My employer then tried to probe a bit more: where the Golden had lived before, what had happened to their parents, but Craig's answers quickly grew terse, and Mr. Bostwick said, "This is supposed to be a social evening, Miss Sleet. Not an interrogation."
She nodded, knowing she had overstepped. "I am sorry," she said to Craig. "Force of habit."
"Mrs. O'Connor," he said, "you are seeking to understand more about this situation, and us, out of a general desire to understand the world, which we completely respect; however, when the phenomena under investigation are sentient, and are posing no provable risk to the community, we would suggest that the rights of the phenomena under investigation should outweigh the rights of the scientific investigator."
She digested this. "May I ask one question?"
He nodded. "Of course."
"Did you wind up here by accident? Or did you select U-town?"
"It is our belief that this is the best place for us to live, requiring the least amount of effort to pretend to be something we are not."
She nodded, levered herself to her feet, and held out her hand. "Welcome to U-town."
The other two came in, drying their hands, as Craig stood up, and one after the other they shook her hand, looking very serious. Then two of them returned to the kitchen to finish preparing the dinner, which already smelled wonderful.
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