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Aug 18, 2019 11:07 AM
Upload and Daisy
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Margaret is exploring the tunnels under Whateley again, because everyone else is in the cafeteria and that's only so interesting when you can't eat or drink. There's some pretty interesting stuff down here! For instance, this room has a bar in it, and despite the entrance being underground the window has a view of exploding stars.

She admires the view for a bit, then wanders up to the bar.

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It quickly becomes obvious that Deskyl and DZ are getting time-dilated again; the medical droids, and occasionally DZ, come down for food quite often. And before too long, one of them requests another replacement arm from the bar.

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The medical droids tend to be in and out with little time to chat, so Upload spends most of her time chatting with Bar or other patrons and absorbing the technical knowledge of the multiverse. 

When one of them asks for an arm for DZ, and DZ isn't here, she's rather alarmed. "Excuse me", she says softly to the medical droid, "Is DZ alright? I mean, could she have come down for her own arm if she wanted?"

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"Yes ma'am."

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"Okay . . . Can you tell her that if she ever wants me to visit her upstairs instead of her coming down, I'd be happy to?" She really doubts DZ will understand the subtext there, but she's kind of short on better ideas. "Oh, that reminds me," she adds casually, "what's your room number?"

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"Yes ma'am. Master Deskyl is in room 3461."

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"Okay, thank you." She can't exactly decide to go looking if DZ doesn't show up in a certain amount of time, both because of the time dilation and because the various droids don't strictly take turns doing the grocery run, but she can sketch blueprints for miniaturized cameras and/or communicators and she can definitely fret.

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DZ comes down shortly, anyway. She heads to the bar to ask for a datapad, but stops by Margaret's table rather than heading straight back upstairs. "Hello; is everything all right?"

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"I'm fine, but I've been worried about you. I keep thinking you might get hurt worse than just needing another arm. Or you might, how to put this, you might feel like you need to stay with Deskyl even if you're having a bad time, and I know you care about her a lot but I don't want you to have a bad time. So I'm fretting about it."

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"Yes ma'am. I'm fine, but Deskyl is worried about that too; she sent me down for books to read to help me think about it."

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"That's good to hear. May I see what the books are called?" If DZ accepts, Margaret scans the list of titles on the datapad upside down.

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It's a relatively short list, just ten books: five on recognizing and leaving abusive relationships, two on self-care for people in service roles, one titled "Self-Ownership and You", and two with titles too abstract to guess their contents from.

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Unless that's a very misleading set of titles, it sounds like Deskyl and DZ have their hearts in the right place. So to speak. 

"Thanks. Good luck up there; I hope Deskyl will feel better and be ready to fight again soon. And that the next fight won't hurt her so badly."

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DZ nods. "I think she might go soon - it's still not a good idea, but she's improving, if she's careful it won't be catastrophic."

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"Yeah. Even with Milliways pausing time, I can understand wanting to go sooner rather than later." Left unspoken is the thought that Deskyl is the hardest to kill of the three of them, but also the only one who ages. "I know I've already said it, but if there's anything else I can do to help her chances, let me know."

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"I will, ma'am, thank you."

 

The next couple days pass uneventfully; DZ comes down regularly for food, and doesn't need any more replacement limbs. Eventually, though, she comes looking for Upload, carrying Deskyl's extra arm rig.

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"Hi, DZ! Is something up with the arms?"

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"Yes, ma'am, we aren't sure what; Master Deskyl went to practice with them and they wouldn't respond."

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"Maybe something got knocked loose in the fight and just fell out. Let me see . . . " she takes the arms and examines them for a bit. "They look fine . . . oh, I bet they need recalibrating! If anything about her distribution of brainwaves changed they wouldn't be registering right."

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"That could be it. Will you need to see her?"

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"Yeah, she'll need to sit still wearing the headband for ten, maybe twenty minutes while I tweak stuff."

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DZ nods. "I think we can do that safely, if you're comfortable with it, ma'am."

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"If you say it's safe, I'm okay with it."

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"Yes ma'am." She takes the arms back and starts heading to the room. "One of the books had some advice on how to talk to her, it's been very useful."

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"I'm gad to hear it. Anything I should be replicating?"

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"I think you'll be okay, ma'am, you won't be talking to her about anything sensitive. But the trick is to use I-statements; they don't sound like you're challenging her as much, and that gives her more of a chance to catch herself before she reacts."

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