Sep 20, 2021 3:23 AM
Sad Cam talks to Ancora
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"I'd heard about the spontaneous generation - that's very interesting but I meant less mechanically and more, like - hm . . . what's the selection criteria, for becoming one of these four types of being, instead of just staying dead."

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"Summoners become a daeva, which kind determined by we're not sure but I'd guess a sort of personality mapping onto the magic type with most people being fairies, and everybody else who dies in my original world goes to Limbo."

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"Oh, wow, everyone -

 

. . . Ancora's stated motivation that it was bad that people were permanently dying, right?"

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"Yes, but I don't know if people can plug into my system from other universes even if you have them all summon daeva. Also my door opens to New Valinor."

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"Still seems like it'll be pretty telling to sim pitching them the idea, see if they're good with it or just want everyone to be vampires."

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"Yeah, that's a good idea."

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Note note.  "Anything else for this time around?"

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"Nothing springs to mind."

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"Okay.  See you hopefully pretty shortly, on your end."  And upstairs - yes, upstairs, one foot in front of the other; she's totally capable of walking out of the bar and she can mope about how lonely she is in her room, where it won't bother the person who is much much more successful at morality than she is and has been through a lot worse things than she has.

She does that.

The novelty of the library has worn off a lot even though she's gone through a negligible fraction of its content.  Maybe she needs something more intellectual; she starts a course each in biology, chemistry, and summoning.  That helps.  She pokes at the translation effect via French.  That doesn't, really.

And after four days, she still has magic left but the most recent sim gave her important enough information that she decides to share this round's file with Cam.

Sauron:  Ancora claims they'd need to see a Maia to be able to tell.  Simming them meeting a Maia fails to work.  They claim that it's true that targeting someone generally gives them a soul while appearing in someone else's sim doesn't.

Demon/sangrade interactions:  They say they don't expect it to cause any problems; when asked how confident they were, they raised the idea of trying it on a different demon first.

Species:  Ancora's grandparent is a crystal bipyramid.  Their great-grandparent is a woven metal ring.

Revelation: They claim to not directly want the world to be vampires, and say they'd be satisfied with another solution to death.  They were adamant that everyone who wants to be a vampire should get the chance to become one.

Omnipotence:  Starting with one copy of them immediately after it's made shows that they're jumping to and freezing time in as many universes as possible.  The one I watched stayed in Milliways to ask you for advice.  Checked if you thought the time-pausing was an okay idea (while still doing it, though), then asked logistical questions about fixing Valinor and did that, following your specifications.  Paused Arda and started asking the two of us what they should do about my world.

 

. . . Probably sending the file synched their time flows, didn't it.  And maybe it makes more sense to keep that bit of magic on hand for dealing with new questions than to stay up here answering older ones.

She triple-checks that this logic makes sense on its own and isn't, at least, transparently motivated by selfishness, and tamps down hard on the hope that maybe this will be the last round, and goes downstairs.

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Cam is designing imaginary cities in a program on his computer. "Hey, Judy."

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"Hey."  That probably wasn't an intentional reference and even if it was she's definitely not going to snip about it.  "How long was that; are you still good on the attentional capacity?"

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"Nah, it cut out a bit ago, it's been like six hours."

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"Gosh, okay.  Uh, do you want that back, or the permanent version, or - did you see the file - "

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"Yeah, couple hours back, it's interesting - pausing the universes doesn't seem out of line to me though it of course depends on what their plans and contingencies there were - how does simming them meeting a Maia fail to work exactly?"

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"It just didn't - go, at all.  It took a little magic to try but not enough that I couldn't do another one right after."

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"Do you suppose it might help to have a specific one in mind?"

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"Could try."

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"Huan is a Maia who likes to behave like a dog and hangs out with Tyelcormo, one of the Noldo princes."

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A pause.

 

"Yeah - I should've thought of that - it looks like if they have a biological body, they get a soul.  If they don't, they don't, and Ancora thinks that they might be able to get a new soul per body if there are ever multiple.  They aren't sure what that implies for whether Sauron could use it for anything nasty."

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"Well. Let's continue not giving Sauron a soul."

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"I'll refrain.  Um, I thought it was pretty notable how much Ancora asked about stuff even while omnipotent?  Maybe you would have guessed that already but I was surprised that - if we can take this at face value - they cared at least enough to consult with, well, a human and an ex-human, instead of just going off and implementing whatever they wanted to accomplish.  Except for the time-pausing."

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"Time-pausing is a fairly conservative intervention. I think Ancora is confused, but they might also be - not perfectly corrigible, even if they want advice -"

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"Yeah definitely.  It's just a lot better than I thought."

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"Yeah. Reason for optimism. I'm not sure at what point you'd want to actually, you know, trust them..."

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"I think that the two most important things to me are that we can keep them away from doing stuff if we have to, and that we're confident we'll be able to accurately assess whether we should do that.  It seems like as long as we have both of those, there's a pretty sharp upper limit on what damage they could do.  I'm okay counting 'will stop if told' for the first one, and we're not at the point where we can be sure they would yet but I think we might be near it."

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