Jul 06, 2022 9:10 PM
A VN contact team stranded in Loop Hero
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"Nice house!" says the Hero. "Anything else before I head out again?"

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"I think that's all!" says Nelen. Cassiel drags her fluff in and starts furnishing the place.

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"See you later, then. I'll check on you between walks in case you need anything. Stuff in your pockets should mostly be fine by now but it's still best practices to keep your attention on things you care a lot about keeping, and my best guess is that any new stuff you make probably needs to be kept close and watched over like it's a new arrival for a little while before it'll be stable enough to survive being ignored."

She leaves; the world fades in her wake, to a dimmer state than the surroundings of the campfire. The house is mostly fine, but if they don't keep a close watch on any glass windows it may have, they'll find the glass to have vanished out of the frames in short order.

Soon after the Hero's departure, the kid comes by to ask for more candy. They ooh and ahh at the prettiness of the new house, and bounce excitedly about how cool it is that you can do that.

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Cassiel will fill up the shelves - Natsuko's basic floor plan includes places for them to bunk if that's called for but is still mostly a shop - with candy and other things that they might like that she can make, in lieu of a shipboard inventory.

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After there's been a little time for the rumour of Things On Shelves to spread, the cook comes by to see if any of the Things on these Shelves are ingredients he could cook with.

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They are! She's got meat and spices and sugar and flour up there.

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"How much of this can I carry away before someone begins to yell 'Stop! Thief!'?"

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"- you can have as much of it as you want, I don't mind," says Cassiel. "We just don't have much to do while we're stranded, so I'm making stuff for people."

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"Much appreciated," he says, and grabs some things off shelves—sugar and spices and especially meat. "Will you want to taste the results?"

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"If you like! I don't actually need to eat," says Cassiel.

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"Lucky!" he laughs. "Well, you can follow the delicious smells, or if you don't trust yourselves walking around town yet, someone might come by with a few extra portions to give you in thanks for all the candy."

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"Thanks!"

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Another villager comes by. This is one they haven't seen before, a woman with her hair in long braids and an old scar crossing one eye.

"So," she says. "What is your story, all of you? I heard something about other worlds, but I'm not sure I believed it."

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"We're an envoy team from an organization called Vanda Nossëo," says Nelen. "We were trying to go somewhere else, but had a teleportation accident."

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"Envoys? What kind of envoys? Envoys to where?"

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"Diplomatic envoys to newly contacted places! Of which this certainly is one, just not the one we were aiming at with the rest of our colleagues."

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"And what do you do in your newly contacted places?"

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"We tell them about their multiversal neighborhood, and open up trade and transit, and invite them to join Vanda Nossëo."

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"How's that work out for them, generally speaking?"

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"- well? It has some unavoidable cultural disruption effects, there's really no way to do it without - we could go slower but that kills people, going slower with access to healing and food and so on, so we go fast, and it destabilizes things and we try to be as gentle about it as we can without actually compromising on letting people self-determine. Sometimes there are idiosyncratic issues with religions or similar but delaying still kills people."

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She takes a moment to try to wrap her head around this.

"...you're so - so much - that just not talking to you fast enough leaves people dead that wouldn't be otherwise?"

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"- yes. I can heal anything short of death with a touch. If I show up an hour later, anyone who was going to die in that hour, or the hour before people trusted me enough that I got access to patients, or whatever the critical hour is, dies instead of being saved. Healing is a lot cheaper than resurrection and not every kind of person can be resurrected yet."

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"...huh. Did you tell the Hero that?"

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"- that I can heal? Yes."

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She shakes her head. "No, no—it's all the rest of it. The—mindset. I think she'd find it familiar."

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