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You have... a lot of questions about how cybernetics would interact with the dream, but seeing as he neither has the cybernetics yet nor would you be able to afford them if he did, you put the thought to the back of your mind.

"Before we go," you begin, "do you have any... like... tips for growing better level? If this is gonna be a thing I wanna get the most bang for my buck."

Lagi smiles. "There's the obvious stuff--use nutrients, don't under-water but definitely don't over-water... is the plant indoors, or outdoors?"

You look at Kate.

She looks at you, equally unsure of whether or not to reveal the Spooky House has an outdoors to speak of. You're obviously not growing level out in the front yard so if you admit it's an outdoor plant you're admitting to having a back yard, but on the OTHER hand your sudden hesitance and wild eyed looks at each other is probably a big tip off that--

He shakes his head, grinning a little wider. "Don't sweat it. It's a bad time of year for growin' this kinda level if you're doin' it outside--this part of the world it's always a bad time 'cuz of the acid rain an' shit, but it's startin' to get cold, too. There's special equipment you can set up to help keep the heat and light right, indoors OR outdoors--I heard there's even gear that can regulate your pH balance an' shit, but I never messed with it. Growin' level was never my specialty, either, but that's an opportunity for you--if you can bring me level with a story AND that smokes worth a damn I'll never ask y'all for a dime."

Something in his pocket beeps; Lagi takes out his cell phone, checking the time.

"I gots ta go, though."

Kate nods.

"Is there any particular time I should contact you...?," you ask. "I am... definitely interested in your business proposition,"

(Kate snorts.)

You continue, "and will absolutely be asking about cybernetics once you have some and I have money. Or more level to trade."

He sniffs. "If you could keep calls to the day time, that'd be cool--I mostly do meetings at night. Other than that..." He shrugs. "I always make time for business, and this sounds a lot cooler than hustlin' Wudju and synthin' painkillers for local moms." Lagi grins and winks at Kate as he shuts his trunk; she shakes her head, and tries not to smile back.

As Lagi's getting into his car and taking off, Kate turns to you--and reacquires her backpack. "I'm proud of you," she says, almost sarcastically but in that way where you can tell she's trying really hard not to come off too cheesy by sounding sincere, "I really thought you were gonna freak out."

You let out a huge breath, and leverage your weight upon your legs. "I... really don't know how the fuck I did that. I think I was too tired from the possum to panic about THIS part."

Kate throws up one of her hands, laughing. "How big was that fuckin' possum?!"

"It was HUGE!," you exclaim. "The bus had to stop for it! The bus had to download a god damn PATCH for it. ...Also we're calling the bus Cherry now."

Kate gives you an even more bewildered look. "Alright? Sure! Hell yeah, why not."

As you and Kate head back to the bus stop, you call Cici to let her know she can come down and that everything went fine. She catches up quickly, running down an alleyway at a speed that's frankly a little terrifying; you and Kate excitedly explain how it went, with Kate adding,

"Mushrooms grow like a motherfucker in this town. Like, we have woods. Spooky woods."

Cici shakes her head. "Naaaw don't do shrooms, you can get all kindsa parasites and diseases from that stuff."

"I'm not planning to DO shrooms," Kate retorts, "but that's another thing we can trade. Lagi's right, this's a hell of an opportunity."



Cherry arrives pretty quickly once you reach the sign.





"So NOW what're we doing?," Cici asks.


It's about 8:24 pm.
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Morgenstern

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