[personal profile] quechian
Jack and May were asleep, Cor and I awake when Thymelixsen was escored back from being scanned. I checked that he was alright, and it seemed he'd be fine once he'd slept. I asked about his earier meeting, and he said he'd discuss it in the morning, when we were all awake. Cor pointed out that talking with the other hims like that might make him less individual, and therefore less likely to get back home.

In the morning, we talked over breakfast. Thymelixsen told use about his session being scanned, going to a time when he'd just recently come out of the Allwood. And he told us about his meeting, with Murr and three other hims, and one other who hadn't saved the bionlear, so the Sunk controlled the bionlear, and that world had lots of combat and conflict. That him had learned Burdez. Thymelixsen said that Yallow is like the bionlear: he is from outside, as the bionlear is, not from the All and the roots that grow out of it. Which is strange indeed, that someone like that exists at all (the All is rapidly becoming the Most, but not quite All...), and that if so, he chooses to work for/with Thymelixsen. It makes me nervous. Thymelixsen continued telling us that after we og to the edge, we could have part of ourselves stay here, even while most goes home to Krayzen. And he said that the Ult have nice water, as he gave Jack a water skin with fresh water. But the purpose of the meeting was that Murr could meet enough of hims just after arrival, to assist with our direction. If we and others like us add enough enough diversity, it's possible that we will add another generation to the kathel, and it now seems that there's a fifth generation, and so maybe a sixth generation will happen too.

May mentioned telling herself about things, when she went downstairs the first night (which she hadn't mentioned until now). She'd wanted to know about the weapon.

Thymelixsen said that as we go further towards the edge, there are more things that will knock threads out of us, and we need to have a way to get them back. Thread stabilization resists loss over time, while thread fortification helps resist extraction. Both seem extremely useful.

Thymelixsen said that there are three Ult approaches:
1. repair damage to the roots, but having a little All in a root to make the root grow.
2. keep the roots hidden from the All as much as possible.
3. cleansing very tainted roots of the All.
The Ult we're going to travel with take the first path.

Jack told about his scanning, getting to actualization, and realizing that he was really there, at his parents' house, the first time he was going to dine with his parents after a day out and about with one of his father's lieutenants. But he kept thinking about doing it as before, which in itself made it different. And he wondered if he did something different, whether it would do something in another root, but his self would be fine in his original root. And since he'd lived through more than that then-him, he knew about some people who weren't as trustworthy as his parents had thought, and obliquely warned them. And that made them suspicious, and then he remembered some kind of magic being done to himself in the basements, and then nothing, in a way that he took to mean that he ended up dead. So when he went back in, he told the truth, and found out that his mother was more of the Shadow Lord than his father, and they knew what to do. They took him to the basement, but instead of magic, drank a lot, and forgot what they needed to forget. Which is good.

May wanted to talk about actualization.

Thymelixsen said that the temple people seemed to prefer to tell us the nice part of the truth, and hid the unpleasant stuff, such as the toll the scanning would take on us.

Thymelixsen asked at the meeting about the Edge Hammers, and had been told that they were competent and careful. And if we went to the edge today, some of us would make it through. And if we train more, maybe all of us would make it to the edge. Once we're here longer, we'd be able to see the path, by remembering what we did to get to the edge. Which made me think of what I'd done before, in seeing the path back here from that horrible night.

We talked of Wanderhold being a safer place than some others, because of the kathel presence. And even so, we need to be careful, taking transport, not walking around the city.

Thymelixsen sad that his hims were all possibilities of what could happen. when he saw them there all together, it seemed like they formed a long thread, each a circle on a spiral of possibilities, spiraling through the eye of creation, where all the roots start from. It starts at the All, and loops to the root, the eye of creation, around and around, with some spirals touching the edge. And there's one point, the now, on the thread, the needle pushing it through.

May said that she'd almost broke hers.

So whichever is the current me, at the needle, she has the most chance to add more possiblities, so all the possibilities at the head of the thread are at the same time. According to Murr, each time the thread goes to the edge, there are lots of possibilities. Some go over into the All, some stay, and some go back, so the thread is weakened, which means that each time we go to the edge, there is less and less. Interactions with other selves make a difference in which go over. But still, it's not always clear how. If there's a dead possibility, there's the chance to take the threads before they go into the All.

Thymelixsen also asked his other selves about thread weaving, and they all knew it. They said it gets to a point where one will want ever more threads, which is a problem, but at the beginning that isn't so, and the beginning skills are useful, such as enhancing skills, as the red man did. They suggested that we all learn some beginning thread weaving.

Cor said that it's better to think about who we are than what we can become.

Thymelixsen noted that the other hims were not limited by the contract of arms.

There was a knock at the door, and Gallax was there, from the Edge Hammers. He was wearing a smart outfit, will silver buttons. When he talked, I still couldn't understand him without a translator, but it seemed so close to being understandable. We tried pleasantries until 1827 arrived. He asked if we were ready, and we were, so we headed out.

We talked as we made our way into the city, taking a sharp black track Gallax had brought. Gallax said that the scanning they'd do was not only for level of taint, but also for probability of making it to the edge. Jack asked if there were any way to get less taint before going to the edge, and there isn't, but we can learn to lessen the growth of the taint. If it gets small enough, the body can deal with it.

Jack asked if we released the taint at the edge, is it all gone, or just most of it. Gallax said that we are connected to the All, and we can't wholly get rid of the taint.

We talked about the group of Ults we'd be going with after being scanned, and asked Gallax's opinion of the Pushancove collective. He said that they were the largest, and most likely to be careful about how they handled us. Their abilities to tune to the roots and inject people was the best, though there was less pay, but also less risk. They focus on keeping large roots healthy, at the point that the root can't absorb the taint of the All.

We went north, and noticed a red haze in the air. Here there were older structures, less maintained, thicker walls, not as tall; it felt like a shantytown. There were more people on foot, and in private vehicles, but not in public tracks. I asked why, and it's because it's a dangerous part of town.

We arrived at an armored arena, and went into a shelter where the air was thick with rust. The Edge Hammers were here because desperate people come here to try for the edge. And because it's in Bove's part of town. And because in this cheaper part of town they could afford a larger structure.

Gallax said that the ash in the air was old magic and crushed roots, from the beginning, loose and unrefined magic. We went down and down, passing workshops, then out into a large courtyard, with many tracks, that were more armored than the one we'd come in. Gallax said that these do get closer to the ghostlands, but not too the edge, because they get knocked out.

There was a big door to a storeroom, then we passed a kitchen and a mess hall. There were two entities there, one a red cylinder with a blue disk, and tentacle arms. Gallax introduced Unwak, who greeted us in language that we knew, which likely meant directly into the brain, using whichever language was most familiar to each of us. The other entity was a blue green scaled person, with large eyes, a tail, wearing a gray outfit with ribbed padding, armed with daggers. Gallax introduced Sonne. Unwak was the energy specialist, and Sonne was a martial trainer.

Unwak asked us to be seated, and Sonne checked us out as she walked about. Unwak shined lights on each of us in turn, evaluating our taint. It turns out that the range of corruption goes from 0 to 10,000 degrees of corruption. Normal for root beings is 500 to 1500.
The results:
Cor is the most safe. His taint is about 1900.
Jack is at 2300, which is in the range of being self generated reality interpretation. This is a level often of possibility engineers, magic users, and those touched by the Creators.
May is at 3900, beyond the range of self-generated reality manipulation but below the range of losing individual control.
I am at 4600. Which is uncomfortably close to 5000, when beings lose individual definition control, shifting between selves.
And Thymelixsen is at 5080, at the point when individual definition control begins to be lost (though of all of us, he seems least likely to randomly fall out).

Gallax said this wasn't too bad, that they'd worked with people with worse taint, at 6000, when the ability to recognize the self is confused. At 8000, one loses positional control. At 9000, one starts falling to the All, moving to the edge without volition.

We talked about what we can do with the Edge Hammers. First, learning stabilization. And it would be good to learn basic thread weaving.

Someone thought that the greater part of us that is already of the All, the more it might seem like we should go over, because so much of ourselves is already there. Which is the best explanation so far of why that might be an attractive option.

Gallax warned that Purifiers might be an issue. They purify thread, minimizing the loss of thread, but we'd never wake up again, which is why this is not an appealing option for most. (It would have been better to have chosen death in the first place, I suspect). Gallax also warned us not to do thread weaving around the Ult.
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