This post has the following content warnings:
Jun 23, 2021 7:02 PM
carillons refugees land on an orc planet in Edda
+ Show First Post
Total: 544
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Such as you." Smooch.

Permalink

Smooch! "Takes one to know one!"

Permalink

The dinner party goes well overall.

It takes a few days for Saerltes to get everything set up. Everything is at least a little different from what she's used to. But she can start seeing clients very soon thereafter.

Permalink

The university has taken the liberty of advertising for her and she has clients on day one. Here are some purple men and their daughter! "Would there be any problem with her surrogating for us?" they want to know.

Permalink

"No, that's fine. The carrier doesn't automatically have any kind of genetic input or anything of the sort." 

Permalink

In that case they would like to pay her a lot of money to make them an egg! They want a boy this time. They will pay extra if she can make the baby a servantmaker but won't be able to tell till he's a few seasons old.

Permalink

She'll have to make a trip to Stork to examine some servantmakers to see if that's even theoretically possible. A boy is definitely doable, though. Assuming that making the child a servantmaker is possible in principle but works more like her own world's species magic than she thinks it's likely to, what percentage of the child's genome are they willing to turn over to not-them sources in order to make it happen? 

Permalink

Not all servantmakers live on Stork, the ability is portable - they can bring in a servantmaking staffperson from the one dad's company if that will help, though they have not vetted this staffperson as a gene donor and Stork folks tend to find the idea weird.

"Can you explain more about that?" says the other dad. "If the gene - if it even is a gene - just does magic, and he'd still look like us, inherit our personality traits and aptitudes, that's fine even if on a gene scan it looks like he has three parents. If it's more complicated than that..."

Permalink

"The way it works with species magic is that you can't give a child any of a given species's magic if they don't have any genes sourced from that species. The magic itself isn't genetic per se but the genes serve as a connecting point for the magic. There isn't a discrete magic gene; if someone is the only available donor from a species but has undesirable traits as a person then it's fairly trivial for a skilled practitioner to selectively snip off something innocuous like eye color, although depending on various factors it might be necessary to take several such snippets. It's not overwhelmingly likely that servantmaking will work exactly like species magic, but I won't be able to make any guesses as to what it works like instead until I've had some time to examine the problem."

Permalink

"In that case we'd need to also talk to the prospective servantmaking donor about what he's comfortable with. Servantmakers seem mostly like humans but - do you know about servantmakers -"

Permalink

"I've been reading up on the major magic systems people are born with, but my time has been limited; if you know more than I could find in five minutes on Citrus then go on."

Permalink

"On top of the magic they also appear spontaneously as babies on their planet. There's servants that collect them, but they don't have parents. Or bellybuttons, if that matters."

Permalink

"Lots of species don't have bellybuttons. The other part seems more relevant."

Permalink

"Right. I think they do have genes, actually, but they're just sort of out of nowhere to the best of my knowledge. Probably someone is doing statistics to find if they have counterfactual parents or something but as far as I'm currently aware they don't."

Permalink

"That doesn't surprise me, although I'm sure I'll be interested in those statistics sooner or later. Is there anything else you'd like specified, besides gender?"

Permalink

"How much will we be eating up useful degrees of freedom on health and so on if we want him to have, say, my chin, his hair -"

Permalink

"First of all, to a first approximation unless two things directly conflict they don't usually trade off; second, I can't trade things off against health. Ensuring healthy children is what the magic is for; the rest is an extrapolation therefrom."

Permalink

"Oh, good. How far does that go, does it cover mental illnesses, predispositions to stuff that's environmentally triggered..."

Permalink

"Depends on how you define 'mental illness;' anything that's essentially the brain failing to do something, such as read or do math or regulate emotions, will be covered; things that society deems undesirable but that aren't the result of a strict malfunction have to be tweaked manually or not at all. Predispositions to environmental factors are slightly more complicated but to a first approximation if both parents have the predisposition it's liable to manifest but if one parent lacks it it won't."

Permalink

"What do you mean a strict malfunction?"

"Does this go off your definitions - many aliens have a very poorly concealed disapproval of pollution sensitivity but it's, ah, important to us."

Permalink

"It goes off of biology, as best we can tell. Without examining Amentan DNA more closely I couldn't tell you which category pollution sensitivity fell into, but even if it was something that needed manual tweaking that wouldn't mean it wasn't important. There are a number of what my own society considers disorders that fall into that category, such as an inclination to set things on fire that shouldn't be. It's not a value judgment, just a logistical consideration."

Permalink

"We would rather he not be a pyromaniac," says a dad. "Do you have a checklist or anything like that?"

Permalink

"Yes, but I can't swear that it's comprehensive." She produces it anyway. It has disclaimers that psychology is complicated and only partially genetic and eliminating a predisposition to pyromania-for-example is not a guarantee that something of the sort won't develop later in response to environmental factors.

Permalink

They go over the checklist, don't want anything terribly unconventional (for Amentans). They spend long enough going over it to need a lunch break, though, and come back with their servantmaker employee.

Permalink

She gets the servantmaker's consent and takes a gene sample to examine. 

Total: 544
Posts Per Page: