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Oct 18, 2019 6:55 AM
xenolev/mermaid sky. dead dove do not eat
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"It did, yes."

She pauses.

"If you're not human, now is the time to disclose."

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"Nope! Homo superior. --In my defense I did not name it."

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She looks similarly unimpressed with the nomenclature.

"And what distinguishes homo superior from homo sapiens, exactly?"

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"Homo superior has the X-gene, which gives us superpowers, and sometimes changes what we look like. This is the point where if I had a useful power I would levitate something or read your mind, but I do not have a useful power, so I can't demonstrate unless you have some Sudoku books lying around."

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"I do."

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"He was being facetious."

She looks Lev over critically.

"...well. You're with us for the immediate future either way. What can you do?"

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"...I can solve Sudoku very very fast."

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"...and this is the same gene that gives other members of your species the power to levitate or read minds."

This is very scientifically dubious.

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"I can also digest calories more efficiently than a baseline human."

(He is worryingly thin.) 

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"...that's a problem."

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"We'll have enough supplies to stretch if we start using the nets and the rest of the farm."

She turns back to Lev.

"Other skills?"

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"Nothing that's particularly likely to be relevant. I'm a high schooler."

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Why has god forsaken them.

"Then you'll be learning new things. We need three hands to sustain three people on the rig."

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–something occurs to her.

"...my name is Dorothy. This is Kyou. You are?"

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"Lev. I'm a quick learner, but I'm also clumsy enough to fall into mad-scientist portals, so that probably affects what jobs you want to assign me to." 

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"...yes, it does."

She contemplates him for a moment.

 

"We should take you through the rig. The sooner you're familiar with it, the better."

She stands up. Sandwich can wait.

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"I'd like that," Lev agrees. 

He turns his power on. Question: are these people going to hurt me? Dataset: everything that has happened since he got here and is going to happen on this tour.

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Dorothy leads them both (Kyou follows, silent) up a ladder out of the mess, through a side corridor, up another ladder.

She's brisk and efficient as she walks them through the upper levels. Solar panels, automated farms and fishing equipment, storage, lifeboats, observation deck. Some doors she passes without acknowledging, even if they're clearly important. The view from all the windows, and from the outdoor areas, is clear blue water stretching for miles.

Below, down some more ladders (there are a lot of ladders in this place), is the mess, more storage, living quarters – she assigns Lev a small and not particularly exciting but not uncomfortable room, and keys the lock to his thumbprint.

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Partway through the tour, Kyou glances at what appears to be his phone.

"...we have a visitor."

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"–we can finish the tour later."

She takes a sharp turn and leads them in a different direction.

 

On their way, they pass a large window, presumably reinforced in some way. Hundreds of brightly colored fish swim past in a cloud – further out, forests of underwater vegetation and spiraling rock features are distantly visible.

There's also what looks...approximately like a human silhouette.

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It's a bit of a waste of calories to ask for an answer twice, but if they're distracted by the visitor he can run. 

He asks his power for the answer.

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If they don't expect him to be an immediate threat, they won't hurt him any worse than confining him to quarters.

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Kyou palms them through a heavy door.

Beyond it is the largest room they've been in thus far, even counting the greenhouse – it's something like an artificial beach, filled with greenery and soft sand, with a deep pool dominating one half of the room. An entire wall has been replaced by a window, looking out into the sea.

There's something waiting in...what looks like an airlock, under the surface of the pool. It's humanoid from the waist up – what's below is hard to make out through the ripples.

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Gosh. 

"Is that what you study?"

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"Yes. We're trying to be diplomatic – please don't do anything rude or stupid."

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