Sep 22, 2021 4:26 PM
The la(te)st castoff continues to fix everyone's problems
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YES MA'AM we are threatened and afraid

"Oh are you learning sarcasm? Good job! She means it though."

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"I do! I do mean it. And my mind is housed in a place that is sort of outside my body, so if you jump into me, I'm pretty sure you will not only not be able to shut me up, but also I could figure out a way to purge you entirely without risking my own life at all! And that's if I don't have something in me for fighting hostile nanites already, which I probably do. And if you jump into Aleks he could teleport himself away from all of you and leave you to starve on, oh, I don't know, maybe a moon." She smiles pleasantly. "So we could actually do it, too."

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"And you're the harmless one," says Dhama, shaking his head with a smile.

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"I am! But comparatively. So, everybody wants you to not get into a war with other nanites over Tahir, yes, we are all agreed and will work towards this mutually beneficial goal?"

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YES yes

"So nice when everyone agrees."

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“Okay, good!” Pause. “I have no idea where to find an appropriate dose of nanites that might be friendly.”

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“There’s a Chirurgical Parlor nearby that does nanite injections. Regenerative, even. But super expensive and apparently agonizingly painful.”

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“Well, expensive probably isn’t a problem…” but she looks at Tahir about that other part.

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yes pain REGENERATION MEANS BETTER ADVENTURES

"You heard 'em."

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"You sound awfully cheerful about it."

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"Maybe I like pain a little bit, too. I could show you how much."

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"Am I still needed in this conversation or can I just stand over there looming menacingly?"

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"You can absolutely go loom menacingly," says Vetmera, fondly. "Thank you."

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So he teleports over there to loom.

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"He does cut a very menacing figure, doesn't he?" Tahir turns to Vetmera. "Just for show, though, of course. You say you are harmless but I think that's a lie."

HE IS FLIRTING WITH BOTH OF THEM we feel ashamed for not having considered the possibility before

"That's what you miss out on when you keep me shut in a box. And now we're learning!"

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"I said comparatively harmless!" she corrects, brightly. "Which is not the same thing as completely harmless.

"Okay, since we've got a vague plan mapped out let's work out particulars. Apparently being able to mindread clouds of sapient nanites is weird? Which makes perfect sense now that I think about it, I don't know why it didn't occur to me before. So since I'm weird, I kind of want to get some kind of basic psychic training," she motions to Dhama, "for this and other reasons, and see if I can mind read whatever new nanites we inject in before we do. Since that would imply some level of similarity on a mechanical level—third civilization nanotech and eighth civilization nanotech differed wildly. Which would be almost as bad as if I, uh, I don't know. Hooked you up to an outside device that transmutes dead matter into new cells to match what you've already got, which might copy your nanites and burst their cap wide open. ... Maybe I can learn to project at nanites, that would be so cool and useful!"

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"You lost me somewhere there!"

SURE SOUNDED COOL THOUGH too many words we do not like it HEY BOTH OF THEM CAN BE LOVE INTERESTS REMEMBER we were not plotting anyone's murder WE THINK YOU WERE not aloud

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"I think this is the point where we don't need to focus so much on keeping track of what's going on with our friend Tahir, here, right? Maybe his nanites will behave," he tells Ziobe.

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"It's not really difficult for me to keep this up if you guys want longer to build trust or something," she shrugs. "But yeah I can let off if you're comfortable with it."

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"I'm going to need to work on brevity, aren't I..." sighs Vetmera.

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"I don't think we're going with 'trust' so much as the promise of mutually assured destruction, here."

that was beautiful I DID NOT UNDERSTAND THAT

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"Letting nano demons loose in one... two... three! There you go."

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And the glow returns, and brightens and brightens and brightens until he is a veritable mini-sun...

...and suddenly dims back to its normal intensity.

"Nice," says Tahir.

victory is ours WE ARE READY FOR ADVENTURE

"Okay you guys are loud. Not, not complaining, to be clear, just, first time I get my own thoughts and you guys at full speed."

don't get used to it WHY NOT it just seemed like the appropriate thing to say

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Vetmera snorts.

"Hey Aleks, is it okay if I let people look at my mindscape thing now?"

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He grumbles a little bit but nods.

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