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[2/12/2018 6:36:56 PM] *** Joe is a young woman who's spent most of her life going back and forth between her parents--her mother, an adventurous type with a passion for Earth's science and history, and her father, a bookish man who prefers to stay in his own home in London for his scholarly pursuits. ***

[2/12/2018 6:38:29 PM] *** Joe is quite wealthy, but not terribly conventional, and she's gotten bored and frustrated with London at last. She has decided to head for America, and finding the East Coast nearly as hidebound as England, then decided to head West. ***

[2/12/2018 6:46:55 PM] *** Joe is still, as usual, strikingly beautiful, with jet-black hair, blue-violet eyes and porcelain-pale skin. In her natural form she also has a whippy black barbed tail and little black horns. ***

[2/12/2018 6:51:50 PM] Chance: You're on a train!  You have just left New York, and are halfway through Pennsylvania.

[2/12/2018 6:52:41 PM] *** Joe is reading a book, quite probably. ***

[2/12/2018 6:53:19 PM] Chance: YOu probably have a very nice little cabin.  What's the book?

[2/12/2018 6:53:36 PM] Joe: ((The latest Jack of Blades!))

[2/12/2018 6:57:44 PM] Chance: Outside, night falls and attendants come around to invite passengers to the dining car.

[2/12/2018 6:58:55 PM] *** Joe closes her book (marking the place) and heads to the dining car! She is rather hungry. ***

[2/12/2018 7:03:31 PM] Chance: You've noticed that as you've gone further and further away from the East Coast, the more an more empty the  fancy dining car has gotten.

[2/12/2018 7:05:28 PM] Chance: Now there's just a handful of people eating in here, a very well prepared four-course meal.

[2/12/2018 7:13:14 PM] Chance: There's a wealthy older couple, two bachelors sitting at separate tables, one an older man who has been nothing but kind and pleasant to you, ,the other younger who has been polite, but has been watching you in a  slightly untoward way.

[2/12/2018 7:15:40 PM] *** Joe will sit by herself, of course. She does nod politely to everyone. ***

[2/12/2018 7:21:37 PM] Chance: The married couple natter on -- they are apparently going to visit their son in Ohio.

[2/12/2018 7:27:46 PM] *** Joe doesn't pester them, but does end up eavesdropping a bit, just because one doesn't read at the table. ***

[2/12/2018 7:36:07 PM] Chance: A new guest comes into the dining car, though, a handsome man, around your age, who takes a table alone.  Good looking, tall and pale, with very neat blond hair and blue eyes.

[2/12/2018 7:37:00 PM] *** Joe nods politely to him as well, wondering why she hasn't seen him before. ***

[2/12/2018 7:39:10 PM] Chance: He smiles around at everyone! "Good evening, everyone," He says with a pronounced british accent.

[2/12/2018 7:42:56 PM] Joe: Oh, hello! I wasn't expecting anyone from home.

[2/12/2018 7:46:03 PM] Chance: He nods at you.  "Me either!  Especially this far west.  I feel a bit a fish out of water.  I just boarded on the last stopover."

[2/12/2018 7:48:55 PM] Joe: Do come and sit with me--we can bore each other terribly with talk of home.

[2/12/2018 8:07:59 PM] Chance: He smiles, and comes on over!  "That sounds ever so dreary and british.  I'm Casper.  Casper Quentin.  Are you also traveling alone?"

[2/12/2018 8:13:08 PM] Joe: For now, yes. Perhaps we could complain about the dreadful quality of the tea. I'm Lady Josephine Blackwell, but you must call me Miss Blackwell here or the Americans will get terribly flustered.

[2/12/2018 8:13:22 PM] Joe: They can't cope with titles at all, the poor dears.

[2/12/2018 8:15:01 PM] Chance: Casper gives a charming grin.  "Oh my, dining with nobility.  My mum would be so proud."

[2/12/2018 8:15:29 PM] Joe: I certainly won't tell her if you don't.

[2/12/2018 8:15:57 PM] Chance: He takes a seat!  "So, what brings you to the states?"

[2/12/2018 8:18:07 PM] Joe: Would I be terribly dull if I admitted it was boredom? Home is home, but it is also terribly fusty.

[2/12/2018 8:31:52 PM] Chance: Casper:  I definitely cannot argue with you there.  It's like you're... always suffocating there.

[2/12/2018 8:31:59 PM] Chance: Casper:  Just very very slowly.

[2/12/2018 8:33:15 PM] Joe: By inches. I feel women have a bit more room to breathe here.

[2/12/2018 8:38:53 PM | Edited 8:39:04 PM] Chance: Casper:  I should hope so!  It really is rather unbearable back home.  It makes it hard for one to be who they truly wish to be.

[2/12/2018 8:40:19 PM] Joe: Who do you wish to be, Mr. Quentin?

[2/12/2018 9:03:30 PM] Chance: Casper thinks.  "Who I want to be, rather than who anyone else wants me to be.  I want to do what I want, to love who I want."

[2/12/2018 9:03:47 PM] Chance: Casper:  ... as naïve as that might sound.

[2/12/2018 9:07:59 PM] Joe: That sounds terribly romantic. Please tell me you're on your way to meet someone you've fallen in love with by letters. Or perhaps an Indian chief's daughter, or some other variety of wild American.

[2/12/2018 9:12:14 PM] Chance: Casper laughs.  "No, not quite.  I haven't met the right person.  Well, I met the right person, but things being as they were.... I couldn't quite make it work.

[2/12/2018 9:15:10 PM] Joe: Oh dear, that's a shame. Have you given up, then?

[2/12/2018 9:20:27 PM] Chance: Casper:  In that case, yes.  But of course, eyes ever on the future.

[2/12/2018 9:24:54 PM] Joe: I'm terribly sorry, I did not mean to strike on an open wound. I can be a bit too flippant, I'm afraid.

[2/12/2018 9:29:33 PM] Chance: Casper:  I assure you, that wound has closed, healed, and is now a rather impressive scar.

[2/12/2018 9:35:41 PM] Joe: I have a few of those myself, and ought to be more careful of other people's! Do tell me what you're looking for so that I might keep an eye out--I rather wouldn't mind a wild American myself. If they do exist--I have not seen a single gunfight yet, nor any mountain lion wrestling. It has been a great disappointment.

[2/12/2018 9:37:00 PM] Chance: Casper:  Mmm.  New York and Boston might as well be London these days.

[2/12/2018 9:40:43 PM] Chance: Casper:  They've outlawed bear wresting, and mountain lion fights.

[2/12/2018 9:43:30 PM] Joe: To be fair, one did feel sorry for the poor bears.

[2/12/2018 9:43:42 PM] Joe: I do not think such a thing can be quite right.

[2/12/2018 9:47:14 PM] Chance: Casper:  In seriousness?  No.

[2/12/2018 9:54:57 PM] Joe: Much better to see men fighting each other, I suppose.

[2/12/2018 9:55:08 PM] Joe: Though often that turns out to be rather unsporting as well.

[2/12/2018 9:56:12 PM | Edited 9:56:21 PM] Chance: Casper:  Depends on the kind of fight you get, but yes.

[2/12/2018 9:57:50 PM] Joe: But there! We have gotten off-track. Do tell me what sort of person you're looking for, perhaps I might spot her before you. I myself am quite fed up with British men, so pray do not tell me she is the image of me, it would be dreadfully tedious and quite unsporting to boot.

[2/12/2018 10:04:13 PM] Chance: Casper:  Don't worry Lady Blackwell, you are definitely not really my type.  Hmmm, let me think.  Someone smart.  Athletic and active.

[2/12/2018 10:05:34 PM] Joe: Excellent! Blondes, then? Perhaps someone with a bit more, mmm, physical substance?

[2/12/2018 10:14:42 PM] Chance: Casper:  Hmmm.  Blonde is not a necessity.  I'm not opposed of course, but.

[2/12/2018 10:15:58 PM] Joe: Hm. Then what is required? Clever, athletic and active, certainly, but what else?

[2/12/2018 10:17:06 PM] Chance: Casper:  Tall.

[2/12/2018 10:19:50 PM] Joe: A large American woman, then? I wonder if they have women's boxing here.

[2/12/2018 10:23:17 PM] Chance: Casper:  If they did, would you engage in it?

[2/12/2018 10:23:48 PM] Joe: Oh no, I don't think so. I like to have a weapon between myself and my opponent.

[2/12/2018 10:25:38 PM] Chance: Casper:  What kind of weapon?

[2/12/2018 10:26:25 PM] Joe: A sword, for preference. I am, alas, an indifferent shot with a revolver.

[2/12/2018 10:26:53 PM] Joe: I am going to have to hope for a wild American with better aim than I have, I think.

[2/12/2018 10:27:32 PM] Chance: Casper:  What are you looking for, then?

[2/12/2018 10:29:47 PM] Joe: For myself, I require a man intelligent enough to allow me to be myself, for I am not prepared to sit at home and be an ordinary wife. And as that is quite a monumental enough requirement I do not think I ought to specify looks, age or planar origin.

[2/12/2018 10:32:55 PM] Joe: Men are so terribly threatened by educated women.

[2/12/2018 10:33:44 PM] Joe: They enjoy the idea of it so much less than the reality.

[2/12/2018 10:39:31 PM] Joe: .... it is almost enough to make one want to live as a man.

[2/12/2018 10:46:08 PM] Chance: Casper is thoughtful.  "Ever thought of it?"

[2/12/2018 10:48:38 PM] Joe: Oh, I've done a bit more than just think. It takes quite some time just to get used to having hair on one's face, let alone the rest of it.

[2/12/2018 10:52:42 PM] Chance: Casper:  Ahhh, so you practice?

[2/12/2018 10:54:28 PM] Joe: Yes, a bit.

[2/12/2018 10:54:54 PM] Joe: I do make a rather handsome man.

[2/12/2018 10:55:19 PM] Joe: If I do say so myself.

[2/12/2018 10:55:50 PM] Chance: Casper smiles, a twinkle in his eyes.  "I'd wager you do."

[2/12/2018 10:57:21 PM] Joe: People are rather more inclined to assist women, however, so I decided it would be best to travel like this.

[2/12/2018 11:03:40 PM] Chance: Casper laughs.  "Reasonable!"

[2/12/2018 11:07:21 PM] Joe: It is always rather convenient to have the option.

[2/12/2018 11:09:34 PM] Chance: Casper:  How long can you change yourself like that?

[2/12/2018 11:10:31 PM] Joe: I don't know that there's any sort of time limit. Indefinitely, I should think.

[2/12/2018 11:23:48 PM] Chance: CAsper:  Hmmm.  I should think it would get rather awkward if you stayed too long.

[2/12/2018 11:27:05 PM] Joe: Oh? Why?

[2/12/2018 11:32:38 PM] *** Joe raises her eyebrows. ***

[2/12/2018 11:34:54 PM] Chance: Caspar:  When you look a certain way, people start to expect you to act a certain way, and as you act a certain way, you start to be that person you're acting like, that everyone wants you to be.  Then you leave and go to the American West.

[2/12/2018 11:36:35 PM] Joe: Hmm. That's possible, I suppose. I cannot say I much minded being a man, however. The clothes are not as interesting, but much easier to move around in. One just has to avoid getting into any fistfights.

[2/12/2018 11:44:04 PM] Chance: Casper shrugs, and sips at his dessert coffee.  "So, what are you reading?"  He nods toward the closed book with a poilte smile.

[2/12/2018 11:44:40 PM] Joe: Oh, the newest Jack of Blades book. They are a bit silly, but quite enjoyable nonetheless.

[2/12/2018 11:47:13 PM] Chance: Casper:  Oh,  yes, I remember those.  I have a friend who rather likes them. I would send them to him.

[2/12/2018 11:47:59 PM] Joe: Is he handsome?

[2/12/2018 11:48:47 PM] Chance: Caspar:  I've never actually met him in person.

[2/12/2018 11:50:01 PM] Joe: Alas. Are you travelling to meet him?

[2/12/2018 11:53:47 PM] Chance: Caspar:  Oh, no.  Maybe sometime, but not just yet.

[2/12/2018 11:56:27 PM] Chance: Caspar:  Just got married, too, apparently.

[2/12/2018 11:57:37 PM] Joe: Ah, another fond hope, dashed. I shall have to stop hoping. Perhaps I would have a better chance at finding a wife than a husband--but then finding the right sort would be just as difficult if not more so.

[2/13/2018 12:04:31 AM] Chance: Casper raises an eyebrow.  "My, how daring and forward thinking.  The very british part of my brain is on the verge of swooning."

[2/13/2018 12:07:39 AM] Joe: You know what women can be like. With precious few avenues for prosperity available, one would be rather inclined to attempt to marry well--and less inclined to care much about the personalities involved. Quite a few of the fortune-hunting men are put off by my education; I would not be so lucky with fortune-hunting women.

[2/13/2018 12:20:50 AM] Chance: Casper thinks about this.  "Well, then.  Are your requirements for a wife the same as those for a husband?"

[2/13/2018 12:21:07 AM] Joe: Oh yes, I should think so.

[2/13/2018 12:22:08 AM] Joe: Though women are a bit less likely to be educated as well, so I suppose I ought to throw that in as a requirement.

[2/13/2018 12:24:26 AM] Chance: Casper:  A veritable gauntlet of exacting standards.

[2/13/2018 12:25:20 AM] Joe: You're right, I'm quite doomed.

[2/13/2018 12:25:45 AM] Joe: Ah well, as long as they keep writing Jack of Blades books I shall at least be able to get by.

[2/13/2018 12:26:11 AM] Chance: Casper:  Perhaps I should start reading them again before I send them out to Ebenezer.

[2/13/2018 12:26:44 AM] Joe: I do enjoy them, though they are rather silly.

[2/13/2018 12:27:26 AM] Joe: Quite a bit of the quality of the book depends on the quality of the love interest, and those almost never repeat.

[2/13/2018 12:28:37 AM] Chance: Caspar:  That sounds like an awful lot of work.

[2/13/2018 12:30:15 AM] Joe: It does. And it's a shame, as some of them definitely deserved a bit more time.

[2/13/2018 12:32:45 AM] Chance: Caspar:  Is there a new one every book?  Do they just keep killing them off?

[2/13/2018 12:33:10 AM] Joe: Usually. Sometimes they have to leave for some other reason.

[2/13/2018 12:33:29 AM] Joe: Must keep the status quo, after all.

[2/13/2018 12:40:08 AM] Joe: So all the women are disposable.

[2/13/2018 12:40:33 AM] Chance: Caspar:  But you still enjoy them?

[2/13/2018 12:41:15 AM] Joe: Yes. I have been thinking about writing something similar, but with a woman as the main character. It might make an interesting experiment, if nothing else.

[2/13/2018 12:41:39 AM] Chance: Caspar:  Oh yes?  Tell me about your heroine, then?

[2/13/2018 12:42:04 AM] Joe: Oh, I haven't gotten that far, yet.

[2/13/2018 12:44:49 AM] Joe: She would have to be clever, industrious, well-educated and adventurous, of course.

[2/13/2018 12:50:17 AM] Chance: Caspar:  I don't recall how does the Jack of Blades usually solve his problems?  Stabbing?

[2/13/2018 12:50:49 AM] Joe: Often. Sometimes he outsmarts the villain and then stabs them.

[2/13/2018 12:56:30 AM] Chance: Caspar:  And your heroine?

[2/13/2018 12:57:04 AM] Joe: I think she will have to do the same.

[2/13/2018 12:58:08 AM] Chance: Casper:  Outsmart, and then stab?

[2/13/2018 12:58:51 AM] Joe: Sometimes. Sometimes the other way around.

[2/13/2018 8:56:55 PM] Chance: So!  You were on a westbound train, chatting pleasantly with Casper!

[2/13/2018 8:57:03 PM] *** Joe was! ***

[2/13/2018 9:06:40 PM] Chance: You pass the evening, and retire for the night.  So what kind of magic does Josie know?

[2/13/2018 9:09:07 PM] *** Joe knows a pretty good array of demon magic--summoning objects, changing existing objects, and moving life energy around. She can also do a lot of stuff with people's dreams, as she is still a succubus. ***

[2/13/2018 9:12:56 PM] Chance: So a lot of transmogrification and transmutation.

[2/13/2018 9:15:25 PM] Joe: ((Yep! I think this one knows a bit more useful magic for academic purposes as well, since she's been on a lot of expeditions.))

[2/13/2018 9:16:42 PM] Joe: ((And she's much more comfortable with her nonhuman side.))