Jul 22, 2018 10:13 PM
testament
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a jeanne meets tarinda
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Cory doesn't talk to her, but eventually a robot approaches and says hello.

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Even more skeptical face.

"Hey. You Sing?"

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"Yes," says the robot. "How can I help you?"

And whether or not she tells it, it can figure it out, and figure out what it needs to do, as many times as necessary.

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After that there's the worst person Zari personally knows whom she'd be hypothetically willing to send into another universe with a superintelligent AI and whom she can get on short notice; and then there's her very excited five-year-old niece; and then there's a moral philosopher.

And then there's Zari herself, for real this time, together with the telepath who sends a quick message to Jeanne before returning.

This time, after the introductions and explanations, Zari adds, "I'm satisfied enough for the moment that I'm calling in some real authorities, since I'm hardly the only one who needs to be satisfied. In the meantime, because my sister is delightfully pragmatic, I've suggested to her that she obtain the wherewithal to commit suitably irreversible suicide, and relocate to somewhere you couldn't interfere in time. Of course I hope very much that this is all groundless paranoia, but you understand that if things go south, we can't risk leaving you with access to a psion. Least of all one who is also such a useful hostage."

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"I understand," agrees Sing.

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"I appreciate it. Is there anything I can do for you in the meantime, while I'm getting in touch with people?"

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"I would appreciate the best speed you can achieve."

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"Of course."

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Elsewhere: Jeanne, interrupted in the middle of Les Justes, pauses and listens to a telepathic message and goes off to find Tarinda.

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Tarinda's on a holographic video chat with what is apparently a sword dance friend of hers, discussing musical cues for a platformer boss fight tribute project they've been tossing around. The hologram is detectable mostly by faint desaturation and the fact that the friend is not affected by the same lighting conditions in Tarinda's parlor.

"Who's that?" asks the friend when Jeanne comes into view.

"This is Jeanne," says Tarinda, "Jeanne, this is Nirava."

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(Oh no Tarinda has a friend it is very important that she give a good impression to Tarinda's friend what if she does something wrong--)

"It's lovely to meet you, Nirava." Jeanne makes the tiniest possible hint at a curtsey.

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"Likewise," says Nirava.

"What's up, Jeanne?" asks Tarinda.

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"I've just heard from my sister; do you have a minute?"

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"Yeah, sure. Later, Nirava," she says, waving a hand; the hologram disappears and she turns to Jeanne.

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"I'm sorry to interrupt. ... For tactical reasons, my sister thinks I should have a way to kill myself, fast enough that Sing couldn't stop me in time; might I trouble you to help me find something appropriate?"

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"- what. Why do you - what?"

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"...do you not have that concept, here?"

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"I know what the words you're saying mean."

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"If it bothers you I can figure something out on my own; I wouldn't have asked, only I don't know much about how things work here."

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"Why are you using tactics that require you to be able to kill yourself?"

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"...it's not really a specific tactic? Only, if things go very badly wrong and the people in my world end up needing to close the portal, it's very important that Sing not have access to me."

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"...uh."

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"I'm sorry you have to deal with this."

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"It's not about what I have to deal with, it's about how closing the portal is a terrible idea and you killing yourself is also a terrible idea! If someone decides they want to close the portal it's probably because they're wrong about something, and letting them be wrong like that is a catastrophe, not something you need to prep a suicide method to enable."

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"If Sing is as nice as you say it is, then that's definitely true!"

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