Sep 24, 2019 5:48 AM
Dion and Valanda in Milliways
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"Okay."

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So Dion and Valanda go out through the back door.

"...wow. I, uh, think 'back yard' might have been an understatement."

They're standing on the edge of a wide grassy meadow beside a lake. Further out, there's a forest and some mountains in the distance, blue and hazy. The building behind them is unassuming, a three-storey timber-framed construction not much bigger than the main bar area. 

 

"I've never seen a sky this blue." 

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"What color are the skies you've seen before?"

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"Well, Coruscant's sky is pretty much just yellow smog all the time, except at night when it's...kinda greyish smog. And I've only been off-planet once or twice since I was a baby." 

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"That sounds strange."

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"I guess you get used to things like that when you live in a megacity." Dion shrugs.

"What's the sky like where you live?"

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"Blue. Sometimes with white clouds."

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"Your planet must have fewer people than Coruscant by a long way. But I guess that makes sense if you haven't invented space travel yet, I'm not sure a single planet can support that many without trade links." 

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"How many people does Coruscant have?"

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"Uh...I think we hit one trillion a few years ago? That's just the official census records, though, everyone knows there's tons of people in the lower levels that don't get counted." 

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"...Yeah, that's more than we have. That's a lot more."

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"Yeah? How many people do you have?"

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"Less than two million on land."

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"On land? Do you have water-dwelling people as well? That's a lot more variety than you generally get on one planet."

As if on cue, a large tentacle briefly waves above the surface of the lake. 

"Hey, there's something in this water! Let's go take a look."

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"Yeah." He approaches the lake cautiously. "Do we have any reason to think the tentacle creature is safe to be around?"

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"Milliways is supposed to be safe, right? Anyway, I think it's intelligent, it feels like a person in the Force." 

He tries waving at the lake. The giant squid bobs to the surface and waves back. 

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"You can feel people with the Force?"

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"Yeah. I'm not very good at it, but I can tell when there's something living there and I can usually tell if it's a person or an animal. Doesn't work on droids—oh, right, you probably don't have those. They're machines that can walk and talk. Does work on Bar, which is weird."

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"Was Vaayo a person, then?"

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"Yeah? I mean, the Force thing isn't a hundred percent reliable for me yet and I usually just guess from context, like 'are they talking to me or trying to eat me', but."

He shrugs. "Walks like a person, talks like a person, feels like one in the Force." 

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"Thanks. I must have just misunderstood something."

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"I told you the magic thing is just your world. It's probably just a coincidence even for you, or maybe there's something about having magic that makes species more likely to develop sapience or something." 

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"I think I heard that the reason people are people is because having magic makes us evolve to be smarter. But I don't know why anyone would evolve that way otherwise."

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Dion shrugs again. "Evolution is weird."

He watches the water lapping against the lakeshore. 

"So...you believed me about Vaayo being a person when I said I could tell with magic, but not before?"

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"Well, you also think you can tell for this other animal, you're obviously pretty confident in your ability."

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