May 26, 2019 10:09 PM
Margaret in Neuroi World
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Eredan shrugs. "It is a time like any other."

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That gets about two seconds of incredulous stare, and then Margaretta gets distracted by wanting to know the English names of all her favorite foods, and also whether they eat different foods in London and what those are like.

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She can learn those words! British people tend to eat more beans, more beef and pork when they can afford it. Coffee and tea is very popular there and they have 'tea-times' where you eat little snacks or cakes and have tea in the middle of the day, if you are wealthy enough.

Mala wants Freya to translate a song into English! Freya cautions that art like that does not tend to translate well. Mala pouts.

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Snacks and cakes in the middle of the day sounds like a very intelligent use of wealth, at least if your goal is to have a good time. Maybe they can learn some songs that are already in English, if translating other ones would be too hard.

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Freya 'hmm's. "...I only learned English a decade ago, myself. Not as a child. But I know one song. Learned it from the farmers who'd give me little gifts when I was couriering to little villages."

She takes them through the lyrics of her song slowly, translating each of the words as best she can, and then, tapping the table for a beat, they can all try to sing a song about a fox stealing a goose.

 

"It's a little sad animals that can only eat meat exist," Mala says, "They have to kill other things to eat."

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"That is kind of sad, I guess. Do you not eat meat?"

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"Sometimes it's all we have. And my mom says if you don't eat any meat you get sick. So I guess people do, too." Mala shrugs.

Eredan says, "They teach hunters not to attack an animal unless you're sure you can do it fast and clean. It's better to be fast and painless than not, if you're going to hunt anyway."

Mala nods rapidly.

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"At least with farms you take care of the animal for a while before you kill it, and it would have died of something eventually anyway, so it's sort of fair? But if you have to hunt you have to hunt."

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"I don't know that farms aren't crueler," Eredan muses. "Those animals never even have a chance."

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"Maybe. It's sad that we need to eat animals at all."

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Freya says, "In my opinion, it's sort of the natural order of things. Humans are the smartest creatures. We are given intelligence, and tools, and magic, which adds up to dominion over the Earth."

Mala makes a face. "Are you talking about chrisit- christ-i-an-ity again?"

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"Well, humans eating animals is definitely better than animals eating humans, but just because we have dominion over them doesn't mean we shouldn't try to be kind if we can and we want to."

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Things have strayed a bit from the original point of English lessons. Freya drags them back on track by getting everyone to tell the story of a typical day, waking up, brushing one's teeth (yes, that's a thing you're expected to do in flight school, it keeps them healthy), having breakfast, and so on. It's good vocabulary. Eredan seems bored. Mala tries her best but forgets lots of things.

Eventually, she announces that their boat is probably here by now, does anyone want to go check with her?

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Margaret has no objection to brushing her teeth; they feel nicer afterward. She soaks up vocabulary like an intelligent, diligent child with zero education in how to efficiently memorize things. 

She definitely wants to see the boat! Boats continue to be great.

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It's sitting in harbor, Brittanian flag raised high. It's another caravel, with two lateen style sails! The ship isn't terribly large, but it's faster than most other sailing sorts of boats according to Freya.

The captain comes out to shake Freya's hand, a man with a scruffy beard dressed in a blue mariner's coat. "Normally we'd be here a day or so, but the Sunrise can go out again as soon as you need her to. We're fresh from Dublin, and my ship's sailed for months at a time before so a few days is nothing. I hear you three are in a hurry to get to London, eh, little ones?"

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"There's no need to hurry just for us, but I do want to see London. Your ship is beautiful!" She stares at the rigging, aware that there must be a logic to it and wishing she could understand that logic.

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"She is! With these sails we - they're a bit loose, see? - You can catch and funnel the breeze, sail into the wind and turn around like a fish. Try that in any ship with square rigging and you'll go nowhere, or maybe backwards."

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Margaretta giggles a bit at the image of a ship sailing around backwards. "Wow." She turns to Freya. "I wonder if my power could get strong enough to steer a ship, if it had metal in the right places."

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"Does it push against you when you move metal? Does it push against the earth or anything else, do you know? Or is the metal simply - suddenly moving in a different way?"

"Eh, I trust the wind and current more than magic, no offense," captain Reyson comments.

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"It doesn't push me, and I've never noticed pushing something making a hole in the ground or anything." To Captain Reyson, "No offense taken. Wind and current work pretty well, and I'm not trained in moving ships. I don't think I'd know what to do even if I had the power for it today."

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"Some telekinesis sorts of specials must be counterbalanced, as if you were pushing something with your muscles. Yours probably doesn't if you haven't noticed anything, which is useful."

"Hmm... Even if I put something in the sails' spars and had you pull that forward, it wouldn't behave like wind does... Wind goes off to the side. And you might break the mast or something too. Magic is right useful but sometimes the way we already know how to do is best."

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"Yes. I expect a ship designed for me to move it would come out really different from one designed for sailing. And at that point I should just use a broom."

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"Unless you're helping a big cargo vessel along? I hear they're doing all sorts of crazy things with ships lately to make them faster, to move things around for the demon war, but Sunrise and I go way back and I doubt I'll ever captain one of those. At any rate, let's get you four settled, eh? I have two guest cabins for you to share. Sorry, but space is a little bit limited aboard. And to be clear - witches or not, the Captain is the master of his ship when it's at sea. If I tell you to do something, or not to something, I expect you to obey. I might not have time to explain if you're accidentally doing something dangerous, for example. And don't go climbing on things or poking your nose into places without asking me first, alright?"

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Margaretta nods. Those rules make perfect sense to her; it's no different from how a smith needs to be in charge in his smithy or her father is in charge in his workshop. She assumes she'll end up rooming with Freya, since Mala and Eredan will want to room with each other, and that's a little intimidating but she'll manage.

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If that arrangement makes the most sense, it all works out. The trip will only be a day or two, so Freya will string up a little hammock or sleep during the day and let Margaretta have the bed at night, as she prefers.

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