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Generated: Mar 21, 2017 10:18 PM
Post last updated: Mar 21, 2017 10:18 PM
tragic literature
wow Erus suck
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"So," says Bella to Rúmil one afternoon, "a few weeks ago I told myself that if in a few weeks I had not come up with an actually good way to bring up a thing I would just mention it anyway on the grounds that if it came up somehow later and I had not done so that would be weird."

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"...the thing?"

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"You know the gender-swapped Arda? Ithil?"
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"Yep, haven't been down there yet but I saw the notice -"

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"Sibyl met her you, unlike most Bells who do not wind up encountering yous... but she was one of the people the Melkor grabbed on her way out of Valinor for some reason and got obliterated in the eclipse that killed the Melkor."
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"Oh no. That's the kind of dead we can't make any progress on - wait, how long was it between the Melkor grabbing people and the eclipse -"

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"About a decade. Sibyl tried talking to her early on but she said not to so she stopped."
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Nod. 

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"The Maitimos think even when we can fix that kind of dead she wouldn't want to come back."
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"No, I don't think so. Are you okay?"

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Hug. "Mostly."
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"Now everyone who ever gets out knows that they'll go out of their way to get us back if they ever get a chance, if they possibly can -"

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"That's why she did it, has to be, I wasn't doing anything important in 1400, I have a history of what I did with my life from my Millennia alt -"

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"It'd explain it, yeah. ...Our Valar had better get a move on catching the Telperion Sauron, Sibyl found out how they can communicate with Melkors in lockup..."
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"How?"

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"Valar know the content of oaths sworn to them."
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"...ah."

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Snuggle.
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"They want to destroy people. I don't want to have let them. But - sometimes that's hard."

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"Ours is still locked up and the Valar know not to let him out but Ithil's didn't even do that - they need to catch the Sauron, he has wizardry available, I had Elspeth run them an update but they still haven't actually budged -"
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"Is he even still around, with wizardry he could have left -"

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"...if the Shadow one and their Melkor are in the Materia cluster after all they could have met -"
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"Is there any way to check -"

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"I could rule it out if I have Sibyl report on what happens if I earwire Telperion's Sauron, and if he's in Telperion or Materia proper - or Warp I guess - then I'd reach him and if I didn't he'd have gone off some other direction..."
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He closes his eyes. "We should have - actually I don't know what we could have done but - let's do that, let's at least check -"

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She starts writing Sibyl a note - hasn't been replied to yet, maybe Sibyl's not checking her messages for the next hour - "I can't actually distinguish between 'in Telperion', 'in Materia', 'in Warp', and 'went through Warp to somewhere Warp-adjacent' - I could go to Telperion and try from there to triangulate but we do actually from a triangle with it and Materia so that's still several places he could be without it being distinguishable..."
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"If he's reachable from Revelation he's in Warp, there's that -"

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"Yeah. I guess in a pinch we could ask Joy to find some boring off of Telperion and triangulate from there too."
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"Once we find him -"

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"We do have the automaton army for the Shine Silmarils set to go, or maybe there's something figured out with the four Silmaril set that'll do for a Maia even if they don't have it up to Vala-killing yet..."
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Shiver. Nod.

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"And you can go sit in Sibyl's palace where she can kill any unauthorized Ainur visitors having spotted them coming an hour in advance while all of this is going on." Squeeze.
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"I"m not going to fall apart, don't worry."

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"For my peace of mind, then." Squeeze.
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Squeeze. 


"I love you."

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"I love you too."
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And he holds her hand until Sibyl gets back to them.

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Kicks me out, but based on when I drop, he's in Warp.
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"Fuck."
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"Kicks her out - what does that mean -"

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"Some things interfere with her precognition - other precogs, Erus, worldleapers, Gem's wish granter - but Maiar aren't one of the things - so he's using wizardry that does antidivination, directly or by doing divination of its own -"
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"...and he's in Warp."

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"Yeah." Squeeze.
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"Do we have another way to narrow him down? If he's using wizardry that does antidivination -"

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"When he kicks Sibyl out of precognition is a clue but right now the earwires are indifferent to spatial location. Joy maybe if his antidivination doesn't block her targeting. Demons likewise."
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"Let's not risk Joy unless the antidivination covers demons - which'd also mean he knows about the peal and is being careful of us in particular, instead of just being broadly careful -"

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"Yeah - I don't think we've run into anything that looks like his handiwork -"
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"Haven't."

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"He might have just independently parameterized for Warp, I don't know what he would have been looking for -"
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"...lot of people, maybe, that'd probably get you Warp. We could go there - only once we've done everything more urgent - and check if that does in fact take you to Warp - if it's not that I don't know what, it's not impossible he followed us -"

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"But he didn't land right on us or obviously nearby, he could've landed on any planet, in any galaxy - in intergalactic space, he's a Maia, he doesn't need the same habitability standards we do -"
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"He would probably want the resources to do more damage before he tried anything."

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"Yeah. We don't know when he left, though, the Valar haven't seen him recently - I think they'd have bothered to mention it -"
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He might be trembling a little. "Does Cam work - can Sibyl check whether Cam works -"

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She wraps her arms around him. She does not need her hands; she can just levitate her crystal ball where she can see it. "- Cam works," she reports when she's opened Sibyl's message. "Okay, so he can narrow down where he is. - Do you want to go park in Space, Sibyl wouldn't be able to see him coming but Loki's stuff should still work fine in the Edda neighborhood -"
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" - do you need me for anything -"

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"I don't think so and I definitely don't need you to be here in particular for anything, it's okay."
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Pop.

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...and if he could confirm to her over the network that he arrived safely that would be great for her peace of mind -

- okay.




Sauron turns out not to even be in the Milky Way galaxy. He's off far away in another galaxy that is in fact too far away to have its own name according to any Milky Way species of which the Alpha Quadrant's common knowledge is aware; it has a number in Federation records. She tells Rúmil as soon as Cam gets back to her on that.
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So probably not following you - does the wizardry teleport, parameterized for population from Telperion, land you in Warp?

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Checking that next, I want to narrow down the spatial targeting so I don't land wherever he did though.




Is Space Rúmil on the network, he was at that one party...
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Yep.

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He can get a message while she starts figuring out how to best handle her teleport parameters. Space Elves were always brought back from forks after capture - You're really really sure you're not in Utumno, right?
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As much as anyone who wasn't captured, which I think in Space should probably be 'less than completely certain' but we try not to dwell on it.

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Can I ask you something that would be an obvious scenario setup if you were not sure of that.
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- is he okay -

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He's fine, but there is a loose, wizard Sauron in Warp. And in Ithil your alt got recaptured and then psionically obliterated and it is unclear if we should even try getting her back once Loki has generic resurrection, and I do not have a specific reason to expect anything to happen to Scroll but if something did would I ever get him back -
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- he would probably want you all to be damn near omnipotent but yes, once it was actually safe -

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Okay. Thank you.
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Of course. Are you all right?

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Just nervous. And upset about Ithil Rúmil.
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Is there a reason we can't do the equivalent of rolling back the flat ones?

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Me or a psion could delete the memories. I'd do it if somebody asked but without asking it seems different.
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All right. Please do find Sauron.

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Working on it.

She finishes her parameters. She goes to Telperion.

She lands in Warp.

She tells her own Rúmil that parameterizing for population does in fact get Warp.
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Then that's likeliest what he was looking for - can the demons check if he's been to our planets -

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Theoretically but it'd be a lot of freezeframing.
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Probably not the priority, then. 

 

 

If anything happens I would just prefer not to remember it. Just so you know.

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Okay. Do you want to know about it if you don't remember something?
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Yes. Thank you.

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You're welcome. I love you.
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Sauron has a teleport, the automata army solution won't work.

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And he won't run out of mana and he might not even be material enough for it to be theoretically possible to hop him to Space even if he somehow couldn't react to trying it, yeah.
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Where is he - a planet, or -

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Planet, looks inhabited.
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Now that we have Sibyl it'd be safe to try teleporting whole star systems, seeing if they keep momentum okay -

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Check messages - They don't. I'm not actually sure he'd come along if he happened to be immaterial anyway, I'll go check that with Olórin.
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"I don't know - would you like me to check -"

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"Yeah, we can go find an asteroid and put it in Revelation and see if you go with it."

He does, not that this helps while the Sauron is on an inhabited planet.

Wonder if the Valar could make themselves useful here somehow.
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I suppose it's worth asking.

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I think I'll ask Elspeth to do that for me, considering.
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Yeah. Good skill.

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Elspeth travels to Telperion and hey Valar remember how you were gonna arrest Sauron well he went to Warp.
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That's really bad! Do they know where in Warp, arresting him could be attempted in Warp too, maybe. 

 

...maybe they should ask Eru.

 

They ask Eru.

 

"Eru declines to intervene."

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That does not really surprise Elspeth, for reasons. Anyway they could maybe help arrest him in Warp without Eru's assistance?
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They ask Eru about that too! He thinks it's a great idea but declines to give guidance on how.

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Well that's worrying. How would the Valar go about trying it?
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Uh - given enough time they could set up somewhere else the way they're set up in Valinor and then tell wizardry to stop working the way they broke the necklaces. But they don't want to have too many of them away, lest Sauron attack. 

 

(They shut down wizardry in Valinor, as a precaution.)


They could try talking to him and asking him to surrender?

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...they should probably announce the wizardry shutdown so people know why they suddenly have to go back to doing their laundry by hand. Also time might not be infinitely available, especially time-while-Sauron-is-on-this-one-planet.
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So asking him to surrender sounds like the best plan?

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No.
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What if they offer to release Melkor in exchange for him coming back to Valinor for the parole hearing and then, get this, are not even actually planning to parole Melkor?

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...they can keep "hope Sauron doesn't think of the possibility that Valar might have learned to lie" in reserve.
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They will consider other solutions. 

 

 

They consider for a while and then remember to inform Elspeth that they are considering and that it might take a long time by human standards! To avoid a disconnect in expectations caused by Elspeth being an incarnate!

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Okay, ballpark how long?
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...as long as it takes to come up with a good solution? This is a hard problem. It might take a really long time to come up with a good solution.

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Well, they could discuss things with the peal on the network but they disabled wizardry so actually now they can't.
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They are not enabling wizardry again, Sauron could break Melkor out.

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They can't be more selective about it? ...And this might not even stop someone from being summoned out of Valinor from elsewhere.
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Well that's terrible what can they do about that.

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They did manage to stop Elspeth from teleporting by sorcery that one time, that thing might work.
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They are already doing that thing really hard at Melkor so learning wizardry himself doesn't let him leave but they're not sure it works against summoning, is there a way to check?

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They could do it to someone else and Boots could try summoning them.
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Okay! They'll ask for volunteers.

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If that takes a while somebody from the peal can just do it, it won't take long.
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It might take a while, how about someone from the peal comes to do it.

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Okay. Elspeth will be right back, since she can't summon somebody from here since they disabled wizardry.

Pop pop okay they're going to try to summon Elspeth in ten minutes and the Valar should try to stop that but only until Elspeth says to let her go.
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They can do that!

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The summon doesn't work.
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The Valar are pleased! It means Sauron will not be able to fetch Melkor who is very locked down. They let Elspeth go.

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She pops in to inform Warp that the Valar have not e.g. decided to keep her forever or something, then comes back. While they are thinking of their good solution there is a wizard Sauron in a science world on an inhabited planet, so the peal is probably going to do something fast if they can think of anything, even if the Valar can't help that quickly. Do the Valar have, like, relevant resources of which the peal should be aware.
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If they bring Sauron back here they can try to keep him from leaving again. That's about it.

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Yeah no if Sauron proves portable he's gonna die.
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Has he actually done anything?

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Well, "ran off to Warp, while Sauron" is not super reassuring by itself, but unfortunately most of the people they could quiz on the timeline are also Sauron and therefore dead now. They could as a formality ask a Thuringwethil or something when Saurons start doing things.
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The Valar think that you are supposed to verify people have done things before you kill them, but they can ask Eru if it's really important.

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Eru is sort of the last person Elspeth would ask about questions of morality. If they want his timeline input it's probably fine, though, he does not have a timeline related deficit of which she is aware.
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Eru declines to comment on whether Sauron has done anything worthy of death yet. 

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Yeah they'll ask a Thuringwethil just to be clear on stuff in the event that he hasn't done anything horrible to the planet he's on so far.
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The Valar cannot be of further assistance unless they happen to think of a way to act in Warp efficiently!

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Well, Elspeth appreciates their help with keeping Melkor firmly in place.

She goes and reports to the network.
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So what is he in fact up to-

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Well, maybe there's something published on the subject in the last couple decades.
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(Thuringwethil gets a visit and a question.)
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"Oh, hey, princess."

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"Hey. Sauron-related question."
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"One of them loose?"

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"How'd you guess."
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"Little bird told me."

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"Anyway, yeah, one's loose, we're sort of academically curious how evil he is at this point, when does that start?"
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"...he was at least apprised of everything that went on in Utumno. It wasn't, like, his thing - orcs were Melkor's passion project - but he, like, had a go at seeing if you could get Elves to have half-Maiar children, that kind of thing..."

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"...did that fail in spite of Lúthien as proof of concept or are some running around?"
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"Can't get the Elves not to abort, I think? I was not involved, because the fuck."

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"Congratulations. Why couldn't they abort when it was orcs?"
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"That's a normal pregnancy, you just make the mother forget."

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"Ah. Anyway. Thanks."
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"Yeah. Have fun."

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"This one's not looking like much fun but we'll try."
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"Need help? On anything except deciding if you can murder with abandon?"

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"You any good at murdering with abandon?"
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"...yep but, like, worse at it than Sauron, unless you've got a way to surprise him and assuming he hasn't picked up new tricks."

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"Oh well. Thanks anyway."

And this information is propagated to the peal and Elspeth takes a moment to earwire the Telperion Valar in case they were curious.
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They think that's terrible, thank you Loki for checking.

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...Boots starts working on an anti-teleportation spell that could be cast on Sauron and is specific to wizardry teleportation so he can still be moved by other means.
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Good skill. How long -

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Few weeks, but we can't move the planet and can't guarantee being able to catch him inclined to stay substantial so it's not a complete solution.
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Can we move everyone else off the planet and then black hole it?

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Don't have a way to target the people over the whole thing in one go, not-in-one-go would constitute warning, and anyway if Vulcan and Afterlife are anything to go by they'd probably object to losing their animals and stuff.
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Probably. I suppose we can still find him if he does leave between now and then.

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Yeah, and he doesn't know we know he's bad news, or that we can find him.
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And he is a Maia, he's not aiming to do harm on a short-term scale or he could have already done a lot of it -

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He's not even being particularly corrupt as politics goes far as we can tell.
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Didn't the Space one get elected orc president without even rigging it? Maybe they get off on at least one thing that is not inherently evil.

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Maybe. I suppose if we get him safely pinned down in Loki's neighborhood we could ask about whether he can settle for nonevil political ambitions here on out, wouldn't that be nice.
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Is there anything he could conceivably say that would convince you?

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Probably not.
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Yeah. Even if we met one before Utumno I don't know.

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I would feel worse about killing one of those. I mean, if you leave Ardas alone long enough lots of people we like do not acquit themselves very well.
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I know. But - I would in fact feel uneasy about trusting Fëanáro's family if they later-years turned into sadists bent on causing as much evil as possible. They don't.

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Yeah, "would feel worse about killing", maybe "would consider stashing in a neighborhood where we're nigh-omnipotent for suspicious observation", not "would let him go do whatever".
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Fair enough.

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I can do spell development anywhere, are you someplace Bell-friendly in Space?
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What makes a place Bell-unfriendly? Well, I know one answer to that but I have detected no hostility to either science or hubris.

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I would feel awkward about showing up on Afterlife even if they don't all know what Cam's girl alts look like.
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I would feel awkward in Afterlife because it has Valar and their alts did something unforgivable, so I guess I can relate. Anyway, no, Ambaróna.

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She goes to snuggle her Rúmil while she works on her spell.
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This is a good decision. They can do it while listening to acceleration songs, even. 

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Tireh pops into Shadow.
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Shadow is pleased to see her, how can they help?

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There is some mildly privileged information afoot, when is a good time for her to talk to the King.
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A good time is found.

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She shows up then.
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"Tireh! What's going on?"

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"So the peal told the Telperion Valar not to release Melkor, which they agreed not to do, and to arrest Sauron too, which they were planning to do but apparently on a 'whenever convenient' basis, and it turns out that at some point unbeknownst to them he used wizardry to leave Telperion and is now in Warp being the president of a random planet in a galaxy distant from peal-related Warp operations. Thought I'd warn you, it's moderately likely that he'd be able to pass through Materia if he so chose and that'd put him next to here."
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"Thank you. - on the one hand they should be way more paranoid and proactive than they are, on the other if they were I'd be dead - what's the plan now -"

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"Boots is working on a spell to keep him from wizard-teleporting around, but if he's insubstantial sorcery teleport won't work without bringing the whole planet, which would wreck its orbit, and it's inhabited. Mage teleporters don't work interdimensionally at least so far. So I'm learning lots of random things so I'll have the juice to take him three hops into Loki's range, or, well, first I'll test with a friendly insubstantial Maia but if that works I need three hops with a passenger plus emergency extra."
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"How much is that -"

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"Kind of a lot. The multiverse is full of irrelevant facts, fortunately, and the eidetic memory lets me learn them pretty efficiently in the first place even if it won't let me keep what I burn."
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"How irrelevant can they be, is it irrelevant-to-you or is there some objective parser of significance -"

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"They can be almost completely irrelevant to me, but not completely irrelevant to everyone. Vocabulary in obscure languages yes, excruciatingly detailed rainfall data not so much. Names of people I will never meet and wouldn't bother talking to yes, number of leaves on trees no."
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He shivers at the idea of forgetting names. "Huh. I guess hypotheses about what it's checking for exactly will have to wait for Sauron to die?"

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"I can do smaller tests by going for small effects and seeing how interesting the fact is according to the magic system."
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"Do you get a boost for additional interestingness or is it just a matter of whether it meets some threshold -"

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"Boost per interestingness. If I sing up a raincloud with a boring fact it'll be smaller. Assuming I'm trying for the biggest cloud I can get, anyway, I could spend interestingness on duration or not use it all instead."
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"Duration and size - and targeting, for the teleport - what else do you get to choose -"

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"Targeting for everything, I don't have to make it rain directly on me. Customization in general, I could sing just the same for a cloud or wind."
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"Do we know if it's 'born in the dimension' or 'born on the planet' or that but for some other developmental milestone - or if it's the species -"

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"Experiments not yet undertaken."
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"I suppose they'd take a while.

 

 

Has the peal figured out what they need to do in order to prevent one of these dimensional escapes from being an actual, irretrievable catastrophe, more than my Sauron and Melkor escaping were -"

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"There's a portable Melkor-killing solution; the problem is your set went somewhere anticausal - or can't be found without risking dropping people there - and the solo escaped Sauron is a wizard. Do you have an idea -?"
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"Yeah. 'daeva are only contained by the fact they're either incurious enough not to have followed up on the multiple clues they have at this point or altruistic enough not to have made it apparent they can' is a disastrously unstable situation. There's got to be either a wizardry or a spellbinding or an eclipsed or at worst a wished-on way to contain them. Develop it. Then recruit harder, there are a lot of security measures you could take if you weren't constrained by only having one and a half demons. Have a couple dozen; have people checking hourly for anyone outside their native dimension; know about it before it even happens every time; develop a procedure that also catches people who aren't conjurable. Don't trust the Valar to do anything more complicated than 'speak in complete sentences'; as soon as you land on a world and before its Sauron and Melkor learn interdimensional transit is a thing that even in principle exists, summon them out to an uninhabited planet and hole it."

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"Most Ardas are found after they find that interdimensional transit is a thing that exists."
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"That's why you have to kill them as fast as you possibly can."

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"And just clean up after it if there are more deadman switches?"
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"Sibyl should be able to tell you, but - yes. A million people dead is less of a disaster than a loose Enemy, especially now that you can bring them back. He's in Warp, now, imagine if Warp hadn't been the Telperion neighbor with the most people and we hadn't been able to find him at all and he was now in some other dimension with several trillion people in it, with wizardry and an apparent agenda of getting them all to destroy each other as entertainingly as possible."

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"Sibyl can't see this one."
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"Can she see, like, the future life of some random citizen on his planet?"

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"Only if he doesn't affect them in that time."
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"So if they vanish from her view when we form Sauron-related plans, he has a deadman's switch."

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"If they do it inside an hour. And fifteen minutes."
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"You might consider hiring some longer range precogs."

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"Fair enough, but we're not actually sure how he's knocking her out. He can't have been expecting her in particular and Maiar don't do it by default, so he has some kind of wizardry defense which could be misleading in other ways."
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"Yes, it could. Can anyone do spell cancellation? What's been tried -"

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"Counterspells are possible in principle but Boots doesn't want to count on it especially versus a Maia wizard; antimagic fields likewise. She's not even positive her anti-teleport spell will work; Valar can forbid wizardry on their turf, specifically or in general, and didn't need a lot of prep time to do it so a Sauron could replicate the trick."
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"And he might not have teleported with wizardry - or, even if he did, he might know another way to do it, Shadow's did. Though Ithil's didn't and they were highly motivated, so that at least seems to require some prep time. What about wished on or spellbinding anti-wizardry, what about the rings of power -"

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"Some magic rocks have some potentially relevant powers but Sibyl can't tell how they'll interact and Gem can't reset time outside her neighborhood. Spellbinders are working on it but keep hitting blind alleys since a spell can click just fine as long as it works in the context of Hex whether or not it actually has the desired effect on other magic systems. Rings of power I don't actually know..." What does the network have to say about rings of power these days.
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Reconstruction of Sauron-proof ones is proceeding apace but that's Elf pace, it'll be at least a couple years. Elrond and Galadriel and Gandalf have the existing Sauron-proof ones though Celebrimbor thinks he can do better next go round. When done they should effectively make the bearer a Vala, and therefore probably work for wizardry cancellation because Valar can do that but it kind of depends how much of the 'acting within a specific area' and 'everything very slow' constraints are actually part of the magic compared to being part of Vala personality.

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...okay, do the existing bearers maybe want to loan them out or make a housecall.
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I can drop by and ask. None of them are indestructible - well, actually, I think Gandalf's a Maia?

Permalink Eye
That would probably, you know, help, I was not super looking forward to having to approach a Sauron to teleport him against his will.
Permalink Eye

I will drop by and ask. Want to come?

Permalink Eye
Do I add anything to the expedition?
Permalink Eye

Elves that age will probably drive you nuts, honestly.

Permalink Eye
I'll pass then.
Permalink Eye

And he bounces over to Atarale. Hey, Dream -

Permalink Eye

Mmmm?

Permalink Eye

Want to do all needed Maitimoing in the worlds where we're not exactly welcome because of the whole war crimes thing -

Permalink Eye

And you guys cover it in the worlds where my face is infamous? Yeah, fair. What -

Permalink Eye

If rings of power can do wizardry cancellation, whoever of Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf is most persuadable and likely to actually follow instructions would be useful for handling the loose Sauron.

Permalink Eye

Okay. 

 

 

How do you cope -

Permalink Eye

They wouldn't do fewer bad things if we were all dead and safe.

Permalink Eye

I was hoping for something a little less - self-sacrificing.

Permalink Eye

Then ask Midnight.

Permalink Eye

She sighs.

Permalink Eye
"Lovely?"
Permalink Eye

"We kind of don't have many resources in Millenia because usually mes do that and the male mes are not welcome. Swift was wondering if I'd go figure out whether any of the people in possession of a ring of power would loan it out or help us use it to catch the Maira -"

Permalink Eye
"Oh, that makes sense. D'you need it checked before you go for real?"
Permalink Eye

"Sure, can't hurt."

Permalink Eye
So what does she hear from her lovely if she goes -
Permalink Eye

"Elrond's willing to help, doesn't naively know how he'd do it, would need someone with a wizardry teleport to come teleport around so he can get a feel for it, would definitely need to be nearby and probably nearby for some period of time, so Gandalf might work better, no one's sure where Gandalf is, how does he respond to being earwired -"

Permalink Eye
...if she gets someone from Warp to ferry them an earwire and then she goes -
Permalink Eye

Gandalf is very concerned there's a loose Sauron and happy to help. He would also need someone to come teleport around to get a feel for what he's trying to stop.

Permalink Eye
If she sends Boots with then -

- "Huh, Gandalf is an alt of Olórin."
Permalink Eye

"Wait, really? How did we not notice that?"

Permalink Eye
"Don't look the same. But Boots can recognize alts, at least alts who haven't had whatever happened to Shadow Rúmil happen to them."
Permalink Eye

"So this is ...good news for use of Gandalf to fight the Sauron?"

Permalink Eye
"Promising, anyway. You could bring Olórin."
Permalink Eye

"Will do, where's he at?"

Permalink Eye
"Warp, I think he hangs out in the wizardry school."
Permalink Eye

"...kind of reluctant to go to Warp."

Permalink Eye
Hug. "Can ask him to meet you in Millennia."
Permalink Eye

"That'd be great."

Permalink Eye
Request goes through the network.
Permalink Eye

Olórin would be happy to meet her in Millennia.

Permalink Eye

"Thank you," she tells Sibyl. "Do we still need someone to teleport around or can he do that, too..."

Permalink Eye
"Nah, he can do that."
Permalink Eye

"Okay. I should head over."

Permalink Eye
"...I would offer to accompany you for moral support but it's probably not a good idea for me to go out of neighborhood. Do you want to borrow Alex or one of my alts or something?"
Permalink Eye

"- you can just check how it goes, right -"

Permalink Eye
"Assuming you're disposed to tell me about it when you come back yeah."
Permalink Eye

And how does it go -

Permalink Eye
Checking -
Permalink Eye

"They get along fine, they don't have magic system interactions down yet and both expect it to take a while but should know in a day or two if it's doable."

Permalink Eye
Bounce.
Permalink Eye

"Okay. I don't think I need backup, then, thanks - did we actually tell Boots that her Maia tagalong does some interesting stuff in the standard trajectory or did she just learn it in precog, she'll probably want to know -"

Permalink Eye
"She just learned in precog, I'll send her a note."
Permalink Eye

"Okay!" And she goes off to actually orchestrate the meeting and is back an hour fifteen minutes later to tell Sibyl about it.

Permalink Eye
"Welcome back, lovely."
Permalink Eye

Hug. "I asked Swift how he coped with Saurons being loose."

Permalink Eye
"What'd he say?"
Permalink Eye

"They'd be doing terrible things anyway so it's not like fewer people'd be horribly tortured if we were all safe and dead and it's not like it's better for other people to be horribly tortured."

Permalink Eye
"...that is a perspective."
Permalink Eye

"I said I'd been kind of hoping for something different and he suggested I ask my evil rapist alt."

Permalink Eye
"...is that as rude as it sounds, alts are sort of a weird ettiquette case."
Permalink Eye

"It's not exactly rude but it's exactly as unhelpful as it sounds."

Permalink Eye
"When did you get around to reading that section, I didn't actually know you had..."
Permalink Eye

"Tireh asked about taking evil Fëanor to meet his family and I had to know what the fuck had happened such that whether that was a good idea was in question."

Permalink Eye
"Ah."
Permalink Eye

"Midnight clearly does have some coping skills the rest of us lack but I am nonetheless not going to ask after or adopt them."

Permalink Eye
"Wouldn't recommend it. Tireh seems to have decided he's her job now since nobody else knew what to do with him."
Permalink Eye

"She does?"

Permalink Eye
"No, but she's coming at it from a perspective such that she thinks she can productively pick it up, with a little bit of 'yeah the peal was gonna let me die I am a suitable sounding board for resentment of the peal' and a little bit of 'I am literally three, he hasn't done anything nefarious since I hatched and I view sexual assault as an obscure old-person misdemeanor'."
Permalink Eye

"- I guess if it works."

Permalink Eye
"Seems to be so far."
Permalink Eye

"Maybe the genderflipping helps but I have a hard time seeing any of the terrible things my alts do as - anything other than very distant disasters that I can fathom having happened under completely different circumstances but - so different that I only sort of recognize myself -"

Permalink Eye
"Well, I'm glad it doesn't upset you as badly as it does them."
Permalink Eye

"I'm also not dating my cousin, I bet that helps."

Permalink Eye
Nod.
Permalink Eye

"How's the new planetary governor settling in -"

Permalink Eye
"There was a hiccup with one of the timocrats but it smoothed over -" And there are details on that to be had.
Permalink Eye

Things to check: can sorcery teleport an immaterial Maia? (No.) Can Tireh teleport an immaterial Maia? (Yes.) If an immaterial Maia is tipped off and leaps to a world the peal hasn't discovered yet, can they be summoned back to Warp from there - that one works on Olórin, turns out, but they're not confident it will work on Sauron because he has the antidivination/anti-magical-finding up. Can they stop Sauron from himself teleporting (Gandalf and Olórin are still working on it. Either the work requires occasional explosions or they're just having a lot of fun.)

Do Edda and Warp have any neighbors in common such that they can avoid having to teleport Sauron as far (they set some teleporters to jumping for new Edda neighbors). 

Can Tireh incorporate her notes into her indestructibility so it's less easy to separate them from her? (Tattoos work but don't have anywhere near the needed surface area.) Are there other ways to make sure Sauron can't separate Tireh from her notes? (Spellbinders are working on it.)

If they intend to kill Sauron who else goes blank in Sibyl's precognition? (can't check that until they're ready with everything else).

Permalink Eye
Edda and Warp share no neighbors.

When they're ready with the teleport blocker and ultraminiature tattooing and everything else, she can't see reports about it, but can see all-clears from uninvolved personnel on standby in passthrough worlds.
Permalink Eye

That limits the scope of the catastrophe, at least. 

Permalink Eye

Gandalf appears immaterial in the middle of a stunning glass auditorium where Sauron appears to be presiding over some kind of legislative session and applies the anti-teleportation and tells Tireh -

Permalink Eye
Tireh appears. She disappears, several times, forgetting everything in the Maitimos' names file and a lot of math on the way, and lands in Space -
Permalink Eye
And the Tesseract finishes the job.
Permalink Eye

And Sibyl already confirmed that relevant planets remained intact but they check anyway. 

Permalink Eye
Sibyl was right!
Permalink Eye

"If only we could drag him out of Materia as easily. I'll assign a couple people to keeping an eye on the planet he was, ah, involved with - track down what he was doing and notice any kind of delayed-reaction disaster -"

Permalink Eye
"And any more straightforward repercussions of teleporting presidential assassination."
Permalink Eye

" - right, also those."

Permalink Eye
Snort. "There might be some! It would probably be polite to explain, but..."
Permalink Eye

"I am not sure I would believe the outrageously powerful aliens who teleportation-assassinated the President if they claimed it was only because his alternate universe versions were sadistic psychopaths and he'd be hard to contain later."

Permalink Eye
"This one was psycho too, we checked the timeline."
Permalink Eye

"Oh, trust me, I'm not worried he didn't deserve it. But to mortal species 'a couple thousand years ago' might as well be forever and he hadn't done anything recently."

Permalink Eye
"Yeah. It'd make for an unusually accurate conspiracy theory if we explained, probably no more than that."
Permalink Eye

"And it wouldn't really serve to reassure the public - I'll send a couple people to keep an eye out for the place falling apart but only a couple, we're going to be really busy cataloguing and priority-ranking all Edda's new neighbors -"

Permalink Eye
"I have cultivated some of the frost giants to the point where I'd be reasonably confident in having them do stuff, although they'll be conspicuous anywhere..."
Permalink Eye

"I mean, Elves are only particularly advantaged among humanoids, that's only about eighty percent of the new places, if you'd like to send frost giants to the other ones they'd be much appreciated. It's kind of frustrating to be capable of killing gods and still hard-pressed to keep children from starving."

Permalink Eye
"Yeah. I'd like them to be supplementary at first before they're soloing new places, does that still help -"
Permalink Eye

"I mean, even if training them takes up as much time as the work they're doing, we're going to want to train them at some point and 'fifty new dimensions with three hundred new worlds to map' is as good an occasion as any for that."

Permalink Eye
"I'll send out proposals."
Permalink Eye

They get to work. The planet whose president they just assassinated carries out an earnest and thorough and scrupulous investigation which turns up absolutely nothing.

 

 

And three days after that if Sibyl checks what will happen to her in the next hour what will happen is one of the Elves monitoring them appears in front of Sibyl without knocking and says "thesungoteatenbygiantspiders'.

Permalink Eye
"- what sun. The one Sauron was president of -?"
Permalink Eye

"Yep possibly also others we're checking"

Permalink Eye
She doesn't wait for them to check; she has to drop the precognition to alert the network.
Permalink Eye

Are giant spiders conjurable -

Permalink Eye
Magic.
Permalink Eye

Surroundings.

Permalink Eye
There's this planet, where they seem to be chilling at home; there is unidentifiable vacuum unless he zooms out way far and then there's stuff -
Permalink Eye

"And they can teleport. Fantastic. Anyone have teleporting sun-eating giant spider containment strategies or do we need to find and tag every single one of them -"

Permalink Eye
"Are these the same thing as Ungoliant? What usually happens to Ungoliant?"
Permalink Eye

"As far as we could tell she settled down, spawned lots of baby spiders, and then starved to death in the forest - but that's when they can't teleport -"

Permalink Eye
"Are they Maiar, do they do the infinite mana thing?"
Permalink Eye

"How would we tell -"

Permalink Eye
"...sneak up on one and tap it? Could also work to stop them if they don't have infinite mana and we have to go with a tag-each-one solution."
Permalink Eye

"Probably worth checking - who wants to go tap a giant spider -"

Permalink Eye
"Not me I'm nonreductionist -"
Permalink Eye
Loki goes and returns without incident and says the one she tapped had a lot of mana but not infinite.
Permalink Eye

"How many spiders are there how feasible is tapping them all -"

Permalink Eye
...billions but in very assorted sizes.
Permalink Eye

"Ugh."

Permalink Eye

"If they were reductionist I would at this point propose genocide - eating suns in Warp -"

Permalink Eye
"We could call in some Valar, we do want to save the sun not avenge it and we don't have long to think."
Permalink Eye

"We don't know how many suns are potentially affected - but sure, if they can move fast enough -"

Permalink Eye
Elspeth nips into Telperion and updates them real fast.
Permalink Eye

They are pretty sure they can keep all the spiders on the spider planet. Is there a hurry.

Permalink Eye
Yes, unavoidable, sorry, precog with a range limit.
Permalink Eye

Spiders can stay put. The Valar would like precognition is it on offer.

Permalink Eye
It is from this one world. It can be hired, if they'd like to favor trade with Sibyl or attempt to interact with currency for longer ranges. It isn't portable per se.
Permalink Eye

That's too bad. All right. Spiders going nowhere.

Permalink Eye

"Did we get to it before any suns got eaten -"

Permalink Eye
"- no," says Elspeth before Cam gets conjuring. "Four suns, three in use, were already eaten -" And she knows what they look like.
Permalink Eye
"...shit. We don't have anything in the neighborhood good for - haul the planets entire into Space and I'll set them up around empty stars."
Permalink Eye
"Why not Edda?"
Permalink Eye
"Crowded. I don't want to inflict neighbors on these people they wouldn't have had in case they're not friendly; Space Arda's all alone in there."
Permalink Eye

"And has summoning. How recently eaten - sending people for them now -"

Permalink Eye
"- it didn't break gravity just light, they've had hours more night than they should but only that."
Permalink Eye

"Can we cheat the search for nice similar stars, ask Sibyl which ones we'd find -"

Permalink Eye
"Tesseract isn't too much of a pill to do that. They'll be set as soon as they're here -" Blue crackling. "- they're set, just with different constellations to look at and a misaligned day cycle because it seemed important to have the chilly side warmed up first."
Permalink Eye

"We should maybe drop by and explain what the fuck and also don't draw on the floor please -"

Permalink Eye
"Yeah. Here they are -" Images.
Permalink Eye

"Okay. Aaaaand they've got emissaries."

Permalink Eye
If anything else catches fire it takes longer than I can see.
Permalink Eye

"Well. Hooray."

Permalink Eye
Cam flops dramatically on Loki. "Hooray."
Permalink Eye

On three abruptly relocated planets demons are summoned to make it rain little letters in the appropriate language saying 'we learned of the destruction of your sun. We've put you back around a similar one in a protected zone where incidents like that cannot occur. The protected zone has some important features we will discuss with you shortly. Persons killed as a result of the destruction of your sun can be a priority for resurrection.'

Permalink Eye
This will probably be very helpful for the two of the three planets with a significant literacy rate.
Permalink Eye

The third one can assume the gods are angry at them while the emissaries figure out enough cultural background for more useful responses.

Permalink Eye
Such angry gods! Aieeeee!
Permalink Eye

The powerful gods are running through a checklist. Local longevity, political institutions, tech level, governance structures -

Permalink Eye
Sixty years at bronze age tech levels (surprisingly good place for low infant mortality, though). Queens (there are three sexes and only the incubating-females, not the large-gamete-females or the males, take to politics at least at this stage of history), some large empires in progress that are not yet capable of reaching one another and some smaller nations more or less squabbly.
Permalink Eye

They're gonna have to be literate to get much out of summoning. It gets handed over to Vanda Nossëo to get folded into things. The other two planets are literate, and can have a summoning rollout immediately - "Cam, do you want to handle that, I seem to recall it's a specialty -"

Permalink Eye
"One time," Cam says. "...okay, twice. Allspeak covers them fine?"
Permalink Eye

" - first's planet the languages are all fine though they don't have the Internet yet, second planet has Internet but there's a major language that'd be, ah, you could at least read and write? Spoken, it's presently more glitch than translation, though we're tinkering to fix that - oh, I guess you don't have to wait for us, do you -"

Permalink Eye
"I have to wait for at least one of your dad! Or for a Flat Elf to make telepathic friends with a native and get them to do it."
Permalink Eye

"Oh, one of my dad has it already, that's the easiest way to figure out why Allspeak's glitching."

Permalink Eye
"Right then. Language summon time."
Permalink Eye

The relevant Fëanáro draws a circle for him and goes back to tinkering with the Allspeak.

Permalink Eye


Cam does not appear.
Permalink Eye

He doesn't actually notice - the circle's not in his line of sight and Cam could have popped off - but a scheduled restocking of supplies on #413 fails to happen and someone heads to Vanda Nossëo to complain.

Permalink Eye

He writes Cam.

 

He writes Epic.

Permalink Eye

He fills up #413's warehouse and then checks -

Permalink Eye
Cam is in some kind of facility on Ganymede in Revelation.
Permalink Eye

- that's weird. Pop pop pop now Epic's there too - "uh, what are you doing?"

Permalink Eye
...Cam puts a hand over his mouth.
Permalink Eye

- okay? What are you doing.

Permalink Eye
I am under arrest apparently.
Permalink Eye

- what for?

Permalink Eye
Holing Valinor.
Permalink Eye

- well, that's stupid and they probably wouldn't do it if they knew anything so I don't think it'd be very unethical to just leave anyway.

Permalink Eye
You're gonna be noticed on the security cameras any second. There's a security fairy. And moving me doesn't do anything about the bindings.
Permalink Eye

The bindings? Also I bet Loki could fix it, bindings don't seem real-er than oaths.

Permalink Eye
She might have to fix with access to my summoner, who is not in her range. And yes, lots of bindings, I'm under arrest, gagged and can't leave or make stuff without permission and so on.
Permalink Eye

 

I don't like these people at all. Should I go get your summoner - who's Cam's summoner -

Permalink Eye
You should maybe get a Maitimo or something instead of trying to do that yourself.
Permalink Eye

Pop pop pop -

 

- pop pop pop and a Maitimo. "Sorry," he says, "I know you're busy but I couldn't get a space one they're not telepaths and the mean horrible people gagged Cam -"

Permalink Eye

"Busy and twitchy about suddenly being teleported - gagged him - Cam, can you move and use magic normally -"

Permalink Eye
Please be invisible there are security cameras. I am not directly prevented from most kinds of magic but the binding caught a lot of incidentals.
Permalink Eye

Invisible. Epic too. Is this some kind of local government action -

Permalink Eye
The Ganymede Circle Police, which I knew existed and should really have fucking checked before I got dismissed, are not a government but are subscribed to by governments.
Permalink Eye

- and got part of the story from daeva and panicked, right, okay. Are bindings sticky if you go back to Hell, have you checked -

Permalink Eye
When would I have checked that. No idea.
Permalink Eye

Now they're in Hell.

Permalink Eye
Cam opens his mouth and completely fails to speak.
Permalink Eye

Back to Ganymede. Can I have an overview of what the Ganymede Circle Police are -

Permalink Eye
Organization that puts out massive numbers of circles for wanted daeva, tries them and sentences them and imprisons them.
Permalink Eye

Formally, Revelation's hands-off - has an afterlife, doesn't have material scarcity, is a serious information security risk - if we invite them to join any of the interstellar consortiums, say, daeva inevitably look those up... do you think there are grounds to change that status, or should we just pull you and the summoner - maybe in their sleep - to Edda and throw the infinity stones at the binding problem -

Permalink Eye
The summoner's going to be watched. They're assassination targets.
Permalink Eye

Loki can place an illusion.

Permalink Eye
She can't fake the binding, which is visible to parlor trick.
Permalink Eye

It'll be obvious in any event that you've vanished. Would you rather we try diplomatic channels?

Permalink Eye
If the summoner appears to have snapped the binding I am like ninety percent sure that the employment contract says in that event they're allowed to kill them.
Permalink Eye

Charming. Okay. We can try talking to relevant authorities first if you'd rather - or try convincing the summoner to send you home, though I don't imagine that being a very friendly interaction -

Permalink Eye
It would not be. Revelation knows about Space Elves by now, you could try having them assert the right to try me themselves or something.
Permalink Eye

I'll do a little bit of reading - assign you some people here in the meantime in case you need to communicate for anything - that's obnoxious, incidentally, the gag - Epic, go tell Loki what's going on and put in a support request for osanwë-capable people here -

Permalink Eye

Pop to Loki's office. 

Permalink Eye
"Hi, Epic."
Permalink Eye

"Hi! Revelation arrested Cam for holing Valinor, it's super annoying, you could probably aether him clear of it but he thinks they'd kill his summoner in a panic so we're debating changing the hands-off designation for Revelation -" he sends her where Cam is -

Permalink Eye
"...fuck. Okay. And if they kill his summoner he just... how do you even arrest a daeva?"
Permalink Eye

"Apparently you draw a lot of circles. He was trying to get a bunch of languages from my Space alt and I guess he took one of theirs."

Permalink Eye
"So the circles would still be there, perhaps with different summoners."
Permalink Eye

"Yeah. Maitimo's reading up on them. I think to decide whether their system is okay and just - misfiring - or whether it's terrible in general - and then he'll go bother them." He wraps his wings around himself. "Cam looked stressed."

Permalink Eye
"Does he have somebody there to do osanwë - does that even work around a gag -"
Permalink Eye

"Yeah works fine. - I don't know if, if he had native osanwë, he could send, but technically all he's doing is arranging what we can read and that works. I'm s'posed to put in a service request -" he makes a computer and does that -

Permalink Eye
"I'll go visit him when there's somebody there to do that."
Permalink Eye

He adds to the service request that Loki should get a notification when it's complete. "Do you have Cam's schedule for today -"

Permalink Eye
"Yeah." Here it is.
Permalink Eye

"I'll go - make the stuff -" Pop.

Permalink Eye

And someone arrives at the Singapore offices of the Ganymede Circle Police, knocks.  

Permalink Eye
Somebody buzzes him in.
Permalink Eye

"Hi! I'm a representative of the Elven polity of Ambaróna, and we're considering subscribing to the Ganymede Circle Police for management of daeva incidents in our jurisdiction, can I set up a meeting with someone here to discuss that?"

Permalink Eye
"...you're an Elf? How did you get here?"
Permalink Eye

"That is among the things that should be discussed in such a meeting."

Permalink Eye
"...I can get you an appointment with the subscriber manager."
Permalink Eye

"Thanks so much! I don't have local email set up but you can reach me care of -" Quenya address label - "checked on the half hour."

Permalink Eye
"...your appointment will be in two hours fifteen minutes."
Permalink Eye

"Thank you." And he vanishes, goes home and has his day rescheduled, does more reading.

Permalink Eye

Loki gets notice that there are osanwë-capable people at Ganymede.

Permalink Eye
And she goes and cuddles her boyfriend. And tries to keep the Elves from freaking out too bad about this being a prison.
Permalink Eye

They are so upset. 

 

Maitimo arrives back in Singapore five minutes before his appointment.

Permalink Eye
The subscription manager is happy to meet with him. And also wants to know how he got there.
Permalink Eye

"We have interdimensional transit. Interdimensional transit was developed on chiplocked computers and is a well-kept secret, but if it were widely known it is probably not impossible for a determined demon to hunt down and reverse engineer. I have been impressed by Ganymede's commitment to secure procedures and I trust you to take that as seriously as it merits, which is why I'm here alone to discuss daeva security instead of arriving with a diplomatic delegation to formally open relations with Earth."

Permalink Eye
"...we're accountable to our subscribers."
Permalink Eye

"I don't mind relevant personnel in each of your star system's governments knowing the whole story, and I don't mind meeting with them, I just would much prefer not to make the news."

Permalink Eye
"Hopefully the receptionist hasn't already posted about you to Shortform."
Permalink Eye

"That would be unhelpful, yes."

Permalink Eye
He checks. "...nothing. I'll, uh, tell her not to."
Permalink Eye

"I appreciate it. It's possible we'll be able to come up with a worldleaping-daeva mitigation strategy that satisfies everybody and then we can help you more."

Permalink Eye
"All right. So are you looking to subscribe yourselves or make some other arrangement -?"
Permalink Eye

"We want to subscribe. We haven't had many incidents but it seems like there are a lot of benefits to having law enforcement be uniform across jurisdictions, and at the moment there are a lot of problems arising from the GCP's handling of cases from our world without any kind of jurisdiction agreement, which I think could be most straightforwardly avoided if we subscribed."

Permalink Eye
"We don't have a system set up to hear about incidents in your jurisdiction yet except the, ah, big public safety one."
Permalink Eye

"That is the one which has spawned all the problems, yes. You don't have jurisdiction or enough information to try the case."

Permalink Eye
"How do you mean?"
Permalink Eye

"Do you know whether we had a trial already? Do you know how long the victims were dead - did you even know they were resurrected- how much information do you have about the war -"

Permalink Eye
"We haven't tried him yet, that would presumably have come out then."
Permalink Eye

"More than half the relevant information is a critical state secret with no safe way to introduce it at trial. Like the interdimensional transit. We are equipped to handle that case and you are not."

Permalink Eye
"So you want some kind of - partial subscription where we do arrests and you do your own trials? We normally publish the transcripts, too..."
Permalink Eye

"I'm optimistic that ordinarily we can just work with your normal procedures with no special process at all- trials should be public, it wouldn't be decent to compromise on that - but that one is going to have to be a special case. If we'd already been subscribers we'd at least have known to apprise you of the situation in advance - a week before it even happened -"

Permalink Eye
"Really?"
Permalink Eye

"So the, ah, no-state-secrets version of events - the problem is that verifying any of this will be impossible without running across them - is as follows: our world had a nasty work of a creature named Melkor, who had put out a couple suns, started a world war on a planet of five billion, and paved another couple moons with servers which he used to upload and torture several hundred million people. By sheer chance a young kid summoned Swan, unbound. We asked him for help with the war; he terraformed a planet and took refugees there, investigated Melkor, helped end some famines that were a consequence of the war. And discovered that Melkor could be destroyed with a black hole and nothing short of that, and arranged for the target to be our least-populous planet whose population was all resurrectable, and went to the affected populations' government for guidance. We told him to do it. He then promptly resurrected everybody. The victims opposed pursuing charges - they were really glad Melkor was dead and the torture stopped and the planets with much larger and less resurrectable populations protected -"

Permalink Eye
"...okay. Uh, I can maybe hammer out a custom subscription arrangement where you can do your own trials on special occasions. I just have to get it through in time for you to try Swan."
Permalink Eye

"I appreciate it tremendously. Can I be helpful there?"

Permalink Eye
"Wouldn't even begin to try to do it without you. So, who exactly is the subscribing entity and who are you to them?"
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"The subscribing embassy will be the Endorë Federation for Interstellar Concerns, which has a dozen member states and does external diplomacy like this for them; I am our delegate to Earth and the crown prince of one of our member nations."

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The subscribing manager needs more minutiae about the member states and about how the documentation should refer to the prince, then: "And how will you normally prefer to submit incident reports?"
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"It'd be easiest to have them conjured, that not calling attention to the interdimensional teleportation, is that workable?"

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"In the clear or encrypted?"
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"Encrypted."

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"We're not set up for that right now but could arrange it for a step up in your pricing package."
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"I don't anticipate that being a problem."

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"Okay..." More paperwork-if-there-were-paper-involved. "- and I think you're all set, I'll toss this up to the director, will you want to pay by the month, year, or decade?"
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"Let's do decade. - I don't think there's an exchange rate yet."

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"Even with fairy currency?"
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"Oh, we might have one with fairy currency and the Dwarves definitely do. I'll have some people in accounting arrange it."

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"All right - first installment will be expected within the month."
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"I am very much looking forward to working together."

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"Mm-hm! I can get back to you by your conjured label by the end of the day about whether you'll be able to try Swan yourselves with a sealed record - you'll have to do it on Ganymede, obviously, it can't leave -."
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"His preferred pronouns are male. I'll look forward to hearing from you about that."

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"All right, I'll put that in his file." Put put.
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"Thanks so much!" And he vanishes.

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That afternoon the irregular subscription arrangement is approved and P.S. how did he do that.
Permalink Eye

That one's just outright magic. Thank you very much. 

 

And he informs Loki that the Noldor are authorized to hold a trial for Cam - "which probably shouldn't be a farce but needn't convict him, obviously -"

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"Are the Noldor even equipped to throw together a trial?"
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"Not in the slightest. Are you? Or Gem, I guess?"

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"Gem is, I'd be appropriating structures from one of the two locations of which I am a princess and I don't think either suits."
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"I will write Gem and ask if she thinks her criminal justice system suits for an impromptu war crimes trial on Ganymede for which Cam can't talk and most of the relevant evidence can't be introduced."

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"You could also try Warp, who may have anticipated eventually getting ahold at whoever wrecked Vulcan."
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So he writes both Gem and T'Mir.

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My justice system is fine for everyday stuff but it would in fact be fairly farcical if I assigned a tribunal and told them to go try my alt.
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I think Gem's would work better for this than mine; we've been relying on member states and haven't had any trouble with people who don't come with a member state. I wasn't going to advocate resurrecting anyone who destroyed Vulcan until we had something sensible in place but we don't yet.
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"Great. Maybe we shouldn't have evaded having to try our Millennium alts for war crimes."

 

And he pulls a panel of people together to read Earth war crimes trial proceedings and invent something. Someone suggests that Elven justice should involve polling the victims on what they want, and so everyone in Valinor is asked whether they want Cam to be imprisoned. Six of them are in favor; on further investigation one is two and never heard the word before and the other five misclicked.

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Do they want Gem to loan them some people or just homebrew it?
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If she can spare some people they will be peppered with procedural questions!

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She has people! Mîr has a justice system inspired by the American one, but very loosely - it has to be palatable for a mixed Elf/human population so sentencing is often "getting stuck in a Lórien" or fines, and also cases are not thrown out for procedural error, just whoever made the procedural error loses their job.
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That makes sense. Together they can come up with something. He arranges for Ganymede to get their substantial paycheck before they hold the trial, expecting that the outcome will annoy them.

Permalink Eye
Ganymede appreciates their paycheck.

They can borrow their trial facility.
Permalink Eye

They are appreciative! 

 

 

The trial takes a week. At the end the judges publish a statement, the for-public-release portion of which reads:

Findings:

 

The destruction of Valinor was authorized in order to prevent the torture of persons uploaded by Melkor, the destruction of Endorë in its ongoing war, and potentially the discovery by Melkor of a way to circumvent restrictions on summoning in the absence of which he could spread his war to other dimensions.

Four hundred twelve billion, eight hundred and ninety two million, four thousand six hundred eighty three instances of upload torture ceased within one second of the destruction of Valinor. 

The war on Endorë killed one hundred twenty million, thirty two thousand, nine hundred ninety four people in the year prior to the destruction of Valinor, and ceasefires were signed between all parties the week following the destruction of Valinor. Biological weapons had been deployed in the war with the capacity to kill all members of targeted species with no survivors. Nuclear weapons were being developed by both sides with intent to deploy them.

All persons killed in the destruction of Valinor have been resurrected. Valinor was selected as the target specifically because of the resurrectibility of its citizens.

No persons killed in the destruction of Valinor were willing to testify for the prosecution. At the request of the court some agreed to testify, and stated that they opposed a prison sentence for the defendant. 

 

 

Additional evidence and considerations have been redacted for reasons of national security; for sealed trials it is not the case that public information will constitute a complete representation of the case. In this case the extensive redacted information was not decisive in the verdict but was relevant to the sentencing. The defendant is sentenced to time served.

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Thank fuck. Cam's circles are taken down and he disappears into Hell.
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And are their new acquaintances too mad at them?

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Not especially!
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Yay!! - in that case he will suggest to a few of their new members on Endorë that they write the GCP about demon-handling procedures!!

 


So prompted, three of them write the GCP to observe that in general GCP standards for prison conditions exceed their own and they're very pleased to be members but the gags are not compatible with local standards for prisoner rights. It sounds like the gags are a necessary safety precaution with humans, but Elves can't survive the extraction of their souls and are therefore not vulnerable to being talked out of them by a demon they summoned. Maybe Elves could serve as GCP summoners (with the added advantage of not dying of old age) and they wouldn't need to gag demons anymore?

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Well, as long as the demons weren't coming into contact with any non-Elves that might be all right.
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There's risk to parties other than the summoners?

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Not at the point of contact, but better safe than sorry.
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Maybe a binding could be designed that forbids demons from talking to humans, particularly?

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Aren't there nonhuman nonElf species in their world?
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Orcs are like Elves that way; Dwarves don't seem to have souls, they haven't gagged any demons and none have asked about their souls. There are a couple newly imported species (it's a long story; their stars got extinguished so the Noldor relocated them really fast and now they're in summoning range) but no reason any of them would be visiting a prison planet.

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Still, maybe just a no talking to nonElves binding.
Permalink Eye

NonElves and non daeva.

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Sure.
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Great!!

 

Maitimo asks Cam if, now that they're involved in Revelation at all, it should get more handling.

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"Maybe, but the more and the more openly we act there the more likely the multiverse stuff gets widely known. Highest leverage intervention is probably publicizing Limbo, but it'd just lead to more questions and now that anyone knows you can come and go..."
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"Yeah - and Limbo's nice enough now that we needn't be strongly motivated to prevent people from ending up there - I'm surprised it has stayed secret this long but there are probably better priorities than figuring out how to change that."

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"Yeah. Compared to most places Revelation's great."
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"Congratulations on that." And they turn their energies to places of greater concern.

 

Loki's frost giants get assigned to run a refugee camp on this constantly-raining world where twelve million people got displaced by an ongoing war and their neighbors are all professing great concern for taking them in once it's demonstrated they aren't going to spy for the other side. The place has magic - people can freeze raindrops in place - which is mostly useless but of religious significance such that the refugees decline to be evacuated elsewhere.

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The frost giants are... not Elves... but they can do their jobs and respond well to command structure.
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Elves are getting pretty used to people not being Elves. Like all twelve million locals, who are distinctly not Elves. 

"The multiverse would be nicer if more people were Elves, though," someone says wistfully.

         "That's racist."

"I mean, yeah, but -"

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"What's so great about you?" wonders a frost giant, who is idly trying to duplicate the raindrop trick with ice.
Permalink Eye

The ice will obediently freeze in place like the raindrops do but it'll then melt, and drip away when it does. 

"Elves don't have wars."

         "We kind of have wars."

"We have one war, pretty reliably, we don't have other wars."

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"Well, if you put it like that we've only had the one war and it was Asgard's fault."
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"I don't think I ever heard the whole story on that. But it's also quite possible the multiverse would be nicer with way more frost giants."

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"Asgard decided it'd be aesthetic if in addition to their own planet they had these eight other paraphysically neighboring planets too, as protectorates. They were inhabited."
Permalink Eye

 

 

" - wow. How'd the other seven take it -"

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"Some of 'em still haven't even been notified. Some of 'em went to war. We at least didn't lose outright. Princess Beldri's adoptive father was a captive given to the Asgardian queen as tribute."
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Elves have been doing this for long enough that they manage not to all go incoherent with horror.

 

"I think," someone ventures, "there are some kinds of people who will be as bad as they can get away with and some who will be exactly as decent as expected of them but not a bit more and then some people who, you know, wouldn't do that even if everyone thought it'd be glorious, and Elves mostly don't have the first kind and have high expectations for the second kind and have our fair share of the third."

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"Asgardians think all kinds of things are glorious," says the frost giant.
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"Loki was all right. Killed the Enemy, which he really had coming, and killed orcs but only when she didn't have much choice about it and even then she tried to arrange to spare the babies. - I guess you could say she isn't technically an Asgardian -"

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"She's not," says the frost giant, "she's ours, they stole her. Loki's not her real name."
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"Do you think that's why she turned out all right?"

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"I think so, yeah."
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"This is still racist," says the other Elf.

         "There are obviously some innate species differences in - how much people suck - you can't pretend it's all just circumstances -"

"I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying you're racist."

        "If some Asgardians signed up for refugee work I wouldn't turn them away. But they haven't, have they."

"Someone could maybe convince 'em it's glorious."

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"They're too isolationist, Princess Beldri says."
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"You just said they invaded eight neighbors!"

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"Yeah, but they didn't just keep going."
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"I guess that's - something," his interlocutor says dubiously, and then they are all informed of a melee in the bread lines over thataway and must disperse.