Sep 26, 2018 7:15 AM
or that of care and bliss
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Jean and Zari at the (new) gay stargate
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They make simultaneous faces.

"I think we would rather not do that. But I am leaning towards lots of Akaima. ... Does fire have non-obvious applications, I'm having trouble thinking of anything that's not 'set things on fire.'"

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"Set things on fire, make things stop being on fire, make fire burn where it couldn't if you weren't telling it to, make things hotter without burning them, take heat out of things so now they're colder instead... you can do all kinds of things with fire," says Embers.

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"...ooh. Okay, I can see applications for that... I think I'm leaning towards all Akaima."

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"All Iserith sounds good to me, if that's what you think would work best."

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"Well, go on through then, if you want!" says Embers.

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"I," Zahara says firmly, "still have questions. The things you know about other worlds -- how do you know them? From people coming through, or some other way?"

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"We can sort of tell some things. It's hard to explain," says Embers.

"I might compare it to dreaming," says Morning, "except in reverse."

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"Reverse along what axis?"

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"Well - when we 'dream' about other worlds, we're sort of going in the opposite direction to the direction people go when they come here," Morning explains.

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"....ooh. Is this something you've always done, or did you start doing it at some point?"

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"After our first visitor. And not always to the specific worlds our visitors come from or go to, but usually to ones that are similar to those."

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"How long ago was your first visitor?"

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"A long time. It's hard to keep an exact count of time here, because there aren't any changes in the environment to count by."

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"Do you have an order-of-magnitude estimate? A thousand years, a million, a billion, a trillion..."

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"It's really hard to say. More than a thousand, I think."

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"When this first started, did it seem like the worlds were new, or had some of them been around for a long time already?"

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"Some of them had definitely been around for a while."

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"I wonder what made it start, then .... are the worlds older on average now than when it started?"

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"How would we know? 'Not brand new' is a lot easier to tell than an exact age."

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"Well, if there's a typical sequence of technological development -- or if the people in the worlds have a guess at the age of the world -- or if they have histories going back to a certain point..."

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"It's not usually the focus of the conversation," says Morning.

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"And it's not the kind of thing you can pick up when you're -- dreaming -- about other worlds?"

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"It's not impossible but it's not usual."

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"How sure are you that the things you know are true? Could you just be mistaken about how the gate works, could the reverse-dreaming be deceptive...?"

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"No!" says Embers.

"It's always possible that someone could just be mistaken about everything they think they know, for some reason or other," says Morning, "but short of that I'm confident about everything we've confidently told you."

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