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Nov 19, 2018 2:33 PM
alteriverse!imrainai lands on atlantis!serg
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Her finger survives this expedition without discernible harm!

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Cool, cool. 

She considers throwing a rock above her head to see whether it falls back through the barrier or bounces off, but the ceiling is really high, and she's not going to be strong enough to throw anything that far.

After some thought, it occurs to her to check whether the metal stick thingies are magnetic enough to stick to the boots of her biosuit. When she determines that they are, she removes the water from the suit (not enough time to get any good condensation, she's going to have to sleep on it if she insists on not just drinking from the fountains), tosses the smallest of her metal sticks just through the barrier, and attempts to fish it out with magnetism without actually pushing the boot through into the water.

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This succeeds! The barrier hardly seems to impede the bar at all.

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Nice! Weirdbut convenient for her purposes. She's gonna try tethering herself to some very large piece of rubble anyway, but it's nice to know that if her tether snaps she can still theoretically swim back and make her way into the enclosure again.

She tethers the suit to the rubble, suits up, checks her CO2 filters and other air systems, leaves her pile of sticks by the bottle of water directly from Saikirei, takes her tethered pocket knife in one hand and her sturdiest metal bar in the other, and - 

- medium-deep breaths, Imrainai. Calm breaths. No wasting air. This trick isn't going to last forever either way, even if she can pull it off this time, but maybe when she's less hungry she'll be able to think of something more sustainable.

She steps through the barrier and looks around.

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She's underwater - under a lot of water. The dim light from the glowing street-tiles has trouble reaching very far past the barrier.

There are a lot of strange creatures out here. A bunch of teeny little finger-sized silvery things swim past in a moderately organized cloud, too far for her to reach; something with many long wiggly limbs wiggles its way across the ocean floor in the middle distance. There's things like questionable brightly coloured plants growing out of the ground, and a buglike thing the size of her foot scuttling between a pair of rocks.

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It belatedly occurs to her that it was pretty stupid to come all the way out here without first checking whether the suit could withstand the water pressure. Luckily, whoever designed her model of biosuit seems to have been very intent on making sure their investments survived, even under environmental conditions they couldn't reasonably be expected to ever encounter. Maybe she can just pretend she tested it and move on with her life.

She turns on her suit lights to get a better look at what she's dealing with. She's probably not fast enough to stab a fish, though she's willing to try if it's the only option. First she's gonna try to stab the bug thing.

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The bug thing runs, but not fast enough.

Unfortunately, her knife injures it badly but does not prevent it from continuing to run.

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She is theoretically capable of stabbing things multiple times!

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After a short and slightly farcical chase sequence, she can retrieve one extremely stabbed bug-thing!

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She is so good at surviving. She is one of those tiny domesticated silkworm things that two-cycles sometimes feel bad for, and then their parents explain to them that they've been domesticated so long that they could never survive in the wild anyway, so isn't this actually definitely better, except that she totally can survive in this ridiculous magic underwater dome that she wasn't created to withstand at all, so take that, tens of thousands of years of domestication.

She grabs some of the funny-looking plants on her way back to the city. Once she's back on dry ground and has gone back to conserving her air supply, she opens the bug thing up to see whether it has any parts that look at all edible.

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Its parts look... buggy. Some of them seem squishy enough to successfully chew. Kind of hard to tell whether or not she would regret doing so.

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It could definitely be poisonous. It could also be infected with something, but she's just going to have to take a chance on that one, because animal carcasses don't do the evaporation thing and she doesn't have the faintest idea how to make a fire without an oven or a blowtorch. If she could make a spark, maybe, if she could find a rock that ever sparks when it hits metal - ?

Anyway, she ate yesterday, and the walk to the edge of the bubble is totally doable in less than half a day, so it's not like she's going to starve if she spends today being careful. She licks it, just a little. Hopefully if it's poison that'll just make her sick, not outright kill her.

She scrapes the chewable parts of the bug into her sort-of-refrigerated pocket and drops the hard parts into a different pocket. She gathers up her plants and metal sticks and bottles and her tether line.

She heads home.

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The fountains continue to be plentiful on the way back in; there's one at nearly every place where two medium-sized streets cross.

Around the central building, they're much bigger and fancier; a couple of them, if she was paying attention, are discernibly restored from preexisting ruins.

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She is paying attention!

It is probably worth checking the water as soon as she's done checking the bug thing; the evaporation thing is going to be really slow here, given what the humidity must be. But she has to finish seeing if the bug thing is gonna make her sick. If she's going to get sick then she wants to be pretty sure which thing did it.

She drops her stuff off at her sleeping corner and goes to check whether Saikirei is back where he usually is.

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He is not.

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OK. Well. Fine. She's now possibly not in danger of imminent starvation or dehydration, so this is less irresponsible of him than it otherwise would be. And it's not like he actually has any obligation whatsoever to look out for her, so really he's just been nice and doing things for herself is the only fair thing to expect.

It occurs to her that he's really the only reason to come here. If the ocean is gonna be more reliable than he is, she might be better served setting up camp there.

She straps about a third of her empty glass bottles to her biosuit and walks back. If the bug thing doesn't make her sick by the time she gets to the ocean for the second time, she'll eat the rest of it.

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The bug thing has so far not made her sick! A promising start.

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This is indeed promising!

Now. If she's going to survive without Saikirei's help, she's going to have to get better at chasing crabs on not very much air. She practices taking deep breaths and holding them for a bit, though her suit display has turned off to conserve power, so she doesn't have a way to time herself and doesn't know if she's getting any better. There are people who can go for a long time on one breath, though, she's heard of them. She's not actually sure whether you get it by practicing or if you have to be born that way, though.

She turns her suit's air off this time - she can turn it on again underwater if things don't go well - takes a deep breath, and goes back out to see if she can find anything else to stab.

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Stabbable creatures are scarcer this time around.

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Problematic. 

She decides to head back after taking a few breaths of her suit's air. She's probably not going to get good enough at stabbing things on no air to do it indefinitely. But she's sort of tired right now. Maybe she'll think of something else after she's slept on it. 

She drinks some of her actually safe water, sticks her tongue in one of the fountains, arranges her stuff around a new sleeping corner, and goes to bed.

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And when she wakes up—

It's less obvious from the edge of the city than it would have been from the middle, but it seems... brighter in here? Her biosuit may be tentatively concluding it doesn't need to conserve power quite so hard. The light isn't coming from that dim and distant sun, though, at least not directly, and the street-lights haven't gotten any less patchy. It seems to be most concentrated toward the middle of the city.

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...hm.

She's really hungry. Not starving-hungry, she's not yet in actual danger, but she's going to become less and less good at doing things if she doesn't get more food soon, and she certainly doesn't need to make decisions that will lead her to four more hours of walking and additional disappointment before she's able to eat anything else. 

But she drinks some of the probably-safe fountain water and heads toward the middle of the city anyway.

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The whole area surrounding Saikirei's building, for several blocks in every direction, has been cleared of rubble. (There is a natural-looking but very convenient gap left to accomodate Imrainai's sleeping corner and supply cache, which remains untouched.) In place of the crumbling buildings that once stood there, a vast sprawling garden now sits, enchantingly beautiful in every detail. The brightness comes from a kind of glowing haze that swirls just under the barrier, beaming a soft sunny light down on the trees and shrubs and grasses.

Every tree has fruit or nuts. Every bush has berries or invitingly plump leaves. Many of the grasses have grain.

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Woah.

It's probably for her? It can't be something that the city just does, or there would be dead trees among the rubble. 

She has no idea how to feel about this. She should probably feel happy? Saikirei probably wants her to feel happy? That would probably be the considerate thing to do. He could be watching her right now, if he can just make things then he can probably make cameras and there's no reason he can't be watching her, she'd probably be watching him if she'd done something like this, she'd want to be able to see how positive it was, to know that she made him feel just a little better.

She feels... overwhelmed.

She sort of doesn't want to go talk to him at all, because what if she's not happy enough, and what if that makes him sad? But she really really doesn't want to ignore the garden and then come back and have it not be there because she reacted in a weird confusing way and seemed incongruously sad and then there won't be food and she'll have to worry about starving again and it will be all her fault.

She sort of wants to cry. But she's wanted to cry many different times and not gotten to, because there were other more important things to do, and she's not going to cry now, either. She takes a few deep breaths and waits for the mess inside her to bubble back down.

She straightens up and walks into the building.

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For the first time she's ever observed since she got here, Saikirei is asleep. He's curled up on the floor and blanketed in his shadow-cloak.

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