Apr 11, 2021 2:13 AM
at the end of all things feanorians in a sunnyverse
Permalink

It's about three years after they begin their attempt to integrate themselves with the world of humans that they learn humans are not alone. 

They run across it quite by accident. Fëanáro is in Cape Canaveral, watching the launch of a research satellite and the maiden flight of the Delta 0100 rocket system. The launch is successful. He attends a party afterwards, and escapes because it's too loud, and hangs out on the rooftop reading minds and humming to himself and staring intently at the stunningly beautiful embroidery on the inside of his sleeve. There are a lot of minds to read so it takes him a second to notice that one of them is being murdered.  

He stops humming and now that he's listening for it can hear muffled screams. It takes another second to find the right mind, and then to jump from the victim to the attacker, and then to realize -

Human minds are not all the same. It's hard to tell if they vary more than Elven minds or if it's just that Elves whose minds were so far outside normal variance would choose to obscure this. Probably they vary more, though - humans do, in most respects. 

This mind is not human. 

He does not intervene in the murder. He would have, once, but his grip on the world is far more fragile than it once was, and he's weaker, slower, unarmed, blocks away. And he doesn't have enough information. And Moryo would say that his comparative advantage continues not to be in hand-to-hand combat even if there happens to be some going on nearby. 

And they die anyway. 

He stares intently at the inside of his shirt and he concentrates on the collapsing thoughts of the dying man and he toys with Quenya words for the new species. Vampire, the dying man had thought. From the French vampyre or the German Vampir, presumably, those themselves borrowed from the Slavic languages, all of which had it: Bulgarian, Macedonian, Bosnian and Croatian all as vampir, Czech and Slovak upír, Polish wąpierz and upiór, Ukrainian and Belarusian upyr. The presumed proto-Slavic root was ǫpyrь, or maybe ǫpirь. He'd need to look it up, past that. It might make more sense to start with the Quenya word for shapechanging servants of the Enemy, though this creature didn't seem to serve anything beyond its own reckless hunger and glee at the deception that had enabled it to feed. 

Mandulómi, maybe. Or Nuruhuine. He said both aloud. 

He ventured back down into the party, plucked a carving knife off a serving tray, and walked to his hotel. He called his children. "There's something here we need to kill," he said. "There may be many of them."

Total: 125
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

 

"All right. First order of business, who wants to be a Catholic priest?"

Permalink

"I thought the names were going to be the first order of business."

Permalink

"No, they're last, because our understanding of the most suitable name for the creatures will be influenced by all of the preceding information about their characteristics. And because I might want to leave before you're through deciding on a name. I read the proposal document and it looked like the kind of thing it'd take centuries to get through."

Permalink

"In Valinor it might've taken centuries, but half of that would be waiting for idiots to make their idiotic arguments thoroughly enough that they wouldn't feel misunderstood by the rebuttal."

Permalink

"I'll revise my time estimate down by half. Anyway, first order of business is who wants to be a Catholic priest."

Permalink

"Remind me why we need one."

Permalink

"I still think we should do field experiments first."

Permalink

"That's the third item on the agenda. There's a lot we'll want to confirm with live subjects, but on some matters the books we've managed to purchase or....otherwise recover are uniform in their recommendations, across enough time periods, enough languages and enough interpretations of their subject matter that I think we can assume their claims have, in fact, been verified in field experiments. The creatures whose naming convention is pending are vulnerable to beheading, wood through their heart, sunlight, crosses, and holy water. Holy water is water that has been blessed according to rites practiced by either the Catholic or Orthodox Christian churches, any priest of either faith can produce it at any time by doing those rites, and so somebody is going to go become a priest. It doesn't take very long, couple of years, and it lasts forever as far as I can determine. It seems easier to get ordained Catholic in the countries on this continent but if someone really wants to retain the option to get married -"

Permalink

"Catholic priests don't marry?"

Permalink

"Nope! As far as I can tell that's the only difference but I don't think I'm the target audience of human religions. Both of 'em have pretty cathedrals."

Permalink

"Pretty-pretty, or just okay -"

Permalink

"Some of them are genuinely beautiful!"

Permalink

"Why is this highest priority, and what are the requirements?"

Permalink

"I figured maybe someone could go get it out of the way while we're naming the things, and it also seems potentially relevant in more ways than the strategic merits of making holy water. If these specific religious rituals and symbols have symbolic power against evil forces -"

Permalink

"Can someone explain what a religion is?"

Permalink

"It's a human institution for transmitting various sets of instructions they believe Eru to have entrusted them with. There are lots of them, but crosses are associated with one of the largest, and the holy water ritual associated with the largest sub-sect thereof -- humans often schism over details of Eru's instructions or their implementation -"

Permalink

"Huh. Is Eru entrusting them with instructions or are they attributing his intent to miscellaneous nonsense -"

Permalink

"Presumably some of both. The Catholic story is that Eru chose to be born to a human woman in order to live a human life and share his teachings, and lived as a human doing miracles and teaching and so on, and was then betrayed and torturously executed, promising all humans eternal life with him if they choose to follow him."

Permalink

"That sounds like Eru," everyone says in unison.

Permalink

"So I don't think the couple of years in priest school will be wasted, this seems like a good thing to have some context on generally."

Permalink

"I take it you don't want to do it, though."

Permalink

"It kind of looks like it'd compete with making a lot of money and we're still going to need a lot of money."

Permalink

"Sticks are cheap, water's pretty much free, sunlight is what I think you'd call non-rivalrous and non-excludable -"

Permalink

He had his mouth open to object at the start of that sentence but by the end of it just beams at him.

Permalink

"Transit isn't free, access isn't free, nice places to stay aren't free, more sophisticated human-made weapons won't be free, politicians look by preliminary investigations to be expensive."

Total: 125
Posts Per Page: