Jan 27, 2022 5:45 AM
I didn't think anthropics worked like that
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:Oh, right. Introductions. This is Tantras, the King's Own Herald -: 

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Tantras is also young, but less shockingly so, maybe in his early thirties; he's quite handsome, with his dark hair pulled back with a clip, and he's clearly very fit. He nods to her, smiling; his eyes are curious. 

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Herald Jaysen, apparently, does not smile approximately ever. :And Keiran, the Lord Marshal's Herald: 

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Herald Keiran nods as well, hands folded in front of her; she's staring intently at Thellim as though she's some sort of important and fascinating newly-discovered species of beetle. 

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:And this is Healer Shavri. King Randale's lifebonded: 

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Shavri is just as startlingly young, maybe twenty-one or twenty-two. She's wearing green robes, and nods to Thellim without quite looking at her; going off her body language, she doesn't especially want to be here but is resigned to it. 

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King Randale takes a deep breath, and Mindtouches her. :I'm afraid this is everyone - most of our Heralds are down south right now. And I'm not much of a Mindspeaker, so Savil or Jaysen will be doing a lot of this. But - welcome to Haven, we're honoured to have you as our guest. And I'm very, very curious to hear more about, er, where you came from. Vanyel didn't exactly send us a detailed report: 

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:I am from a place that is not like this place.  It may be faster to show than to tell, if I can...:

Thellim closes her eyes.  The Mindspeech merge with Melody was intricate work, and also practice.  She can probably do this lesser-seeming thing, send over some fragments of memory?  They won't exactly be color photographs, but they'll have some feelings mixed in with them, and that should count for something too...

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::the central City's downtown district, seen from the window of a skyscraper::

::the same skyscraper, seen from ground level as it rises to far far above::

::one hundred thousand music fans attending a single professional-music concert, all listening in careful silence::

::the ordinary peaceful town where her mother lives, houses set amid greenery::

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:I am not from anywhere near here,: Thellim sends to everyone present.

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::people crowding around television sets, watching the screens::

::on the screen, something metallic rises on a pillar of fire::

::it soars through the sky::

::the ground diminishes beneath it, becomes a curve with blackness above it::

::those on board turn and look, and see::

::a sphere of blue and white::

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:This is the planet I am from.  The Civilization that lives there calls itself dath ilan.:

:It is not the same as this planet.:

:I doubt that the two planets share the same spatial-metric at all.  There is no distance and no direction to get there from here.:

:I do not know how I came here, only...:

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::Thellim's last airplane, seen from outside, before she boarded it::

::the airplane rising from the ground, the ground diminishing below::

::a flash of the worried passengers sitting in horrified silence::

::spinning and tearing metal, pain and death::

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:I died, and found myself here.:

:I do not know how or why.:

:But it is suspicious that I found myself in the immediate vicinity of Vanyel.:

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::a medical patient sitting in an fMRI scanner::

::diagrams of the brain, within their head::

::the brain scans light and flicker::

::equations in a textbook, seen by a younger Thellim::

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:Our people have knowledge that is not known here.:

:Knowledge of minds, and brains, and much else as well.:

:Though I only possess the smallest fragments of that knowledge, I was able to join with Melody and partially heal Vanyel using my knowledge and her Gift.:

:This is, in all likelihood, only the beginning of some much greater story.:

:What that story may be, I do not know, nor who or what may have had a hand in writing it.:

:But I have been told that children will starve this winter in Valdemar, if something is not done.  So whatever may come later, that story will begin here.:

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The assembled Heralds listen in quietly amazed silence. 

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Herald-Mage Savil looks over at Jaysen; they share an inscrutable look that hints at decades of shared history and context and a rapid yet contentful Mindspeech exchange. 

Then she looks over at King Randale, who offers her a slight nod. 

:Well. That's...something: A brief flicker of a smile. :Van must have asked you so many questions. ...Or he would have, if he weren't exhausted after all this time on the Border: Her eyes narrow. :You - really think you can do something?: 

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:There are many things I can try.  Books.  More advanced metallurgy.  Mechanical looms.  I will try them one after another and in parallel, until something works, or until it is too late for the children.  I am only an ordinary person of my world and I do not possess the experience, the will, the discipline and technique to swear that I will force a single outcome within reality.  I can offer only the effort.:

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It's the Healer's turn to stare at her; she's wearing an odd, intense expression that holds weariness and hope and...something like recognition? 

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No one speaks for a long time. 

Eventually, Keiran takes a deep breath. She frowns, and then - says something out loud, to Melody. 

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:Keiran's not strong enough at Mindspeech to talk to anyone but her Companion, but she says either I can relay or you're welcome to just try to read her surface thoughts and she'll try to think loudly at you, she's done that with Mindspeakers before: 

A pause. 

:Also, just now she said 'have you noticed we're at war and maybe your project would be easier if you help us win that first'.:

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:I would need to be much more certain of the situation here and of myself before I began upgrading this faction's weaponry in order to enable it to win a negative-sum conflict.  Creating more books and selling them for the food your children need; this seems a clear and unmixed good.  Nor have I balked from healing your most powerful weapon when he was in pain.  But to shift to crafting weapons of greater lethality - is a step too far, for me, for now, unless I understand this situation better than I have.  Innovations are known to spread, as well.  If I died of a heart attack at some unforeseeable future moment, I would not wish to have left this planet in worse condition for dath ilan having touched upon it.:

:(I'll try listening to surface thoughts when somebody speaks, and let you know if that doesn't work.):

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Keiran looks frustrated about this, and shares a glance with Tantras, who's frowning as well.

She isn't currently loudly-thinking a particular reply; her surface mind is mostly a tangle of half-verbal thoughts. The clearest and most words-y snippet is that she feels like Thellim is very naive and idealistic and Randi is going to lap this right up damn it. 

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Savil, though, seems relieved and pleased, though she winces at 'your most powerful weapon'. 

:Don't let Vanyel catch you calling him that: she says darkly, once Thellim finishes. :It'd ruin his whole day. He hates that the thing we need him for most, right now, is setting lots of people on fire: 

 

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