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Rating: 3-3-3

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Thread Contributor: Christian VerglasCotillion & You tag: Queth
DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
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Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

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Points: 8,536.11€
#1
Belle was probably one of the best people in the multiverse. She was kind, sweet, caring, and she was the only family Christian had. He would go to the end of the world for her. That wasn’t even an exaggeration; he really had gone to the end of a world to rescue her.

So when she had texted him for help with this date she had made with Queth, Chris had immediately gone to her apartment and helped her as best as he could. He wasn’t worried about Queth being inappropriate or pushy or… Yeah, he wasn’t worried about that. Belle could take care of herself with the wrong kind of assertive, but he was concerned about Queth’s feelings being hurt, and he was worried about there being confused signals.

Which was why he was here today, at Queth’s garage. Not to try to warn her off of his sister (Belle would kill him) but to make sure that the cyborg elf lady understood certain things going into this date. It would help her, help Belle, and hopefully help things go more smoothly between them. And ideally, it would keep everyone’s hearts whole.

Clearing his throat quietly, Christian knocked on the doorframe, “Miss Queth?”

@alex
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
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Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
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#2
The usual state for Queth to be in inside of her garage was elbow's deep in a car, hair mostly slicked back with the oil from the engine she was working on. Today, she had twisted her hair up with a pencil, small streaks of grease evident on her ears where she tried to stop herself from pushing loose strands back.

And she... may have had some romance films playing on the walls, along with a whiteboard with Date ideas underlined. A board that had been erased and refilled and erased in a seemingly endless loop. "Glitch- look up popular restaurants for dates." She called, off-handedly to the sprite that was dancing around the gear.

With so many things going on, she was barely cognizant of the buzz of the door opening until her com started flashing the notification in her eyes. Cursing quietly, she covered her eyes as she dismissed it, finally turning towards the potential customer.

Once she saw who it was however... Well a single flick of her hand had all the screens switching to diagrams of cars- and the whiteboard flipping to a blank side. She coughed into her hand to clear her throat, forgetting to wipe her hands off first, no doubt leaving a trail of oil across her cheek. "Ah, Mr. Verglas. Welcome, how may I help you today?" She spoke, voice unwavering as she rubbed away some of the grease from her hands with a rag she had nearby.

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,487
Points: 8,536.11€
#3
Looking around the garage, it was… Chris smiled softly at the romance films, at the whiteboard. It was a testament to how much Queth must care for his sister if she was going through this much trouble to come up with a date that was as close to perfect as she could come. It made him like Queth more, and it solidified why he was here, why he would worry about this woman he barely knew.

She might not be all that much like him, but he knew what it was like to hurt, to ache, because of caring. He didn’t wish that on her, not at all. It was why he was here.

His gaze had gone to the little sprite that she had given an order to, and to the elf herself, but when she gestured and changed the screens, his eyes went back toward them, and he smiled warmly as he looked back to Queth again, “You didn’t have to do that.” His eyes crinkled with his smile as it grew, “I won’t tell on you.”

How could she help him? Well… “Please, Chris, or Christian if you’d like.” He didn’t offer to shake her hand as hers were busy, but he gave her a nod, “And actually, I had come here hoping to maybe be able to help you, if you don’t mind it.”

@alex
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
8 Threads
Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

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Points: 2,355.62€
#4
Queth would have liked to assume that going to the end of the world to save his sister would have been enough to endear her to Chris- though she supposed that then taking her away into another nightmare situation may have worked against her...

Either way, it was good to be in the man's good books. Especially since she was trying to learn as much magic as she could across realms. She wondered idly if she could teach him about technomancy in exchange for learning what magic he knew.

Not that she knew what he was there for, or whether he approved. All she knew was that the grease on her face was doing an admirable job of concealing her blush. "I haven't the foggiest what you're talking about." She lied smoothly, even though she obviously knew exactly what Chris was remarking about.

She went to go gather papers when her attention was peaked again. "Well, Chris- then you can call me just 'Queth.' Quethadia if you really feel like formality. But I think I exceeded my time limit on being a 'miss' a few decades ago." She gestured quickly towards a chair- wondering internally whether she was about to get a dressing down for asking out his sister.

"Please, sit. Can I get you anything to drink? As I'm sure you know, I probably need all the help I can get." She added, throwing a crooked smile his way before washing her hands off properly and getting a glass of water.

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,487
Points: 8,536.11€
#5
Belle had chosen to go with Queth and Virgil after they had rescued her and the other two ladies from Marten. While yes, Queth had been the reason they had gone, Christian didn’t blame the elf for his sister’s decisions.

There were times when Christian would fidget, where he would let his nerves play out with a piece of string or some wire that he had in his pockets, but today he stood straight and kept his hands in check. He might not be able to see the blush on her face, but Christian had a good ear for when he was being lied to, and besides even without that, he would have known, because of course she knew what he was talking about. “Right, so we’re going to start this conversation with… like this?” That wasn’t a great start, but he moved to take the chair that she offered him anyway. He would try, for her sake, for Belle’s.

“Alright, Queth. I don’t think now’s the time for either of us to be worrying too much about formality. But just so you know, there’s no time limit on being a ‘miss’ where Belle and I are from. A woman who is unmarried, or you don’t know if she’s married, will always be ‘miss’, that’s just plain good manners.” And that was the crux of it, so he he smiled to her, “I’m fine for now, thank you.” She knew how to be a good hostess, so that was good. That was a good start.

Chris waited for Queth to come back and sit down before he spoke again. “I know about the date you asked my sister on,” he said quietly, looking Queth in the eyes as he spoke to her, “And I thought that maybe it would be best if I came and spoke to you, about what you should maybe be expecting, because how Belle and I grew up.. It’s different than most people are used to, and it can be unnecessarily difficult to navigate without prior knowledge.”

@alex
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
8 Threads
Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

All Accounts Posts: 852
Points: 2,355.62€
#6
Queth sighed slightly. "When you run in an industry where reputation is everything, it doesn't do to let people know you have a soft spot." She explained quietly, gesturing again to undo her previous actions, albeit leaving the movies and videos paused so she wouldn't lose anything.

Right until the screens flooded with words. Queth flapped her mouth open slightly, rubbing at her temples, and flicking away the list. "To my comm link Glitch. Always to my comm link unless I say otherwise." She grumbled, the little sprite grinning in a way that made her quite certain that it had been done on purpose.

"Sprites- like spirits- usually obey the letter of your order and not the intentions. Very monkey's paw." She explained, even though this particular sprite had long ago completed their obligations to her and had started to follow her requests because of some convoluted affection.

Queth nodded to his explanation. "Almost was. A long time ago." She added idly, figuring that being open was the key part here. She steathily tugged her ring out from under the collar of her shirt. She wanted Chris to know that she wasn't just playing here, and that she wasn't inexperienced in the subject. That she would respect Belle, and what she had been through.

Queth perked right up at his explanation. "Oh thank fragging hell. I was bumbling around and making an absolute spectacle of myself when I asked her out. I think she wanted more subtlety But I tried that! and she didn't even notice!" She pouted slightly. "By the end, I wasn't even being at all subtle. I just wasn't spelling it out." She explained, sipping at her water before remembering the spell she had learned from arjay.

Humming a few notes, she cleaned the grease from her skin- thought she noted with a groan that it had missed the inside of her arm. "Do you mind if I clean this while we chat?" She asked with a small wave of the relevant fingers.

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,487
Points: 8,536.11€
#7
Chris nodded slowly, “Well, it helps me to know you do.” He smiled lightly at her, unbothered by her control of the screens and videos. After all, he had a flying sentient vacuum cleaner. He wasn’t normal, but then most people in Hub weren’t.

Watching the little sprite, Chris couldn’t help but to chuckle a little bit. It was sort of cute, and just a little bit sweet, how the two interacted. “One of my best friends is a vacuum cleaner with a mind of his own… And he can be a little bit mischievous sometimes, too.” Jonah was just more limited in what kind of mischief he could cause due to his physical form.

Being told that Queth had almost gotten married once was sobering. Seemed like most everyone had some sort of sad story. “I’m sorry.” He understood, after a fashion. He hadn’t been in anything close to the kind of relationship that required rings and promises, but he did know what it was to love someone and not have them. He knew that only too well. He blinked a few times more quickly, banishing the emotions that had come nearly to the surface with those thoughts. He wasn’t here for himself, he was here for Belle, and for Queth. To help them as much as he could.

He nodded, relaxing a little bit as Queth grew a bit more animated, as she acknowledged that she had been confused by Belle’s… Mindset. “Don’t worry too much about that. She’s fine. She’s more worried about what to wear than how you went about asking her on a date.” Chris smiled, “So it’s not just more subtlety, but a certain kind of subtlety. Which is why I figured I’d come here and see if you’d like some help with it, because it’s… Different. We grew up in the south, in Georgia. The manners we were taught were specific.”

Chris had grown up in the south alongside Belle, but he had lived in the north and the west long enough to realize that other parts of the country didn’t hold to the same standardized manners as they had grown up knowing. Chris had adapted as best as he could, and Belle had… Well, Belle had adapted a little bit, if not in the same ways as her brother.

“Do you mind if I watch? I… I like machines.” He understood them, and enjoyed being around them. He pulled a tiny robotic scorpion from his pocket, “This is Pip, he’s… I made him a few months ago.” He knew that Pip likely didn’t have all that much more time before he’d run down and become just another one of the robots that Christian had made, but that didn’t mean he didn’t care for the little toy while he was there.

@alex
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
8 Threads
Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

All Accounts Posts: 852
Points: 2,355.62€
#8
Queth grinned at the reply, trying and failing to picture the full implications of a sentient vacuum. "Does he have a name?" She asked automatically, excited to meet another tech and magic balanced individual. She had met plenty who prioritized magic and plenty who preferred tech- but the few she had met who used both mostly just dabbled in one of them from time to time.

It was almost too bad that he was there to critique her manners, Queth could imagine them being good friends.

On that line, she waved off his apology. "It was more years ago then you and Belle combined have lived. Sure it sucked, but I've had time to move on." She gave a crooked smile as she admitted just a hint of her sadness. "I'm just feeling nostalgic since he passed away somewhat recently."

That was the worst part of being attracted to Belle, as far as Queth figured. If things did go well? If there was a future there? One day Queth would wake up and find Belle gone too. She was lucky she knew Arjay now, because if anyone could help her after that, it had to be someone who understood that pain.

Queth's small smile turned slightly shy when he discussed his sister's response. "Well, it will be night, and we'll be outside. If that helps her choose." She mumbled softly, still worried about what she herself was going to wear. She looked like a toothpick in just about any suits- and an umbrella when she wore a gown.

Plus she was trying not to emphasize that she was female. Queth genuinely thought that Belle might run away.

She nodded to him. "I'd appreciate you teaching me. I grew up in Portland, so not exactly the staple of hospitality in the- Drek. It's still the United States of America in your world, isn't It?" She shook her head with awe at that mental image. "The place I was born isn't even the same country anymore."

When he asked his question, she was again struck by how well they could get along. She hummed for a second as she mentally completed an inventory- and... She had enough parts. Popping the limb off at the elbow, she placed it in front of him, offering him the tools. "I have everything I need to fix it if it gets broken so- Have at it." Queth explained with a grin, reaching forward and rolling the faux skin covering all the way off.

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,487
Points: 8,536.11€
#9
At the question about the little robot who was his oldest friend and confidant, Christian’s eyes lit up. He loved the room a as surely as he loved Belle or Safi. “His name is Jonah,” he told the elf, thoughts of manners and teaching and dates moving to the back of his mind even as he began to think of his little friend. “He’s amazing. I mean, his primary concern and love is cleaning, but we make that into games. And he’s good at it.” Chris drew himself up, maybe just a hint of pride creeping into his demeanor and tone, “Just recently I gave him a few upgrades. Repulses so he can fly, and he won’t have problems when he grabs up a screw anymore either.” Chris spoke about his magic and creations with a warmth that approached love, and boundless enthusiasm. “If you wanted to meet him, I could bring him by sometime.” The offed was made almost shyly, sudden doubt and uncertainty coming over him, “But only if you’d like.”

There was the quieter, unsure man Belle had travelled to the end of the world with, so eager to be useful, needing so much to prove himself.

Her once-fiancé has recently passed away. Christian’s expression shifted with empathy, “I’m sorry to hear that. That can’t be easy.” To love someone enough to want to marry them and then lose them…. she didn’t seem as though she hated him, so Chris imagined that it had to be painful.

When she explained more about the date, not actually giving all that much away while telling him enough to be able to dress Belle fittingly, clever elf, Chris grew thoughtful, his mind absorbing and processing the information. Probably not the dress, then. He’d have Belle consider pants, something easier to move in, something comfortable but dressy.

“Hm? Oh yes. We’re in the States. Well…. Belle has pretty much moved to Hub entirely, but she lived in Gotham before. East coast. Sa…. I live in Central City. Part time now, but still.” He laughed lightly when she commented about the manners where she grew up, “Don’t think that, Queth. Different isn’t necessarily bad,” he shrugged, “Just different. I just…. It would be terrible if you guys misunderstood each other and hurt each other’s feelings.” He paused, “Or if Belle hurt your feelings, honestly.” He offered Queth a small but genuine smile, “I know how that can be, so… Better to try to make sure it doesn’t happen, right?”

Because loving the unattainable sucked, and Christian knew that intimately. The cloud of hurt and yes, anger, passed quickly, but he felt it nonetheless, and did his utmost to hide it. Queth didn’t need to have his ires and agonies thrust upon her, especially not today. Today should be about her and Belle. About their date.

But maybe there was a little bit of time to explore new technology, too… Christian took the prosthetic gingerly, treating it with the kind of gentle caution that meant that he was unlikely to damage it from carelessness. He was thorough, cleaning carefully even as he explored using both physical means as well as magical ones, making sure things were in exceptional working order, as good or better than he had found them in. He had taken apart and reassembled a roomba, and he had improved vastly upon the construction as he had done so, he was competent, intelligent, and capable. This technology was foreign and new to him, but… “Can you…” he looked up after several silent minutes of focused work, “Can you teach me about this? How to make this sort of technology? How it works?” He shifted, “I mean, I don’t want to intrude on your time, I just…” He smiled, “But it’s fascinating. And I know I need to talk to you about our crazy manners so you and Belle can just relax and have a nice date, and I will.” He offered Queth back her arm almost apologetically.

@alex
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
8 Threads
Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

All Accounts Posts: 852
Points: 2,355.62€
#10
Queth very rarely felt her age in comparison to humans that she met- but right then, with Chris so proud of his creation, and so shy about offering to introduce her to the roomba- she felt every day of her eighty eight years. It seemed like it had been a hundred years since she last got so excited about almost anything- she briefly considered telling Chris this, but she didn't want him to think his excitement was childish.

After all, it would be more accurate to say that Queth was just looking out from near elderly eyes. She smiled at him before he could misinterpret her silence. "I'd like to meet him at some point." She confirmed, taking a sip of her water.

She shrugged at his apology, smile falling into a crooked grin. "I'm 88 years old Chris. It wasn't like it was a sudden or surprising thing. It comes with loving a human." Queth paused for a moment, wondering if Chris would fill in the fact that she was doing the same thing again. That if she were 'lucky' and if Belle liked her as well, then one day she'd be telling someone else about a different love who had greyed in front of her eyes.

It was something she was trying to avoid thinking about. Queth didn't want to miss out because of fear.

She grinned again at his offer. "Yes. Please, thank you." The last three words were tacked on awkwardly- it had been a long time since anyone had cared about her manners. She lived in a world with a completely different set of rules- where showing up without a gun was either incredibly stupid, or a very impressive power play. Nothing was simple.

Queth chuckled again at the excitement in Chris's eyes, her robotic hand twisting in his grip to wave off his concerns before she accepted the prosthetic and reconnected it to her shortened arm. "Yeah absolutely. This is all I've got on me now, but as Belle can tell you, I used to be half made of the stuff, so I'm pretty familiar with it."

She paused before lifting her hair and turning around, pulling the spooled connector from its socket there. "Well, the arm is the only part I can remove without surgery anyways."

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,487
Points: 8,536.11€
#11
Christian had some very good reasons for his shyness, for his cautiously guarded pride. In his world, magic was a rare thing, something people would either find inspiring or threatening. Growing up in the theologically rich southern United States, in Georgia, raised by nuns in a group home, with no family to cling to aside from Belle, Chris had learned the hard way to keep his magic quiet, to hide it, to show it only to those he knew he could trust. Very few people ever reached that level of closeness.

He was sharing with Queth because Hub had proven to be a far safer place than his home universe, because Belle liked Queth. Because Queth had travelled to the end of a world next to him and Safi and the Winter Soldier and the android cowboy and the archer and the Lantern. When Queth affirmed that she’d like to meet Jonah, Chris smiled and nodded to her, “Sure, I’ll bring him by sometime.”

The smile that Chris gave Queth spoke to the fact that yes, he realized what it meant that Queth had loved a human, that she was over 80 years old (nearer to 90 than 80…) and that Belle was human. That Queth had already lost a human love once, and here she was, willing to try, to love and lose, again. Christian respected Queth for that, because love wasn’t easy even when living decades or longer past your loved one even if they lived to full age wasn’t an issue.

No, being in love pretty much sucked.

Chris gave Queth a smile when she thanked him for the offer to help her decypher Belle’s manners and actions. “Oh, um, well I just hope it makes things easier for you.” The manners taught in Georgia had a name, they were so specific and thorough. Cotillion. Chris could take years to really teach Queth everything to know about it, but he could give her some pretty basic ideas and understanding of it in a few hours. It wasn’t like he needed to teach her how to dance for a first date that wasn’t going to a dance or ball, and if it had been, then he would be pretty confident that it meant that Queth already knew how to dance.

Chris let out a delighted laugh at the arm’s movement even as he held it, grinning while he watched her reattach the arm. It was so very fascinating. And then Queth told him that she would teach him about it, and Chris brightened again, not so much with excitement, but with joy and interest. He nodded, “I just.. I’d love to learn how to make this sort of technology…” his voice was thoughtful, “Maybe incorporate it into some of my projects…”

@alex
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Shadowrun-Tabletop edition

143 Posts
8 Threads
Age:88
Job: "Travel Writer" (Smuggler)
Ship Status: Trying to date Belle
Sexual Orientation: Yes.
Moon

All Accounts Posts: 852
Points: 2,355.62€
#12
Queth smiled slightly at the young man sitting opposite. Not that he was actually all that young. By human standards. But watching him smile and not so enthusiastically reminded her of her first matrix dive. The thrill that came with being immaterial and surrounded by what felt like magic. It had felt like a dream at first. Now, eventually said dream started fighting back and she almost woke up with her brain pouring out her ears- but it was still fun.

She wondered idly how well Glitch and Jonah would get along. With a small imperceptible groan it occurred to her that Glitch might insist on acquiring a body after meeting the roomba. She might want to get a head start on that.

Pausing, Queth grinned before walking across the room and pulling out a set of trodes and a comm link. She set the comm link on the table, even as she started checking the wires on the trodes.

"That is basically one of those smart watches. Only, bigger screen, and it possesses all of the computer power you could possibly need." Nodding at the skin she had peeled off, she pointed out the slightly fancier version there. "This is an old one of mine, so it's still pretty high end. If you take it, we can set up a line for you to talk to Glitch and if you're interested, for Glitch to talk to Jonah. He's playful but not mean- it might be good for them to be able to chat. Maybe they'll be friends."

If Queth had known that there was a specific set of manners, and that they even had a name before- she could have found a skill soft and run it. Her brain was still enough parts tech that she could download new information- and she was sure some runner had made a deception course on cotillion, for fitting in in that society. However, it was nice to trade lessons with others, and she couldn't help but think that it would probably pay out in the long run to be better friends with Belle's brother.

"I'm sure it will." She said easily before grinning at his enthusiasm. "I have some other pieces that you can take home and screw around with if you'd like. It's amazing how little use I have for an artificial knee. Now that I don't have an artificial knee."

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,487
Points: 8,536.11€
#13
Christian wasn’t childish, he really wasn’t, but when you presented him with something exciting, he could be easily swept away. Especially lately. So Queth’s technology, and how damn generous she was with it had him wide awake and focused on it even as they spoke about Glitch and Jonah. He hadn’t forgotten about Belle, though, about the reason he’d come to visit Queth. But they had time to talk, to get to know each other a little bit, too. That was good. Badass techno-elf was going to be dating his sister, so Chris figured he’d better get to know her, build some sort of relationship with her. He hadn’t thought he’d like her right off the bat. That they’d have things in common. Those were just bonuses.

He followed her train of thought, paid attention to what she said, “That sounds good. And… Jonah, he could use a friend, especially here, where maybe he can understand that he’s not so alone.” He took a look at the ‘skin’ that she used, frowning at it in concentration as he considered it. “How do you make this?” he asked about it, curious.

Cotillion was… Well it had taken Chris and Belle plenty of time to master it, but he knew that Queth just needed enough right away to make it through a first date. And then if things went well, well, he could keep teaching her. Grinning, Chris settled into the flow of their conversation, chatting about tech and peppering it with information Queth needed for her date with his sister, from the simple, straightforward manners to what materials were best when making artificial people parts to how to interpret what someone was really saying when they grew more polite.

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