Dec 17, 2018 5:57 AM
New Dover gets bigger
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Lady Katherine does not rush back to Milliways, since that gives off the wrong impression, but she moves quickly, making long strides that seem more elegant and poised than hurried.

"I do believe I should discuss this venture with our governor before getting too excited. Would you terribly mind waiting before we set to work, Nimo?"

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"Sounds like a good plan, yeah, let's."

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"Thank you." Is Valanda still in the main bar area?

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Yes and he's noticed the open door.

"Hey, Katherine, want to do something about your world?"

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"Yes. We should sit down and talk about it. You can join us if you like," she tells her door-holder.

"I think I'll wait... Outside? If you don't need me."

"It won't take any time at all from your perspective, then. Thank you."

Her door holder goes outside and shuts it behind him. Katherine gestures towards an empty booth.

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He goes and sits there.

So does Nimo, she'll just presume she's invited until Katherine actually says otherwise.

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Kat glances at her a bit askance but doesn't say anything.

"...Your friend Liane and I both failed to think about the rest of the world last time we had a Milliways door. I want to hire Nimo, a force mage or two, possibly a heat mage and a few others, and evacuate or supply the entire world."

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"We talked about evacuating the world, the reason we didn't was the travel time with the door open traded off against distributing heat cores. That's not a problem I've solved since then. If you have there's still the size of the door and the fact that it'll be hard to place tens of thousands more refugees at once. We might be able to do it, though. I'm in favor if we can."

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"A few months of time have passed there. Nimo, can you tell me how many settlements got heat cores?- Wait, no, the door's closed. Well. With a force mage, the travel time concern is mostly obviated. Nimo suggested going back to Har, getting out of my house somehow - through the windows, perhaps, and I'll tolerate a demolished wall, it's important - and hiring one."

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"Travel time's a worry with force mages too, you know, no reputable pilot will fly faster than they can react if something comes up," says Nimo.

"Yeah, but say we get five dozen working in parallel," says Valanda. "...I'm not going to pay for five dozen and eventually I'll run out of land to give away, how are you planning on funding this?"

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"I have some savings and can appeal to the town for theirs, but that's not really enough. I can also tell them to get started on building scads and scads of temporary housing. We can probably work with much less land per person than you gave the first round of immigrants. As for the rest of the money, an expedition to Harrods. There are liable to be tens of millions of pounds in banknotes in its vaults. Bar accepts defunct currency, and so long as it's recognizable, if soggy, that will fund quite a lot."

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"That works. And I bet I can find someone who can find at least a few dozen of them jobs if they come to Ira Sani. Then again you all didn't like the idea of coming to Har much and that was when there weren't that many other people to hold doors for you. Think we should get some other people in on it, offer everyone more choices than you had?"

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"Har has some unpleasant failure modes for us, and I think many people will choose to stay where they are. Conditions are improving, they won't trust us entirely, they won't like the idea of Har's laws. As for other people and other worlds, yes, I think we should. I don't know if anyone here is going to be in a position to accept thousands of refugees, though."

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"Well, if we get enough of them helping, no one'll need to take thousands. Maybe we should put up a sign while we talk, so people who could help know what we're up to without us having to bother anyone."

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"Worth trying. Though signage doesn't have the same pathos as talking to people will, it gives us more exposure. I'll think about a good message."

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"And it won't annoy them, can't forget that. So when we do this, will everyone in your world speak English?"

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"No. Perhaps three fourths of the survivors will have good English, looking at these numbers." She pulls out the map. "Other survivors from France, the low countries, the Nordic states, I'm not sure if these groups will be Austrian or Germanic, these are probably Russians - Oh, I just realized." She points to Texas. "They must be burning petroleum. Clever. Anyway, of the natives who outlasted the cold alone, and any survivors from places other than the United Kingdom or America, few or none will know English. I have a little French and Russian, and we can probably scrounge up someone with any given European language. If only one person can talk to a group that makes things harder. Hmm... For natives we can't talk to, we can't explain Milliways. So I'm inclined to just give them some useful things that are easy to use - invulnerable tools, heated items - and let them make of it what they will."

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"If there are multiple groups of those in different places it'd be possible to let them communicate through illusions. They might not understand each other but they could learn after a while."

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"None of them are illusion mages. What do you have in mind?"

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"You know, like illusion shows - Nimo, you'd know more than I would - "

"Paired objects with knowledge and illusion enchantments, each one shows what the other one sees and hears. You want them to come with boxes that block the magic just in case. Making them do translation would be harder but people on either side could point at things and name them. That what you mean?"

"Yeah, those."

"We can get a pair or several but they're on the expensive side for enchanted things."

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"Technology can accomplish the same sort of thing but it breaks down a lot more readily than something with proper defense magic on it. Hmm. I think whatever happens, we're going to want someone staying in Milliways permanently, to look for opportunities. So that can go on a list of helpful projects and we'll look into it when everything more urgent is done."

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"Yeah. How much is it going to cost me to buy your house?"

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"You want to buy it? I was going to donate it to the New Dover Council and let them turn it into a resettlement center or whatever's needed. I'll get it back, or a new one, eventually."

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"Yeah, I want to buy it. If you were thinking of giving it away free I'm guessing it won't cost me too much, but I'd rather not just take the land I promised you without any compensation."

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"I am not, to be honest, quite sure I want to sell it to you. You've been very kind, but there are other concerns. Is there any particular reason why you have to own the entryway to Milliways?"

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"Yes. I need to be able to make sure that everyone who enters Har is willing and able to obey the law. If I don't, you can bet the imperial government will hold me responsible even if you're the one who held the door. You're not in as much danger if I let criminals in."

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