Jul 23, 2019 2:02 PM
Fabulous Bell in the Raadch
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Xander is touching up her outfit - he has shoe ideas, something he saw on In Skirts he wants to riff on - when the snake appears.

He sees it first because she can't see anything around her while in starscape. He pushes her out of the way - she doesn't realize what's going on in time to abort the reflex action of stopping herself on the way down - can't switch targets fast enough to stop the snake, when she notices it, to stop it from going on to eat her after it's already gotten him.

Then -

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They're somewhere else. 

 

 

Luckily for them it seems to be somewhere humans can live. This is a big muddy rice field - their feet are quite wet - and at the edge of it there're foothills. There's an airplane overhead. 

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"- fuck," says Isabella.

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"Let's get you out of this mud right now, just, you know, in case -" He gets under her arm to help her trudge out of the mud so she can lastingly fix the bottom eight inches of her outfit.

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There's a road on the edge of the field of rice; it's a bit muddy too but it has dry patches.

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Xander ushers her into a dry patch. "Was that a cryptid? Why the fuck does the magic think a snake with a mirror for a face is pretty enough to do this?"

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"I don't know, maybe we're all just - pale imitations of true mirror-faced snake beauty -" She fixes her dress, magics away the dirt on her feet, puts on her last stable draft of shoes one at a time.

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"...Walk and see what we find, or do you wanna fly it?"

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"Walk. I'm a bit spooked."

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"No argument here." They wordlessly pick a direction and start walking.

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There's a sign on the side of the road. It's made of aggressively shiny steel and looks out of place hammered crookedly into a muddy one-lane road; the writing on it is in an unrecognizable foreign alphabet. 

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"What's that? ...He...brew??"

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"No... I don't know what it is. I haven't looked at all the alphabets ever though."

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The road winds around past a hill and some more rice fields and from there you can see a city in the distance. It's industrial-looking, the buildings have something-like-smokestacks and the air is hazy. There's another sign. 

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"I suppose if I have to I can generate American flag accessories instead of resorting to loudly asking people if they speak English."

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"Guess that might work. Does the nearest embassy legally have to get us a flight home or anything?"

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"Don't know, but they'll probably at least let us have a phone call?"

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"Hi Mom, get on the phone with your insurance and find out if they cover this!"

And on they walk.

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The city is .... bigger than one would expect, which is convenient because it means it's not quite as far away as it initially looked. The shiny plasticine industrial buildings with smokestacks are some two hundred stories high. Trucks drive around their bases, in and out of little doors. There aren't really sidewalks. It's not the friendliest city ever. There are billboards, all in the same unfamiliar language, but otherwise quite familiar -- they depict people kissing, people eating colorful sandwichlike things, resort hotels, kids clinging to colorful toys. 

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"This is... tall. And not pedestrian friendly."

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"This is weirdly tall. I'm not sure buildings are normally this tall anywhere. They don't have windows or I'd count how many stories..."

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A truck drives by them, slowing down considerably at the sight of them but not stopping. 

The truck after that comes to a stop. The driver pulls out a handheld phone or something, rolls down the window a bit, steadies the phone, and then pockets it, rolls up the window, and keeps driving.

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"They're all wearing gloves."

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"Does that tell us what country we're in?"

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"Not without Wikipedia handy. I don't have signal," she adds, pulling out her phone.

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It's twenty minutes before a truck stops other than to take pictures of them. This driver rolls the window down all the way down and shouts something.

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