Jun 22, 2018 5:17 AM
i wasn't looking for this
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"I do not know. Maybe I'm a fluke. We could check, but if I am a fluke it might be hard to get me back, or hard to put back another test summons. It sounds like you have about one really dedicated demon's worth of needs, so let's not mess with it yet."

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"If it's not broken, don't fix it. Right. Well my wishlist starts with proper instruments, barometer being the first one I thought of, telescope, electric things for light and pumps and radio, proper fuel-cell engines instead of steam burners... I should probably take you to a town. They'll need more things than I ever will."

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"I will be perfectly honest with you: all your technology looks to me like extremely ingenious stone-age crap. I can just fill out your wishlist and then move on to the town, but this seems a little like meeting a guy in a cave with a stone knife and getting him a new one instead of offering him a pair of decent shoes and the secrets of domesticating the tasty animals."

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"Yes, all our technology is stone-age crap. Please enlighten me to the wonders of lost technology."

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"I don't think it's the same tech tree. We don't have stargates, for instance. But, like," Cam makes his computer, "this is my computer, it stores and manipulates and presents data, it can hold a decent fraction of the sum total of media output from the last forever or connect to a somewhat larger device which could hold literally all of it, it can translate between any languages it 'knows' and connect to networks of similar devices, and only I can operate it because I have a gadget in my brain notifying it of my mental commands."

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"I've heard of computers, seen them in rusted out mining stations even, but never had a clear picture of what they're for. Am I correct that entertainment is just one of many uses?"

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"Yup. For example, if I'm doing any complicated engineering, I plan it out on the computer first because the computer is very good at math."

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"Delightful." He's been manipulating the stone-age crap controls during the conversation. The ship is now turning left and descending. "I'm quite unsure how to be efficient with your ability. If you made an unusually huge floatstone island and encouraged immigration it would centralize things, at least."

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"I might do that! Although an island which floats seems awkward in a number of ways. It's gas all the way through, nothing to anchor on?"

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"There's solid land down there somewhere. I was imagining your making things on insufficient scale, it seems. Though come to think of it, everything else would still be moving and eventually run into your tower-or-whatever, wouldn't it?"

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"Do they have ways to prevent that when everything involved is moving?"

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"Yes. Mostly. Usually. But the relative speeds would be higher since we mostly flow with the winds. We're probably currently moving at probably at least two hundred kilometers an hour compared to the surface."

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"Can they steer? I could make it with nice big holes in the structure."

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"That could work, as long as it's sufficiently obvious that they'll be needing to. The clouds can get dense sometimes. But uninhabited islands and ships that are tied down to something solid for the night won't be steering."

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"All right, maybe I won't anchor my island, but I'm going to make it stationary most of the time, anyway."

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"You could go for an altitude that has little traffic, which would reduce the problem. And nimble ships with harpoons and a watch system can help cover it too. I'm sure you'd find volunteers."

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"Harpoons? What am I harpooning?"

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"Dangerous wildlife and/or floating islands to pull them out of the way."

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"I can probably improve on harpoons, or at least manually operated harpoons. You can harpoon islands. What a planet."

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"Well technically you'd be harpooning the thick layer of plantlife every island either eventually accumulates or is, in fact, entirely composed of."

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"Even so. This will require serious design thought."

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"I'll just pilot us to somewhere potentially convenient for island-making then? You probably want to study some floatstone. You can probably do meat, could I have some fish? I've heard of fish but never actually had any. No open water."

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"I assume you don't care what kind of fish or know how you want it prepared."

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"I don't like fried things. Otherwise, you are again correct."

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Cam hands him a skewer of salmon chunks with lemon oil and butter and salt and pepper and roasted garlic.

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