It's a long drive up to Canada to see Jackson's family, but Brian likes driving and Jackson doesn't like airport security (he doesn't have all the official stamps of approval he needs to avoid extra scrutiny for being a psion). They've recently crossed the border into Montana.
"I'd guess that precogs prevented it here, but it's most likely way too classified to confirm that theory."
"Eh, I don't know if it'd have been quite that classified - if, had it occurred, it would have been televised, it wouldn't just be army precogs who saw it. But I haven't heard of it."
"Might be interesting to look into, then - though there are probably easier differences to find, that's just the one that came up first."
"Makes sense. And maybe plenty of people know about it but it's not important because it didn't happen so I've never run into it." She shrugs. She gets another plate of food.
Daria starts to list major historical events to check on the local Wikpedia, checking dates and descriptions with Mariam when she doesn't remember some detail.
Isabella has read a lot of Wikipedia, since this is a more sensible time investment if you have an eidetic memory.
Oooh! MLK's assassination? Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Are these five actors still a thing? What about these authors? Who's the Prime Minister of Australia? What happened with these high-profile murder cases that had heavy necromancer involvement in her world? She could go on like this for a while.
Yes, yes, four of them, six of those, same guy, those are all different... "Bear in mind that until pretty recently there were way fewer eclipsed."
"Yeah, we had the secrecy thing, you couldn't really do anything major. But that's weird too, that both of our worlds have had the magic system recently expand its potential that much."
"Maybe it's just a coincidence? If there's enough worlds two of them have got to be similar enough for it to be weird."
"That doesn't explain the us!"
"I mean, what let you be more active? Eclipsed were never secret, we were waiting on a tech boost - with smaller population sizes it was usually necessary to kill eclipsed, couldn't sustain them, nobody to lock them down -"
"- I guess the tech could explain it, it was TV that kicked it off back home."
"There you go."
She grins at Isabella and scrawls "tech level?!" underneath her previous notes.
"And 2001 isn't late enough that there were tons of qualified virtuality-originated precogs running around already, but it's late enough that there was a history of systematized ways of looking after anyone who wanted to try a low-cal diet in the middle of nowhere, and lockdown psions to let people pretend they weren't magic till they were older, so there were more precogs and more would have been looking out for things and had a line to the relevant authorities."
"When was virtuality invented, I don't remember if you've mentioned?"
"Ninety-two. It sucked a lot and got better."
"Fourteen years, that's newer than I thought."
"For a while computers were shitty enough that nobody'd put the effort into seeing if they counted as things psions could work with at all, and then VR was another insight and chunk of dev time away."
"It's really weird that that's a thing. 'Computers and minds' doesn't feel like a natural category to me at all."
"Minds do computation."
"So does an abacus."
"Yeah, I'm sure someone's looked into how mechanical a computer can get before it doesn't count anymore but I don't happen to have looked it up. Electricity might be key."
"Would a calculator count?"