Sep 29, 2022 3:12 AM
gazette in survivorverse
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He'll pull a picture of Doc Fenris out of one of the pockets on his costume. It's a small square card, only a few inches across, but more detailed than any painting she's ever seen, unless there's a painting illustratus somewhere.

Doc Fenris is clearly huge, even in the picture, is implausibly muscular, bearded, very hairy for a human if human he is, and is wearing gigantic metal armor, an enormous weight of crudely made, hand-forged riveted iron, with iron claws extending past his hand that look intended to tear through flesh. His face is halfway to being a wolf's muzzle, and his ears (largely covered by his helmet) are unnaturally large, hairy, and pointed.

"He breeds dogs."

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"Yeah, my assumption from the portrait would be a dog illustrati with an iron illustrati friend."

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"The armor's no stronger than ordinary metal, but he disapproves of using anything he didn't make himself, and the modifications he's made to himself mean that he can wear much heavier armor than almost anyone else."

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"Is that something dogs can do? Wear heavy armor?"

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"No, but Fenris's dogs are much stronger than any animals anyone else has managed to breed, and so is he stronger, himself."

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"Fair enough. I've never actually met an animal domain illustrati, maybe they're like that too and it's just hard to tell because illustrati are all stronger than regular people."

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"What are the more common domains, where you're from?"

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"It's less that some are common and more that some are rare, and there's almost certainly a feedback effect where a person with a more convenient or appealing or useful domain has an easier time leveraging it into further fame and becoming known for their domain, but some that seem at least fairly frequent are fire, light, sound, cloth, wood, iron, water, stone, blood, bread..."

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He nods. "That makes sense." 

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"Does it? I was expecting you to want to know what the going theories are about why the domains we have and not others."

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"Oh? There are theories?" He cocks an ear. "You mean about why silk and cotton are grouped together instead of cotton and wheat?"

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"That sort of thing, yeah. It seems to almost go on the fame of the concepts in the same way illustrati power level goes by the fame of the person. We have some records of steel becoming a separate domain instead of a thing that iron illustrati could do!"

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And at this point they are arriving at the flying machine of the Atlantic Six! It is sort of a big metal bird, except elongated and with wheels instead of feet, and it clearly ought to have two wings but presently only has one. It probably ought to not have a hole in the side or be scarred by fire and smoke, which smoke is very high in the air but this point with no fire visible.

There's a curved wall of reddish-purple rock almost completely surrounding it, and what's inside the circle is burned.

And there are other superheroes illustrati! One of them is standing on the wall; he's wearing a colorful costume and has a gauntlet on his right hand made of red glass and volcanic rock and some metal she is clearly not familiar with. Another is flying; his costume has brass knuckles and a bird's head on the mask. A third person is a woman in dark and light shades of grey, in a domino mask that hardly conceals her face at all. The other two she's already seen.

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She feels somewhat less out of place in her silly paper armor with people who are themselves not dressed like normal people. "Hello. Sorry about your -" What is that thing. "- explosion."

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"Airplane. The Swift."

(Minerva is not dressed like a normal person at all!)

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"If you encounter the Queen," says the woman in grey (whose mask looks very symbolic), "anything that means she can't see your eyes will stop her."

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"The important thing is that she not see my eyes and not vice versa?" she asks, peeling a layer of paper off a bit of a vambrace to make herself a slitted veil dangling from her hat.

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She nods. "Dark glasses will suffice."

Or one-way glass, if you know an engineer who can make it.

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"Will this?" she asks, as she sticks the veil to the hat.

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"Yes," says Veritas.

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"Oh good.

So now what?"

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"Now we borrow a car from the local police -"

(That word may or may not translate as different from "army" or "band of people with big sticks", depending on just how civilized her home country is)

"- so we can get an airplane ride back to New York, the city we live, before the Tyrant causes a crisis too large for us to manage."

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"- he's going to do more than blow up the airplane?"

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"- When we last fought him he tried to use a weather-control device to cut New York off from the rest of the world so he could rule it as a king."

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"...you have a lot of devices here."

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