Annisa guards the canon of Avicenna and everyone's bookbags while the rest of her Group ransacks the cabinets, and tries to look pleased to see Marcy but not in a way where she particularly conspired to be at the worktable next to Marcy, just in the way where, when Kevin made that decision because of the Group's obvious merits as neighbors, she was pleasantly unsurprised. She looks around the room to see who else got their crucible heating first and who is going to be unpleasantly surprised when it takes like an hour to heat, it's a decent proxy for who has drilled the assignment before.
"I have a screwdriver we can try using as a chisel if someone has a hammer. Not with me, though, I'd have to go upstairs for it or come back here later." He gets his plaster done as he says this, so theoretically he could go upstairs while it dries.
Malak is thinking over how they might move or reduce some stone blocks when she notices a familiar weight at her hip.
" - Uh, sorry, Naima, we should head back, apparently Alhadiat needs babysitting."
"All right," she says, not that she entirely understands what that means.
When she gets back to the table with her stuff, she takes out her flash card wallet and starts going over what she has. She doesn't have any Avicenna flash cards yet, but if she's going to have to learn Avicenna's medicines then that's less time in which to learn the medical spells, which she also has to learn in a timely manner, so she figures she'd better not slack off there, either.
When they get back she takes Alhadiyat off her hip and puts her back into the open half-mold.
Marcy is briefly tempted to creepily shouldersurf Naima's flashcards, which is both rude and impractical and clearly a bad habit picked up in childhood from when everyone was studying most of the same things. She focuses on finishing her mold, which isn't built around Dagger but around a wax duplicate with matching measurements. It won't be as nicely balanced as an exact copy, but Dagger prefers to come back by traversing the intervening space and she does not need a wad of plaster trying to shove itself into her hand or her belt holster.
Crucible is still heating. "So Julian, I hear you're offering poetry help? Am I wrong to have the impression of the English romantic poets that they're all the kind of people who'd be dead if they were wizards, writing dumb frippery about how dying isn't so bad as long as you have very passionate deep experiences in the meantime? ....also Lord Byron thinks that the horrible part about the Prometheus story is that Prometheus is alive! That's the one good part about the Prometheus story! If he's alive then someday the mortals he empowered can make nukes and fight the gods and free him!"
"I don't think the Greeks or the romantics were really counting on nukes," says Naima, idly.
"Right but if you have the simple principle 'being alive is good' then you will be alive to take advantage of any unexpected things, such as nukes, that happen later, unlike if you decide that the real victory is death, in which case you'll die and not be around to learn that the real victory is nukes."
"I wonder if dead gods get an afterlife."
Oh no THAT sounds like a possibly fraught conversation, she'll turn back to Julian and hope he rescues her with insight into the Romantics.
"They're not real gods," she doesn't say, because, like, half the people here don't even believe in God.
Kevin approves of Annisa's approval of nukes and taking unexpected advantages. He's not at all clear on what happened to Prometheus but if it's being debated whether it's worse than being dead he's probably not being unreasonable to want to nuke some gods about it.
She turns back to her flashcards, when no one answers that, instead of getting caught up in the question of what the Greeks or Lord Byron may have believed about Prometheus's alternatives, since Prometheus is not, in fact, real, and even if he were real he would be too busy getting his liver pecked out to help her pass her Avicenna course.
Dasha has been paying attention to her knife but there's enough mental space there to muse about that for a bit. "They're probably like angels, and I think those can't die?" And then she shuts her mouth before any more inadvisable commentary can escape, because that's almost definitely heresey of some sort and - she glances up at Naima, Annisa, and Malak - probably heresey of the wrong religion. Do Muslims have angels? - not the point.
Oh, whoops, looks like she can't focus on her flashcards if we're discussing this. " - yeah, but okay, within Greek mythology the gods can die, right, Zeus slew Cronus or something? Maybe a bunch of the titans died at some point? So then do they just cease to exist, or do they live on in the underworld, or what? Because I feel like that affects the specifics of how we ought to understand Prometheus's punishment."
Right, Russia is religious.
She is still not going to say anything because "That's right, angels can't die, but also Promethus isn't real." is even worse than just asserting the falsity of the greek gods as far as making things awkward with the atheists goes.
Marcy is pretty sure nobody actually believes in the Greek gods and they're just discussing this hypothetically the same way she had discussions with her tutors about the social contract the characters in the Iliad were operating under, so she can probably say stuff without having to explicitly disclaim that she's an atheist. "I think there are stories where demigods die and go to the underworld? So maybe gods would too."
Everything she's learned about Greek mythology she learned while wikiwalking when she was bored at night and couldn't sleep. Zeus is the thunder god, like Perun, and then Cronus is... someone. Oh! There's that story about why winter exists, she can say something about that without sounding stupid. "There's a myth where a goddess gets kidnapped into the underworld, right? And I don't think she's dead."
WHY are we ARGUING RELIGION was nobody here TAUGHT ANY MANNERS, "I guess that it makes more sense to think Prometheus would be better off dead if dead means 'in the Greek afterlife doing more cool stuff'? That's not how I read Byron but I guess it'd make the poem ...loads better, actually - it's a good poem if it's just like, 'hey, would-be tyrants, we have a hell of a BATNA' -"
'hell of a BATNA' is actually a pretty good joke. She laughs to acknowledge it, because that's what you do with jokes.
Okay but this conversation is stressing people out, let's not have that. "Hey Kevin, you never said what was wrong with French poetry, is it also full of death and dismemberment and despair?"
(Annisa is not 100% sure what was funny but she'll grin at Malak as if the joke is shared. - oh, now she gets it. Yep, that was definitely on purpose.)
"Some of the death and despair but less dismemberment so far. Which is worse, because if there was dismemberment that would probably mean good combat spells."
"So much despair. And it's in French." She smiles at Marcy now because she appreciates the topic change.
"I have not gotten a single spell for having birds devour anyone's liver but if I do I'll trade it on."