Jul 23, 2019 9:03 PM
Marena lands on Neuroi
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"Yeah, and those sound more practical anyway."

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"We've already got steam-powered ships. It was pumps before that. The rotative beam engine is a work of genius. Burn things and turn a wheel. They've been trying putting them on land vehicles of some kind but I don't know the details there..."

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"Progressing tech is always good."

She'd love to be able to tell Misho the details, but she knows even if she asks that she won't remember them.

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"Lots of my fellow academics have very esoteric interests. Astronomy, geology, linguistics. They're being made to invent new navigation, find coal and iron, and translate between all the armies of the world, respectively. My own skills are much more direct, powered machinery and making metal behave. They'll find a place for anyone who knows how to do things, or try at any rate."

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"Oh, god, I hadn't thought of the translation difficulties. Those must be hellish."

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"They're trying to standardize everything on English, which I find slightly curious as Gallian is considered the academic and administrative language of Europa, and there are probably more people speaking Arabic than the entire population of Europa..."

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"I'm also guessing a lot of people are positively thrilled that they now have to go learn another language. ...And a bunch of people actually thrilled that they don't, I guess."

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"I'm not involved with high level political stuff but yes, people complain about that a lot. England has the most organized industrial capacity in the world right now, might be part of it? More steel, more boats, more coal, more watermills, better roads and ports, more banks..."

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"More power to say 'hey, no, you're the ones who are gonna have to speak something different.'"

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"And we're the furthest of the imperial powers from the advancing demons. Karlsland could have easily taken point, but they're threatened with destruction, so."

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"Karlsland probably has bigger fish to fry."

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"And more squabbling nobles. They called-" He looks around surreptitiously to see if anyone is watching them. "They called the Queen a tyrant a decade ago - my colleagues now think she's a visionary instead because everything's humming along, she can say 'make it so', and so it is made."

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"Strong central leadership has it's certain-- conveniences.

...just watch she doesn't disappear into thin air, that's going to be when the trouble starts."

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"Oh god, I barely want to consider it. I don't know if the existential threat would keep anyone from squabbling if she falls ill but betting on the common sense and decency of my fellow man is a bit... Worrying."

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"You know the civil war I mentioned? Three guesses how that happened."

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"The world's a messy place. I comfort myself with the thought that I'm more use to anyone doing metalwork than dead."

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"Usefulness is always good to cultivate."

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"'Course, being useful also means you don't get left alone as much. And you know if you're not helping, you're not helping more than some illiterate farmer isn't helping... If that makes any sense at all."

(More beer is called for. One more, and that'll be all for tonight. Probably.)

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"...I think I get it? Like, there's only so unhelpful you can be."

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"More like... I could be more helpful than they average serf, so it feels, mm, ungrateful and selfish to not help?"

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"Yeah, and there is like, a war on, so there's good reason to want to be helpful."

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"Well, if I burn out and decide to torch everything or collapse into a nervous wreck it probably does more harm than taking a day off once in a while." Sigh. "Miracle metal is promising on that front, however much I shouldn't talk about it."

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"I'm mean, if it gets called a miracle metal, people are probably going to want to keep it hush-hush."

...it's jade, isn't it. Oh dear. Okay, maybe not, it could be something else-- but what would they consider miraculous, honestly?

It's probably jade.

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"It makes me nervous, being too close to big secrets. Kind of thing people disappear in the night for."

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"At least your usefulness might help?"

Great, just what she needed, things being more fraught. ...it raises questions about whether she should tell Rost. He'd like to know, she might get paid, but if they can trace her sources, it's not going to be good for Theo.

Hmm.

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