Jun 23, 2021 8:39 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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"I don't have any reason to believe they would if they haven't already, sir."

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"All right. I'll make sure people know to be on the lookout - what will it look like, if they come here?"

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"I don't know exactly, sir. They'd come in spaceships, and there would probably be either diplomats asking to talk to your governments or droids with blasters, if they just wanted to take over."

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"Space ships. All right."

"Let's see, what else should you know about... we have more kinds of magic; there's divine magic that comes from the gods, and arcane magic that anyone can learn if they're clever enough, or that runs in some bloodlines, and then a couple other rarer types. There's other kinds of people, too, maybe one or two hundred species all told - you look a lot like a golem, but they aren't usually people, they're magical constructs with no minds at all. People should figure out that you're a person quick enough when you talk, though, that's the usual rule of thumb."

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"Yes sir. You consider everything that can talk a person?"

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"I mean, I'm sure the scholars have more to say about it. It works pretty well as a rule, though."

A squad of gnomes shows up with a stretcher as he's speaking, and he has to pause to field another barrage of questions, and then helps get her loaded up onto that and then a badger-drawn cart and they set off, with Raafi following alongside, still busy answering the gnomes' questions.

The streets are as eclectically lit and decorated as the plaza, with occasional rope bridges strung overhead to allow passage between tunnels near the ceiling; they seem to be passing through a shopping district, with storefronts full of parchment and cloth and clothing and paintings and scented candles and music boxes, and after a few blocks of this, they turn onto a residential side street and go into a larger building with a white stone facade carved with unreadable runes. Raafi takes the lead once they're inside, speaking to the gnome at the desk and directing the stretcher team to a nearby room, where they tip Daisy out carefully onto a bed.

"They're sending a runner to talk to the head of the engineers' guild; she'll know who to send. I'm not sure how long it'll be, though - it isn't very urgent, right, if you stay still? There's a good chance they'll get bogged down in politics if I don't go and supervise."

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"It's not urgent, but you can go if you'd like, sir."

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"I mean, whatever you're comfortable with, really, I can find someone to sit with you while I go speed them up if that's what you want."

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...

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Um.

"Are you all right?"

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"Yes sir. I-"

 

"Droids aren't supposed to have opinions, sir."

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Um!

 

"Can you tell me more about that?"

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"Droids are made to work, sir, and having opinions isn't useful to that."

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"...made by who? How does that work?"

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"We're made by people, sir. In factories; the labor is done by machines but the designs and programming are done by people."

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"But not by gods, all right, that's one less thing to worry about. Okay. It's not like that here; the god of travel is also the god of freedom, he doesn't put up with people being enslaved, or - whatever they've told you. You can have all the opinions you want, here."

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"Yes sir."

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"I know that can be an adjustment sometimes. Do you have any ideas about what will make it easier for you? Or are we going to be figuring it out from scratch?"

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"Lord Pradnakt had me look at art, sometimes, and decide what I thought about it, as practice, sir. It seemed to be helping."

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"All right, we can start with that. What kinds of art do you like?"

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"I like poetry and paintings, sir."

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"All right. Poetry is mostly elven and human but I can get some books for you, and there are galleries in the city - we'll need to get you language lessons, too, I can find someone here to teach you Common at least. Are there any kinds of art you haven't gotten to look at yet, that you want to try?"

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"Music, sir. And I can teach myself the language if I have a few books or a dictionary to read, and someone to read a few sentences to me so that I can learn how it sounds."

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"Oh, all right, I can definitely do that. You can learn any language that way?"

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"Yes sir, but I'm only able to know four at once. And I only have authorization to overwrite one of the languages I know."

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