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Nov 17, 2019 6:19 PM
cam meets some fastfairies and the thread authors take no position on the presence of an adorable romance arc
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I don't want to claim that I'm generically uncomfortable with having power but I really don't like the kind I can wield accidentally and I'm not clear on how to stop.

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"Can you, like, give an example -"

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A lot of the problem is I don't know exactly where examples might be found, though I have guesses. There seem to be a lot of expectations to do with who is in whose debt and what they're entitled to because of that and in what forms and how it's to be solicited with what consequences for not producing the repayment on request, and meanwhile I don't even have a way to tell which way debt's running at any given time, though again I have guesses.

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"We should set something up with your computer so you can approximately track debt. But I think there's less of - people are broadly walking around with the understanding that you want payment in certificates and you do payments in food, and probably they're doing some things you disapprove of to get the certificates sometimes but they're not expecting you to suddenly demand something else. And if you did give someone who was in your debt something they parsed as an order, I think people in this court would still object to you or conceivably to me if it were one that really bothered them. There's a fair bit of latitude for - clarification and backchannel objection and so on before one would expect any trouble from disobeying an order from a stranger they're indebted to."

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I don't know that the faery standard of "really bother" is where I'd want it to be.

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"Surely there are some kinds of interactions apsels have which other apsels find moderately annoying but not annoying enough to bother asking for them to stop?"

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Sure, and it might even be a similar threshold. This bothers me less with people I'm not interested in being friends with.

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" - well, who all are you even interested in being friends with? - the human I absolutely believe would take orders from you too seriously. I will tell you if you're doing something that parses to fairies as an order or a threat - actually, you totally noticed when you made me nervous, when you were angry about people drugging prisoners. My brother's constitutionally incapable of misinterpreting anything."

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Maybe I don't know how to explain the thing. Or I guess I could be imagining it.

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Sigh. "Maybe talk about it with someone who's good at people?"

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Maybe, though I worry cultural familiarity will turn out to be important.

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Nod. "I don't - I can believe there's something I'm missing that'd matter to you but I don't think there's something about how you're acting that's a source of stress to people here. Uh, aside from the mistake with the lying."

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Well. I can work on that.

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"It'll be appreciated."

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Do you want me to explain to whoever needs explanations for you?

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"I think I should explain first though you can too if you want."

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Okay. Why?

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"Because they'll be really nervous if you're talking to them that you might say something you shouldn't and they'll be all twitchy about it and once it's been conveyed that you understand the problem and are taking it seriously and so on then they won't be as twitchy."

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I was imagining the tape on my face would do that.

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"It will probably help but it's weird and weird isn't usually reassuring, not without context. It will definitely help once they have context, which I can provide."

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Okay. Would something less conspicuous be better?

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"Nah. Just - lemme explain first." He stands up, slowly. 

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Do you think painkillers that work on humans would be worth trying?

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"I find the idea of getting around the universe's attempts to punish me very aesthetically compelling but it's probably unwise."

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Okay.

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