Dec 02, 2022 12:30 PM
gazette in survivorverse
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"Of course."

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"Thanks."

They go find places to sit down, and, since the translator is for speech, look at especially picturey books and talk to each other in Scythian.

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They can find especially picturey books! There's a lot that are for children but that can still be followed by adults, and there's also maps and atlases and books full of photographs.

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Ky tries puzzling through a kids' vocab book.

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Iskander looks at pictures of birds.

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The vocab book is tricky, since the universal translator converts into your language. But she can tell that they use an alphabet and it only has 26 letters, and map the letters C-A-T to a picture of a cat?

There are a lot of kinds of birds out here, because this world is apparently quite large!

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And the pictures are AMAZING.

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They ARE. It's like they caught the bird mid-motion, and froze it, and pressed it into a page. And then there's ANOTHER bird on the NEXT page.

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In this way will they pass their wait.

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After a while there's a sort of distant rumbling WHOOSH sound, and then it gets somewhat closer!

This is not particularly unusual, or interesting compared to BOOKS, but after a few moments there's the sound of some dreadful horn, and an extremely loud, booming voice from outside the town that the universal translator attempts to translate as, "First degree of threat illustratus, non-emergency-responders please go to your place-to-shelter-from-explosives" - and then starts repeating.

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...she has no idea what "first degree of threat" means but she is not famous enough to do much good against a confident attacking illustrati; they'll follow the librarian to wherever the shelter-from-explosives place is!

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In the basement of the library! Various other people are also joining them, including an unseen second librarian, three kids, and an old man in amazingly good health for his age. It's a room with metal walls stocked with shelves with lots and lots of cans with pictures of food on them, and a sink for water. At one end of the room there's a couple of bathroom cubicles and at another other side there's bunk beds. All of this is made to a very impressive degree of standardization, by the standards of her home.

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Ky didn't want to cannibalize a book. But she did grab some blank paper out of a printer cart behind the librarian's desk on the way down, just in case. She'll put it back if she doesn't need it. She and Iskander sit on a bottom bunk. If they're here that long he'll take the top one.

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They're here about fifteen minutes before a different-sounding alarm goes off, actually, this one sounding slightly sheepish.

"That's the all clear," says the librarian to her otherworldly guests, before attempting to get the metal door back open again, which takes some effort (it's a pretty heavy door) but is accomplishable.

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Oh. Good.

Printer gets its paper back.

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And as the bomb shelter empties, three people walk into the library!

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One of them is a lean teenager - 

No, he's not a teenager, he's lived through more than that, no matter how young his body looks; if she's seen veterans of too many battles that's what he looks like -

- who has what looks like a ton of metal strapped to his body, a ton the unit of weight, all distributed over him, but that's probably an overstatement because while the floor creaks it doesn't break. He does not move like someone who is having trouble hauling that weight; all his moves are precisely controlled and blindingly fast.

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And one of them is a woman, probably young but you can't really tell because her skin is completely covered by a pale blue bodysuit with cords running along it, with a breastplate of some unknown metal covering her torso, greaves/high boots her feet, gauntlets her hands and a completely face-concealing helmet her head. She's holding a metal staff about her height that is sort of ambiguously a polearm; there's something complicated at the tip, and she's looking at things that nobody else can see.

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And the last is a friendly-looking middle-aged man; how he's friendly looking isn't quite clear, because there's a welding mask covering his face like a sheet of steel, the visor in it for his eyes almost invisible; he's wearing heavy leather clothes with an apron over whatever's beneath it; the apron is crossed by two bandoliers and held by a belt, all of which are loaded down with complicated gadgets of unclear purpose.

"Hello!" he says, and the universal translator repeats, when he sees the illustrati. "Sorry it took so long to get here!"

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So that's a - steel or something, she can't tell by looking what kind of metal, and a... also some kind of metal, and a leather? "Hello!" she replies. "We've had plenty of books to look at while we wait, though the translator doesn't seem to do text. It's incredibly useful though!"

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"Pleased to hear it!" He smiles. "If you want I bet I can make you one that can do text, that's not actually nearly as hard - I'm the Smith; this -" grumpy guy "- is Jim, if you've heard of him it's as the Survivor, this -" the girl "- is Minerva."

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Grumpy guy continues to grump.

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Minerva is quietly paying attention to something outside the visible light spectrum. What do her various high-tech scanners report about the illustrati?

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Iskander is not much of an illustrati. He is basically a normal dude.

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Ky is upgraded significantly more. It's still not a lot, but she moves lightly and easily.

Also sometimes her hat adjusts itself a little without her touching it. (Except with her head. Since it's a hat.)

"I'm Gazette. Or Kybele, or the Curator, depending. And this is my brother Iskander."

Total: 220
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