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Jul 25, 2021 6:10 PM
a very small alien in anomaland
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"One two three four!" she counts, more confidently this time, still with the hops.

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"Yes!" She opens her handcomp's drawing app and draws groups of one, two, three, four, and five dots, with the corresponding symbols next to them, then holds it out for Petal to examine and potentially draw on further.

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The creature leans in to peer at the screen. She tries to mimic Ari's motion to draw on it, but her tiny hoof doesn't register. So instead she points.

One dot: "One!"

Two dots: "One two!"

Three dots: "One two three!"

Four dots: "One two three four!"

Five dots: "One two three four..." trail off, un-narrated fifth hop.

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"Five." Hmm, of course the screen won't register what looks like keratin, and now she needs to sanitize it anyway because those adorable tiny hooves have been on the (clean, but not as clean as one wants one's handcomp) floor.

"I'll be right back," she says, probably pointlessly, and darts off for a moment to grab a sanitizing wipe for her handcomp and one of the little pads of paper from the social room table and hmm, those pencils are as long as the critter is tall, how about one of those but also the real but tiny pencil from her youngest grandchild's My First Cryptography doll set. 

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The creature trills curiously at these new objects. She hops toward the pad of paper, noses at it a few times, then looks expectantly at Ari.

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Ari demonstrates drawing on the paper, the numbers one through ten this time.

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The creature stares intently at this process, hesitates for a long moment when the pencil is set down, then approaches the paper and... levitates into the air. The pencil levitates after her, as though she's holding it clumsily in an invisible appendage very close to her chest. She scrawls inexpert facsimiles of the numbers one through three, softly whispering "one... two... three..." as she copies each one, then drops the pencil and flumphs tiredly onto the page.

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Ari is not collapsing on the floor next to her but it's a close call! "Endless stars," she whispers, hand over her mouth, "How did you do that?"

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Concerned trill. Gentle antler-bonk.

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Oh, what a little sweetheart. Also that looked tiring, possibly food and water is called for. She goes to the kitchen, smiles wryly at her cold oversteeped tea, and comes back with a little saucer of water and a little saucer with a strawberry.

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Tiny sips of water. Tiny nibbles of strawberry. Tiny contented trills.

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. . . Gentle petting with one finger?

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Soft fluff and happy burbles!

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Very quiet polite "Eeeeeeeee." Happyflapping with the other hand.

Okay, with numbers she can establish yes and no. On a new page she draws two dots and a 2 and labels it "yes" and draws three dots and a 2 and labels it "no". Then she points at these pictures and says "Yes" and "No" about them respectively.

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The creature mimics the "eeeeeee".

Then she studies these new diagrams intently.

"One two?" she says of the two dots. "One two three?" of the three.

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"Yes." Points at the three dots: "Yes three, no two." Points at the two dots: "Yes two, no three."

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Two dots. "One two yes?"

Three dots. "One two three yes?"

Two dots. "One two three no?"

Three dots. "One two three four no?"

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"Very good!" She makes a pretty decent attempt to imitate the happy trilling noise.

Quick but recognizable sketch of Petal hatching out of an egg?

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Meep of recognition! Tiny hop!

She trots away under the table, picks up the smallest fragment of her eggshell using her mysterious telekinetic powers, brings it back out, and sets it on top of the sketch.

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Ari desperately wants to know how an alien egg got into her apartment, but even if they had perfect mutual understanding, she couldn't reasonably ask the being that came out of an egg about how the egg got there and expect an answer.

She picks up the flower petal, holds it in/over a bit of eggshell, and mimes it hatching too.

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Curious trill...

The creature trots up to the petal and noses it, then levitates again and floats off to the same dried flower from which she harvested the petal originally. Again, she sort of gently rustles the flower a bit for five seconds or so and produces a soft fresh petal out of seemingly nowhere, then floats back to Ari, deposits the petal neatly next to the pad of paper, yawns a tiny yawn, and plods tiredly over to the strawberry to nibble several more nibbles of it and then curl up next to the saucer for a nap.

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"You really do violate all my assumptions about reality, you adorable little alien," she murmurs softly.

She is, on some level, a bit scared, because goodness knows what this being will grow up to be. But in her long experience, all beings grow up better when given resources and security and love, and there's no sense being scared when there's nothing for the fear to do. So she lets the wonder and the curiosity dominate.

She doesn't call the newspeople, even though they desperately want to be called in this sort of situation. She doesn't call any other scientists, either; she can handle this mystery herself without drowning the little darling in nosy giants. She places a few carefully-chosen bids on the prediction markets and goes to make herself another cup of tea, leaving the adorable scientific revelation to nap in peace.

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The adorable scientific revelation naps for slightly less than twenty minutes and then wakes up, eats some more strawberry, and picks up the second petal to wear as a hat. It rests between her antlers and curls fetchingly over the tiny gem on her forehead.

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OH NO that is TOO CUTE. Fortunately Ari is a grandmother and has exactly the right reflexes for this sort of contingency, namely, taking several more photographs. And then procuring a couple of blueberries and a couple of peanuts, since the strawberry is presumably not nutritionally complete, though given that some of that energy is getting used to levitate and create matter who can be sure.

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She gives each new food an experimental nibble. Blueberries get a sort of purring sound; peanuts get an excited squeak.

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