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May 26, 2022 9:35 AM
Vanda Nosseo deals with Sesat
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"I think you said you were a war widow, is that right?"

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"I said that my husband was a soldier. There are too many things to die of. I suppose no one born this year will grow up to think that."

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"The hope is that even if Sesat doesn't manage to join Vanda Nossëo healing will continue to be made available! Do you think that's the biggest change Sesat is looking at right now?"

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"It's hard to say! That's a change bigger than any other I've seen before, but there are going to be a lot of those. Maybe in a hundred years the kids will laugh at me for not having guessed that the biggest change would be that we're all going to stop being made of flesh and turn into incorporeal spirits who live in trees and commune with the gods."

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"Ha! As far as I know we don't have any of those in the citizenry already, so it'd be a bit of a wildcard prediction if you made it now. Do most of the Sesati you know seem glad that Vanda Nossëo decided to contact their planet?"

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"It's all been very hectic and unpredictable, I would say there are people who are optimistic but fewer who are just... uncomplicatedly feeling happy now."

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"Hm, have there been unpleasant surprises?"

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"Well, yes, for one thing we suddenly have a powerful new expansionist neighbor, and a lot of people's jobs are suddenly unnecessary, and there's new etiquette to learn."

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"An expansionist neighbor... hm, has Vanda Nossëo seemed threatening?"

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"At first. I'm not sure to what extent that was a miscommunication or testing the waters to find out how we'd take it."

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"Huh! How do you normally find out about how talks with the envoys are going, do you have government connections?"

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"Approximately, yes."

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"Now that you've hopped the bus, what are your plans?"

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"I want to travel and have an interesting vacation in Vanda Nossëo. Travel's always been fraught and I hope I'll be able to do a lot more of it."

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"Fraught? How so?"

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"We haven't had good relations with Iral or Azan for a long time, and of course we haven't had teleportation or the ability to leave the planet."

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"Where'd the grievance come from?"

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"You know how it is. Everyone wants what other people have. If the soldiers don't die fighting they'll just die of something else."

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"I'm not sure I do know, can you give me some examples of things people were fighting over?"

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"Land. Property. Insults, too, I suppose. People. Food, if anything's gone wrong with anyone's crops or vermin've been at the stores. There's a lot of - people who just want to keep their heads down and farm and kings arguing over who they pay their taxes to, because whichever country that is will have more of everything else, more art and more books and also more soldiers for next time there's a drought..."

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"So it sounds like Vanda Nossëo's presence can probably prevent a lot of wars even if nobody joins."

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"I hope so, yes."

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There are more questions about her daily life and about how she first learned that the envoys were there and if she's bought much from the shops.

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She's bought some things and her daily life involves working with these pigments and asking after innovations in these industries and eating bread and lentils and meat and seasonal vegetables. She avoids saying anything that makes the relevance of slavery obvious unless asked straight out. She first heard about the envoys because she was one of the people that various other people ran to tell immediately.

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Where does she see herself in five years? Does she hope Sesat joins Vanda Nossëo?

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