Jun 23, 2021 7:56 PM
Bella is an otome villainess
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She smothers a giggle. "No, that's not an option, sorry."

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"What kinds of constraints am I working with besides that I cannot prohibit myself from being a 'villain' and cannot send ghosts to kick your boss."

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"We have a list of discrete options that you have to pick between, and everything has to be compatible with the options you pick or some other set of options if you want to change your mind about something. The country you're reincarnated into is going to be called Villarosa, and it's going to be a monarchy. The world has to contain genders recognizable to your society as male and female. Every feature of the world has to run on at least one of logic or genre-appropriate tropes; you can decide that people sometimes break out into spontaneous musical numbers in contravention of apparent practicality, but you can't dictate the precise workings of Villarosa's economy if economies don't actually work the way you want it to. Although, I myself am not an economist, so if you give me economics instructions that objectively make no sense, I'll smile and nod and when I give the specs to the universe fabrication team they will just ignore them."

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"Am I allowed to talk to the universe fabrication team?"

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"No, the universe fabrication team isn't time-dilated."

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"Do they have... a Frequently Asked Questions document or anything."

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"Um...nobody's ever asked me that before." She does the looking-at-something-Bella-can't-see thing again. "--Not exactly, but they have some...I think the term is 'For Dummies' primers on relevant worldbuilding aspects." She tilts her head slightly. "And recommendations for historical fiction."

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"Well, you can't get bored and I'm not in a hurry, so lay it on me."

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She pulls out of nowhere a stack of books about politics and economics and agriculture and transit. None of them has a fancy cover, just plain white paper with topics stamped on them. (Also, once she cracks them open, written by people more interested in yelling at people they consider idiots and less interested in selling their books than textbook authors tend to be.)

She places the stack in mid-air in front of Bella, then pulls out a much larger stack of more conventional books (albeit ones with a disproportionate quantity of four-digit numbers in their titles). 

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Bella settles in to read.

Halfway through the second chapter she says, "Uh, how long is my list of basic required choices, I should maybe look them over to have an idea of what to be giving particular attention to. Also I would like notebooks and a writing implement."

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She provides these. 

"Hm. Well, I don't actually have it written down...It would take less than an hour to say all of it out loud without stopping to actually get any answers, I think, I haven't actually timed it or anything though..."

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"Perhaps you could write it down," Bella suggests.

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She wrinkles her nose. "If it's important to you. I don't exactly have it as a script, though, I just know things, I'm worried I'll forget something important if I just try to put everything down at once without any context."

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"...okay, you can tell me and I'll write it down, though please don't interpret anything I say as my final decision."

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"Of course!" she assures her earnestly. "Until you leave this place to go off to your new life, you can change anything you want, and I wouldn't send you off without making extra super sure you really meant it."

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"What would you do if I wanted to spend eternity hanging out here reading about combine harvesters and writing novels for an audience of myself?"

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"...You're human, humans aren't psychologically built for that. If you went totally uncommunicative or unintelligible for long enough I would take your last stated preferences as final and send you off, but I promise, I'm built to outwait you over any period of time that would leave you sane. If you wanted to hang out here for a million years I would be mildly inconvenienced."

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"Okay. - how good will the memory fidelity transfer be?"

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"If you do decide to wait for a million years and go crazy, I'm going to cut off your memories around when your last vaguely coherent communications were. Aside from that, by the time you have all your memories back you'll remember everything at least as well as you do now."

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"Cool. Are there limits to what I can request from here - notebooks apparently kosher, what about like a computer -"

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"I can get you anything that existed in your world, is relevant to the process of making your decisions, and isn't private. A computer with word processors and calculator apps yes, someone's diary or classified documents no."

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"You'll have to specify the nature of your diary--I can't target 'Isabella Swan's Diary,' unless you specifically and deliberately titled it that, but if you describe its characteristics and location I can grab it for you." 

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"Does that involve you inspecting its contents or anyone else doing so?"

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"Not unless the characteristics you use to specify it include its contents. If you say 'the sparkly pink notebook on my bedside table' then I can just look for the sparkly pink exterior, but if you say 'the notebook with the elaborate diagram on page forty-three,' I'm going to have to look at page forty-three of a lot of notebooks."

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