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Sep 18, 2020 10:27 PM
alteriverse!imrainai lands on atlantis!serg
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She laughs, and it only sounds slightly hysterical.

"I just - you just keep being really nice to me, and you can do things, and I don't know anybody who can do things and who isn't just horrible to people who can't, not even because they're a horrible person but because that's just how it works out, and I don't know how to - I can't do anything, ever, so I just have to try to - this is stupid -

- on Yahi they have these silkworms that they raise in these little boxes, and they feed them and they keep them warm and safe, and they don't let them grow up and have wings, because firstly they won't make silk anymore and secondly they'll die, they've been bred just for the larval form for thousands of years, and by now the adults just can't take care of themselves, they're stupid and slow and they don't know how to find food, and I keep thinking about - we're silkworms, Liars, except that we can imagine what it'd be like to have wings, and we know how pathetic it is that we don't, even though we'd get ourselves killed if we did."

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"Well, then I'm going to find you some wings," he says immediately, "and help you figure out how to live with them, until you can manage it by yourself."

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"...thank you."

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Hug. "You're—important."

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"Not any more than anyone else. But - I'm glad you think so."

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"You're important to me."

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"I'm glad. You are, uh, also important to me, and not even mostly because of your ability to create arbitrary physical objects." 

She picks up her helmet again, though she doesn't bother putting it on. "So. To the gate?"

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"To the gate!"

But first, one more quick hug. Okay, now they can go.

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It's important to have your priorities in order! These are correct priorities.

"So," she says, when they get to the gate. "If you can get it working again I naively feel like I should go through first, on the grounds that you may or may not know how to keep all the water from crashing down when you're not here? And I'm not a physicist but I think I would die then."

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He nods.

"I mean—I don't expect the water to fall, or anything else catastrophic to happen. But you might as well go through first anyway, just in case."

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"I have pretty much zero mechanical understanding of how your magic works. We should possibly get on that, after - well, after this."

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"Yeah."

Okay. Gate.

He puts his hand on the side of the big metal ring and closes his eyes.

Nothing much happens for a minute.

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She can wait a minute. Sometimes doing impossible complicated stuff with magic is hard.

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There's a low hum, and the arcs of the gate light up one by one in a haphazard pattern. Some of them flicker off again a moment later, and then back on after another second. The hum slowly rises. When the whole thing is glowing brightly, it shudders and clunks and starts to spin, with all the pieces sliding against one another at different rates and chasing each other around the circle for several rounds before they begin to settle into a new configuration.

When the last one ticks into place, the glow dims but stays steady, and the air inside the circle ripples and twists and then seems to pull back, flowing like water out to the edges of the ring, to reveal a deserted forest clearing on the other side.

Saikirei opens his eyes and steps back.

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"Very impressive."

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He smiles hesitantly.

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"Should -  is it safe to step through - "

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He nods.

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Well, then... she'll step through.

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The sounds of the forest are muted from the Meraiyu side, but they come alive as soon as she passes through the portal. It's a bright, cheerful morning, with sunlight filtering through the leaves to bathe the forest in a green-gold glow. A squirrel hears her footsteps and darts behind a tree.

If she looks back, the view through the gate is dim and wavering, like a mirage; Saikirei's shadow-wreathed silhouette stands there hesitating for a few seconds before he steps through behind her.

He takes a deep breath and looks up through the canopy at the few visible patches of unobstructed sky. It's blue, up there. It's so very very blue.

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She's never actually seen a real forest before. She has seen skies. It's been a while. She doesn't remember whether Earth's was this blue.

" - wow."

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"I missed the sky," he says quietly, staring up at it with a soft smile on his face.

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"Yeah. Guess it's been a lot longer for you."

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He nods.

"...thank you," he says. "For being my friend. For being my friend enough that I get to have this. I didn't think I ever would."

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"...yeah. No problem."

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