Oct 15, 2019 3:18 PM
A Margaret in a transdimensional transhumanist beauty salon
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In she goes! She expects Marel will not be hard to find either.

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Marel is in fact quite easy to find.

"Everything go well, I hope?" she asks.

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"It did! They had everything on your list. I checked out some books for myself too, I hope that's okay. I figure I can return them at the same time as the rest." She starts stacking Marel's books on the nearest table.

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"That's just fine. This can be one of your more routine tasks, if you'd prefer."

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"I'm always in favor of more trips to the library! Though I recall there were also a dying star and an erupting volcano you wanted someone to visit, and now that I'm not tripping over my feet anymore I'm pretty excited for those too."

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"There's always much of interest to do, yes. Do you want another assignment now?"

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"Yes, but I should probably check what time it is outside first; my parents will worry if I'm out much past dinnertime."

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"Sensible. The building might provide you the relevant clock; we have a room for labeled clocks just for that reason... Or we could check the internet where you're from."

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"Whatever is more convenient, though the room full of labeled clocks sounds neat."

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"The clock room, in fact. I can give you directions easily enough."

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"Sounds good!" She can follow directions! To, presumably, a room full of clocks.

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The room is massive, an enormous number of styles of clocks - and means of marking time. Some have twelve hours, some eight and some ten and some twenty... And that's only the ones at all familiar in style. Some are spinning symbols, some are digital displays with a rapidly changing sequence of ten numbers, some have multiple interlocking wheels...

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Ooooooh, neat!

 

Whoops, she just spent multiple minutes staring at the gears on that one. Now she's going to find the one she needs to care about. What time is it in Framingham, Massachusetts, Earth?

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Not quite dinner time yet, but it's getting close.

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She reports this back to Marel. "I probably don't have time for another trip out today, but I can be back tomorrow morning. Really early, even, since I don't have to sleep. Do you have specific hours, or is it more 'if the building is here it's open and if it's not I should come back later'?"

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"More the latter, unfortunately."

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"Well, I'll do my level best to come in to work tomorrow, then. Before I leave, can you help me understand how I'll know how much of my debt is paid off at any given time? I know it's not exact, but some way to tell when I'm halfway done, or whatever, would be nice."

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"Of course."

She explains the local value system, and how much value each task is worth - the library trip is a decent amount but not much, because there's a lot of people who like doing that and the riddles can be hard but not dangerous. Things that someone without Margaret's modifications couldn't do will pay better. Of course, there's also 'how much does Marel want this done'...

Margaret can access her records through this room over here, if she wants either an update on her current debt or to reacquire her blueprints or similar.

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That's all very excellent and orderly and she thinks she's getting "paid" a totally reasonable amount. And now she needs to go home if she's going to have time to stash her main body in a bush and show up in the human-passing one.

She's back the next morning, before dawn so nobody's alarmed by a robot-dragon landing on the sidewalk.

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"Good morning, Margaret," Marel says, once the girl at the front desk has directed her back. "Here for more work?"

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"Yup!" She says with a swish of her tail. "Today I'm ready for jobs that take advantage of my sturdiness." Space space she's going to go to space!

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She laughs. "Want to survey a star, then?"

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"I absolutely want to survey a star."

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"Let me explain the sensory array for this, then, and I'll start you off with something interesting but not dangerous, how about? You can work your way up to active super novas and star nurseries."

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"Sounds good to me!" New senses, nice!

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