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Mar 06, 2021 3:25 AM
Azure-and-Florentho portalsnaked to Manere
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Huh, Azure has no idea if they'd want to send missionaries or not.  They existed on the dead world, but... He's not sure how it would work for people without daemons to join their religion.  So many of their duties and traditions and beliefs revolve around their external souls and the various classifications they're sorted into.  That it's possible for people to be sapient yet not have visible souls is shocking.  There are some science fiction series where aliens have daemons who don't fit into the 18 categories, or take on vastly different forms like moving tattoos or elemental wings on their person's back, but never nothing

As for asteroid mining, their ancestors who left the dead world hadn't considered it and the subsequent captains hadn't pursued it either.  Probably some combination of the amount of time it would take and the amount of material that the mining and processing equipment would tie up?  He's also not sure if any of the stars that would be even slightly reasonable to divert towards have useful asteroids, though that's mostly because he personally has always focused on things inside of the ships.

In explaining his ancestor's decision, he winds up mentioning more about the dead world.  It hadn't been a normal planet around a normal star, but instead a planet at the center of a small pocket universe about 3 light-seconds across.  The sun and moon had been lights which travelled across the outer shell.  Their launch had involved breaking through the dissolving barriers into a larger universe which was more stable and would last a few billion years at least.  

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Ah, yes, of course that could be very significant! One of the doms wants to ask if he knows how the daemons fit into their evolutionary history, but there have been some people in this world who didn't like the concept of an evolutionary history at all, so that's one of the subjects to leave for later and people with more political acumen. Instead the dom asks if animals in their world have anything like daemons?

(One of the subs on the helicopter gets a spike of emotional interest at the mention of alien science fiction, but she does not interrupt.)

Mentioning and describing the dead world gets a reaction of: wow! Both the concept that such a universe could exist, and that breaking through could be possible, sound utterly fascinating and revolutionary to knowledge! (Also: no wonder they would be less likely to come up with astroid mining).

Meanwhile the helicopters seem to be approaching their destination: a multi-story and large but not overly tall building surrounded by various park-looking areas and looking pretty elaborate. It has a helicopter landing area on the roof.

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What's an animal?

Plants, bacteria, and fungi are alive but none have daemons or anything like them.  

They did have the reverse, in pokemon.  Those were like daemons but were unattached to a person.  They weren't intelligent, and mostly lived in the wilderness.  Their disappearance had been one of the symptoms of the pocket universe falling apart.

 

Florentho continues keeping watch on where the helicopter is going.  He thinks the building is nice!  On instinct, he glances in the helicopter to tell any daemons his opinion on the building.  Hmm.  Maybe if any of the nearby humans are watching him instead of listening to Azure he'll mention it to them?

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...Huh. Animals are - kind of between plants and people, in a sense, they're more complicated than bacteria but not intelligent. 'Not intelligent and live in the wilderness' is a pretty decent first pass description of animals, actually. But Florentho doesn't look like an animal to them, and animals don't have Gifts. Though of course an alien world could have different ones, it's strange enough they seem to have such similar people!

Someone can get out a tablet and show some pictures of animals.

 

Some people are watching Florentho, including the sub who'd tried to talk to him before!

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Daemons can have a lot of different forms and not all are bipedal.  Quite a few have the same basic body layouts as the animals he's shown - quadrupeds, birds, fish, and so on - but they do seem different.  There are also daemons who are floating rocks, large snowflakes, vines, puddles of slime, clouds of gas, and other things.  

 

Florentho can strike up a parallel conversation, then.  The building is nice!

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Wow! Were there - pokemon - like that too? Do the floating clouds of gas and such still communicate in spoken language or is there something else?

 

The sub looks briefly surprised to be addressed, but quickly gives a respectful acknowledgment. The sub is glad he finds it so, sir.

The helicopter starts going in for landing.

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Pokemon and daemons looked exactly alike and came in all the same shapes, and had the same abilities.  And all daemons can speak normally, and move even if the pseudo-matter they're made from looks like it shouldn't.  

(Florentho didn't have anything substantial to say about the building.  He goes back to watching as the building gets closer and larger.)

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Oh, interesting. And wow! They're running out of time, but this dom totally wants to know this right now - did that cause any problems? Here animals don't have Gifts, and animals with Gifts sound like they'd cause some chaos at best. Also, pseudo-matter?

The sub won't keep speaking if not spoken to anymore, will return to attentive stillness.

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There had apparently been quite a bit of chaos on the dead world.  A majority of pokemon avoided cities, but travel outside of them was dangerous.

Psuedo-matter is just a short way of saying 'whatever it is that daemons are made out of.'  Which is something that they still don't really know.  Daemons behave like they're made of real matter while alive.  They have weight and mass that seems about right for what they look like they're made from, and can interact with things in the expected ways.  But they appear out of nowhere upon birth, vanish after death, and if any part of them is removed it vanishes after a few seconds.  There are various theories, but Azure doesn't study daemons and pokemon, and they don't have time to get into them.  

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That's incredibly interesting and the dom has more questions, but indeed they don't have time.

The helicopter lands and they can get out. One of the doms from before, already out from a different helicopter, comes over again. They've had arranged a set of rooms for him, and someone who can be sure he gets anything else he might need, who he can ask further questions, and who also has a Gift that might be useful should some problems come up.

She gets one of the subs to start leading them, from the roof through a door and to an elevator.

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He'll just keep following along then, and remark on his gratitude for the rooms once more in what he hopes is just the right amount to be polite but not that he thinks he is someone who shouldn't be shown such hospitality.  (This shouldn't be too difficult.  He's had tutors in it.  They just weren't from this planet.)

(Elevators are also fun, though far less exotic than the helicopter.)

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They don't seem to find it odd or out of place, and return more pleasantries themselves.

The elevator lets out in a small lobby, from which a hallway leads to a single door. The sub opens it for him. A few more pleasantries, then the party departs back to the elevator.

Inside the room is an entrance area and then a sitting area, well furnished and decorated and appointed. Doors leads out to other rooms.  

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One of the doors opens. A sub in robes that somewhat match to the furnishings comes out into the room. And kneels.

"Sir."

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He guesses that is a gesture considered submissive, so won't be returning it.  

"Hello; I'm Azure-and-Florentho.  Are you the one who was brought in to assist me?"

(Azure is already missing being able to guess someone's likely abilities from looking at their daemons.)

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The sub is looking down towards Azure's feet. He's very good at kneeling, if Azure notices that kind of thing. Graceful and perfectly coordinated, positioned.

"Yes, sir. I'm to be at your service, sir."

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He does kneel very gracefully.  Azure appreciates that, and the matching aesthetic.

"You may rise," he says after a pause.  Hopefully that's true by local standards as well, but he supposes that if it isn't there's at least no one else watching.  

"What is your name?"

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The sub stands up, just as graceful. Eyes still lowered. "Alessa, sir."

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Florentho can detect nervousness among the emotions immediately nearby.  That's not surprising given the circumstances.  Azure tries to smile reassuringly, even if Alessa still isn't looking at him yet. 

"I'm interested in hearing about your Gift.  First, though, shall we sit down?"

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"Yes sir, of course." The room has a table and chairs as well as a couch and armchairs. Alessa waits to see which one Azure is going toward so he can pull out the chair or arrange the couch pillow as needed. 

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He'll go with the table and chairs.  For Fleet sensibilities it seems more formal, and he might want the flat surface for taking notes later.

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He'll draw out the chair then. (He's not sure what to do for the - daemon(?). Should be draw out another chair? Should he not? Should be get something else? He decides to see what the daemon(?) seems to be doing - will draw out another chair if he(?) moves toward it.)

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Azure thanks him.

Florentho will also sit.  Luckily, gallade don't have tails or anything else that would make chairs designed only for humans complicated in any way.  

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Then he'll draw out the other chair, and - do his best with it, and then stand back politely, attentive.

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Florentho thanks him with a small nod.

Once he's seated, Azure waits for Alessa to sit down too.  If this takes more than a moment, he can gesture to an empty chair.  (This seems unusual to him.  He takes mental notes, tallying up how important dom vs. sub likely is for this sort of thing, as well as whatever level of host is possibly being implied by Alessa's robe matching the room, and whether or not there is a degree of leadership expected by having been in a set of rooms longer and therefore presumably more familiar with it - which was not an assumption he'd ever consciously considered on the Fleet.)

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He won't move to sit down originally, but when Azure gestures he'll take the chair. Still with the composed grace, though his emotions show a little uncertainty. 

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