May 26, 2022 10:21 AM
an ex-illithid in lyingverse
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"I don't have one with me but they get delivered now and then to all the houses."

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"Okay!"

That seems like enough to be going on with and she doesn't want to push her luck too badly on the length of this interaction. She says "thank you!" again on general principle and turns in a different direction at the next corner. Now, which of the buildings in view looks most plausibly like a house...

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They're all houses on this block!

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She picks the most interestingly decorated one in sight that she can get to without crossing a street first, and marches up to the front door and knocks.

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This one has lawn flamingos and gnomes and six windchimes and a pinwheel! The occupant is an older lady in a pink dress that doesn't fit her very well. "I'm annoyed you interrupted me because now I think you're going to take up enough of my time that my tea will oversteep," she says.

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"Oh, I'm sorry!" she says. "I'm looking for a phone book so I can find a neurologist so I can get an explanation of how I learned English today. Do you have one and can I borrow it and will that take enough time that your tea oversteeps first?"

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"It'll be okay if I'm quick. I'll go get it. Just leave it on the doorstep when you're done with it, don't knock again." She goes and gets a big floppy book and hands it to Bird and closes the door.

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Now she has a book! She opens the book and tries to figure out how to find a neurologist in it.

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This isn't immediately obvious if you haven't been exposed to the concept of phone books before but if she comes up with the plan of checking in the section sorted by profession and looking under N she can find some.

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She tries skimming from the front and then she tries flipping through at random and then she notices that the section she just flipped into appears to be sorted by profession and then she skims through professions until she finds Neurologist and then she has some information about neurologists! What information does she have?

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She has their names and addresses and phone numbers!

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Well, this lady told her not to knock again, so after carefully memorizing the names and addresses and phone numbers of some neurologists, she puts the book where she was told to and examines her surroundings to try to figure out how this information applies to them. She has encountered the concept of named streets before, and she does notice that the houses all have numbers on them, which allows her to form a tentative hypothesis although she isn't sure how phone numbers fit into it. Maybe if she keeps walking she will either recognize a neurologist-related cross street, or find a person whom she can ask for directions.

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She will find a neurologist-related cross street after some tromping, and if she then examines the numbers, she can even find the office! With more tromping. A lot of it. But there's the sign that says "Leigh Ledecky, M.D., Neurology".

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And does this office contain a human—or whatever, she's not picky, though this seems to be a human town—and is that human (or whatever) a neurologist?

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The office contains a receptionist! "Wow, I'm really hung over and wish you hadn't walked in," groans the receptionist. "How can I help you?"

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"I'm sorry about your hangover!" she says. "I heard I should talk to a neurologist if I want to find out how I learned English very suddenly earlier today. Is there a neurologist here?"

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"Dr. Ledecky is a neurologist. You need an appointment to see her."

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"Okay. How do I get an appointment?"

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"I can make one for you... let's see... Tuesday afternoon?"

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"When is Tuesday afternoon compared to now?"

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"It's in four days and two hours."

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"How many hours are in a day?" She thinks she knows this one but it's probably a good idea to check.

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"Twenty-four."

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"Hmm. I will need to eat and sleep between now and Tuesday afternoon. Do you know where a good place would be to find food and shelter?"

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"If you don't already have any you could try to find a homeless shelter. I'm uncomfortable with homeless people and expect you won't be able to pay for your appointment so I'm going to un-reserve that time slot now."

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