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Jan 30, 2023 12:58 PM
[Redacted] lands in Crystalsky via magic book
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"The poor animals."

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"Yeah, unfortunately that's how medicine goes.  At least I can probably see about making ones that don't really...experience anything,"

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They stir the conversation away from animal experimentation. Eventually, their dinner is finished, and it's dark enough for them to call it a day and go to sleep.

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Lucy volunteers to stay up later and make sure nothing actually tries to eat them.

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They appreciate that, a Vera will eventually take over her shift.

And nothing tries to eat them. More importantly, despite the tropicalness: no mosquitoes.

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Thank goodness.  Mosquitoes are horrible and not really ecosystemically load-bearing.

 

She'll rough out some barricades overnight; it's not like she's doing anything else with her time.

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By the time she wakes up Vera, there's a ring of crystal-wrapped packed-earth barricades surrounding the camp at a middling distance, interlaced to prevent anything from being able to charge into the camp, but not particularly obstructive to a human walking through.

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Vera is too sleepy to give a whisper a comment, but she nods at takes her post.

The next morning, Lucy wakes up ravenous.

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"...Gah.  Now I see what y'all mean about it taking energy," she says, after hauling herself out of her tent.  "Do we have spare food?"

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The nearest person who hears this is a Gabe. "Uh, let me grab you something feeling. Did you make the barricades overnight?"

He goes over to grab some of the same bits of fruit from before.

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"Yeah.  Didn't have anything better to do, y'know?  Took a couple pictures of the sky, too, but that was all that really occurred to me.  ...Damn, I should've built some conveniences, too.  I miss flush toilets already.

"Anyway, since y'all said what mattered was crystal volume, I cheated with packed-earth walls, then I hauled them upright.

"Kind of cheated with that too, come to think of it."

She gestures at the setup of the last barricade, which she ended up not bothering to take down; it has a pulley-based contraption, mounted on a crystal spike, hooked up to the small ring that would have otherwise looked out of place, and fabric woven into a pull-strap.

"Less exorbitant cheating, mind you, but I still probably cheated."

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A Henry approaches. "Your help is appreciated, but you have to be careful. I can hear your stomach from here and if you push yourself again you could collapse."

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"Yes, I'm not going to do anything like that today, I'm sure my blood glucose or whatever sucks right now.

"...I wonder if...

"...No, I don't have anything to calibrate a biometric monitor crystal to, let alone the actual medical knowledge to make use of it if I had one."

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"Yeah, you should stay and rest. And... it looks like we are going to need extra food anyway."

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"We are going to experience the miracle of crystal-birth again any time today."

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"Oh, well, that's great."

 

"...I am so tempted to kick the magic rock about that, but that won't do anything but hurt my foot."

"How do you know that's coming up, anyway?"

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Henry points. "There is a shadow on the other side of the rock. It's- They are reforming and takes some time to do it right."

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"..."

Fuckit, she'll try bleeding on it a bit.

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If that means getting up, she will likely feel dizzy.

"What are you trying to do."

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"Poking the magic rock in case it has a conveniently labeled off button.  I'm better at," she hauls herself up with the convenient crystal spike, "poking user interfaces than defensive architecture."  Ergh, dizziness.  Not recommended.  "...Dammit.  Need sugars.  Not thirsty, so I don't think it's salts or electrolytes...  Might be electrolytes regardless, though.  Not an actual doctor.  Anyway.  Fruits, I think, will help.  Please."

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They can help her low sugars. "Lucy... I am curious to see if there is something that you can do, just in case your talent extends that far, but you understand the stakes here?"

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"Honestly, no, I'm not sure.

"But if it means less people getting fucked up by this disaster than otherwise would have been - it's probably worth doing what I can.

"I'm not going to do anything intensive.

"And I'm going to wait for this food to digest.

"But I am going to look at the crystal, today.  Since I'm not going to be much help elsewhere."

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"The stake is that if you try to change anything, you might damage the current clone and possibly any future clones. So instead of healthy people dealing with this disaster, we could have damaged people dealing with the disaster."

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"Which is why I am not going to touch anything I do not understand entirely."

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"Okay... then breakfast first. Maybe try something... simple first, despite being counter to keeping your energy expenditure low."

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