Oct 15, 2019 2:51 PM
A Margaret in a transdimensional transhumanist beauty salon
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She'll get the body, then work it off. The contract is mostly enforced by 'people who wouldn't fulfill it don't get a chance to walk in the door,' and 'Marel won't work with people not continuing to make sincere-faith efforts to pay off their contracts.'

Today... One of Marel's other contractees put in a request for an assistant, who'll be harvesting materials while they manage the wildlife or vice versa - world isn't a death world but it's not the type of place you want to be alone and distracted. There's a volcano that's currently erupting, and while it's doing so rare minerals are exposed. With Margaret's radiation-hard mods, she could also gather materials from a dying star, or from this one massive dead creature currently floating in space. There's also this one world that seems to be an infinite flat plane covered in an ocean, one section of which contains the remains of something powerful and magical. Fetch quest to a library-world that requires you to answer a riddle to get in and do business; Marel would provide local currency and a shopping list. Marel also has a variety of trades going on at any given time, and many of her intermediaries for those could use someone sturdy in the escort.

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All of those things sound great! In particular, visiting a dying star sounds super awesome wow, but she should probably do one other thing first to get used to her body before also trying to get used to space space she's gonna go to space. Which of the riddle library and the infinite ocean does Marel want done more, she'll do as many of those things as fit in a weekend but that might end up only being a few of them.

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The riddle library. Most people seem to find the sphinxes off-putting and the riddles annoying, unfortunately, and the trade deals are usually worth more than explorations tend to be.

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"Maybe it's just my general good mood, but riddles and sphinxes both sound awesome right now. So how does getting the new body work, is there an operating room or something?"

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"Yes. You'll be sedated for the procedure. We'll need a list of medications, allergens, and known medical conditions - we do a full-body scan that should catch all that, but it doesn't hurt to double check.

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She would certainly hope she's going to get sedated; any procedure that involves removing her mind from her brain is not the sort of thing she wants to be awake and watching. "Uh, I'm on the birth control pill and I'm allergic to pineapples, no medical conditions other than that."

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"Those should be just fine, then. We'll avoid pineapple-based medication." It's hard to tell if she's being sarcastic, but she is smiling.

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Heh. "And presumably the robot body won't be allergic to anything, on account of not having an immune system or the ability to eat."

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"Exactly. Do you have any other questions? A desire to contact someone, or to take time to think it over? - Leaving the shop without a tie to it is risky, but if you back out and stare at it while making a phone call it won't run away on you. Though doing that sometimes annoys it."

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"Nope." This is definitely a case of "better to ask forgiveness than permission" as far as her parents are concerned. "Let's do it!" Also what does it mean for the building to be annoyed, but she can sit on that question until after she has her shiny new body.

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"Alright. This way, then."

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Excited following! Fiddling with her hair and bouncing a bit!

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There's a good bit of lead-up to the actual anesthetic, but nothing out of the norm for a hospital before a major surgery. They're very meticulous, at least, especially with scanning her, and Marel's explaining every step like she's teaching a student.

And then she's given a skin patch, a pre-anesthetic, which'll make her floaty and happy, and then her consciousness sort of drifts off, and it's like a wall comes down over her memory. (Marel had explained this would happen. Records are available of the entire procedure, if Margaret finds herself curious about what happened between the anesthetic amnesia and falling properly unconscious.)

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Margaret appreciates the explanations, both for peace of mind and because learning useful things is always nice. She drifts off contentedly, expecting to wake up in what feels like only a moment.

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Her senses are a bit scrambled when she does awake. Distant, not really connected to her conscious mind - 

And then they slowly, one by one, snap fully online.

The first obvious thing: her body plan is quite different.

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This is gonna take some getting used to, in a totally awesome way. She starts moving each available limb one at a time, combining sight and proprioception to figure out which mental action goes with what motion.

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She is, fortunately, currently in a large indoor space with nothing delicate to bump into if she decides to push the testing.

Then, over a speaker system: "Does everything feel alright?"

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"I feel fantastic!" She has never felt as good as how she does right now. And she's rapidly becoming less clumsy as she gets a feel for the strength of her motors and the range of motion of her hydraulics. Margaret unfolds and examines her various tools, though she holds off on testing the blowtorch.

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"Good! Once you've gotten a sense of yourself I'll want to more systemically test ranges of motion and such, make sure everything's connected right."

The tools seem all where they should be, and are all of high quality.

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Balance: excellent. Wings: extendable and retractable as expected. Flight: yes! Not much flight, she's large and indoors, but she can get off the ground and demonstrate to herself that she could maneuver if she had more space to.

"Is it alright if I try out the blowtorch in here? Not on anything, just in the air."

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"That's fine."

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In that case, blowtorch! Awwww yeeeeaaaah. In fact: "Awwww, yeeeeaaaah."

"Okay, I think that's everything, we can do those tests now if you like." She is so pretty, wow, she can see most of herself by craning her delightfully long neck around but she still wants to look in a mirror.

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Marel will give her a list of exercises, accompanied by videos if Margaret needs the visual aid. Nothing needs adjusting from these, and once they're done Marel comments, "I'd like to test flying next, since the ground-work checks out. Do you want to take a break before that?"

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"Nope, still having too much fun. Also I don't feel tired yet. Oh, I should have asked, how much if at all will I need to sleep now?"

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"You don't need sleep like biologicals do. You can still go into an idle phase, possibly including dreams, if you're bored, or in a situation where continuing to operate might be dangerous - you produce less heat when idling, for one, and while you're as heat-resistant as I could make you without expensive magic, the external shielding trades off against efficient heat sinks, and you won't always be able to safely open your vents." Venting had been one of the many exercises. 

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