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Dec 02, 2022 1:34 AM
[Redacted] lands in Crystalsky via magic book
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At the sheer force of disapproval, she just...slumps against a convenient rock.

"...Yeah, my bad.  I'm still living in the world where magic's just, uniformly positive-sum, in my head.  Which is wrong, but not yet in a way the brain chemicals that lie underneath my attempts at logic will notice, until something actually hits home.  Then again, hopefully this will.

"It was, uh, pretty dramatic.

"And the fact that I'm not home, nor am I likely to be home anytime soon...hasn't really hit me yet.

"That, and I'm still - some fucking how, 'get everyone off this rock' is one of the things I consider myself capable of planning for.  Unlike much more mundane tasks like job-searching.

"But uh.  Y'all...kind of don't really have that hope, huh?  It crashed."

The thought looks like she's bitten into a lemon, and there's some strange twang to her voice as she starts delivering an actual speech.

"Lemme promise you this: I have with me, as a personal entertainment and communication device, a thousand times the computational resources that planned a magicless moon landing and dozens more spaceflights besides.  Now, I don't have all the same software they did, nor the manufacturing base...But I do have Kerbal Space Program, and a ruler.  And that's all we actually need to do this; that, math, and magic crystals.

"We're not gonna die here.  I promise you that.  No matter what happens, we're going to the stars again.  Maybe not today, maybe not this year, maybe not til a decade's passed - but we will not die here.  We'll live here.  We'll thrive here.  We'll leave here, if you want to go.  Not by some weird magical happening beyond either of our cultures' kens, but with effort, that all of us can bring to bear."

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The Gabes actually clap.

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"Thank you," says a Vera.

"Sorry if we came too strong. Emotions are high," the other Vera adds stepping forward and sitting next to Lucy.

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"Y'all're under a lot of stress from the everything, and I'm some stranger that rolled up and sounds like she thinks she knows better'n you without provin' more than a whit of it.  'course you're gonna be snappy, and I rightly deserved it, suggesting something that stupid.  's not viable yet; none of us have the efficiency, even if I speculated correctly about crystal-to-lifeforce conversions being a thing like lifeforce-to-crystal is.  What I wouldn't give for a proper medical degree...  Anyway.  No hard feelings whatsoever for the necessary snapping me out of it.  And hey - after all this, now we have hope.  I think things are looking up, even if there's still tough times ahead."

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"They are. This morning, I woke up trying to think the best way to turn bark into half-functional clothing."

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"I would recommend using leaves, not bark.  You can weave leaves and grass.  Maybe use some barely-split wood for clasps.  If bark it must be, then what I'd do is make paper, but there's hardly time for that.  ...we should probably see if there's anything we can make into a sunhat; keeping the heat off is still pretty important even if we have clothes now.  Perhaps especially because of that."

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"Oh, there is a kind of tree with a fiber that you can pull off the bark. Other me saw some that looked like it, but it would require, like, splitting it open. But sunhats are excellent ideas."

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Henry looks up from his work on the tent. "She had some things that looked like paper. And I guess her book, let's not poke her book with crystal magic just yet."

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"You shouldn't actually make paper clothes, Henry."

 

"...Do the...shape templates...replicate material strain on infill?"

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"You're the one that mentioned paper. And to, yes, it does replicate material strain. Though, it's possible, it will break apart during either absorption or recreation."

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"...In response to trying to make clothes of specifically bark, Henry; that wasn't a serious suggestion.

"...it does?  hehehe...now we're engineering with springs!"

"...Technically the line's 'cooking with gas', but somehow I doubt you have the requisite cultural context to have developed that idiom."

"Anyway, the ability to produce a semi-sourceless force, or a pre-wound mechanism...That's a really good trick to have."

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"What do you mean with 'cooking with gas'?"

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"...How do you cook things?"

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"Burning solid fuel like coal. Or using heating crystals. Which are crystals that create something hot or are empowering such that they can create heat one way or another."

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"Well, there's flammable gases, and you can cook with them if you do it very carefully.  Usually involves pressurized containers and then some valves to control the flow rate.  There's also electrical burners which are best analogized to heating crystals."

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"Gases are less practical for us to use? And it sounds dangerous, though I guess you figured that out."

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"I mean, they do ever explode, but it's certainly not usual.  It's pretty useful for welding, but you can just crystal at that, probably.  I'd hazard that across a population of - what, several hundred million, then there's maybe...

"Hm, no, knock off anything to do with welding, don't know enough really but I've flat-out never heard of a welding disaster going wrong like gas lines...

"Order-of-magnitude ten-thousand incidents that could go wrong in a year, for example someone forgetting to turn the stove off properly, but I'm just guessing...

"And that turns into maybe one big explosion, possibly on the scale of decades.  A few hundred smaller things like housefires, probably, year over year, but those are pretty rare too.  So yeah, 's pretty safe, but not that useful; probably marginally useful to automated construction."

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"Breathe, Lucy. ...Welding is the main way you work with metal? I still don't see why we should figure out how to do figure out how to do it, when we can just..." he raises his hand and makes the crystal expand and retract.

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"Can you automate that, though, in a way that doesn't require a human poking a zillion crystals every time the assembly line needs to be reconfigured?  ...Welding isn't the main method of metalwork, but it's certainly one of the most prominent methods of metal joinery."

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"Depends on what you mean with automation. But more practically. I still think that doing metalwork through crystals is going to be safer and more practical to us than trying to figure out welding safely."

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"Yeah.  And we hardly need to do either right now."

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"Yeah, we probably just... should focus on the tents we have been neglecting."

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"Bane of my existence, ADHD tangents like that."

 

It's tentmaking time now!

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Tentmaking! Then a pause for "dinner", once the sun is low enough in the sky.

Making dinner mostly means pausing their other activities and figuring out what they can cook with what they have. Mostly they have fruits, mushrooms, and some meat from a small creature that appears to have had six limbs.

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