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May 21, 2022 3:26 PM
Vanda Nosseo deals with Sesat
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"Oh, that sounds fun. How do I get there?"

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She can outline the bus route for him! It involves a few transfers but should get him there in about fifteen minutes all told even with that.

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"Thank you, and how do I pay for it? The vacation, I mean, not the bus token."

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"I'm not sure how long you're planning to stay or what your skills are!"

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"Well, I, ah," appraise and train slaves, "do various things, and I'm literate and can paint a bit."

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"...I guess you could see if anyone wants your paintings? Or... this planet's still new and exciting enough that you can probably get an interview, if you want one..."

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"Oh, how would I arrange that?"

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"I don't actually know. I can ask my work chat." She pulls out a computer and taps it, clacking her beak thoughtfully. "Okay, they say there's a mail label you can write for most of the major news publications, do you want to see the list?"

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"Yes, please."

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She turns the list around. It has items like:

Zeitung Offenbarun
Venus Vindicator
Nossëo Standard
Patalon Picayune
Marlatia Daily News
Elendil Echo
Galaxy Bulletin
Sydney Curator
Shapto Update
Tide Round-The-Clock Commentator
International Dateline

And each is accompanied by a mail label, which the birdperson explains can be appended to a letter explaining her desire to be interviewed so they can get back to her. "You can tell them to leave a message for you at shop Sesat-20, that's this one!"

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That makes sense. She leaves and writes a couple of letters to the more promising-sounding news outlets, in case they'd like to interview a Sesati soldier's widow.

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Next time she checks in at shop Sesat-20 the birdperson has a message for her from the Galaxy Bulletin that they'd be happy to meet her, here is where their office is if she wants to come by, she should ask for Zenaka Brai, this is their standard rate for human interest interviews like this.

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In that case, she will tell the birdperson some stories (about the fair folk, now that it's increasingly obvious that those stories aren't true) for some bus tokens and go find the Galaxy Bulletin office and ask for Zenaka Brai.

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Zenaka Brai is green! She otherwise looks mostly like a human person, though, she's just green. "Hi there!" she says. "First of all, can I get your name?"

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"That's the whole name, Lenu?"

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"You can call me Lenu of Purple Plains, but I don't have a title."

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"Lenu of Purple Plains, lovely. What do you do with your time, Lenu?"

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"Well, now I try to think of stories and figure out the multiverse, but before that I did - job training and painting, and now and again some spinning - I try to keep busy."

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"Job training?" probes Zenaka.

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"Nothing that's still useful, but I can explain things about, for example, farming, etiquette, bronze casting..."

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"Oh, what's Sesati etiquette like?"

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"I think more reserved than some places - it's a bit forward, in Sesat, to ask how many siblings someone has, or how they feel about them - and much more concerned with establishing common knowledge of things like whose time is more in demand, rather than maintaining plausible deniability about it as I think happens often in Vanda Nossëo's worlds. We have a lot of specific forms of address for conveying those kinds of things succinctly."

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"Well, there goes my next question," jokes Zenaka. "What sorts of skills make a person's time especially valuable in Sesat?"

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"Until very recently soldiers were extremely important, although I expect we'll have fewer wars now. It'll be strange, I think, but I'm glad about that; they'll go on to be artists or landlords or philosophers and there'll be fewer widows someday."

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