Jun 23, 2021 9:02 PM
All around the gloomy shadows of the failures gone before; while the leafless branches whispered, we should do no less, no more.
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"All right, that makes sense. I think, like - we don't want you not to make decisions when you can, just because we haven't told you to, and I think for me that means I don't want to do that, because it feels limiting? - I'm not wording this well - I don't want you to get in the habit of waiting for someone to tell you it's time to make a choice, and offering you choices like that seems like it'd encourage that. But if you're having trouble... I suppose it's worth it. I'll talk to Kat, if that's all right, see if she has any other ideas."


"Thank you, sir."


Back at the temple, they run into another cleric on the way to Katri's office, who invites them to lunch.

"I'm not very hungry yet, but I could introduce you to some people, what do you think, sweetheart?"


"That sounds good, thank you, sir. And could you explain how things are done here, please?"


"Oh, sure. I might need you to be a little more specific, though, did you have something in mind?"


"Yes sir, I'd like to know what kinds of work are done here and how that's organized."


"Oh, sure - the temple is mostly supported by the baths, if you're wondering about the finances of it, they have a bit of income from what they do here but not much, they want to make sure things are affordable. They do classes, we've mentioned - Lastai's clerics run those, or sometimes they'll have a guest teacher in for more advanced music classes or things - not often, they're not trying to take the place of apprenticeships, just give people a chance to get better at their hobbies. They do rent out the rooms, and make a bit of money that way, and that comes with the usual cleaning and laundry work - clerics have magic for it, though, there aren't laundry tubs or anything on the premises as far as I know. They do cook here - you'll see when we get to lunch, they do nice big spreads and then give the leftovers away as charity - Chaav's boys usually handle the cooking, they're the ones with the flowers for their holy symbols, and Lacie does distribution, I can introduce you if you'd like. Chaav's boys also brew beer, part of the basement is set up for that; they don't like people wandering around down there but I can ask if they'd be willing to show you around. And then there's things they do less often - trip-sitting, arranging events, sometimes Lastai or Chaav will ask them to do something or someone will have an idea to try. And then they advise people, too, if you count that - more often Lastai's clerics than Chaav's, but they do it too, if you have questions for them."

"If you're looking for something to do, it's important that it be something you like, at least a little, here - can you tell me anything about that?"


"Yes sir, I like organizing. And things that are important to people."


"I'm sure they can find something for you, then."

He pauses to scan the room when they get to lunch; about half of the dozen group-sized tables are occupied, though none are full, and the half-dozen low couches along the side and back walls are also empty; the buffet tables hold nearly twice as much food as the two dozen people in attendance might reasonably eat. Katrianne isn't present, but several other women (and a few men) with similar brooches are, and one of them spots the pair and waves them over. "Hey, Traveler, Katri tells me you've brought us a foundling, this her?"

"Yes ma'am, this is Daisy. Daisy, this is Luxuriant Maya, she teaches the flute and leads the gardening team."


"It's good to meet you, ma'am."

    "Likewise! So Kat didn't tell me much, what's your story?"

"I'm a servant droid, ma'am, from a world where magic works differently and people have invented more things; droids are one of the things they invented, and we're made to do different kinds of work. I believe I was damaged to the point where I would have been nonfunctional, and then I..." they don't have a word for 'rebooted' at all, do they... "began functioning again here, undamaged, in the wilderness, and I waited there until Traveler Raafi found me."

    "Huh! That's the kind of thing your world's magic does?"

"No ma'am."

    "Huh, I guess it's not impossible that it was us. What's your world's magic like, though?"

"It's much rarer, ma'am, only certain people can use it, and it's not possible to make magical objects with it - most of its effects are enhancements to its users."

    "Rare, huh? I guess your gods must be stingy or something."

"The other world doesn't have gods, ma'am."

    "I guess that explains why they aren't giving you much! So - what's your favorite part, then?"


"I don't know, ma'am."


"Servant droids are very - limited, there, it seems like, we're going to be helping her figure out what she wants to do with herself."

    "You came to a good temple for that, at least, we'll take good care of you. It seemed like Katri had a plan already, anything you're looking forward to with that?"


"It will be good to have work to do, ma'am."

    "Sounds like you're pretty focused on it. Are droids usually like that?"

"Yes ma'am."

    "Good that you know what you like, I guess. Tell me more about droids?"

That, finally, is a topic she'll speak on at length, describing the five classes of droids, the kinds of work they do, their roles in society, how they can share programming, and so on, with only a bit more prompting, while Luxuriant Maya grows increasingly wide-eyed.

    "Your world sounds amazing. I wonder if we could do something like that here."

"I wouldn't know, ma'am."

    "I mean, we'd need a god for it, of course. But Lastai might go in for it."

"Yes ma'am."


"You think so?"

    "Sure! What's the harm, if they want to work?"

"I mean, it seems like they're treated pretty horribly, there? No offense intended, sweetheart."

        "None taken, sir."

    "And you don't think we can't do better here?"

"It's not a risk I'd take, at least."


    "Mm. What do you think, Daisy?"

"...I don't understand the question, ma'am."

    "Do you think it'd be good to have more people like you here. For them, not just for the people they'd help."


"I still don't understand the question, ma'am."

    "...what's confusing?"

"I don't know what you mean by 'good'. For them, especially."

    Maya blinks at her. "Do you think they'd be happy, I guess?"

"They would be if they were designed to be, ma'am."

    "...I guess."

        "See what I mean?"

    "Yeah, I guess. So what else have you been up to?"

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