5669/Potential Psychic Essence

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Potential Psychic Essence
Date of Scene: 30 January 2018
Location: RIFTS Earth
Synopsis: Staren invites Miari to RIFTS Earth to discuss the similarities between Essence and PPE, and to see if he can interace with Creation's magitech. The discussion leads to magical cybernetics.
Cast of Characters: Staren, 1129

Staren has posed:

    The warpgate isn't actually IN Lazlo. It's about 30 miles to the east. What was once a small farming village has grown into a thriving trade town around it, though directly in front of and behind the gate is kept a clear path for some distance. There's a road connection to Lazlo, with busses that run on clean, magical energy. The town has various businesses catering to visitors -- from varyingly-luxurious hotels, to an interdimensional marketplace, to adventuring gear stores, restaurants and cafes for the hungry traveler... Although the MOST upscale stuff is in Lazlo. It's not THAT far of a trip, after all. The gate is far enough north of the lake that it's not visible unless you fly up some -- trees and buildings are in the way, and it's some distance yet.

    Of course, given the night-time arrival... the most obvious sight is the leyline that runs through the town on its way to Lazlo, like an earthbound aurora glowing with electric-blue energy!

    It's below-freezing at the moment, and snowing, but Staren doesn't look dressed quite so warmly as he should be, thanks to his magical warmth charm. He's waiting expectantly by the gate.

Miari (1129) has posed:
Miari wasn't sure what to expect when told to 'dress warmly,' so she emerges from the warpgate wearing...

    An absolutely stunning and overly filled out, many, MANY layered outfit very similar to her normal kimono. Something that must be troublesome to don, but includes a wrappable hood of sorts. Much, MUCH more elaborate and cumbersome than most things one could wear in the cold, but...

    Miari seems to have an incredibly anachronistic and outdated style of dress, even for Creation. This MIGHT have been popular during the Shogunate, the very height of winter fashion...

    But she doesn't seem overly bothered by the cold even then. The fires of Hell burning in her heart will keep her fairly warm for a great while longer than most could last, though not forever.

    After stepping through, Miari shifts off to the side to not block any other travelers, and turns her head left, right... she looks up, behind her... slowly turns around and around . Her eyes are wide and appreciative....

    ".... Hm...!"

    With a shimmer of emerald in her eyes, a THIRD glimmers upon her forehead - a baleful Third Eye sigil that might actually see and not just be her Caste Mark, burning with emerald flames as it is. "....HMMMMMM! Visible even to the naked eye... is this a Demesne?"

Staren has posed:
    "Welcome!" Staren smiles and greets cheerfully. "I guess I shoulda been more specific, it's not THAT cold..." He has no idea about what's normal for Creation fashion outside Selendos.

    The buildings are an eclectic mix -- some are or imitate the aesthetic of the farming village that was originally here, with concrete walls and tiled roofs. Others have a more urban aesthetic, and a few have that wacky 'alien/organic' aesthetic to them, the cultural taste of their builders no doubt. The residents are just as eclectic, though this is clearly a low-activity time for the town, there's the occasional person out and about on foot, car, or wingboard, and some businesses are still open.

    "No, all leylines are like this on my planet. We don't have demesnes, but there IS a nexus -- where multiple laylines cross -- over there." He points westward. There's clearly more light over there from the city and the nexus, but at this distance you'd need enhanced vision to make out details or the pyramid itself.

Miari (1129) has posed:
"Well, I'm not about to strip naked to put something else on." Miari jokes into the crisp air, her attention still largely focused on the way the entire REGION glows to her proper sight, not just the one ley line. Ambient energies, however diffuse outside the lines, are quite a thing here!

    "Such power. It's practically tingling down my spine and out my nose!" The greenette announces with barely-contained excitement, doing her utmost to maintain professional composure instead of JUMPING UP AND DOWN IN GLEE like a part of her really wants to.

    "Is this a date proper? A night on the town has an allure!" She merrily jests, while digging around in the folds of a sleeve...

    "Ah, this.."

    And she pulls out a golden gadget that very much looks like a smartphone.. minus the actual screen, in favor of a variety of crystal knobs of different shapes and sizes. Unlike most Earth engineering, the edges are even MORE rounded and a great deal of attention has gone into engraving prayers, well-wishes, and the ancient Old realm glyphs from a technician's dialect all over the Orichalcum case.

Staren has posed:
    Staren sticks out his tongue at her comment about changing clothes. re: Magic tingling, "Yeah, you can see why the Splugorth and Xiticix and who knows who else we don't even KNOW about want to take over." Re: Date, "No, but I'd be happy to show you around all the same." As she pulls out the resplendant assistant, he huries over for a closer look. "Hmm. Around here, most devices, you push a button or something, and either it draws your power or fails to work. Is this more of a sort of will-it-to-happen deal?"

Miari (1129) has posed:
"The who and what?" Miari blinks a few times without comprehending. That aside though, she cradles the little gadget in both hands... and gives a solid nod. "mmmhm."

    Without seeming to DO anything, the device crackles to life with a surge of glowing power through the crystals. A Hologlyphic projector launches light and color upwards for a few feet, spreading out in a very wide cone to fill the air with a number of odd displays!

    ... Sadly, it's all written in Old Realm in very technical terms, in some of the densest, most complicated diagrams and combinations that the First Age Solars could develop. The translation effect handles this weirdly. There are several possible translations for each of the symbols and their combinations and one has to mentally squint to try and figure out which one is most correct.

    Such is what happens when a language is based on something more like poetic meanings, vague attachments and inferences, and is MEANT to contain lots of hidden sub-context.

    The swirling display soon shifts into a colorful, highly abstracted map of Creation... except it's not even remotely accurate to the Creation map Staren's seen. A lot of cities are there which aren't there, and the whole thing is about two or even three times larger. The equivalent of a question mark flashes on the map's center, showing that it doesn't know WHERE it is in relation to the glowing points that are the Elemental Poles.

    "It takes will and spirit to activate and control the basics, but once activated you can manipulate some of the glyphs and symbols with your fingers!"

Staren has posed:
    Staren waves a hand. "Various alien species. A devouring swarm of bugs and mercantile, conquering slavers respectively."

    Staren nods, listening with interest and ecitement at the prospect of activating creation's magitech. The map... he's gotten a look at some maps of the larger Creations, but this is far more detailed! "I see..." He holds out his hands. "May I?"

    If she deactivates it and hands it to him, he focuses on willing it to turn on again.

Miari (1129) has posed:
"Oh." For some reason, 'devouring swarm of bugs' is less interesting when it's put that way. As if this is not terribly novel. But she's been in Hell, and that probably has a lot to do with it.

    She hands it over without an argument. It deactivates upon leaving her hands... and...

    She's watching with a bright, barely-restrained smile, leaning forward with hands on her knees..

    Seems a little too innocent and pleasant to be from Hell, right?

    It's very similar to activating a Techno-Wizard gadget. Focusing a few scraps of PPE into it, the device warms in his hand. Very UNLIKE many Techno-Wizard devices, this thing isn't just 'insert PPE, get effect.' It keeps that connection open, and it feels like the little pad of incredibly dense material (it's a bit heavier than it looks, until he attempts to give it life! then it's light as a feather) is an extension of his hand. A sort of phantom sensation. Its functions are keyed to his spirit.

    The first thing that happens is quite unbidden. The little device projects a shadow-silhouette representation of Staren's body, and attempts to perform a medical diagnosis. A myriad of lines and points fill out from the touching palm, showing tamely circulating... glowing stuff through it. It's almost like veins, but not quite. Some of the centric points converge on vital organs, or trace out the basics of the skeleton, but others are placed at seemingly nonsensical locations.

    The diagram seems to be having trouble analyzing whatever it's trying to do though.

    A red crystal on the pad glows. Probably some kind of error message.

    "... Huuuuuuummmmmmm.... iiiiinteresting..."

Staren has posed:
    Staren gives a happy little gasp of surprise as it turns on. He did it! And it IS different from the (admittedly minor) TW devices he's had the chance to try! The way it suddenly gets light (how many ways could he use such functionality?) and its... he can /feel/ it, in a way he can't feel most machines.

ut... then it's copying him? He looks briefly alarmed before he realizes it's some kind of medical scan. No, not medical...

    "Those are my chakras, right? But what's the problem, is it because I'm half-human and it's locked to humans? Was it never supposed to work for god-bloods or ghost-bloods? Or are they different in a different way?"

Miari (1129) has posed:
"It SHOULD handle God-Bloods... most of them. They're not all the same." Miari murmurs, attention drifting into Analysis Land as she ponders over this. A dainty finger rises up to scratch delicately at her chin in thought...

    "Perhaps your biology, as you attest. Perhaps it's what's IN your Chakras... yes, that's what it maps. I can /usually/ pin down any medical problems studying them, but... no frame of reference, here. As I understand it, this world doesn't even operate on the same fundamental building blocks of matter and physics. Why WOULD it perfectly match up, even if there's similarities? But, it was similar enough to ACTIVATE the device... probably with some calibration. First Age Artifice like this can be very finnicky."

Staren has posed:
    Staren ahs and snaps his fingers -- or at least makes a snapping gesture. He never did learn how to snap. "Ah. My cybernetics are probably blocking my chakras to some degree, even if they DO line up. It shrinks my already tiny essence pool and keeps me from drawing on external sources. I mean I bet there's a way around that with the right devices, but..." He waves the device a little. "Early days, yet. Is there any way to bypass this error, or is it unable to work further for me?"

Miari (1129) has posed:
"focus on the device. Think 'time' at it. Well... don't just think it. Feel it. Run it down your arm and into the device. That part where you feel it connected to you, think 'time' there." MIari advises helpfully.

    The chinscratching continues. "Cybernetics that disrupt Essence flows? I wonder. Ones made of the Magical Materials don't do this... not where I hail from."

Staren has posed:
    Staren tries thinking 'time' and then imagining sending it down his arm. As if tapping the inside of the device with itself. /Time/.

    "Well, as a discipline, techno-wizardry's only decades old. Maybe we just haven't discovered the magical materials yet. Or the right way to configure cybernetics. It's uh... I mean, they're both pretty demanding fields, and magic doesn't make humans immortal. Techno-Wizardry and cybernetics... each takes many years of study. There's not really gonna be much overlap. Those techno-wizards who HAVE branched out have mostly branched out into war machines. Bigger guns. Magitech power armor or giant battle-constructs. They don't need cybernetics, anyway -- there's spells for healing and regeneration, I think. Why spend a bunch of your life learning how to become a doctor too, the hard way?"

    "So... yeah. I think before anyone here studies magical cybernetics, there's gonna need to be some other discoveries and breakthroughs. I mean... I've heard of people trying it, but... what's the phrase... they're still digging with a spoon, rather than inventing the shovel."

Miari (1129) has posed:
"NOTHING makes humans immortal.... not while staying truly human." Miari grunts out begrudgingly. "Death is a one-way door. You can go beyond it to reincarnation, but never backwards to the life you had.... such is how I understand the world, anyways." She purses her lips a few times, but peers a bit more closely at Staren. "Saaaay though. You have some of these Cybernetics? Like what?"

Staren has posed:
    Staren tries and fails to not roll his eyes at her speech. Then he taps the side of his head. "I have one of these in my head. Lets me control it directly," he frowns slightly, "well, like I guess you can already do with essence-based technology but /we don't have that/." He pulls down the hood of his robe and peels a little flap of skin in the back of his neck back, revealing a data port. "Can plug into stuff too, but most things are wireless in the Multiverse these days." He lets the flap close and pulls his hood back up, then pulls up his right sleeve, revealing what at first looks to be a shiny chrome bracelet until you realize it's flush with his skin. It extrudes some small tools on thin spidery arms from its surface, which he waves before reabsorbing. "I also have some tiny machines in my bloodstream that will help repair me in case of injury, but that seldom comes up, thank goodness. It's not fast enough for combat use, anyway."

Staren has posed:
    Staren blinks. "...And of course there's also the thing making a copy of my brain at all times. It's about yay big at the base of my skull, here." He holds his fingers apart grape-size and taps the back of his neck. "You'll have to cut it out to get to it if I die, for obvious security reasons it can't be remotely accessed, or anyone trying to kill me might find a way to wipe it."

Miari (1129) has posed:
"A copy of... the mind." Miari's eyes boggle wiiiiidely at this idea. "I've heard of attempts to do such things... copy memories and personality, put them in a regenerated body using Genesis-tech to make one just like the old. Plant the memories and personality in it... but it was never fully successful. There'd always be... SOMETHING wrong. Sometimes, something terribly wrong. To think someone perfected that approach... it's a bit disturbing."

    ... Disturbing?

    But even as she says that, her eyes ARE bright with curiosity.

    "Hmmmm... all these things seem to be a very small percentage of your body. Perhaps five to ten percent at most. Yet it disrupts your Essence flows THAT much?"

Staren has posed:
    Staren rolls his eyes. "It no doubt would have been incredibly difficult, but I found a world where it was already done." He nods. "Not essence. Potential psychic energy. And yes, which is why I just theorized that perhaps it is because there just hasn't been time for my world to develope the discipline of magical cybernetics yet." He blinks. at a sudden realization. "...I need another look at a first-age library."

Miari (1129) has posed:
"A First Age library." Miari frowns. "They're not that easy to come across. I can think of a few good candidates to go hunting, but it'll be the same case as with Denandsor. If someone hasn't raided it by now, it's because the danger is just that great. But the libraries in Great Forks's House of Learning are fairly comprehensive. What tidbits are you hunting for?"

Staren has posed:
    Staren blinks. "Isn't it obvious? Cybernetics!" He holds his free hand out to his side, waving emphatically. "Creation had the entire First Age to develop ones that didn't interfere with Essence use! If it IS similar enough to PPE, that knowledge could advance my world by decades, maybe centuries, and open up a whole new field!"

Miari (1129) has posed:

    Miari gives Staren a vaguely disbelieving look and takes a few steps back. Giving him an almost dirty look for a moment, she inhales... exhales... raises her arms...

    And her Anima crackles from both hands, nauseating lime green tongues of flame and light sizzling from her fingers and chakra points on her hands and in waves from her arm. It gathers in the air in front of her, forming into a ghostly diagram that begins as a simulacra of a human right arm. It fills in swiftly with a variety of strange constructs, an intricate array of springs and pulleys and what almost look like artificial muscle. The hands are delicate workings of the tiniest, exactingly precise pieces, but none of it seems to bear the genericness or angular machining of most Earth engineering. No two pieces are QUITE alike to one another, no matter where in the... greenprint... Staren looks.

    Of course, soon the glyphs of Old Realm, dozens of lines of prayers and strange sorceries to connect the arm with the body's meridians and let spirit flow through its artificial Essence circuitry will probably need a bit of study before he can fully follow them.

Staren has posed:
    Staren stares, curiously, then excitedly as he realizes what he's seeing! He looks close, and... is a bit frustrated by the lines of prayer and sorcery, but on the whole, still pretty delighted and impressed. "I didn't know you were a cyberneticist too!" He looks at her curiously. ".../Do/ you know this, or are you pulling from a remote database somehow?" he asks, innocently.

Miari (1129) has posed:
"Exactly who do you think you are speaking to?" Miari states, though her tone has taken on a slightly different timbre, and dialect has shifted. There's a flicker of arrogance and pride in her eyes that wasn't there before, and she's holding her head high in a more dignified - if only SLIIIIIGHTLY snooty fashion.

    "Who do you suppose helped invent the clockwork prosthetics? These sorceries took decades to perfect and refine. A pity they are so hard to come by, now."

    In fact, her entire way of speaking has shifted. A feminine emphasis on soft and drawn out vowel-like sounds has given way to a more precise, clipped, harder sounding way of speech.

    For the briefest of moments, Staren might wonder if he isn't looking into the face of an old, - no, an ANCIENT man indeed, with a wizened brow - but no, it's probably a trick of the light. One blink and the impression is gone, and it's just Miari there still looking the faintest bit indignant.

Staren has posed:
    Staren blinks for a moment, then shakes his head. "Right, sorry. I forgot for a moment that in your first life, you were a supernaturally-smart immortal who had lifetimes to learn multiple disciplines. ...Clockwork, really? Hmmm... Well, I'll see if I can get you some books about our kinds of magic and cybernetics, and maybe you can figure out where the problem is... Ooh, just imagine! A world where men and women of magic can benefit from cybernetics, and those benefitting from cybernetics aren't closed off from magic pursuits! And then, what wondrous magical enhancements might people get, once they can be combined? Ooh,"

    Staren starts pacing about excitedly, "I don't know what the future holds but it's /awesome/!"

Miari (1129) has posed:
"Clockwork." 'Miari' affirms. "Every piece designed exactingly for the recipient's body, preventing rejection or loss of ability. Growing a replacement arm was the easier art, once perfected... but these were originally developed to answer a question. 'Can it be done?'"

    The lecturing is still taking place in the ancient voice, but warmth now enters it in place of the previous arrogance.

    "... yes, it could be done, and so the future holds grand developments inde---"

    Miari coughs, the grandiose look vanishing and she rapidly shakes her head as if to clear it.

    "Erm, yes. AWESOME!" Miari tries to adopt the word, now back in the feminine dialect and her normal expression returned.

    A faint blush comes to her cheeks. "... Why can't he keep quiet, my throat's not used to man-speech." The girl murmurs through a sigh.

    She does sprout a smile moments later! "Hmmmm... we will need to try some things, won't we? What sort of materials would you call magical here, if anything? Something that conducts this... PPE as you call it... readily."

    She gazes off into the distance, at... could she see the Pyramid, maybe? Or...

    "Something out there appears to be channeling... compressing... regulating, this ley line? Something like a manse, perhaps?"

Staren has posed:
    Staren stops pacing and umms, "Well, it's not exactly a question of /magical/ material, as..." he starts pacing again. "Natural. When magic techno-wizard devices, gems are used to focus the energy, much like you use differently-aspected magical materials to shape the desired effect, you use different gems to achieve different effects." He reaches under his cloak and pulls out his amulet -- opal in an ornate silver setting. "One day, I'm going to use this to get telekinesis. Diamonds and emeralds store energy. I have some plans to use..." He stops and looks thoughtful, "nnh, was it technically a black garnet or an onyx? Anyway, I have a multiverse-enhanced gem that I think I can use to better make my golems with a little work. I forget what most gems do, off the top of my head... Anyway, you get the idea."

    He starts pacing again. "Now, we can artificially MAKE gems. But they don't work. The going theory is that naturally-existing gems, they've laid in the earth for eons, soaked in its magical field, even back when that field was undetectable. Although, that part's just for the gems. A mage can't cast spells while covered in armor of manmade materials. You want good armor for a mage, you have to find some critter with comparably tough skin and kill it, and use that. Skin, scales, carapace, whatever."

    "I suppose it's possible that we just haven't discovered the process to make arbitrary materials compatible with magic, but until we do, metal and plastic and ceramic and so-on don't mix well with magic, unless paired with gem-based devices to express it in very specific ways."

Staren has posed:
    After a moment, he realizes he forgot the other question. "Oh! And the pyramid atop the Tower of Learning," he turns and waves a hand at the distant city, "Has stabilized the nexus's dimensional rift and draws energy from it to produce electrical power for the whole city! It's one-of-a-kind, though I'm not sure about the exact magical details of why."

Miari (1129) has posed:
"If there is ANY similarity with the geomancy I know... there are ways you can lay out the building so that the power flows harmoniously through it. Channeled and directed the way one would carefully design aquaducts and pipes so they do not build up pressure in the wrong places. Using resonant materials makes it easier..." Miari rubs at her chin now, eyes peering at the gems on display. She's also clearly hiding a bit of delight at the things For being able to rip any riches and luxury from Hell as she might wish, seeing gemstones is apparently still a delight!

    "Hm. Following the pattern you just set down, I imagine the pyramid would have to be made of ancient stone. Unsure whether it would favor sedimentary or igneous, but ancient nonetheless... I shall have to acquire some jewels from Creation and we can compare them! And some other materials. But if the project is backed on using the Five Magical Materials, it would be... FAR from economical with just my efforts. I can only produce a trickle of Orichalcum in a month, you know. Gathering enough for an entire limb might take a season!"

Staren has posed:
    Staren blinks. "The pyramid's not a lost secret, it's a modern work, but also a national secret. We wouldn't want our nation's enemies teleporting in and sabotaging it, after all. But there are people who know how it's done... but I don't think there's anywhere else with a powerful enough nexus in the area, so there's been no occasion to duplicate the feat." Beat. "...One of the more interesting rumors is that on the other end of the rift is the heart of a star, and we actually draw power from /that/. It does sound plausible, at least."

    He looks... slightly less enthused when she points out the potential for a materials shortage. "Ah... yes, I suppose if entire limbs must be constructed of such material, it'd be difficult. I was thinking that perhaps knowing the principles by which you designed such things, you might have ideas about how to make things mostly of normal materials without messing up the magic. Still, there could be some use even for small implants, I'm sure. Isn't Jade easier to find in quantity, though? Or is it not good enough for cybernetics?"

Miari (1129) has posed:
"... These crazy worlds where stars are just burning balls of gas nd have nothing to do with Fate." Miari huffs confoundedly, blinking wide-eyed as she ponders just how crazy THAT idea is.

    "Sounds like the kind of insane act of hubris the First Age Solars would hop to. Ah.."

    The topic changes back to the engineering quickly. "It might not be necessary to do ENTIRE limbs. Who knows what kind of compatability will arise when we try different things?"

Staren has posed:
    Staren smiles. "Exactly!" He holds out the Resplendant Personal Assistant as if proposing a toast. Then waves his arm out towards the west to indicate limitless possibility. "Who knows? I look forward to finding out!"