Continuities » Silmaril » untitled 1 » bootstrap
Mar 26, 2017 3:18 AM
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World #291 has scattered archipelagos with lovely white sand and winged, clawed humanoids who hatch on the beaches in springtime. The locals haven't invented writing yet; they've got stone tools, which they use to pry clams off the beach. Volcanic island topsoil is not especially suited to agriculture and they have not invented it. As usual it takes a few hours of asking to get a complete account of the magic system: you can sacrifice knowledge in singing rituals to marginally alter your flight speed or the weather. Their language is entirely lyrical.

<What if you sacrifice a lot of knowledge, can you do more than that?> he asks, and is told you can't sacrifice more knowledge than you can sing about. If you sing really fast you could get a larger small rainstorm? 

They drop a Charp and an auditorium somewhere nestled into the hillside of every populated island. The auditoriums are spacious and simple and elegant to the Elven eye (Matirin finds them too stone-y). The Charp can teach flat Arda healing and literacy and mathematics and germ theory and engineering and agriculture and give these people a shot even though there are too many worlds to give them all individual attention.

World #292 just had a nuclear war. Fuck. He puts out an advisory. He verifies there's no local magic. Space volunteers to find some angels and come up with some excuse for not summoning them on-site and send them out (in a lightleaper, that'll invisibly leap dimensions a couple times) to help with healing and radiation and clouds of debris. 

Demons too, he says, they're starving and we might as well put entirely new infrastructure down -

- and touch-heals until the daeva arrive, and then heads out because the daeva are not supposed to know about blue centaur aliens. 

World #293 is ice-bound and the sapients are cephalopods who live well underwater. Charps will rust, so he pops back to #292 and has Cam laminate them. He has no idea how to adapt the 'auditorium' concept to underwater, so he drops them off swimming and starts running the standard set of tests.

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World 291 has too invented writing.



There is an extra angel on this planet now.
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She finds herself staring at a very large stretch of land that looks like it was rather recently on fire. There are other winged people flying around; if you look closely, the ash is turning to air. If she'd landed here a few hours ago this place would have been dangerous. 

A winged person lands near her, does not spare her a second glance, wrinkles her forehead at the ground. It stops looking scorched, starts looking like ordinary soil.

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Tirehbel gets in the air and attempts subtle recon. And chews her claws down to size.
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About a dozen flying winged people, spread out over several miles - there might be more of them beyond her vision. Some of them appear to be turning the poisoned air and ground into clean air and ground; some of them appear to be making strange things made out of lots of walls which are touching each other, or laying down new kinds of ground on top of the ground.

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She tries to do that and, unsurprisingly, can't. She can look busy, though.
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No one notices. They creep slowly forward across the scorched parts of the land. At one point someone peels off from the group and flies off to go ask a question of a not-winged person on the ground. Then they come back and continue raising weird walls everywhere. 

(The latest Arda healing songs can handle radiation poisoning. They put speakers every few yards on the street and once there's a power plant set them to blaring the best healing song yet composed. It is now technically safe for locals to return home, not that the locals are trusting them on that.)

When all the scorched ground has been unscorched and all the poisoned air unpoisoned the winged people start flying all in the same direction.

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Yep, all of them!
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"Thanks so much," says the nonwinged person on the ground, in a language that she probably does not speak. "I can dismiss you from here or it's a five-day trip to Endorë."

"I'll go home," someone says, and nonwinged frowns at him until he abruptly vanishes.

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Most of them aren't saying anything though, so she doesn't either, lest this nonwinged person make her disappear.
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"I'll travel back to Ambaróna but not with the demons."

"Can I get a summons back here - you have my name -"

"Can we meet the aliens - I mostly did this for the aliens and we haven't even seen them -"

"Look like this, see -" and now this person is holding up a little model of some bizarre alien, made in some material she's never seen before -

"I asked to meet them, not to gawk at them -"

"We won't even speak the language -"

"Why haven't the aliens summoned anyone -"

"We don't think they knew about it," the nonwinged person says, "we'll teach them but possibly only after we determine what led to the nuclear war and if the lesson's been thoroughly learned -"

"Can I take a cutting of one of the local plants -"

Someone makes that person one. She glares at him. "A real one, not a demonic one -"

" - it's the same fucking thing -"

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...partway through this, some writing on the little sheaf of tree bark tucked under the extra angel's arm vanishes. She still does not find it expedient to say anything.
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The nonwinged person is still smiling, but a little tiredly. "We have two lightleapers, no one need travel with companions they find objectionable. I'm going with the demons so if I'm your summoner you can write me if you want to be dismissed in the next five days, Luinil's going with the angels and I don't think summoned any demons. We do appreciate your help -" and a careless handwave, and two things like floating shiny oddly symmetric icebergs drop out of the sky, and people, still grumbling, head off towards one or the other.

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Tireh goes with the group that includes demons.
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Someone seems to debate saying something rude and then gets over it. The interior of the shiny iceberg is pretty, tasteful and elegant and evidently made to the same design sensibilities as the auditorium dropped on her island in #291 a few months ago.

 

The floor shakes. 

An announcement warns everyone to be strapped in for takeoff. Most of the people ignore this entirely. The person she's following flops on a couch and makes himself a brightly colored drink.

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...she copies the person who doesn't ignore the warning, straps in.
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The floor shakes more. The people who aren't strapped in slide abruptly against the nearest wall. There's a sense of being pulled very sharply sideways. Then it stops. 

 

The person with the brightly colored drink drinks it. 

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She writes on her sheaf of tree bark.
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This gets a raised eyebrow. "Do you want, like, a computer?"

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"- oh, no thank you."
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He rolls his eyes, makes a metal stick-thing, and immerses himself in the little lights that it projects. The other strapped-in person unstraps and says disappointedly "I really did want to meet the aliens. Told them I'd do it for free."

"Yeah," someone else says, stretching their wings. "Though less 'wanted to meet the aliens', more, like, 'a nuclear war, fuck - they're so fragile - and the dead ones just - gone -"

"Their own fault, though."

"Dunno."

"How many made it -"

Someone makes lots of tiny alien figurines rain to the ground - "Plenty, looks like - that's just ones who've moved back into their pretty fixed-up cities already - angel, will you poof 'em, there's a disposal chute but it'd be a hassle to pick them all up -"

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Write write pretending not to be aware he's addressing her.
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"Angel! There was a whole ship for 'I'm too good to talk to you' featherbutts."

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"- sorry, I'm distracted, it's all the death -"
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Shrug. "I should've made them metal or something so I could get 'em with a magnet."

"I always do ice," someone else offers. 

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Looking very convincingly sad about all the death. Writing writing.
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