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Jun 21, 2021 11:23 AM
A Mica is useful to science.
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“I don’t want anyone to know where I am.”

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"Stick to reading and don't tell anyone anything. I'd tell you how to set it up so you're connecting through a proxy but I don't know how to do that."

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“Okay.”

He stares at the phone for a few moments and then flips it open carefully.

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"So that icon in the middle of the bottom row is the one that connects you to the internet. You can touch it with your finger, the screen can tell when someone touches it."

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Poke.

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Internet!

"There you go. That stripe at the top is the address bar, it's where you put the name of the website you want to go to. I think if you touch it you should get some letters on the screen that you can use for typing. Or you can use the buttons somehow but that's probably harder."

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“What name should I write?”

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Vance spells out the whole address for Wikipedia, starting with the H. It's a little slow to load.

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Mica types it in slowly but dutifully. The expression on his face doesn’t change when the page loads, but his wings twitch behind him.

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"There you go. This site has its own search bar, see, here..." Vance leans in to point it out.

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The phone goes flying as Mica scrambles backwards, wings flaring out in a doomed attempt to maintain balance. He lands awkwardly, keeps moving away from Vance.

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"...Should've seen that one coming. I'll just, uh... leave you to it, then."

Presumably Vance is the last person Mica would like to help him up. He'll just go somewhere else where Mica can avoid him.

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Mica isn’t listening anymore. He’s not moving away anymore, either. He’s curled up in a ball, shaking, his wings providing a sort of coccoon-like shelter.

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Which Vance doesn't see because he's not looking back.

He goes back to his plants.

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A very tense Mica finds him there about an hour later.

”I’m. I’m sorry.”

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"You're sorry that I hurt you?"

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He doesn’t know what to say to that.

”You didn’t hurt me,” he tries.

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"No harm done, then! Did you figure the internet out on your own?"

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He shakes his head. “I tried.”

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"Well, you can ask me if you have any questions."

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”There are a lot of words I don’t know.”

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"If any of them are blue you can try touching them, they might link to articles on them. Or you can try putting those words in the search bar."

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“Oh.” That does make the whole thing seem less overwhelming. He hugs the phone to his chest. “Thank you.”

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"Any time! Oh, I should mention, it costs a certain amount to use a phone for anything interesting. I paid in advance, you should be able to read whatever you want for a while. I'll keep covering it, it doesn't cost a lot, just remind me if I forget, just bear in mind if I leave or anything happens to me you'll have to find another way to pay your phone bill."

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“Okay.”

If Vance doesn’t object, he’s going to sit here and poke at the phone for a while.

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