This post has the following content warnings:
A Brinnite walk-in on Byway
+ Show First Post
Total: 299
Posts Per Page:


There are existing hand-crank washing machines pretty much like the ones Minaiyu has described.

There is no obvious reason that Andor can turn up why the batteries should not work, nor is there any evidence that they are an existing technology. The same goes for about 60% of Minaiyu's power-grid-geomagnetic-storm-risk-minimization tips.


He calls an old co-cultist, who has power-grid expertise that was self-developed, and thus is not anyone's trade secret. The co-cultist keeps begging Andor to stop giving away this info, because no matter how legitimately he thinks he got it, it's someone's insanely valuable trade secret and Andor will get sued.

<💭> He's probably right, but hnnnnng I have to know </💭>


He calls a second co-cultist, this one less personally well-known but with deeper expertise, and, by good fortune, a looser attitude toward propriety. This one says he knows of people working on a speculative version of one of Minaiyu's risk-minimization tips but not any of the rest. Andor has not explained where he thought the ideas came from, obviously, and Powergridguy is as confused and intrigued as you'd expect of someone looking at technical imports from another world.

(Powergridguy does not ask permission to use any ideas which he did not generate himself to increase his own clout or gold. Gaha'e attitudes toward propriety don't get that loose.)


Lacking any other obvious reliable routes for third opinions, he begs of Powergridguy the contact info of others whom he can call to cross-verify. Powergridguy happily obliges.

Those of the other people who answer Andor's call, are unanimous in confirming the foreignness of Minaiyu's apparently-foreign tips.


Seven and a half hours after Xakda's nominal shift-end (yes, kind of ridiculously late, they should really all be eating-and-then-sleeping soon, but if doing this right was going to take this long, very much best to bang it all out in one night) Andor hands over a final diagnostic sheet. It's kind of sloppy for a final sheet, he acknowledges, and Xakda/Minaiyu are free to pay him for the retrospective accuracy of either this one or the more put-together one from earlier (which he also hands over) but either way, he expects they'll want to actually plan their course of action based on the sloppy one, since Sloppy reflects huge updates to Andor's state of knowledge.

Old-put-together, at the highest given level of confidence (corresponding to the lowest level of granularity), has 45% of Andor's credence on 'usual-etiology DID', 15% on 'other, recent-acute-trauma-related', 5% on 'usual-etiology psychosis', and the rest on 'something else'.

Sloppy, at the highest level of confidence, has 60% of Andor's credence on 'prank', 10% on 'usual-etiology DID', 10% on 'other, recent-acute-trauma-related', and the rest on 'something else'.

Sloppy's lower levels of granularity, which break down each band further, give Andor's credence for 'isekai' - a sub-band of 'something else' - as 5%. He'd been about to write something lower, but then he'd realized he expected to end up looking dumber, on balance, if he'd written something lower than if he wrote '5%'. So he'd written '5%'.

He looks kind of amicably lost and apologetic about the whole affair. Also sleepy. He seems to expect the process to conclude promptly as they take the sheets, but politely awaits their feedback.


(He's teetering on the brink of utterly convinced, by now, that Minaiyu is exactly what he claims to be. But he is not saying that in front of Andor, because to Andor, that would peg Xakda as having self-diagnosis calibration ability no better than a dull child's, and it doesn't seem quite the time to write Minaiyu a note.)



On the one hand, Minaiyu is honestly offended that Andor thinks this is a deliberate lie. In some ways more offended than Andor thinking he was a dream-figment: being mistaken for an uppity persistent hallucination by a culture that apparently has entire conceptual frameworks for uppity persistent hallucinations was more disconcerting and terrifying than anything else, but being falsely accused of lying is a more familiar rage button.

also if the probability of the real answer is given at 5% and the probability of not being at longevity escape velocity is 10%, that does not say good things about their expected lifespan that is not actually how anything works, intellectually he knows that

On the other hand, Xakda knows that it's not a prank. And Andor's amicably-lost-and-apologetic vibes do a lot to defuse the insult of the spreadsheet taken in isolation. And it does not escape Minaiyu's notice that, in spite of what the-spreadsheet-taken-in-isolation would imply, Andor has now started addressing them in the plural.


He takes a couple of deep breaths and flexes their hands while he contemplates this, trying to calm down (or, well, at least calm down from the anger).

"...I take it I passed the test?"


"Oh, right - you would probably want to know about that.

Yeah, no one could - I called eight people and so far as anyone could tell, most of the things on your lists of power grid prophylactics and solar-power-scaling methods are previously-unconceived and not obviously-unviable."

He hands Minaiyu one of the lists he copied down, with the novel items marked.



A little part of him wonders how Xakda could possibly even set up a prank like that, but most of him looks at the list and thinks, a bit numbly, that apparently this is what his new to-do list looks like.

He'll have to talk to Xakda tomorrow about how exactly they should go about getting this information to people capable of figuring out and filling in the rest of the details.

(for a moment, he is acutely aware that the clock is ticking, and nobody knows how much time remains)


"--thank you."


"The least I could do."


"Anything else you want to ask about, Minaiyu, before we go?" The adrenaline kept him going a long time, but now he's kinda flagging.


Minaiyu yawns, probably, or maybe Xakda yawns, or maybe the body yawns of its own accord.

"...are you fit to fly home after all this? Is there, like, a friend or a taxi or something that we could call?"


"Oh, yeah, I'm" - yawn - "fine."

He's ever flown a commute after two days of no sleep.

There's still Minaiyu to scare him. But Minaiyu scares him less than this morning, with respect to piloting. And barring Xakda quitting at Sain right now and trying to safety-check his piloting skills from the ground up, as it were, this is one of those cases where 'the best time to start practicing is in a year, after you've had a year of practice; the second best time to start practicing is today'.


"Highest power to you." Wave.


He hurriedly pays Andor the up-front deposit part of his commission. "Highest power!" He makes to head out.


Minaiyu is slightly dubious, but it's not like he actually has a good sense of how to judge whether someone is too tired to operate a motor vehicle: it's not something that comes up much back home. And Xakda is probably fewer kinds of tired than he is: he hasn't seen Xakda eat anything all day, he strongly doubts the hunger he's feeling right now is all false.

He leaves the front, feeling extremely glad that it turned out to be easy to do that. He really would not want to have to go through another flight at the front like that.

(Maybe someday soon they can go for a carplane ride in a passenger seat, and Minaiyu can look out the window in any direction he wants. That would be nice.)


<Okay. Just...I've been in too many crashes today, you know?>


Holy Deividdeh in spring, he hopes this flight is over with fast. 

"If it's . . . worth anything at all to you," he says, pushing his way out the hospital door to the cool night air of the city, now gridded with multicolored carplane beacons, "I've been complimented as unusually inclined to preserve myself. Spontaneously. Multiple times. By people who were not my parent."


<I'm glad to hear it.> He sounds sincere.


Well, that's good, he thinks, speedwalking.

. . . He really doesn't want to get Minaiyu's hopes up on the off chance this turn of events is destined for reversal, but probably his obligation to keep Minaiyu informed outweighs that concern anyway.

"I'm almost convinced you're real now. What you - actually from Rekka, possessed of a coherent, full history. Andor assigning 5% sage-scorned credence to you was not supposed to happen, he was supposed to have some explanation for how I was stupid for assigning any credence to you at all, and also, he doesn't have my internal experience that makes you seem like - just genuinely a three-dimensional person -" he fumbles for words. This line of reasoning was much clearer in his head.


Strictly speaking that is not the least insulting phrasing Xakda could have used, but Minaiyu knows full well that talking is hard. It's rarely a good idea to give a lot of weight to the exact words that came out of someone's mouth: the important thing with speech is the gist, and the gist of what Xakda said is very good indeed.

...oh no, now he's going to have to find words to say in response. It's not like Xakda can feel him smiling from here.

<Thank you. It' must be such a lot to take in, such an upheaval--like even more than the usual level of upheaval--when...when there isn't such a thing as "the usual level of upheaval" to you, when yesterday you lived in a world where this never happens, and there's no framework for how to deal with it.

I-- I hope we live a long and happy life together. That we build a world that will weather solar flares, and visit--what was it--Abzu, and make weird fusion cuisines, and speak to language enthusiasts in my mother tongue and have them answer back, and laugh at each other's jokes, and I don't even want to hope too hard that we can figure out how hayi work from here but who knows. I think things can-- it-- there's still a lot of things to sort out, and maybe there's still other big curveballs we haven't noticed yet, but-- I think things can be good, in the end.>

Oh, right, they were going to ask Andor about book recommendations to help with figuring out how hayi-less humans are different. Well, Andor was too tired to be piling that on top of him anyway. Minaiyu will bring it up the next time they're at Sain.



He hopes we . . . together.

That's . . . not something you hear.

. . . People would call it, Idunno, "beyond presumptuous". "Ludicrously anti-Crusoe".

Like, sure, sometimes people have to work together in real time, but that's an unfortunate practicality to be engineered away in the limit. 



I'm going to see how I like it on Rekka. If I do, that's going to be one giant I-told-you-so from Xakda to everyone else.



"Thank you. I hope - I hope we do all those things, too."


He doesn't say anything until he reaches the plane. 

"Is it alright if I play junkyard during the flight home? Oh, wait, you wouldn't have heard of junkyard. Music. Unless your translation - thingy -

- it's like - 'junkyard' is a frobnitz for music that's - lots of bright staccato high tones and empty space? I'm not really doing it justice."


<Won't know until I try, then. Let's find out.

And like, if it turns out I hate it, I can just not listen. It's-- I don't think I've really said, have I-- the subjective experience that I am having right now is of being in a little room, hearing you and talking to you through a headset and watching what's going on through a desktop monitor. I can take off the headset if I want, I can look away from the screen-- though in this case I'd definitely want to keep an eye on the screen, so that you can visually signal me if you want to say something.

But yeah, I absolutely want to try the otherworldly music.> There's a smile in his voice.

Total: 299
Posts Per Page: