Oct 20, 2018 10:19 PM
ignorance is strength
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jean finds ardas suspicious. because we are mean, we drop him in one where this is a bad assumption
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"We know and are known to the orcish peoples of Endorë and now a hundred colony worlds and to the Dwarvish people, also of Endorë, and to the [minor gods] and [major gods] and Creator."

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These people really are intense about their religion, aren't they. And it sounds like they do have warp, good. "The Federation -- the humans, our people, and the Vulcans -- will be very excited to meet you, once we re-establish contact with them."

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"We would be delighted to assist you in achieving that."

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"Thank you, that's very kind." And only slightly complicated by the fact that he's a wanted terrorist. "...also, whatever caused the unexpected transportation also seems to have transformed our pilot into a small lizard of some sort. I'm not sure if he currently has the intelligence of a sapient or a lizard, so if it's possible to obtain some kind of suitably comfortable container for him, we'd be very grateful."

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This startles their interlocutor. " - oh dear - one of the [minor gods] can check, and probably one of the [major gods] can put him back. Is that a - common occurence where you're from? People here do not turn into salamanders unless they intend to."

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"It is as far as I know unprecedented, intentionally or otherwise. That would be very helpful if they can do that," not that he's particularly optimistic, but he's not going to be rude about their religious convictions, "although assuming it's likely to take more than a few minutes I'd still prefer to put him somewhere more appropriate than an empty coffee cup."

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"I've instructed someone to bring us a suitable habitat immediately. The [major gods] are all on our homeworld, a paradise they built for us called Valinor, and it will take them five days to get here to help, but there are some [minor gods] here who can communicate with him if he is capable of communication."

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"Thank you very much." Their religion is kind of cute, if he ignores the concerns about whether they've convinced themselves they're communicating with infants or paralyzed people or people otherwise incapable of communication. "May I ask -- I didn't hear you give instructions; Vulcans, unlike humans, have telepathic abilities; do you, or have you some other method of communication?"

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"We have souls which enable us to communicate with each other over distances up to about [two hundred thousand miles]. The range used to be much shorter but some clever engineers have recently improved it. We cannot communicate in this fashion with people who do not have souls, like you, or Dwarves, but the gods have a similar ability which works with all beings."

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So, Vulcans down to the katra, all right. "I'm sure the Vulcans will be fascinated by your engineering advances, if you're willing to share them."

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"Of course!!! Glorious Contentment doesn't allow most recent advances but there are colonies that will be delighted to host them and share everything that has been developed."

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...he doesn't even know if the combination of the ban and the enthusiasm is more concerning, or just confusing.

"As will we -- I assume, from the hundreds of colony worlds, that you have faster-than-light travel?"

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"We have lightleapers! They were developed thirty years ago on Valinor by the Noldorin King's family personally."

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Oh good this is that kind of society. He is going to recruit so many engineers by offering them proper credit for their work.

"And I see you have replicators; do you have them self-replicating yet?"

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"Replicators?"

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(Zari pokes her translator to inform it that it's missed a vocabulary word.)

"Devices which can, given raw material, energy, and blueprints, fabricate near-arbitrary items."

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"We don't have those! That sounds really useful. The gods can do that but I take it you're referring to something more transferrable than that."

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"Oh, yes; I assumed from the style of the architecture that you had them, it looks a lot like what we were building shortly after inventing them." Although admittedly in better taste. "We'll be delighted to share. Their power draw is enormous, but if you have warp I can't imagine that will be a problem."

(He's taking mental notes on the supposed capabilities of the gods, since it's evidently going to come up a lot. Generic creator-deities, it sounds like, credited with making their home planet, universal telepathy, general-purpose oracular consulting. Pretty typical. Maybe it'll be a positive influence on religious toleration within the Federation.)

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"The gods did the architecture on most of the new colony planets that didn't prefer to start from scratch in the wilderness. Well, we designed it, but they built it. I think the planets that started from scratch in the wilderness have less gemstones, they're hard to find in nature on most planets developed through natural processes. I bet orcs will really like replicators, they usually don't ban technology and they don't like the gods very much so they'll like having the ability to do it themselves."

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...'we designed it, they built it' is the opposite of how he'd expect things to be attributed, but okay.

"Why do you ban technology, if I may ask?"

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"It's very disruptive. Some people just want to settle down and raise their children in a world that is mostly going to be recognizable by the time the children are grown up."

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Jean mentally revises his to-do list.

"That makes sense. I apologize for any disruption we've caused by our arrival."

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"If you'd come on purpose Glorious Contentment would not have been the place to which you were directed but you came by accident and we are glad that we could help and happy to host you for as long as it makes sense for you to remain here."

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"We're very grateful for the understanding. And the hospitality. Are we, incidentally, keeping you from more urgent matters? I'm happy to provide all the information about our civilization that you'd like, but I'm neither a diplomat nor a scientist, and will not be offended if you'd prefer to stow us somewhere out of the way until contact can be made and a more official delegation sent."

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"The King has assembled a delegation that is on their way but we are happy to answer questions for you in the meantime."

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