Oct 15, 2019 3:58 PM
shoggoth Kushina and smol Naruto in Amenta
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She'd known this day would come, known that the cult hunting her would track her down like they'd tracked down her mother, would try to open the lock to which she is now the key - 

She'd hoped her child would be grown, first.

The shoggoth picks her child up, cradling the seven-year-old to her chest and whispering, "Hide your eyes, Bright," and turns one of her human arms into a long, serrated tentacle.

The cult is smarter than to rely solely on physical force, though, and their magics close on her, binding her - 

Something slithers through her mind, and the world inverts. When it settles, she's elsewhere, still clutching her shaking child.

Instinctively, she reverts her form to an entirely human one.

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Her kid has no such instincts and is now a very upset orange blob of tentacles.

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They are on a farm of onion-looking plants. There's nobody around at the moment.

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"Bright, you need to change into a human girl, okay?" she mutters to her child, still speaking the fluting tongue of her birth. 

Is there anywhere to hide? Anna is not amazing at shapeshifting; she won't be able to fly off or turn into a plant or something else inconspicuous.

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Crying orange blob of tentacles, that is still slowly blobbing into a human-ish shape.

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There's some roll to the terrain, but it's farm in all directions except the direction where it's farmhouses.

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Is there a road she can at least pretend to be lost on?

And, to her child: "Can you turn into the puppy from the story, Bright?" Her kid is a genius at shapeshifting but is, well, a child. Carrying a puppy will look less weird than carrying a dubiously humanoid mess of upset tentacles.

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Puppy! Who is rapidly calming down now that mom isn't scared and is trying to wriggle and look around. Mom says no extra eyes when being a puppy or a girl so the puppy only has the two.

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The farmhouses might be arranged along a road. There are paths between sections of field, presumably for trucks.

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Absolutely nothing to see here, just a woman randomly strolling by with her puppy.

...If they're very far from any civilization... 

Anna has never, actually, learned how to steal cars.

She pauses on the road as this occurs to her.

...Are the lights on in any houses?

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Yup, that one has lights on and some people with purple hair sitting down to a meal.

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...She knows of nowhere on Earth with purple haired humans, but she supposes it isn't impossible if they've mixed with another species? Which might mean they'd be a bit more friendly to a lonely shoggoth...

She makes her hair purple (and sighs when Bright then turns into a purple puppy. No, honey, if you want purple hair like mommy you have to be a girl or a boy...), then when Bright settles on 'purple haired little girl' she walks up to their door and knocks.

Hopefully she can bluff her way through this.

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One of the purple-haired people, a middle aged woman, opens the door. She says something brief in an unfamiliar language, sounding friendly enough.

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"I'm sorry, I don't know that word. Do you speak English?" says Anna, not recognizing the language. Which is odd, she's traveled extensively in her long life, and has at least heard most languages most places they'd have farmhouses and onions. But if there's a group of humans who got purple hair through interbreeding then hid she might not have their language...

Anna is: a tall-ish white woman with deep purple hair holding a bright-eyed human girl (approximately seven Earth years) with lighter purple hair. 

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The purple-haired people are widely varying shades of brown; if you ignore the variance in the shades they look like a family. The woman says something else, brow furrowed.

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Spanish? French? German? Mandarin? Afrikaans? Latin? Arabic? Tok Pisin?

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None of this gets understanding but the woman does look pretty impressed.

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Sheepish smile (she doesn't go through the languages with non-human phonemes). Apparently it's time for charades: the universal language.

Without shapeshifting.

Charades without shapeshifting is hard.

"We're lost," she says, finally, struggling to try to figure out how to mime that. "Very lost."

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The woman pulls out a little glowing rectangle, after a while, and displays a local map. They are in some featureless farmland but there is some kind of icon over there down the road, according to the map! Icon? Yes? Good?

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The strange glowing rectangle is indeed strange, but she gets the point as soon as she sees the overhead view (a map is a map no matter how bright), and icons are very good and also intuitive-ish. Thank you stranger! She confirms which direction the icon is with some pointing.

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Yes, that is the way to the icon.

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Thank you again!

She heads off with a wave.

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The child also waves very energetically!

And then starts coming out of her shy-scared period and starts asking her mom QUESTIONS about why do humans have purple hair and what was that glowing rectangle and why are the stars weird???

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She hadn't noticed about the stars, and she doesn't know the other two things. Bright's gonna have to find out and tell her.

(She walks at a good clip in the direction of the icon.)

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The icon is a fifteen minute walk away and proves to be a small train station.

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Well at least she knows what a train is.

...Do they look likely to require tickets.

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