The wilderness here adjoins a road, with a bus trundling one way or the other every five minutes, and a moped or truck less often than that. White chevrons indicate which way each lane of traffic is to go; there's a sidewalk, with a railing, but it doesn't look like it sees much use.
"I think it's more like, I have a body, and I can exercise it to change it in different ways? Or I have a mind which I can use to learn different skills. But it gets more complicated than that because you'll get one person trying to get their version a particular way, and other people will copy them because it's useful, but then of course the thing they're using to do that is different and you run into the problem of trying to measure the volume of a bucket using only that bucket. Or so I've heard; I'm not a developer. - Of the thing that I have."
"Might want to just loanword it. Mooooom? Mom are you - oh, hi, Pling, can you get me Mom?" Chirun says, this last bit addressing a cute fawn-variegated rat who has approached on the elbow-height molding that lines the walls. It chirps and about-faces to scurry away.
These people sure do like their animals. Lorn takes a step back on impulse but doesn't otherwise startle. And adds figuring out an appropriate amount of animal liking and finding someone to copy it off of to their mental to-do list.
Pling returns on the shoulder of an older lady who resembles Chirun and hugs him. Chirun gives Pling a treat out of a fingerprint-unlock little box attached to the wall. "Mom, this is Lornell. Lornell appears to be a slider. Lornell, this is my mom, Hiannji."
Chirun's mom Hiannji blinks at Lornell, apparently having expected sliders to look different.
Okay they'll take a little slice of animal liking right now actually. It's normal to have a rat on your shoulder yes it is (at least in this world) and okay sure it's actually kind of cute. Much better.
"Hi, it's nice to meet you! I'm from a planet where everybody can copy traits from everyone else, and Chirun and I thought that if I could copy someone else's hair and cut it off my head a bunch of times and sell it, that would probably be a good way for me to make enough money to start doing something useful with. And he suggested that you might be a good person to copy sellable hair from? You can have half the profit, of course."
"It won't do anything to you, Mom," Chirun clarifies. "Lornell just wants to make his hair as long as yours, cut it off his head to sell, repeat. You can sit there and embroider."
"Sounds too good to be true," Hiannji remarks.
"I'm - not . . . uh. Nevermind for now." Lornell is HOMESICK and kind of upset but no one else here is so it's only for a moment. "Will it sound an amount of good that could be true if I demonstrate being able to copy your hair?"
"- sure. Do you need me to let it down?"
"Nope!" Hair hair hair hair hair.
Hiannji's hair is ankle-length, very slightly wavy, dark brown.
"Whoa!" says Hiannji.
Oh that's a lot more than it looked like put up. And it's so heavy and swooshy! Lornell had long hair for a while when they were smaller but not this long even compared to their then-shorter body. "Half sound fair?" they confirm.
"More than, yeah."
Then if Chirun will help with keeping the hair clean and organized and possibly with cutting it, the room can be filled with quite a lot of hair in quite little time.
The website suggests having it ponytailed, so Hiannji has to send Plink to get her hair ties. "I'm not sure how much the market can actually absorb," Chirun remarks after the tenth batch.
"As in it goes for a lot less money or as in it won't sell at all?"
"Both. You might want to grab a different color, that would probably help."
"Know anyone else with convenient hair?"
"Who else is home, Mom?"
"Well, there's Jamase and Nikyakea but their hair's about the same color as yours. Miu will be home the day after tomorrow, she's got lovely red hair... you could knock on Brialle's door and ask after her toddler, he's got that white-blonde."
"A lot of it? Some people from my home can mix and match traits like length and color but I can't - " (right now? no, not right now anymore; they're stuck with basically this for probably ever) " - er, do that."
"Oh, no. In that case, no, I don't think there's anybody with really long hair in this neighborhood besides me. I guess you could go visit your aunt Shion."
"Bit of a hike."
"It is. How long does it need to be?"
"The website wants sixteen inches of ponytail."
"Oh, that's not nearly as much as I thought, in that case Brialle herself is probably plenty, I think it hits her waist. Not white-blonde, but blonde."
"Great! Thanks." Lornell determines which door is the one they should knock on and knocks on it and runs through their pitch again assuming that a person who seems interested in hearing it answers.
Brialle is interested in being paid to sit there and do nothing, sure.
Yay! Hair hair hair, hair hair hair. Of less length and therefore more rounds of chopping, is probably the way to do it.
"Do you want to keep half of the hanks themselves, or for me to sell them and bring you the money later?" Lornell asks the proxy donors once the harvesting's done.
"Oh, I don't want the hassle, just have Hiannji give me my cut later."
"Okay!" (Double check to make sure that 'cut' in this context means of money and not of hair: yes.) "Thanks!"
And Hiannji wants about the same deal, not to keep her extra hair?