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Jun 24, 2021 6:42 PM
Actana Silvers Interview Terry
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Being mentally linked is really convenient for spell-casting coordination. More so when it's a two layered ritual with a total of sixteen casters.

With care and precision (and a bit of practice, by now) they sculpt vast magical energies into the summon.

There is a flash of white light.

The room's ceiling is very high, at least three stores tall, constructed from green-blue stone in intricate archways. Once the light fades, it's possible to see sixteen beings. Not all of them humanoid, and not even the humanoid ones look that human. There is a winged man with pointy ears right in front of him. He stands next to a four-armed human-looking person that's at least eleven feet tall.

The winged man speaks first before his own vision clears. "Don't be afraid. We are terribly sorry for this disruption. Do you have any immediate or pressing needs besides knowing what's going on? Something urgent happening where we took you from?"

 

 

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...Um.

 

"I would appreciate evidence I am not high or hallucinating or dreaming, that this is not some kind of elaborate prank, that you have good intentions. The last one may be difficult, but perhaps you'll find a way."

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"Are there things you can't experience in dreams or hallucinations? Do you know how to read? Most people can't do that in dreams. What aspects of this situation make you consider that it might be a dream, hallucination or prank? Proving good intentions is in fact difficult, but we can at least offer reassurances that we plan to return you to your home safely and the least inconvenienced we could make you."

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"Ah-huh. Nonhuman body features which, if a costume, are an extremely good one. Discontinuity of experience - I was driving, you know. Already too late to fix it if my car crashed into a ditch, which it probably did. Empty road, at least, so you probably haven't killed anyone by accident... Improbable architecture."

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The word car causes people to frown.

"Oh, we are very sorry that your vehicle might have been damaged and if possible we will fix it. Outside Pinny and technically Jeza, none of us are human." He indicates two women, or a woman and a snake person that comes off as feminine. "What's improbable about our architecture?"

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"Looks expensive. Like a cathedral or something. Cars are complicated and I, uh, do not understand what is going on here."

He picks a device out of a pocket and presses a button - lights appears on one side. It goes back in a pocket.

"No signal, six twenty five... Email from boss, tomorrow's meeting... I can read, so there's that. I don't remember using anything hallucinatory, but if my memory is suspect, well... Maybe go ahead and give whatever explanation you were going to and I'll see how I feel about it after? This is highly irregular, you see. My worldview is toppled. Toppled, I say."

And sarcasm is a good way to keep the panic down while - as he's just starting to realize - this may be first contact. If he's not hallucinating or being pranked. Which he probably is. Priors against aliens are very, very strong.

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"Okay. Tell me if it's overwhelming. We have transported you to another world - we call it Actana. Again, we are sorry. The planet went through a catastrophic event and is currently very hostile to life and we are searching for a new world for either permanent or temporary resettlement. Currently we are trying to achieve this by summoning people from other worlds and interviewing them."

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"So, end of the world, summoning people to see about evacuation targets."

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"Yes. We tried other methods, but this is more efficient and controllable, despite the obvious downside of initiating contact this way. If you don't wish to answer questions about your world we still will send you back and keep you comfortable in the meantime, which shouldn't take more than a few hours and definitely won't take more than a few days. In exchange for your honesty, we are willing to compensate you. Terms negotiable, but payments include bringing you to full health, taking you to another location in your world, or giving you about a pound of precious materials."

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"One pound of gold is actually worth less than my wrecked car, if it is in fact destroyed and unrepairable, especially since I'm not likely to get fair market value for it without a lot of effort. You seem to have many capabilities and I have no idea what they are or where they might be limited. How are you intending to verify my honesty if I choose to answer questions? What kind of questions? How long?"

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"Depending on how big your vehicle is we can fix its non-magical components in a few hours - we can bring it here without being an extra energy expenditure. We can take time to explain some things we can do, though, a lot of our resources are tied. The specific methods of verification depends on your statements - and the statements of other people from other worlds - but include visiting your world, taking more people from there to be interviewed and consensual use of emotion and thought reading. Additionally, incentives towards honesty, like extra payments. We also figure that if a random person from a random world lies to us to keep us away it's a sign that the world is in fact less welcoming than we would prefer to. And the opposite kind of deceit would be figured out soon enough."

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"Regarding the questions. We are trying to find a world that can host a part of our population at least for long enough that we can set up infra-structure to find other worlds to colonize ourselves. Even if you can't answer all of them, you could provide some guidance, so we can navigate your world and ask these questions to other people without causing an incident. There is no specific time, except that the magic keeping you here have cycles, at the end of eighth cycle it will take you home unless we do something to intervene."

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"...Bringing my wrecked car here and fixing it would be very impressive, actually. Immigration may be a bit fraught. Slightly less so if you're leaving again, the sooner the better, and it'd depend on the country, and I imagine bribes would help make that go away. Most countries don't appreciate people suddenly appearing places, see, and I don't think any of you have filled out form I-140 and received a response from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service approving you for temporary residence, so."

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"Despite what suddenly bringing you here might suggest, we strongly prefer not to take actions that could be considered hostile." He says a bit tiredly. "If we take our people anywhere, it will be after we have talked with some authority first. We will fill forms if necessary. Some potential bribes we are willing to offer in exchange for residency include making a few dozen people young again, or bringing them back from the dead. We can also provide a portal network and a fraction of habitable worlds we discover for ourselves."

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"I am not a government official so I have little idea how that would work out. I may be able to help with the intermediary steps. But it sounds promising, especially if your world is truly ending... You had questions?"

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"We did!" He tentatively smiles. "Do you want to leave the summoning circle and go somewhere more comfortable? That way we can summon your vehicle, assuming it fits in this room."

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"Just in case I would rather not explicitly agree to any deals, nor thank you, nor accept favors at this time. We have stories about this sort of thing that you pattern-match a bit. But if you see fit to show me somewhere else I would not object."

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He nods. "Leon, can you check if there is anything odd about him?"

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Leon, a man with pointy ears and unnaturally all green eyes has been squinting at Terence this whole time, and finally speaks. "Safe both ways. Not even anything like Vitek used to have."

Apparently this enough for people to do something, it's like there were glass walls around Terence, and he failed to notice until now, they slide with a stone-on-stone sound and then appear to dissolve. Some people appear to be ready to react if Terence tries anything untoward.

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He does, staring around curiously at everything.

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There is another man, that is identical to the one that is leading him away. Furthermore, he is standing next to another four-armed tall man, identical to the one right in front of him. No one appears to be remarkable, at least not more remarkable than part animal-people from other worlds.

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He is led out of the room, down a curving corridor and through another room. The architecture is all made up of interlocking stones, though not as elaborate as the first room they were in. This room is made up of a warmer orange-brown stone and has a very tall window overlooking a forest, some gray mountains on the horizon and... a planet? Dark-purple and barely noticeable against the blue-ish gray of the sky.

"I am Dalfelins Dawn-seed-wind, but you may call me Eli. Would you like to take a seat?"

There are no chairs, instead he is offering some pillows around a low table. There are paper and some boxes on the table.

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"...Well, I can probably remember 'Eli', at least..."

He sits crosslegged on the floor, neglecting any pillows. This whole situation is extremely strange. What's making the light? Is anything obviously magical around?

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Eli does not comment on Terence's choice of where to seat nor does he ask for a name. He takes a pillow to himself and takes out a dark-gray stick out of a box.

"Okay, anything you might get you more comfortable? Water? Food? Tell me if you need to interrupt the interview."

The light appears to be coming from sconces on the walls, the corridor was substantially less illuminated. From glancing at it, the ones in this room might have... square stones? The light source at least looks square.

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"I doubt you have coffee. I'm sure I'll have questions of my own soon. I am sort of... Thinking about possibilities right now."

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