Apr 19, 2019 4:40 AM
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"How unfortunate. I would have liked to order a drink."

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"You can order drinks at the bar. The lack of a bartender doesn't seem to impede the process at all."

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"Oh? Interesting."
Hannibal rises from the chair and approaches the bar. 
He orders a glass of wine in a soft, confident voice.

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Wine appears.

The man at the table, who still hasn't introduced himself, waits to see if he should pick up his book again.

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Hannibal returns, holding his glass of wine.
"If I may ask, what are you reading?"

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"Fiction. The person who explained the bar to me suggested I borrow it." He tilts the book to show Hannibal the title, which says Full Fathom Five.

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"I am familiar with the phrase, but I do not know of any work that has claimed it as its name."

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"It's an interesting read. A very... coherently imagined universe. I don't read a lot of fantasy fiction, but I've been enjoying this series so far."

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"I do not read as often as I'd like, but I do occasionally find the time. What genres are more typical for you?"

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"History."

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"When in history?"

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"The relatively recent parts, mostly."

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"What is said about the 21st century? Is it mentioned in passing? Is it mentioned at all?"

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"Comparatively little. The advent of sophisticated computing technology, I think."

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"And what is your recent past?"

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"I find this place relaxing in large part because I don't have to think about politics here," he says mildly.

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"My apologies. I allowed my curiosity to get the better of me."

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"Apology accepted."

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"And it seems I've neglected to introduce myself. I am Hannibal Pazzi. It's a pleasure to meet you."

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He shows no sign of recognizing the name.

After a moment's consideration, he says, "Gregor Vorbarra. Likewise."

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"Is your's a world where this bar would be unexceptional?"

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"No."

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"Then you are remarkably unaffected."

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At that, he smiles.

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"Have you had other exceptional, non-political, experiences?"

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