Apr 08, 2020 11:55 AM
Raafi in Revelation
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This isn't where Raafi went to sleep. He'd set his bedroll up on a comfy patch of moss under a tree, and now - he still has the bedroll, at least, and his pack, but the tree and moss are nowhere to be seen, replaced by a strange metal room with still, stuffy air and an implausibly clear night sky out the window.

"Hello?" he calls, getting to his feet.

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There's no answer, just a continuous low buzz-hum in the background and the stars.

And at the bottom edge of the window, the rim of a world, blue-green and scattered with white, so far that he can cover an ocean with his thumb.

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...what.

He spends a minute looking, trying to figure out what he's even seeing, before breaking off to pack up his bed and try the door. "Fharlanghn, where have you sent me now," he murmurs to himself as he works, more wonderingly than complaining.

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The view shifts, slowly, the clouds drifting, the globe turning.

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It's like no map he's ever seen - now how to get there.

The answer is probably not in this room. How about that door?

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The door leads to a hallway! It has carpet, and more doors, and a couple of posters up between the doors, with text in a foreign language, and some devices mounted to the wall.

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He digs around in his belt pouches for a minute and comes up with a translation necklace; what do the posters say?

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Dial 999 for EMERGENCY, 411 for STATION INFORMATION, 000 for FAIRY SCHEDULES, and 288 for TECH SUPPORT if your mobile is not working.

This weekend (15/4-16/4) there's a pajama party in the Rotunda! Come on over Saturday afternoon for (pretend) campfire stories and (real) toasty marshmallows (Brad is bringing his demon)! Pillow fight tournament, stuffed animal showcase for the kids.

Hang in there! [picture of a kitten dangling from a tree]

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Fairies on schedules and demons in polite company; he's not sure which is more bizarre.

He keeps moving, humming a prayer under his breath; no reason not to start his devotions while he's exploring.

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The hallway curves under his feet; he is walking around a ring, feet toward the center.

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He makes a confused sound when he notices, but keeps exploring, checking in the rooms he passes more or less at random.

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Some are locked. Some are empty. Some are furnished like bedrooms and some like offices. Each has a number on the door, evens on his left and odds on his right.

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He takes note of a few with particularly good views of the world below and any other points of interest. He's not in any hurry, and there's plenty of station left to explore when he feels his spells come in.

He stops to rest in the next office, and goes over them; he left space for Fharlanghn to grant him whatever magic is appropriate to the situation, and he seems to have done so, with a few copies of a spell Raafi has only heard of before, never received, for breathing comfortably in bad air, and another few for staying comfortable in extreme temperatures and producing food and water.

He uses the latter to make himself breakfast, and keeps moving.

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The place looks like it was abandoned. It's a little hard to get the sense of it because there's so much stuff left, portable stuff, neat-looking stuff, and no sign of urgency, nothing knocked over or damaged, no food left half-eaten, no bodies. The place was abandoned in no great hurry... but by people who value physical possessions almost not at all.

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It's weird. Not that that's entirely unexpected, the whole situation is pretty weird, but even for that.

Now that he's less distracted, he starts looking for more details about the place - opening drawers, poking into closets, examining anything that seems out of place, reading at least the first few lines of anything written.

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People seem to have mostly packed their clothes but he does find a cardboard box with some sweatshirts and ripped jeans and a crocheted vest; there's a kitchen, and it's picked over but has some stuff left, some molded into nothing and some shelf-stable. There's math homework scratchwork; there's a whiteboard with a few lines of a meeting agenda, partly erased ("Elder sup", "last day of sc", "Federated st"). There's a box on a wall with two compartments, one full of bandages and little packets describing their medicinal contents, the other with some folded-up large sheets of paper with complicated words written all around circles on them if he unfolds one.

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He examines the medicines and tucks them away in his belt, and then unfolds one of the papers to read it.

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I SUMMON A FAIRY under the following LIMITATIONS: the fairy shall not, outside the scope of the task -

It goes on for paragraphs.

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That... might explain the fairies being on schedules? He skims the limitations, to get an idea of what sorts of restrictions they are, and then looks through the box again for anything that might be instructions.

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The fairy is not supposed to hurt anyone, pretty much, though he can get a decent idea of the ways in which they expect that to be possible for a fairy.

The other two circles are very similar but for AN ANGEL and A DEMON.

The inside cover of the compartment has a simple diagram showing someone spreading out the paper on the floor flat, and marking with the included pen the spot where there's a break in the circle. Then somebody with wings appears in the final diagram. There is also some writing - "REMEMBER: do not agree to anything your daeva says until you are satisfied with your chosen PAYMENT and ALSO the description of your TASK. Saying 'yes' or 'mm-hm' or nodding counts as agreeing. REMEMBER: you cannot reuse the circle! A demon can make you more circles. Ask for SAFE SUMMONING AUTHORITY STANDARD EMERGENCY GENERIC, latest edition, of whatever type you need. THE SAFE SUMMONING AUTHORITY DOES NOT RECOMMEND SUMMONING DEMONS IF ANGELS OR FAIRIES WILL DO."

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Yeah, he's not going to summon a demon. Or probably an angel; they may be less dangerous but they're not much more cooperative, if they're like the ones he's used to. Not that he has any idea of whether they're like the ones he's used to. Signs point to no, really.

He rolls the fairy circle up and stows it in his belt, considers, and takes the other two as well, and the pen. He wants to finish exploring the station before he tries anything with them.

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The ring eventually completes; he's back where he started, having seen approximately a small village's worth of living quarters and common areas.

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He tries to teleport back to the woods he was in last night at lunchtime - he can always come back, now that he's been here - but he isn't very surprised when it doesn't work. He's just started looking for someplace to sit for dinner when he recognizes the posters by the room he started in. He pauses to close his eyes, looking pained: "Fharlangnh, sir-" he complains, but of course there's no answer.

He returns to the supply of food he made for breakfast to get dinner, and looks over the other two summoning circles while he eats.

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They have different implications about avenues of potential harm from angels and demons. Seems like angels transmute and demons conjure, loosely speaking.

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These are weird enough powers for angels and demons that he wonders if his translation spell is glitching, and he really doesn't want to mess with unfamiliar magic on the basis of a bad translation. He'll get a spell of his own and reread them in the morning.

He spends the rest of the evening going through his supplies, determining what he might have to offer in trade to whoever he ends up summoning, if he does, and then pacing, looking at the view out the window, muttering prayers.

A few hours after breakfast, he completes the circle to summon a fairy.

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A fairy appears at once. He has on leather pants and a long patterned scarf wrapped around his torso so his eyespotted mothwings are free. "- huh, what languages are these?" he says.

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