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Jul 30, 2021 2:57 PM
Dottie lands in the middle of Brian and Jackson
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[The... world?]

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[Yeah. What's the timeline for the end of the world? We're thinking about two months if everyone on preservation chanting stopped today and we left it up to volunteers.]

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[Eclipse is... not... slated to end. What are you preserving Chant against?]

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[For a while it was impending nuclear war, although we're not sure how much of a concern that still is. And for all we know, several countries (including the U.S) could be sabotaging those efforts, anyway.  Everyone seems on board with chanting against widespread flooding, though, which is our big worry right now.]

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[Your petroleum issue sounds WAY worse than ours. Probably we should not import any energy solutions till we know exactly why for sure. Uh, many people still have nukes but most of the nuclear powers also have antinuke mages on retainer and no nuclear war threatens right this minute.]

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[...that sounds fair, yeah. How good are your precogs? Think they could give us an estimate for two months out?]

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[I don't have that range but some people do. They're rare and expensive though.]

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[So probably something our governments need to work out. Uh, speaking of governments and other- first contact concerns- is it going to be as disconcerting for the average person in Eclipse that we don't have roles as it will be that you don't have genders? Sorry, don't have our genders. That seems like something we need to find out.]

Dottie doesn't particularly want to kick anything up the chain of command. She's not even part of it, so she'd presumably be removed from this situation pretty quickly. Maybe if makes herself too valuable, she won't be arrested.

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[Probably not as disconcerting, since children don't have roles yet, but it'll be a little weird if you're all illegible, yeah.]

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[Great. Uh, world ending, energy crisis, general authoritarianism, no roles...the list of issues we have is getting long. Anything in Eclipse that really needs doing?]

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[I mean, there's global poverty and unrest in the Middle East and very few people are immortal and all that jazz.]

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[Right. You're ambitious. Is that why I haven't been mobbed by your government or the press? I would have expected most people to send this up the chain.]

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[I mean, I will probably eventually have to explain you to some people, but I snagged the report and said I'd check it out because I'm ambitious, yes.]

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[Happy to help. So, can you think of any other discussion topics you want to get to urgently? I think I've hit everything I'm going to think of until I notice some glaring difference between our earths.]

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[We should go over how you're going to get here in case there are important airplane-related differences.] She explains how he will be driven by Brian to the airport and then collect a "114" ticket with her sponsorship attached.

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Airplanes are mostly familiar! Some of these security procedures sound...frustrating.

[The security measures are this strict without them knowing I'm from another earth?]

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[Yeah, they're just like that, it's annoying.]

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She submits herself to the rigamarole. At least this world isn't ending soon, that'll be a nice change. Maybe Chant can import expensive psions in exchange for chanters. Remaining patient throughout the rigamarole would be frustrating-

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-but instead she can manage compliant. Dottie puts up with strangers prodding her with a boredom that would make the whole thing seem more ridiculous if she were capable of thinking things were ridiculous. Instead, she floats patiently through to her flight.

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The flight is uneventful and Isabella is there to meet her at the airport in LaGuardia.

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By which time she has had to trigger false heat twice to avoid a pressurization-triggered panic attack. It's worn off by the time she sees Isabella.

"Hey. So you're Isabella. Apologies for- all the culture shock we're going to be dealing with over the next couple years. Hopefully everyone can focus on what really matters: saving two worlds."

Instead of gender, which is of course still hounding her here. No one can tell she's an omega, which would be much less upsetting if it meant they thought she was an alpha or beta. Saving two worlds sounds incredibly exciting, exactly the kind of thing Dottie never thought she would get to do- especially after the past few months.

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"I agree completely! Is there any particular culture shock I can help you with right now?" Isabella asks, leading the way with her cane.

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"If I say- 'I had to trigger false heat on the way over here' and 'wow someone got hit over the head with the alpha stick pretty hard as a kid', I'm guessing those mean absolutely nothing to you."

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"...I think my guesses are slightly more educated than 'absolutely nothing' but yeah I don't know what you mean."

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"Right. So in Chant, we have three genders: alpha, beta, and omega. I'll spare the details, which you can get later from a biology textbook if you want them, but basically, alphas experience ruts, during which they're fertile and, uh, horny. This triggers heats in omegas, during which we become fertile. Betas are fertile year-round. How similar is this to how Eclipse humans work so far?"

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