Dec 03, 2021 1:42 PM
why do you have a toddler at mind control university
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The tiny robed figure leads his precious cargo by the hand through the halls of the university.

Dean Mesmerra told Diki that during class hours, Tynan will be cared for by the school's nanny droid. This should be fine. And outside class hours, Diki can care for him. Dean Mesmerra asked if Diki would prefer that the nanny droid take the burden of care and Diki just visit on weekends. Diki clutched Tynan closer to him, and Dean Mesmerra nodded without saying another word.

Dean Mesmerra seems like a good woman. Apart from her fixation on mind control.

Diki arrives at Suite 1 and leads Tynan inside. "Ba ba ba ba ba," Tynan says solemnly.

"Yes yes yes," Diki agrees. "Pretty pretty."

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The suite's common room is pretty, nicely (if strangely) decorated, with four enormous windows looking out on a wide assortment of different views. There's a probably-vaguely-human girl with long curly dark hair sitting on a couch, playing fascinatedly with some sort of primitive-looking computing device as though she has never encountered the concept of a handheld screen before in her life.

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"Hi hi hi," Diki chitters as he approaches (not too close). "Friend friend?"

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"Hi." She looks up from her device and smiles, friendly and curious. "What sort of a creature are you?"

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"Diki is jawa. Tynan is human," Diki says, waving Tynan's hand. "Diki student here, Tynan Diki's ward. What species friend?"

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"Elf," she says. "Mostly." She holds up her mysterious device. "Do you have these where you come from? It's fascinating."

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"Yes yes yes! Computer, yes - hmmm, difficult to explain - Eserik help?"

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A translucent gentleman appears over Diki's shoulder and bows. "With sufficient effort and lightning, you can trick a special rock into thinking. With sufficient refinement, you need less and less of the rock. This is the science known as computation."

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Diki sighs heavily. "Eserik very helpful yes yes."

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"I live to serve."

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"Oh, and hello to you too," she says, smiling at the apparition. "Are you a spirit?"

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"I am a Force ghost," Eserik says with another bow. "Once, like Diki, I was a Jedi, a warrior-monk serving the universal Force; now, I exist only in the perception of others. And whatever impact I can have on the world with my powers, I suppose."

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"Not a spirit," she concludes. "What's the universal Force?"

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"Force is omnipresent energy field connecting all things. Living things more. Use for telekinesis, mental effects, precognition, many many many things."

Diki lifts Tynan into the air and spins him demonstratively. Tynan burbles with delight.

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"Oh! Interesting. That is not at all how I'm used to hearing magic described."

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"It's not usually referred to as magic - it's thought a bit provincial, really. Though if you are in fact from a pre-computational society then that's probably to be expected."

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"Did someone say pre-computational society?" asks the blue alien woman hauling her suitcase through the door. "I'm an archaeologist! Sort of. Mostly I'm a mercenary. Who's pre-computational?"

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"Me," says Isaure. "Which is apparently very provincial of me."

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"Oh!" The alien turns to the ghost. "Don't be an asshole."

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"Oh, very nice. I wasn't saying it was provincial to be pre-computational, just that some faux pas are to be expected when someone is operating at a technological disadvantage."

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"Eserik always asshole," Diki apologizes. "Side effect of be old ghost."

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She raises her eyebrows at Eserik. "I am, literally and figuratively, provincial. I was born in a tiny village that doesn't appear on maps. When I open my mouth to speak, merchants instinctively raise their prices and fine ladies cross the street to escape the smell of my breath, which they imagine will reek of fish. If you think I should be ashamed of this, that is your problem and not mine."

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"Oh, for the love of - fine, fine, I'm an asshole, I'm going back in the jawa's head."

Eserik vanishes. There is not an indignant puff of smoke, much as he might like there to be.

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Arela turns to Isaure. "Cool! I'm from a center of galactic culture, but it's mostly pirates pretending to be civilized, so I don't think it really counts. Fishing, really - do you trade with your neighbors to balance out your diets?"

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She smiles. "I suppose so. There's farmers up the river. It's nice to have a little variety, but it sounds like you mean something else?"

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"Oh, it turns out that humans actually need a lot of different kinds of food to really be as healthy as they can be. And avoid lead. Avoiding lead is very important. But so is having meat and vegetables and fish and lots of other kinds of food. Or, you know, concentrated micronutrient paste. Most species where I come from aren't from planets as biodiverse as Earth, so they don't need as much variety or supplementation. Part of why humans are so interesting to me is that - you had such an odd path to sapience, and you've got all these interdependencies, and it all adds up so that if you get a human just right they're really incredible but the slightest disruption can have all of these atrocious cascading failure states!"

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