Mar 20, 2019 9:29 AM
Mab falls into Frostpunk
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"Sled dogs are not mean, but they're not nice either. They don't know their own strength sometimes. They get spooked or upset and bite. Helps if they know you." Cooper shrugs. 

Glen taps his foot rapidly and comments, "I'm not sure we actually have any cats. I hope we do. They kill rats if nothing else, and I would be deeply surprised if none of those bloody things came along for the ride."

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"The dogs sound a bit like - horses, maybe, where you have to know how to handle them. Although obviously what they really are is dogs, I'm just trying to compare... And wouldn't surprise me either, most of the cats I've met have been ancient and battle-scarred and scary smart. Maybe they don't have nine lives, but sometimes they really seem like they do."

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"Never worked with horses," Cooper comments. "Too cold for them up here."

Glen shrugs. "I suppose they're going to put you to, ah, specialized work tomorrow, Miss Mabel?"

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"Yes, that's right. I'm glad everything was worked out so quickly."

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"We have to be efficient, if nothing else, under these conditions. I'm sure you'll contribute very well."

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"Thank you, I hope so too."

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"We'll be heading back out to scout and scavenge some more in a day or two. I'll be glad for a proper bed while I can have it, I'll admit."

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"I'm glad there are people who do that job, and not only because you found me.

"-- oh, that reminds me, I really should've asked this before, but what's this general region called?"

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"We've been calling it the Frostlands. I believe it's technically northern Canada?"

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...makes sense, but also, what the heck portalsnake.

"Good to know. Frostlands suits it." And probably a decent chunk of the rest of the world too, but no one said place names had to be distinctive.

Mabel notices that she hasn't actually eaten anything and starts correcting that.

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Dinner finishes up pretty quickly after that.

Some people stay to chat to each other, but Glen excuses himself to go crash into a bed. Cooper nods at her and suggests that maybe she can meet the dogs better some time, when everything's not so rushed, then walks away without another word or even a goodbye.

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Meeting people is really just like opening a box of Every Flavour Beans.

Mabel sticks around for a bit, but it's been a long day; soon enough she goes to find her room and crash for the night. 

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A no-nonsense woman, Mary Sheffield, one of the Captain's assistants, shows her there and explains the minimal utilities (just a water tap and a radiator, really). It's nicer than most of the other buildings around.

"We're working on getting enough real houses for everyone. Children and cripples first, then engineers and other highly skilled personnel, then everyone else. If you have an issue with it let me know tomorrow. Sorry to be abrupt, but I have more work to do. Goodnight."

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"Night!"

She tests the flexibility of her wand and decides it's safe to stow under her pillow, then turns in for the night. 

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The city goes to sleep around her. The winds buffet the house, making ominous noises. The radiator hums, keeping the cold at bay.

The next morning a loud foghorn sounds just before dawn, and someone's voice echoes over the city, "Six in the morning! Time to get up and prepare for the day!"

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For a moment she's surprised not to be at Hogwarts.

Mabel does not dispute the echoing voice's assertion, although she's sleepy enough that she'd dearly like to. She gets up and splashes some water on her face and eventually peeks out the door to see where everyone's heading.

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Everyone else seems to still be getting up, getting dressed, cleaning up, and the like. One woman has a mechanical leg which gives her a bit of a limp. They're speaking in low voices. "Another day, another shift. A day off is too much to ask for, I suppose."

"Well, we're not dead yet, so there's that."

"True enough."

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She can't really dispute that either.

Mabel performs the miscellaneous morning tasks of getting dressed and cleaning up and otherwise making herself presentable, wishing she'd inquired more closely about the schedule yesterday. She tries to be quick. Occasionally she checks out the door again to gauge if people have started moving along.

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People aren't in that much of a rush, it seems.

After a while, that administrator lady from yesterday, Mary Sheffield, comes and gets her. "Work starts at eight, so by getting up at six everyone has a couple of hours to wake up, eat, talk and relax however much they can, bring up any concerns to the administration, and so on. Six-thirty, now. I'm to show you the coal piles when work starts, and introduce you to the workers operating the generator. Do you want to get breakfast now, see the Captain again? Anything you'd like that I can do to help you settle in, here."

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"I'd like to get breakfast now, if it's not too much trouble. And there's something I've been meaning to ask - how, hmm, freely known are my abilities? I'm not quite sure how much to explain if it comes up."

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"We've been trying to keep it relatively quiet. People will gossip, but everyone's busy, so it doesn't go as far. And if we don't confirm it, it's just a strange rumor, along with all the others. You're getting a bit of preferential treatment, so some folk might be a bit jealous. If you want to - hmm, publicize it - we'd want to control how that happens if possible. But the current idea is to let the idea filter out slowly, tell individual people, let them gossip, and then announce it some time when not everybody will be shocked all at once. After you've proven useful, too, is a factor. The official story is that you have special skills that make your time of high value."

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"Alright. I do plan on - living up to the story.  Is there likely to be any sort of backlash over the truth? I get the sense it's the sort of thing that - people really don't expect to exist."

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"I'm... Not sure. I don't know anyone who I think would react badly, but there might be someone... But we do have a police force, anyway. The guards were hand-picked by the Captain. If you feel unsafe, of course, defend yourself, and the police will look out for you too. I should probably, er, introduce you, though."

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"That's good to know, and I won't say no to an introduction."

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Then she can get breakfast, and then be introduced to the chief of the guards, a large and fit man who grins wide at her and shakes her hand. "So this is the new special someone! Marion Kant, at your service."

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