The Let's Play Archive

Magical Diary: Main Route

by CommissarMega

Part 12: Hail To The Chump

Chapter 10: Hail To The Chump

"He's popular," Ellen moans.

"So?" I ask.

"He can have any girl he wants!" Ellen sighed.

Yeesh, she sounds just like Kyo. "Oookay, now you're projecting! You've known the guy for, what? A few months? And you've only really been close to him for a week- a week in which, I remind you, poems about knifelike teeth were a major feature."

"That's easy for you to say," she replies. "I'm not good with guys!"

"And I am? Wait, that came out wrong," I reply.

"Look, if you like him, maybe you ought to tell him?" I suggest. "Don't give me that look! What if he does like you, but he's also busy being shy? In that case, you're wasting time not asking! And if he says no? Then at the very least you can go on with life without worrying about it."

"That's exactly what I'm worried about!" Ellen wails. "I'd rather be uncertain than hear him say no! I know it's not healthy, don't you look at me like that, it's just that..." she trails off. "You're right, I don't know how he feels, and- and even if he doesn't like me, I'd rather find out by myself than hear him say it. I know it's crazy and stupid and dumb, but that's how I am, Mary. I'm sorry."

"...know what else is definitely crazy, and maybe stupid and dumb?" I ask her as inspiration strikes. "I think I know how you can find out how he feels, without you having to ask him."

"I'm listening," Ellen replies, plainly unsure.

"Run for office!" I say, ignoring her choked squeak. "Look, William's going to be involved in this, right? He has to be, if his word's as good as what Virginia says it is. Besides, there's also the fact that he can't just step down- he certainly seems responsible enough to check up on the freshman council, which means you'll be seeing him often enough to get a grip on what he's thinking about- or who," I tell her mischievously.

Ellen looks at me agape and open-eyed for a moment, then turns her head down and sighs. "I don't know how you talk me into these things," she groans.

"We're Horses," I tell her. "All I'm doing is agreeing with what your soul is telling you," I say grandly, and get a gentle elbow in the ribs for my efforts. I laugh a little, and decide it's time to get a little serious.

"The school year's barely begun- we've all got a long way to go," I tell her. "Don't give up yet- wait, scratch that. Don't give up, ever."

"Thanks, Mary," Ellen says with a quiet smile. "I'll admit, I'm really nervous, having to do all that election work by myself. And what if I win? I'll be all by myself on the council- well, not really, but you know what I mean, don't you?"

"Nope," I say with a mad grin on my face. "Because you won't be the only one from this room on the council if I have anything to say about it..."

"That's not very encouraging," I pout, having enlightened Virginia after class that day as to Ellen's plan to run for treasurer, and my own plan to run for President. "I may not be the change Iris wants," I say proudly, "but I am the change it needs and deserves!"

"Yuh-huh," Virginia grins. "I'll give you a pity vote, don't worry, but when I said Minnie Cochran's got this sewn up, I wasn't joking."

"Pfft, what's she got that I don't?" I snort. "Sure, she's got the looks and the support, but I have the truth on my side!"

"If you say so," Virginia laughs, shaking her head. "You two better get going to Potsdam then- you'll need to register today to be eligible, God help you. Not you, Ellen, don't worry," she adds.

I rise from my bed with all the grandeur I can muster. "Come then, Miss Middleton!" I announce. "We have an election to win!"

At the Professor's office, we saw a few entry forms for the treasurer position, while none for the Presidential one. Lamenting the lack of political will among Iris's students, I and Ellen put our names down for the election.

"My, I didn't realize we had a potential leader here!" Potsdam laughs, when she sees my name scrawled defiantly on the list. "Of course, Horse girls are known for their daring!"

"Not to mention their intelligence and leadership capabilities, yes?" I ask smugly. Professor Potsdam didn't seem to have heard me, instead handing me a folder marked 'Election Protocol' bulging with papers.

"Now take these documents," Potsdam says, "and see me after Monday's classes to discuss your campaign strategy~!"

Campaign strategy? What have I got myself into? I have a moment of doubt, but it's quickly smothered under images of Iris Academy bowing down to me and Grabiner dragging blocks for my pyramid.

"Mary?" Ellen asks quizzically. "What's so funny?"

I snap out of my daze to find myself in the hallway, surrounded by students staring at me. "Nothing, minion," I say hastily.


"Nothing," I insist. "Let's go," I add, then drag her off, trying to ignore the students looping their fingers at the side of their heads.

Our Saturday starts off as normal- except for the vans driving off outside. "Wow, the cans are here early. Something happening?" I ask, pointing out the scene at the gates to Virginia and Ellen. It seems to be mostly, if not all seniors- I can definitely see Damien's wings down there for one; guess he's not as antisocial as William said.

"It's only for upperclassmen, which is why we didn't hear about it," Virginia added. "Something to look forward to, I guess."

"You're one to talk- what was that you said the other day, about books being high class firewood?" I teased.

"What can I say? I'm an innovator, not a researcher!" she laughs.

Ellen however, looks a little lost. "What's an apple festival?" she asks, throwing me and Virginia for a loop.

"It's a harvest festival," Virginia says, recovering first. "Don't they have those where you come from?"

"I don't know," Ellen replies.

"There's a lot of food," Virginia says, her eyes clouding over as her voice gets all dreamlike. "Apple doughnuts, apple upside-down cake, caramel apples, apple pie, squash-apple soup... well, it's not all apples," she adds hastily, seeing the looks on our faces. "No, really! There's also a big bake sale, craft sale, artists' alley, along with fiddle performances in the day and a big contra dance in the evening."

So you guys know this is actually in the game, and not my making it up. Seriously, Ellen's been really sheltered.

In any case, we're left waiting for a bit while we wait for the vans to come back and take us to the mall. From what the three of us could overhear, there is more than a little bit of jealousy about the seniors going off to have a dance without us. Me, I don't really mind the seniors having a few perks- like Virginia said, it was just an incentive to coming back.

Speaking of seniors and coming back though-

Well, this needed investigating. I decide to be a lot more direct here- being nice didn't get me very far last time. "Hey, Big Steve!" I say with Presidential cheer- only to be acknowledged with a short grunt. He didn't even have the courtesy to glance at me. "So... why aren't you at the apple festival?"

"Don't like apples."

Well, there was my answer. I have to admit, I was a little miffed- and more than a little curious. "But you do like pinball," I frown, and his sole response is a vague shrug. "No offence, but it seems like a weird thing to obsess about."

"Practice. For bounders," he grunts.

Bounders? I vaguely remember Virginia mentioning it, but she didn't elaborate. "What's bounders?" I ask.

One ball. Two balls. Three balls down the pit as Big Steve slowly turns (well, not su much 'turns' as 'unfolds') to face me, jaw agape and peepers doing the exact opposite of peeping. "You... you don't know what bounders is? Like... seriously? You've never heard of bounders?"

Wow, now that I'm seeing it, Emotional Big Steve™ is kind of scary, actually, especially since I'd never expect to see it in the flesh. This must be what meeting Bigfoot is lie. But with less awesome hair. "I, uh, no? That's why I'm asking."

"Well, I am wildseed," I remind him. "Can you tell me about it?" I ask, and for the first time, something approaching a pleasant expression crosses his face.

"So you just use magic to push the balls around?" I ask.

"Nope! We use magic to push a sphere around!" he winks at me.

"Sounds dangerous," I say, but he shakes his head.

"That's why we have referees and rules," he tells me. "No lethal or crippling direct attacks, or area of effect attacks that extend more than fifty feet beyond the playing field, and no Green and White plagues either."

White plagues? As in, something that infects minds? Now THAT sounds like something not really worth finding out about- sorry, curiosity, but psychic Ebola doesn't sound like my idea of a good time, even moreso than dubstep (not that I'm sure there's a difference). I'm quickly brought out of my musing as Big Steve elaborates.

That sounds amazing," I breath. "So when do we play?"

Big Steve jerks back a bit. "What, you mean as in 'us'? Students?"

"Well, yeah, of course," I reply. "You're telling me we can't?" I ask, and he shakes his head.

"Bounders is a masters' game," he explains patiently, but wistfully. "We're too young- but that doesn't mean I can't practice!" he says with determination.

"With pinball?" I ask, and Big Steve nods.

"I see," I reply, feeling a little deflated myself. Suddenly, Big Steve motions me over to the game.

"Want to give it a go?" he asks, then moves onto another pinball game. He almost immediately falls into that same intense concentration I saw him exhibit before- but where he'd been twitching jerkily before, like a robot that had water poured on it, this time he seemed more relaxed, as if everything he was doing was simply him executing a perfect series of moves planned long in advance.

Honestly, it's quite refreshing to see Steve so relaxed, and I decide to give the game a go.

I like this scene- not only do the mechanical benefits rock (we've basically gave up 1 extra Smarts and $4 for a nice Stress reduction, ensuring an easier game ahead), but we get a little more insight into the game's fluff and Big Steve

We stay a little longer at the mall than we planned, the vans having gone off to pick up the seniors first- which is why we never saw the person who left the box in front of our door. "Oh not again," Virginia sighs, pulling her leg back to kick the box, when she notices the label on it. "Hey, Mary? This one's for you," she says.

"Well, no need to sound so astonished," I tease, mostly to hide my own bewilderment. Could it have been from Donald? I don't recall him having detention today.

For her part, Ellen just giggles. "Maybe that's the problem? Maybe you have a secret admirer!" she says.

"Maybe," I say, picking up the package. Not the smartest thing to do, admittedly, but Donald did say he didn't know how to make a lethal bomb yet. Maybe it's a jack in the box? Or maybe a bomb Donald only thought was nonlethal-

Tastiest bomb I've ever seen, to be sure. "Guess you were right, Ellen," I say. "And by the looks of it, it's an upperclassman."

"Oho, maybe it's from William!" Virginia says, and I cringe- we didn't tell her about Ellen's crush.

"Oh please," I say to defuse the situation. "We barely know each other, and I don't think William's the sort of person to fall in love at first sight. A girl's got to work to get a guy like that, and I'm waaay too lazy," I tell Virginia, and I try hard not to laugh at how red Ellen's becoming. "I think it was Isobel taking pity on us poor freshmen. Honestly, who cares- free pie!"

Yeah, I'm all too. Of all the scenes in the game, this is the one where my suspension of disbelief breaks down. Seriously, I live in friggin' Malaysia, and have had apple pie. Poor Ellen.

"Well, if you aren't sure," I point out, "then this is the perfect time to try, no? If you can't finish your slice, Virginia will have your share!"

"That's right!" Virginia laughs, and we spend a very enjoyable night eating the pie.

Just thought I'd show you all the spells we've collected so far. The numbers to the left denote their costs, so when it comes to mana-heavy spells like Teleport, we're really going to have to conserve our energies in tests and such. Thankfully, outside of Tests, we don't have to worry about mana.

Monday afternoon saw me in the conference room, the election protocol files spread out in front of me. Most of them dealt with normal, run-of-the-mill stuff, things like 'no bribery/lobbying', 'no cheating', 'no physical or magical assaults on rivals'. There were also rules on how to campaign; insofar as I could tell, some of these had historical precedent behind them, and while breaking them wouldn't technically cross any line, it would certainly tick off the established magical families for no gain among the wild seeds who wouldn't see what the big deal is about anyway.

There are also notes on what the President should do. Some of these are buzzwords like 'Promote Unity' and 'Demonstrate Leadership', along with more realistic matters like handle class activities and excursions.. Suddenly, I hear the door open behind me, and a harried-looking Potsdam enters.

"Hello, Mary!" she says. "I'm sorry I'm late, but a little bird needed assistance. Are you ready to begin?"

"We will also need to design your marketing material around that theme, so as to tie the whole thing together. Deciding early will also help you spend your campaign budget wisely!"

"Wait, I get a campaign budget?" I ask excitedly. Man, this thing hasn't even started and I'm already getting kickbacks-

"It's whatever you have to spend, dear," Potsdam smiles, and my heart falls. "That said, if you have the money for anything, fear not- I will do my best to find whatever you need!"

Well, there we go then. Not a promising start to world domination, but I suppose everyone had to start somewhere. Now all I need to figure out is the how...

Okay, so now we're on the campaign trail, I'll need you lot to exercise your rights and vote! First off, we'll need a campaign name!

Yes, those are our choices (I'll have a recap at the bottom of this post in case the picture doesn't show up). We'll also need to figure out what to spend our campaign money on, as well as someone to work with. SO! Our choices are as follows:

CHOICE 1: Our campaign name!
-Lady Lampshade Head
-The Dragon
-A New Hope

CHOICE 2: What to spend money on?
-Posters ($5)
-Paper Badges ($5)
-Mary Sue's charisma will carry the day! Uuu~☆ ($0)

CHOICE 3: Who will we ask for aid from?
-A teacher (I'll be honest, I can't remember if we can get Grabby to help us)
-Mary Sues need no help!

EDIT: It seems this last choice is unavailable, sorry!

Voting ends at 0000 GMT 17th July!