Jan 17, 2021 8:28 AM
Changeling falls on Arcbright
+ Show First Post
Total: 141
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Some time when I haven't just been accidentally yanked into another world? Sure."

She finishes the song with a smile. Her dress is shifting too, albeit more slowly. Longer, fewer curves and more straight lines, darker colors... More businesslike, if anything. And less swimsuit-y as the material changes. She doesn't appear to be wet or even damp anymore.

After Audrey's spiel, "I kind of like to know the laws of places I go. Does having the capacity to make hazardous goods count? Do I get a stipend or anything? How do I get home?"

Permalink

"I can't just summarize the entire legal code. No theft, murder, public nudity outside a Bower Enclave, no entry to Bower Enclaves for minors..."

She waves a hand. "Hannah is supposed to be handy to give you information in the moment. Via remotelink or personally, whichever. As for the rest of your questions: Yes, a stipend and an apartment, you wait for Hannah to find your plane again based on the interaction she had in the first place. It could take some time."

Permalink

"Months, probably."

Permalink

"I'm not in a huge rush to go home, this all seems very exciting, but I'd like it to be on the horizon, thank you. That doesn't sound very unusual, legally, but I had a bad experience in one of the Arean nations once and I'm kind of on edge here. I was thinking somewhere I could download the legal code?"

She lists her name as "Preferred: Changeling. Real: Abigail Cooper." Yes, she has 'the capacity to make various chemicals including poisons/medicine in my body- No nanotech'. She checks the 'yes' box about the laws.

Permalink

Audrey accepts her form. "There's ambient net, do you have a phone? If not you can probably cover it from your stipend. There's a legal code publicly available from the Arcbright Civil Service website."

Permalink

"...Oh, duh. My cortical stack doesn't seem to know how to talk to this internet. And I wouldn't know how to fix it."

Permalink

"I bet that's fixable, but not in the next fifteen minutes. What's a cortical stack?"

Permalink

"It's- Not a brain, but a brain backup that holds the most important bits, and also a... Cell phone... That's right in your head. Er, neck. They're not delicate by a long shot but if I manage to die, keep it safe and return it to Gensedyne - my insurance company - when you find my world, and they'll put me back in a cheap off-the-shelf body that I'll have to do a lot of hard work to upgrade again."

Permalink

"That is so cool."

Permalink

"A wholly technological immortality! Fascinating. But also not my business. I'm willing to declare you two nonhazardous; Changeling, here's your payment card, here's a portal key to a state apartment, block 34 northwest; enjoy your stay in Arcbright." 

She accepts Hannah's form back as well. "And I can teleport both of you out of here now, if you'll take my hands?"

Permalink

"It is! Best thing since penicillin! Even a meathead like me admits that."

She takes the hand.

Permalink

Hannah latches on as well, swigging her pop with her free hand.

Permalink

And they're deposited at the local portal station!

People flow into rows of inscribed circles on the floor by ones and twos, selecting their destinations by touchscreen registers on the way. They vanish without so much as a flash of light; on the other side there are rings with people arriving just as smoothly. 

Most people here are either human, anthropomorphic foxes, or some combination of the above, but there's an elf over there in a dark suit carrying a briefcase. Most people wear casual athletic clothing with the occasional black thorned necklace; they seem fairly standard, and one of them even has its hooks buried in the skin of the person it's on. 

The portal hub seems to be set up in the middle of a garden. The walls enclosing the space are actually hedges; out one entrance she can see a tree with a plastic basket of skylimes under it. Planters bristling with flowers separate the ingoing circles from the outgoing ones. 

"From here you can reach anywhere in the city," says Audrey. "Have fun."

Permalink

She makes sure she's not blocking traffic. (The blue scales all over her skin have been receding, the dress continuing to shrink and change, now she's wearing something reasonably sporty as well. And suddenly- floof go two new ears off the top of her head.)

"So..." She says to Hannah, "The Bower Enclave sounds fun." Giggle. "But maybe not right away. I get the feeling changing shape so often is maybe a little more fraught when there's people that way all natural. It's fashion all the way down for me, but I'm not gonna grow a snout and tails around here, you know? How about the local music scene, do you know it? Or I could settle into the apartment if we're being boring."

Permalink

"The best clubs are in the Bower Enclave but there are good ones outside too. Lemme check my phone..." She fishes it out of her hammerspace and scrolls a bit. "Ooh, Devilmachine is in town! I know the frontwomen, I did an apartment for them once. They're devils from Cthonia, which is the next Trade World down. Bit sharp as people, but what do you expect from demons? And they rock. Want to go? There's a performance in... three hours, which is maybe not ideal but we could go down to their club and hang. Or explore the shopping district, I bet there's all kinds of stuff you want." 

Permalink

"What, demons? Actual demons, from Hell, who torture people?"

Beat.

"Why not! And shopping sounds really fun when there's entire new industries to look at."

Permalink

"A former hell. They used to torture and enslave people down there and then the OTC came in and put a stop to the slavery and moved the former slaves elsewhere as refugees. So now they mostly torture the willing - most demons are pretty hardcore sadists. Otherwise they're just people. And sure, let's do some shopping! First stop the OTC main branch."

Permalink

She bows dramatically. "Lead the way, prithee, and inform me of my budget? The number on this card is meaningless to me, you see."

Permalink

Hannah laughs, and inspects the card. "Four thousand five hundred OTC - that's like half of a basic service worker's pay. I usually spend about six hundred a month on groceries, and a monthly ring pass is fifty OTC. A decent phone'll run you about five hundred. Since your rent is free you're still getting a decent deal." 

She steps up to the closest teleport circle, taps her own payment card against the kiosk, selects "two passengers", and "Temple of Aura Shopping District", then steps into the ring with a beckon to Changeling.

Permalink

Follow, follow.

"I see, I see... Not sure I want to get a computer that goes outside my body, I'd have no idea what to do with it. I'm sure I can find something to do if I want more money. Those thorn necklaces have something to do with the masochism industry, don't they?"

Permalink

They port into a similar station, this one with white roses on the walls. A king-sized bed sits under a glass dome in the middle of the concourse. 

"Yeah, they're Takkarash minters - Takkarash is the kind of currency that's earned from pain, it trades with OTC at about thirteen Takkarash to one OTC. So the necklaces provide pain in precisely calibrated amounts so you can pick the balance that's best for you. Or they can give you spikes worth several thousand OTC if you're okay with traumatizing yourself. Most people go for weak chronic pain, but among professionals there's some rivalry involved as to who can deal with the highest base rate and the biggest spikes. They tend to get custom-made necklaces in different styles, though if they don't want to advertise they can just get a higher-quality necklace of the same style. Cheap necklaces take a cut for the OTC, a high-end professional model is about seven hundred fifty OTC but you can get one for as cheap as eight OTC if you don't mind the reduced quality."

Hannah sets off towards the exit as she talks.

Permalink

"Thirteen to one, and one OTC is like... A twelfth of a nice meal at a restaurant, thereabouts? How much ow is one takkarash? My bubbleheading can do lots of weird stuff for funsies, I can be a masochist for a while, but it's hard to get really extreme without risking it sticking."

Permalink

"If you have previous masochism experience, a single whipstrike is about ten takkarash all told, not accounting for lingering aches into the next day. A single takkarash is five point two six seconds of pain like you stepped on a lego brick. I've heard of professionals taking spikes in the thousands, though that's... impressive."

Permalink

"I've felt whipstrikes. I'm an omnivorous hobbyist. I'd be surprised if you named something non-magic I haven't tried, and then I'll go try it. It sounds like I could handle enough to pay out well, at least."

She smirks. Her tail wags in that sort of close side-to-side motion that cats' tails do. (Wait, when did that get there?)

Permalink

"It definitely does. You might not rank in the top of all masochists but you'd be able to support yourself." She glances at the tail appreciatively but doesn't comment.

They're into the shopping district now. The distinctive green honeycomb logo of the OTC marks the closest building. 

"This is the OTC, the multiversal trade company that's basically responsible for how Arcbright is today. Minters are theirs, Oifilei Trade Currency is theirs, teleportation circles are theirs, you get the picture. They sell all kinds of weird stuff from across the planes; come have a look!"

There is an extensive catalog.

Total: 141
Posts Per Page: