Jul 06, 2020 1:56 PM
River Tam lands on an orc planet
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"What does her magic do?"

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"Grants wishes. Also mess with time but I think that works more places. Lúthien has a weird teleport."

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Blink. "Wishes to - anyone?"

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"...you have to get screened first so you don't make a dumb wish."

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"That's good." Some people should not have their wishes granted.

...She wonders if she can wish for her reading to work differently. She needs it for security but it isn't very pleasant.

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"Also there's other stuff but I haven't looked into it much. I'm Plumub, that's Lagl, that's Kunol." (Orc with baby, short orc, tall orc.) "And the baby's Rus."

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"I'm River." She doesn't like her last name much. No point giving it. (The skin over her hands is starting to twitch, like there's something crawling on them. She's not used to this many people being around. It's noisy.)

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"Well, nice to meet you, River. Do you... need anything?" asks Plumub.

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Needs aren't safe. They are on Serenity, but not around most people. But it's hard to get things if you don't tell people you need them, and she'll know if the orcs are planning to betray her.

Reading minds is slightly less overwhelming if she can't see people.

"Somewhere to be less - crowded."

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"...like out on the lake, or in the woods, or on my great great grandpa's farm, or -"

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"Don't care. Less people. I lived on a spaceship, before. There were only five other people." If they feel like putting her out of mental range of crowds, that might be nice. But she doesn't actually know what her range is. She knows she can hear the Reavers screaming several light minutes away, but they're Reavers. It's different.

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"I have a spaceship," says Lagl.

"We'd need to, like, pack," says Plumub, "to go anywhere for five days."

"It's stocked. Humans can eat what we eat, except some of them don't like bugs. Anyway, you don't have to leap it, it can just go up and hang out," says Lagl. "But we'd have to go to the spaceport to get on it."

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She can't feel the ground from orbit, she thinks. Or she couldn't last time she parked Serenity around a planet.

"Maybe," she says. 

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"Spaceport's way more crowded than this bridge though. You wanna go?" asks Lagl.

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"How far away is it?"

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"Ten minutes walk to the streetcar station and then another ten and then five getting to my ship from the station in the port."

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Her range already encompasses the spaceport, then.

"Spaceship would be - good."

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So they lead her up the bridge and into the city, full of orcs upon orcs upon orcs, orcs laughing and orcs kissing and orcs playing with their babies and orcs selling groceries and orcs reading and orcs drumming and orcs in apartments and orcs on playgrounds and orcs jogging and orcs rollerskating and orcs working on gardens and orcs working on theater productions.

The streetcar is about three quarters full and they take the last seats. People look at River; humans are not well known here.

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This is not a happy human. Noise outside clashes with noise in her head - people's words don't always match their thoughts - and she's very strongly relying on borrowing everyone else's senses because her eyes and ears have given up on making coherent sense of the world and just started screaming dizzying twirling colors - walking when she's having to piece together her movements through other people's eyes is hard but she's done it before but she usually only had just one set of eyes to look through - 

Her mouth stops working the way it's supposed to. She makes sure she's muttering in Mandarin whenever she catches herself through someone else's ears, mostly repetitive phrases to try to anchor herself - bits of poems she liked once - 

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Her companions take this pretty well as it goes. They usher her out of the streetcar at the correct stop and lead her through the spaceport. It's got shops full of snacks and souvenirs, bathrooms marked with strange symbols that don't gender-segregate, play areas for kids, moving sidewalks.

Largl's spaceship is about the size of a house and is parked in a way suggesting it's capable of vertical takeoff and landing; there are lots of small ships parked close together here. Largl's is painted green and black in spiky patterns.

They all pile in. Plumub says, "We're not leaping, right, if we leap I need to tell Nini, he'll be back from his trip by then."

"Not leaping, just getting up in the quiet," says Largl.

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Quiet sounds good. Leaping is a weird concept, but it's hard to hold onto amid all the noise.

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The ship goes up. The planet falls away. It's green and lit up prettily on the night side's continent. Lots of islands.

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She uncurls a bit once she can only hear the people on the ship - pretty far up - finally looking around with interest.

...Now that her head isn't screaming she might want to reconsider letting them know she can read minds. They've been nice. Though she doesn't like that they're planning to involve a government. But it's not good to hide stuff from people you're working with.

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Plumub is showing Rus the view. Rus is more interested in chewing on his hand.

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"Here's better," she says after a few false starts.

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