May 26, 2022 11:07 AM
kyeo and sarham in citrelia
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"Maybe it'll help that everyone here is generally speaking as rich as they want to be."

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"- that's not something you can copy, is it?"

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"Not directly, but people can copy enjoying in-demand jobs if they'd like to and nothing is forcing them to spend half their time on sabbatical.  I'm decently rich just from liking my job enough to keep it all these decades."

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"I'm not sure that will exactly counter Kyeo's stance on the matter but it might at least be confusing. - Ibyabek doesn't have a lot of job choice."

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"I suppose we aren't really helping with that aspect for you two personally."

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"I think it happens that we are both pretty happy to have - alien consultant jobs, conveniently."

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"I'm glad.  Can you explain - he asked you to kiss him?"

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"He kissed me first! And then asked me to kiss him again when we realized we'd been caught! He did not realize he was gay and I imagine it was somewhat overwhelming to have been assigned as a honeypot for another boy and then discover that information."

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". . . . . Assigned by whom."

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"Proximately, his dad, who works for the government, but I imagine it came from someone else beyond that."

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"I had gotten the impression that the government was the entity which had punished him for being gay."

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"Yes. He was supposed to be my honeypot, but not himself gay. That part came as a surprise to everyone. He'll describe it as being in the hospital, though, they kind of medicalize it."

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"Hm."

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"It was really fucked up."

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"Agreed.  It seems - especially perverse, to conflate healing with punishment - "

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"Yeah. He can't really talk about it, he gets the can't-talk problem real bad if he tries, but he wrote some stuff down for me once - it's not really mine to share till he says otherwise but it was so fucked up. I got off with thirty lashes and a ticket off the planet, he was in the hospital for like a year."

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"There's a sense in which I'm relieved that I haven't exposed you to novel levels of - anything."

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"The magic puts a new spin on it but I was not an ignorant naif before."

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"I don't have a very solid sense of how long things take to heal when one can't just copy them off . . ."

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"I was in the hospital - the actual hospital - for a few days after I got back to Kular, but they thought they could have gotten me ready to release faster if I'd been seen right away, the ship I was on didn't have a good infirmary."

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"I see.  It - feels like I'm missing something, but I don't know what to ask to find it."

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"...I don't know what that might be."

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"It's just not fitting together for me; you said it was for a year - and whose year, actually, citreliac or Earth Standard or Ibyabekan - and it seemed official rather than being a cruel outlier, but you said they're poor, so - how are they affording it, does the higher technology mean you can automate punishing people - and why are they bothering; you said he had a cooperative disposition, so was it - as an example for other people?  But you magicless folks can't even change that, so it wouldn't work as a warning . . ."

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"Ibyabekan year, a bit longer than Earth standard. One of the things they do is provide - not very good, but any - medical care to everyone without regard to ability to pay. There are also richer otherwise-capitalist planets that do that but Ibyabek is doing it as part of the communism. The doctors work for the state like everyone else on the planet. And punishing people isn't necessarily very expensive except in labor depending on how you do it. They were bothering because they think being gay is a disease that they could therapize out of him."

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"When I - "  Zarian stumbles in twirling the pencil she was fidgeting with, recovers.  "It at least worked."

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