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"This dimension is beneath the realms of the sea gods and the gods of darkness," Tarva was speaking into a microphone provided by Bluebird that provided a link to the field agents, Kimber close at hand as she spoke. "Incomplete in its own way," she said, reciting with an odd detachment like one describing the weather or the prospects for a good harvest - describing natural conditions completely out of one's control. "And thus worthy of colonization. I doubt it extends even as far as the Terran solar system. With the way behind us shut, you and your heirs will be able to live here in peace for centuries." That got her a hiss from Bluebird, and Tarva sighed softly. "Any native life forms should be well within your capacity to deal with."

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"I think," Indira rebutted with a voice full of careful razor blades, "that you have very much underestimated your impact on those of us who were already unlikely to see heirs. Unless you have sent us very close to certain parts of space, some of us went from low chances to zero chances, and it is somehow the least-worst thing you have done to us today."

 

Her metal body doubled over, a quadrupedal body's head and back extending a hundred long, wire-like spines which twitched and adjusted in the foreign air. "We are not quite alone," she mused, clawed feet flexing in the dirt. "Birds, perhaps, but not nearby. Small life underground - we should take care that they do not dig their way into the building. And--hmm."

 

She grew, legs narrowing and extending like silts to suspend her well above the foreign fauna. She was casting her head around for...something. Something she didn't like. "The wind is strange. It does not sound right, but I cannot...."

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