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May 19, 2022 12:12 PM
Jing Yi meets Cascadia!Lev
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Jing Yi is just going to let the children saying the darnedest things do that. Apparently the children in this culture think you can just decide, how fascinating. Jing Yi has no feelings about this.


"What does Great Tang do about babies?"

The rest of the children, realizing that they have an interesting foreigner to hand, begin to pepper him with questions. 

"And trans people?"

"Can you test out of school there?"

"Do you have to get married to someone who's a different gender? I heard that in other countries you have to get married to someone who's a different gender."

"Do you believe in God?"

"Do you think you're going to go to Hell if you're bad?"


"I'm not sure you all are old enough to learn where babies come from."

"I have no idea who those are, so probably not?"

"You have to pass an exam to get into the civil service, and people generally stop formal education if they pass... And also if they realise there is no way they'll pass."

"If it's not to someone of the other gender, it's not a marriage."

"There's multiple gods? And also the various buddhas, et cetera. ... Do you only worship one?"

"There is a hell, and some people will pray for you to leave sooner."



"I know where babies come from! They come from when you put a penis inside a vagina without protection. Or artificial insemination! Or you put an egg and a sperm together in a petri dish!"

"Trans people are when you're one gender and you decide to be a different one!"

"What if they want to learn things and not be in the civil service? I want to be an engineer. Do all your engineers work for the government?"

"My moms are married!"

"My granddad worships ALL the gods but my grandma is an atheist. I think my mom is a Christian but one of the nice ones?"

"I think there are lots of gods because why would people worship the gods if they aren't real?"

"Lots of people believe in things that aren't real. Like fairies."

"I think fairies are real."

"Can you get out of Hell? I thought once you were in Hell you were there forever."

"Maybe we should all be praying."

"To the fairies!"


"...We do it the first way!"

"That's not a thing you decide where I'm from."

"If you're not going for the civil service, there are apprenticeships, but I am not an expert."

"People get out of hell, but it takes a really long time."


"Oh! That's probably why two women can't get married. But what if you're infertile?"

"Maybe they get someone else to have sex with your spouse instead."

"Yeah, that's probably what they do."

"Wait, if someone has sex with your spouse when you're infertile then you can get gay-married even without artificial insemination."

"I didn't know there was a country where no one did artificial insemination."

"Well, it makes sense, it's not sperm that people are running out of."

"You can't have an apprenticeship here unless you get your GED first."

"My dad had to go to all of high school." (This is Tree.) "He says I'm so lucky that I can test out."

"Does getting out of Hell take ten million billion trillion years?"

"I bet it takes a GOOGOLPLEX years."


"If your wife is infertile, you can take a concubine. If you're husband is, you can adopt." He is not touching the rest of that conversational thread, on account of ?????

"I would have definitely liked to test out earlier than I did, but alas."

"You're actually pretty close with the maths there! Other people can shorten your stay, but Don't Do Bad Things, Kids."


"If men can have multiple wives and women can't have multiple husbands you're going to run out of women!"

"I heard that happened in Deseret."

"No, maybe he means like a Handmaid. Where they get married to someone else afterward."

"How much do babies cost in Great Tang?"

"You're STUPID. Outside of Cascadia they don't buy babies."

"Well, then how do they know who gets them?"

"I think they give it to the ones they think will be the best parent."

"Well, I don't want to be pregnant for months and months and MONTHS if no one is going to give me any money for it. I would just get an abortion."

"Well, abortions are illegal most places."

"Except in Canada."

"Canada sucks."


"Being a concubine isn't the same as being a first wife, but you don't remarry unless your husband dies. Most people only marry one person though. And we also don't buy babies. Adoption is done by agreement between families, or picking up an abandoned child."



"You have abandoned kids? HOW?"

"Your country needs better population policy."

"We'll buy the babies!"

"I still think you should get to have sex with someone else if you're infertile. Especially if your husband's infertile and your womb is perfectly good."


Apparently these kids are old enough to know where babies come from, but he's not 100% sure they're old enough to know babies sometimes die. Ah, well, they'll have to learn some day.

"Sometimes families don't have enough food for their kids, so they'll leave them somewhere and... Hope."



"If you sold the babies you wouldn't have that problem! Because rich people would buy them!"

"You can send them to Cascadia."

"Yeah!! You should tell Asher that we should import the babies from your country and then they can have more money and not be hungry."


"I'll be sure to mention our extra babies to him."


They arrive at a gate of what is, presumably, Folsom. Near the gates are a cluster of tents and campfires; from them emerge the sound of moans. 

Next to the gate itself is a table with some objects on it Jing Yi doesn't recognize, and a... woman? Man? They have a white-painted face with elaborate makeup on their eyes and lips, and also a beard. They're wearing a sort of elaborate glittery feathery headdress and a slim black dress, with fishnets on their shaved legs. 


Jing Yi is not completely ignorant of what those noises are. Jing Yi is completely ignorant of the clothes of this place. Maybe this is the standard fashion of... People? ... Courtesans? Around here.

"Hello, I seem to have gotten very lost. As in, I am not in the country I am meant to be in. I was hoping you'd be able to direct me to someone who should be informed?"


"He's from Great Tang!"

"We don't know where that is."

"We wanted to take him to Asher Kane," said Tree, "he's my dad, can you get him for us?"

The... person... says, "do you know where he's staying?"

"The Castro."

"Cool, I'll radio." They pick up one of the things that Jing Yi can't identify, press a button, and say, "Castro Sisters, we have a guest for Asher Kane, can you send someone to collect them?" 

The thing crackles. "Roger, Sister, we're on our way."

"Someone from his camp should be by in a few minutes, if he's not too busy."


Update: this might be totally normal fashion for women, if this person is a 'sister'. (It doesn't explain the beard, but Something Is Up in this country that might explain it, from the way the kids talked about babies.)

"Thank you so much, sister." Polite bow.


"My dad will definitely help you!" Tree says. "He is in charge of the whole government."

"He is not."

"Is too."

"We vote for who's in charge of the government."

"But they always do what my dad says," Tree says triumphantly.


Ah, so this Asher is a ?king?

"I'll be glad for his help."


A man approaches the Sister. He has shoulder-length curly hair; he's wearing the odd blue pants that the kids are wearing, alongside a shirt that says MIT. 

"I have a guest, apparently?"


Jing Yi is starting to assume that the odd blue pants are probably the normal fashion here.

"I appear to have ended up in your country by bizarre accident. I apologise, and seek your aid." And deep bow (though not all the way on the floor, he is saving that for if he needs to escalate.)


"Uh, why are you bowing at me?"


"He does that," one of the kids says helpfully.


This is not something Jing Yi expected to have to explain. "Because you are of higher standing and I am asking for your aid? If that's not done here, then I apologise."


"I'm what? The fuck have the kids been telling you."

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