Aug 09, 2020 7:25 AM
we miss swimmer so we did this
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"- does it still respect shields?"

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"It's even more respectful than that, it only catches things you're deliberately sending. Which means they won't be shielding, they'll just be - categorizing thoughts as private or public, it's possible for Thoughtsensers to learn to interact with in a privacy-respecting way but it takes a bit of time to get the knack for it. But they won't get anything off you."

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"Okay. So I go find out what year they think it is and where we are and whether they for some reason have agreed to send you home to your abusive husband if they ever catch you?"

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"Opposite sides of the war. I killed twelve people. I was attempting to kill some different people than the people I killed, who were important military targets in the war, but they escaped, and the people killed were innocent civilians. I would have been executed, but the man who is now my husband wanted me. I - didn't want to die."

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"Who is now your - eegh."

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"The situation does not really reflect his best qualities and I'd feel better about it if I'd had the option of suicide at the time of the marriage but I do now and I haven't taken it, so -

- we should just avert the war. Wars are very bad."

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"Agreed. Is it, like, about something - I can't rule out that someone will notice you while I'm talking to the locals even if I don't tell them, I'd like to know whatever I most need to know before that has a chance to happen -"

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"Yes, I agree. Uh, the war in Valinor was between the god who made one species of sapients, called orcs, and the gods who made and protect my species, called Quendi, the god who made the orcs started a war of conquest and the gods who made my species want to eradicate orcs, there were not really any good guys. My country - I used to be a prince of a country here - was on the side of our gods. I split with them. It was complicated. When the war spilled over into Velgarth Iftel and Karse and what remained of Valdemar ended up allied against the Quendi nations and their gods, and some other groups - the Star-Eyed and her servant peoples, my husband's faction - ended up allied with the Quendi nations.

I don't know how long I've been a prisoner - they do Mindhealing so I can't consolidate memories, when my husband wants to see me, or when they want to interrogate me, or maybe for other things as well I wouldn't know - though I think it's been less than a year and I doubt the overall contours of the situation have changed very much. If people here have heard about it they probably heard about the thing where I killed twelve innocent people and was disowned by the King my father and exiled from the world for twelve thousand years."

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"Mindhealing so you - aaaaugh okay I'm going to write down the facts of the situation right now as we currently understand them for you -" She gets out her notebook and does that, then tears out the page for him.

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"I don't think that's in effect right now! At first they did it all the time but I had a breakdown about it and they backed off to only when they want something from me. The things in effect right now that I know of are the block on my osanwë - our Mindspeech - and a block on spatial reasoning so I can't navigate or draw pictures of buildings or consistently remember left from right, and compulsions against planning or contemplating escape or attacking or harming anybody, and the failsafes to those which apparently include shutting down if I observe myself to have, somehow, escaped. There might be things I wasn't told about but I expect that at this moment I have the ability to consolidate memory normally."

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"Okay, but you have contingencies you didn't know about, there could be more, or the Mindhealer could just have fucked up because they were working on an alien without patient cooperation, so." Paper.

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"Thank you."

 

He writes. 

"You haven't told me much about yourself."

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"I'm complicated. What do you want to know?"

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"Uh, how did you end up being an amateur diplomat, who are you diplomacizing between? How do you know Vanyel?"

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"Uh, my lifebonded wants to take over Valdemar for reasons but Valdemar got spooked ahead of schedule, through Vanyel actually because he has this shared dream situation with my lifebonded and I can sneak into it if I'm close enough to one of them while we're all asleep, and everything was looking to escalate unpleasantly and ideally there'd be a non-invasion way to deal with the reasons - the reasons are secret, sorry - so I went as a costly signal of good faith to talk to them? And also jailbreak some Companions from the divine mind control, that turns out not to be as hard as it sounds. And it actually went really well but now I'm in a separate universe from Leareth - that's my lifebonded - and Amshalan - she's my Companion, I got one to make Heralds pay attention to me because they're pretty bad at paying attention to people who don't have Companions. Which hurts a lot but I'm trying to ignore it."

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" - huh. I'm sorry. Quendi marriage bonds are a little like lifebonds but they're more convenient, they don't - hurt like that just from distance."

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"Sounds like an improvement." Sigh. "Anything else we should cover before I meet the locals?"

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"I don't think - oh, the locals will also if they haven't heard of anything else about the situation be upset about the 'husband' thing because that's illegal here, two men marrying."

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"Like 'pelt you with rocks' upset or -"

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"It depends where exactly this village is."

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"Okay. What's his name, then, if I have to refer to him without mentioning he's your husband?"

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"Telumë. Though any Quendi who looks at me will know that I'm married, we can see each other's marriage bonds. I guess we could let them imagine I am unrelatedly married to a nice girl I met six hundred years ago who is on a sabbatical in the north." 

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"Okay. - how far north?"

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"She went all the way to the northern ice to measure some things about gravity. She's a mathematician. - it is probably better not to lie if you can possibly avoid it, you can mention Vanyel or something and see how rock-throwing they seem, if they just make horrible faces it'll be fine."

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"No I mean in real life, you said your husband was north of Valdemar, are we talking the belt of subsistence farmers not technically within Valdemar's borders south of the mountain range, or like, in and around and north of the mountain range -"

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