Dec 03, 2021 3:18 PM
a trickster in amenta
+ Show First Post
Total: 218
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"They might trouble us about having interacted with you at all. The more evidence of interaction the more likely trouble is."

Permalink

"How might I help you with that?"

Permalink

"You are - unprecedented in an important way - and the other castes will be very interested in providing you with whatever you want in exchange for your magical help and general goodwill. It may be - very hard to explain to them, quickly enough, convincingly enough - that you would like us to be let alone."

Permalink

"I think I see what you mean. Hmm. How difficult would it be to conceal me here until I can learn the language well enough to leave on my own? It should be... from the progress I've made since I got here, probably between sixty and ninety more days before I can puzzle through complicated written instructions without help. But then once I get out I suppose I will have to explain where I learned the language, and that could bring troubles of its own."

Permalink

"We can probably find copies of the instructions online and have someone explain it to you here, which hopefully would let you get through without serious mistakes. If you can be on your way before it's implausible that we only kept you long enough to fix your leg - does your healing magic not work on your leg? - that would be better than lingering for months."

Permalink

"The magic I would use to fix my leg is natural alchemy, which requires ingredients, and generally more specialized ingredients the more complicated the desired result. I'm a good enough alchemist that if I had close to my own body weight in distilled water to work with, I could cut my recovery time from most injuries in half; to do any better than that, I'd have to start experimenting to find out the properties of local materials, and by the time I'd figured out a better method my leg would probably have healed by itself. I have other methods available for healing other people. In a catrastrophic emergency I could heal myself or someone else very quickly, but the magic would leave traces that would trouble me when I eventually found my way home, for reasons that... well, I can explain my delicate situation to you if you'd like. It would be only fair, since you've explained some of yours."

Permalink

"There's probably some distilled water somewhere, but I don't know if there's that much... go on?"

Permalink

"The planet I live on is called Earth; its inhabitants are humans. The place where I was, for lack of a better word, born, is called Hell; its inhabitants are demons. Demons are much more innately talented than humans at many powerful kinds of magic, especially transmutation, and for that reason among others, humans are generally afraid of us. It's normally very easy to detect demons on Earth using magical senses, because the substance of our bodies has distinctive magical properties and so does our innate magic. I prefer to live on Earth, for a number of reasons, so I figured out how to construct a human body for myself using only natural alchemy and terrestrial materials; it has no detectable infernal signature because nothing about it is infernal. If I used infernal magic to heal myself, I would have to rebuild my body from scratch again when I got home, or the first person with well-developed magical senses who saw me would assume I had the worst of intentions and sound as many alarms as they could."

Permalink

"I can try to get you distilled water."

Permalink

"Thank you."

Permalink

"- I suppose you might have a magic way of cleaning yourself? I'm not an expert on what the other castes would accept, but I think for a magical alien they'd be inclined to generosity of interpretation. The process for leaving the neighborhood is a very thorough shower."

Permalink

"Oh. Yes, I can do that. I suppose it depends on what exactly they want me cleaned of, but for just about any mundane showering process I can probably get myself cleaner than it's intended to get me using less water than it's intended to take unless the water provided is especially alchemically inconvenient."

Permalink

"I think there is actually a step with distilled water but we don't have a way into that plumbing system for you. Anyway, that would help cover any errors in following the standard instructions. Is my guess; again, I'm not an expert on what other castes would accept."

Permalink

"Understandable. So you'd rather I stay here as quietly as possible until I can walk unassisted and then leave? I can do that if it seems best. I'd appreciate... any advice you have on how to approach the other castes in ways that won't lead to them troubling you, though."

Permalink

"You can take the crutch - there's a separate washing machine for objects." She sighs. "Reds are understood to be 'polluted', do you have that concept?"

Permalink

"...I don't think so; can you explain in more detail?"

Permalink

"Each caste has separate jobs - I don't know how that's covered in Learning Friends, it's aimed at an age where most information it's educating the audience on is fairly generic. Red jobs are dealing with wastewater plumbing, corpses, and garbage, as well as any functions internal to the neighborhood, like the doctor you saw."

Permalink

"I see. And 'polluted'," he echoes the word, "is a shared property of wastewater plumbing, corpses, and garbage? I'll admit my first instinct is to treat the problem as an alchemical one..."

Permalink

"A shared property of those things and also us."

Permalink

"A property of you because you interact with those things?"

Permalink

"And have for generations."

Permalink

"...as I said, I have an alchemist's instincts about this... would it help you at all, do you think, if it turned out that alchemy could remove that property from you, without otherwise affecting you?"

Permalink

"...probably. That is, it would help in a - vacuum, but it would leave it unclear where we would go on from there."

Permalink

"How so?"

Permalink

"If we were still members of our caste, we'd continue doing red jobs. It'd need more magic as maintenance, or at least we'd have to learn procedures for getting ourselves clean after work every day. If we continue doing red jobs, it's not clear if the clean attitude toward us would change much."

Total: 218
Posts Per Page: