Egotober 2021 Ch. 25: Smoke Bombs and Chemistry
Summary: Potions and alchemy are a magical science, one that Logan and one of his fusions want to investigate.
A/N: Brain is our fusion for the day, his Side components are Logan and Virgil, Brain’s pronouns are (he/him).
Characters: Sam, Technoblade, and Brain
Chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Logan these days had a new hyper fixation. With Thomas downright refusing to even dampen any of their personalities, Logan was becoming more and more sure of his own safety. While Thomas was easily distracted, it did let Logan pursue his own goals and do his own things.
The logical Side’s newest hyperfixation was toying with his new influx of aura. He had learned several things about his aura. One it was extremely hard for him to influence common electronics, something that came naturally to the androids and other glitches like Anti or even Tubbo who was a relatively young glitch. Second, the EMP bursts he thought he’d created with technology had really been the vestiges of his own aura. He had no idea how to purposefully reproduce the effects outside of his suit and tech, but he was certain with enough time and practice he would find a solution. After all, he’d triggered the effect twice in a bout of adrenaline.
But that was one of his background projects, the main fixation of Logan’s attention was on exploring the very concept of magic. Logan had spent his entire existence on the periphery of magic itself, not understanding it or how it worked. He could see its myriad of effects, but he’d always had a distaste of the unpredictability and had been secretly glad that he’d been spared from that.
However, now Logan had aura, he could do magic — only by accident, but that seemed to be because he didn’t know what he was doing most of the time — and he’d seen what Tubbo could do with his magic. The young man treated his magic and aura like a science. And that was enough to convince Logan that there was more to magic itself then unpredictability.
That fact thrilled him. That magic, just like everything else, could be measured and studied. It could be influenced by some force. And there was a magical cousin to chemistry: alchemy.
Logan had torn through all of Marvin’s existing books on alchemy, he was testing his growing knowledge but Marvin was still rebuilding his collection and Logan needed more knowledge. He needed it like lungs needed air.
So he often went out looking for books on the subject, anything he could get his hands on, any information online he could verify.
But during this pursuit of knowledge, he hit a snag. Virgil had come to him, wanting to fuse again.
This was only the second time that Virgil had fused with a Core Side. And Logan wasn’t going to challenge Virgil on the sudden fusing request, especially if it made Virgil more comfortable fusing. Even if he was conducting other business when Virgil had asked.
The anxious Side’s trust and confidence meant everything to Logan.
Virgil always stated he felt like he was losing himself when he fused with Janus and Remus. But with Logan it was different. Virgil didn’t feel as smothered, but it still felt like some other force was consuming him.
So Logan put his books aside and they fused, Virgil making him promise that it wouldn’t be longer than a couple of hours this time, and that they would stay away from Thomas and the other Sides. Virgil was nervous and scared and Logan was quick to agree.
The fusing was quick, and Brain came back to existence. He threw on one of Virgil’s grey hoodies and scooped up some books that Logan had been working on and split from Thomas’s house he shared with the Core Sides.
Logan had been fixated on something, and that bled over into Brain. He felt alive with an odd magic and went to the library that Logan had been scrounging books from.
For a little bit, Brain poured into Logan’s studies, Logan’s hyperfixation had become Brain’s. Even if it was slightly lower in intensity. He was at a local library, reading through some books on alchemy and making cross-references to the nature of chemistry and physics.
Virgil and Logan were busy making comments and Brain himself was curious. All the Sides’ fusions had slightly different auras than the Sides that made up the fusion. Brain had an aura that resembled Virgil’s, but worked like Logan’s. He was closer to a glitch, and Logan’s research might help him improve his magic overtime.
Brain was so taken by his studies that he almost missed chatter going on elsewhere in the library.
“Look it’s not my fault the guy’s an idiot, what do you want me to do about it exactly?”
“Some help would be appreciated, at least.”
“Techno is here!” Logan warned, jolting Brain from what he was doing.
“What?” Virgil almost got Brain split back apart in his fear. “Hide!”
Brain surged up, already slipping on a mask so his face wasn’t as recognizable as he looked over and saw Techno and Sam barely out of eyeshot, almost hidden around some pillar.
The sudden movement made Techno spot Brain and the two Server members locked gaze with Brain.
The fusion froze, two different styles of early self defense eating with each other as Techno seemed to look Brain over as he stepped around the pillar. As he approached, with Sam right behind him, Brain realized something. Both Server members were bigger than him and as this was Brain’s second time being fused they were no doubt stronger than him too.
“Uhh,” Brain started as Logan tried to keep the fusion calm. He quickly grabbed two of the books into his arms. “Hey, come to the library much?”
“Yeah, I do, but I don’t see you much,” Techno commented as he looked down at the notebook and papers still neatly arranged on the table. “An alchemist, huh?”
“Somewhat?” Brain admitted, not sure if he should be exaggerating his skill or not, and if one side of the other would increase his odds of escaping the situation. So instead he started taking the books and papers and slipping them back into Logan’s travel bag.
“You’re a Side,” Sam said, getting a good look at Brain’s slightly diminished aura.
Brain dumped the rest of his papers into the bag, “No?”
“That sounds like a definite yes,” Techno deciphered. “Real convincing, gotta do better than that.”
“Well, gotta go,” Brain decided, Virgil getting more and more nervous the longer he stayed. He had all of his things and decided to go and hide in Thomas’s laundry room from now until the end of time.
“Hey, hold up a second,” Techno cut in, but still gave Brain an avenue of escape. “Saw your notes and you had some . . . mistakes on it, want some pointers before you blow your face off?”
Brain threw a shoulder strap over his shoulder, “Why? What do you want from it?”
“I like learning new potions and skills,” Techno told him. “Plus, if your boss is starting to pick up actual fighting skills, I might get my rematch.”
“Take it,” Logan urged. “Information from the source.”
“Nah, I know a second location kidnapping when I see one,” Virgil warned.
“I don’t think I can trust you,” Brain warned and he felt Virgil get a little less tense.
“One of the smart ones,” Sam complimented. Brain was more than a bit on edge because he couldn’t see his face and it was a bit hard for Brain to get a read on tone with seeing his facial expression. Sam’s normally flat, if slightly sardonic, tone certainly didn’t help.
“Here,” Techno took out a round flask with two chambers in the orb. One was a vivacious grey liquid, the second was murky milk-white liquid. He underhanded it gently to Brain, who thankfully caught it and then pulled a second one out and Brain fumbled to catch the second one. But he held one in each hand.
“What are they?” Brain turned it over, both Brain and his components enthralled by how the different liquids move.
“Noxious smoke bombs,” Techno smiled. “Come on, there’s a park down the road. Let me show you how real alchemy works.”
With two smoke bombs and a text to Bing and Oliver to tell them what was going on, Brain took his bag and followed them.
“Why are you helping me?” Brain asked the two Server members. “Even giving me the potions you did seems counterintuitive.”
“I want a real fight with that Legate, I’ll train him myself if I need to,” Techno told Brain. “Teaching you alchemy might make the fight interesting, and I like that.”
“I want a better look at your aura,” Sam admitted. “Your aura is a lot like the other one in the nanite suit. Did you split off from that one?”
“No, uh,” Brain got fidgety and stopped, the park within sight. Sam stopped before Techno did. “I’m a fusion.
“You know, I’ve heard that through the grapevine, but no one’s been able to tell me what that means,” Techno inclined his head to the left ever so slightly.
“Two or more Sides can make a new person,” Brain explained, trying not to give out too much information. “Typically fusions last anywhere from a couple hours to a couple of days.”
“Huh,” Techno commented, drawing out the syllable. “And which Sides are you?”
Brain took a step back, “Logic and Anxiety.”
“Well that explains some things about your aura,” Sam commented and then kept walking. Which took Brain a little bit to follow after them.
They got into the park and Techno began drawing a huge circle to keep effects trapped inside the circle and Techno motioned for Brain to step out of it.
“Okay, toss one in,” Techno looked over to Brain, and since he had a second one, the fusion tossed it into the circle and the portion shattered, the glass and stopper consumed by the magic and the liquids mixed. Even past the barrier, Brain’s eyes watered and his nose itches.
His form shook, almost splitting as Brain started coughing. “Geez, that’s bad. This is a smoke bomb? The ones I’ve seen go off aren’t usually this caustic.”
“Then the mage is going for a distraction and not and actual smoke bomb,” Techno told him.
“So there are distinctions then?” Brain asked, watching the smoke dissipate. “There are only certain things that constitute explosives.”
“Well,” Techno stalled, “Anything can make a bomb if you’re stupid, or careless.”
“Of course, of course,” Brain agreed.
Techno walked into the circle and began pulling flasks out of his cloak. “Now let me give you some pointers.”
“Don’t you need a whole lab set up for alchemy?” Brain asked, recalling Logan’s memories of Marvin’s set up in his library.
“I mean,” Techno shrugged as he began pulling out random pouches and packets. “You can strengthen effects or make more complex potions by fermenting or distilling potions, but in a fight you won’t have time to do it so when Phil and I would get on the battlefield we got used to mixing simplistic potions on the fly. But like I said, anything can make a bomb. Will was the only one of Phil’s kids that ever got the finesse of potion making. Real shame he’s dead.”
“Oh yeah,” Sam commented dryly. “Real shame, I spend every day lamenting his death. That asshole was a menace to society and his drug running got us into a lot of trouble.”
Brain tried his best to listen in on all the conversation as Techno and Sam were giving him potion mixing lessons. Techno making sure that Brian was throwing or mixing the potions right as Sam offered pointers or coming in to help distract Brain a little bit while he was trying to mix potions. Most of the time Brain couldn’t multitask and the spell backfired or didn’t work but because of the lack of concentration. But Brain was successful exactly once with making a smoke bomb only one time.
Sam had to leave and Brain left with corrected notes and new found knowledge. When Brain broke back apart upon reaching the base, Logan took the notes and the smoke bomb and began examining the compounds inside the potion. Virgil sitting next to him with his earphones in and on his phone.
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