Sep 26, 2020 1:33 PM
Time travel shenanigans
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"Thank you. That'd help me a lot."

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“I’ll call him, ask about using it for the Lordship contest, get told it’s too dangerous, and accept that. And let you know what he says about its eating habits.”

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"Okay. Thank you very much."

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“Good luck with whatever parts of your plan need luck.”

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"There are probably some," he agrees.

He... doesn't have much to do while he waits for Duncan to contact Laird, so he'll go visit some sentimentally important places and pace around. He still has an apartment here, it's only been a day, but he's not super keen on returning to it quite yet.

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It’s not very long before Duncan calls back. Laird took his interest for the other thing it was—a hope that they could use the Charybdis as a generator or a means of preparing retroactively—and shot him down as expected. But as for what it “eats,” Laird has been theorizing.

From its point of view, time is a directional force. When the Charybdis swallows something, that thing moves through time by the monster’s rules instead of the rest of the universe’s. Then it expels it, and derives its energy from its meal (or more likely its meal’s corpse or fossil) being pushed back by normal time passage. It’s much the same concept as someone who finds himself immune to gravity creating free energy by bouncing up and down a ladder and releasing heavy objects to become normal at the top.

Laird is like 80% sure this is what’s going on. Duncan notes that if true it does mean the Charybdis gets some small benefit from giving Sadde a short-term ride to the past, but has no idea whether it’d see that as enough of a bribe to be worth doing.

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But what is it that it eats, then? Is it the time itself? Time "potential"?

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Whatever is most like mass in this analogy. Someone carrying one of those beads of distilled time would probably generate more than someone without, yes. But there’s likely something to do with individual identity as well, unless it’s only eating people and animals instead of metamorphic rocks because it evolved from a carnivore. Not that it’s digesting anything in any normal sense. 

But sure, saying it eats time is far from wrong.

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Could they try to bribe it with some more time? How does one even store time, anyway?

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With chronomancy! It’s not a complicated project; Duncan set something up on his own. But then you’ve got to fill it with something, and there are only so many hours in a day. (You only get out a fraction of what you sacrifice, he doesn’t say. He doesn’t know Johannes told Sadde that long ago.) The Lord of Montreal can convert money to chronomancy as easily as any other form, though.

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Yes. Yes he can.

But Sadde has another way of getting time. A way he figures Duncan would... not approve of. So he doesn't mention it to the Behaim. He will instead thank the Behaim for all his help and... probably take a bus back to Jacob's Bell.

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If he spends much time on transit he’ll miss the meeting where they officially declare Toronto up for grabs. Oh well, there’s time travel on the agenda anyway. No hurry at all.

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And his other self is probably on it already. He doesn't need to be as much of a nonentity as possible, since his future self is in fact the one who knows where this Sadde is gonna be and who can avoid being obviously in two places at once, but he'll still try to lay low.

...but he thinks he should go find Padraic, first.

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It’s a small town. People are not hard to find.

“Welcome back!” Padraic says when he recognizes him. He’s still glamoured to look like Sadde, for a total of three Saddes in Jacob’s Bell. “Time to tip the dominoes?”

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"The... what dominoes?"

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“The figurative ones. It’s amazing how much of what’s so solid is so precarious, all it needs is a...

But first, I’ve made you a friend. Let me introduce you.”

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"...alright, sure, why not."

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The friend is, apparently, a kid. Approximately twelve, a practitioner, and already with a small yellow bird as a familiar.

"Hi Sadde!" he exclaims, then sees Padraic. "Oh, and you're the real Sadde!"

"Hi, Drake! One of us is. Do you think you can guess which one?"

Rather than participate, the canary asks "does this mean you'll tell us who you really are?"

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"Padraic, a fae," real Sadde answers. "It's nice to meet you for real, I suppose."

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"You can call me Patrick if it's easier to say. Some people do."

"He's dangerous!" the canary warns her practitioner. "He'll trick us somehow, probably all of it was a trick."

"Really, Yvonne, have I given you any reason to think that?"

"I think Sadde- Patrick's been nice." He looks to Sadde. "You're friends with him, right?"

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"Nnnooooo, not at all. But I made him promise to only do stuff I'd approve of, and I think I'm nice, so he probably didn't do anything terrible. What's 'all of it', by the by?"

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"He's been showing me all kinds of stuff. How to walk into mirrors. Boxes bigger on the inside. Making my own fireworks. He helped me turn myself into a boy."

Padraic shrugs. "She saw me as you and asked how I did it. I gave her some glamour. And all the warnings about not leaving it on too long and thinking of it as normal or it could turn permanent, but honestly I wasn't surprised at all when he decided to do just that. The fireworks are glamour too, don't worry. I'm not reckless."

"All mostly harmless, it sounds like," Yvonne admits. "But not if Padraic's involved. We're telling your mother everything, now."

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"I definitely approve of people having whatever gender expressions they want," Sadde says dubiously. "- wait, mother, you're from one of the families?"

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"His mother is Erica Duchamp. She was all in favor of her kid's interest in the practice, but we fae can be dangerous. Especially him."

Padraic ignores the familiar. "If we are telling her everything then I suspect I'll have to change my face first. Outing a trans kid, that's not in character."

"Do we have to tell her, Yvonne? Patrick said she'd make me be a girl again."

"I did say most parents would try. Can't say what she'd do. Must we argue this now? I thought Drake and Sadde could spend some time getting to know each other..."

"Or maybe that's the part that's the trick." Yvonne stares Sadde up and down, failing to collect any clues on whether him being here is some kind of evil plot.

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"...wait a second, there."

Had he ever met a boy Duchamp before? That hadn't married into the family?

No. Why... not?

"Drake, who are your siblings and cousins?"

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