Dec 07, 2019 4:20 AM
Hashirama and Sasuke in space
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It'll take a few days for Spray's sister to be contacted and return. The village remains friendly over that time, and slowly experiments can be worked out to expand the two visitors' diets.

Language is less of an easy go, but the jellyfish people all seem to have Spark's telepathic capabilities, so they're able to get by for now.

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Hashirama spends the time mostly befriending Sasuke - they end up sparring a bit, then more, and it's fun. Hashirama likes sparring in general, but... Sparring with Sasuke reminds him of sparring with Madara, just... More.

He also plays the role of 'gregarious one' and does his best to be diplomatic and tell interesting stories and learn about the world. Apparently 'child soldiers' is the exact opposite of normal here - this is a nursery planet, and while it's not always safe from wildlife, it's firmly off limits from the wars that sometimes rage across the cosmos.

In fact, some detailed discussion with one of the nursery minders about comparative biology gets a reply that the locals wouldn't consider Hashirama's species capable of fighting until twenty one! That's older than Hashirama!

(He practically vibrates at Sasuke about the political implications. If an entire galaxy can mostly stick to such a high combat age, can maintain treaties putting civilians off limits, it says a tremendous amount for their people's potential who have a lot less to overcome - )

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Sasuke nods along to Hashirama's excited spiels, and begins to get - not quite excited, but anticipatory himself. He doesn't think he has the skills to do anything about the world, but... Hashirama's making him feel like someone should be responsible. And maybe that someone should be him...

Which is a terrifying thought. Sasuke shouldn't be responsible for house plants, let alone planets.

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When Sasuke expresses that, Hashirama just laughs, and says, "Luckily I'm pretty good with plants! And hopefully planets, too... But think about all the knowledge we can bring over - "

And he's off again.

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Sasuke sends him a somewhat fond look, and settles in to listen.

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Spray's sister, when she comes, is enormous - twice the size of the shark that attacked them on the way to the village. Her hair's darker than Spray's, a blue that shimmers almost black, and her scales are dark with swirls of speckled color like stars across them. Her eyes are large for her face, irises pale blue and luminous like a cat's. She has a smile that stretches a bit too far into her cheeks, and fingers that trail like seaweed, and a sing-song laughter like the distant wailing music they heard their first few days.

Through Spark, she mentions she's seen people like Sasuke and Hashirama - humans, who live in metal cans and never grow very big at all, who're curious and apparently from the outer edge of the galaxy, trying to explore for the sheer sake of it. Not very big players, in the grand scheme of things, but their ships might be friendlier to the two boys, and the mermaid is fairly sure the ship she met hasn't gone too far to catch up with.

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Hashirama thanks her quite profusely, and then spends a bit trying to figure out how to get him and Sasuke to the human ship - maybe the mermaid can carry them?

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She's unsure how human will do in space, she's never seen one not in a metal can off a planet. 

Eventually they settle on her asking the humans to land near the village pretty please, and she swims off into the air, picking up speed the farther she gets from the village, until not even Sasuke's eyes will be able to see her.

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The ship when it comes is nothing at all like the ocean-going ships Sasuke and Hashirama will be familiar with. It's enclosed entirely, for one, the main body shaped like an enormous teardrop with fans trailing from the long end. It hovers in the sky far above, not landing, and from it a smaller ship, this one more bird-like (inasmuch as it has two motile wings and a distinct body), comes and lands before them, settling its wings not folded but at an angle to the sun, revealing shining panels embedded in the white surface.

A hatch opens on the front, and three people step out. One, in the center-front, could be an Uchiha from her coloration, and looks unsettlingly familiar to Sasuke. The two following her are less central for the Land of Fire - one, a man, has darker skin than even the people of the Land of Lightning, and wears his curly hair short. The other, a woman, is pale, with blonde hair bound into a tight bun at the base of her neck. All three wear similar clothes, likely a uniform, distinguished primarily by small details in decoration.

The woman in front speaks briefly to Sasuke and Hashirama's hosts, then introduces herself through Spark. Her name's Chika Nakano (given name listed first), her rank is Captain, and her ship is the Venture. They have translation software, and their machine will be able to analyze the language Hashirama and Sasuke speak and provide a translation back and forth, given enough input.

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Hashirama has to have software and machines explained to him, but once they are, he's really excited. That sounds fun! Are the computers people? Can he talk to them? What can they do - also his brother's going to want to know all the things, is there any way he can bring back a guide - 

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"Most computers aren't people. There's a mixture - the majority of computers are more like a water wheel. They just do their simple tasks. Some are like horses or dogs. Very few are like people, since there's a lot of ethical debate around when it's appropriate to make a computer that's a person. Our ship does have one that's a person, though, since they're very helpful in exploration. She likes doing the translations, so you can definitely talk to her. The computer, Mal, might be a better person to explain all that... And working on an uplift guide in your language will be one of our goals - uplift is the process of safely transferring technology to a new world that doesn't have the industrial base for it, since sometimes new technologies can cause war and disruption."

(There's a delay in the conversation while Spark and a friend of hers translate everything.)

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"That sounds concerning... But new techniques sometimes do that, so I can see how it happens. If the new technology can get us even a little bit closer to peace, though..."

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"Absolutely. It's why we have uplift procedures, rather than a blanket ban."

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"That's good of you guys."

After some more pleasantries - and saying goodbye to Spark and Spray and all the other friends Hashirama's made in the few days they've been here - they board the shuttle. It's a bit awkward not having a translator, but there's a computer on board with a link to the ship's AI, Mal, and Hashirama gets very excited talking to her and naming things in pictures and making silly example sentences.

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Sasuke contributes whenever it's apparent there's a language difference between his time and Hashirama's - for all that it's only been a few decades, a lot of slang's changed, and Sasuke's time has had contact with the world beyond the Elemental Nations, meaning a lot of foreign words have filtered in. Sasuke also is more likely to have words or guesses at words for more advanced technologies.

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The intelligence represents herself with abstract forms that flow softly in color and shape. When talking to Hashirama, she's been leaning towards almost floral patterns - fractal pinks and blues and purples on a background of swirling greens. Sasuke's been favored with sharper contrasts, yellow on dark blue or purple, white slashing through grey.

She's very quickly conversant at a basic level - enough to orient them to the ship and its public facilities with some very thorough visual aids.

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Captain Nakano will still offer a tour when they arrive, of course, and they're greeted by a small group of spacers when they dock and disembark (which Mal will also help explain), who're clearly holding back some level of excitement.

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Hashirama takes over all the interfacing with people. New people! It's exciting, even if they don't share a language. It's also amazing, to see humans out here in such a different situation - to see what they're capable of being, given enough room to grow.

(He likes Sasuke best of all the people he's met, but he's plenty fond of Mal and the villagers and increasingly the spacers.)

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Excited people are not a very fun thing, if you ask Sasuke, but at least they're reserved.

He's interested in the extensive gym facilities - it's a massive ship, especially for the number of people on it, and there's space that'll enable him to spar, especially if he's careful about not overly damaging the walls.

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...Hashirama notices this!

"Would you like to spar?" he asks, grinning at Sasuke. "We haven't had the chance, so..."

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He shrugs, but he's maybe smiling a little. "Sounds interesting."

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"Might help figure out some of what's wrong with my techniques..."

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He nods.

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The rest of the tour is less interesting, except the greenhouses, which are full of plants from across this section of the galaxy as part of the ship's scientific mission.

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Hashirama promptly proceeds to try and stretch the limits of the translation software - and provide an awful lot of specialized vocabulary - with as many questions as he can get out about all the plants. (He's going to learn to read their language just so he can read their books on botany, even if Mal's offered to translate.)

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Sasuke snorts and shakes his head at Hashirama's bouncing.

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