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May 19, 2019 2:23 PM
Mikoto and Elvira in Milliways
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She finds the bar at a quite opportune time. She's not being actively observed, for now, Admiral Marcus having let security slip further and further as she played the good little Augment, and as the people he surrounds himself turned out to be as corrupt as him. Little loyalty in this particular serpent's nest, it seems.

She hadn't heard of anything like Milliways during the Eugenics Wars (as the Federation calls them now), but the files she's been given or has managed to obtain anyways have recorded strange things that she would've chalked up to fiction if she hadn't seen the equations supporting them. An interdimensional bar, outside of time, connecting worlds beyond imagining, doesn't quite defy belief anymore.

Finding resources for her mission - probably not against all of Starfleet, but she'll still be revealing Marcus for the scum he is - has been rather more slow going, but Mikoto has time and patience on her side.

She's relaxing, now, an entertainingly alien drink in hand, keeping half an eye on the entrances in case anyone potentially interesting comes through.

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She hates interrogation. Not that punishment has many traits to recommend it, but at least there's usually some connection in there to something you did. (Maybe there is here too, in as much as something she did is 'be grabbed by enemy agents'). And an endpoint.

Hating it is a nicer thing to keep in mind than that she's also terrified of it. Less that when it's other governments - they may not own her, but there's treaties as far as she understands and all that, keeping the punishments-for-mages-who-cross-certain-lines reserved for mages who do cross those lines. Keeping mages properly deterred is for the common good isn't it. 

Nonlegal armed organizations - maybe they care about the common good on this. And maybe they care more about trying to make a captured CIA mage tell them what she's not allowed to tell them.

At the moment she's lucky. They mostly just kick her around, ask her things she genuinely truthfully doesn't even know. 

Some alarm goes off. The human standing over her changes facial expressions, looks away from her. Looks back.

"Get up. Close your eyes." She does that. He pushes her, off to a side and then around some corner. "End of the hall, through the door, and five steps past it. Open your eyes before that and you won't get to keep them."

She nods understanding very hard. She walks, down the hall and through the door when it opens in front of her, and very definitely five steps after that. She opens her eyes.

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It's nothing like where she left. It's a bar, for one, nicely appointed. A fireplace to her left, a restaurant area to her right, with a curving glass window showing what appears to be numerous exploding stars. Most of the patrons - and there are few - seem disinterested in her. One, a woman at the bar, glances over when the door opens and closes, and then carefully sets her drink down on the counter, stands, and walks over, stopping a safe distance from Elvira.

"Welcome to Milliways, interdimensional bar. Usually I'd explain what's going on here right away, but you look like you could use an infirmary," she says. "Of course, it's your call between 'I talk now, you do your own thing given that information' and 'I talk while we walk to the healer.' The infirmary here's free of charge. Complimentary for patrons and all."

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What

 

(She was expecting a cell, or some place being used as a cell, or maybe some other room with more that-organization-belonging humans where they were going to do something else with her. Which she would not expect to look like this, or involve anyone talking to her like that.)

 

People stopping a distance from her isn't weird, even if she's wearing her waist and ankle chains and couldn't really kick or punch anyone if for some reason she decided to try that. That's one of about the only few things that isn't weird.

"At your disposal, ma'am." That's ground in enough that it comes out without her having to finish trying to process anything first. Which is convenient, because she doesn't think that task is going especially well.

(Did they drug her somehow? This really doesn't seem to be the kind of thing a drug does.)

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"Do you have an objection to being healed?"

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Well that successfully distracts a lot of her from trying to figure anything out because instead she is dropping to her knees shaking.

"No, ma'am. I'm sorry, ma'am. At your disposal, ma'am."

 

(-Is this some kind of setup to get more information out of her how would that even work-)

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"You don't need to kneel. I'm not above you. The medics here are good, they got my tracking chip out of me - I'm not going to touch you but I'd like it if you could stand so we can walk and not make a scene."

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She has no idea what 'I'm not above' you is supposed to mean or why the human is telling her about medic quality, but 'don't kneel' and 'stand, walk, don't make a scene' are pretty unambiguous as orders go. She stands quickly. "I'm sorry, ma'am." Will start following as soon as she gets to know where.

(Given that this is a bar (for - some reason?) and she saw her with a drink, possibly the human's just drunk. Drunk humans around mages usually means short tempers and shorter fuses (well, more than usual), but she knows talking randomly can be involved.)

 

(Is some part of it illusions...?)

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Walking.

"So. Milliways. This isn't your home universe. It isn't anyone's, as far as I can tell. Milliways could be said to exist outside of time and space. It connects many universes, with different peoples, stories, magics, traditions. Doors from other universes sometimes connect to Milliways - it's also possible to wander in from places without doors, someone came in through a cave once and there's a giant squid in the lake out back. Milliways has a prohibition on violence in the main room, and a few other things. There's an infirmary for any injured guests."

"My universe doesn't have legal slavery in the polity I live in, not anymore, and mistreating prisoners is illegal, no matter what crimes they committed."

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(Following)

 

What

 

Maybe the human is very drunk, or took something else with her alcohol. (Something bizarre is definitely going on. Her captors hadn't let her see where she was brought, but this is still a weird amount of space for them to have there, and to be doing with it, not to even begin to mention why they sent her to this part. But she is not three and not going to randomly believe someone telling her the answer is 'walking out of the universe to outside of space and time'.)

'Prohibition on violence in the main room' might explain why the human hadn't hit her there.

She nods, because 'you don't argue' continues to not be the kind of rule with exceptions, and it's pretty obvious the human wants to be acknowledged as giving a useful explanation. Tries,

"Enslaving humans is illegal in the county I come from too, ma'am," as a check for how she feels about being responded to. (Usually she'd obviously not do that, but usually doesn't involve humans talking to her like that to begin with.)

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"Your world has multiple sapient species? Interesting. I find myself curious about your technology level - oddly, many of the worlds with multiple sapients on the same planet are lower technology and possessed of magic. In my polity, enslaving any sapient is illegal. Obviously some people don't follow this well - I've been using Milliways in an attempt to gather resources against a certain man who has been threatening me into working for him."

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At some point the human is going to stop being drunk, high, or both and will probably retain her memories of the preceding time period, and may decide to be unhappy about rambling at mages. And she continues to be captive, with all the implications that has for possible retaliation. That's cheerfully terrifying, but it's not as though there's anything she can do.

It would be nice if she knew whether the human would end up more or less angry that she's been talking. This is, of course, not the case. But even a human who's not thinking straight seems unlikely not to notice if they want a mage to shut the fuck up. Might be more likely not to notice they'd like it better later if the mage was talking. She keeps trying talking.

"One species, ma'am, I'm sorry, ma'am.

Might I know what you want to know about technology?"  

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"If you name an invention in the past ten years I can probably place you on a standard technological timeline, assuming magic hasn't dramatically influenced the path. My universe has faster than light travel and no magic per se, though from what I can tell the thing that enables the faster than light travel is due to a minor difference in underlying physics. I've been reading books on technology from other worlds. If you don't feel like answering me, that's fine, I can satisfy my curiosity through such books."

"Is there a particular reason you're distinguishing between yourself and humans, if you're the same species? - I am aware that's the standard some areas, there are many who'd claim I'm non-human despite being of human stock and presumably capable of interbreeding, I'm just being nosy."

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"I'm sorry, I don't know. There are smart phones, not very long ago. And not faster than light travel." Flinch. "At your disposal, ma'am."

What is the human on

"I'm a mage, ma'am." 

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"Either 2000s or early 2010s, then. Do you want me to prove I'm not from your world? Or you can ask the healer questions, we're just about at the infirmary." She gestures to a nearby door.

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Symptoms include ridiculously roundabout ways to get at the year, apparently. She decides it's better not to say anything, this time.

Flinch. "At your disposal, ma'am." She'll walk through the door if it's open or opened.

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She opens it - 

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And the person past is very, very distinctly not human. Does, in fact, appear to be a humanoid elephant of indeterminate gender, looking up as they enter - 

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And a woman with red skin and horns lying on a bed towards the back.

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Being in the middle of following orders is enough that she doesn't freeze until she's through the door. Has enough training that freezing doesn't last more than an extra moment before she's standing more properly.

 

(What)

 

...it can be possible that someone somewhere has invented some high effort higher possibility advance on disguise spells, and the CIA hasn't found out yet or hasn't gotten around to briefing field mages and all that. And then want a CIA mage for - something related to this project, and that's why they took her here, and the human is also some weird experiment, or does something they want to keep around despite the getting high and talking nonsense (if she was human she'd consider that that was meant to distract her, but she's not in the kind of state where there could be any doubt about what she is.)

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"You appear injured," the elephant says, addressed to Elvira. "I possess both healing magic and knowledge of the healing sciences. Do I have your permission to treat you?"

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Looking down and shaking. "At your disposal." 

(Why -

they want her for their magical experimenting so they want to remind/test that she knows to behave?)

(The elephant appearance moves naturally in speaking, in shifting - really major advance on disguise spells...)

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"A brief touch is required for the magic, but it is the most effective." Assuming she doesn't object, he mutters an incantation, deep and rumbling and musical, and gestures, and gently, telegraphing his movements, taps her forehead.

There's a warmth that spreads through her, like sunlight and a soft breeze, and she's healed.

"There. Won't handle old scars or problems present from birth - those require a separate spell - but your wounds should be healed," he says, sounding satisfied. "If you have old injuries you would like to be rid of, I can handle those just as well."

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She does not in fact have objections to being healed, and if for some reason she did would not be in the mood for being tortured for expressing objections.

She starts out somewhat confused - this person is definitely not talking like a mage (hence her responding like they're a human), and obviously she's well familiar with mages with 'act a human' as their job but field mages don't generally do that and overt magic at the same time. So maybe they mean they have some spelled object or something?

Then the muttering starts and she gets more confused - that's a weird way to set off a spelled object - and then -

She knows very well what healing magic feels like. Also what magic feels like, in general, and what mages feel like. She hasn't had her senses out since her captors ordered her not to, but once something's working on her she's going to feel it. And she is quite absolutely sure this isn't the magic she knows. At all. 'Someone randomly telling her' won't make her believe she walked out of the universe. This is about what will.

 

"At your disposal," she says automatically. 

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"He's pretty good, fixed my old bum leg right up," the red-skinned woman says, spade-pointed tail swaying above where she's turned on her stomach. "Don't directly fix the shit I've got in my lungs, but he says I'll be better by tomorrow, so, hey, free bed."

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...maybe this human(-or-something?) is also drugged - as she understands that's part of human medicine sometimes. Or maybe - humans in France and some other places hug mages, if she has information correctly; maybe wherever-here-is they talk at them.

She's not sure what she's supposed to do and also doesn't actually have response ideas. She nods.

 

(The first human had mentioned 'Milliways' connecting places through doors. She isn't clear enough on how that works - isn't sure if that means her captors sent her here on purpose, or if they didn't and are going to be surprised at it. If the former isn't sure what they wanted her here for. If the latter, isn't sure if the people here are going to try to keep her when her captors presumably notice and come to try and get her back.)

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