Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Planes of Cleavage [14 Consimbs 4385]

Mirrored from Sythyry.

We sat around a fine and brilliantly-polished table of some purple wood or other in Saza’s parlor. We were: Saza, Phaniet, Feralan / hCevian, Vae, and myself.

Saza: “I think that only hCevian, of all of us, can truly appreciate the shape of a spirit. It does not fit nicely in ordinary three-dimensional space.”

hCevian: “I cannot see spirits, save as oblong apprehensions with their own distinctive.”

Me: “Distinctive what?”

hCevain: “Feralan has no word for it.”

Feralan: “hCevian’s thinking of something sort of like an aura, only it’s a texture that moves.”

Saza: “Phaniet, would you do the honors of producing the demonstration spirit model, so that we can contemplate the problem as best as our limited minds allow?”

Phaniet opened the fine wooden box, and brought forth from the thick cheesecloth wrappings the soul-model. It was a glass paperweight, large enough so that Phaniet had to hold it in both hands. Half of it was clear glass (representing Feralan), and half red glass (representing hCevian), with a green dot in the center. The red mostly stayed on one side of the paperweight, and the clear mostly on the other, though a half-dozen fingers and tentacles of each color penetrated into the other.

Saza: “So, what we will be doing is is a spirisection — cutting the agglutinated spirit in half. The basic conditions are simple enough: we need to leave each participant with just about half the spirit, which will be enough to support life, and to heal back to wholeness if not normality. For technical reasons, the plane of cutting needs to go through the center of the sphere — marked by that green dot. The best cuts are generally those which have as much white in one half and as much red in the other as possible, that is, which separate the two spirits as much as possible.”

Phaniet: “If it’s a plane, it’ll slice several of those protrusions.”

Saza: “It is a plane. It will slice several of those protrusions. This is unfortunate. Sythyry could make for us a better scalpel, capable of, in effect, whittling one color off of the other. That would leave one party intact and healthy, but destroy the other.”

hCevian: “I do not volunteer for this destruction!”

Me: “Volunteering would not be strictly required, but we recognize the dangers of holding a pitched battle inside Feralan’s soul. So we are taking the approach that will likely let both of you survive.”

(For the record, we had considered killing hCevian and then doing the whittling approach. However, our best guess was that having a soul merged with yours dying was probably nearly as bad for Feralan as what we were planning — or perhaps worse, since it might destroy him altogether as well. And we felt some responsibility towards poor hCevian.)

Feralan: “So I’m going to lose bits of my spirit, aren’t I?”

Me: “I’m afraid so. So will hCevian.”

Feralan: “I get bits from hCevian, though?”

Me: “And it from you.”

Feralan:Which bits do I get?”

Saza: “Now that is an excellent question, and one where we have a hard choice to make. Unless I’m missing something, there are two good ways to cut this. One way, along this plane, gives you each the most of your own natural spirit. Unfortunately it severs that protrusion, which corresponds to hCevian’s capacity to appreciate happiness, and that one, which is Feralan’s moral sensibility. The other choice, on that plane, would, I believe, make Feralan’s digestive processes cease to be autonomous, and damages hCevian’s powers of language.”

Me: “That’s not a nice choice.”

hCevian: “There are other choices! Is this diagram accurate?”

Me: “It is accurate as of the spell we just finished a third of an hour ago. Your spirits move around, generally slowly. Of course it is only as accurate as a three-dimensional model of a spirit can be.”

hCevian:That plane is a possibility, not much worse than the second one. What does it do?”

Saza: “Um … it … chops out a good deal of Feralan’s ability to be empathic, and transfers it to you. It’s not quite balanced.”

hCevian: “A very dangerous thing for me, and not quite fair to Feralan. Consider that plane?”

Saza: “That bisects your ability to … um … maintain some of your vital internal processes. Probably fatal.”

hCevian: “Worse and worse.”

Feralan: “That digestive powers one sounds like the best of bad choices. How would it work though?”

Saza: “You’d have to concentrate some to be able to digest food.”

Feralan: “That sounds annoying, but I guess livable…”

Phaniet: “Wait. That damage would apply in every life, right?”

Saza: “Yes, probably.”

Phaniet: “So, imagine Feralan’s next life. His parents are utterly unprepared for a child with that flaw, and have never heard about it before. Baby-feralan doesn’t know it himself, and doesn’t know how to do it. Which means he starves to death, and his parents none the wiser. Life after life after life, with no hope unless somehow he gets reincarnated with us again and we figure it out. Right?”

Saza: “I hadn’t quite realized that, but yes, it is right.”

Me: “That one won’t do. Are there similar issues with the happiness-and-morality choice, beyond the obvious?”

Phaniet: “The obvious is bad enough! No happiness again, ever, for hCevian! No moral sense, ever, for Feralan!”

Me: “Better than staying joined, though?”

hCevian: “Not better than staying joined. I will endure Feralan’s empathic abilities if he is willing to part with them.”

Feralan: “What does it mean, missing my ability to be empathic?”

Me: “You will have trouble figuring out what people are feeling. Maybe even trouble understanding that they have emotions.”

Feralan: “How bad is that?”

Me: “I have no idea.”

Phaniet: “I couldn’t stand it… but as far as I’m concerned, nobody but Cani really understands other people’s emotions very well anyways.”

Saza: “I don’t think it’d be that terrible. You’ll have to use your mind to figure things out, where ordinarily you’d use your spirit to simply understand.”

hCevian: “I will be the one in trouble. The life of a lesser Power of Locador is one of conflict and battle. Empathy is a serious weakness for such as me!”

Me: “You are asking for our protection?”

hCevian: “I am … I am begging for it.”

Vae: “The crippling from me you have taken! The protection I shall give you, the terrible protection!”

Which sounds fair to me, not that I much want a Locador demon hanging about … even an empathic one.

Me: “So that would seem to be the best choice. “

Saza: “So it would seem. Shall we begin?”

Me: “Tomorrow. Think about it overnight, and see if there are any undiscovered dooms.”

Saza: “Think not overlong! The soul-map is as of this morning; by tomorrow it may have changed in lesser or greater degree!”

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