Sep 26, 2021 9:10 AM
imrainai, ves, and stts are thrown into amenta's past
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A crack in time opens up, one end fractured across half a dozen points in early spring of 3426, the other anchored to the space above a potato field in early spring of 3112. Three people and a dog fall out of the sky. The crack closes up as quickly as it opened. Space and time right themselves, then go on as if the disturbance had never occurred.

The dog starts barking, then starts trying to dig up the potatoes.

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He looks around.

This is definitely not his apartment.

"Hello?" he tries tentatively in Jakavi.

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She stands up. Potatoes. Dog. Aunt Kairda. Some random green she's never seen, trying to speak some language she doesn't know. She was really pretty busy being pissed about the concept of spring, but hey, she's not going to let that stop her from being pissed about whatever this is. 

"What the SHIT," she says. In Voan, because she wants Kairda to be aware that this is a situation that calls for pulling out all the stops on vulgarity.

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Um. 

This is... at least a different problem than the set of problems they were dealing with before.

"Hello?"

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He frowns and pulls his everything out of his pocket. Machine translation of audio might not be perfect, but it's better than trying to converse with them with no shared languages.

(It does not occur to him at this point that they might speak another language; most purple people are monolingual. He would notice this assumption if he were thinking about it consciously, but he isn't.)

His everything shows no internet access. He blinks at it a few times, then tries placing a text. It doesn't go through. He looks back at the other people in the field, furrowing his brow.

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She takes out her everything and pokes at it; it's not getting any reception, either. She turns it off and shoves it back in her backpack. Kairda is still looking around nervously and biting her lip, which is what she does when she's got no idea what she's supposed to be doing, so if she wants to figure out what's going on, she probably has to do it herself.

She tries Tapai, that's statistically the most likely to work. "You! Green person! You know what's going on here?" She waits a second and then repeats herself in Anitami, prepared to try muddling through in her four or five much worse languages if neither of those works. 

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The younger person says something else in a language he doesn't understand, then -- Anitami. Why hadn't he tried Anitami?

"I do not have even a slight idea what is happening," he says in the careful syntax of an overly self-conscious green who hadn't started to learn the language until he was already eleven years old. "Does this area look familiar to you?"

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Oh good, she's not gonna have to get to the pantomiming stage of trying to communicate. That would've been annoying. She's good at Anitami, practically a native speaker by now. She surveys the field. There are more fields beyond it, a couple houses beyond that, more fields, and something that looks like a dirt road going up a hill.

"Nah. Never been here before. Can't be that many places left in the world that have this much open space, though. Dunno how we got here, but I guess that's probably not something we're gonna figure out until we figure out where here is."

She snaps her fingers at the dog and tries to get it to sit. The dog does not know Anitami.

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Well at least Zada's making friends. Probably. It's also theoretically possible that she's making mortal enemies. She sounds like she's speaking Anitami; Kairda knows enough to recognize the language but not enough to use it. She settles for waving at the other person and pointing out the houses.

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"It looks like it's some sort of farming community." Not that he's ever seen a farming village closer-up than a textbook photo.

"Do you want to see if there are any other people around? They would probably be able to tell us where we are, even if they can't help explain how we came to be here."

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"Assuming we speak their language," points out Zada, but she whistles to the dog and heads off towards the houses, without checking to see whether any non-dogs are following her. She's pretty sure the other people can take care of themselves.

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This is a patently absurd situation. She was in her apartment making toast not three minutes ago, and now she's in a field with her niece and a stranger and a dog that already likes Zada better than her.

She feels like this would be a much easier situation to deal with if someone else were freaking out. Then she could take over the task of not freaking out. Maybe the dog will freak out at some point and spare her the trouble.

She sighs and walks toward the houses.

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"Even if they don't speak our language, we'll probably be able to communicate 'where are we' nonverbally, although admittedly it might be difficult to interpret the answer."

He follows after the other two, looking around at the houses and trying to identify any clues as to his location, like a sign with writing or something. The architecture definitely isn't Jakavi or Elesean, and most likely they aren't on an island at all, but construction is not remotely his specialty.

"How do you think we ought to introduce ourselves? It's not as if the actual situation is especially plausible, and we don't have an explanation for why we don't know basic facts like our location."

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"I was gonna tell them I went for a hike and got lost. If I lived here I would totally go hiking."

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"That only works if we can identify the general region from its name. Unless you've memorized every province in every country on Amenta, it won't help if we're in another country, since people generally don't get lost while hiking and wind up in a different country. 

...Perhaps people who don't live on islands do, I suppose, but they'd still be able to narrow it down to two."

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"If we recognize the language then we'll be able to tell country based on that. If we don't speak the same language, but they have everythings and can get the translation working, we tell them we're visiting relatives, relatives are in the city, ask for directions to the nearest city, get internet reception, and figure out the rest from there. If we don't speak the same language and they don't have machine translation, then I don't think it super matters what our fake cover story is, we're not gonna get to use it."

Pause. 

"You're from an island?"

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He nods. "I'm from the Island of Jakav, which is an island near the Republic of Jakav. Well, the country is officially referred to as the Islands of Jakav and Eleseo, but my island of origin and residency is the Island of Jakav."

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"I know where the Island of Jakav is," she says, trying not to sound insulted. It is the sort of place a person could conceivably not know about. "We were in the middle of Voa, though. Doesn't make any sense for you to end up in the same place somehow. Though maybe I should have lower standards for what sorts of things make sense, given the rest of the situation."

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"Were the two of you together? Were you with the dog? What were you doing when you found yourself here? What did you notice about your transportation here?"

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"Yeah, we were in the same apartment. Not the dog, I dunno what's up with the dog." She points at Kairda. "That's Kairda. Uh, what were you doing before the thing - ?"

     "...Making toast?"

"She was making toast. She's boring like that. I was bemoaning the fundamental injustice of spring. And then I, like, fell? And we were in the field? - Did you notice anything about how you got here?"

     "I don't think so? I wasn't doing anything, really, I was in the kitchen and then there was some kind of - the ground wasn't stable and I fell. Into a field. Somehow."

"She says the ground shook or something. I dunno."

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"I had gone to get myself a snack, so there's a trend there, but with so few data points it's difficult to tell and you don't fit the pattern."

He pauses. Introductions: something that, in light of the circumstances, he had completely forgotten about.

"My name is Simurika, incidentally."

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"Cool. Zada. And I'm pretty sure that snacks don't teleport people."

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The farm houses have wooden walls and wooden roofs. There's no evidence of a lock on the door of the closest one. There isn't even a handle, just a circular cutout where one might expect a handle to be. There's a wooden cart parked out front, and there are other structures close by - a barn, a stable, something that might be a chicken coop.

The dog walks up to the door and barks.

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He's pretty sure that doors generally have handles even in rural communities, and nearly positive that wooden carts are not in common use anywhere. This is very strange. Perhaps someone on the farm does carpentry as a hobby, and the residents don't want to risk losing their everythings in the field and decided instead not to have electronic locks? But that's not an especially plausible explanation, not that there are any plausible explanations for why he and these strangers from another country have been teleported into a potato field.

He walks up behind the dog, glances at Zada and Kairda, and knocks on the door.

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The door swings inward a bit, and a purple who appears to be about thirty opens it the rest of the way a moment later. She's wearing what appears to be a hand-spun dress, and seems to be very puzzled by his appearance. A one-year-old toddles up behind her, wearing similar clothes.

She asks a question in a language he doesn't speak.

 

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"I'm sorry, I don't understand that," he tries in Anitami -- he is definitely not on either of the Islands of Jakav and Eleseo, and he hasn't eliminated Anitam as a possibility.

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