Feb 27, 2021 7:36 AM
Demon Cam in the Space Silmarillion
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"Light-years are a measurement I'm familiar with but the years are different years." He pulls up a clock on his computer. "Smallest increment's a second, sixty seconds a minute, sixty minutes an hour, twenty-four hours an Earth day, three hundred sixty five Earth days a year. Really precise comparisons may need to await data compatibility."

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"Probably. Anyway, Endore's more than two light Years from here and by then we're terrified for the civilian population of the planet, it won't take the Enemy that long to crush them based on what was most recently communicated of their capabilities. And we don't have the supplies for it. So now we have a few light-leap ships and those can do it in a week, but we're short on them. And control of them has become politically contested. If there are enough for everyone I think that'd solve more than half our current problems - food's not a problem either if we'll be on Endore in a week."

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"Okay. So, my world does not have faster than light travel - except of information via demonic conjuration - and I won't be able to help you with this if the ships run on magic, antimatter, or some other category of thing that I have as a hard power limit. But if they're just made of stuff I can make stuff in ship shapes."

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"They're not magic. I don't think there's such a thing as magic, I doubt even the Powers run on magic. I can get you blueprints. I don't understand how they work myself - if I had, none of this would have happened..."

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"Blueprints or an actual ship to copy work fine. I don't have to understand them. I'm technically magic but I can't make magic things."

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"I wonder what you can do with things that only work in Valinor because the Powers set it up that way, like music having 'magical' effects. I very much wonder if you can copy a Silmaril, actually, come to think of it - I can't get you blueprints of those but I can pull up a picture -"

He glances at a screen behind him and up pops a picture of what looks like a very large faceted gemstone.

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"What's it do?"

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"A lot of things but we could put it in orbit and relight the world, most notably, it can output arbitrary amounts of light. It can heal - they can in fact be weaponized, if you want to wait on it until I have explained the war..."

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"Yeah, if they're not urgent on an amount-of-time-it-takes-to-explain-the-war scale."

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"I do not think it should take too long to explain the war. A while ago the Quendi - our people - awakened on Endore. Awakened, we weren't born - we're a created race, not an evolved one. The Valar say that Eru created us and I've never heard another explanation. I've also never met Eru or heard anyone who wasn't a Vala credibly claim to have met him.

The Valar are very powerful, I do not know exactly how powerful, and they had at one point put Endore together as a site for Eru to put his creations. By the time we came along they'd gotten bored of it - or frustrated - it turned out disastrously, you know how design by committee goes - and built Valinor instead. One of them stayed behind on Endore. We call him Moringotho."

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Cam takes notes. They're not in the local alphabet because his computer doesn't know it yet; he transliterates.

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"The Valar have one notable limitation; they cannot create thinking conscious beings. Moringotho wanted to find a way around this. So when the Quendi appeared he kidnapped us and conducted various biological experiments, and used some to bring to term children engineered to his own specifications, and in this manner bred his own race, orcs. Also lots of other horrifying monsters but to my knowledge orcs are the only one of those to be created from people rather than from animals. He also enslaved lots of Quendi for manual labor until he had enough orcs for that, and after that he just tortured prisoners for fun.

He also hated the Sun and kept the planet shrouded in volcanic ash, which might also have prevented the other Valar from perceiving him; that's unclear to me. 

Eventually they found out. And they fought him. The war shattered four of the planet's seven continents, and left large swathes of the others uninhabitable. They won, and took him prisoner. When the fighting ended, the Valar offered the Quendi a place to live in Valinor, and many of us took them up on it. Several generations were born in Valinor; I was. And then they offered him parole.

Everyone was skeptical, obviously, but the alternative was holding him prisoner for the lifetime of the universe, so - only moderately skeptical. We'd also grown up in paradise and were a bit naive. And for ninety Years it seemed to be going well, but he was secretly working on a number of ways to undermine us, and they came to fruition when he put out the Suns, assassinated the King, stole the Silmarils, and fled for Endore. Where one assumes he's starting the same thing again, and Eru put other creations besides the Quendi on Endore - Dwarves, Men, Ents, there's probably some I'm missing. So we decided to leave and go stop him."

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"'No minds' is a limit I have too. I can make animal bodies but they're never smarter than, like, bugs."

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"...I don't think you're the same kind of thing as the Valar but I suppose it is technically not impossible. Except they usually don't take physical forms at all."

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"I am definitely a demon," he says, "there are lots of us and we all have physical forms."

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"I mean, more, perhaps the Valar are demons and all of their non-making-things abilities are advanced technology? But that wouldn't explain the ability to abandon physical forms at will - though if you're not backed up anywhere - are you backed up anywhere? Are the backups indestructible?"

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"I am not backed up, I'm just indestructible as-is."

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"Convenient. Most likely the Valar aren't demons, then, which is too bad because we'd have a new avenue on figuring out how to kill one. I am guessing you'll next want to verify everything I said about the murdering and experimenting and torturing and putting out the Suns? I'm not clear on which of those things you'd find objectionable."

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"They all sound pretty bad, but yes, I'd like to verify."

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"I can swear to it but if you don't have telepathy and you don't have backups at a guess you don't have Oaths. You'll have to wait on data compatibility."

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"I can incidentally do data conversion, if you want to name me files, although for that to really get anywhere I'll have to program my computer to handle your language and that'll take a little while. What I can't do is make it talk directly to your hardware."

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"Can you get the major news sites' coverage from Elenya the 129th of 1495? That'd do it for the putting out the Suns and assassinating the King, and the transcripts of the parole hearing of Melkor in 1400 should do it for the rest."

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"You'll have to name me the major news sites," he says, starting to input Quenya glyphs into a fontmaker on his computer.

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"You can't go, like, ranking of Valinor news sites by pageviews in 1494? Ah, maybe - " and he names several. 

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"I could make the entire internet of Valinor and go sifting through it; if I want anything specific I have to know what it is." Notes notes back to fontmaking.

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