Jun 27, 2019 2:04 AM
in color amentans meet hazel
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Afen is disappointed in the universe. He bounds back and forth across his room explaining why to his wife, his infant granddaughter, the end table, and a reporter flabbergasted by her good luck and cringing silently against the wall in the hopes he won't remember she's there.

"There is no reason to suppose that a species evolving independently of Amentans, with their own evolutionary history and living mammalian species likely related to theirs, would end up looking like us. None. Every explanation every scientist has ventured to the press has been unimaginative and unconvincing retroactive refitting of bad models to baffling data. Aliens shouldn't look like us but with different hair colors. Aliens that are not made out of carbon at all would be unsurprising; aliens with only as much physiological dissimilarity as exists between us and animal species on our planet would be mildly surprising; aliens with opposable thumbs would be truly remarkable. This is not remarkable and biologically enlightening; this is just inconsistent with everything we understand about the universe. It doesn't teach us new things about evolution; it should make us rethink evolution. - don't quote that part, they'll take it out of context."

Reporter nods rapidly.

"All of that said, I've picked up three of the languages and I'm working on building a good machine translator, it's a challenge with as little as they've produced in the way of electronic records. I'm absolutely going there to meet them as soon as the politicians figure out what to do with themselves."

     "Do you have any predictions about that?"

"About politics? Why would I have predictions about politics? They deliberately obscure relevant information, for one thing, and for another it's deathly boring."

     "- I mean, sir, surely you hear from your son about -"

"I have seven children and some of them are very dense indeed but not quite dense enough to try to interest me in politics."

      "I was referring to -"

"I know who you were referring to. If you want a statement from Aitim go bother Aitim."

      "Thank you for your time."

"I did not alter my activities in response to your presence and therefore you can't yet be said to have wasted any of my time though you should go before you do."

...out skitters the reporter.

 

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Are there different varieties.

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Yup, there's little pistols and sleek rifles.

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He duplicates both. Closes and re-locks the weapons locker. Goes home.

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They can Shield Charm some things for him to shoot.

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He figures out the skypeople rifles and shoots charmed things.

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The pistols don't go through. The rifles break the shield but the bullets slow down to plausibly nonlethal levels on the way.

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"But they could fire twice. Is there a stronger shield charm -"

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"That was definitely covered in fifth year."

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"I didn't drop out because I'd learned it all, I dropped out because I sucked at it."

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"I know all the shield charms there are from my dueling problem -" She puts up an elaborate one.

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This shield can hold off three rifle shots before it breaks.

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Wizards who don't know that one set to learning it. The rifle stops working. Theodore is puzzled.

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"Probably it ran out of bullets. That's a lot more than our Muggles but I guess it can't really be infinite, they've got to put them somewhere."

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"Was there ammunition where you got it?"

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"There were boxes that were probably ammunition. It was a storage locker, it'd be easy enough to go back if we want."

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"Don't especially need it unless we think of more tests."

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Minor starts reverse-engineering the gun. "They are good at precision manufacture."

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"They'd pretty much have to be, wouldn't they?"

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"Yeah, definitely, but it's cool to look at - and they somehow scale it - look at this, this is clever -"

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Tiny machined parts! When he grows them you can see exactly how tiny. "I should show Aaron too."

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"We could let them stay and teach us all this stuff and then shoo them."

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"We do not, actually, have a good idea of how to shoo them."

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"Don't you know the Imperius?"

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