Dec 15, 2018 6:25 PM
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"Yes, but there is not a hope in hell that I will actually do that."

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"I know, just reminding you that I'm not in fact holding anyone hostage to my reluctance to leave."

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"I won't consider myself to have missed anything interesting if we go home and never find out whether or not more alts came by afterward, but I sure as hell will if I go home and you pop out a few seconds later having actually met some."

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"If I meet more while waiting I can open the door and tell you and you can come back in to have a look," she points out.

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"And yet I'd still feel like I missed something."

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"And the door might decide to vanish on you until they're gone out of pure spite," Mark contributes.

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"Still, please do not hurry me out the door until I am good and done waiting."

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"I might be about ready to go, myself. I'm not in quite as good a position as you are to exploit what we've already got. After a certain point it amounts to narcissistic curiosity about all the myriad ways I can exist, and that's worth some loitering but possibly not a week's worth."

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"I wonder," muses Mark, "if there's such a thing as a full alt of me."

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"Or for that matter differently mixed-and-matched combinations. I will refrain from listing examples lest I terrify myself."

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"That would be even more bizarre than Lalita, I think."

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"Just a bit, yeah."

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He shrugs. "I won't worry till I see one, though."

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Eventually, after double-checking that there are no things on the relevant order of usefulness that they should be hauling home, Isabella and Lalita and many souvenirs depart (though not before Isabella and Linya hug each other).
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(And Lalita scoops up Mark one more time.)

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