Jan 28, 2020 6:04 AM
Ms. Frizzle and Promise
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"That's quite the list! In my experience, magic systems that can do that many things are usually general-purpose; is that simply the list of things you personally can do? Are there things known to be impossible in principle?"

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"That's what I can personally do, there's plenty more. I don't know about known to be impossible in principle, that's a high bar. Oh, I also know how to make gates."

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"General-purpose magic systems are lovely, aren't they. Are gates within a contiguous spacetime or between them?"

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"Between. I don't know of a way to do it within."

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"How does one generally attempt new things? Is it the same process of simulating in detail how the surroundings would be different?"

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"More complicated stuff there's more detail, but that's the basic idea."

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"I shall have to practice. For now, shall we take a walk around and see if there's anything other than vacuum and rock and potentially microorganisms here? I somehow suspect there isn't."

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"It sure looks like there isn't but we can check." Wander wander.

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Wandering: the second best activity after examining things you found while wandering.

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There is super nothing around. Promise lights the way and reveals only more nothing.

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"Do you happen to know if there's magma underneath us, or will be in your era?"

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"There's some later, but only in some places."

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"What's in the other places? Just rock forever?"

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"Far as I know."

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"I wonder why it doesn't reach a temperature equilibrium! Want to go into a magma pocket and find out?"

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"I... don't enjoy being on fire?"

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"Oh, don't worry, the Bus can handle the temperature. There's no need to go outside. But we can skip it entirely if you'd rather not."

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"I can also probably cool the magma but I was imagining this would disrupt your observations. I don't mind looking at it from inside."

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"Excellent. To the Bus!" She sets off back the way they came. "By the way, how much magma could you freeze at once, if we weren't trying to make uncontaminated observations?"

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"Uh, that'd depend a lot on conditions."

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"Could you give a range? Or a single example."

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"It matters how much of it I can see, and whether it's moving, and if there's anything else in it, since all that affects how much I have to think about to know how it'd change the environmental conditions when it froze - seeing's easier than guessing about some I can't see, and so on."

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"That makes sense. Is there a size limit in the easiest case, or is it always limited by how much you have to keep track of?"

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"I think the latter but I haven't pushed it. I can do larger things gradually."

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"So it's not always instantaneous? Intriguing!" She reboards the bus, and once Promise is into the airlock she repressurizes it so they can enter the control room proper.

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