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Dec 13, 2018 1:32 PM
Experimental Theologian Ford Pines and Deseretian Rebecca in Milliways
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"No."

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"Oh! Sorry for the confusion, then, I suppose that isn't an emergency. Everyone in my world has them. Can I ask you about what your world is like?"

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"Sure, I guess, but I'm not doing super well in school."

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He nods sympathetically. "I'm curious about how society without souls, or at least external souls, works, but it would probably be hard to figure out the specific differences. What species of people are there in your world?"

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"Of people? Humans. I guess maybe there's aliens but I'm not super clear if the aliens are just on different planets or in whole other universes."

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"We haven't found aliens on other planets yet either, but we've only actually been to the moon. Although there are apparently aliens in at least one other universe! - Speaking of alternate universes, what year is it in yours? One of the many-material-worlds hypotheses is that all universes are the same age."

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"It's 2040."

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"It's 2026 for us. That might just be due to a difference in calendars? What's technology like for you?"

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"Um, do you wanna look at my phone?"

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"Yes! If it's close enough to the door you came in through that I could see it without letting the door close?"

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...she reaches into her pocket and hands him a phone.

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He and his soul inspect it with delight!

"Do you know how it works? It's not connected to anything! Do calls still go through an exchange?" He turns its screen on and off a few times, then starts gently looking for opening compartments.

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"I - I think they had cell phones in 2026."

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"I'm a little behind on news in that sort of invention, but I'm reasonably sure that if my world has portable phones anything like this, they aren't public? As of a few years ago, the closest published designs are the Svedish radio-telephone, which is about the size of a briefcase and only works within a few cities, and the New Danish phone that can place calls from moving Cthonic trains. And I think the Muscovites might be working on improving the range and reducing the size of portable communications radios?"

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"We have Sweden but I think the Danish are old not new and don't know what thonic or muskratites are."

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"Oh! Our countries and maybe our continents might not be the same!" He hands back her phone to sketch out a loose map of Earth's continents. "A Cthonic is a train that goes underground in cities. New Denmark is here," he points to a region of northeastern land including about a third of Gilead and a tiny bit of Canada, "and Muscovy is somewhere over here, I think?" Vague gesture around eastern Europe and western Asia.

"Are your continents like this?"

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"The shapes look right? But this is Gilead and Deseret's tucked into it here and this is Mexico and there's Cascadia. And that's Canada. I don't know that much about Europe."

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He labels countries accordingly. "Okay. For us, that's New Denmark, except for the Republic of Texas down here. Then, most of Mexico, Deseret, and this little piece of Gilead are Hispania Nova, Cascadia is pretty close to Astoria, and the rest of Gilead and Canada are split between New France and Beringland, I think. Where are you from?"

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"Texas is a state of Gilead. I live in Deseret."

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"Huh. My world's Texas is pretty vehemently independent. What's Deseret like?"

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"It's - very Mormon? Like not everybody there is Mormon but most people are."

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"What does that mean? I think you said it was why you couldn't be a witch, aside from already being a human?"

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"It's a kind of Christianity! Has it not been founded yet in your 2026?"

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"I don't think so, or at least not by that name. We have... Orthodox Catholic Magesterialism, Reformist Magesterialism, Byzantine Catholicism, and Solae Evangelism, are I believe the main ones. And Alleghenic Rebaptism, but that's only really practiced in Texas and southeastern New Denmark? The newest are Solae Evangelism and Alleghenic Rebaptism, the others have existed for around a thousand years, depending on how you count them. I think some restorationist branches also came to or formed in New France, New Denmark, and Astoria, for the nominal religious freedom, but I'm not sure what they're called, or how large any of them are."

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"Back home there are Catholics but I think they're just plain Catholic... and Baptists but I don't think Rebaptists... and evangelists but those are mostly Gileadites, I don't know what Solo Evangelism is..."

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