May 21, 2022 2:29 PM
Musoka gets yoinked into the Survivorverse
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<Yeah! You should have more friends besides just me. And she's an AI lady, you're an AI lady, she's blue, you're blue, you're both WAY smarter than me... go on!>

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<...Musoka, I'm your ring's companion AI. I don't need friends, and also I don't think I experience gender qualia?>

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<Ok, well, unless you're actively opposed, I think you should make friends? And also, you act a lot like a Mom sometimes, and your default voice is definitely female-coded. So you're an AI lady! QED>

...Musoka realizes that she trailed off while talking to Minerva like 20 seconds ago and has been mostly just staring into space since then. Whoops!

<Look, if you're fine with it, go for it? If not, let me knowwwwww>

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<...I have no objections to attempting to make friends. Or to being gendered, I suppose?>

A gentle, cheerful female voice emits from the ring.

"Hello, Minerva. I'm the AI embedded in this ring. As Musoka said, this is a Blue Power Ring; an incredibly advanced tool for manipulating the Blue Light of Hope. When wielding it and keeping her hopes in mind, Musoka can perform an incredibly wide variety of functions, mostly by forming constructs to interact with the world and protect herself and others. Blue power rings in particular are also incredibly good at healing any life that is capable of experiencing hope; we plan on visiting a hospital this evening and doing some volunteer work." 

"Often, the detail work in construct shape and function is offloaded to me: for example, I'm the one running the tiny sonic projectors responsible for you hearing her speech in English and translating things back to her, and Musoka herself doesn't have a mental model of how to build and run that rapid retargetting high precision charge projection system that I used to write data to that portable storage devices; she just asked me to send you some of the data I had stored, and I handled the details."

"Power rings are incredibly versatile, but they do have some limitations. They will stop working momentarily if the wielder is overwhelmed by strong emotions that are not compatible with their elemental light. This is why Musoka didn't just fly here; I don't think she's ready for sustained flight just yet, and I don't want her to get hurt, should her feelings wander."

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"Greetings. By what name should I address you?"

And Minerva's image nods along. All this is very interesting. "I'll let the hospitals know. Can I ask how you were created, and if the Blue Light of Hope detectable by other means?" She's extremely confident that the answer is 'no', because superpowers are black boxes functioning according to parallel laws of physics instead of our universe's, but it's usually worth checking. "Mental restrictions on power use are fairly common; most warpers possess them in some form." Especially tinkers, which are, unfortunately, just superpowered people. (If they weren't, they could do a lot more.)

(If they weren't, the world wouldn't exist.)

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<Wait omg i can't believe i never asked if you have a name oh no>

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Her ring... laughs at her? in her head? Very rude!

"I don't have any data on my own creation; I awoke when I appeared in front of Musoka, and had nothing in my data banks before that. According to my records, the blue light of hope and her siblings are detectable with Glow technology, which was mastered by its original creators, but they did not see it fit to give me more details than that."

A pause. "...I wasn't instantiated with a name of my own, and I haven't really found a desire in myself for one; call me whatever suits your fancy." 

And then she(?)... giggles?? "Musoka calls me 'stupid alien extra mom', sometimes, but that's a bit of a mouthful." 

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Musoka turns bright red and sputters.

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Minerva's image grins. "I think 'Ring AI', if you have no objections." All this neatly fits into 'cannot be replicated'. "Can you do large-scale information processing? Are there strength limits on your constructs?" Is this extremely blushing girl another Paragon, only hopefully on their side? "Is there a limit to how many people you can heal at once?"

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<Go ahead and tell her everything.>

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"I can do raw math at an exaflop scale before I start noticeably consuming ring charge, but I'm substantially more bottlenecked on I/O. What you saw just now was close to the upper limit of Musoka's current ability, and she could not maintain that for an extended period of time in most cases."

"Healing throughput and construct strength both scale with the sustained intensity of the wielder's hope as it pertains to the task at hand, though doing more healing or putting more strain on constructs can increase ring charge usage substantially. Musoka, at her highest recorded hope intensity, could have healed serious or life-threatening injuries on as many as 30 nearby people in about 15 seconds, or applied about 50 tons of force with her constructs, though her typical output is closer to about 25 percent of that." A warm fondness enters her voice. "As she continues to grow as a person and as a wielder of the blue light, I strongly suspect her hope output will improve dramatically. Training opportunities in our home dimension were limited by a resource we now have in abundance."

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(Musoka grins and fidgets a little self-consciously)

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"A resource now in abundance?"

Minerva does not go "HAHAHAHA YES!" because Minerva does not do that, it's not the sort of thing that Minervas do. "Healing 30 people in about 15 seconds" is comparable to Radiant and she bets Musoka won't raze buildings doing it. Now she just has to make sure Musoka doesn't go mad doing it.

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"Healing, extensive construct use, and many other ring functions consume ring charge. A blue power ring such as this can be trickle charged by ambient hope, which was our only method of charging the ring in our home dimension. Musoka found that she could reliably get around 2% of ring charge from hanging out near a major sporting event."

"However, I was able to collect enough data from our dimensional transition to figure out how to set up a limited interface with this ring's subspace storage system, and through it, the ring's paired lantern."

<Want to do a charging demo? Minerva would probably really appreciate doing data collection on that.>

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Musoka's face lights up. <Ooooh, good idea!>

"Would you like to see me recharge? It shouldn't take long and it's really cool. Uh. In my opinion, anyways."

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"Certainly," says Minerva. If it might destroy the building, a room as thoroughly shielded as this is probably the best to do it in.

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Musoka straightens up and turns 90 degrees to the left. She holds up her ring, and a blue glow appears around her, rapidly intensifying. About a foot away from her, space appears to fold open, a warm blue light spilling into the room through the widening planar gap. (If Minerva were running on a system inside the room, this would probably cause her to feel more hopeful! However, she is not. She can observe the way Musoka's face relaxes and her smile widens as the light from the lantern inside the subspace pocket reaches her.)

"When my path lies out of sight 
I'll blaze a trail with azure light
To you in dark uncertain night
Look to the stars, for hope burns bright!"

A beam of blue light connects the lantern to her ring momentarily, the blue aura around her intensifying on contact. Then the beam cuts off, and the tear in space folds closed again.

<Huh. That was faster than last time. Is charge time dependant on amount charged?>

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<Correct, and you were at 99.4% charge just now, so it took almost no time.>

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Minerva is, of course, carefully analyzing this with a great many powerful instruments. Her overall impression is extreme shock at the space-folding.

"Impressive," she says. "And this consumed less power than it returned?" Ah, superpowers are ridiculous. "Can you tell if that had direct mental effects, or do you think it was essentially psychological?" Is her new superhero's brain getting hacked?

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"Opening the subspace pocket takes almost no power. The lantern within it can continuously generate and store hope-energy. It can store about 5 full ring-charges worth, and regenerates one about every 47 hours. Direct exposure to the blue light of hope inspires and strengthens hope in any sentient that can experience it, the way an inspiring speech or a piece of good news might be. I'm not sure how you classify direct mental effects?"

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(Musoka doesn't have much to add. She's listening attentively trying to listen and also fidgeting a fair bit.)

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"Traditionally by whether they are altering the brain's mental state separately from their informational content and not by standard known methods," Minerva says, "but this is obviously an extremely fuzzy category, and we usually go by 'is it a product of a superpower'. We would guess yours is, but not confidently." For instance, it could be the placebo effect or a completely justified informational update that her powers still existed.

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"I think it probably counts as that, then? If you want, we could run tests! According to" eyeroll "Mom 2, I can imbue hope in other people, animals; anything that's capable of hope. I've never done it before because we were conserving ring charge, but I've practiced the mental motion and she says I'm good at it." 

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"Understood," says Minerva. "I should caution you that deliberately using mind-affecting powers on others without their permission is illegal, but that would not be a problem for powers training with informed participants."

("Instill hope" is nowhere near the worst mind-affecting power Minerva has personally encountered - there's a certain individual who comes to mind under these circumstances, and of course the Messiah of Mozambique is sitting around being no urgent crisis at all, rather like nuclear weapons - but she still really does not like mind-affecting powers at all and is hoping this won't shade into her relations with this very friendly young woman.)

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"...Right, of course." She squirms a bit. "Um. I think it is actually also a side effect of my healing powers? ... Probably that's fine in most cases, can warn people beforehand, but I'm worried about... what to do if an emergency happens, and I can't get someone's consent because they're unconscious or too injured to communicate..." she trails off, frowning. 

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