Dec 15, 2018 5:37 PM
Aly among space debris
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"Easily accommodated."

Even as this exchange progresses, Sanjana has been intermittently adjusting her instruments.

"Is there anything else you can show us with the scooter or with the -" lack-of-dictionairy lack-of-dictionairy - "- captured lighting conditions?"

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"The scooter is called a puppet, when I'm using it like that, and the light is a shine, and if it were a -" She points at the nearest shadow rather than hunt through the dictionary - "it would be a shade." She provides these words in her native tongue. "I'm puppeting the shine, too, but I could also program it if I wrote things for it to do in the right way and put it on them or them on it."

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Sanjana taps at her hand screen with rigor, taking down notes as quickly as Aly provides them.

 

"Can you demonstrate a shade for us?" When she speaks up, she manages to not completely mangle the native-language-words. "Can you demonstrate a program for us?"

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Aly finds something to cast a small defined shadow with and puts it under the lamp and pulls the shade and puppets it onto her hand and then puts it on the floor. She scratches out a simple program in Harthanic and lays that out on the floor, then moves the shade onto it; the shade proceeds to go in regular slow circles.

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Sanjana's eyes widen a bit, but she her voice remains level as she observes this new event.

 

"Does your alphabet function in a linguistically similar fashion to the one my daughters use?"

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"...I don't understand."

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"Some alphabets use symbols to represent entire words or concepts. Ours uses symbols to represent sounds, and then combinations of those sounds form words?"

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"This one is the concept kind. My other language is the sound kind. My -" Glossary. "- teacher used this one, Harthanic, so it is how I usually program but I can do it in the common too."

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This latest datapoint interests Sanjana greatly.

"Could you program in the alphabet you've been learning since arriving here?"

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"I wouldn't want to try it. I am not good at it."

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"I see. Well. Establishing a two-way translation convention was on our agenda anyway, this'll just be one more reason to prioritize it."

 

"I'll need some time to procure the live specimens you requested. Do you think you could work on transcribing your alphabets during the interim? We have very little data to go on regarding your languages and it would be good to change that."

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"I like to have private notes."

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"So you would prefer to keep two different foreign alphabets completely and permanently to yourself, either of which could be crucial to understanding the scientifically-relevant phenomenon of your homeworld, in order to accomplish a feat of personal privacy that could be just as easily accomplished with just one of those alphabets or with a trivial piece of encryption software or with a pen, a piece of paper and a reasonably robust pre-colonial cipher?" Sanjana very slowly brings her fingers up to her temple and rests them there. "Okay. I just want to make sure we're on the same page."

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"I didn't say both, but you aren't making me -" Glossary. "- trust you more talking like that."

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"Earning your trust is Edith's job. My job is to help you do science. Go back to her if you'd like to be coddled."

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"I can program in this language when I know more of it."

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"Excellent."

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Sigh.

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One of the aids speaks up, addressing Sanjana.

"Do you want to take any more measurements before we shut down the equipment, ma'am?"

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Sanjana shakes her head.

 

People start flipping switches, covering lenses and and wheeling away boxes of machinery.

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Aly rolls her scooter back to herself.

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Devika is available again, a few minutes later, for Aly Escorting Purposes.

"Are you ready to go?" The statuesque woman enters the Science Room and locates her charge. "I could take you back to your room... or pretty much anywhere else in this rock, for that matter."

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"I don't know where else I'd go."

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"Fair enough."

With a carefree smile, Devika ducks out of the room. If Aly wants to be back in her quarters, Devika is fully equipped to lead her there.

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Sure. Sigh.

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