Continuities » Silmaril » a comfortable inheritance
Jul 26, 2017 8:32 PM
so there was a discussion on tumblr about whether you could get a maitimo to own slaves
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"One of them escapes. Gets fatally wounded by whoever brings him back to you - you could mark him up a bit before he dies, preserve the bluff -"

"No."

"He's unconscious, won't even notice."

"...maybe."

"See what I mean, you - you start with 'well, I can keep well-treated people for a decade while I end slavery altogether' and then soon you're at -"

"I could run all those decisions by you."

"Run this decision by me. I say 'let them fucking go.'"

"And then what, and then what, if you want me to do that give me an outline that ends with 'and then there's no more slavery'."

"We could go join your sister."

"My sister is orchestrating mass murder. That doesn't cross whatever line it is I'm crossing -"

"No. It doesn't. It's evil but - the evil's all up front, you don't notice it much later -"

"I promise you that I am aware up front of all of the ways this is evil."

"You going to buy more?"

"Probably not."

"Probably not."

"If I were one vote short on abolition -"

 

"Please at least tell me you see what I mean, here."

"I see exactly what you mean and I don't think you're wrong but I can't just -"

"Then let me do it. Let me go tell them they're free -"

Amait shakes her head. 

"If I do that, will you stop me?"

"I'll tell them that you're not in charge, yes."

 

Fina stands up. "Look at me."

She is, of course.

"I hate you. I am disgusted with you. I feel like you lied to me every time we ever touched. Am I telling the truth."

"Yes," says Amait.

Fina leaves.

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There are open-air slave markets in town. There's the unpleasant, loud ones for farm laborers and mine workers and ship rowers, but there are nicer ones for scribes and maids and, irregularly, embroideries.

This one isn't marked for sale, she's sitting up by her owner and singing to draw attention to those of his goods that are for sale. Her hair is a shifting rainbow, now mostly red, now mostly blue, principally adjusting itself as though in reaction to the wind. And she's clutching an ivory porcelain teapot in both hands.
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Someone stops by to listen to the singing. He glances at the teapot. "What does it do?"

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Singing slave doesn't miss a beat.

"Most of the month it's a baby," says her owner. "I can't sell it to you, she can summon it right back whether it's a teapot or not."
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" - a baby. Does it grow up or is it just always a baby -"

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"It grows," says the owner. "I suppose it might stop at some point."
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"Like when it is an adult? That's how it works for non-teapot babies - does the teapot grow - you have a lovely voice," he adds to the slave.

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Singing slave winks at him.

"I haven't been taking a tape measure to the teapot," says the owner. "Isn't she good? Last owner was using her for sex and rugmaking, criminal waste."
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"Mmmhmm. I -" he looks torn.

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"I suppose I haven't actually seen the rugs," amends the owner, "maybe they were good too."
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"What're you going to do once the baby's a toddler - when it's not a teapot, I mean -"

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"Can't split them up 'cause of the embroidery," says the owner. "Dunno. I'll find something it's good for, kids can get in small spaces and such."
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"Uh huh."

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"Why?" asks the owner.
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- I have a sister who'd murder me if I didn't have a reason but possibly refrain if I had the right kind of one, he does not say, and another sister who doesn't think she has the moral authority to murder me either way but who'll worry less if there were a reason -

"It's such a pretty embroidery - how much -"

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"Wasn't gonna sell her," says the owner, "such a nice voice and a good mouth for it too if you know what I mean -"
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"Yeah. How much."

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"...call it eight thou," he says, "for the both of 'em."
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"That's exorbitant. I don't have it on me - tomorrow -"

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"'Course it's exorbitant, I like her," says the owner. "We'll be here tomorrow unless someone else does have eight thou in walking around money and also want her."
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"Fair enough."

 

it's not quite so much money he'd have to dp into family accounts. Which is good, because Amait could probably talk him out of it.

 

 

He goes back the next day.

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There is the singing slave! She has quite a repertoire. The teapot is now a three-month-old who looks just like her (sans rainbow hair) in her arms, dozing peacefully.
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Eight thousand.

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And the owner signs over the title and pinches the singer's ass by way of a goodbye.

She stops singing and looks at Malare.
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"Hey. Uh. Malare."

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