The term 'friend' is rarely used in its original sense between Eternalists; its meaning having been diluted in the early 21st century in the advent of online social networking sites.

Amongst Eternalists, 'friend' has the connotation of 'a person one knows somehow, and feels not unkindly disposed towards'; and so, may be used to damn an associate with faint praise.

In an interview when promoting her hit movie 'Forever and Ever, Amen', starlet Jasmin Chalmers described the relationship between herself and her mortal co-star River Xerxes as being 'just good friends'.

When challenged on this point, with the interviewer providing photographic evidence of the pair leaving a 'Love Hotel' in Tokyo in an obvious state of post-coital dishevelment, Chalmers admitted that they were sleeping together.

'But, you know, I just can't take her and her lack of long term commitment to the art - and her decaying body - seriously,' Chalmers laughed.

Openly confident about her sexuality and polyamoury, Chalmers dismissed the interviewer's questions as being nothing more than the typically repressed view of mortals towards divergent relationship philosophies.

More commonly used to indicate a friend, is a bastardisation of the Russian word 'друг' ('druk'; pronounced 'droog', with the 'oo' rhyming with foot; IPA /drʲʊg/). друг, by definition, is a long, close, intimate friendship that will be developed over many, many years. Regional variants are 'mate', 'cara', and '老友‘ ('lao you').

- Anthea Johnston

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