For the city that hosts the congress of nations, Deqla looks surprisingly uncrowded to the eye. The streets are all relatively wide, letting in plenty of sunlight and allowing sufficient of room for bicyclists and pedestrians to coexist with public transport and delivery trucks, while only a handful of buildings cap out over ten stories tall. It was a city that was designed by people who knew what the future would look like, and had plenty of budget to make whatever was needed to further Aramaia's status on the world stage to visiting diplomats and dignitaries happen. Further away from the congress and the local universities, the work is rather less extravagantly maintained, but even the side streets are well lit and relatively clean to help keep crime statistics down. What they don't have is a lot of people in them on early weekday afternoons, which makes the fact that her appearance is completely unobserved a bit less unusual.
Are you gonna fry our fish on the burning bridge?
Just watch me.
Seriously though, right now we just need to pass and stay busy getting integrated. The magic hammer can wait for now.
We definitely need to fill Karen in on the broader circumstances of how we got here, though, she seems to be able to see that we're aliens.
Do you want to trust her with us being a system?
That's a completely different question. Again, we'll burn that bridge when we come to it.
Do you have anything to say, Lindsey? You've been kind of quiet.
I think Sophie is being very kind to us, so we should try to be as normal as possible. The talk we ended up having about our friend definitely used up some of our weirdness points, even though she seems very accommodating.
We're all in agreement not to show off the hammer or the phone? And probably it's best not to show any of our things from Earth?
We told her that we had a little hairbrush.
Yes, and? We don't have to show her it necessarily.
It's just a potential slip. Maybe I'm worrying too much.
We don't know what we don't know. We aren't going to be able to blend perfectly - the whole religious disagreement thing speaks to this world being really different from Earth, culturally - so we've got to do our best and stay safe as best we can. Asking some questions of Karen and doing our research is probably the safest thing to do in the short term.
The lack of local vaccines is also worrying. I don't want to accidentally cause a plague. By all rights we should be quarantining.
I think that ship has well and truly sailed already, Lindsey. We didn't think of it. Probably it won't happen. There's no sense in worrying more.
I sure hope so.
Anyway. I think we have a plan, we have a roof and three square meals a day, that's good enough for now. Karen and Sophie seem to be doing their best for us. All we can do is do our best in return.
Yeah, I guess so.
Let's get up and see about supper and a book. Maybe watch some of the local TV.
It's really convenient that we speak the local language.
A little evidence that our ROB isn't completely fucking with us. Still. We have a lot to sort out.
We really do. Just got to take it one step at a time.
Lindsey carefully gathers up her things into her purse again, setting the phone and the hammer on opposite sides of the dividing comic book. The last thing she needs is to accidentally smash her phone.
You've got this, Lindsey.
You really do. Make us proud.
She opens the guest room door and steps out.
"Hey, Sophie?" she calls softly. "I took some time to get myself together a little and I feel much better now."
A few moments later, the door to her room opens.
"I'm glad to hear it. Normally I'd get started on dinner soon; do you have any allergies or dietary concerns I should know about when making food?"
"Not that I know of. Many of the ingredients you work with are probably unfamiliar to me, though, so I'll mostly be relying on your good taste."
Then Sophie will get out the ingredients for a stew; potatoes, onions, garlic, some meat that's either beef or something similar, and a lot of unfamiliar vegetables.
"I can't say I've ever managed to match Jaron or Karen at discerning taste, but I like to think I've picked up a few things between them and living on my own. You're welcome to help out if you like, but I can handle making this for two no problem."
When it comes to preparing food, Sophie is very fast, and perhaps more surprisingly for her speed doesn't seem to have her knife slam the cutting board or mess up even once.