Oct 01, 2020 2:31 PM
Lucy gets warped to a different place and time in the Fallen London universe
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"It is! Reminds me a little of Parabola, or the Garden." 

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"What are those things? I don't think it's someone's front stoop, the Garden. Sounds more important than that."

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"It's the stuff immediately surrounding the Mountain. Apples from the Garden are where Hesperidian Cider comes from." 

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"Never heard of that neither. I was born in the sky, not the Neath, you know? It's 1908 because the Queen says so, but a lot more than ten years have passed since London left the Undersea in most places." She shrugs.

They come up to the main clearing - A three-way sign points the way to 'Capability's Inquest Scenic Tours' and 'L&S Research Station' and 'Loading Bay'.

"We should just wander around the dock area and we'll find someone to buy it smart quick, and we can buy an Hour so I can show you how it works."

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"Sure. I don't have all that much context for not the Neath, yet, I'm learning what things there are but that's easier than learning what things there aren't, you know?"

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"I think I get it. I don't know a good way to bridge that quickly."

The loading bay is surprisingly full of captains and crew chatting to each other and drinking at an outdoor bar. Seems like a very relaxed place. When June shouts out, "Bronzewood going cheap! Also looking to by an Hour or two!" They take a bit to stretch before walking over and peering over the timbers.

June haggles a bit and gets her fifty Sovereigns from a captain who immediately has the wood hauled over to replace some engine plating, and also two small Hour-geodes for her trouble. They look like pink and purple crystals inside geodes, except they're a little fuzzy at the edges.

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Huh. 

Do they look any different to her, when she looks at them with eyes that can recognize individual stars in the sky from the surface of a planet well enough to know that the Judgments here are different from the ones visible from Earth? 

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They're made of tiny filaments, packed and coiled geometrically onto themselves until they become solid. They're made of a very particular kind of light, not exactly Judgement-light or her healing-light, but perhaps the same sort of thing approached from a very different angle...

June walks over to a clear spot and opens the toolbox she brought. "Let's find a plant and make it grow smart-quick? Or we could speed up ourselves some. It won't be very efficient at all on a hand-loom, though."

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"Hm, I like the plant idea, especially if I'm shining on it the whole time." 

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They head back out into the jungle-paths. June plucks a seed from a relatively tame-looking tree that has flutter-wings like a maple, but also prickly spikes, then finds a reasonably clear bit of underbrush to plant it in. She picks something comb-like from her toolbox and holds it up to one of the geodes.

"Ready?"

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She nods and her whole body lights up like a tiny sun. 

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June works the tiny comb along the crystals in a very particular way until some of the filaments catch and it starts shining semisolid purple light, and she quickly walks in wide circles around the seed, continuing to brush. The light tangles and snarls constantly, leaving spots of purple light in the air that expend themselves uselessly, and June's working with the comb-thing is only enough to smooth it out marginally. Enough for it to work on the seed, at least, which becomes a seedling, and a sapling, and sprouts four feet tall and starts producing lots of leaves before the little geode is bare stone and crumbles in her hand.

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"Huh. That was interesting," she says, and examines the tree. It's healthier, lusher, greener, than a tree at this stage of development would normally be; she plucks a leaf and bites into it and smiles. 

"Well. That's good to know. Can I see that comb?" 

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"Sure. I don't really know the theory of how or why they work, I just know how to do the two very basic tricks of speeding up and slowing down, and really inefficiently. An hour-loom could probably have done twice as much or more. -Hour-looms are specialized industry, like electric lights or medicine-making."

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She nods and examines the comb. 

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It seems like a fairly ordinary comb, except the ends of the bristles have tiny barbs and hooks, seemingly designed to catch and separate loose threads they pass over. It would surely get stuck in a bundle of wool and maybe even ordinary clothes, and tear apart the fibers trying to get it out, but perhaps time has less friction than wool.

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One imagines...hm. 

She picks up the remaining geode and examines it. 

She still remembers when she figured out she could switch her own light from the Mountain's healing glow to the Judgments' controlling glare. That was an emergency situation, but she remembers what it felt like to reach out through possibility-space to find it. She switches back and forth a couple of times just to make sure she has the freshest possible sense-memory, making sure not to actually glow during the switching. 

And then she reaches out again. 

Whatever the light in the Hour is, it isn't a mystery; it's right there. She can look at it to her heart's content, examine it in arbitrary detail; she can see where it would be insofar as "where" is even the right word for it. 

She shoves in a different direction than she has before. 

click. 

She holds out her hand, and a soft purple glow emanates from it. 

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The world slows down around them, just a bit.

June looks confused, then alarmed. "-Should you be doing that. Do you know what you're doing."

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She stops and switches back to her normal healing light. "Possibly I should not be doing that around a vulnerable human. I don't, like, get old or anything, worst case scenario for me probably isn't that bad, but also yes possibly I should learn more before messing with time-light. I just wanted to see if I could, there." 

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"I get it. But I'm squishy and made of meat and bones. So." Sigh. "Glad I could pay you back for the help a bit, though. Looks like you learned something."

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"Oh, I did, I very did. Finding a new kind of light is huge."

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June smiles a bit and- looks away. Hopefully a blush isn't as visible on her as it would be on someone paler? 

"Anyway. Time to go back to the crew, I guess."

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"Yeah!" 

She scoops June up and ZOOMS back. 

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June is... Clinging... To stay warm. Yep. That's the entire reason.

They're doing more work. A little rowhouse has taken shape, and the enormous tree is about half devoured by the rumbling mining equipment. There's some kind of bat-monkey being skinned near a fire, and a bunch of mango-ish fruits simmering in a pot above it. The man skinning the creature has a bandaged arm.

"What're you going to do now?" Asks June after being set down.

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"Fix that," she says, pointing at the bandaged arm, and heads over. 

"Did you get that killing that thing? What is it? I'm going to heal your arm, okay?" 

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