Oct 28, 2021 10:43 AM
Deseret Rebecca in Maggieland
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Peressa Rabniran is having a quiet evening at home poring over some friends' research papers. Her husband is out on a camping trip with friends who, like him, are considerably more outdoorsy than Peressa, and they don't have any children yet, so she has the apartment to herself. She could go out to the floor lounge, but she's enjoying the solitude. She sips a spiced orange mixer and flips to a different paper. 

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There appears a very tired-looking teenage girl carrying a newborn baby.

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Peressa startles, slopping her drink over her sleeve. She hisses a mild expletive and sets down the glass before grabbing a napkin and scrubbing at her sleeve. 

"Who are you?" she asks, in her own language, which has no shared etymological history with English. 

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"Sariaaaaah I think I'm seeing things - Sariah?"

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She frowns. 

She doesn't speak every language on the planet, of course, but she's familiar with all the major language families. That didn't sound familiar at all. Maybe something that sounds different than it looks?

"Miss,* are you alright?"

 

*Actual word is an ungendered polite word to address a younger person.

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"Hi Sister Hallucination! Please don't start melting I hate it when that happens." Her baby goes "nnnng" and she bounces her a bit.

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Yeah, she definitely doesn't recognize that. 

She holds up two fingers in a universal "wait a moment" gesture, picks up her tinynet, and looks some things up. Then she asks whether the mysteriously appearing girl speaks a handful of particularly representative languages of various language families, and the two most populous isolate languages. 

 

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"Is that Norwegian? Or, like, my brain's idea of Norwegian?"

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She frowns, and turns to her quasiportable computer, flicking it on and opening video recording. 

"Can you say some more things?"

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Rebecca does not understand this request but after a moment she starts singing to the baby.

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She starts streaming the video to a linguistics discussion group, marks it as "weird," and texts some of her friends to look at it and back her up. 

After the song finishes she starts pointing to things and naming them. 

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"Sister Hallucination I am soooooo tired."

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She nods and stops the stream and hesitates and looks at the baby and directs her to the bed. She can sleep on the couch tonight. Thanks be that her husband is out of town. 

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Rebecca collapses in the bed and arranges the baby snuggled up to her nursing and sings and sings and sings until finally the baby is asleep and then the instant she's let the nipple fall out of her mouth Rebecca is unconscious.

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The video has received more than a handful of weird-upvotes from people she didn't personally direct to it but hasn't gotten much more than that yet. Some people are speculating excitedly in response to it. She has to say firmly that she sent the poor girl to bed and will not be waking her to interrogate her about her language. 

She sets things out for breakfast the next morning and speculates wildly with everyone else for a bit, then retires to the couch to go to sleep herself. 

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Rebecca sleeps - interrupted frequently by nursing breaks for the baby - for a total of fourteen hours, though at one point she does stagger around long enough to find something recognizably toilet shaped and pee in it before collapsing back into bed.

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By this point breakfast has been long eaten and the leftovers set in the chiller. 

Peressa has been NOT waking up her guest because that would be terribly rude of her and also she probably needs it. What was up with the baby, anyway? Was that her baby? She's so young...

There is food out, anyway, some kind of sandwich on round bread slices. Peressa gestures to a plate other than the one she herself is eating from when Rebecca comes in. 

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"...th...anks," says Rebecca, and she takes and scarfs down the sandwich with the non-baby arm.

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The sandwich has vegetables and cheese and a kind of meat she can't identify. 

"Are you feeling better?" Peressa asks, even though she knows she won't be understood. The concern in her tone will probably come through. 

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"Um, thank you for your hospitality Sister Hallucination. I... thought I slept enough but..."

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Peressa slides a sheet of paper across the table to her. It's a printout with various character systems, none of which Rebecca is liable to recognize. 

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Squint. "I can't read in dreams."

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She slides another sheet of paper across the table. This one is blank and accompanied by a...pencil? It looks sort of like a pencil, anyway, with a much higher graphite-to-wrapper ratio, and the wrapper seems like it's made of tightly-wrapped paper instead of wood. The eraser is also sticking out of the wrapper instead of being attached by a metal doohickey. 

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...Rebecca will, uh, sing the alphabet song and write out the alphabet? What does this dream person want from her.

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This seems to be the thing she wants! She looks pleased and takes a picture of the alphabet paper and types furiously into her tinynet. Then she would like to exchange more words with Rebecca if Rebecca is okay with that. 

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Rebecca is less tired now but still not brilliant at languages or anything. She will identify the carpet and the window and the furniture and introduce herself and Catherine.

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