Aug 13, 2020 8:39 PM
Thanjen in Kelovea
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One stays aloft. Two drop neatly into the square and look down at the small door and the larger creature.

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The door opens to reveal a human in clothing that's about as weird as the architecture. She converses briefly and incomprehensibly with the dragon, then turns and disappears into the building.

Shortly, she returns with a many-tentacled glowing creature following her. It's about half her height and has no discernible head or facial features. 

<Greetings> says a voice in Thanjen's head. 

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Thanjen knows many ways of hearing and communicating. He knows what a voice "in" his head is like; this is in his thoughts. Perhaps he can be forgiven for startling.

 

<Uh, greetings.>

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<I apologise for startling you> the voice continues. <Have you never encountered a Dreamer before?>

(The word "dreamer", which seems to be the name of the telepath's species, somehow conveys quite a bit more information packed into the single word: Dreamers are named for their ability to share dreams, and they can also communicate telepathically with their own species and others. This is their only method of communication, as they have no mouths and cannot see sufficient detail for sign language.)

This time, he may notice that the glowing patches on the tentacles change colour and position in time with the mental speech. 

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<I (well-traveled) have seen many new things (a cave, a dragon, a brief feeling of pushing against the air itself) since I was, apparently, kidnapped (suddenly being somewhere new, looking on it from several perspectives) from the world I knew (only humans, no telepathy, but other means of communication) twenty minutes ago.>

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(The concept of a 'minute' is also helpfully encoded.)

<...wow. I've never [heard] of anything like that before!> 

('Heard' is a colloquial translation; the actual concept is something that covers both telepathic conversations and memories shared by other Dreamers.)

<I guess that's why you needed a translator? Can I [bounce] the thing you just told me straight to the others or should I paraphrase?>

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<Probably, but I don't know what you got.>

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The Dreamer 'bounces' back the explanation-slash-summary Thanjen just sent, complete with embedded explanations of things such as 'minutes' and what exactly he means by 'kidnapping' in this context. 

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<That's fine.>

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This is accordingly bounced to the other participants in this conversation.

<Kelodil says, 'Welcome to Kelovea'.>

('Kelodil' comes with metaphorical explanatory footnotes indicating that this is the dragon's name (and a dragon is a species that looks like this—Kel is on the small side, the black dragon he met earlier was more typical, this is the range of colours—who hoard things and have certain magical powers relating to their hoards), the quoted words carry a sense of Kel's mental 'voice', and the word 'Kelovea' in this context apparently means the world.)

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<Thank you. So is this this the part (as in stories of impossible things) where you tell me there's probably no way back and I get to build a new life for myself, or —?>

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<Well, I'm not exactly an expert,> Kel admits. 

<...do you want to go back?

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<I want to go everywhere. Back is part of everywhere.>

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<Alright.> 

Kel pauses to think for a moment, then starts to say something else—

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—when his name is called from across the street by a human who comes running over to join them.

"There you are!" the human says, exasperated. (The Dreamer provides a translation.) "Been looking all over for you, idiot—uh, who or what is this?" He blinks at Thanjen. 

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“Thanjen” (personal name) “ber Nabjedden” (self-chosen family name, and the idea that his name could be said with other elements to it if circumstances or context were different).

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"He's an accidental traveller from another world, Mak," Kel explains. "I was helping him figure out what he wants to do next. Oh, uh, Thanjen, this is my best friend Mak."

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"Of course you were," Mak sighs.

"Well met, Thanjen ber Nabjedden. The name's Makady Lursamok, but you might as well call me Mak."

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“Hello.”

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(The Dreamer is continuing to quietly translate in the background.)

"You got a place to stay for what's left of the night yet?"

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“No. And it was morning where I was.”

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