Oct 28, 2021 11:36 AM
au yeerks meet stork
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It's a container. The inside has a neat system for shock absorption in case it gets tossed around too much but that's hard to see. From the outside it just looks like smooth steel with a couple of alien symbols on it.  It has a simple mechanical fastener holding the lid shut and a clip for keeping it on a belt, which they unfasten since they don't, at this moment, want to be wearing it.

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The human holds out her hands in its direction curiously.

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They are definitely not handing anyone over to the aliens. They gesture to the gedd's ear, and then to the human. But while they do that they do hold the canister up where the human could touch it.

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The human pokes it with one finger!

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The canister doesn't respond to that.

Will the human balk if they uncap the canister and reach out to try to hold the human's head steady?

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She doesn't want the Gedd touching her head and flinches away! She tries to get a look in the canister though.

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The opening is sort of small and the inside is in shadow but there's something wet inside probably.

They try to mime that they'll trade the computer for the chance to do whatever it is they're trying to do.

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She goes and consults with the other human, then walks back, holds out her hand for the canister, taps her ear.

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That is... pretty hard to distinguish from holding her hand out for the computer, so they'll try to hand that over and put the canister to the human's ear unless she's very insistent about doing it herself.

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She is pretty insistent about doing that herself! Does not seem to be a big fan of Gedd hands.

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On the one hand, that's not anywhere close to the weirdest thing to object to about this situation. On the other hand, that's a person she's asking them to hand over.

Well, they wouldn't be here if they couldn't accept some risk. So, sure. She can do that.

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She takes the canister, gets a better look in there, and then slowly moves to pour its contents into her ear, looking at the Gedd for confirmation that this is what they have in mind. Her friend is anxiously wringing his hands a few meters back.

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Hard to figure out what will parse as confirmation but they can mime the best angle and duration.

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Pour!

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This is definitely not how liquids behave when poured - well, there's some liquid - but if she doesn't panic and lets it happen then, well, then she'll have a yeerk in her head.

This one was chosen for being fast and efficient. No one can get everything instantly, but orienting to the whole planetary situation and who this person is and what their goals are for this interaction and what's been happening in the last few minutes is the kind of thing that might, in this totally unfamiliar alien brain, manage to take as much as a second and a half. If he gets the chance.

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She makes an eeping noise when the Yeerk goes in, and the original human calls out, "Shuna?"

Shuna's brain has two halves, which is unusual among species known to yeerks. She and her husband Soreza back there are farmers; they and a couple of their friends and a couple random kids they got from a creche for extra hands have a vineyard and ducks and sheep and a dog and a cat and a donkey and barley and a kitchen-garden. She was spinning and pacing the fence to see if it should get fixed up anywhere when Soreza came to find her to show her the weird thing. He always shows her weird things he finds; he's timorous and indecisive and brings her in to kill bugs, to do amateur veterinary work on the animals when they have gross problems, to deal with - well, they were at first guessing "weirdly designed servant from far away" but she's not really sure -

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He doesn't need motor control right now so he doesn't take it.

Huh. Two of them? But eavesdropping on the signals they send each other, they don't quite seem like two people. Maybe it's like if one person had the same host for their entire life and never left; maybe they'd end up a gestalt like that. Either way, not in the top five things to focus on right now.

Trying to use this language he didn't know anything about five seconds ago that doesn't have words for most of the relevant concepts would be slower than just showing her - this is what a spaceship is; this is what a computer is for, like the one his friend owes her; this is how far away they came from. And this is what a yeerk can do.

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Wow! Shuna is kind of overwhelmed by all this information but like in a fun way. She's glad they didn't manage somehow to convince Soreza, he'd be freaked out. "They're from a whole other planet! Like ours but far far away!" she tells Soreza. "The little ones that go in people's ears can learn languages this way, that's why - also they were trying to trade me the thing with the videos - the little one can talk in my head while he's here -"

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<It's true, I can. We're here to learn more about the world and maybe to trade with you - we have technology you don't and we want friends with very good hands and eyes.> And servantmakers, probably, but he's not sure yet whether they should let on that they don't have that.

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<Yeah, the other guy's hands are weird! How do you make anything with those?>

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<With difficulty,> he says dryly. <And with tools that make it easier to make other tools.>

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<You should get some puppets, maybe.>

"Shuna, uh, how long are you keeping it in your head?" asks Soreza.

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<I can't stay forever anyway but if you want to arrange to meet again or - if you're thinking of telling anyone, remember you can't un-tell them so be very sure of them.>

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<I wasn't thinking of telling the young'uns or anything, just -> The other adults who work on the farm with her and her husband, Chern and Ouzar and Zake.

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<That's fine, of course.>

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