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Sep 29, 2022 4:34 AM
Vanda Nossëo meets Prince of Egypt
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"You claim responsibility for this?"

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"My God has done it through me. And if you do not let my people go I fear there is worse to come. Please."

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"I will never give in to your threats. Leave."

The guards lurking at the edges of the room step forward; the man, looking suddenly exhausted, turns to leave.

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"May I ask who the people in question are?" Nelen asks.

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"The Hebrews. . . . Who are you?"

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"We're representatives from Vanda Nossëo. The Hebrews are not currently able to leave the area if they want to?"

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"No. They're enslaved."

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"This is no business of yours, travelers. All of you, leave."

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They'll leave, but kind of slowly.

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The unidentified man follows them, and identifies himself. "My name is Moses. Why have you come here?" He looks deeply unhappy, but not with them.

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"We're -" begins Nelen.

"- hey, wait a sec, actually," mutters Natsuko, and her companions look over at her while she frowns at her computer. "- uh, candidate Earth thing, tell you in downtime unless we look likely to run into it -"

"- okay," says Nelen. "We're here to offer Vanda Nossëo's friendship to all the people of this world."

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"You should leave Egypt. It's--like I said. It's going to get worse."

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"The blood river isn't going to harm us," Nelen assures him. "Why is it going to get worse?"

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"God wants the Hebrews to be free, Pharaoh refuses. I don't know what He'll try next, only that He won't give up until Pharaoh does."

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"- are they for sale?" inquires Nelen. "The Hebrews? Vanda Nossëo has a protocol for mass purchase and manumission of slaves."

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"If he doesn't turn it into a point of pride, perhaps. But there are thousands of us, and you are strangers--why would you do such a thing?"

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"Vanda Nossëo is very wealthy, and wants everyone who desires freedom to have it," says Nelen. "My own people benefited from a similar intervention some years ago and now it's my job to go around extending it to others. Are the Hebrews the only slaves in Egypt?"

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"Most of them, but not the only ones."

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"Maybe it will be less a point of pride if we're paying for the others too?"

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"I hope so. Once I would have said I knew him better than anyone. Now I'm not so sure."

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"And God is turning the river to blood because of the Pharaoh not letting the slaves go?" asks Natsuko, still looking at her computer.

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"Yes." Moses squints at the computer like he's trying to decide whether it's more likely to harm him if he knows what it is or if he doesn't.

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"Does God have any other - ongoing quarrels?" Nelen asks.

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"I don't think so?"

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"And your role in this matter is -?"

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