sesati expats from do you recall when the war was just a game meet another amenta
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"Which direction regarding - what, sir -"

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"Whether to play music."

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"I... don't have a policy on that, sir."

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"...I think if you don’t express an opinion I’m going to play it because it’s not permanent and wouldn’t make it harder for you to say you hate it. But I think you should express an opinion."

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"I - don't think - it is irrational to be afraid - sir."

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He laughs bitterly. "Of course it isn’t. Yet. Making it irrational to be afraid is going to be the work of decades."

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Silence.

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But that was sort of like a no on the music.

"...So, do reds have computers and if so do you still have yours?"

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"My pocket everything is at home sir."

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"Want a copy of it here?"

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"...that would be very impressive sir."

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He sends a message to the demon they brought with them.

"You do really hate just saying 'I want you to do this' or 'I don't want you to do that', huh."

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"As you say, sir."

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And someone else arrives. She looks more alien: she has big black wings and she's got a cool scaly design going on around her temples.

" - You're really being ridiculous, you already agreed to clean everything you send them, didn't you? Hey, red guy, do you want your own spaceship, because I can do that," she says as, with no obvious connection to anything about her behavior, Nelen's pocket everything appears on the bed.

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Wow that's startling. He manages to startle in a way that doesn't touch anything else out of pure reflex even though he's loose in this sealed compartment. "- thank you ma'am."

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"Cool, what kinda ship do you want?"

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"I - thank you for the offer, I don't know how to - fly a ship..."

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"That's fixable! I can get you a manual. Or a simulator. Or both."

"Pretty sure he's trying to turn you down."

"You want to turn me down, you say 'no thanks, I don't want a spaceship.' Did he seriously already teach you to say everything in subtext, I don't think that's a good first priority at all."

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"...ma'am I don't understand."

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"You've been talking to a Sesati for, what, five minutes? And you sound just like them? I know that's not how people talk in Anitam."

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"I'm - sorry - ma'am??"

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She raises an eyebrow at Valan.

"He was like this when I got him!"

She sighs. "Okay, well, you can talk however you want, I guess."

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"- yes ma'am."

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"Hey. Val. Get out of here, I need to ask him if you threatened him."

Valan vanishes.

"Actually, I don't really care whether he threatened you or got all subtexty about not threatening you or is a perfectly lovely person and you just don't like his hair. I just want you to know that if you want to wake up somewhere away from all this in a high-tech high-magic society with universal basic income, I can make it happen."

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"- ma'am????"

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