Feb 23, 2020 6:42 PM
Verity portalsnaked to MidChilda
+ Show First Post
Total: 331
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Eelesia stops herself, trailing off with a sheepish giggle.

"Sorry. That can wait."

She glances between Verity and Araeneve.

"Are the, are you a collective entity with two bodies? I was assuming you were separate individuals. Silly of me."

Permalink

"We are the same person in a lot of ways."  She's never had to describe daemons before, and is unsure how someone who doesn't have one is different.

"I can try to remember what I learned of our old world in school, but I'm not much of a scientist."

Permalink

"That's okay. Tentatively, you are the only point of contact with and only source of information on your civilization. I should have a trained interviewer from the Infinite Library talk to you, later, if you don't mind."

Eelesia pauses and peers at Araeneve. The soul in physical form, they said? That is actually potentially concerning. Probably not urgently so, if it the configuration is standard among her people, but still.

"This isn't urgent either, but would you consent to a medical scan? I've never heard of a configuration of body and soul like you say you have... unless calling Araeneve your physical soul was allegorical?"

Permalink

"It's literal."  The phrasing does make her a bit more comfortable.  At least it implies that they have some known configuration of souls.  

"A medical scan sounds like a good idea.  Speaking of that, I have up-to-date vaccinations for diseases on the fleet, but you probably have a different set here, too."

Permalink

"Oh, we don't, actually! Our healing mages are all trained in biotic exclusion, and we mastered endobiome cultivation decades ago. If anyone at all gets sick ever, that's a big enough deal that it usually is national news."

Eelesia pulls up a holographic screen while talking and requests an appointment.

"I'm not an ontobiologist, but I have role-played one on the extranet! Ahem. The soul as we understand it is the part of us that extracts mana from the dimensional sea, like, gills extracting oxygen from water. When our linker cores respire that mana, our soul is the thing that is moving. But it doesn't have physical form, and some people have survived having their souls completely destroyed; they eventually grew back, and this had no effect at all on those people's minds."

Eelesia gets a curious look on her face. "Huh, I wonder what would happen if I... do you know how to soulspeak?"

Permalink

The idea of souls getting destroyed is unnerving.  "I don't know what soulspeak is.  Or, uh, mana, dimensional sea, linker cores...?" 

Permalink

~Soulspeak is when you modulate your mana respiration instead of your breath, to talk. It takes more practice than talking out loud but not much more. Most teenagers learn it, even though it takes above-average mana capacity to do more than whisper.~

Permalink

When Araeneve hears the not-sound, there's a strange tingling electrical sensation going along with the words.  Not painful or debilitating, but alarming.  Araeneve yelps, and jumps to his feet, hackles raised.

Verity can't hear any of it, but the alarm is transferred.  "You tried soulspeak?  I didn't hear anything."

"I did."

"Well?"

"I..." He wants to be outside, somewhere else.  He whines and tries to nudge Verity away, not that he has any idea where the door is.  "Uh.  Something about teenagers?  I.  Wasn't paying attention, sorry."

Permalink

"Sorry! I should've guessed that might be a peculiar experience for a... daemon."

Eelesia notices the restless nudging.

"...no one will complain or stop you if you wanna, like, sprint to the far wall and back."

Permalink

Restless energy aside, Verity would rather stay.  Araeneve can pace back and forth within range.

"Our daemon halves show emotion much more readily than our person, but that doesn't necessarily mean I think it's worthwhile to run around right now."

Permalink

"Fair."

"It's actually very reassuring that Araeneve could hear me at all, but also somewhat unsettling that Verity couldn't. Usually that means someone's soul is completely gone. The implications are rather fascinating. Do your people have mages or any thaumtronics?"

Permalink

"No, those don't sound familiar.  Our daemons can learn moves which do things we sometimes refer to as magic, but humans can't learn them."

Permalink

"Ooh. Like what?"

Permalink

"There are about 800 known moves, and each daemon species is able to perform a few dozen kinds on average and have 4 ready in their mind at a time.  Some moves can be learned by almost anyone, while others are rare.

"Some create a material out of nothing: water, sand, rock, silk, plant matter, steel, gold.  They can generate electricity, light, or heat, or take away heat to make something cold.  Um.  Healing, teleportation, putting people to sleep or stopping them from moving.  A few others.  Many are only useful in fights between daemons.

"There are also special effects that certain daemons have.  Suicune like Araeneve in particular can purify water.  Those don't count for the 4-move limit.  Right now, Araeneve knows the moves Blizzard, Surf, Reflect, and Rest - that means she can create a room-sized vortex of cold air and snow, create water, make a wall of light that slows things trying to pass through, and can go into a short trance-like sleep to recover if injured."

Permalink

Eelesia bounces in her seat a little.

"I want to ask a ton of questions about this, especially the creating material out of nothing part, but it remains true that answering your questions should come first."

Eelesia composes herself.

"What do you need to know to decide what you want to do going forward?"

Permalink

She considers this.  "Whether it's possible to contact the fleet sounds important.  I don't necessarily want to go back, though.  What my options are."

"Most of... everything?  About this place.  Laws?"

Permalink

"Your options include anything I can fit in my discretionary budget for the day, which is considerable. If you'd like to apply for Childan citizenship, your subsequent options will include anything you can afford with your then irrevocable Civil Dividend. You don't have to pick off a limited list or anything. What I do here is do my best to get you where you actually want to be in life. Administrated Space is a strict meritocracy and we don't believe in punitive justice. The only laws we strongly enforce are the ones about merit fraud, which is not something you might do by accident."

Eelesia pulls up a full-color holographic map of the Milky Way galaxy between them.

"Unfortunately, whatever transported you to downtown Cranagan has proven itself untraceable, so to contact your fleet, first we'll have to find them the hard way. Do you recognize this galaxy, at least?"

Permalink

"We're in a spiral galaxy.  It looks about the same, but there's supposed to be a lot and I'm not sure I could tell them apart.  Uh, assuming this is the right one, it'd be somewhere in one of these places," she points.  In the disc of the galaxy itself but near the very edge, in-between the star-dense arms. 

"We've been headed towards a star we've identified as being stable and having a rocky planet with a day-night cycle and the other things we can't terraform ourselves.  It should be another 90 years if we don't develop ftl along the way or get someone with a Palkia daemon.  Travelling at about 0.08 lightspeed, with that being the best planet within 200 years of our travel."  She shudders a bit.  She hates the ships, and even now that there's probably a way she doesn't have to spend her entire life there the thought of it is still depressing.  

Permalink

Eelesia peers at the stars around where Verity points.

"That's not near anything of ours, and it is well outside teleportation range. We'd have to charter a dimensional cruiser to go investigate. Which we can do, to be clear, but not today. Possibly not even this week. I'll log and queue the request, if you want me to, though."

Eelesia points at the thick part of the 'elbow' where one of the spiral arms joins the 'bar' of core stars. "We're here, by the way."

Permalink

"Even if it isn't done this year, finding them will get them somewhere not-the-fleet faster than they will on their own."  Most of the people there are happy with their lives, but they should still have a choice.  

She nods about the map, but doesn't know if the location is important.  

Araeneve chimes up after Verity can't think of what to say.  "We're not sure where we want to be, when given options.  People's fate is pretty tightly chosen on the ships."

Permalink

"...should I perhaps ask where you don't want to be?"

Permalink

"I don't want to be a religious figurehead.  Or anything to do with politics or leadership."  That one is obvious and automatic to her.  More slowly and thoughtfully, she adds, "I liked going to different parts of the ship to purify the waterways and reservoirs, especially in the night when no one would stare, or in the less-visited farm sections."

Permalink

"Oh," Eelesia says. That was fast, and specific. "You were a religious figurehead? Sounds like that was really not fun for you. Don't worry. That certainly won't be difficult to avoid."

"What did you like most about your night-time purification jaunts?"

Permalink

"Suicune are Legendary.  They occur about 1 in a 100,000 people, and are unusually powerful.  The religion believes that people with legendaries are reincarnations of everyone who's ever settled with the same one, and are expected to guide humanity."  

"Getting to wander around, see different parts of the ships."

Permalink

That goes against every bit of meritocratic common sense, Eelesia doesn't say. "I see. That sounds very unfair."

"You like exploring?"

Total: 331
Posts Per Page: