Jun 21, 2021 12:48 PM
a vampire Nick in the Hari Empire
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"...I feel like an alien. I am an alien. And it's not so much there's something to dislike as I don't share any culture at all or even the fuzzy hard-to-explain-why-do-I-bother details of morals and that's getting tiresome."

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"I can learn about your culture or teach you about mine or if you explain what 'morals' is I can tell you how much you'd have to pay me to, uh, be that? Do that?"

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He laughs. It's a little forced. Here we go again. "Well, we consider slavery one of the worst possible things, and illegal."

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"Oh, that explains a lot. Yeah, it sucks, isn't changing that what Valanda wants a whole state for?"

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"I suppose. And there are hundreds and hundreds of governments. The governments have problems of various kinds. I haven't actually interacted with the imperial government enough to compare. There's the occasional war... Not nearly as much recently as in the distant past, but, yes. I'm fairly sure that most people from my world, given a choice to immigrate, would stay put. Morals are... Hard to explain. Sort of an extension of rudeness into a lot of other things with complicated rules. And being paid to be moral kind of defeats the point anyway."

Sigh.

"...Sorry, I think I want to be alone now."

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She walks away immediately when he says that.

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Whoops(?).

Off he goes to mope a little bit about his world not being all it's cracked up to be, then.

Even if there are plenty of good things about Earth, progress and liberty and equality, they really lose their luster under the war and poor law enforcement and all the other problems in many places.

 

He goes to see if Valanda wants anything from him right now.

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Valanda is pretty easily findable, practicing with his staff.

"I always want something from you, but are you okay?"

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"I'm just moping. I'll cope. What can I help you with today?"

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He has some very boring questions that would definitely be worth recording in any history of the infrastructure of the new colony and otherwise not so much.

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A history of the construction of the new colony could be interesting and profitable one day, and he has his vampiric memory, so there's that.

 

He gets out of his funk soon enough. He translates 4 more chapters of the medical textbook for Mahan (So far, he has The Scientific Method As Applied To Medicine, Human Anatomy Overview, The Circulatory System, The Nervous System, The Skeletal System, and The Digestive System).

He orders about a hundred of those temperature-controlled metal disks - and a few larger ones - from the bemused and suddenly richer heat mage. He consults on various infrastructurely things for Valanda. He makes a few more attempts at semiconductors with Dareni's help, which get steadily better as he accumulates more tools and chemicals. He cranks out calculators all more or less identical to the one he sold Valanda and has them warded and sealed up. He shows Valanda the crude prototype of a snow-crawler-car-thing that can just about manage 5 miles an hour, but requires no force mage. He hunts again.

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Valanda is very impressed, Mahan is thrilled and reads a lot, shipping costs exist but the calculators will still be profitable when he's ready to find buyers on the mainland, the metal disks are hot and cold eternally as long as he doesn't saw through them or anything. Infrastructure is planned and tested with a modicum of caution.

After a meeting about infrastructure, while Valanda's sitting and thinking about their conclusions and Saraisan is stretching and Ahgari just hasn't gotten up yet, Dareni sidles up to him. "I haven't gotten laid since I came here and I bet neither have you, wanna fix that together?" she asks Nick in earshot of just about everyone on the continent.

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"W-what?" He almost-whispers, "You're asking that right here? ...Let's talk outside."

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"Sure. Is it a secret when you have sex, too, if hypothetically you agree will I need to sign another contract about it?"

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"No! That's not- Outside."

He practically disappears, letting the speed show.

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She follows.

"If you don't want to you can just say that."

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"You caught me by surprise. It's just - most places on Earth it's incredibly rude, or immoral, more-than-rude, rather, and embarrassing to talk about sex in front of a lot of people, or when the context is business like just after a planning meeting. And it's a - there's an idea that sex with an employee is more-than-rude for power balance reasons, which I'm sure don't quite apply the same way in Har. Different cultures." He snorts.

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"Okay. I know the culture here makes you uncomfortable, do you want me to ask differently if I ever ask you this again?"

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"'Alone' will do. And I didn't say no. You're right, I haven't gotten laid in a while and most of the big reasons why... No longer apply."

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"Well, where do you want to do this, then? Your place or mine?"

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"Hmm. You may have noticed I don't really have a bed in my workshop. Then again, it's more private probably."

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"I say your place, then."

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"Time for another joyride, then."

And: Whoosh.

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Wheeeee!

"So I just realized I've been assuming you work like a human..."

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"More or less, yes. Vampires are more modified humans than anything else. You don't need to see a death mage afterward, but you only have my word for that so I won't mind one bit tossing half the rings for it at you if you want to."

And here they are. He ogles her openly now.

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