Jun 26, 2019 4:56 PM
Amentans in Gilead
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"Gilead is setting aside the state of Montana for Amentan use," Fred says. "All people currently living in Montana may apply for compensation for their moving expenses."

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"We expect to be able to make the transition easy on current residents of Montana; we're going to start new cities in currently empty space, not move into Billings on day one," says the yellow. "And while the space will hopefully allow us to relax population controls, we're not going to overrun it incautiously - we'll still be limiting most families to two, maybe three, children. The colony project is also waiting on the results from a pilot trial; Amentans have a seasonal cycle we find it unpleasant to be without. We think some of us may be able to season here, and we've got test populations picked out to try it."

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"What's a seasonal cycle?"

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"Amentans can only conceive children in the spring. That's also when we feel the drive to reproduce most strongly; Amentan children don't experience any interest in sex or babies until our fourth or sometimes fifth spring. In places without seasons, like the poles and equator, our systems think it's spring all the time - which might be fun if we could all have ten or fifteen kids, but we can't, so it isn't."

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About halfway through the first sentence Fred is gesturing wildly for the spokesyellow to stop.  

"Please tell me this is not live," he says when the yellow finishes.

"It's not."

"Okay," Fred says, "try that again, but this time don't mention sex."

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"- how would you like me to explain seasoning?"

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"Okay, yeah, I'll handle it." Fred turns to the interviewer and composes himself. "Amentans can only have babies in the spring, and in the spring they want babies a lot. So if they can't have a baby a particular spring-- which is true for most Amentans most springs-- it's really unpleasant. In places like the poles and the equator, that don't have seasons at all, they 'spring' all the time."

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The spokesyellow accepts that.

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"I understand we're not the only country taking Amentan immigrants?"

"There are plans to settle Amentans in Gilead and Canada," Fred says. "While it's harder to have Amentan settlements farther from the door, we're currently in talks with England, China, India, and Japan, among other countries. Amentans do not plan to move to any Catholic countries, because Catholicism is absolutely incompatible with population controls." He smiles brilliantly. "Of course, we hope Amentans will all prefer Gilead."

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"Gilead has a lot going for it!" smiles the yellow. It's the place where the door is and it's farther south than Canada, but that is technically a lot.

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"Cascadia plans to continue to have open borders but since they don't plan to keep things clean enough for Amentans we don't predict that Cascadia will have a large Amentan population."

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"We've briefed them on how to handle population control just in case," says the yellow.

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"So there will also be human immigrants to Voa," the interviewer says. "What do you think they should know?"

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"It's going to be chilly!" says the yellow. "The parts of Voa that don't have anyone in them are mostly uninhabited only because they're too far north for us to season. We have to be able to account for all of our population to our neighbors, so humans will have to interact with the population control department, even though the entire point of the settlement is to help humans avoid infertility - we'll need to be able to account for how many people we have there and allow international inspections. We don't need the humans to keep their own settlement clean to Amentan standards, but we might still need it cleaner than would naturally occur to you - the international inspectors won't think it's funny if it looks like someone's trying to keep them out by grossing them out. Anything traded between mainstream Voa and the colony will need to be clean. And if someone does visit mainstream Voa, we take pollution very seriously - there'll be more extensive briefings on that at the border office for anyone who comes through."

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"What does pollution mean?" the interviewer says. "Are you referring to bitoxiphosphene emissions?"

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"No, it's things more like excrement. I think we're within human tolerances on our attitude toward air contaminants."

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"'Pollution' is the word Amentans use for things they find particularly disgusting, such as sewage or garbage. It doesn't have anything in common with air or water pollution."

"That's an odd term," the interviewer says.

"Blame the bar."

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"The Voan word is 'pollution' if that's more convenient," says the yellow.

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The interviewer attempts to wrap his mouth around it several times and fails. "...We'll stick with the weird word."

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The yellow laughs genially.

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"You mention international inspectors-- how does your government work? Earth governments work a lot of different ways."

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"So do Amentan governments! Voa recently transitioned to democracy; before that we were occupied by an empire that's now dissolving, and before that, just three Amentan years ago, we were an oligarchy."

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"That seems like an interesting couple of years! What was the empire?"

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"It was called the Empire of Oahk. Its original territory has now been rebranded the Free State of Oahk and they're working on democracy now too."

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