Aug 03, 2021 4:42 AM
in principle I think you should be able to guess the entire premise from the title
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"Yes. Like, if Asmodeus wants trees shaped like so -" she gestures - "and you grow all over the place in life, then most of your growth is concentrated on branches that'll just get chopped. But if you've been trimming yourself since you were very small, then almost all your growth is in useful places, and you'll get to keep it. - it's prideful to get too convinced you won't need much trimming. But still, there are differences in how much people need and how well they turn out."

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"...that's so fascinatingly horrific. Also you're still not a plant."

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"Yes, but humans aren't very good at thinking about this sort of thing and have to resort to analogies."

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"Some analogies can sound insightful but fail to reflect the ground reality of the situation." He shrugs. He flips the screen to display the approaching moon.

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Oh that's cool. 

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Isn't it just!

"I have persistent permission to make air but if you think I might forget while I'm doing afterlife statistics I can make you a spacesuit."

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"Next time we're in a city I should get a necklace of adaptation. I guess in the meantime I'll wear a - space suit, assuming that's a kind of nonmagical necklace of adaptation."

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"I don't know what the necklaces are rated for but a spacesuit will keep the air in and filter it like the shuttle does. While being movable-in. I can appear it on you or you put it on, what's your preference?"

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"I'll put it on. The necklace'll do - space is specifically one of the things you can do with it - it just creates air around you."

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"Ooh, snazzy. You have to let me make the spacesuit."

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"You can make a spacesuit."

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He makes a spacesuit in her size. "You might, if you aren't that worried I'll forget to make air, leave the helmet off so we can talk and you can scratch your nose and such until and unless such time as air stops happening. Or I can make little transmitters to carry our voices sort of like the magic mirror. I did want to do the afterlife forensic stats thing as long as we're here, if you'd give the say-so? I can do it in sand and, say, glass jars, plus I'll want a scale." Of course, this project has already been done in Hell, but since he wants to let her see it for herself he will do it over. Also he knows what the best way to do this is.

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"Sure. I think petitioners are different sizes in different afterlives, which you'd think would change the weighings."

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"I can do absolute size instead of a consistent scale."

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"You can make sand grains and glass jars and a scale."

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So Cam touches down on the moon and opens the door, surrounding them with air. And does a great big 9-by-many chart of petitioner population at various times. Hops around, tumbling occasionally into the moon dust, weighing each and taking notes. He compiles them into a graph.

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Across Good-Evil and also Law-Chaos, about 40% of people are neutral, which produces a distribution weighted strongly towards the center, which is then countered by the fact Pharasma kicks people out of her afterlife in all directions on the thinnest of excuses. The afterlives neutral along at least one axis have the most after that, except Abaddon.

The Abyss and Hell have more than Elysium or Heaven, but only about ten percent each.

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Cam diligently presents his graph to Carissa at the end. "Looks like Good is winning by a little bit, not by individual afterlives head-to-head because of that Abbadon setup, but by total good versus total evil."

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"That doesn't make any sense."

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"What, aggregating them like that? I mean, maybe Evil's winning a lot of folks and the Abyss just eats a bunch of them so they don't accumulate."

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She winces. "I mean. Maybe. But - most people aren't Good, it's really hard to be Good, even Good priests tend to agree on that -"

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"Maybe lots of these are coming through the Boneyard? It does look like it doesn't hang on to people."

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"I've heard that, yeah. That's also why infanticide is Evil, Pharasma doesn't like it when people are Neutral."

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"Pharasma's philosophy is very strange to me. Does it seem likely that it's not too hard to be Good in the Boneyard?"

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"I guess there's lots of babies running around so if you, you know, care for the babies, that's probably Good?"

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