knowing that her wish would come true.

"We .. we have to do something about this. We need to find the wishing stones. ANY of them." Athena said. "We can't just let this stand."

Scarlett sighed. "There are several problems with this. One, you're confined to a wheelchair. It's going to be hard for you to chase down the wishing stones. And even if I were to take the risk and find something here that could restore you to health, you can't do it alone. You'll need people you can trust."

Scarlett continued. "Also, different wishing stones have different ranges. The news about the Lake Point tragedy is known through most of the country, meaning the Charity Stone must have had a very big range at the time of the last wish. I'd say between 2000 and 3000 miles at the very least. If what my acquaintance - the one who sent me the Wish Detector - told me is correct, the Original Stone most likely currently only has a range of 90 miles at the most, meaning that if you were to use it to re-interpret Sarah's wish, most of the country would still remember the Lake Point tragedy and would be asking a LOT of uncomfortable questions."

"And we don't know the ranges of the other stones, so it'd be a big chance we'd be taking if we tracked down the current owners of the other stones and used theirs to re-interpret the wish." Scarlett concluded.

"But we can't just leave things the way they are!" Athena protested. "My friends are suffering. Their families are suffering. The other kids and their families are suffering. The whole TOWN is suffering because so much of its prosperity came from the presence of McMillan Tech Industries, and now that it's gone, so many people are losing their jobs. If they haven't already."

"There's another thing." Scarlett said. "This Reality Branches machine. Before these wishes, it was clearly nothing more than an impractical idea people at McMillan Tech Industries had that they didn't have the resources to make real. But we're currently living in a reality where such a machine - at least a prototype of it - was actually created, and it exploded."

"Its purpose was to be a gateway to a tree of diverging timelines." Scarlett continued. "But what happens when such a machine explodes? The grounds of Lake Point High School have been off-limits since the accident. Could there be something left behind there that is affecting this reality?"

"You mean, like some sort of rift or something?" Athena asked. "I think someone would have said something. Even if people were trying to keep it a secret, someone would have leaked information."

"That depends on just what's happened." Scarlett said. "There could be nothing left behind but debris and unsalvagable machine parts. Or there could be something so small most people don't notice, unless they knew what to look for. Anyway, if there IS some distortion or rift, then it could seriously mess things up if someone tries to create a better reality than this using one of the wishing stones."

"But how would we know what's going on?" Athena asked. "We can't just go about asking questions. You're the one telling me magic users shouldn't be calling too much attention to themselves. So what can we do?"

"I have a few ideas." Scarlett said. "Let's see if we have something that can help us here. Maybe some instruments of scrying, or seeing events happening elsewhere. Let's see what came with last week's new supplies."

Scarlett then turned to the shelves and the boxes in the back area of the Occult Store to see what was available.




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