Jul 10, 2020 5:16 AM
River Tam lands on an orc planet
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"Do you have a vague idea of how long vetting takes?"

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"For this less than a day."

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"Huh."

"Don't think there's anything else then. I'll tell people to expect visitors."

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"See you later."

 

She's back later that day, teleporting into the cargo hold.

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River and Kaylee decided to hang out in the cargo hold and play dice while they waited. Dice are a bit harder to cheat at. River's vision's gone wonky again, so Kaylee's keeping her in her line of sight so River can actually move around well. Zoe's hanging out in a corner, watching them fondly, unarmed and slightly grumpy about this. There's a nervous tension running through all of River's friends, here and off elsewhere in the ship. Jayne's grouchy, cleaning Vera. Mal's in the cockpit, staring at Wash's things they left up and occasionally thinking jokes at River. He knows she's probably nervous too. She's holding together well, he thinks. Her brother's in the medical room, nervously fiddling with everything. No one's really sure if they believe in wishes, but Mal trusts River and River believes it, which is good enough to go on.

Zoe looks over when Golden teleports in. River doesn't bother looking; Kaylee turns just enough she still has River in her line of sight.

"Hi," Kaylee says, smiling.

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"Hi. So, your wish suggestions were really good, but Gem has a preexisting generalized solution for death, takes six wishes, she'll advertise for it pretty soon after formal contact, so separately resurrecting this one planet seems out of scope; she wants to test you on your first proposal entire, with an additional clause in about putting the Reavers in a Lórien, she's got one emptied for them."

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"Alright. With the modifications for where it works and opting out? Or other modifications?"

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"Your version is a clear improvement on the status quo as-is and she's not sure you'll read high enough for a more complicated version. Complications can be added as a patch with someone else's wish in plenty of time for the inauguration of teleporting bus lines in and out of your world. You can try the whole shebang yourself and fall back on the version you outlined, if you do have a promising read."

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She nods. "That makes sense. I dunno fixing the powers would entirely fix the Reavers without a separate clause for that, and separately reverting Reavers naively might undo my changes, but if they can't hurt anyone in a Lorien that's better than what's now."

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"We do have a precog who's going to check if it fixes them; if it doesn't Gem'll dig up a wisher who can do it so they don't hurt each other or swarm out of the Lórien."

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"Alright."

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"Do you want to bring someone along as a seeing-eye assistant, since I'll be extending my shield to Gem and there won't be anyone else on the planet?"

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"Yeah. Kaylee and Zoe both offered," River says.

"If it's just River wishing I'd rather be the one along," Zoe says, evenly. Kaylee pouts a bit but nods.

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"You can both come if you like, there's not a cargo limit on the teleport."

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River looks at Kaylee, who shrugs. "I can also tell the Captain and all them what we're doing and that y'all left, if'n it'll take any time."

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"Okay. Back in a bit."

Pop.

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Gem, who looks just like her alt except for being less pale, brown-eyed, and wearing a different variety of crown and a fancy dress with a diamond motif and buckler shield, meets them on an empty planet. It's freshly terraformed and nobody's moved in yet. In the first instant after their arrival, Isabella has her covered in her shielding power.

"Hello. River and -?"

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"Zoe Washburne," says the woman.

"Hi," says River.

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"Pleased to meet you. I put a new Lórien on this planet so there's no neighbors at risk if the recovered Reavers flail around psychically, so keep it in mind when you're making your wish. Go over the wording you have in mind again and I'll get your read?"

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New wording: includes neighborhood limit and opt out clauses and moving the Reavers. It's less tightly considered than the old wording.

Old wording, also offered as fall back: like what was written.

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"...Okay, this is good enough to give it a whirl. But we're talking about a pretty big population you're trying to affect and sometimes large populations need to batch, so I think you should have a second backup where you restrict yourself to the psychics of a planet of your choice, maybe two or three if you want to pick more sparsely inhabited ones. You'll need to be quick if you have to fall back twice, I apologize for my wish-granting device, I did not invent it. Oh, also, disclaimer, by making this wish here and now you are passing up the chance to go through a screening process to become a magic rock."

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"Probably I'll restrict myself to just Reavers, there's less of them but they're stronger psychics and more upsetting." Reaver and River only wording is easier to come up with, too.

"I don't really want to do most things that involve a screening process." She's pretty sure she'd fail any sane metric of who to give powers to, anyways. "And if Thop are the same thing as magic rocks, I'll pass."

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"Yeah, same thing, 'thop' means rock."

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"I think I'm good then."

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"Okay. Whenever you're ready."

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