Feb 27, 2021 7:39 AM
Demon Cam in the Space Silmarillion
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"I don't suppose strategically leaking this so the Enemy tries it is a good idea -"

"Endore ends up in a black hole," Maitimo says, "or worse, the demon thinks the Enemy's charming."

"Yes, yes, I know. Which means we have to be cautious of unstrategic leaking. Who knows?"

"Me," Maitimo says, "Tasárinon and Alyanne, who I've told not to tell anyone though Tasárinon shared his cherries, and Cam. I'm sure of them. I didn't look carefully at the circle and couldn't reproduce it. Should I have it erased? Cam, is that safe?"

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"Erasing it is safe, that exact collection of lines will not work twice but redrawing it would."

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Maitimo's expression flickers. "Alright, I told them to erase it. If there's video to their rooms that could have caught it, erase that too. Are you stuck here, Cam? I imagined erasing it might send you home."

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"Oh, no - the summoner can send me home on purpose, and if he dies, that does it too, those are the ways."

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"If he dies without a backup?" asks Feanor. "And how does he do it on purpose, if he's a child of twenty might he do it carelessly?"

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"Summoners at home have no backups so no clue. He'd have to focus for a minute on wanting me gone, difficult but not impossible to do by accident. He's twenty? How slow do you people grow?"

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"A sun like Endore's -" he calls it up on the monitor - "yellow, medium-sized - will have a lifespan of a billion years, does that establish for you roughly the length of a year? We take fifty of those to grow up."

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Cam does some arithmetic on his computer. "Factor of about ten compared to my years. Wow that is a painfully long childhood. I'm only a hundred and seventy-two in Earth years."

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This wins him a fierce grin. "I found it unpleasantly long, yes. I think Valinor slows it. He'll age faster in the Outer Lands. We stop aging at a hundred."

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"Humans do not stop aging until they die of it, but daeva and Limboites - dead humans in the afterlife - look like young adults, which is to say early twenties."

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"Fascinating. Now for the arbitrary amounts of matter - can you do a hundred ships like this one? I have blueprints here. Fuel and supplies for them? A city once we land? Weapons - does your world fight wars habitually enough to have weapons? We don't, and are at a bit of a loss."

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"Yes to all of the above on a conceptual level, I will want more war-related information before I help you win it."

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"I'm surprised Maitimo didn't tell you-"

"They don't have Oaths," Maitimo says, "so I did but he'll need to read things he retrieved himself to verify it and not everyone reads as quickly as you."

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"I read pretty quick but I've barely started," Cam nods.

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"In that case perhaps I should let you orient yourself," he says, "while we plan how we'll do the ships if we aren't short anything we need - and stop wasting half our time figuring out how to save on fuel - I can take a look at making your data systems compatible with ours, that should at least be interesting."

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"Sure, what do you need to do that?"

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"Documentation, if you have it. Are your computers binary state machines, at least - if they're not binary they can be made that way, if they're not state machines I'm not even sure we mean the same thing by 'computers' -" he flutters through some screens and names some more things. 

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"They are binary!" Cam confirms. "Name a format and I can get you specs for the kind I'm using, though my computer doesn't have enough Quenya to translate into it so that'll have to be done manually."

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"Oh, don't translate, I'll figure it out, what language are they written in?"

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"Lemme check - uh, Lagalann."

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"Great! Then that, plus if we can speak in Lagalann for a few minutes I'll have enough to go off."

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"Format?" Cam prompts. "What d'you want me to say in Lagalann?"

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"Paper, since you're not wasting resources on it? Best kind of file security, at least when one isn't dealing with demons. I'd like the sentences 'This person speaks Lagalann, an unusual child speaks no Quenya, that man hesitantly speaks Lagalann, he speaks Lagalann, speak Lagalann, I once spoke Lagalann, I have occasionally spoken Lagalann, I speak Lagalann over there, I speak Lagalann when I'm over there..."

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Cam hands him a book and starts repeating the sentences in Lagalann.

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"''I read'? 'I understand'? 'I see'? And the alphabet?"

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