Jun 26, 2019 4:23 PM
James meets Aestrix
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"You will not be late. When I say save your world, I mean actually save it, no more dragons, no more shitty gods, no more, uh, what else do you have, eldritch whatsits nibbling at reality? Or something? I forget. Oh, oh, no more Palawa Joko, fuck that guy. I am so pissed that he was let loose and no one thought to put him back until after he had his army together, who would do that??"

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"...that would actually be pretty amazing!" he says after a barely perceptible pause, with less than complete enthusiasm.

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... Aestrix sporfles, makes an expression that reads as 'oh no honey I'm sorry,' then pats his hand gently.

"And then put you down in a place that is not boring. I am not going to put you in the unenviable position where you get to like, ask the all powerful person to ruin your life for the good of the world, that sounds shitty to do to you? Instead I can just, I don't know, give you immortality and super powers and send you to gleefully cavort about the multiverse, having adventures in places."

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- he starts laughing and rubs the back of his head. "Was it that obvious or do you just know me better than you should?"

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"Second thing! It's okay, I don't think you're a bad person for enjoying being a hero? Oh no, how dare you get personal fulfillment from saving people. So I'm just going to give you a comfy multiversal home, a way to visit Tyria, probably some kind of comfy immortality solution, and a way to cavort about saving people in an infinite multiverse. Because I don't see why you shouldn't have nice things."

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"I might want to marry you."

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She cracks up.

"I don't think that's possible, considering, but I'm flattered anyway, thank you. So I'm hearing a yes to all of that?"

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"Yes! Yes, definitely! That sounds - incredible!"

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"Okay! Come along, then, I'm going to make you a house, because I like making pretty things."

She snaps her laptop closed, then picks it up and tosses it over her shoulder. It bursts into brilliant blue flames and disappears before hitting the ground.

"This is going to be a fun power trip," she says, brightly, with a large smile.

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He laughs and gets up, too. "Should I just watch or do you want creative input?"

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"I would not mind creative input! I hardly want to make a pretty house that you don't like. Though I have an idea for your multiversal travel method that would be extremely aesthetic, considering." She hums a little tune, then snaps her fingers, and the bar disappears.

Instead, they stand in a large, multileveled library with a warm color scheme and a slightly rustic feel.

"I'm gonna steal from Myst," explains Aestrix, brightly. "Not completely, but the 'books are gateways to other worlds' schtick."

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"Er, 'Myst' being something other than the Mists, you mean?"

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"Oh, yes, sorry, it's a setting where you travel to different worlds through books. It's very neat, I like it a lot." She reaches out and grabs a book from the shelves.

"All right, rules. Name of the world is on the spine of the book." She flips it open and displays an impressively large tree, with a minuscule city at its base. Its branches sway gently in the breeze. "On the pages, pictures of different places in the world. Usually large places of note, cities, major landmarks, so on. The books will update themselves as the world changes, I think I'll let it catch important places to people in the library, just so you don't have to like, walk ages to get someone back to their house. Touch a picture to go there, and it'll appear you there in an out of the way place no one was looking at. You can take books out of the library, but if you lose them or they get destroyed, they might not ever come back. Or they might come back eventually after a disproportionate amount of time has passed in the world, while only a few days or minutes have passed for you. Or if Pedro is feeling merciful, no change might happen at all and it'll just happily reappear back where it had been. But don't count on it. I therefore do not recommend losing or getting them destroyed. They will not be destroyed in the library itself. So it's a risk reward kind of deal." She smiles apologetically, and shrugs. "I have to make there be actual stakes for the adventures to be any fun, you know?"

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The corner of his mouth tugs up. "I couldn't agree more. I suppose being a fictional character is a mixed blessing." Pause. "What was waiting for me, if you hadn't intervened? And should I expect there's another, ah, 'version' of me who's going to go through it anyway?"

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"Uh, I'm sketchy on the details, but they involve personally fighting Balthazar, dying, and then clawing your way out of death to come back and kill him for it. But then unfortunately you cannot solve all of your problems with murder, because one of the dragons eats his power or something, and killing one more might destroy the world. You know, Tuesday in Tyria. I expect there to be another version who's going to go through it anyway. There's also a phenomenon called alts, which is like... Imagine instead of being born in your world, you were born in another, and grew up there. Now imagine that there is no 'instead,' there is just an 'and,' and that you can therefore meet that other version of yourself. That would be an alt. Alternate version."

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"Do I have one of those?"

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"At least one! He's from one of my worlds!" she says, brightly. "You might run into him eventually. Do you want spoilers?"

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"Sure!"

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"Okay! I so declare that a library is not complete without comfy chairs, so there are some here." She glides down a set of stairs to find (and then sit) in one.

"So I would like to preface this explanation with 'I do not like to get characters into trouble that they can't get out of.' I might do horrible things, but I don't like giving people situations that are impossible to fix. As you might have noticed, I'm a total sweetie, so. Happy endings only."

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"Better than the alternative," he agrees, taking a seat, too.

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"Yeah. All right, so. This actually requires some explanation and understanding of physics to relay the concepts properly, this world is really science heavy because I'm a huge nerd." She pauses to consider how she's going to explain this. "First of all, you know Tyria's round, right, really big sphere, not at all flat?"

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"- yeah. Are there, er, people who think it's flat?"

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Oh you sweet summer child, she doesn't say. Yes, James. Yes there are people that think planets are flat.

"Yes. I had to check with Pedro to make sure that it wasn't, because some worlds actually are. Mine isn't, but it happens, physics gets squirrely sometimes. But anyway, back on topic. ... Oo, I can make this storytime!" She glances up at the many books around them and clicks her tongue, rather like she's calling a dog. A book with the title 'Viduus' removes itself from a shelf and floats over to land in her lap. Aestrix hums, pleased with the minor perks of ultimate cosmic power. She flips open the book to the first page, where a picture of a lovely blue marble takes up the page. She shows James, because that is what one does when it is storytime.

"Once upon a time, on a planet very unlike Tyria, a bunch of humans lived. On the whole, this world was significantly safer than Tyria ever was. There were some dangerous animals, in some parts of the world, but no dragons. No centaurs, no undead, no sylvari, asura, norn, charr, destroyers or, from your perspective, all that much else besides humans. It would be inaccurate to call the world safe, but there was no struggle for dominance between races. No grand threats attempting to destroy or remake the world. The only real monsters there are the ones that are humans themselves, and all the world was free for the taking."

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He peeks at the picture. "No offence but it sounds kinda boring."

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She giggles.

"You'd probably think so if you went, yeah. All of the interesting stuff happens later, and lots of places are not as dangerous as Tyria. Still, what do you think humans do when left to their own devices?" She flips the page, and displays a rather impressive looking building. "With nothing to constantly attack them," flip, "all of the resources of the world at their disposal," flip, "and seemingly endless time in which to build," flip, "and build," flip, "and build." Final flip, to show another picture of the same lovely blue marble. "Until all the world was covered with their wonders."

She smiles at him. "So it wasn't all boring, you know."

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