Jul 17, 2019 1:18 AM
Tarinda and Page bring a seed of the super-AI Sing to Cloudbank
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Cloudbank is a beautiful place, from a certain perspective. Blue sky and white clouds above, all around, and misty white clouds below.

Here is an island of solidity in the sea of sky. The wind is a steady breeze, the floating island sitting just barely on top of a dense, foggy layer of air. It's not an especially large island, perhaps two hundred feet wide and three hundred long all told, curved slightly like the back of some giant beast.

The sandy soil is thin, and wears straight through to a porous-looking sort of rock in places. There are grasses and weeds and shrubs and a few trees, plus a few small creatures. Some familiar, like the wild onions. Some alien, like the thickets of not-quite-grass with flimsy, transparent, bulging seeds straining upwards against their mooring.

A songbird casually swoops from its nest and catches one of these seeds in its bill, while something with tentacles and a large gas-bag clings to the island at the edge, nibbling on the alien leaves of something reminiscent of mangroves, a three-dimensional web of stems and flaxen roots.

And then someone else arrives.

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Her next shift at the bar isn't until the afternoon, but the delivery service across the street is happy to have her carry boxes across the city until then.

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Can do. She can carry many boxes.

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...She gets some worried, some wary looks at that show of strength. The words 'Lost Tech' are muttered by more than one person.

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...she is tentatively okay with that rumor.

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It's a very gossipworthy rumor, apparently. Her coworkers at the bar have heard it when she gets there and ask if it's true she has Lost Tech inside her body.

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"I know where all of my tech is! I didn't lose it!"

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So she has found tech?

Where did she find the tech?

Is it why she's kind of stunningly pretty (and where can I get some)?

There's an argument about whether 'Lost Tech' means 'lost' or 'not buildable'.

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"I didn't find any either! It was a joke."

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Probably not all of them really believe it's a joke, she's pretty fantastic, but most do.

Their boss comes in and tells everyone to get to work already. The gossiping crowd disperses rapidly.

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Tarinda gets back to work. And when work is done she looks for long-term-affordable lodging.

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Cheap apartments in the seedy part of town will barely even ask for her name. Slightly nicer apartments want some paperwork from City Hall. City Hall wants her to pass a written exam on the law and pay processing fees.

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How steep are the processing fees?

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There's a fee for taking the test, for borrowing a copy of the legal code so she can study for the test, for getting the residency paperwork, for getting the tax paperwork, and one fee apparently just because.

They add up to about four and a half coppers. Four if she can skip borrowing a legal code copy somehow.

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Yeah she's gonna just stay in a sketchy place for the time being.

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Sketchy place is happy to have her money. The landlady recommends keeping her sword nearby (and doesn't blink at the sword).

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"I'll sleep with it strapped on, ma'am."

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Stern nod. "Here's your key. If you break stuff I'll kick you out. We don't collect trash here, you gotta take it to a place."

The sketchy place does have sketchy characters of various sorts, but nobody actually works up the nerve to bother her.

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Good. She doesn't want to have to hurt anybody. She asks where trash should be taken and for grocery store recommendations.

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There's a few trash places. Some take it for free and sort it and recycle it. Some pay you small amounts for sorted and clean trash, especially usefully recyclable kinds. For cheap groceries she wants Magda's on such-and-such a street.

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Cool. She buys some food. She notes what kinds of trash are useful recyclables.

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In descending order: Anything metal, usable wood and cloth, broken glass or ceramic shards, plastic, paper, compost.

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Good to know. Can people buy things directly off them or is it all processed and marked up?

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Sure, she can buy stuff direct. 

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Good to know.

Are there any lost technology items around here?

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There's a rumor that Mr. Griffing, who owns one of the merchant houses and a bunch of other stuff, has some tucked away in a study somewhere.

There's a rumor that she has lost technology, but she probably already knew that.

There are various other rumors that are either obviously crackpot or obviously scams.

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