Sep 24, 2019 5:06 AM
Dion and Valanda in Milliways
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Somewhere outside of time and space, there is a bar. 

At the bar is a boy, about fourteen years old, dressed in earth-toned homespun robes and with a braid hanging down beside his right ear. He's currently attempting to convince the bar to sell him alcohol.

"You know I'm over the drinking age on twenty different Republic planets, right? I've had alcohol before." 

The bar is gently insisting via napkin that, since he is not over the drinking age on the planet where his door is located, it would be irresponsible of her to sell him an alcoholic beverage. 

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In walks a human teenager a few years older than Dion, wearing a necklace of coins that change color magically until the door shuts behind him.

"A ring if you'll tell me why you're blocking the street?"

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"Oh, hi! This is Milliways, it's an interdimensional bar, sometimes doors lead here instead of wherever they're supposed to go." He looks at Valanda. "How about instead of a ring you buy me a drink?" he says hopefully. 

Nor can I sell alcoholic beverages to adults on behalf of underage patrons, Bar napkins. 

"Aw. Okay, maybe not, then." 

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"...Who's leaving those napkins?"

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"The bar. She's a person, called Bar. She sells things; I think she has some kind of matter reconstitutor hidden under the counter but she won't let me take a look. I'm Dion, by the way." 

The boy pauses and makes a face, then deliberately smoothes out his expression and stands straighter. "I mean, uh, Jedi Padawan Dion Vale, at your service." He folds his hands in front of him and bows. 

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"At my service?"

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"It doesn't really mean anything? That's just how we're supposed to introduce ourselves, it's like saying 'pleased to meet you' but for Jedi. Why, does it mean something weird where you come from?" 

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"It just sounded like you were offering to do things for me. But you were saying you wanted something you couldn't buy here? Could a structure mage make it for you?"

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"What's a structure mage? And what's your name, you never said." 

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"...I'm Valanda. A structure mage is, you know, a mage who works with molecular structures? Like a force mage is someone who moves things around with their mind and a void mage makes things stop existing?"

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"Where I'm from we don't have any of those except force mages. Did I forget to mention the part where Milliways connects different dimensions? Because I'm pretty sure I mentioned that part. Uh, I'm a force mage, Jedi is what we're called in my world." 

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"We have twelve kinds and I'm a defense mage - I keep things from changing. I was assuming magic would be the same everywhere but maybe we can trade alien magic things! Do you want anything warded?"

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"Uh, I don't really...have...stuff?" He scrubs a hand through his hair. "I guess you could try warding my lightsaber but that might kriff up something in the mechanisms. Or you could ward me?" 

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"I don't know what a lightsaber is but there are some wards I can do safely on people. I can protect you from heat and cold, for instance. Inanimate objects are harder to accidentally damage, you could describe how your lightsaber works so I can tell you if I can see any potential problems with warding it?"

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"Protection from heat and cold would be great, we go to planets with crazy climates sometimes. I probably shouldn't light my 'saber in here but I can get it out and take it apart so you can see—" 

Dion pulls a cylindrical metal object off his belt, goes to put it on top of the bar, then visibly rethinks this plan and heads for a completely non-sapient table. 

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"Light it? - Wait, you go to planets? Don't you run out of air on the way or something?"

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"Well, yeah, that's why we have spaceships with air cyclers." He blinks. "Wait, are you from a pre-spaceflight world? Not even pre-hyperdrives, pre-spaceflight?" 

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"People can fly in space but they can only bring as much air as they can bring and space is really dangerous so people who want to live shouldn't fly in space. What are hyperdrives?"

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"Awwww, you're almost pre-spaceflight, that's adorable. Have you even made it to another planet yet? How about a moon? Uh, hyperdrives are what let spaceships go faster than the speed of light, so you can get to other systems in, like, days instead of years." 

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"...Faster than the speed of light? And how do you stay alive for days in space?"

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"Okay so you get a big airtight metal ship—I'm guessing you've got that far although you could be doing some magic thing instead—and then you put machines in it that can take the kind of air we breathe out and turn it into the kind of air we breathe in, and that way you can keep using the same air the whole time."

He takes a breath. "And I have no idea how hyperdrives work but they definitely make things go faster than lightspeed, yeah. Otherwise, I'd still be on a ship on my way to the Jedi Temple from when I was picked up as a baby."  

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"Oh, airtight metal containers, I don't think people have used those. Maybe that's why we haven't gotten farther than the moon. At home when people want to try to go to space they carry the air with them, with force magic, but then if their concentration slips any time the whole way there and back they die."

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"Thaaaat does sound super dangerous! I don't even think most Jedi could carry that much air? Yup, airtight metal containers, an important thing to have if you wanna go to the moon!" 

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"That explains a lot! So why do you go to other planets? Aren't they deadly to be on?"

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"No? I mean, a lot of them are, but a bunch of them in our galaxy have breathable atmospheres. I think there are people living on...twenty million? A few million planets, anyway. We've been colonising planets for so long we don't actually know which one humans started on, but supposedly it was Coruscant." Dion sounds sceptical.

"That's where I live," he adds as an afterthought.

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"I don't know what a galaxy is but we don't know of any life on any planets besides ours."

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