Dec 04, 2022 6:03 AM
Earthling![REDACTED]-and-co. is portalsnaked to Dreamward and proceeds to !!DO MAGIC!!!!!! -- What? She's doing science instead? Bah.
Permalink

She's stepped outside of the house for maybe ten seconds before it pounces, not even having the decency to give warning beforehand.

At least she was taking her stuff out to the car for a vacation, so she has the essentials - to wit, her electronics and chargers.  As well as her clothes.  And her medications.  ...Oh, that might be trouble long-term, who knows whether they'll have appropriate chemosynthesis, and she doesn't know the formulae for half these things off the top of her head like some do, let alone the synthesis paths.  At least she knows the horse pee route even if that's actually somewhat medically risky.

"Well.  Whatever that was was not on my top ten list of ways to find out magic's real.  Excuse me, where am I?"

Total: 1053
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

The nearest person, weeding a kitchen garden and wearing a giant straw hat, looks up. "- uh, I don't really know what you're talking about but the nearest intersection is Third Street and Mouse Avenue."

Also that isn't a familiar language, coming or going.

Permalink

"Unfortunately I don't know where those are either.  What's the biggest geographical unit you know you're in?"  Pause.  "Annnnnnnd I appear to have learned an entirely new language in the past five minutes.  Huh.  Weird."

Permalink

"...Kuigao?" says the gardener. "I didn't know languages could be troported, wow."

Permalink

"I have never heard of a Kuigao, which means that I am probably from an alternate universe, if that's a country or something, because I could at least recognize most of the ones on my home - you don't have a word for [planet]?  ...What am I standing on, then?  A plane.  Huh.  That's pretty interesting and means that a lot of my physics knowledge might be wrong!  What's troporting, for that matter?  I don't think that that's why I know this language, though; sorry to disappoint you.  I'm blaming it on my sudden and very unexpected arrival.  So unless you have magic that sends people places, I kinda doubt that's why I know your language."

Permalink

"...I'm not disappointed," the gardener assures her. "Uh, I have no idea how to help you at all. Please go away."

Permalink

"Huh, that was supposed to be read as only a rhetorical apology, but honestly thanks for not doing that, I kinda needed reassurance.  Sure, yeah, I'll git.  Any recommendations for where I should go away to?  'cause I have no idea where to get oriented.  Probably a library would do?"

Permalink

"There's one that way," says the gardener, gesturing. "Tall blue building."

Permalink

"Thanks!"  To the library!  She's got setting knowledge to acquire!

Permalink

This city is weird.

For one thing, there aren't that many houses. There are some, but they're rare and mixed in with all the non-houses - big community-garden-type things attached to no specific dwelling, shops, parks, food carts, amphitheaters, workplaces where people are manufacturing clothes and suchlike, storage-unit type complexes. The lack of houses doesn't seem to have a relationship to the number of people out and about. It looks like everyone aged ten and up in this entire city is out and about - the only people who've stayed home, apparently, are the smaller children, of whom the visitor can observe literally none. Everything's brilliantly colored, often without obvious paint application, like they happen to be able to find pink wood and green stone that also has suitable structural properties, but the parks have normal green foliage and brown tree-trunks. There are cart-like businesses that resemble the ones selling street food except they have mice, live mice, that people are paying to hold for two seconds and then give back. A number of people have pets - dogs, cats, foxes, birds, a gerbil with wings.

There are four suns in the sky. They are different sizes and colors - the biggest one is white, the smallest blue, the middle two yellow-green and deep red. It makes the shadows kind of weird.

There is no evidence of electricity.

The library is a big blue stone building. It looks like half library, half public lounge, like it not only encourages but expects lots of people to spend all day hanging out in one of the provided chairs reading books. Some of the seating is outside, with awnings that would probably also work on rain keeping the sunshine off.

Permalink

Huh.  She does not have a generator on her, though she vaguely recalls seeing a solar-powered calculator in her laptop bag at some point.  Hopefully she can rig up something convince someone else to rig up something; she knows any things about generators, but not practical ways to build them from scratch.

...She's guessing that the mice thing is a magic thing, which will be resolved by inquiring at the library!

Is there a librarian?

Permalink

There are several, yep!

Permalink

Then - oh, dear.  She will apparently vacillate for several minutes!

Permalink

...She eventually stands at the counter and hopes the librarian talks to her first?

Permalink

An unoccupied librarian smiles at her! "Hello!" he says. "How can I help you?"

Permalink

"This is going to sound absolutely insane, but I'm from another universe and I need to figure out what the rules are in this one.  Do you have any recommendations, for someone who's reasonably well-educated but wouldn't recognize a lot of jargon?  Especially in troportation."

Permalink

"That does sound absolutely insane, but we don't kick out people for being insane unless they damage books or bother people," replies the librarian cheerfully. "The troportation section is upstairs on the left, there's a sign; a lot of people seem to like Beyond Drowsing but that means the copies may all be in use."

Permalink

"Oh gods no, knowledge is sacred and I barely managed to talk to you, so, no worries on that front.  I'll go check, thank you."

And then she does!

What does she find in Troportation?

Permalink

Titles include:

Household Ports

Mouse Maintenance

Swaps vs Transfers

Got Your Nose*: a monograph on cosmetic troportation between human beings

Medical Magic

Were Traitstones Real?

Cohabitation Edge Cases: Case Studies

Dreamwards: A Modern Approach

Colors, Textures, and Tastes: A Beginner's Guide

* this is a cultural translation; the literal title is more like "I Want Your Left Earlobe"

Permalink

Let's see, what to pick...The Beginner's Guide, Medical Magic for long-term maintenance reasons, Got Your Nose - huh, that's an odd idiom of choice given that it's not that possible to pull the nose trick with people's ears, really - Were Traitstones Real goes in a second pile along with Cohabitation Edge Cases - and Mouse Maintenance explains the mice.  To the (second) 'read this afterwards' pile it goes.

And she will read them!  She reads very fast!

Permalink
If you've learned to drowse mice, that's the most important tropotation you'll ever pick up - but that doesn't mean you should stop there! Did you know you can make cabbage taste sweet, turn your clothes your favorite colors, and more? This is your guide to easy ways you can make your life sweeter...


Consult the chart on page 22-23 for information about what medical conditions you can or cannot transfer entire onto a mouse. In this chapter, we will focus on what CAN be troported entire onto a mouse, including diagnosis; how to handle the mouse afterwards; and some methodological cautions...


It is advisable to ALWAYS seek professional troportation support when performing any but the most trivial exchanges of traits between people, even cosmetic ones. Traits that are lost accidentally in the process, overwritten by a transfer instead of a swap or decoupled from one another in a careless swap, cannot be recovered!
Permalink

Well, then.  Definitely need to go back and get the transfer-vs.-swap book.

Permalink
In brief, a TRANSFER is when you troport ALL of a quality from one thing to another. It's much more dangerous than swaps. If you SWAP two objects' temperatures, one warm and one cool, then even if one is large and one is small, at the end you'll still have one warm one and one cool one. If you TRANSFER all the warmth of one object to another, then the one you take the heat from will get VERY cold - colder than anything normally gets! - and the one you put it into will get VERY hot, especially if it's smaller than the first object, maybe even melting or catching fire.
Permalink

"...well that's bloody obvious.  But is it conserved?  ...Hm.  Could probably improvise a calorimeter...that takes liquid and maybe pressure-measurement.  But let's see if I'm just retreading old ground, huh?"  Actually, what words does she even have for temperature-related stuff?

Permalink

Wait, heat's just subatomic motion, is there a privileged reference frame here - can she troport that heat directedly -

Also she can just fucking build a semi-perpetual motion machine if she can make a heat engine.

That's good, as far as power goes.  She'll just need to learn mechanics.  Hopefully they have magnets around here.  And copper.  Or silver or gold; gold's a better conductor from what she idly remembers - do they have - where's geology, anyway?

Permalink

Geology is over there!

Total: 1053
Posts Per Page: