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May 18, 2021 4:05 AM
Leareth is a terrible ICU patient. Does this thread need to exist: no! but who can stop me
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:That's probably convenient for you. Uh, when people who are - sufficiently compatible in a certain way - meet, then it forms with enough exposure. There's some empathic back-and-forth, and the distance thing, and the compatibility gets, uh, very salient. Also if one of us dies the other will be in typically-lethal psychological torment about it. We did not actually want one but we were both distracted by circumstances long enough to be stuck with it:

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Marian shivers. :Yikes! That does sound pretty awful! I'm - god - I'm really glad he pulled through, then. We had a couple of scary moments before you got here...: 

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:Yeah, that would have been bad. Presumably I would have eventually somehow managed to encounter Nayoki and she could have gotten me home but I would not be good for much at that point, my plan if it happens is to go back to my old university with my magic horse and drown myself in as much work as there are hours in the day and try very hard not to be subject to the lethality part because that would hit my magic horse: And also because he'd come back but she doesn't wanna just blurt that out.

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:Mmm: Marian shoves another bite of pizza into her mouth, trying to organize her growing pile-up of questions. She's feeling pretty frazzled, which makes it hard. 

:Uh, and - why would it be complicated for me to come see your world?: 

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:Well, we're the ones who could bring you and there are people after us:

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:Because of Leareth's, uh, organization, and the people who don't like it and keep trying to kill him?: 

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:Some of the people don't like him personally, too, but yeah:

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:Mmm: More fidgeting. :So...it's not really safe for either of you to go back, either?: 

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:Depends how well we can aim. His headquarters is pretty safe, it's just I'd been on a diplomatic mission and was coming home and he was there to pick me up:

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:Oh! What sort of diplomatic mission - is it normal for medical researchers to be diplomats too in your world -?: She stops herself. :Uh, sorry, you don't have to tell me if it's sensitive or something: 

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:It's not especially sensitive. I was there in my capacity as Leareth's lifebonded, not as a microbiologist. It was easier once we were lifebonded for me to drop what I was doing to be with him than vice-versa:

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:Uh, right: Marian is SO CURIOUS what Leareth's mysterious organization actually does, which comes across clearly in Mindspeech, but she feels too awkward to try asking more explicitly. 

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Leareth isn't sure how to respond to that! He's following along with Thoughtsensing, mostly, but he's also getting quite drowsy again, and projective Mindspeech to someone un-Gifted like Marian is more tiring. 

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Yeah, it's awkward, Belrun agreeably echoes across the lifebond. :There's a specific country that has magic horses, I was actually born there but moved away as a child, and I was there and that's where I acquired Amshalan, my magic horse:

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:Huh! Uh, what do magic horses usually...do, in that country?:

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:The standard case is that a magic horse chooses a teenager and the teenager is then drafted into an elite company of what are called Heralds who do various state functions and are supposed to be incorruptible because of the guidance of the magic horses, but I'm a weird case and will not be being a Herald: Also she broke Amshalan's incorruptibility within like fifteen minutes.

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:Uh, right. Is that...a normal sort of way for countries to be, in your world?: 

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:No, it's pretty weird. I grew up in Rethwellan which I think of as being very normal, and, like, that's probably because I live there, but I also lived in Valdemar for a while, so:

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Nod. :What were you doing diplomatic stuff about? Like, trade and things like that?: Marian doesn't feel that she knows very much about the subject. 

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:It's... complicated. It was sort of, uh, peace talks in advance of having any actual war. It went well though!:

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:That's, uh, good?: Marian isn't sure what the right response is to 'we almost had a war'. It does seem better than the talks not having gone well. Also she's VERY curious but it feels especially awkward to ask what the hypothetical war would have been over, so she just fidgets. 

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:Sorry, it's hard to know how to discuss this and Leareth isn't as clearheaded for discussing how to pitch it as he normally would be:

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:Oh. That makes sense: 

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Leareth takes a deep breath and shifts position slightly. (Being able to do both of those things without agonizing pain is such an improvement.) 

He's definitely too foggy for any in-depth strategic thinking, but - it feels like maybe the core of the question here shouldn't be complicated? 

:Belrun, I think that...maybe the most important part is whether this world in fact lacks gods. If that is true, then...I would be inclined to tell her at least something of our plans. Her reaction will be informative. ...I am quite groggy, though, so I might be missing something. What do you think?:

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:I'm not sure how to gracefully segue into the topic but even apart from that I think even a non-god-influenced person could be reasonably offput by some details!:

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