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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"Yes."

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He takes the water bottle, duplicates it, refills it with ordinary water. 

"Is there anything else you want to say?"

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"Will this hurt my baby?"

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"No. Anything else you think I'd want to know?" He cancels the paralysis, sits her down in her chair.

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"What will I think happened in the missing time -" She shivers. "Am I missing anything else - I might have to account for my time to someone -"

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"This is the first time I've done this to you. I can implant whatever I want but not to great detail; you can have been reading your correspondence but you won't remember it."

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"I am least -" shiver, "likely to notice a problem I or anyone else escalates if I spent the time looking through pictures of my children."

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"Thank you. Obliviate." 

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She blinks glassily at her device.

She pulls up some pictures of her children.

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Timothy leaves.

 

 

He goes home. They should have already been listening.

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"Well, it's not 'shoot the extras'..."

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"You didn't ask if they were going to put it in the water supply or do a public education campaign, are you saving that for Aitim Neli?"

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"Someone could've walked in. I want to get Neli overnight, have a couple hours to get through everything we might possibly want to know."

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"Do they definitely sleep like humans?"

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"They spend a human-like amount of time off, I guess it's possible they don't spend any of it sleeping. Either way, there's going to be more security on Neli - might make more sense to Imperius him and instruct him to do whatever will least suspiciously get him unobservable for a couple hours -"

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"Have you ever even cast it on a person?"

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"No. I like most people. This guy I do not like."

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"I still vote against casting a spell you've never tried on a person in a situation like this."

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"I guess we could probably substitute for it with really good surveillance. - medium term, though, Imperius is probably the way to go if I can do it, get him and whoever decides when the birth control is good enough."

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"Maybe after you've got him kidnapped try it then, just don't kidnap him with it."

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Nod. "We can track him now that we have a name, right?"

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"Yes, 'point me Aitim Neli' should work fine."

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"Let's talk through everything that could possibly go wrong, sleep on it, find the place tomorrow."

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"They have magic after all and Aven just didn't know about it. She was being covertly surveiled. You can't get him alone."

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"They have some other kind of surveillance that flags disillusioned people. He probably does account really closely for his time. He doesn't drink things."

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