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Jun 18, 2019 12:40 AM
Odette and Illia land in Calado
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"A senator is one of the blues who runs the country," says Alaior. "Grandma works for one and Auntie is calling him."

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"Blues?"

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"Yes. We are yellows," Alaior adds helpfully.

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...She looks at their hair.

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Nod nod nod. (Alaior's hair looks like spun gold.)

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...Huh.

She picks up her braid. "Blues, yellows...?"

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"You're aliens," says Alaior. "Hair doesn't be brown."

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Huh.

Odette explains the relevant facts to Illia, and then, "Blues hair run the country?"

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"Yeah!"

One of the adults is starting to pay slightly more attention to this conversation.

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"Blues hair, yellows hair, doesn't brown hair...?"

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Alaior tilts her head. "I dunno what you mean."

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She turns her hair black again.

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"People don't have black hair, either."

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She turns it red-orange again.

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"People have orange hair. But that's a bad kind of orange, they'd paint it."

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"Bad?"

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"Yeah."

"- it might confuse someone," says the more attentive grownup, "it's ambiguous with red..."

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"Red hair bad?"

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"Yes."

Alaior nods along vigorously.

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...She finds this deeply puzzling.

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"...can you actually understand us or are you a parrot alien," asks the adult. "Uh, turn around twice if you can understand."

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She turns around twice.

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"- the alien understands Oahkar," the adult tells the other adults, and now Odette has a lot more attention.

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She considers.

She conjures an illusion of two people talking, one with yellow hair and one with brown. Both have their mouths moving as though they were speaking, but no sound comes out. Different scripts scroll underneath them. They clearly can't understand each other. Then the brown-haired one waves a hand, throwing sparks, and the script under the yellow-haired one turns into pictures that show what objects the yellow is talking about, and the alien nods along in understanding.

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"Oh, she's got fancy translation that works on languages she doesn't actually know," concludes a yellow.

"I'm still in the call queue," says Luta.

"Well, now you'll have more to tell the senator."

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