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Jun 17, 2019 3:00 AM
a Cameron falls on Hearth
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"Very well."

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Tegan nods.

"...actually," she says, "if it – dripped – fell – then that would seem to argue against the buoyancy theory of the spheres."

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"So it would."

Cameron brings up the video, the first frame showing Tegan and the Doc standing outside the gravity shade in 4k HDR. She turns the tablet around and sets it on her knees.

And frowns. The screen is pretty small.

A pair of duplicate Camerons briefly appear on either side of her, pick up her chair with her in it, and move her forward until her knees are just barely touching the Doc's.

Then she hits play.

 

(She commentates during the part where she meets the godish, summarizing the key points of that conversation: that she is confirmed not a prophet, that prophets are a known but not completely understood phenomenon by the godishes, and that the godish didn't know what would happen when she broke through the shell either.)

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After the time-lapsed ascent and the near-collision, there's not much happening onscreen: there's the view from under the crater, and then the starscape refracts into a humanoid outline, and then a couple of relatively visually uninteresting minutes pass while Cameron narrates.

"I think," Tegan says softly, "that I had imagined gods as being somehow... grander, than that. More. From that conversation, it sounded... it didn't sound equal to what I know of divine magic, or of prophets."

"Most religions make the world better, in some clear way, and even those that go wrong aren't malicious, and they're not obvious mistakes. Prophets, and gods as the prophets describe them, aren't... petty, the way humans are. Not like kings and emperors. I don't claim they're perfect, but they're consistently wiser, and more good, than the human norm."

"I don't understand how that comes from what you described."

Her voice is starting to hitch.

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"There's no reason to think I met a particularly remarkable, example of these beings," Cameron offers. "It told me that it had never interacted with your world. The ones you've heard of, would be the ones with... altruistic ambitions and accomplishments. They don't have human-shaped minds and human-shaped concerns, and did seem... positive-sum-inclined on a more basic level than humans are. That much was obvious from the thought-sharing."

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She shivers and pulls the scarf-shawl more tightly around her. "Maybe."

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"You're going to be okay," he murmurs, stroking her hair. "You're going to be okay. Everything you know is still true. The world still has good people in it. The sun will come up tomorrow, and you'll see that the world is full of light, and we have those we can lean on when we need."

"And if you still need reassurance in the morning, you can go to the temple and give service, and you'll remember."

        "Yessir. Thank you sir."

He smiles, warmly. "Good girl."

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That's sweet. (Cameron kind of wants to give Tegan a hug, but the Doc seems to have it in hand.)

 

The video continues, now, to the part where Cameron breaks through the shell.

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"I find," he says, "that it is difficult to see this without thinking of what came of it, below."

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Cameron winces. "At least it is not a mistake I or anyone who hears of this will ever make again. Because now we know."

(In the video, the shell begins to break apart, large shards falling onto a suddenly-there shield in front of the view.)

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"...does quartz normally look like that when it breaks? The cleavage seems – off, somehow."

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(It promptly becomes obvious that they aren't looking at quartz. The video pans around as it ascends through the shell, showing the eldritch fecund crystal in stark detail. A lot of it is same-y, so Cameron skips through it to focus on the clearest, most stable views, cutting twenty minutes of ascent down to just a few.)

Cameron does her best to describe the whimsical, nonthreatening Horror aura of the upper expanse without actually using either of those words. "It was like everything was a metaphor for something else, like the fabric of reality was suddenly in a really symbolic mood... like stuff that's normally inside your head was instead outside, painted on space... and the stars were eyes that were laughing at me without knowing I was there... or something."

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"Sounds like a cross between divine magic and the ravings of a madman. The ravings of a mad god, maybe."

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"I heard a theory, once, that more distant spheres are progressively less hospitable to human life. Considering this in that light, I find it interesting that the inhospitability is less – physical – above than below."

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(The video concludes with a spectacular view plummeting down towards the planet.)

Cameron closes the video and sits back in her chair.

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