Feb 26, 2020 1:38 AM
Verity portalsnaked to Innangarðr
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It's the same as ever in the fleet of generational ships making their way through interstellar space. 

The artificial lights on the roof of the greenhouse are supplemented by the occasional globe from Sunny Day being cast, growing rows of food to support the population. This section of the farms is an orchard of fruit trees currently in the earliest stages of fruit production.  A few final blossoms wilt amid small nubs which will one day become pears.  

Verity is riding on her daémon's back.  As long as she doesn't look up at the unnatural ceiling or pay attention to the evenly spaced trunks she can pretend she's walking through a real forest.  At least until she reaches the end of this greenhouse.

Before this can happen, a slithering sound comes up from behind them.  They turn around just in time to see a massive creature with a mirror at the front where it's face should be.  That's not a daémon variety Verity has ever heard of, and no human in sight.  It doesn't occur to her that it would actually attack until it's too late, and the creature's lunge sends them into the mirror.

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Instead of whatever Verity or Araeneve might have expected to find inside a mirror, they find more greenhouse. At least, that would be a reasonable guess, if not for the lack of an unnatural ceiling. The trunks are few and far between, but there are plants bearing fruits and flowers anywhere not instead occupied by huts or people. There is no sign of any daémons, although they can see a few unfamiliar creatures accompanying people.

Within moments, people stop and look at them. One starts to speak an unfamiliar language, moving in towards the newcomers.

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Are they all separated?  Or zombies?  

Araeneve scans the area for a direction to run if this turns dangerous.  

Verity watches the people, trying to figure out why she can't understand what they're saying.  Being from a fleet where all people have spoken the same language for generations, it doesn't immediately occur to her that there could be other languages.  "Where am I?"

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The possible zombies speak to each other, which she continues not to understand. Araeneve can see what might constitute an escape route if they leave the walking path and tramples over the grass- there are few places near the buildings from which a Suicune could jump to reach the roof. Otherwise, they are surrounded by people.

One person waves with a smile at Verity, paying no attention to Araeneve, saying something incomprehensible and pointing in the direction of the buildings.

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The buildings do catch her attention for a moment.  They look like something out of the VR recreations of the old world, though not exactly.  Different architectural styles, and the doors look too small to fit the larger daémons - Araeneve would probably fit through but only barely.  

Still staying on her daémon's back, Verity tries speaking with the waving person, trying to explain what had just happened.  This place has strange non-daémon non-human creatures - was the giant mirror-snake something from here?  

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The person smiles and shakes their head and says more things that Verity can't understand, but begins gesturing and walking towards the buildings.

Others are gathering, now. People seem to be concentrating in the area to gawk at the newcomers.

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This makes Araeneve nervous.  She'll follow the person, careful to stay well out of reach of any of the people watching, keeping an eye out for good places to jump to if needed.  

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Besides the roofs of buildings, there does look to be a path away from this more occupied area to an area in the distance with more plants and fewer structures. The person leads them to a particular building. The person knocks, says something, and smiles encouragingly at Verity. They do glance at Araeneve, but mostly keep their focus on her.

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"Um.  Hello.  Can you understand me?"

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She says something incomprehensible. She and the other stranger have a quick conversation while she keeps an eye on Araeneve. She's taller than the people they've seen so far, but still a bit shorter than Verity- maybe just about average for what she's used to. Her hair is long and healthy, something they can already see is uncommon here. More striking, though, is the stick she holds in her hand. Carved out of wood with various symbols and markings across its surface, she holds it against the ground. As soon as the other person finishes speaking, she nods, and points to Verity. Then she points to herself, her mouth, and her ears with her free hand, before finally pointing at Verity's ears.

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She tries to figure out what's being conveyed by the pointing.  "I'm not sure what you mean."  She tries to look confused, but if they even have different gestures she's at a complete loss for how to express that.  Araeneve joins in, tilting their head to the side quizzically.

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Fair enough. She points at her staff, which should clear up the confusion.

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Nope. 

Does she mean that she's disabled and needs a cane, and asking if the speech is also some kind of disability?  "I think this place just has a different language than where I'm from," she tries.  That's going to be even harder to try and convey wordlessly.  

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At about which point, she slams the staff against the ground and says:

"Hello. I should warn you that I didn't understand anything you've said up until now, but we should be fine going forward."

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She blinks in confusion as Araeneve takes a step back at the noise.  Was that some kind of Move or Ability, like a daémon would have done?  

"Uh.  Okay.  I hadn't said anything important."

Then, "Hello.  My name is Verity-and-Araeneve.  We were in our fleet when some kind of thing with a mirror instead of a head... ate... us, with it's mirror.  I have no idea where we are or what's going on."

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"Hello, Verity-and-Araeneve. I'm sorry you've appeared here so suddenly. We've never heard of Utgard-zombie-pokemon that could do anything like that. This is Nymet, in the town of Beacon Hills. My name is Marin, Pathfinder of Nymet. Which Innangarð did you come from?"

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"I'm from the ship Citadel of Spring."

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The person next to Marin looks confused. She interrupts to say, "Will that be all, pathfinder?"

"Yes, of course."

The other person leaves. Marin looks from Verity to Araeneve.

"You've had your companion on a ship with you? You must be braver than I am. Come, follow me inside. They can wait out here while we talk."

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"Depending on how far in we'd go from the door, no they can't.  Daémons can't get more than about 20 feet from their person."  

She'd also rather not be spread out somewhere where there still might be dangers, or more giant mirror things.  If one of them had caught only Araeneve or only her...

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"I see. Is one of you called 'Verity' and the other 'Araeneve'? My relationship with my zombie-pokemon is much more casual. We can speak out here. This staff allows me to do many things, one of which includes creating a zone of mutual-comprehensibility."

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"Yeah.  I'm called Verity, and she's Araeneve.  Though, we're the same person in most respects.  

"Did something make your zombie-pokemon not attached to you?"

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"No. My zombie-pokemon was always unattached to any human. It's only recently that we've become connected, but I wouldn't need to stay so close to it. Is everyone on your ship like you two? What about everyone in your Innangarð?"

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"Everyone has a daemon where I'm from, appearing next to us when we're born.  There's hundreds of different shapes, but not ones exactly like you have here.  

"I'm not sure what you mean by 'Innangarð'."

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She smiles slightly.

"You seem to be from a very different place than this one. When you say 'ship', do you mean a kind of transportation which takes you along the bridges between places where people live and make their homes?"

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"The ships are very large vehicles carrying entire cities and their farmland, enclosed in glass and metal.  All are travelling together in a fleet through the void between stars, trying to reach a new planet after the place my ancestors originally came from began to die.  So far, they've been travelling for 200 years."

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"We don't have any vehicle that could carry whole cities. That's very impressive. Our planet doesn't look like it will die soon. If anything, its life will overrun us. Right now, you've somehow appeared within the Innangarð of Nymet. An Innangarð consists of the buildings and the plants and the people you can see. The Utgard is the chaotic wilderness in between them. People that stay too long in the Utgard succumb-to-degradation."

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