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Feb 27, 2020 9:01 PM
mohd dandelion in Amenta
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"Thank you. I can change my hair to a local color again if that would make finding a tutor easier." 

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"I'm not sure if I'll be able to find a tutor who won't expect you to be starting from another Amentan language. I might be able to make up a good cover story and then it would be best if you looked Amentan, though I'm not sure what caste to place you as..."

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"The kind of alien I am does not have castes, so I can be of little help to you there." 

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"- mm, do you have some way to arrange to all be clean?"

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"...Soap is not a caste, I'm fairly sure."

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"No, no - I don't know how much background information you collected on us before you came to my house -"

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"Enough to have any idea what a blue was?" 

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"...I see. So. Soap is not a caste. Six of the seven castes are clean. Reds aren't. They handle the pollution-related work."

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"...Ah. We avoid having successive generations of the same family do that kind of thing," she bluffs. 

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"What stops the people who do from contaminating everyone else, though?"

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"They wash. It's not something I've had to concern myself with the details of overmuch; in my domain I can simply deal with any such things remotely and nobody has to touch anything." 

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"Oh, I see. That's good." She nibbles her lip thoughtfully. "I was trying to come up with the best way to get you tutored... I suppose if discretion is enough of a priority perhaps something computerized would be better, I don't have an orange permission to dangle..."

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"Orange permission?" 

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"I can't bribe a tutor with the prospect of a baby," rephrases Kamuor.

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"Ah. On my planet only a few countries regulate reproduction." 

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"It's been phased in everywhere by now, no one will tolerate a neighbor who lets people have a dozen apiece."

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"--Is that a rhetorical exaggeration, or would people really chose to have that many?"

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"...of course they would? I suppose some people would stop at five, I think five is the official median if you survey people about what they'd do with no controls, but that sounds a little low to me."

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"Huh. My species averages much lower, that's probably why, then." 

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"Oh, how interesting, I wouldn't have expected that."

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"Our birthrate plummeted after the invention of birth control. I suppose evolution will probably cotton on eventually but it hasn't yet." 

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"I suppose I can't think of a reason that couldn't work that way... anyway, we have population controls, but I don't have an orange permission. There are computer programs for learning languages. I don't imagine any of them imagine the learners are aliens but perhaps your - contractor can help you."

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"Your employee? I'm not sure what to call him."

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"He swore to me as an alternative to the death penalty. I call them the Forsworn, who have that reason." 

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