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Jun 04, 2020 1:55 AM
palatinates in forest arda
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{Good. --Is that -- not what you are used to?} This last is regarding their reactions to the map.

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{NO!} Mirage yells that as well as thinking it. She laughs, slightly hysterically.

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Esch winces at the pitch of that, and projects an image of a round planet - for a second the surface looks like it's burning, before it shifts, and looks like a regular garden world.

{Our planets aren't flat.} She moves the image to show a solar system. {And there are many of them. These ships are how we travel between them.}

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There is a flash of starlight-flavored interest in the solar system, and a great deal of murmuring.

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{I would like to point out,} Seeks-Better-Paths interjects into the murmuring (it seems to be directed at that, but is accessible to them as well), {That we have slightly higher priorities at the moment than comparative analysis of the plan.}

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It takes Trap a moment to realise the two most important things about that voice. One: it is not one he recognises. Two: the person speaking is not visible and it feels like it's going straight into his brain.

"Esch?" he says slightly unsteadily. "I'm hearing voices."

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Esch gives him a sharp, startled look. She's still not picking anything up off him, but... "We all are," she says.

{How, precisely, does your...communication work?} And along with that she's projecting her own surprise at Trap being able to hear them.

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Deaz is not meeting anyone's eyes, has leant forward to duck her head down. Rationalising your position doesn't work so well when you're suddenly confronted with memories of what you've done. She hadn't been able to hear the screaming that Esch had. But she hadn't had another choice. None of them had.

Her head snaps up. {Plan? Also. Any suggestions on how we ended up nearly crashing into a- planet? World? That I am almost certain doesn't exist in our galaxy, and how we get home would be greatly appreciated. Or how to get my engines started again. I'm assuming you broke them.} A distraction would be welcome around now.

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Escher's question appears be confusing. After a few moments, Seeks-Better-Paths says, {In a manner similar/analogous to how spoken language works?}

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Someone else replies to Deaz with ship/engines/normal operation?/problem?/related to falling?

Meanwhile, the Valië who was reassuring Escher earlier is asking her power for an idea of the cultural background of their visitors.

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Esch would be staring at this person if they were in the room. {For us, speaking like this is...frequencies? And...} Esch throws the entire explanation about psychic frequenices and baselines out like she would at any other psychic.

Nearly all living beings in their world have a 'frequency' that their mind resonates on - 'baselines' like Trap being the notable exception to the rule. There are those who are more attuned to these frequencies, to a greater or lesser degree causing people with psychic abilities. The closer a mind resonates to the frequency a psychic operates on, the easier it is for the psychic to read that mind. Baseline minds have no frequency to be accessed. The stronger the psychic, the less effect frequency has on the ability to read minds - they can read minds the whole way through the spectrum. There are also highly rare cases of psychics being on the same frequency. Psychics who share a frequency and meet will find that their abilities often gain a boost, directly relating to their proximity to their frequency-partner.

{Your way seems...less specific? More like spoken language like you say.}

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Deaz explains her engines, and the need for fuel and combustion. {But now the fuel's completely inert. Without that process, it's not going to work. And without the engines up and providing thrust, the Liberator can't support her own weight.} She glances at the external sensors again, wondering where precisely the people playing hosts are, and notices...

"Esch," she says, very calmly, "There are two glowing trees. If you have brought me to a nuclear fall-out zone, so help me, I will-" she trails off, not entirely sure what to use as a threat there. She's already done enough to Esch, one way or another.

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Esch looks at Deaz. "Well I certainly didn't bring us here." She still isn't entirely sure what did.

She paused, tilting her head at Deaz, before stepping towards her and wrapping an arm around her shoulders, tugging her close. Not your fault.

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Deaz doesn't quite melt against Esch, but she does hook her arm around her waist and hug back.

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Clan Liana - Deaz and Esch seem to be highlighted here, along with a slightly more vague highlight on another of the crew members - are a military society through and through, they follow a strict military hierarchy in what they do, and due to the lack of a planet to cultivate enough crops and meat to feed their growing society, they have a rationing system in place. Their fleet is unparalleled in might and size, and their military training is extensive and spectacular. A large part of the reason for this is due to Clan Liana's impressive paranoia. They are almost convinced that all other Clans are just waiting for an opportunity - which is not necessarily untrue, but evidence suggests it is highly unlikely that there is any serious threat. Due to this paranoia, there is also the long-standing tradition that no single person in the Clan Liana hierarchy who has full access to all military information at any one time. Clan Liana is known for its thirst for conquest, and with its fleet capable of laying devastation to most other fleets when ambushing, it is very rarely unsuccessful. Even when perhaps it should be using mercy - their paranoia makes them unlikely to show any.

Their military may be unique, due to the high proportion of psychics present in their population. It has been discovered that psychics who are given frequent and willing hugs are considerably more stable than those who are deprived of those things. Therefore, regular hug regimes were instituted - although only for those that were willing. However, it quickly became an exercise in team-bonding that causes the Lianan military to share a bond that can rarely be rivaled, and most members of it's active military partake wholeheartedly. Most Lianans would not even consider disobeying an order from a superior, however extreme, unless they think it is clearly against the good of the Clan, but if they do it is most often considered treason.

Lianan families are small, close-knit units. While children will often begin some form of service, be it military or otherwise, younger than most Clans consider acceptable, parents maintain a strong relationship with their children, supporting them as they need. In return, children will often ensure that their parents are well looked after, should this become required.

On the darker side of Lianan life, there is also the fully accepted practice of being able to declare children who are either expected to be psychic, or have displayed unusual powers, to be experiments (here, Esch seems to be highlighted again). This is due to the higher proportion of psychics and unusual abilities (those outside of telepathy) displayed in this Clan. However, many of the people who develop unusual abilities, if they do so at a time where they are capable of control, go to great lengths to conceal it, as they are well aware of what awaits them should they not - being considered less than human. Due to this practice, Liana also has the best understanding of how the psychic mind works, and how to defend against it. But also how to use it to the best degree to twist other people to their will.

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Clan Sontini - Miragemost of the crew and someone, elsewhere are highlighted - is a more peaceful, science-oriented society. They have a military, although it tends more towards exploration and protection than conquest. They are not precisely searching for anything - except, occasionally, when they need to acquire resources they don't have ready access to. Comparison: It should be noted that their ethics when it comes to science are much less flexible than Clan Liana. They do not experiment on living beings without explicit, freely given consent when there is no other option. They are also responsible for the major advances in medical technology. While there are still things beyond their power - they cannot bring someone back from the dead - there is very little that they cannot heal.

Clan Sontini is unique in the case that they do not have a monetary system. It manages trade outside of itself mostly by holding up its medical tech and going 'you want this, we want this', and normally, that is enough to convince other Clans to do business. In everyday society, everyone has what they need, evenly distributed. While the most important jobs in the government are filled by people who are trained to handle them, there is what is known as the Perspective Lottery. In order to ensure that the widest spectrum of their society is represented, once a person reaches majority, they are entered into a lottery for a term on a council that advises the people nominally in charge of the government. Military service exempts people from service on this council as there is no guarantee that they will be able to be planetside for the length of time required.

Sontini families, while close, are in some ways distant. Typically they will not move too far from their fellow family members - parents, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts all living within easy travelling distance - although obviously there are occasions where people move a long distance away.

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Clan Toal - Raef is highlighted, along with the person who pinged as Lianan and to a much reduced degree Esch - were a Clan who felt that the Clans working together was a better way forward than constantly arguing with one another. Many people made the mistake of thinking this left them weak. Many people were wrong. At their height, Clan Toal had the only military that has come even close to rivaling Clan Liana.

Clan Toal were frequently called upon to act a diplomats in inter-Clan disputes due to their tendency to avoid getting into conflicts of their own. It also helped that they also had a proportion of people with psychic abilities.

A large portion of the government in Clan Toal was made up of hereditary roles, although there were a handful of elected positions.

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Baselines - Trap is highlighted - are a small population that is all that remains of the original, un-genetically modified human race. They keep their existence a secret due to the still negative feelings the Clans harbour for them. A small proportion of them make the choice to exist as drifters, travelling the galaxy and frequently participating in mercenary work.

The baselines have native psychic immunity.

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A reflected impression of these summaries -- particularly the one of Liana -- and muted grief/weariness/memory is discernible from one of the deeper presences (the same one who was reassuring Escher earlier.)

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Seeks-Better-Paths catches the concept of 'radiation' -- bounces it to Forges-New-Things -- and then replies {Nuclear decay in that sense does not occur here.} (on this continent).

To Escher, he adds, {That is very much unlike how our form of communication works except in the most superficial aspects.} and, after a moment {If you want a physical form to speak to I can do that, but I did not wish to alarm you further by intruding in your domain.}

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Consideration, intensified curiosity/desire to discuss at some later date, and:

combustion/fuel reaction/may be blocked by protections/dangerous/explosive/weapon/how contained in invention?

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Esch goes immediately still when she realises this person - person? - knows. They know and...

They know, and obviously they're showing this to make a point. To remind Esch that she's not-

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Raef jumps in before Esch can follow that path any further. Ma. Think. Because it's obvious that Esch hasn't processed the feelings that went with the impression of...summaries of the Clans of everyone present? Because those aren't the feelings of someone who's going to think like Esch isn't a person. He reflects the feelings back to Esch, makes her look at them, makes her focus on them, waits for her to remember that that little niggling voice in the back of her head is so wrong.

He grasps her elbow, knowing the contact will help her focus. (He's relieved she's with it enough to grasp back.)

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Deaz notices when Esch goes still, can figure out why it happened. She considers intervening, but Raef seems to be on it. Instead... {Perhaps don't reflect that knowledge back at us,} she requests. {We're well aware of our Clans failings.} How could they not be? Esch, for all intents and purposes, had been an experiment, from before her conception, and only sheer dumb luck had meant that she hadn't lived out her life as less than a person - even if she still thought that. And Deaz was lucky her own powers hadn't manifested in an obvious manner.

She lets the other questions distract her. {Protections? You have something that would knock our engines out? I...have to admit I'm impressed.} Obviously grudgingly, almost grumpy with that admittance. The second part of that... {There were and still are rigorous safe-guards in place. The engines may spit up super-heated plasma under extreme stress, but the engine rooms can be completely sealed off and there's vents that lead straight into cooling vats.} She maps the system out in her head, outside her shield, proud of the way the system can stand up to stress. {We've never had a problem with containment before.}

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Directed at Escher, almost immediately in response to her reaction: you are a person/clearly/manifestly/this is an obvious thing/you do not deserve harm to come to you/no one deserves that/what happened to you should not have happened/what was done to you was wrong/doing that to people is wrong/treating people as subhuman is wrong/you are a person

And then, partly in response to Deazual, {apology/regret/lack of intent to push knowledge upon/concern}

A pause, and then, {you are safe here/we will not allow anyone to do that to you here}

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