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Apr 16, 2021 6:08 AM
Riley goes adventuring
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"It's good to be here. I hope I can be helpful."

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"I hope so too. We could use the help. 

"I hope you'll forgive me if I go straight to the strategic implications of your arrival. My first priority is the safety and security of Atlas and Mantle. What can you tell me about the combat applications of your world's magic and technology?" 

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Riley shifts uncomfortably "Do kinetic and radiation weapons work on the Grimm? In most circumstances we just use kinetic and radiation weapons."

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"Grimm are more resilient than unawakened humans. Some are extremely resilient. Most variants are not immune to kinetic weapons, though. We use bullets, they work fine on the lesser Grimm and can injure the greater ones. I'm not sure about radiation. Attacks using Light Dust are among the most effective ways to kill them, but it's among the rarest forms of Dust and using it to fight Grimm trades off against many other potential uses. I imagine it depends on the kind and amount of radiation." 

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Riley relaxes a bit. "Well, that sounds like something that calls for testing. I wonder whether it's something special about light dust or if it's just a matter of using the right frequencies."

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"Popular theory is that Grimm are creatures of shadow who shun the light. They do dissipate quite thoroughly when slain, and most prefer to hunt at night. I can get weak Grimm for testing, they're not hard for skilled Huntsmen to capture. How well do your weapons scale? If they work, could we use them to defend cities, towns, against hundreds or thousands of Grimm?" 

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"I can't make any such commitments but if those I represent wish they can mass produce weaponry at a scale which is almost certainly sufficient."

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Which makes them a hell of a military threat, if an alliance fails to materialize. Well, anyone with the resources to do something about the Grimm would of necessity be a military threat, so this is good news, really. 

"How did you acquire your knowledge of Remnant - population, violence levels, and such - before you arrived?" 

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"To be very brief we used magic. To be more specific our magic is very good at identifying what it sees as people and we used those capabilities to monitor your world for about a month before your realm was put in the assignment queue and I picked it. We also constructed most of our translation matrix that way. It's being refined in the background to adjust for local dialect and such."

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"In that case, it sounds like your magic doesn't consider Grimm people," remarks Robyn. "There are a lot more of them than of us." 

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"We don't consider Grimm people either," observes Ironwood dryly. "Some are cunning, in a lie-in-wait-for-your-prey sort of way. They lack the sort of strategic intelligence that humans have." Except the millenias-old witch controlling them. Ozpin needs to know about this, as soon as possible. 

"Could you use your magic to monitor Grimm anyway? Their numbers, movements, patterns? Maybe even find out how they...multiply?" 

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"Maybe, now that I'm in your realm I can do more. I'd need to take some time to study the Grimm first and depending on how I have to construct my query it might require additional equipment I don't have with me to cover the entire planet."

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The most technologically advanced civilization on Remnant spent decades trying to get reliable messaging across the sea, and here's Riley casually talking about getting some extra equipment to spy on the whole planet. This is going to be a security nightmare

"What can't your magic equipment tell you?" he asks, tone just slightly exasperated.  

Robyn hides a smirk. 

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"We haven't run into much that it can't get information on... some things take longer than others to figure out how to make it do though. There are projects that took years to complete."

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Effectively unlimited information gathering, controlled by a foreign polity. Augh. On the other hand, saving the world and all. 

"What makes something take more or less time to learn about? What are some examples of things that take the longest? How long do you expect it to take to analyze Remnant's 'exotic effects'? Could you replicate them?" 

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"Exotic effects can take a long time if they're too different from things we've analyzes before. The other thing that takes a long time is mind magic, people are complicated and when we want the magic to apply to people the magic doesn't classify as people... that's where things get especially difficult and in our society people can switch between the categories where magic is concerned. As for a time estimate... it depends on a lot of things... if your auras are the same thing as what we call souls then that shouldn't take too long I already have hooks for analyzing soul based magics. If they're distinct then I'll need to start from scratch. I have no idea how long the Grimm will take I have so many guesses about what they might be. Dust... depends we have some experience with magically active substances, we use them in some of our technology but again that experience is only useful if it's similar enough to things we've encountered before."

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Aaaaand they have mind magic, enough that it's an entire category of thing. It's not enough that they keep tabs on every known Semblance, criminal or otherwise, and track the dangerous ones. Now there's a learnable spying tool. The circle of infosec doom is now complete. At least the mind magic is hard

This is way above Robyn's classification level, but he needs her to verify he's not being BS'd. Damn. 

This is going to require delicacy. He is shit at delicacy. 

Ironwood sighs. "Please warn me before you start analyzing anyone in Atlas. I would like to be appraised of your results, as well. I think our first priorities will be establishing diplomatic contact with Starlight, analyzing the Grimm, and comparing notes with Atlas scientists about our respective exotics, in that order. We'd like to train some personnel in your magic, if at all possible. And I would very much like to convince Starlight to start sharing their weaponry. It's a minor miracle the Grimm haven't overrun us already; we need to be able to fight them off. Thoughts?" 

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"We have very strict rules about mind magic and I'm personally not authorized to use any. I can hold off on Aura tests too if that's what you meant. Travel to and from your realm is restricted until I send enough information for a risk assessment. I can request that an envoy be sent to conduct negotiations and they'll probably assign someone within a day or two. I'd love to work with your scientists. As for training people in our magic... there are several things that could mean. Anyone can learn to design arrays or resonators and that's certainly something I'm willing to teach. Only Magecrafters like myself can activate arrays though. Resonators can be constructed by Magecrafters or in some cases specialized resonators. Becoming a Magecrafters is not something that can be taught... you have to go before the heart, which might be an issue with the travel restrictions and it chooses whether or not to accept you. Starlight also asserts some jurisdiction over Magecrafters due to how potentially dangerous they are. As for technology, there's some technology I'm authorized to distribute without any restrictions... for fairly obvious reasons most weapons aren't included and that would have to be decided by an envoy."

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So at some point in the foreseeable future, the only thing standing between his people's brains and a civilization of chronic meddlers is administrative ethics. That's a problem for another day; first he has to keep them all alive. 

"I expect we'll want that envoy, and whatever tech you can share, weapon or otherwise. What information do you need for a risk assessment? What rules would an Atlas citizen who became a Magecrafter be subject to? An array is...a sort of programmed magical instruction set, and a resonator is...?" 

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Riley fiddles with her staff. "I sent the request for the envoy. The standard tech library includes several types of power generators, some manufacturing tech, basic space travel, a bunch of medical technology, some computing capabilities and how to make high quality batteries. I can upload all that wherever once I figure out how to interface with your computers. The main risks we worry about are exotics, though some conventional tech you don't appear to have also concerns us. The Magecrafters rules restrict the use of mind magic, and restrict the use of combat magics against people except in defense of self or others. They also place restrictions on creating certain types of resonators. If you break the rules, the standard punishments are either closer monitoring or modifying you so magic no longer works for you. Resonators are like arrays in most respects but they're less flexible, harder to make and they allow for magical effects without the active involvement of a Magecrafter. They can do magic at ranges and scales beyond what a Magecrafter can but to do that they need to be pretty large."

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"Those technologies all sound highly promising, and will themselves make a huge impact against the Grimm." If Salem doesn't sabotage them first. "As risks go, you are currently standing in one of the most secure places on Remnant," here a note of pride enters his voice, "but I wouldn't recommend leaving Atlas without an escort. 

"What conventional tech are we missing? Is combat magic allowed for police forces and the like?" 

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"I'm fine with remaining escorted. An Envoy won't be it's part of their job to talk to a variety of polities to ensure we aren't unduly favoring any one local government. I wouldn't worry too much about them though, Envoys are used to having their bodies destroyed, it's a consequence of their work. Our main worry for both exotic and conventional technologies is self-replication. Some things can be concerning even without that but mostly we worry about threats that scale exponentially with time. That word Police is translating in a way that implies that you combine security and law enforcement. If someone is an active threat a combat swarm will be assigned to subdue them with minimal force. Our law enforcement personnel aren't expected to fight, that seems likely to make people really nervous."

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"I eagerly await your explanation for why you uttered the phrase having their bodies destroyed in the tone of someone describing a minor inconvenience." 

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"We maintain backups of our minds in our computer systems. If a body is destroyed we can build new ones. In our experience, souls find people once they're in a compatible body. We're not quite sure what happens to the souls in the meantime. Souls also get kind confused if there's multiple of the same person around. Though I'm assuming that what we call an aura and what you call a soul is the same which I haven't confirmed yet."

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