Belrun is so close to getting this damned flu strain to calm down in this one egg. She copies the change across to a few more eggs' worth, iterates, writes everything down, and Fetches the egg that is getting scary into her pot of simmering water before it makes a break for it. It's getting on toward dark and if she keeps working she's going to have to do it by candlelight, and she doesn't like that - it's already too easy to bump into things when she can see them. She calls it a day and closes up the lab for the night and heads out to walk over to the university cafeteria. It's a nice evening, and it's Flatbread Night, and she's in a generally good mood.
"Compared to Valdemar freeloading on someone else's investment, probably not. Compared to Leareth spending the next five centuries doing something unrelated, yes. Did the information about the new Cataclysm filter its way to you?"
"I'm optimistic that a less costly solution can be found but we can't postpone laying groundwork for the costlier one, it's not something that can be pulled together in the last week when all other avenues prove fruitless."
Is there any chance I can convince you it's in Valdemar's best interests for you to be an interpreter for the gods that made you? Talking to them directly as humans has not historically worked well and you'd have a much better shot if you were willing."
"Is there any harm in trying?"
"You could ask for some."
"Yes, I acknowledge the bootstrapping problem, but - people do actually ask gods for things all the time. Usually humans do it, but it's a common behavior, and usually what happens is nothing, but if it cost the gods anything to have people trying to communicate with them I think they'd try to discourage the practice."
"It could help a lot, potentially."
Do you have any questions for me?"
"...hug him? Resume my research projects."
"Yes, I know."
"Okay. Thank you for meeting with me."
"Oh, I wasn't aware you'd heard. You're welcome."
"That makes sense."