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Feb 17, 2020 2:09 AM
Brainship Dusk and Brawn Jean
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"Awwww. That's adorable."

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"You and Denika! Are you all just critically deprived of kittens or something, you have the strangest standards for adorableness."

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"It's endearing, Ifan. That you get it, that you don't think we're alien."

"...yeah."

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"--aw." He reaches out to brush his fingers against her casing. "I shall endeavor only to be a little insulted by being complimented on that."

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"It'll be better offworld, I think."

"Not really. Not that part."

"Oh."

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"We'll find you people who are better. And the ones who aren't, we don't have to count as people. Honestly, how do you even make that mistake, shellpeople sing."

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"Mm. Well, I've got you; that's the important bit, I think."

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"It's a start, at least."

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"Yeah." Sigh.

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"We'll figure it out. You've got all the time in the world."

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"Yeah. Sorry, kiddo."

"Mm. I'll be all right." She starts moving again.

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"I will," she asserts. "I was ready to be done with that, but if I'm not, that's fine. It's not a huge adjustment."

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"I want to do better for you than that."

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"Ifan." She stops again. "You are, okay? This is why I didn't want a Sunex brawn, this exact thing, and here you are being perfect at it. I don't expect you to make the world perfect too."

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"Oh."

 

He hugs her. It is clumsy and kind of ridiculous but this does not stop him.

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She giggles. "Adorable."

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"Do the Sunex brawns seriously -- how do you even do this job, if..."

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"I mean, I've never met one? But they're trained by Sunex."

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"Yeah, but -- putain de merde, it's like your right hand insisting your left is a stuffed glove, what has to go wrong for that to happen?"

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"I think maybe you misunderstood me. I don't mean that they think we're not people; I mean there's a disconnect, that we're - other, something else, a different kind. That it wouldn't occur to them to want to be a shellperson, or to treat us just like they'd treat anyone else, because we obviously aren't, from that perspective; we're still people, but we're just in this whole other category aside from that. And Sunex encourages that. We're supposed to think of ourselves as separate and different and not really meant to be involved with softpeople outside of work."

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"Well, I mean -- obviously in some sense you're people but also in another category, but so are, oh, doctors -- and if shellpeople are alien then so are brawns, they're not the same thing but they're the complimentary pieces."

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"Yeah, but a doctor can go home, go - to the theater, whatever it is softpeople do - and just not be a doctor for a while. We can't do that. And it's - on one hand I think the idea is we'll mind it less, if we don't think of it as something we're missing? Something like that, is why they try to convince us that we're a separate sort of thing with different rules. And on the other I think it's less calculated than that, I think they just really do have trouble seeing us as - really entirely people, messy parts and all - like - in stories, when people are simplified down to just a few traits, and they're still supposed to be people, they matter, within the story, but compared to actual people the complexity just isn't there, and that's how they think of us, more or less."

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He makes a face. "I guess. I still don't get brawns making that mistake, but -- well. Sunex is Sunex."

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"Yeah."

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