Oct 15, 2019 3:15 PM
catherine goes from fairyland to milliways and everybody is very concerned at her
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When she thinks she can see him without crying again, she holds her baby close and walks silently back to Rana's.

The room has been replaced with - something else. She has no idea what this means. She has nobody to ask but Rana. Everything she asks places her further in his debt, of course, but it hardly matters now.

She steps inside.

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The new room has stars out the windows, and everything in it looks artificial and polished and not at all like the rest of the court. There are people there; Rána's one of them. So's his red-haired brother, and a human girl of maybe twenty. They are talking; they swing around curiously to look at her.

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- she has no idea what's going on but whatever it is is kind of terrifying and she's not sure she can stick to her resolution not to cry given whatever it is.

" - sorry," she says, not really thinking. "I didn't mean to interrupt - "

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"No, by all means come on in! This is a magic place called Milliways; when you close the door time stops passing in the world you left from, so you can stay a while without missing anything back home."

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She is not sure how this is different from how time normally is, but it seems inappropriate to ask. And interacting with Rána's brother, directly, in what is supposed to be her ( - their - no, his - ) room, especially when she feels like talking to anyone might cause her to say something very unwise, is -

She looks at Rána. Surely he'll at least tell her what she's expected to be doing right now.

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He does not seem aware he's supposed to be doing this.

Also, several other things are weird: his hair is elaborately braided in some fashion that looks like it'd have taken hours, and he's wearing clothes, tangible clothes with actual properties, rich elaborate pretty ones. So is his brother, actually. The girl is wearing something weirdly tightly fitted to her body.  

He also looks a little different but that might be mostly the clothes and hairstyle. 

"Also the bar gives out free drinks," he says.

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She's really confused about what these people are doing right now. Really, horribly confused, and kind of upset that nobody has told her, even though she has no particular reason to know.

"Okay," she says, very quietly, and shuts the door, and stands by it holding her baby. She doesn't say anything else, because she thinks if she does she will cry.

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I think you should - ask Bar about food for her and get her something and get her to sit down.

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Me? Why?

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Because she's in pretty bad shape, and less scared of you? She's not really thinking about why? 

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"Sure," he says out loud, "whatever. Bar can I have something for her to eat?"

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Bar seems to think Catherine is in urgent need of fat and protein because here is a steak sizzling in butter and a milkshake and mashed potatoes with bacon and cheese in them.

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Well, Bar's the expert there. He casts around for a place for her to sit that's a little ways off from the people she's apparently scared of, carries the plates over there. "uh, hi. I'm Alex. Why don't you sit down and eat something?"

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- and now she is really scared, because Rána has just introduced himself, and she has no idea what that means but she suspects it isn't good.

"I don't - really understand what's happening here."

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He shoots his brother an annoyed glance.

"Uh, it's okay, Milliways is pretty bizarre until you get used to it. It's magic. There are lots of different worlds, and Milliways lets people from different ones into it, sometimes. We're not from the same world as you, but we can probably still help you out - depending what you need help with - there's an infirmary if the baby's sick -"

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She hugs her baby a little closer. She's aware that they're not from the same world, but she doesn't know why they're saying it now - and talking to her like they don't even know who she -

 

" - should I just go back to your father's house?"

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Another, bewildered, frustrated glance at his brother. "...do you know people who...look like us?"

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Nodnodnodnod.

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"Okay. Well, there are lots of different universes, and some of them have copies of the same people in them - the same but in different circumstances, stuff like that. 

Uh - I think probably in some universes most people who know me would be pretty scared of me. Is that... what the problem is?"

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"I just - I don't understand what I'm supposed to be doing - "

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There is no way I am the best person to be doing this!

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I do indeed observe that you are not doing very well at it but she's terrified of me.

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Then go and get the Karen or something.

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She hugs her baby and trembles.

 

" - you're not - you're not the person I know who looks like you," she tries.

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"No. I'm not. And I don't know - how you knew him or what you knew about him but I'm not going to hurt you, no one here is going to hurt you."

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