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Sep 22, 2021 4:17 PM
The absence of spacesuit does not guarantee the absence of travel.
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Griffie casts Call Lightning, lines up to call each bolt, and evokes lightning bolts as precisely as they can manage.

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Cornelia watches, then begins tapping her tablet as she looks over the data.

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Griffie spends a few more minutes watching a particularly good gardening show while Cornelia looks over the data.

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Eventually, Cornelia looks up.

"Well, this… actually makes a lot of sense to me compared to most of the data so far."

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"So, I don't know how much your people have studied light, but your light seems to at least be the same sort of thing as our light, and your electricity seems to be the same thing too. Which makes sense, as light and electricity and magnetism are all deeply entwined."

"There are a variety of kinds of weapons we have developed based on a shared principle: Create a path for electricity, then send electricity along it. Some of these are more practical than others. One design that was invented a long time ago is called a 'taser', launches little darts connected with a material that creates a path for the electricity. Another design uses special light to make the air itself become a path for the electricity."

"I would classify your electrical effects as like these. While I can't detect how you are making the path, you are making a path that goes slightly ahead of the electricity, a few inches on average. I'm also getting some evidence for some unusual properties for such a path, ones that we can only create in laboratories, though your path seems to have them at low reliability. I'll need more specialized equipment for further study of that though."

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"I really don't know about the state of the art in optics much, sorry. We have prisms, which split light into a rainbow, and nonmagical lenses, for glasses, and mirrors? And partially mirrored lenses, which if you make them with lalumin are useful regarding gaze attacks. And sunlight and starlight have positive energy, which you wouldn't have, but that's different from pure light."

"The path for the electricity is made by magic. It's possible to make a lens for seeing magic, but I don't know how to do it and I don't have one. I'd be happy to demonstrate lightning again later if you like."

According to the Sylvan dictionary, lalumin is a lightweight metal, which is rust-resistant, excruciatingly expensive to refine, and reflects some forms of magic.

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Cornelia looks contemplative, then says "Would you like to go back now? I'm unsure what tests would be best to do next, perhaps if I told you more about our technology it would give you ideas?"

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"Sure, works for me. We have now tested all of my electricity-related spells that don't involve me receiving damaging quantities of electricity, which I do not consider a priority to test."

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Cornelia nods, taps her tablet, and the quarantine chamber begins moving again.

"A lot of our technology involves very precisely manipulated electricity. If your electricity was more precise and a smaller amount, we could set up something to capture it so you could power our technology with it. When you talked with Art you mentioned what you called 'Discrete Storage'? We call it two-state logic, and… hm, the system doesn't know how to translate some of this. We also have materials science, the study of how different materials work. That might be interesting to compare, given that you somehow have what looks a lot like water and what looks a lot like fire as a primitive substance. There is atomic[1] physics, the study of what our substances are made of, and various additional studies smaller than that. Your dictionary said you believed what our 'atom' is translating to is unsplittable, that reminds me of an awkward bit of history. In the language we used at the time we gave it a name meaning 'unsplittable', I am unsure if you did the same. It proved awkward when we learned to split them. It is now one of the famous lessons about naming."


[1]: The word here in Cornelia's language does not actually mean 'atom' as in 'indivisible', but specifically refers to the item 'one step down', so to speak, from molecules.

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"I could probably design a spell to produce small precise quantities of electricity but I'm not sure that makes sense as a priority. I was not involved in the development of Discrete Storage technology and, quite unfortunately given the circumstances, don't have any such device on me either. If I had it I could have shown you libraries worth of information. It would have been helpful. However, the devices were quite expensive per unit and my friends always had a terminal around. So I never commissioned one for myself."

Griffie sighs, then continues.

"Materials science might be interesting, I did prepare the sample-stabilization spells today as well as spells for generating some samples, so they could last hours instead of minutes in their containers. If you believe our atoms might be splittable … it might do weird things that Axis wouldn't like, though it'd admittedly be doing those things outside their wards, but it would be doing the things on your ship. If you want to try that with a sample I guess you can but I don't know how you'd do it and I have no idea what would happen."

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Cornelia hesitates, as though dwelling on some concern.

"Yes…" she says after a moment "let's… wait on such things."

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"That is entirely reasonable. Would you like to less-destructively look at some air or water or a rock or similar with your instruments, though? Or metal, or a tissue sample?"

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"All of those that you can. Having an actual solid backlog of data to examine… that is how I'm used to working, and the absense is unsettling."

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"Like I said, I wish I'd brought you a library."

"Anyway. If you bring over a container that can be propped up in another container such that the inner container is over an inch away from the edges of the outer container, I can put the stabilization spell on the inner container and then the field won't stick out of the outer container, though it shouldn't matter. And I'll want a watertight container and an airtight container for water and air samples. And for the rest … a bunch of little containers would be convenient? And are samples smaller than a grain of some of the less replaceable substances alright to start with?"

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Cornelia arranges a wide collection of containers for the various substances.

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Griffie sets up the stabilization spell, and starts adding samples to the box. Words and gestures cause a container to fill with liquid from nowhere with what Griffie labels 'water'. Griffie opens a container in their bubble, and simply waits and closes it before labeling it 'air'. A different set of words and gestures produce a palm-sized smooth rock. A broken thorn, a drop of quick-to-clot white circulatory fluid, some scrapings of wax, a scraping from Griffie's mouth, and berries from the headband. Griffie notes that the berries are poisonous, blinks, and says "You're not going to try sticking any of this stuff in your mouth, are you, I do not need to worry about how these look superficially edible probably." Some shavings off of coins, after which Griffie puts the shaved coins carefully separate from the rest of their coins, and labels the shavings 'kuprin', 'argentin', 'goldin', and 'platin'. A splinter of wood. A droplet from — "maybe I shouldn't put a droplet of acid in your containers without more checks". A droplet of a viscous golden liquid, labeled 'honey'. Bits of 'kuprin-stanin alloy' and 'ferin', taken from miscellaneous tools, which aren't treated any differently after losing a bit of mass. A bit of parchment.

Griffie looks at a wildly colorful feather with a deeply amused expression before deciding to not cut a sample from it. It, uh, probably wouldn't be appropriate to discuss the Jubjub Bird. At all.

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Cornelia takes the samples and sends them off for testing, along with the rodents who the schedule calls for personality testing of.

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"So. I don't think I have any more testing ideas. We can try some of the tests you thought would be less informative. Someone could teach me things that might lead to more test ideas. I was going to suggest that since I've already been outside the spaceship, if I can't move around inside the ship I could move around outside the ship, but I don't really know how to exercise in the absence of gravity and air, er, liquid or gas offering nontrivial resistance? Is there anyone who's allowed to know about me who has spare time and would like to do social interactions that are for the sake of social interactions?"

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"I can check people's schedules, you can reach out to specific people with your tablet, or you can post an open request."

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"Is Arithnu available?"

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Cornelia taps her tablet.

"Well, I can't confirm he is busy, at least. You can message him if you want."

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Griffie pokes at their tablet, and with the help of the previous lecture and onboard tips, manages to message Arithnu. "I am out of testing ideas, and would like to have some friendly and less task-oriented conversation. Are you available for this? If so, you're invited to meet me at the mobile quarantine area I'm in."

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Arithnu sends back a message "I'm about to eat, would it be a problem if I brought my food over and eat it during without sharing it?"

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"That won't be a problem," Griffie responds.

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