Jun 23, 2021 7:03 PM
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"You've got a greenhouse of your own, right?"

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"I think I'll be able to grow it."

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"Just making sure, I mean, it's not native."

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"Is it more complicated than that it likes it warm?"

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"This cultivar's finicky about humidity sometimes. Should be fine."

Other than that they'll sell Promise the cuttings and leave her be.

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Then Promise will fly them all home and find them places to be and warm up the ones that like it warm.

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Nothing else will demand her attention for a while. The days get slowly shorter and quickly colder. A group of several people, two of them human-looking, pass by on foot on their way south to Chequy Tower. A zoologist wants to have a look around and take some pictures as long as Promise doesn't object.

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"That's fine - how does that work?" she asks of the camera.

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"Uh, it has a light-sensitive thing, in the back, and light comes in through this window, and when I push this button it lets the light touch the light-sensitive film in the back, and later I take the film to someone else who knows how to take it and turn it into pictures that look exactly like the light that got into the camera. It's like a very realistic portrait, but faster."

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"...cool! Where did you get it?"

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"Oh, uh, probably in Chequy Tower, I don't remember for sure. You new to, you know..." The zoologist gestures vaguely. "Modernity?"

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"...yes. It's interesting, though."

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"It's pretty cool. Cities smell a lot better these days."

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"How does modernity help with that?"

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"Generally better waste disposal systems and also perfume?"

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"I haven't been to a city before that either," she says.

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"Huh! What brings you so close to civilization now?"

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"I got lost, actually."

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"Wow. - Uh, another wonder of modern technology is GPS, by the way."

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"What's that do?"

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"Tells you where you are by listening to - uh, things in the sky that go around the planet, that one of the human countries put there, actually. I'm sure there's a library in Chequy Tower where you can read about it."

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"Huh. I should go. What do the librarians want in exchange?"

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"It's sort of free if you don't break any laws - it's a nice thing, see, so it makes people want to visit, and the more people visit and trade the richer the town gets."

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"How does me visiting and reading the books make the town richer if I don't pay for them?"

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"If you wanted to stop by one of the stores, like to buy a camera, it'd be kind of a trip from here. So maybe you wouldn't bother. But if you're already there looking at books, then maybe you stop somewhere else while you're there."

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