Oct 01, 2020 3:13 PM
A Margaret in a transdimensional transhumanist beauty salon
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"Hm... The results don't actually look a lot like my shapeshifting anyways, now that I think about it - I can't just, like, do 'a form suited to this environment,' I need to actually design things, and the building either can do... Adaptive shifting? Or has way better senses and processes things way faster than I do..."

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"It could be doing the same thing with the physical matter but have a different software component? Like, you don't consciously think about what every molecule of you is doing, so the magic is doing some of the thinking there. Maybe the building has a version of the magic that does more of the thinking. And/or the building is a person and consciously designing stuff; I don't know that it would be possible to tell from the outside."

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"Hm, yeah... Somebody who's been around longer might know, but other than Marel I'm not sure who to ask there..."

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"I bet even if Marel doesn't know she'll know who to ask. Maybe there's a facilities manager who helps the building with maintenance and knows all its secrets, or something."

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"That'd be pretty nifty!"

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"Janitors always know the best secrets." And speaking of the building, they've arrived.

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Swim inside, shift back to human.

"Might be something to pursue later, though. For now - find somewhere to eat?"

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"Sure. --oh, I just realized. If we're going to get food in my world I'll need to go, um, hide my body in my yard and come back in my humanoid backup thing. Sorry." It's very embarrassing; she wants to look her best on a date, not her worst.

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She hums. "I bet we can find something somewhere you won't stand out? There's a lot of worlds out there..."

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"Going somewhere totally new to both of us would be neat! It would need to be somewhere with a language one of us knows or translation magic, where they take a currency one of us has or there's free food. I don't actually know how to search for worlds from here; so far I've just gone where I get sent. Do you know?"

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"I know we can ask the building to drop us somewhere, usually while standing at a door."

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"Yeah, it'll do 'home' and similar, I just don't know if it does 'somewhere we can get lunch'. I guess if you know a world that fits those criteria we won't have to worry about it."

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"I've seen it do some pretty free form requests before... But, yeah, I don't actually know how much it knows about us or the worlds it visits. It might think 'lunch' means 'construction supplies.'"

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Giggle. "What an excellent mental image! 'Om nom delicious new porch'."

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"Hey! It's material the building would use to grow or repair itself, right? Maybe with a side of electricity to drink..."

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"You're totally correct but it's still funny. I hope electricity tastes good; it seems only fair given how good human food is." (Figuring out how she could eat conveniently in this body was a tricky design problem, but it would have been super worth it even if she hadn't needed to be able to pass for human.)

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"Yeah! Everyone should get nice experiences like that."

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"What do you say we try asking and see what we get? If it turns out to be a hardware store we can just not leave and try something else."

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"That works for me."

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Margaret stands in front of the closed door, says, "Hello Building. Can you point the door at somewhere we can get some food and not disturb anyone with how we look? Thanks," and tries opening it.

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It opens! It shows a broad street, apparently elevated going from the view - there's tall spires marching out into the distance, and flying vehicles navigating between them, and rings of plazas with outdoor seating, and greenery spilling down the sides of buildings, making them look like living forested mountains.

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"Well this looks promising! Want to go explore it?"

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"Yeah! Where to first?"

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She contemplated saying "up" but decides she doesn't know enough about the traffic laws here not to bother the vehicles and instead points at a building with big pink flowers on it on the edge of one of the plazas. "How about that way?"

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"That looks interesting, yeah!"

They can walk there, if they don't mind taking a meandering path around towers and over bridges, or it's a fairly short flight.

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