Oct 15, 2019 3:48 PM
Margaret in Medallion
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"I'd appreciate it. So, you said you had delivery options?" She can take notes on delivery options; depending on how time-crunched she ends up being, even expensive shipping could be more efficient than popping around sticking them in people's mailboxes.

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"We do! The package I'd recommend to you includes the aforementioned security and insurance -" She goes on with the other features of the package she recommends.

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Margaret writes all of this down. Some of the notes end up on the back of yesterday's junk mail and some end up on her arm, but none end up on the diagram paper and that's really the important part.

"Okay, thanks. And are you also interested in having any containers made larger on the inside than the outside, or are you mostly constrained on weight?"

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"I'll need to talk with some of our logistics people about that! Weight is the standard thing to charge by but there may be situations where we're volume limited."

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"Okay. I think that's everything, then."

 

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"Thanks so much for calling! Can I get your number and name?"

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She provides them. If that's all, she can go back to tracing diagrams until her eyes won't focus.

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Yup, that's all.

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If she does an embarrassingly large fraction of her homework on the bus the day it's due, she can have a respectable number of medallions ready (and their diagrams stacked up for recharging) by the next time Bella can visit. It's about 2/3 species that have no medallions and 1/3 species whose medallions are rare and expensive.

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Bella comes by. "Hi! How've you been doing? I found a very extortable rich person."

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"And I bet they're very happy you found them! I found a company that knows stuff about shipping things to Avalons and I mentioned that I was looking for help with the business side; hopefully one of them will smell money and if not at least I have shipping sorted out. And I have an update to the web store all ready to go with the new listings once we're done here."

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"You're really on top of things, aren't you." She sets about recharging diagrams.

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"Thanks! I miiiight have not gotten enough sleep some of the past few nights. Don't worry, though, I'm not tired enough today to risk messing up my timing." She has the diagrams for the sphinx-magic step all rolled up together, and unrolls them into a stack on the floor.

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Recharge recharge recharge. "Are you sure? Should you be taking little cognitive tests to screen for being tireder than you feel?"

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"I got a normal amount of sleep last night, and when I stay up late it's to do my schoolwork; I do the diagrams first when I'm the most awake. But I can definitely start checking if it will make you more comfortable." She resolves to start checking regardless; harming or inconveniencing Bella in any way is just about the last thing she wants.

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"I don't know how much of a hassle you'd find it and maybe it really isn't called for," Bella shrugs.

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"No, it's a good thought. On a different subject, I'm thinking of selling some medallions to magic stores if we turn out to be able to keep ahead of website demand, since not all critters shop on the internet. Possibly skipping the Seattle one in case the owner is still mad."

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"Wouldn't that be a fuck-you to him," snorts Bella.

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"I wouldn't be skipping him as revenge, I just worry that he'd find some way to make it not a mutually beneficial deal. Which is basically the consequences of his actions, so I guess it is sort of revenge."

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"I just imagine he'd find it disproportionate or something. What'd he do?"

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"When I was working on reverse-engineering stuff I asked if I could buy things and sell them back to him later and he acted like I was looking for an excuse to sabotage everything, and just generally like he wasn't interested in having positive-sum interactions he hadn't already thought of. I'll probably circle back to him after I've sold to a couple other stores and have more of a sense of how those things normally go; I'm really not out to harm him, just nervous."

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"In fairness it is very suspicious, in most retail interactions, to be quite that interested in the return policy."

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"True. And I ended up not needing to use it and neither of us is any worse off. I thought about buying a bunch of luck charms and whatnot and reverse-engineering them, but then medallions turned out to be more doable than I was afraid of and I never got back around to it. Also the luck charms might be the intellectual property of someone who was still alive."

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"Luck charms are weird. Luck should not be a thing like that, you know?"

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"It really shouldn't! Like, all the different things people call 'luck'--getting a winning lottery ticket, not being stuck in traffic, having the test be on exactly what you studied--they're all different things, and they're all--spread out in time and space, right? I don't even know what you'd do to the atoms in the universe that would systematically produce luck. If the charms aren't just fake they're amazing."

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