May 21, 2022 3:16 PM
Jinye in Cosel
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From the top of the watchtower - it's not very high, but it's up on a little bit of a rise, and none of the other buildings are very high either - it's easy to get a good view of the city.

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Please explain to Jinye Attani Cocoon Ajian Madurai what goddamn city this is. Right now, please. Last she checked, she was just about to begin a brilliant scheme that would give her utter dominance over Tsirona.

Also, last she checked, she had a computer.

Central Computing? There had better be a sensible explanation, like 'this is just a dream.'

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Sorry, I'm not in this story!

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... No Central Computing. City. Explain. Please?

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Over there's a fighting ring, where a man with wings made of glass and a figure that, wings and all, is thoroughly on fire, are throwing themselves at one another in vicious combat, supervised by cheering and betting human spectators, some with their own winged beings seated at their feet or beside them. The winged beings aren't betting or cheering. The glass one slices off the fire one's left wing, and the fire one continues, silently, trying to melt his face off.

Over there there's a tavern, with singing audible from inside. There's also a couple of human women posed and decorated to advertise their services, attached to the same establishment, loitering out front; in the back, though, a winged being, covered in dark metal, already has a client. She's silent; he's not.

Over there a man has become upset with his winged being - the wings aren't visible but they cast shadows, and they make crunching noises when stepped on. The winged being isn't fighting back or crying out or even trying to shield her face, just lying there generating silent tears while she's beaten.

And over there are the stairs that will take Jinye down from this tower and into the town, if she goes in that direction, or into the fields of lentils and chickpeas and lemons, if she goes the other direction.

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Jinye is going to burn this place to the ground.

It's amazing how little time it takes for her to decide this, really. She supposes it's conceivable she'll want to reconsider this decision later, but right now, she's pretty confident on the burning.

If she doesn't see anyone else up here who might have summoned her, into the town she thinks it will be. Might as well visit before the inferno.

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She's alone in the tower - in fact, she has to unlock the door from the inside to get out of it, once she's gone down the stairs.

The town does have features that have nothing to do with winged beings. Mothers on rocking chairs, spinning and nursing and darning and separating lentils from their stalks. Human children with glass marbles, building a mud marble run for them. A teenage boy bringing a teenage girl flowers. A man driving a herd of sheep through the streets.

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Okay, okay, she can burn it down figuratively. In a manner nigh-indistinguishable from civil reform except for the mysterious transfer of all political power into the hands of one J. Attani Cocoon and maybe a few guillotineings.

How many weird looks is she getting?

... And, uh, where people are talking, does she understand the language?

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People are looking at her - she doesn't look local, and the clothes are particularly outlandish. She doesn't know the language.

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Then she'll try to pick up what she can from hearing conversations. From what she vaguely knows about primitive civilizations (she might have had to conquer one! Maybe the twist is that she does!), if there's a market anywhere, that will both give her lots of eavesdropping opportunities, and tell her what the local economy looks like.

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Looks like it's not market day, although the sheep guy does sell a lamb to somebody who opportunistically asks for one while he walks by.

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Darn. In that case, she'll wander around looking for plot hooks people to talk to while eavesdropping as much as possible. Anyone look particularly interested in talking to an oddly-dressed foreigner?

(Unusual things about Jinye: Clothes. Medical alert bracelet on wrist. Glasses and contact lenses. She does not, unfortunately, have any sort of weapon, bar a pocketknife.)

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She is being followed by a teenage boy!

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Does he, by chance, look hungry, slightly feral, and as if he wants to pick her pocket? She's watched those movies too, thanks.

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He actually looks like he's been eating enough! He's kind of checking her out but mostly curious.

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All right! She'll raise a hand in greetings, let him know she sees him. He's not one of the people with wings, right?

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Nope, no wings, or wing shadows, or glowy wing-shaped absences, or anything like that. He sidles up to her and says words! Which she doesn't know.

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She folds his arms, making sure to keep him out of her personal space, and gives him a cynical look. 

"Ajian," she says, pointing at herself.

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"Turuyo!" he says, pointing at himself. Wordswordswords?

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Wordswordswords! Jinye needs more words! What are those things called? And those things? And those things?

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That's a house, that's the sky, that's the road, this is Turuyo's hand and that's Ajian's hand, that thing is green and that thing is blue and that thing is white, that's a sheep, that's an elemental, this is Turuyo's general crotchal region eh? eh?

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That's a house, that's the sky, that's the road, and NOPE she's going to learn the language from somebody else.

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Turuyo protests but doesn't attempt to turn it into an altercation.

The marble kids are watching her.

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Sounds good! Marble kids: Do they want to teach her words? If no, she can back off!

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Marble kids will say words but aren't super great at pointing to things, they keep getting into side conversations with each other. At least that's probably a good source of grammar.

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So it is.

Do they have any questions for her, once she's picked up a few words?

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