Jan 22, 2021 12:22 AM
kyeo in cascadia
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"That also sounds fine. I would like a look at the moon before we get into anything very substantive."

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"The moon usually comes out at night but if you really insist we can probably figure something out? I know I've sometimes seen the moon during the daytime but I do not know where or when you would look if you definitely wanted to see it."

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"Will your linguists and engineers be very upset if they have to wait until tomorrow?"

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"Not at all, we are reasonably willing to accommodate the stranger from the future."

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"I'm glad to hear that. Should I wait here, then, since the - assistance with the house and so on is only for if I'm talking to engineers -"

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"If you want to. Or you could go out to a coffeeshop, or a library, or a movie theater, or a park. Or keep talking to me. Whatever you want, really."

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"I suppose it has been a while since I've gone for a walk. I don't mind if you join me."

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"That sounds like being outside in nature which I hate, and I'm sure you'll get enough of my pleasant company over the next few days." He pulls out a phone. "Do you know how this works-- I assume it seems unimaginably primitive to you--"

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"I've seen things like it before." Poke poke.

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Lev shows him how to get the phone to search for coffeeshops or movie theaters or libraries or Portland General Hospital, and to call a car, and to give him walking directions to a location, and to pay for things ("don't worry about it, the government put a couple thousand dollars in your account and you'd really have to try to spend all of it in an afternoon"), and if all else fails to send out a distress ping that will get Lev to come collect him. 

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"Thank you!"

And Kyeo pockets the phone and departs Portland General Hospital and has a look around the immediate environs.

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The immediate environs of the hospital appear to be some sort of shopping district. Their language uses the Kularan alphabet, but the words bear only the slightest resemblence to their pronunciation. Still, he can put enough together to see that there's a hotel, and a marijuana dispensary, and a public swimming pool, and a gas station, and something called a "DMV", and a tool store, and an "orthodontist", and a "counseling center", and a "pain management center", and a sleep clinic, and someone who makes loans, and a "hair salon." Someone seems to be serving some kind of food out of the back of a truck.

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The owl did not teach him all of these words, so he peers at the pictures in the windows a bit, some of which (orthodontist! hair salon!) are informative and some of which (counseling center! loans!) are not.

He's been mostly in bed for a while so he shouldn't push it too hard; he spirals out from the hospital, checking out what's on the surrounding streets without making it too hard to stagger back if he has some kind of head injury relapse before he finds public housing.

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Winery! Garden center! Employment agency! Corporate consultant! Real estate agent! Tax preparer! Architect! Deck builder! Car detailing service! Day care center! Korean Mission Church! Lots and lots and lots of individual houses, none taller than about a story, most of which have chickens pecking or pigs rooting or a garden full of vegetables and herbs. 

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The gardens are nice. He figures out what the real estate agent is and wonders at the annoyance it must be to trot around to a lot of different houses and figure out how much to spend on one when you could just be told an address and move in. He decides to ask at the real estate agency if they will tell him the way to public housing, please.

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The nearest public housing is thus-and-such far away and he will have to call a car to get him there.

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Oh. Well, he was shown how to do that. He does that.

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A driverless car arrives and then places him at his destination. 

The public housing building is ten stories tall, making it a very unusual contrast to the single-story buildings surrounding it. 

 

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Puzzling! He goes in. He needs to make really sure he has actually time traveled and there is no Ibyabek to betray before he goes spilling secrets, so he needs a place for at least the night and really shouldn't stay in the hospital if he's discharged. "Excuse me?"

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"Yes?" says the receptionist, a woman with short green hair, several interesting facial piercings, and thumb-sized holes in her ears.

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Wow that's weird to look at! "Ah, I need a place to stay for at least a few days, possibly longer."

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"Sure. Here's your room key, you're in room 202. Laundry room is over there"-- she gestures-- "No smoking, no destroying the furniture, no loud noises that bother your neighbors, try to remove your laundry from the machines in a timely manner. Do you need help connecting to other services?"

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"Not right at this moment, thank you." He doesn't have another set of clothes - he supposes perhaps he should get one, but that can wait. He goes to 202.

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202 has three rooms: a living room with a couch and a television and a computer and a dining room table and a little kitchenette; a bathroom; and a bedroom with a desk and a dresser.

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What a nice olden-time society. He sits and watches something on TV to rest his legs a bit before going out to figure out dinner. He keeps an eye out for the moon.

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