Aug 03, 2021 4:41 AM
High energy physics = Walta --> Adelene's custom species's world
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Three dots-uncertainty on 'maybe she's not'.

"Yes," he has that right, about fixing the danger.

She's increasingly sure she's lost in time and space or something. Things feel a lot less dreamlike now and the clock is steadily advancing. She's pretty sure clocks don't work right in dreams. But if these are rubber forehead aliens living here, who knows what she doesn't know?

Red stick figure, go, far distance x3, uncertainty around the whole thing.

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He's never heard of a species that looked so much like his but wasn't, or any of the other strange capabilities she's shown, so she's pretty obviously far from home, yes. When he tells the locals about her he'll ask if any of them have heard of anything like them, maybe they can figure out how she can get back. And if she can't she'll be welcome to claim a territory here once she's recovered, they aren't overcrowded.

In the immediate sense he really does want to get her back closer to his house, though, it's more protected, and that's where his food and supplies are if she needs anything, and he won't worry so much about leaving her there while he does the rest of his chores for the day.

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Go house yes.

Very small impeller field go uncertainty?

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He's somewhat wary of this but sure. He'll go get the trundlecart after he sees what she wants it for.

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She uses it to help her stand up, wobbling uncertainly, faint shimmers and a quiet electronic hum as bulging curves of force form in the air behind her. (Precise field control is tricky at the best of times.)

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Yeah, that's a reasonable use. He still wants warning before she activates it, though.

It's a few minutes' walk to where he left the trundlecart, does she want to come?

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"Yes."

She could probably manage hoverflight, but no sense alarming this guy more than she has to. Or taxing the impeller field, which is self-repairing but complaining really loudly about it. She walks, occasionally with a faint blue shimmer to keep from falling over.

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He offers her his walking stick the first time she needs to use the impeller field to keep her feet, and keeps an eye out for a suitable fallen branch to use himself in its place, but doesn't find one on the short walk.

The trundlecart turns out to be a low circular platform piled with leaves and underbrush, standing on six crablike legs positioned at regular intervals around its circumference and made of a steely blue version of the same waxy material as the walking stick. It's too low and too wide to be very comfortable to get onto, but it seems like it'll do the job, at least.

Her host wants to know if she'd like a backrest; it's a fifteen minute trip to his house from here and it'll take him maybe twenty minutes to make one from the available materials.

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...Huh.

She sets down the 'bot again, clearing the VPaint window. Draws, Go.

Then shrugs and picks it back up. And caaaarefully shimmer-blue floats into a crosslegged sitting position on the magic robot cart thing(?).

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The impeller field is still offputting, but he's getting used to it and doesn't object. He does take his walking stick back, once she's settled, and taps it on the edge of the trundlecart to start it walking up the path, tapping again whenever it needs a course correction. Their route is gently uphill, along a dirt path just wide enough for the cart to be comfortably guided along; there's birdsong from the trees, which he occasionally whistles mimicry of.

He's thinking, as he walks, about what she's going to need to know here. He's not very sure. How he's expecting having her as a guest to go, probably, at least to start - his species doesn't do well, trying to operate outside their own territory and especially in other territories. It's inhibiting; the exact details vary from one individual to another but all of them have trouble taking at least some kinds of actions in places they don't feel fully comfortable - it would have represented an extreme case if she'd been unable to stand without his help because of that, but it's not unheard of. If she truly doesn't experience that, that's - pretty bizarre, and probably has lots of implications he's not coming up with yet - but he's not going to assume she doesn't, he's going to assume she needs things done for her until he knows that she can do them for herself, and even then he won't be surprised if there's some variance in what actions are available to her. That's intrinsic to having a guest around; if he decides he doesn't want to deal with it anymore he'll put her out of his territory and that'll be the end of it, though it'd take kind of a lot to make him do that before she's healed - she is of course free to leave anytime, though. He'll also ask around for someone else to host her if she wants that, and she might have offers of other hosts even if he doesn't ask.

For specifics - he hasn't figured out housing yet; he does have a guest bunk in his house if she's comfortable with that but it'd be reasonable for her not to be, it's just a bunk, not a full room. He's not sure he has enough materials on hand to put up a second house, even a small one, but he can probably make her a tent at least, as an alternative. He has food plants she can use or he can bring her meals or both; he does have meat animals in his household and he'll bring her some of that in any case, since meat is good for healing injuries. Eggs and milk, too, in case that doesn't go without saying. He has crafting materials to spare, though it occurs to him that if she can't communicate normally she probably can't craft, either - well, she can ask him for things, he'll do his best. Probably at least one of the animals will take an interest in her if she wants company. He only has the one network connection, and she won't know any of the locals anyway even if she has one and picks up the local style of writing, but he can ask if there's a spare around that she can have anyway, if she wants.

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"No," she calls out at the right moment. She doesn't experience that. Well, not quite the same way, anyway. If anything, it makes her twitchy and inclined to lash out. She has to keep herself from trying to unfold her guns.

 

 

...She pulls up a video of her friend Saka, using her impeller field and things suddenly appearing and disappearing or growing and shrinking to build drab emergency shelters for a bunch of refugees, digging up and drying out mud bricks, making the stacks of steel bars and drywall and prefab windows dance around in the air as she waves her hands like a conductor. Sound on low, shows it to the guy.

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Okay. He's not sure how hosting someone might work if it's not based in compensating for those limitations, but they can talk about it when they get to his house.

He can't really watch the video while he's guiding the trundlecart but he catches enough to get the idea that the impeller field is also some kind of crafting method. It's... not done, to build large things in someone else's territory as a guest; if she wants to claim a territory straight away instead of recuperating in his that's fine and reasonable and he'll give her some starting resources but he's not going to let her build here.

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"...No."

She sits silently, thinking and trying to figure out how to explain 'trade', or wanting to feel useful.

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He's quiet for a little while, too.

It might be useful to talk more generally about how she wants things to go over the next few days. The way he sees it she's his problem by default, since she's in his territory, and of course he's going to be a good host if he's hosting, but - a good host by his reckoning, which he's less and less sure is going to work for her. He's willing to be somewhat flexible, but he's not that confident anymore that what he's willing to do and what she's going to need are going to mesh, and it seems best to figure that out before they run into actual trouble with it.

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The problem, currently, is that she has no real way to talk back, especially not any new concepts.

"Yes."

She draws out all the writing sigils she knows now, and then a question mark below them. More words?

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He can't write while he's walking. He'll print up a vocabulary list for her when they get to his house; it won't be long.

 

The house, when they get to it, is a windowless boulder-shaped structure made of the now-familiar waxy material in various shades of light blue, flanked by larger, deeper trundlecart platforms with plants growing in them. A flock of a dozen chickens comes up to investigate them when they approach, and a fat black one attempts to climb into Wanda's lap; her host informs her that he calls that one short-wattle and she's very friendly, but he can take her if she doesn't want to deal with her.

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Her head still aches a lot, and there's enough room underneath the fuzziness for her to start getting deeply anxious about how lost she is. Honestly, she probably really needs a doctor, the fancy med suite isn't a replacement for an expert. Except she can't get one. Or go back to the academy. Or defend Earth. Unless she figures out what the fuck went wrong in that Wave Force experiment and replicates it without killing herself.

Deep breaths.

But she shouldn't just shut down, like these guys apparently do.

Sure, she'll pet the chicken. Real live animals, huh? The arcologies had some of those, but mostly pets. Vat protein's cleaner.

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Short-wattle chirrs contentedly and settles into Wanda's lap; her host waits until it's clear that they're all right and heads inside, coming out after a few minutes with a jug of water, a glass to pour it into, and two bowls of berries on a tray; he scatters the contents of the larger bowl for the chickens before setting the rest down next to Wanda on the trundlecart.

The vocabulary primer she wanted is printing, it'll be another few minutes.

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Nod, nod. Smile. (Do they not have a word for 'thank you'?)

...She nods and says 'yes' several times, trying to show him the connection between word and gesture.

Do they have tech or not. Weird robot. Weird telepathy. It could be like... Asgard from that one movie series, which has lots of tech but the people just prefer walking around with swords on an aesthetic level.

Or just magic. It's not like anyone understands enough about Valkyrie Cores to call them anything else. She technically has food in storage, but fresh fruit is better. Assuming the med suite doesn't think it'll kill her, when she tries it by tasting one and waiting ten seconds.

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The berries aren't from a plant that has been domesticated on Earth, but they're perfectly edible, a bit like grapes in texture but flavored more like kiwi.

Her host has no trouble figuring out that the gesture is communication or what she means by it; he thinks that's a lot more sensible of a way to do things than making noises all the time.

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Well, fair enough.

She'll just wait for the printout. She might be in good enough shape to get out of his hair tomorrow- It kind of seems like he'd like her to just get out of his hair.

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He hangs around for a few minutes, and then goes in to get it, returning with two sheaves of rectangular pages, one of which he's binding with a strip of waxy material as he walks, crimping it along the top. When he hands the newly-made book over, the pages seem to be made of very thin pale leather, dyed with glyphs in the local style. The second sheaf is a copy of the first, and he reads through it for her, keeping an eye on her to make sure she doesn't want him to slow down or pause to discuss anything.

The words are clustered by theme, and 'trade' is in there, next to 'share' and 'give' (to an individual) and 'donate' (to a communal project); there aren't any words relating to money. There's somewhat more vocabulary around work, with different words for tasks done as maintenance, work done to achieve a goal, and useful things done because they're also enjoyable or habitual; none of these refer to having a job, and there's no vocabulary related to having a boss, or to working on a set schedule. The concept of slack also comes up, in the section about things one might have physically available; it's not an object, but the concept of having extra, of not needing to worry too much when something goes wrong or happens unexpectedly. He takes a moment when he gets to it to assure her that he has plenty of slack for taking care of her for a few days.

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This is very useful! She does have him slow down a little bit, as she's transcribing all this down in a reference sheet with much longer strings of characters.

Slack is good! She writes out.

 

Hmm.

 

Purple and green speak trade.

Purple gives to green.

Green negation(gives to purple).

Sun, moon, sun.

Green gives to purple.

Green uncertainty-squiggle purple.

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It's not uncommon or particularly noteworthy for people to set up a trade where one of them doesn't do their part right away, if they know each other well enough. It doesn't imply any specific relationship between then besides knowing each other pretty well.

Also if she's trying to ask if he wants anything in exchange for helping her out for a couple of days - no? That would be weird? If she had an established territory with cool stuff in it and wanted to give him a gift from her slack, that would be pretty normal, but she doesn't, and she's got enough to worry about right now.

...is there something she needs above and beyond him just keeping her fed and comfortable for a few days, that she thinks he won't be willing to do if she doesn't have something to trade for it? That might make sense.

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Want negation(Blue give red and red negation(give blue)).

Want objects from red home. Want - white stick figure, grey stick figure, whole crowd of stick figures.

Negation get. Sad.

 

A pause. 

 

Blue has slack. Agree red guest.

Moon red-lying-down think danger uncertainty.

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