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Dec 08, 2019 4:08 PM
jean and imrainai in the good place
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"Pleased to make your acquaintance. I assume you live in the neighborhood?"

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"We're not alive."

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"That's a good point. You reside in the neighborhood?"

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"Yes. Everyone does."

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"Well, not everyone-everyone, Michael said there's a train that connects them and lets people visit. But I'm guessing they'll probably wait for everyone to get settled in before they introduce anyone new. How're you liking it so far?"

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"It's perfect."

(He doesn't say it enthusiastically, but he's not sarcastic either. He sounds like someone explaining that the sky is blue or that down is that way.)

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"I'm glad you think so," she says brightly. "I'm still working on finding everything - haven't found any books yet, for one thing, and I was hoping I'd be able to catch up on my reading. Do you run any of the shops in town? I'd love to hear about whatever it is you're working on."

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"I don't."

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"That's sort of a relief, I was hoping I wasn't the only one. I'm not entirely sure when everyone else found the time to start running theirs, given that it's only been a few hours since the orientation."

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"I imagine you could ask Michael."

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"I probably should! Jean didn't want to bother him with little things, but if I can't find a bookstore then I might just ask him about opening one myself. - Sorry, Jean's my soulmate, according to Michael. I suppose you have a soulmate, too?"

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"Everyone does."

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"That is what they said. You'd think there'd be some people who're perfectly happy on their own, but I suppose it is what it is. Anyway, love to have the two of you over sometime, after you're settled in. We've got this absurdly complicated kitchen that looks like it's begging to be used to feed everyone in the neighborhood."

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"All right."

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"Excellent! I'll have to talk to Jean about it before I finalize a time, but if you tell me where your house is I can stop by later and invite you over properly."

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"It's complicated. You wouldn't remember it."

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"That's a shame. Anywhere you're likely to be in the near future? I'd ask for your phone number but I don't know that anyone has those anymore."

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"There aren't phones here."

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"That was my impression, yeah. I imagine it's useful for encouraging face-to-face interaction with each other, which is great, but I will have to figure out how to handle logistics properly without them. Hm, tell you what, I think Jean's probably still outside. I suppose we could just head back out and ask him when would be a good time to have you over. Keep it simple."

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"That sounds simple," he -- agrees? That was probably agreement.

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"Mhmm!" she says brightly, before making her way back to the front of the store. She calls out to the proprietress before leaving. "Thanks so much for humoring me, but I think I'll have to admit defeat for today. Love to see the rest of the shop some other time, though!"

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She waves cheerfully.

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Jean is outside, looking -- contemplative, but in a way a little like someone carved a sculpture of Man Looking Contemplative and left it out in front of the building.

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"Hi!" she says, waving a little. "So I don't think there were any books in that one. I am beginning to suspect that there aren't any books for sale anywhere, in which case I think maybe I should talk to Michael about setting up a little bookshop somewhere. I did get to meet one of our neighbors, though! This is Egbert."

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Jean stops looking statuelike as soon as she starts speaking. He smiles at her and Egbert -- more at her, though -- and offers the latter a hand, which Egbert stares at blankly for a moment before shaking.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Egbert. Karen, of course you should have a bookshop if you want one. I'm sure it can be arranged."

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