May 13, 2021 5:30 AM
Matoran Gabby meets some dryads
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Elsecall occasionally gives instruction, or mentions facts about the types of pigments the humans used, or takes soil samples.  They finish the square they're on, then there's a break to photograph it from a number of angles, with and without measuring sticks. 

Eventually the sky starts to get darker.  

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Gavi works quietly, following instructions accurately but sometimes slow to process them.

Evening comes on sooner than she expected; it wasn't that late in the day back home. But then, she's nowhere near home. She's somewhere far, far away, maybe outside the Great Spirit's reach entirely, and now she's wondering about what lies beyond the domes. And she misses her plants. Her poor, probably totally crushed plants.

She's stopped what she's doing to mope; that's no good. She sighs and looks around to see if the sky getting darker means the dryads are winding down work.

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Wovenveil, having the least patience of the two dryads, is already cleaning the dust off of her chassis and stretching.  Elsecall sets up the camera again to take pictures of the in-progress square.  

"How much food-energy-stuff and sleep do you need?  There's a bunch of things that humans used to grow for food around here that I could show you to, to see if they're something you can absorb.  We normally sleep all night, but if that's more than you do we have lanterns and drawing supplies.  Or I guess you could read Elsecall's archaeology logs."

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"Matoran sleep about six hours, a... third of the night. I had some bula berries last week, but I should look. Most-- most plants don't have that much energy to absorb."

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Wovenveil tries to do math.  Six... third...

"We might have different length hours, or maybe days.  But sleep when and as much as you need to - we have lots of lantern oil and paper.  It's summer and we're pretty far north so nights are short, too."

She indicates the direction to the gardens and sets off.  

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Plants are very important. What do the plants in these gardens look like?

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The garden may not have been tended in over 300 years but that didn't mean the plants stopped growing.  If anything, the chaotic nature and lack of carefully-weeded rows make it look more verdant. It's a large clearing, with regular mounds beneath the plants that might have once been raised garden beds.  

There are some large white flower bunches, and smaller white and purple and red flower of different types.  Lots of plants with large leaves sprawling everywhere, some of which have yellow flowers. 

What was once a path through the center of the garden has mostly been taken over by a low plant spreading out horizontally with hundreds of runner roots, growing reddish fruit-like objects covered in seeds.  

A number of vines cling to the walls.  A few have bean pods hanging off of them.  Others have flowers and tiny red berries.  The decorative hedge has devolved into chaos, growing small dark fruit.  

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She stops and stares for a moment. It's... it's beautiful. A wild sort of beauty-- she's already itching to bring order to it -- but beauty anyway.

Okay, Gavi.exe back online, time to totally sedately run walk around and examine all these plants.

... On a first pass, just focusing her attention on how much she would recharge herself by absorbing their energy, none of the plants are nearly as potent as bula berries. She could definitely live off them, but it would be much easier if she replanted seeds and bred the plants for higher yield. And it was very easy to notice that those tiny red berries are poisonous to ingest and probably weren't meant to be in a food garden for people who eat.

She returns to Wovenveil and gestures at the garden. "Are-- are you preserving this, or can I... I'd like a garden. If I'm going to be-- stuck here."

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"Do what you want with it."

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Nodnod. PLANTS

"I'd like a lantern. And-- writing supplies. For planning."

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They head back to the camp.  The lanterns and paper are in the tent, along with the makeshift bed Wovenveil had tried to make earlier, and some other stuff that needs to be kept dry.  

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Okay, a lantern, a few sheets of paper, and... are those sharpened sticks of wood with grey cores for writing with? Well, this one makes very readable marks on the paper, so she'll take it.

"Anything I can use for a, a writing surface? Plank of wood or, something."

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Wovenveil looks around.  The normal surfaces for writing are all meant to be stood at by people much taller than Gavi.  She pulls down a large plastic bin from the stack and sets it on the tent floor.  The top is smooth and flat, and makes a solid table at about the correct height for a Matoran.  

"You can stand here, or take the lid off to use somewhere else."

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"I'll take the lid."

If there's nothing else, she's going to be cataloguing types of plants in the garden clearing until it's nearly dawn or something interrupts her.

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Elsecall has already gone to sleep near the mosaic, standing in place like a statue, and Wovenveil joins her.  

Nothing interesting happens overnight.

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That's a little weird, but then they're plant people, not Matoran.

By the time she's tired enough to want to sleep she's distinguished a lot of kinds of plants, by both visual traits and what she can sense about them.

Bunched-White-Flowers grows an energy-rich tap root. Big-Leaves-Yellow-Flowers grow gourds. Pod-Fruit-Vines and Pod-Seed-Vines give the most energy-rich produce. Runner-Roots-Inverted-Fruit is going to need to be cut back just so she doesn't have to step so carefully around it. Large-Leaves-No-Flowers are noticeably more energy-rich than most leaves, but not nearly as much as the fruits. Red-Poison-Berries is definitely going as soon as she has pruning shears. Beyond that... well, some of the plants with smaller flowers would have strong tastes if she wanted to eat them, but she's not a Skakdi.

Now. That all done, she's going to be very asleep in the tent for the next six hours.

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The dryads begin moving again when the sun comes up.  Various archaeological activities are done.  

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Gavi wakes up, stares at the roof of the tent, and seriously contemplates rolling right back over and going back to sleep.

... But she has a garden, and it's her responsibility, and just because it's finally hit that she's very, very, very far from home doesn't mean she can slack off. She has a duty to take care of herself, if nothing else.

Still, the dryads might notice she's kind of mopey today.

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Wovenveil gets distracted from the dig once again, now that Gavi's awake.  Oh no a sad Gavi.  

"Is there anything I can help with?"

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Mope, mope, m-- oh, Wovenveil. Gavi blinks up at her, frowning. "I... don't think so," she says after a moment. "I'm just... homesick."

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