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May 26, 2022 11:09 AM
Vanda Nosseo meets Ars Doloris
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" - Nearly all Arts can sense magic, as well as other things related to their domain. We interact with the world through far more senses than you."

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"Huh. Can you see ours?"

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"Yes."

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"I can, too," Lace volunteers. "That's why I noticed you guys are weird."

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"Interesting. Okay, so - takeaways from this meeting seem to me to be, yes bus stops and stores but exclusively inside bubbles, the transit authority will probably want to establish a local intra-planetary line sooner than usual because your state of the art on that is notably impoverished, membership is unlikely to be the right choice for you at this time but you may want a colony in an adjacent world to put more bubbles in, not as a signing perk just as something you'll be likely to buy on the open market?"

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"Yes - though 'adjacent' may or may not be necessary, there, or might be technically unnecessary but have additional advantages."

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"Many magic systems only work adjacent to their originating universe," Nelen explains. "But it should be perfectly feasible to test it."

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" - We might get weird problems if ours breaks when we're not adjacent then. Possibly alarmingly weird problems? Or like, do individuals tend to keep their magic stuff if they travel?"

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"Depends. I can put in a precognition order in so we'll get a warning if it'll seriously debilitate a test subject, if that's a concern, but it would be more likely to take the form of merely not being able to access magical powers while out of the neighborhood."

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Questioning glance at the Art of Suffering.

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"...I'm meaningfully coterminous with my people."

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"...is there anyone you'd like to exile anyway who is not one of your people any more who might agree to being a test subject?"

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"I don't decide who's exiled or not, and the main issue would be with my people - they'd behave differently from other mortals here I expect, and the other Arts would behave differently from me and from mortals."

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Thoughtful squint. "Isn't there that one group of people who decided they wanted to be a hivemind?" she asks the Art of Suffering. "They might be willing to peel someone off for a test."

"And I'm fine with being a test subject in general - I'm a sparked* mortal so I'll probably behave weirdly too, but like, I'm probably less likely to be harmed by the experience than a full Art. Though I'd bet most full mortals would at worst get severed from being part of Suffering's people, and that should be fixable once they come back?" 

*This also translates as 'part-divine.'

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"Yes, and hopefully so."

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"Right, but if it isn't safe for a person from here who isn't one of your people it almost definitely isn't safe for one who is, so it's the test we'd want to do first, less risk of backlash onto the Art herself."

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"Fair enough."

"Asking for volunteers among those who've repudiated me should suffice - many of them would accept the ability to live elsewhere as sufficient payment."

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Nelen nods. "We'd prefer someone who doesn't have any Favors, if there's multiple options, since we don't have those fully integrated into our model of how people can be potentially dangerous, but otherwise we're willing to take immigrants even if they don't have perfectly unblemished pasts."

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Hum. "We'll see, then."

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"So bus stops should wait pending tests. But shops are a yes?"

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"What do your shops do?"

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"We distribute merchandise - things like our translation magic, say, I don't know what else might be in demand here or for that matter if even that one would be. On other planets popular items include contraceptives, exotic foods, lamps and heaters, bus tokens but those we'll hold off on here..."

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"We'll definitely want foreign art."

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"Oh, I should have realized, how silly of me. Any particular kinds?" laughs Nelen.

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"All of them!"

"Foreign foods and drinks and perfumes and sensation lotions and tactile-stims, and plays and dances and songs and stories - or like recordings of those, and sculpture and paintings and weavings, and fashion and jewelry, and body mods, and architectural plans or guidebooks, probably carefully bred or arranged plants and animals would need some kind of import regulations but those would be very popular too, and decorated tools, and sex toys, and traditional weapons, and martial arts styles, and bondage stuff, and musical instruments, and plush toys and pillows and blankets, and ceramics, and just - everything interesting."

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