Nov 16, 2018 6:09 PM
jean finds ardas suspicious. because we are mean, we drop him in one where this is a bad assumption
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"Oh, that was quick; all right."

(In what kind of society is a royal delegation quicker to rustle up than a goldfish bowl? This is going to be such a cultural experience.)

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The Elves do not seem to find the user interface intuitive. In particular they do not seem to have ever themselves designed an interface which required the user to move in any way in order to interact with it. While they are working on this someone rolls over a large cart with a thousand-gallon terrarium for the salamander.

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...well, okay then.

 

(Zari discovers that she is not in fact tall enough to put the ex-pilot into this without a moderate amount of flinging being involved, and delegates this task to an Elf.)

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Elves are tall. And assure the salamander that a [minor god] is on the way to try to communicate with it.

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If the salamander understands this it does not indicate its understanding in any obvious way.

It does seem to like the terrarium. Probably. It's kind of hard to read salamander body language.

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"Who created your species?" asks an interface-attempting Elf interestedly.

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"There's some dispute on the matter."

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"Oh?" Suspicious poke.

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"It was a very long time ago."

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Quizzical look. "We were created [5112 Earth years] ago."

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What did he do in life to deserve first contact with young-earth-creationist aliens.

"It's been -- ah, chérie --"

     "A couple of hundred thousand years."

"Thank you. A couple hundred thousand years, for us; it's harder to be sure."

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"And no one is still alive from back then?"

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"...no. How long do Elves live?"

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Puzzled blinking. 

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"...is there a problem with the translation? ... I'm sorry if I'm being terribly rude in some manner."

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"There might be but I don't know what it is -"

"They're like Dwarves -"

"I know they're like Dwarves but I don't know how a Dwarf would answer that -"

"Oh, I know how a Dwarf would answer that, they'd say their chance of death per year is 0.000034% which implies that after ten thousand years there's a 30% chance they'd have died."

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"Humans -- like Vulcans, and most though not all living things on both planets -- predictably wear out over time, much like a tool you use regularly or clothing you wear often will wear out. This generally results in death within about a hundred years, in the case of humans, and always within a hundred and fifty. Vulcans live about twice that."

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" - Eru, I'm so sorry. That's awful. We've got to reach you right away, then - the gods can't get people without souls back -"

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"...am I understanding correctly that none of the species you're familiar with do that?"

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"Of course not. What appallingly evil design - even orcs don't do that -"

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Yeah he's not touching the whole Intelligent Design issue.

"We've been working on it -- people only used to live eighty years, maybe a hundred if they were lucky -- but it's a difficult scientific problem; if you haven't encountered it before I'm not sure you'll have much of an advantage in fixing it."

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"Eru could."

"He might not but he could -"

"He wouldn't not -"

"This is not a conversation for Glorious Contentment."

"Eru could," says the first Elf stubbornly.

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...well, by the time the faith-healing actually comes up, it will be the problem of an actual diplomat.

"I apologize for broaching an inappropriate subject."

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"It's not that we don't prefer to know that your people are at risk of this," says the Elf who felt this wasn't a conversation for Glorious Contentment. "It's that the bylaws of this colony do not encourage arguments over Eru. There are plenty of other colonies where people can go if they like having arguments over Eru. This sounds important, and if it in fact requires Eru then there'll be a great deal of discussion to be had, but it is important that not all places be places where people have arguments over Eru, and this isn't meant to be one."

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Sometimes being a perfect actor is very useful.

(...at least maybe the entire species isn't like this, they just happened to arrive by the Planet of Fundamentalist Elves.)

"Understood. Are there, incidentally, other laws we ought to be aware of?"

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