Sep 29, 2022 3:00 AM
gazette in survivorverse
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She nods and gets up. The paper is soft, as though very worn, in all the places where it touches other parts of the paper; it mutes the rustling. She looks kind of silly but Iskander follows her and reminds her what colors bits of it were supposed to be and she changes them.

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"That's a fascinating power," he says. (Once they're outside, they can see smoke rising from the wreck; it's well outside of town, the Atlantic Six having wanted to come in where the Tyrant couldn't snipe them all at once with a lucky hit to the plane.

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"Are there none like it here?"

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"There are people who can control objects with their mind. I don't know anyone who can also strengthen it, no."

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"Not objects in general, just paper. Or something else for someone else."

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He nods. "Some people have powers that work similarly, but I don't think anyone both strengthens and controls objects."

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"Huh. Everyone works about like this - with different domains - if they have powers at all, back home."

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"It sounds like your home is a very different place."

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"I guess so.

He said 'an equivalent favor' so I guess I have some room to decide that anything remotely helpful with murder plans is not equivalent to letting me have the translator."

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"- I think that Sandor has a great deal of difficulty with the fact that everyone else in the world is real, and has decided to deal with it by ignoring it."

Pause.

"He will probably call in the favor by asking for you to help deal with another supervillain. Or else by asking you to lend him a machine that helps him without hurting anyone else. Or else by testifying at his trial that he should have a lighter sentence, if we catch him."

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"Those all sound perfectly reasonable. Insofar as I can deal with supervillains, which is currently not much."

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The Smith cocks an ear.

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"- I did explain I ran a newspaper and a library? I'm not a professional illustrati, I angled for it to the extent I did because without powers I fell over a lot."

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That was a perfectly coherent sentence except for the logical implications. "Angled for it?"

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"For the powers? - how do people get powers here?"

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"We don't know. Luck, God, heritage, radiation, finding the right tool, eating the right fruit... sometimes it happens under stress, sometimes it just happens. There are people who have figured out how to give other people powers - I'm not one of them, but they exist..."

He smiles slightly under his mask. "It's a very big world, out there." And he got to be born in it.

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"...huh. That's not how it is where we're from. There people just get powers by being famous."

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What.

"Huh!"

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"It has drawbacks but it might be better than just randomness, I'm not sure!"

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"I'm sure there's some deeper meaning to ours," he admits. "I just don't know how it fits together."

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"Who can give other people powers? Do they - sell them or what?"

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"Sometimes. There's a Doctor Montgomery with several patents in the field in England, who claims a number of successes, and the Meta-Visionary on the west coast. Doctor Fenris specializes in animals, and there's a young miss Brooke - Packmistress, I think she calls herself - who claims to carry on his style." He pauses. "Other people did it for their countries; there was a Doctor Hahn in the war, a German, who was responsible for more supermen than anyone else, though I expect he dead, now, and nearly all his 'living wonder-weapons' with him."

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"You realize I don't know what a German is."

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"Hmm? Then I might want to fix the translator. A person from the country of Germany. Their dictator was leading the other side."

(In the event that, like Classical Greek, her language tends to divide rulers into "hereditary monarch," "democratically elected leader," "member of a high ruling council" and "popular ruler of unlimited power and no traditional standing," it will pick the fourth of these to translate it into, tyrannos.)

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Nod. "There are illustrati with animal domains, but I don't know if that's like the people you mentioned."

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