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Dec 02, 2022 1:49 AM
[Redacted] lands in Crystalsky via magic book
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She blushes, and laughs.  "Honestly, I'm fine with joking about it if you are.  Though, thank you, Henry, for thinking of me.  It's just that I presume most people don't like being stared at and, ah, also front heavily towards what I expect to be socially accepted, regardless of my positions, if I'm expecting significant social opprobrium to occur otherwise - although I'm highly keen on my own privacy on its own merits, and on respecting the boundaries others have, so don't go peeping unless we get much closer, mhm?  Anyway - let's see if specific animals, or possibly animal features, exist both back home and here!  Do you have hammerhead sharks?"

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Nearly everyone says 'no'. Except the Claudias not affirmatively.

"You mean a shark with weird head like this," one of them puts her hand in a vaguely hammerhead shape, "eyes on the points?"

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"Yep!  Those sharks!

"Hmm, let's try something a bit more specific: Calico cats, which are the splotchy white black orange ones, are always female, yes-no?"

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"The female thing wasn't something I knew before. But I have seen those." There is general agreement.

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"...what other recognizable animal facts can we check on...

"Fire ants existing?"

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"...what does the world map look like, of humanity's homeworld?"

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"To clarify, those are just regular ants, but with a fire-y sting? Not, some kind of ant that sets itself on fire?"

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"Give me a moment. I will try to make a Core globe."

He starts working, nothing too big. Just a crystalline sphere the size of an egg (but spherical). Oceans represented as transparent crystal and land as darker. Except for bright lines covering the globe in a spiral pattern.

If she ignores those lines, the continents are quite familiar.

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"...Yeah.  Annnd that is definitely the same set of continents.  Congratulations on beating mine in the space race proper.  Despite the magic, which is cheating," she jokes.

"What's with the spiraly stuff?"

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"Your world is a crystal-less Core? And those are uncontained crystal growths."

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"Yay! We are ahead in the space race!"

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"Uncontained crystal growths?  Who fucked up the planet this time!"

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"Humans."

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"Okay," another Henry continues. "More specifically, some humans hundreds or thousands of years ago. If you set a crystal to absorb heat and light to grow and leave it unattended, it will eventually get too big for anyone to deal with."

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"...how do you mean?"

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"What part?"

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"What makes a crystal too big to deal with?  Can't you...like...hit it with a really big hammer or something, to disembiggen it?"

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"Yes. But... do people just casually destroy mountain ranges in your Core? Because it got that big before, people realized they really ought to do something about it."

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"Not entire mountain ranges all at once, but like...yeah.  Yeah, you could do that with enough explosives.  Especially if you allow nuclear...which would actually plausibly be safely contained there, fallout-wise."

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"What 'nuclear' means here?"

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"Using fission or fusion bombs, in this case."

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"Still confused, but exploding it like that would cause shards to spread everywhere and seed more areas with the crystalline spread."

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"Shards of a manageable size, though, if they're more than dust.  And there's more generally ways to do controlled demolitions, where things only fall down where they're presently standing, anyway, even before you consider crystal-power bullshit."

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"I am sure people do that, but..." he waves at the small globe. "we are talking big here. Even if you organized well enough, it wouldn't be a simple task."

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"People only realized that it was bad recently."

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