Aug 19, 2019 1:55 AM
Tarinda and Page bring a seed of the super-AI Sing to Cloudbank
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"I can wait, I just want to develop a sense of the place."

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"Understood! I'm definitely not complaining about you continuing to peel potatoes for me."

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"You got it." Peel peel.

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Rem continues telling her biography in disjointed pieces and chatting about whatever comes to mind while cooking. Tarinda even runs out of potatoes to peel and is put to other tasks.

But eventually they have a lot of food, and the ship is no longer swaying quite as much, and she says, "Wanna do the honors and ring the dinner not-a-real-bell?" And holds out a big wooden spoon and a plate.

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"Sure!" And she taps the plate with the spoon.

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And the crew of the ship assembles! Most of them, anyway, Rem names people and says that Cliff, Benny, and Claire are still on post - elevators, helm, and engine respectively. "I'll fetch 'em a snack and they'll get to have a proper meal later."

 

Captain Flint is a surprisingly short man with wide shoulders, black hair, and a perpetually skeptical look. "Welcome aboard. Rem dragged you into the kitchen, eh? You would have said something if you needed patching up, I hope?"

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"Oh, sure, but I'm fine, not that the potatoes didn't really hit the spot."

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"Food typically does when you haven't had much for a while, yes. I'd imagine a warm blanket and a nice hammock will do the same. She's quite... Bright, isn't she?"

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"I'm not sure I know what you mean."

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"Cheerful? Unwearied by the world? Halfway genius with an oven?"

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"She is that!"

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He chuckles. "I apologize for the delay in welcoming you properly, but getting away from a firestorm is fairly urgent. I'm Captain Raymond Flint. Welcome to the Tricky Ray. Shall we sit and eat?" He gestures to the table where the crew who came in with him are already chowing down. Darien waves at her.

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"Can't scare me." She sits and takes some food. She waves back at Darien.

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Dinner conversation seems to largely consist of in-jokes and comments about each others' job performance. Darien suggests that he could show her how the engine works after dinner, then hesitates and says, "If that's alright, Captain."

"If that is how you wish to spend your free time I would not dream of stopping you, Mr. Verres," replies the Captain. "So long as you don't get in the way too much."

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"Thanks!"

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Flint asks, "Have you been on ships much, Miss Tarinda?"

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"Not that much, no! And never one like this."

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He raises an eyebrow. "I was under the impression that mine is a fairly typical example of the species. Single engine, semi-rigid balloon, hanging gondola."

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"Well, it's all new to me. I want to see it all."

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"I'm sure we can oblige our unexpected guest."

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"Thanks!"

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"You will have seen the deck, the corridors, and Rem's domain. Any burning questions so far?"

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"Mostly asked Rem things that occurred to me."

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Flint nods. "I intend to deliver you to the first sizable town we encounter without any conditions. I would want to discuss a work schedule or some other trade if you desire to stay aboard longer."

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"How big is sizeable?"

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