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Jun 26, 2022 10:50 AM
someone should just STAB chris parker
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"...theoretically yes, that's how I learned English, but the first time I did it it almost killed me."

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"Der Wanderer was partially in German, wasn't it? But only partially."

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She shrugs. "I was also illiterate the first time, I was also specifically trying to get the newspaper to tell me what the writing on it meant, it could be any number of things, I-- would say I'm disinclined to experiment but that's not actually true, I am extremely inclined to experiment but Joan would kill me. And most of the things Nessa Clapper said to me I can't evaluate? I have no idea whether there's an alternate universe version of me who pilots giant robots made out of love, I can't predict the stock market, and I don't know what significance Aldebaran might or might not have. But she didn't say anything verifiably false to me."

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"What? ... Okay. Before we go any further - I'm assuming your Phoenician history is rusty." He pulls a book from his undergrad days off the shelf, and throws it onto the table. "Can you tell me what the author thinks about the history of the Phoenician alphabet? ... Or, I mean, anything else from it, I don't know how this works."

The book is about Phoenician history, and one chapter covers writing and the 1700s decipherment of the Phoenician alphabet. The author of this book lays out their case that the alphabet was derived Egyptian hieroglyphs. The author happens to be wrong but doesn't know this.

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Inaaya puts her hand on the book and her face goes blank, eyes glassy and unblinking, breathing shallow and barely-there.

Inaaya gets the content Terrence mentioned about the Phoenician alphabet. She also gets that it was under Terrence's back when he was drunkenly kissing John Marsh.

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Sal is watching with concern, in case Inaaya gets wrecked by a book in his presence for the third time this week.

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After a little less than half a minute she comes back to life, makes a face at the light and blinks rapidly but doesn't break down. "They think it was derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs. Also, you were lying on top of it when you were drunk and kissing someone."

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Terrence isn't a kissless virgin??? This is almost as shocking as his entire worldview getting upended. Please, let's digress for a little bit.

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Terrence's eyes widen til they're huge. He does some mental math while a furious blush rises on his face. "... That's very impressive, Miss Sinope."

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"...I find myself wondering who this was," Sal says, with the cautious air of someone who knows they're overstepping.

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"I think that's Terrence's to say, but it's not someone we know."

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Terrence gets up on nervous autopilot to put the book back, in a completely different location on the shelf from where he got it. "Certainly wasn't!"

He pauses, doing some more mental math. Inaaya must know something about who it was - he glances back at her. Maybe she doesn't! She seems chill! Okay okay okay!

He sits back down. "HUH."

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She's not outing him, she has half an ounce of discretion. (She.... does feel a little more comfortable, knowing he's also queer.)

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How are you not dying to know if Inaaya knows this information. If it's private you have all these notebooks. "Is that some amount of evidence, then?"

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"Yes. Yes it is. ...Alright. I'm listening. ...What are the Dreamlands?"

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"The Dreamlands are a place-- not like Paris or Beijing is a place, and not quite like how the moon is a place, but something stranger-- where some people go when they sleep. People who go there tend to have dreams that are consistent, from one night to the next, featuring incredibly beautiful architecture, and a general sense of vastness, like the world is much much bigger than human scale-- do you see where I'm going with this--"

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"....oh," he says in a small voice, blinking. "That's - is that not common, to have dreams like that? To be able to... go there?"

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"Not for adults, I think it's more typical in children. A few days ago I learned that most people-- grow up, grow out of it-- I met someone who was willing to die to see it one more time-- but no, most people don't. And most of the ones who do don't know it's real."

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".......I see. Um. Huh. Um."

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"And. I think you've probably stopped, maybe for good. I'm sorry."

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'Right. Uhhh. Why, um - what makes you say 'maybe for good'?"

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"What I'd really like to know is whether the timing on this change to a different set of dreams was coincidence," Sal mutters.

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"I don't know that it is for good. But-- the King in Yellow tried to eat me, metaphorically, and I really don't think it's a coincidence that that's when you stopped, and the only other person I know who stopped... never got it back."

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Terrence sounds fairly calm but less so than usual, and has started shaking one of his hands around without realizing that he's doing it. "That's - well, I'm not sure what that was, and that's only a small number of cases to base a conclusion on - but. That is. That is very interesting. I'll, um, I'll take that under consideration. ...Do you think Carcosa is a place there?"

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"I thought that at first but I don't anymore, everything I heard about it just seemed less and less like it fit. And especially if you've been dreaming about Carcosa, and not going to the Dreamlands, that wouldn't make any sense. ...are you okay?"

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