Sep 22, 2021 5:12 PM
owls and grapes do villarosa all together
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"I'm not sure if I like that. What happens if we want the universe to be—open about how recently created it is?"

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"Oh, I don't know, lies and false memories can be interesting."

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"See, when you say it like that, I'm on Not Daffodil Girl's side. What if we don't gaslight the universe."

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"My friends call me Naomi," she says helpfully.

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"And mine call me Ghys but if you want to stick with Daffodil Girl I suppose I can't stop you."

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"My siblings call me Didyme. --Uh, not that I'm calling you my siblings, just, everyone else only knows my deadname."

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"Pardon?"

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"I'm trans. I know I pass super well but I haven't even gone on hormones or anything. Mom didn't send me to conversion therapy because she caught me looking at girls; she caught me with girls' stuff."

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Ghys shrugs. "Unlucky for you, I suppose."

She claps her hands together and smiles.

"So! Shall we design our new world?"

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"It doesn't matter very much anymore, I guess," she shrugs. "Yeah, we might as well get started." 

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"The basic mechanical world elements are tech level and magic level, although other mechanical choices you make will also affect the world," the angel explains. "The tech levels are Faux Medieval, Actual Pre-Modern, Early Modern, Industrial, Marvelous, Steampunk, Contemporary, Cyberpunk, and Space Opera. The magic levels are None, Low, Medium and High." 

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"What's Marvelous...?" 

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"Shelley meets Verne. Essentially." 

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"I'm in favour of maximizing the general standard of living because I'm a sybarite," Naomi contributes. "So if it's up to me, we go for high-magic space opera, unless there are some details that mean one of the others would be better. ...admittedly a space opera setting where everyone is aware that this is the first generation of people ever to exist sounds wild, but not necessarily in a bad way."

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"I'm with the sybarite on this one. Pending details. Do tell us the details."

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"We seem to have managed unanimity, go us." 

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"It's been done before," the angel says to Naomi. "Although in order to accommodate Didyme's maternal request I would slide in a single previous started-spontaneously-as-adults generation; it would be overwhelmingly more convenient to do that anyway, for reasons that haven't come up yet."

She clears her throat. "Tech level is slightly more complicated than just what machines there are; technology includes social technology. Villarosa is going to be a monarchy no matter what, where the royalty holds real power and the aristocracy holds real privilege, but that leaves a great deal of leeway." She nods at Ghyslaine. "Your own Thule is a good example of how that can work in a contemporary setting." 

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"You're from Thule? Do you speak English or do we have some kind of TARDIS translation effect up." 

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"I do speak English, yes, although it is not my first language." (She has a noticeable accent but her words are still very clear.)

"And I would like to note for the record that I am not only in favour of lies and false memories for the sake of my personal amusement. There is also the matter of culture—if we create a world that remembers no history, it can have no art, no architecture, no tradition of its own except what that first generation gives it. Doesn't that seem a little poor to you? Wouldn't it be better to live in a world with generations' worth of songs and stories, even if they have to be false?"

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"Counterpoint, transparently calculated to appeal to you specifically: if there's only one generation behind us, and no songs or stories or history or false memories to guide them, literally everyone else in the world is going to be laughably naive in comparison to the three of us."

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"You're right, that does appeal to me!"

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"I'm still in favor of not gaslighting the universe but hot damn you are impressively concerning. Can we have any of that stuff without gaslighting the universe?" 

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"One thing that's been done before," the angel offers, "is that in the putative scenario, humanity--or whatever species everyone is--was generated by the left-behind technology of a race that ascended to a higher plane of existence. So you could have their art and music and stories and so on. You could even have a subset of art and music and stories and so on that still leave everyone who doesn't have transdimensional preincarnation memories laughably naive." 

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"That sounds like maybe a little bit gaslighting the universe but not much...can we have Earth music and so on? I'd be sad if I never got to hear Beethoven again." 

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