Oct 20, 2018 10:29 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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"I'm afraid my sister and I are nothing like an official delegation ourselves -- we were just trying to take a trip -- but of course we're happy to meet people." ('Honored' would probably be pushing it.) "How much of the galaxy have you explored? I imagine your maps and ours don't overlap, or we'd have made contact before this, but it might still be possible to figure out where home is, relative to here. I hope -- I'm hardly an expert."

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"Is there any particular reason to expect we are in the same galaxy? We haven't been exploring for very long and we've prioritized finding prospective colony planets. I can get you maps."

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"Desperate hope, mostly, I suppose; if we're not, then our best hope for returning home is probably reproducing whatever brought us here in the first place. Hopefully without the salamander part. It might be more useful if I got you maps; I don't particularly expect to be able to deduce any information about relative positions, I'm just guessing that someone with the relevant expertise might be able to."

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"Lightleapers don't have a distance limit that we know of." Someone starts setting up a projector thing for a map.

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"Neither does warp, but we can't safely sustain speeds that would get us to another galaxy within my lifetime."

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"Lifetime?"

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(Zari pokes her translator again.)

"De mon vivant," Jean tries, in case the translator can get it better from French. "Before I die."

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" - of the ship being too small? We have some very big ones."

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"...I wasn't worried about your life support." Although now he is, a little. "But it would take more than a thousand years to get to even the nearest galaxy at top warp."

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"Lightleapers take five days to go somewhere."

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"What, anywhere?"

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"Yes. They don't cross the intervening distance, they fold it."

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(Zari is sufficiently excited that Jean has to glance in her direction and make a suppressive hand gesture.)

"Well. That is -- extremely new to us. ... I suppose you may find warp useful for shorter trips, then, actually."

 

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"If it can make them in less than five days that sounds very useful!"

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"It scales straightforwardly with distance -- the trip from our home planet to the nearest solar system is on the order of five hours."

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"Endorë and Valinor are [25 light-years] apart, how long would that take?"

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Jean glances at his sister.

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"Day and a half. Just about, anyway, there's of course a bit of sublight travel at each end and so forth."

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"I expect they'll be really excited about that!"

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"Not half as excited as people back home will be about lightleapers!"

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And they get a map up and running for him! 

It's a different galaxy. It's not even a spiral galaxy.

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"I don't know much astronomy but I can tell you that's not our galaxy."

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"That was rather what I was expecting; I'd have thought the gods would know if there were other peoples around, and have sent help if they possibly could."

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Yes yes theology he wonders if there's a polite way to indicate that his sister is the religious one.

"Our computers are presumably not compatible or I'd just send over all our maps, but if you'd like to borrow a physical device I think the interface is reasonably intuitive."

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"We'd be delighted to take a look! The emissaries also alert us that they're nearly here."

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