Continuities » Silmaril » Southwest » watch your step
Jul 27, 2017 4:33 AM
Eclipse Bell in Arda
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When the portals are discovered they're big news. Most people can't go through them at all; only mages with certain tricks can. Then they find one that those mages can't go through.

They hire Isabella for precognition of various experiments; an hour (and six minutes, ten seconds) isn't that much but it'll let them rule things out. They want her on site rather than risking a video feed of classified material, so here she is in a cave in Florida, slapping the mosquito that would've had her itching in forty minutes, closing her eyes to reduce competing stimuli, this doesn't work, that doesn't work, still doesn't work if you try this.

They break for lunch. She gets up to join the people who are heading into town for diner food, realizes she forgot her cane, turns to get it -

- falls -

- closes her eyes and has enough time to foresee that she's not going to die before she hits the ground.
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The ground is surprisingly soft and forgiving. The place is suffused with very bright insistent silvery light. There are bells in the distance.

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If she just waits an hour nobody from her world finds her. Can't talk to anyone from home, even Alex. Some locals find her - not human, not quite. Telepaths. They eventually get around to telling her how that works; she can implement the defense now. They are very bad at receiving surprise otherworldly visitors. They eventually send her to someone who is less bad at it; the walk is long enough that she doesn't have much of that conversation even when she revises the look-ahead starting from the premise that she heads that way on her own at once. They don't have cars. She can't read a role off any of them, the hair doesn't seem indicative, the clothes are weird - even gender's a little hard to tell -

She's holding her cane. She gets up. She heads that way on her own, looking firmly like she knows what she's doing.

First few minutes of conversation are friendly enough that she feels bad about dictionary-attacking the poor woman. She has her name, knows the first couple questions she'll ask, she can go from there.
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She is comparing a blueprint of an indoor plumbing system to a map of the city and trying to think how to arrange this to inconvenience as few - or as malleable - a share of the population as possible. When she hears someone approaching she turns around.

 

She doesn't know who they are. 

 

That's odd. "Nelyafinwë Maitimë," she says, "are you looking for somebody?"

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Isabella Swan. I've fallen through a portal into your world; retrieval's not happening, at least not very soon, and I can't contact anyone from home. I don't speak your language yet. I anticipate needing some help navigating.
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Portal from another world? 

 

Okay. Please come on in. We can probably send you home and in the meantime I would be delighted to offer you whatever help I can.

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Thank you. In she goes. I'm not yet sure if it's another world entirely or just a different planet. Other investigated portals seem likely to be just different planets but the one I fell into was unusual.
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It is an exceptionally pretty office. I can't think off the top of my head how to check the difference and it doesn't much affect my guess of how likely our gods can send you home. You fell? Are you injured?

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Not badly, but my left arm's been better. Gods?
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I'm happy to sing you something for it if you'd like. Our world was created and is maintained by the Valar; they are very powerful and creating a portal to another world sounds like it might be the sort of thing they could do now that we know portals between worlds exist.

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Is singing how healing magic works here?
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Nope. Mages can learn it but they don't have to sing.
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We have mages, and psions, and most people are neither.
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How many, out of what population size?

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One in a thousand with the potential to be one or the other, never both, fifty-fifty, but most don't pursue it; planet has about six billion people.
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So there are a lot fewer of us but not so few we wouldn't have noticed. No mages, here; anyone can do magic but developing new magic takes Years or yéni. You also appear to be a different species.

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I'm a human. I'm surprised we're as similar as we are. How long is a local year?
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Do you have a convenient point of reference, I don't.

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- if in an hour and six minutes and ten seconds she says it's been that long how long will Maitimë say it's been -?
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There'd be about fifty of those in a local day.

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Your days are about twice as long as mine, Isabella concludes. I'm a psion, incidentally.
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What does that mean? Aside from, I take it, that it lets us figure out the length of days - we have 1728 in a year -

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That's a very long year. Psions are the sort of magic human who learn to do things that do not have physical effects - except, technically, effects on brains and certain specialized technology. One of the things I've picked up is precognition.
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I see. Not the local, useless sort, I take it?

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