Dec 03, 2021 3:03 PM
amenta colonizes delena
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It would be harder for them to be this close to something more permanent, yes. He expects them to want to know more about things like who if anyone they'll be working with, and how often there will be work for them and in what kind of batches and with what sort of workflow and what the reaction will be if they don't want to do that much, and whether the Amentans are going to want to visit them in their territory or have them go into the city or both or neither.

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Maybe they should get around to doing that tunnel thing. What kind of patient profiles are they likely to want? It's normal for oranges to want a medical history but that doesn't seem super relevant to what the crafters are doing. She finds an orange school curriculum on patient scheduling and translates that in case it helps establish what the usual is for Amentan medical attention but they can do something weirder if that works better for them. If they have limited slots they should probably raise prices till people aren't routinely bouncing off slot availability.

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...huh, that would work, wouldn't it, with the pricing. Although not, uh - people with fewer problems generally have more slack, so setting prices high means you end up seeing the people who need it least, probably?

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They could then spend the money on subsidizing people who are referred by vernal specialist doctors?

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That brings back in the problem of choosing who to see, but maybe they can hire someone to help with it - how complicated would that be?

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Sun can help them put out a job ad for a yellow to manage that.

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That seems straightforward, then.

He relays this information along, and gets word a couple days later that the fourth genecrafter is interested and all of them are ready to start the trek over the mountain to be picked up, pending confirmation; all four intend to claim territories near the city and can go in to see patients if the Amentans provide an escort, though some or all of them might opt to set up clinics in their territories instead once they're established.

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The Amentans will get going on a tunnel leading to an orchard near enough the city to have a bus station added to it that the farm owner is willing to have occupied by crafters while the trees get big enough to bear fruit.

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And eventually they get word that the genecrafters have made it over the mountains and are ready to be picked up.

(Does traveler want to go with them for the pickup? Do crafters craft in the woods?)

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After they are helicoptered to the tunnel entrance, their escort is a farm purple who was hired for this on the assumption that she'd be well placed to invite them into the orchard! There are awnings set up in the spaces between the young trees and some folding chaises for patients to lounge on set up and a snack and beverage table and an attending orange who is there to give screening quizzes for hypersensitivity and hypervernalism before and after so they can have Data.

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The genecrafters spend a few days settling in before getting started: they're only comfortable going into the city one day out of every four or five while they're making their territory claims, but they're enthusiastic about corresponding with Amentan genetics researchers the rest of the time to figure out how to translate between their approaches to the discipline.

The orchard does give them some trouble, being so obviously a claimed place; the first few workdays, they need quite a bit of prompting to function there at all, and after that they settle into a routine and are basically fine as long as they don't need to do anything outside of it. Fortunately one of them brought a flightless parrot with her - a failed wing-shape experiment of her mentor's whose care she took over when they retired - and the bird is quite good with the clients, telling them the most horrible little-kid jokes while they wait and then guiding them through the process with the appropriate eye to detail.

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They're finally getting into the swing of things when traveler's fleshcrafter friend arrives, settling her household well away from the city and from Sun's encampment and taking a satellite vehicle to spend the night with him before tagging along to meet her in the morning.

Where your average crafter is a disappointingly low-budget stage alien, this one is an alien of rather higher production value: In lieu of clothing, she's covered with a thick and very pettable-looking peach-colored fur that fades into orange and then red on her back with a line of blackish-purple running down her spine to her tail, a long-haired waggy doglike thing. (It's not her only doglike trait, though the slightly longer fur below her waist makes the other one a bit less obvious - there may still be some resulting confusion about her gender, but traveler is clear enough that she's a she when he introduces her.) She additionally has antlers, simple three-pointed orange ones again fading through red to purple at the tips, bedecked with garlands strung with a number of charms and baubles; on her forearms and calves, she has structures like turtle shells in the same color scheme. And from the back of each shoulder sprouts a pair of flattish tentacles, not much longer than her arms and furred along most of their length, with lines of yellow sacs along the undersides that can expand like a frog's throat to make a similar croaking sound and a leathery texture on the last, furless section that she explains is sensitive to taste and smell, which is useful for medical diagnosis in the crafter tradition.

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Wow. Amentans present take many pictures of this one. They restrain themselves from petting even though she looks so soft.

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She's not sure what the cameras are at first; when traveler explains, she raises an eyebrow at the camerapeople: don't they think it's kind of rude to do something like that without asking?

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...not especially? Amentans are also allowed to take candid pictures of other Amentans without consulting them first.

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Huh. Well, she would rather they not do that, at least until she's had time to consider it.

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They will stop.

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She appreciates it.

So, she hears fleshcrafting is new to them - do they have questions?

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Is it hard to get used to new parts? Will there be much learning curve before she can do stuff reliably for Amentans? Are there side effects?

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It depends on the part and the person and the skill of the fleshcrafter in getting it integrated properly; usually it goes very quickly, though, assuming an enthusiastic recipient who's prepared to practice with their new parts. She doesn't expect much of a learning curve for herself in terms of practical skill, just in knowledge of their species' particular quirks; some mods do have side effects beyond the immediately obvious, generally because they interact with the recipient's biochemistry, and those will be harder to predict Amentans' reactions to, but she can certainly warn anyone who asks for something like that.

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What things does she do most often for other crafters? How much does she expect to charge for Amentan equivalents?

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Reproductive mods are popular, but they're obviously fairly risky in terms of side effects. Extra limbs or extensions of existing ones are also reasonably common and much safer. Various kinds of sensory enhancements aren't as popular but can be fun. She doesn't personally get a lot of requests for simple cosmetic mods - color changes, bone restructuring, making hair grow or not grow in particular patterns, that sort of thing - but they're also common, just usually more the realm of less experienced fleshcrafters. And this is of course leaving aside the medical applications of the craft.

She doesn't entirely understand the question about what she'd charge - or, she understands what they're asking, farstrider warned her how trade-focused they are, but she's not used to operating that way and doesn't especially have an answer for them or even a clear idea of how she'd come up with one.

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Hair color changes will be popular for people who currently have to dye their hair!

Well, if she has 600 people showing up and hanging around hoping to get her to work on them how would she normally pick?

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...if she had hundreds of people waiting outside her territory to ambush her with requests she would leave, not that that's something that actually happens in any case. She has run into situations where two or three people wanted her attention at once but that's best solved by seeing what they each want and making a decision about the particular case, but that obviously doesn't scale to hundreds.

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They can keep the crowds away but they need some way to decide who to let through and usually they do that with money.

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