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Feb 27, 2021 7:20 PM
mid-Angband Kib lands on Leareth
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Nayoki observes that the memories she's un-hiding and attempting to put back at the correct place in the numerical-timeline seem to...snap into place? Like the young man's mind knows exactly where they're supposed to go??? 

She has no idea how this is working at all. 

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Leareth can't get much further on a guess, but he's mainly focused on the strategically-relevant content anyway. 

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The first thing he notices is that all his dreams were Aly dreams. They weren't all pleasant - Aly died of a protracted and agonizing illness - but they were all hers, like they used to be before Angband. That's not impossible, but -

- he's not missing any time, from this lifetime.

That's probably not a good si- he has no expectations about what that means.

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The night shift Healer gets a report from Tarla, and is upset and disconcerted, but she uses her Gift to keep their patient asleep. 

Mara, when she takes over on morning shift, makes sure the room is exactly like the way her patient is used to it being.

None of his recent memories are any different, but before a few weeks ago, his past erased memories are no longer erased at all. Rather they are pulled loose and sprawled out across what turns out to be a shockingly long time in Angband. 

There are SO MANY torture memories. 

Also if he checks, there are some memories in the before-capture time that have, not exactly an altered or wrong feeling, but the same sort of lingering trace of melting-sensation-magic as the other un-hidden torture memories. 

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He does not eat the next meal they offer.

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Mara ducks out and asks someone to call Leareth over, and she Mindspeaks with him for a bit. 

She glares at him. Rubs a hand over her face. "Goddamnit, boss, why'd you have to–"

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His expression quells her protests. 

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The Healers watching Kib are told to give it an entire forty-eight hours. They stay in the corner, not interacting with him at all; they leave water and food at his bedside. 

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He is very upset and won't eat or drink anything the entire first day.

He sleeps, has more Aly dreams.

The next morning he'll sip water.

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They ask Leareth for further instructions. Tell him the patient is in decent physical condition, at this point, he had a whole month of eating regularly. Leareth tells them that as long as he's drinking water, they should wait another few days. 

They do. They keep leaving easy-to-eat food at his bedside; all the eggs are pre-peeled. 

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Nayoki is keyed to the room-shields. She sits outside, a few times a day, and reads his mind while also watching with Mindhealing-Sight for any further changes to his extremely messy and fucked-up metaphorical loaf of bread. 

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He feels, if not less nauseated, at least more acclimated to the nausea by dinnertime the second day. He'll nibble bread, picking it up and allowing himself to take bites whenever his body happens to complete that action without him having to think about it. He's doing better than usual at not thinking things - thinking hurts, thinking isn't safe.

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Aaaaaaaaaaa she hates this and she's so angry with Leareth. 

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Leareth got what he came for. 

He continues his research. He can triangulate his search much better, now, since he has a lot more data on the world where Kib - is from, or grew up in, it's not clear but it doesn't seem like he was born the usual human way. In fact, the Healers have mentioned to him that he...doesn't have a belly button?

He's confused, but his confusion about the world that Kib called 'Stork' isn't the highest priority here. Their 'servantmaking' magic is strategically relevant but mostly he needs to find a way to travel to Arda at all, before it's too late. 

Leareth is still baffled about the whole memory insertion dreams thing, but loath to re-enter his traumatized prisoner's room to learn more.

He's making faster progress, though. At this point it's almost certainly a project of months or years, not decades. 

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Sometimes Kib pokes the wrong-gross-melty feeling, he can't help it, but eventually it fades away and he stops skipping meals about it.

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The Healers are really upset with Leareth at first! They can understand that the boss has more information than they do, and has to make unpleasant tradeoffs sometimes, but still. 

They bring meals to him, and sing or read, and try to nudge him into taking walks and bathing. 

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He resumes his prior habits in those departments.

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The information from their memory-deep-scan gets Leareth a few more pieces of his incomplete theoretical model, but it's still not fully fleshed out, and doubts that torturing their semi-rescued-prisoner will get him anything worth that price. 

He approaches the rest with trial and error. After a few weeks he can estimate that he has in the vicinity of a year's work ahead, assuming he's neither very lucky nor very unlucky. 

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About three weeks after her session of non-consensually Mindhealing the young man, Nayoki stands just outside the room and casts her Sight over him, checking for any changes. 

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His dreams have been more restful lately. (The pox isn't fun but he doesn't have one of those every night, or even most nights, and it's not as inventive as Melkor.) He's BORED BORED BORED BORED BORED BORED BORED. He is daydreaming about one of his boyfriends - Findekáno gives good massages -

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Nayoki really wishes she could do something about his excruciating boredom, it's clearly really terrible for him! 

She doesn't have a lot of options here, though, he doesn't trust them and thinks they're all hallucinations and just about any action she can take will traumatize him even more. 

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From Kib's perspective, his boring repetitive routine continues exactly the same, except that the people babysitting him ask more regularly if he wants anything. (They do not, at this point, ever expect an answer, and are untroubled by the lack of one.) 

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A couple of times he answers sort of reflexively - a blanket, a refill of his water. Once he says very sarcastically that he wants the eternal flourishing of all sapient beings.

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Mara is the one on shift, and she ducks her head and doesn't answer for a long time. When she does, her voice is oddly tight, and earnest. 

"- Huh. You know, maybe you've got a thing or two in common with Leareth." 

She doesn't say anything more about it, though, just brings him his breakfast and then sings quietly. 

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He is NOT TOUCHING THAT ASSERTION, nope, what assertion, he didn't hear anything.

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