Dec 15, 2018 6:31 PM
in color amentans meet hazel
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Aitim looks utterly bewildered for the half-second it takes him to remember that she's on magic drugs. " - congratulations. A planet? Aliens? Are the aliens friendly?"

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"Yes! And yes!" She hands him her everything, onto which she has downloaded the planet information and alien contact information. "This one's for Cene, next one's gonna be nicer. That's coordinates and telemetry, the aliens' star chart they gave me, and everything my magical drug regimen had to say about diplomacy with the species. Felix will probably send me in a different direction next time if you have people who are not on potions go after these leads in my place."

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"If you've got leads on several habitable planets why keep taking the drug?"

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"Can't fly on withdrawal. If withdrawal didn't suck, I would have stopped as soon as I got to Cene's new colony, but it does, so I had to have plenty, and I'm going to keep taking it as long as the market can supply me, because no two-digit number of planets can hold us till we're all replaced with hybrids, and therefore no two-digit number of planets can calm us the hell down about the disposal of this one."

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"All right. They paid for your supply. They're worried about you, I think you should stop by. I'll follow up on this."

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"Oh, yeah, of course, just wanted - or Felix thought I should, rather - catch you now. I'll send you all this." She takes her everything back.

There's a Floo station tucked away for the benefit of wizards being fooled about the existence of magical Amentans; she takes that to Britain and swing by the Way estate.

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He jumps up when he sees her. "Pelape -"

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She beams. She hugs him. "I found a planet! And more aliens! And the aliens don't live on the planet! I missed you, I hope you weren't too worried -"

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"Little bit worried. What's the planet like! Where do the aliens live - did you get their language - I missed you -"

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She laughs when he asks about the language and squeezes him. "I'll CC you all the telemetry, need to send it to Aitim. I didn't get their language but they're friendly and I'm sure someone will collect it soon, they have their own very fast machine translation that took the ship's library and let them talk Anitami!" She peers at her everything over her shoulder and sends the message.

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"And the planet?"

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"Forty-one month year, ocean, pretty high oxygen concentration, worse turnaround than here from Amenta, but we can dump it on Cene and keep the really amazing ones ourselves."

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"Yup! Felix is undersold. It does long term goals just fine as long as you have enough of it. - uh, since I'm going to be on magical drugs for the foreseeable future I would understand if that had consequences."

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"Why for the foreseeable future? Someone else can do it - or you could do, like, one more, that'd be enough -"

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"- it won't be enough, though. I don't know exactly how many we need until we finally disentangle how springs work and how to make them not work this way, but depending on how hybrids shake out it could be generations. Even if hybrids do work that won't be guaranteed to get us to a happily stable population. And even if they work and they get us that way, people aren't anticipating that, and will be calling for the use of Earth in a way that assumes permanent habitat insecurity, unless planets appear and keep appearing very fast. Someone else could do it, I'm sure Aitim can find another pilot who's trustworthy with knowledge of magic, but - I'm already on it. I already know about magic. I'm altruistic enough that Felix does in fact steer me to planets instead of petty random short-term things. I'm - I'm not married and I don't have any children. If it ever looks like we really don't need any more, or we meet so many generous spacefaring aliens that there can be another planet in the news every month just from asking them for help, then I guess you can tackle me and make sure I don't get any more. It does luck, not wrestling prowess or anything, I'll hardly be able to stop you. But I decided to do this with a clear head and was expecting it to stay done for - a while."

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"It would still have been worth it if it turned me into a p-zombie or made me depressed or something but it didn't even do that. It's the most no-brainer trade ever, it's honestly really nice to be on. I'm sorry I skipped out alone last time, I'm not sure exactly why it didn't direct me to tell anybody except with the note. I wrote the note before I took it, it just didn't tell me to get rid of it. But - next trip, if you wanted to, you could come with me?"

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"I'd like that. Maybe there wouldn't have been room for another person and you and the alien rescues."

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"I don't think that was it. Their ship was this big." She gestures breadbox-sized.

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"What, really? That's adorable. - And I suppose there'd be an awful lot of them before they ran out of space, that size."

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"Yup! I'm sure there are also aliens we will not be so glad to encounter but Felix did not send me their way!"

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"It sounds neat if not for the part where you run out of it."

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"Yup. I have two days' worth more and then I have to hope somebody paid the bills and the makers brewed me more batches."

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"We paid, yeah."

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