Oct 21, 2021 11:29 PM
Amentans colonizing places
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"It flowers, but doesn't actually need pollinating- You won't know that word, doesn't need plant sex. Once a year. They're very beautiful, though. And it fruits in the sense of producing seeds. They're not edible. I will be back soon. I have another errand as well while I'm out."

And she's gone, flame winking into existence as she steps outside.

She's back most of an hour later, with a foot-long-and-a-bit branch that splits into several small twigs at the end, holding it very carefully.

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Pon has prepared many slides and takes careful tiny pieces off various parts of the tree's anatomy for them.

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Karakan assists assiduously with this, with occasional quiet questions about Amentan science and technology at interruptible moments.

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Pon is happy to answer them! It's good to have language practice that touches on her specialty more than incidentals.

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Companionable science in a closet!

 

 

"...I want to examine a salkstone underneath a microscope now. Theology and legends imply they were designed as rewards for daring hunters, but we have absolutely no idea how they work."

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"I don't think we have any leftover - we got some but a grey ate them as a test."

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"I eat any I come into immediately as well. They stack. If I happened to not eat them immediately and anyone knew I had them on me I would be targeted by all sorts of people, purported divine disapproval or not. But perhaps I will have both salkstones and a microscope at some point and see what I can see."

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"You can bring one here anytime, if you want, we're not going to steal your rock."

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"I'll keep it in mind."

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Pon takes notes on everything she observes about the branch.

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She says lots of things about it.

She's fascinated by the Amentan study of genetics; Dwellin don't have a way to directly look at DNA, though they've made many of the same conclusions through roundabout observations.

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It's interesting the ways in which their technology and knowledge are and aren't depressed by the lack of writing and industrialization. Pon will chatter about genetics quite a bit if Stoneheart wants.

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Genetics is fascinating.

Eventually she says, "I wished to meet your diplomat at some point. If not soon, perhaps tomorrow. I have to do other work soon."

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"I can go get him, his meeting should be over by now." Pon goes and comes back with the blue, who waves Stoneheart into a conference room out of the biology closet.

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"Hello, I am Karakan. Thank you for taking the time to meet me. I am sure you are busy. As a nature-studier, I thought I ought to meet you. The role has cultural weight and is not solely green."

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"Oh, do tell?"

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"A nature-studier is not just one who studies nature- Historically, perhaps, but the name grew to mean one who knows enough about nature to determine what is causing a negative reaction, and how to make the Well of Souls thrive. These are extremely desired services. Nature-studiers worth their name became people who everyone wanted available. Starting with the Empire of Grass, a very ancient polity, there grew a tradition that nature-studiers were not to be impeded unnecessarily, and given hospitality. We also are thought to have a closer connection to the gods through an understanding of their work. The tradition has morphed and expanded since then, with much kerkaf about who really counts and how far privilege extends, but here I stand the subject of city-wide gossip by simply appearing for a routine checkup."

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"How did your checkup go? Everything all right hereabouts? We're trying to keep an eye out for signs that our presence is disrupting the ecosystem but it sounds like you're the one to ask."

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"It's not finished but I've found nothing troubling so far. It's good that you're taking that seriously, it was one of my biggest worries about you."

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"I can't say the concern's unjustified, but - conveniently in some ways, I suppose - we're not likely to try to settle this planet as much as we'd originally imagined, so we should be able to keep our footprint pretty small."

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"We clearly have very different values, as species. Convenient in some ways that it need not necessarily lead to conflict, yes. For what it's worth I suspect some areas could support small tall-cities with enough care."

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"What kind of care?"

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"Minimizing pollution to almost nothing and simulating a natural water system."

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"We do try to be very careful about air and water quality, though the techniques we have for the latter might not be very natural-looking to whatever is checking."

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"You also can't take too much from the surroundings. One of the markers is unusual changes to the water table. I would be potentially willing to work on such a project, it's an interesting new challenge and Amentan coin seems extremely useful to have."

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