Jul 05, 2020 5:49 AM
angband kib and hell karen
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There is a person, lying on the burning sand, not even particularly arranging himself for less sand contact, eyes closed against the light, whimpering a little involuntarily now and again. He wasn't there the last time she checked.

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Nobody was here last time she checked. Nobody has ever been here. She didn't really think there were any other people in existence. 

She stares at him a while, hovering just above the sand, waiting to see if he'll do anything else on his own without her interference.

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Nope. He lies there and breathes and makes sad noises.

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Hmmmmmmm.

(It takes her a very long time to decide to do things, these days.)

Eventually she determines that he is a person, and if he is a person he might have the capacity to feel pain, and if he can feel pain he might want to not, and perhaps he would do more things if he were not in pain. 

She flies away and brings a large tarp made of skins sewn together with hair, and brings bones and ropes from elsewhere in the world, and sets to work arranging the bones and the sand around him in such a way that they can support the tarp, which can then form a little canopy that can shield him from the sun.

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Eventually he stops whimpering, because he has fallen asleep. He sleeps peacefully under the tarp for almost an hour, murmuring words.

THEN HE STARTS SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS.

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Gosh! Lots of different new sounds that she doesn't understand, and then a different sound that she does understand. That is the sound that someone makes when they're in pain, she thinks.

He should be getting burnt less now, and there aren't any cuts in him, so she isn't very sure what to do about this. She floats down under the canopy and sits beside him to see if maybe she missed any obvious damage.

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He's still asleep, and is indeed getting burnt less now. He has a lot of scars and bruises and is very thin and missing a couple toenails.

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Hmmmmm. When these things happen to her she does not scream. 

She's going to wait for a while again and see if he does anything else.

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Screaming a whole lot, and then back to mumbling words after a couple hours of screaming.

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Huh. That's weird and she doesn't really understand it. Possibly he is a less interesting person than she is.

She's pretty content to keep sitting here and see if there's a pattern to when he does which things, though.

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Well, eventually he wakes up. He opens his eyes, focuses on her for a moment, then sighs and closes his eyes again.

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Huh.

Somehow she always imagined other people doing more things than her, not fewer. But she did spend a long time just daydreaming, when she first found a way of stopping the sand from burning her, so it could be that that's all he'll want to do for a while.

She doesn't want to cut his pattern short, not when she's only been watching him for one sleep, so eventually she curls up and goes to sleep under the canopy, without further interacting with him. She doesn't scream or talk in her sleep. She's very still. 

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He doesn't bother her. When she wakes up he's still just lying there, crying a little.

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Huh. Crying is different than before. She'd better keep just watching him as long as he's still doing new things. The pattern might change if she does something else, and then she'll never be able to see this pattern again.

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He falls asleep again after a while. He says things in his sleep in a variety of tones of voice.

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That's cool. She likes listening to it. After a while she starts playing with the shape and movement of the air to see if she can make sounds that sound vaguely similar to the ones he makes.

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He seems to be doing it with his mouth! How about that.

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Hmmmm. She tries making sounds with her mouth. Her voice is quiet and raspy, but it makes some kind of similar sounds, if she tries to move her mouth the same way he is. She spends a long while alternating between mouth sounds and moving the air with telekinesis. Telekinesis gets closer to how his mouth-sounds sound, eventually, though she's still just stringing the individual sets of sounds together in random orders. 

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Eventually there is more screaming.

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Well that's less interesting. She already knows what screaming sounds like. 

She listens anyway. Maybe if she sits here watching she'll eventually figure out what's wrong.

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He still seems asleep and does not appear to have any new injuries.

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Well. She's not sure what's wrong, then. She'll just stay here and wait for him to go back to making more interesting sounds.

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The more interesting sounds resume. Then he quiets, opens his eyes, glances at her, closes them again.

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Oh well! He'll go back to making interesting sounds in a few hours; that's the pattern.

She goes back to practicing making the sounds herself with telekinesis. She can copy what he said earlier pretty exactly if she makes the air move the way it moved when it came out of his mouth.

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He ignores most of this but eventually responds to one of her sounds with another sound!

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Oooh!

She repeats the last set of sounds she made. And then repeats the sound that he just made.

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