Jul 25, 2021 6:36 PM
Freedom Five Unity and an island of clones
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A girl also takes the moment to step forward. "Does your world have other names? I am a Vera."

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"Yeah, it's complicated, do you have cell phones? It's a small computer with a lot of features. If complexity is a factor it'd still be a huge help if you can copy scrap metal and fuel and stuff. I wanna see how that works."

"In other languages sure, but I don't know them and they all just sort of mean the same thing," she tells Vera. 

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"I recall Earth being a name for Coeur. But I don't know if it means it's a similar world. It can be just a translation problem," she points at the green crystal.

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"Computer... it makes calculations? Complexity is a factor. It's easier to copy a rock than wood, it's harder to copy a healthy animal than just flesh. Though part of the later problem is keeping something alive when it's not getting blood circulating properly in its system."

"If you have something with the complexity partway between your cell phone - which we don't have - and wood that you don't mind losing that might be better to demonstrate."

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To Vera, "I could draw on a globe maybe, compare landmasses? Also, neat, translation crystal."

To Henry, "You have spaceships but no computers? Wow." She holds up the phone and unlocks it with her technosense (it's a little custom gig that only she can operate) and shows a video of a cat batting at a toy. "It makes calculations really fast. And it turns out that 'fast calculations' translates to a heck of a lot of things, including lighting up tiny little lightbulbs in a pattern to make moving pictures. I really don't want to lose it, but if you can make more I can disassemble them and use the parts for all sorts of things." 

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Everyone is a bit enthralled by the video to talk. Then finally Henry says. "Oh, our spaceships are powered by crystals. Yours are powered by computers? And the name of worlds is probably just a coincidence."

"Unless your world also have large parts of it covered by crystal."

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"Well, computers need power to run - electrical power, like tame lightning -" she's a little smug about this, "and spaceships have fuel and generators that make it. The computers are for navigating and environmental controls and orbital mechanics and stuff like that. Gosh, do you do orbital mechanics by hand...?

"We don't have large crystal landmasses unless you count Antarctica, which is covered in ice." 

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"Ah, I think the right combination of crystals can handle all that? You definitely need some that boost your perception to navigate at all. But I don't think anyone here knows the particulars of how that worked. Mostly what I know is that you need a special kind of empowered crystal that lets you travel fast enough and safely which only a few people could make." He looks around for anyone that can contribute to this particular topic.

 

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"I think space stations needed to fine tune their orbits once in a while?" Vera offers. "And I wasn't counting ice. Uh, do you think you could find a way back to your world?"

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"I bet I could if you dupe enough stuff for me to fix the portal! It's busted right now but not that busted. It sounds like your crystal powers are really versatile. If there's one that enhances perception I'd love to introduce it to my technosense and see if they make nice. Aside from translation and duplication, what else can your crystals do? Do different people make crystals with different effects?" 

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"Each person can learn how to produce their own kind of crystal with its own effect, or replicate one of such kind of crystals. Mine do anti-magic. Gabes do physical shielding. Camillas do the translation. But the others have yet to figure out what they can do, but one of the Vera is nearly there."

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"Something related to emotions, I think," says a Vera who wasn't the one that was talking previously.

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"Anyway, we can duplicate things for your portal. Might need to have us focused on learning how to duplicate very complex things, but it sounds doable... in a scale of months?"

"The portal's complexity is the main issue here."

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"Anti-magic. Huh. Shielding has interesting applications...you have a complexity limit? I can break things down, if that helps? I can get a long way with just scrap metal and spare parts, as long as all the material's there. You won't have to duplicate a whole portal." Though that would be really cool and no she needs to stay focused. Still, infinite spare parts. Eeeeeeeeee. (She's maybe slightly bouncing with excitement). 

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"Yeah, we have a complexity limit, but it's mostly something you have to learn. If we can do parts that is even better and less mentally taxing."

"Generally, mostly non-magic and non-living stuff is easy to experiment with. You can just reverse the crystal absorption just fine. But your thing is unfamiliar and apparently comes with tamed lightning inside, which sounds like the impulses brains have..." says the other Henry.

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"Do you have anything that you need immediately at the moment?"

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"Water'd be nice," Devra says, suddenly remembering to be thirsty. "And maybe something to eat? I forget, sometimes, when I'm working." Which is most of the time. "Ultimately I'll need a place to crash and, uh, maybe wash? But that's not urgent, I'm good for a few more hours of picking stuff apart before I pass out. To sleep," she adds, lest this last bit be taken too literally. "Long as you've got someplace I can work." 

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Since she offered, Vera will fetch water and food. "I will be back in a minute."

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"What sort of sleeping accommodations and work place you need?"

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"Uhhhh...a bed would be nice but I'm not picky? If you've been stuck here for however long you might have limited resources. I've slept on a mat in the garage before, I'll manage. Work's more important, I need someplace relatively weatherproof so my stuff doesn't rust. Ooooh, that reminds me, the portal's back on the shoreline. I dragged it up out of the high tide line but it's super heavy and hard to move, but the sooner we get it clear of salt air the better." She may as well resign herself to picking the thing apart and putting it back together. Maybe she can do it piecemeal and rely on her technosense to tell her when she puts something back wrong. "I can control small bits of metal with my mind but I can't, like, cut things, so any kind of tools you have for cleaning, greasing, cutting, sticking things to other things - those would help. And, it's not urgent but I'd really like to see you duplicate some of my tools or scrap metal, the first time, it sounds fascinating and I kinda want to see if my technosense can tell what's happening." 

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"We should have enough, or be able to cannibalize parts of something for a mat or bed."

"Huh does it need to... breathe air at all or something?" It might dawn on her how utterly disparate their technology is to hers. "We could encase it on crystal or something softer until we manage to bring closer to the settlement." The other Henry says.

"We could have your workshop grown around where it landed too. How big a workplace we are talking about? We might need to make you new tools to work with metal. Anything harder than wood we just use the crystals to reshape them with."

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"Breathe? The portal? No, it's just metal and circuits, but, uh...okay, you know how most metal starts to flake and discolor over time if you leave it out long enough? That's called corrosion, and it's bad for machinery and really bad for computers and other devices with a lot of tiny sensitive parts. Water makes things corrode faster, and salt water even faster than that. Salt spray can deposit bits of salt in hard-to-reach places, which then attract water from the air and corrode important parts. 

"Encasing the portal in crystal might be safe but we should test it on something smaller first, in case it messes with the sensitive parts. The portal should be fine as long as we can get it away from the sea, and I'll probably want it available so I can poke at it for a few days. Putting a workshop there would help, but I'd really rather be away from the salt spray entirely. I need something like a square twenty feet on a side at minimum -" she looks around at the domes "-or a dome twenty feet in diameter, I guess. More space is better but it at least needs to fit the portal and sundry other parts, maybe with the ability to add on part storage later. 

"How do you reshape things with crystals? Is that another magic power? Are the crystals hard enough to cut things like wood, stone, metal...?" She can't TK these crystals, she checked, but maybe she can make something cool like a diamond-tipped drill. 

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The Henries (even the ones that are not directly talking to her) nod in understanding. "Usually, when that happens we can just absorb and replace the corroded parts. You can be selective about how you absorb things with crystal or how you duplicate them. Get a large chunk of metal, absorb all the parts you don't need and have a tool that way. Or grow bits of metal in the shape of a tool."

"It's a standard application of crystal shaping. Depending on the size of the thing we might want to grow a soft but sturdy surface under it and a tarp over it-"

"The crystals are also hard enough to cut things," Samson says, apparently being very proud of himself over this contribution/interruption.

"And we can empty a dome of that side for you. No problem."

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Vera returns with the water and food. The silverware is easy to identify as a spork and a knife. The food is cheese, vegetable, some kind of cracker, all in identical slices. "Hopefully this will do for a snack? We should go start lunch preparation after wrapping this up."

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Devra munches and slurps absently, still thinking. "Thanksh!" She swallows and continues, "Might have trouble doing that to salvage the portal if complexity limit's a thing. But as long as you can make parts, I got us covered! When do you wanna move the portal?" 

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