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Escalation of Commitment

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#21
Jessica Med-Beq

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"The two weapon varieties that I know are capable of disrupting lightsaber magnetic fields and projecting the hot plasma contained therein and that are readily available are ion-based or electromagnetic plasma-based. Now, ion weapons are typically capable of disabling electronics but, in their small-arms varieties, are not lethal to organics, and the smallest electromagnetic plasma weapons, while man-portable, are typically used as squad automatic weapons"

 

The main difference between blasters and electromagnetic plasma weapons was the bolt's temperature: a blaster bolt was typically not hot enough to generate sufficient ionization to create the current densities required to fry a lightsaber's magnetic field, while the cooling systems required, as well as the temperatures required of the bolt, made it so that EM plasma was either confined to sniping or to suppressive fire in their man-portable varieties. Hence why Jessica wanted to issue Chalacta EM plasma sniper rifles to the Silvers' snipers, and also phase out the Korriban for the Ventooine as the standard issue heavy machinegun. However, the question Ultimatum asked was not innocuous: in Darth Krayt's day, the GA Remnant sent all false-positives they could to the Valley and, given enough time, they realized that midichlorians underwent scissiparity when fed enough ambient Force-energy, and then those false-positives were no longer false-positives once the midichlorian concentration increased high enough, which took a week or two. But the process ceased once they left the Valley.

 

"As for the Valley of Jedi, people usually come there for scholarship reasons, but people who were found as false-positives typically have other motives. For those who have found out that they were false-positives, they can go there to gain Force-sensitivity if they stay in the Valley long enough; in fact, most people who camp in the valley or otherwise go to the valley for more than one day are typically people who were false-positives"



#22
Ultimatum

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"The people who come as false positive. Do they have latent Force capabilities?" That seemed the only logical explanation of such phenomenon. If it only took time spent in Force imbued environments to begin to present Force aptitude, then many would have done so to obtain such powers. The droid wondered if the Jedi constrained the sort of people allowed to do this, or if it was free for any to take advantage of. Based on the Jedi beliefs it would not be controlled, but the risk of people becoming Sith or falling due to the sudden powers would have led to more control.

 

"What of those who already have the Force? Are they strengenthed by their time here?"

Jessica Med-Beq



#23
Jessica Med-Beq

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"In a Force-sensitivity context, people labeled as false-positives typically have borderline midichlorian counts but raising midichlorian concentration up to the point they could actually harness the Force takes a week or two of staying in the Valley; it would take much longer if the initial midichlorian count was much lower. As for limitations, the Valley had a limited capacity for camping spots, and camping spots were often given to false-positives first. Finally, for those who could already use the Force, they are strengthened in their midichlorian counts at the same rate as anyone else would"

 

And now Ultimatum, as well as Jessica, actually made it to the Valley's ticket booth. Typically, a ticket entitled them to a day inside the Valley, which put her on the clock for getting a crystal inside the valley's caves. And, maybe, teach him a thing or two about Force-healing and another power she would typically teach in parallel, if the opportunity presented itself, Detoxify Poison. I didn't teach it to Paige because she ran out of Force-energy right before that point in the session, she thought, knowing that it was often the case that people got food poisoning from the concessions in the Valley, very much like the Tunroth operating the Galactic Cemetery on Jiroch-Reslia were operating a dark-side nexus commercially, as a horror theme park. She never went there but the Assemblage of Three touted guaranteed thrills or money back, while most people who had their money back were either Force-users or from those species immune to mentalism powers. Just that she did realize that the tickets and their packages were priced exactly the same as the Galactic Cemetery was, down to a T, and not simply because the Galactic Cemetery was its largest commercial rival. Even the multi-day passes were priced the same. Now, would the Valley make a profit or not, she had no clue: the local authorities did not release the financial statements of the Valley. 

 

"May I take your order?" the ticket booth attendant asked.

 

"Two tickets and one full-day food pass please"



#24
Ultimatum

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Ultimatum was somewhat surprised at that. Sentients had managed to turn a Force nexus into a park. With further thought, Ultimatum realized that it should not have caught him off guard. Where there was a need or want, some sentient would come up with a service to fulfill that need, or want. He wondered if the Jedi ran this or if it was a private organization that controlled the maintenance and authorizations into the Valley. The droid theorized that it would be quite lucrative either way, people hoping that they had some Force sensitivity within them would come, whether or not they were false-positives. Whoever controlled the authority to enter had control of the money; and, as much as some sentients would claim otherwise, currency was one of the stronger cornerstones of sentient civilizations.

 

For a moment, Ultimatum expected the attendant would pass both tickets to Jessica Med-Beq. It was almost customary, to the droid, to be at first mistaken as the property of those he traveled with. He was used to explaining carefully that he was a free droid, and that he had no intention of violence or genocide, or merely played along and used it to get where he needed to be. However, this was the not the case. The sentient handed Ultimatum a ticket, once more surprising the robot. He was glad at least not to be offered the food pass. There had been some sentients who had offered him drinks, or in some cases offered him oil, out of politeness. Ultimatum found their gestures pleasant but wasted on him. He required neither drink nor oil to maintain himself. The idea that his body might need some topping off of oil or coolant or any other number of liquids that flowed through his artificial veins was revolting.

 

"Thank you. I can pay you back for the expense." An offer out of kindness, Ultimatum had some money from his explorations, but he been unable to locate the assets and accounts associated with his old body and was therefore strapped in monetary terms. He looked forward to discovering some of the facilities left behind someday. But right now, he was here to see the Valley, learn more of the Force, and maybe just maybe find a crystal.

 

Upari continued to mull over the Force technique he had yet to master. The Shard was curious what memories this place held, but he feared that perhaps it would overwhelm his mind. Or that he would be unable to see anything, because there was simply too much to absorb. The crystalline being was also trying to push out into Ultimatum's mind. They shared one body, and shared their thoughts, but they were not as connected as Upari believed they could be. Something, perhaps the Force, suggested that the two could become one in mind and heart, maybe even soul if such was possible.



#25
Jessica Med-Beq

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While en route towards the location she would be led to think led to the lightsaber crystal she sought, Jessica would be led to believe that she was also closing in on another park patron that she could feel was having some issues, which looked like food poisoning to her in the Force. But at least she knew Ultimatum didn't need nor want a one-day food pass. Knowing how overpriced the food tended to be in locations like these, she knew that she had to enjoy it when it lasts. And that a one-day food pass essentially paid for itself after two meals. But for now anyway, before she could eat at one place that captivated her fancy, selling coconut curry rotini, she had to call upon what she knew about Detoxify Poison; it would be relevant for Upari to learn that right here as the patron fell victim to food poisoning. Hopefully it's not because the person ate that very meal, and it proves to be more of an alcohol abuse, or an exotic food that didn't mesh well with other drinks. She then stops by a bench where the patron lied down because the patron also feels nauseated on top of having food poisoning.

 

"Detoxify Poison: surely this is a power more accessible to you than psychometry has been. It's about using the Force to break the poison molecules into non-toxic constituents by breaking some molecular bonds"



#26
Ultimatum

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As they moved about the park, Ultimatum listened and watched those they passed. His sensors were aware of the sickened sentient near them, and Ultimatum did wonder if they would be able to help. As it turned out, a similar thought had occurred to Jessica Med-Beq. The droid tried to identify what the person was ill from, after all, sentients were prone to a number of frailties that led to sickness. Ultimatum guessed that it would either be a disease passed from locals, as was all too common in areas that attracted so many varied people in different stages of health, or food poisoning, which was equally common. His hope was for food poisoning, as it was usually less severe and could be cured more readily than a proper disease.

 

When Jessica explained a new ability, Ultimatum was somewhat surprised at the type of power within it. "Break down molecular bonds? What is to stop that from being used on the cells of a regular person, or similar malignant usage?"

 

Upari meanwhile had begun to take advantage of the information to prepare the little processor he had to run the calculations. There would no doubt some math involved in this.



#27
Jessica Med-Beq

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"I know a few dark-siders that might have used the principles behind Detoxify Poison to break down a person's cells; however, a regular person's cells are typically much more complex chemically for most known biochemistries than most poisons are. And yet, I know the typical dark-sider will prefer more readily visible methods to kill people, and those who would try to subvert Detoxify Poison for that sort of purposes would instead prefer alchemy in my experience"

 

Then again, in Jessica's mind, most people who would even want to break down a person's cells using chemistry-based Force-powers would typically prefer alchemy. Even in her five years spent as a paddy she was still partially responsible for teaching the more advanced chemistry lessons, and most of her students back then were either would-be healers or mechu-deru practitioners, whom she also trained, Mando or not, although Mandos lacked anything remotely resembling structure for training FUs. But she trusted Ultimatum to access whatever chemical knowledge is necessary to perform this. Sure he knew better than to expect him to learn as much chemistry as that alchemist called Janick did, but her level was likely more accessible. She also felt necessary to deliver a caveat relevant for both Detoxify Poison and Force-healing, since the two are often things that she feel should be taught together, and often dedicated healers will teach both items in the same session. Just that she had a funky history with Force-healing that will often haunt her whenever she has to teach it.

 

"As with Force-healing, which we may be covering later if we are unlucky, making the diagnosis is crucial when using Detoxify Poison: one bad diagnosis and you may be hurting the patient without wanting it"



#28
Ultimatum

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"How then do we identify the poison that has affected this person?" Without a sample, Ultimatum was uncertain as to how it would be readily possible to find out what could have caused this. There were so many chemicals that had deleterious effects on most sentients, each with different molecular makeups that would require different manipulations to defeat. As a robot, he did have access to a vast compendium of information on chemicals and their side-effects on organic bodies. He could, in a pinch, have gone through his databases and attempts to locate a list of all substances that could cause this particular effect on this specific species. That would have been a long process though and may turn out multiple results, effectively nullifying the effort.

 

Upari meanwhile began to feel out with the Force, trying to see into the ill individual's mind. Perhaps the person knew what had caused this, which food or drink may have resulted in their current situation. Even if they did now know, certainly the person would have a theory, which was better than simply guessing.

 

Jessica Med-Beq



#29
Jessica Med-Beq

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"Each molecule has a characteristic Force-signature with its own molecular weak spots in the Force. Typically they are single bonds attached to atoms with low ionization energy, and often breaking down that specific weak spot will result in inert constituents. Sometimes it might have a different active complex compared to other similar bonds even within the same molecule"

 

Yes, the sheer number of chemical substances extant was considered an impediment to learning Detoxify Poison by chemical means, but so was it for would-be alchemists, too: even Ultimatum suspected as much. Usually weak spots were single bonds, but not all single bonds in a molecule were weak spots that would be exploitable. Also, the reason why ionization energy mattered is because the strength of the bond was usually determined by the bond length; lower ionization energies usually meant longer bonds, too. Would talking about the ionization energy actually help Upari learn? Sometimes a reaction of breaking down a poison was exothermal but had a high activation energy; one doesn't need to know that much chemistry to realize as much. I don't think too many Jedi would even know what an active complex is, but it's part of a reactional mechanism, she thought, while making it all the more attractive for some creep to attempt draining knowledge from her for some reason, probably because that creep seems attracted by her mind-lights in the Force.



#30
Ultimatum

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"After breaking down the chemicals, do we purge the body of the result? If so how?" Ultimatum knew that some materials were particularly dangerous in the bloodstream. Though he doubted that they were dealing with anything of the sort at this moment, the droid wanted the information in a case for later use. It was always possible that later on the droid would come across a more severe case when merely breaking down a given chemical might result in an equally hazardous material.

 

Upari changed his focus from reading the sentient's thoughts to the tiny molecules that floated throughout the body. Invisible to the naked eye, those minute building blocks of reality were easily seen when Upari put his mind to it. His vision filled with the billions of molecules that filled one small portion of the person's body. With great care and attention, the Shard searched for that which was unlike anything else, something that stood out in the sea of similarity.

 

Jessica Med-Beq



#31
Jessica Med-Beq

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"Typically, the process is to be continued until the poison is broken down into inert or otherwise nontoxic constituents; at that point, the inert constituents can then be safely left inside the patient's body. However, Detoxify Poison has its limits: if the poison is found to contain elements that are themselves toxic, hemodialysis is required then, to the extent it can be readily available"

 

Yes, it was true that the more complex poisons could sometimes break down into other poisons, but as poisons, those subcomponents often possessed different toxicological properties from the original poison. While Ultimatum was oblivious to the patient trying to drain knowledge out of Jessica, maybe doing so under the effect of the food poisoning, in fact, the patient looked to be downloading... Detoxify Poison from Jess' memory to the patient's. And, if the Force-powered detoxification process was, in fact, dragging on, Jess could feel the patient would also be draining Force-healing afterward, but she harbored doubts that the patient would actually be able to use regular Force-healing and, in fact, the patient would likely have to withstand ailment-dependent amounts of pain to cure the patient, or to inflict a similar amount of pain on others to heal itself - if what she knew about dark-sided Force-healing was correct. Poodoo: it's possible I might have been victim of a trap the patient has laid for us, she thought, while closing off the Force-datachannel the patient was using to download the knowledge of Detoxify Poison from her. And yet, she knew, from past experience, that even beginners in Drain Knowledge were able of downloading entire abilities from her, albeit at beginner levels, before she could close off the Force-datachannel. So closing off the Force-datachannel had the effect of limiting the skill level the patient could achieve, and the closure left the patient a little disoriented, as if the patient expected to drain more than it already had.



#32
Ultimatum

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"It is possible to completely remove from the bodies the chemicals and molecules that do not belong? Is it possible to break down the atoms to turn potentially dangerous elements into less hazardous ones?" That power sounded far more significant than what he would have expected possible. Then again the Force was capable of incredible feats, what would defy most laws of reality as science understood them.

 

Upari felt something change in the individual while he was searching for the unknown poison. The Shard felt the Force shift in the person as if the ill was using his power. In a moment Upari recoiled from his examination and felt for the direction of this Force. He felt the person directing the energy towards Jessica Med-Beq, and he wondered if it were intentional or not. Upari's automatic response was to try to stop the link, caution suggesting that it could be a harmful act. However, he restricted himself, for he had no idea how to safely interact in an offensive manner wither another mind. From past readings with Ultimatum, the Shard knew that it was possible to cause permanent damage to either or both those involved. Upari therefore sent a message to Jessica, just in case, "Is everything alright? I feel him trying something."



#33
Jessica Med-Beq

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"In the first part of the statement, you're describing a Force-powered method to perform hemodialysis. That's pretty typical of a Detoxify Poison user"

 

I'm alright: I have been subjected to that sort of stuff on multiple occasions, Jessica thought, while it was clear that her mind-lights were attractive to the patient, enough for the patient to consider downloading knowledge from her once again once the patient has recovered enough Force-energy. The implications of doing transmutation when using Detoxify Poison were staggering: it wasn't unlike those fairy tales of transforming lead into gold. Yes, you could be transforming lead into gold, with two alpha decays, then a negative-beta decay, but then you'd be getting, depending on the lead isotope, radioactive gold. However, platinum was much more readily obtainable via transmutation of lead, in which case one would get two helium atoms for every lead atom transmuted. And possibly some neutron radiation. Yet the strong nuclear force was, in fact, the reason why she saw, and likely the patient, most Detoxify Poison users instead try to take the poison out of the target than to transmute a dangerous constituent: Ultimatum would probably understand as much. 

 

"As for breaking down atoms into less hazardous ones using the Force, this one is trickier, since at a minimum more Force-energy is required than breaking down molecular bonds, and significantly more so, because of the strong nuclear force. It's typically less expensive in Force-energy to get poisonous elements out of a patient's body than using the Force for transmuting"



#34
Ultimatum

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Ultimatum understood the reasonings, but the thoughts lent themselves to ideas of granduer and incredible potentials. Why was it not a more well known, or more used ability? Such power to change the very atoms that made up everything around them. To convert any given element into another was almost a force of nature in itself. Of course, the robot understood the practical limitations based on the sheer quantity of energy required to accomplish any sizable feat. It was unlikely to be practical outside of very select circles. Nonetheless, Ultimatum was fascinated with the possibilities. "That is logical. Have you ever used it as such before? The atomic restructuring of one element into another I mean."

 

Upari, thus reassured though still concerned, moved back to the project of actual curing. The Shard discovered something which stood out surprisingly well and guessed that it was the targeted poison. With careful manipulation, Upari used the Force to push more energy into the molecules, making their bonds somewhat precarious, before merely pushing the constituents apart. The first molecule disappeared into more natural, less dangerous elements, while the Shard rapidly moved on to other spots. With the help of a droid computer and a mind that was not easily distracted, Upari was making progress swiftly.

 

Jessica Med-Beq



#35
Jessica Med-Beq

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"No; I preferred to take the toxic elements out of the patients' bodies if it came to that"

 

With the patient feeling better as the poison molecules were being broken up inside the patient's body, she would be almost ready to take up position in the waiting line for the food, while Ultimatum would then take up a table for Jessica to sit when the time is near. She also feels the poison molecules inside the patient being broken up into more inert constituents, such as amino acids; this suggests to her that the poison is at least part-protein. Then again, it seems that healers are the primary light-sided guys that would transmute or otherwise use the Force to provoke chemical reactions. On an unrelated note, something that would be useful to defend against unwanted contact, Convection, can be readily done by creating a film of heat around you, using pyrokinesis, she thought, while realizing that it was just a specific application of pyrokinesis to her. It was just as illogical to her to separate Convection from pyro/cryo as it was to separate Detoxify Poison into two separate varieties (in self/in another, respectively) even though, unlike Detoxify Poison, Convection was not nearly as common as pyro/cryo was. 

 

"Thank you" the patient acknowledged to Upari once the healing was said and done.



#36
Ultimatum

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It appeared sensible to the droid. Ultimatum waited for Upari to finish his work before moving to a table and awaiting Jessica Med-Beq with her food. "Is it possible to identifty what in particular poisoned the person? So that we may avoid similar issues?"

 

He did not want Jessica to fall ill, though he was willing to guess that she could handle a minor case of food poisoning without too much difficulty. It might also have been important to notify an authority to the food poisoning and where it might be coming from, so that the proper steps could be taken to increase food health in the area.

 

Upari was interested in this specific concept, it was quite obvious that it was an extension of the heat based control of their previous lesson. However, the Shard realized that while the question of heat on Ultimatum's skin was not too concerning as far as pain and permanent damage went, but an organic could feel pain through skin. "How do you keep yourself from burning or being damaged by the heat?"



#37
Jessica Med-Beq

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Identifying what caused the poisoning to occur is not straightforward without a medtox detector. As for keeping organic users from burning or otherwise being damaged from the heat, when using Convection, it's typically because you keep some distance between the heat film and your skin, probably a centimeter or so, and it is skin-tight: pyro/cryokinesis also allows you to confine heat and cold respectively, but even then Convection is best used only for short periods of time, Jessica thought, while knowing that medtox detectors are typically part of a standard Jedi Healer's kit of instruments, alongside a first aid kit. And also, she was in the waiting line for the shop that sold coconut curry rotini, with other people buying meals like pacan salad, vegetable skewers, and it was, in fact, a vegan restaurant. She realized there was a time to be tasting new foods, like now. After all, she traveled the galaxy, she had to eat a variety of foods on Jedi duty. Once she arrived at the counter, after about a dozen customers got served, a WA-7 droid served her, as if a relic that was somehow still being used to serve people in fast-food establishments like this one. A little different from the common fast-food fixtures to be sure.

 

"May I take your order?"

 

"I would like a coconut curry rotini combo with a vegetable skewer and a cherry soda please" she answered, while flashing the one-day food pass.

 

"Thank you" the waitressing droid replied, with a tray containing the two items in question being handed to Jessica, who promptly returned to the table Ultimatum occupied with the tray in tow.