They're meeting under a big tree in a savannah in an unsettled area of a farmstead planet in Edda. Melda, as the newly promoted team leader, is there first, having made sure the grass is good for Andalites and the temperature good for Amentans and that the bees in that nest over there are sung sleepy, and she waits for them to be couriered in.
"How does everyone learn them?"
Oh, it's one of these places.
<This is a common pattern in human societies,> says the person who is not a human and whose society never does this at all (privately to her teammates), <This could simply be certain phrases obtaining symbolic meaning separate from their literal meaning and thus causing the literal meaning to gain the symbolic meaning of 'I am a fool who cannot use symbolism,' but in the strong form presented here it also suggests that there is censorship, enforced either by their government or by a large and angry portion of their population. I suspect she is at least one of an unusual person, or treading close to the bounds of what can be said.>
<Huh, I don't think I would have thought of that. We don't have a lot of that in heaven; there are some things people will get mad at you if you talk about in certain neighborhoods, I guess, but that doesn't seem like the same thing. Should I try and contact them telepathically, or do you think that would panic them?>
Remember, thoughtspeak doesn't do conference calls. Use the chat for private conversations - if that's too slow for Havvi, of course Xinai can relay.
(Melda herself and both angels have chiplocks, of course, and Xinai has thoughtspeak-controlled devices.)
I do want to see if we can solve this problem with mind-reading if we can do it consensually but I don't know what the best way to broach that is. Also maybe someone should be talking about something less fraught with her while we try to figure this out, if it's going to take a while?
Sure, I can take point on that; I'll keep an eye on the chat for any comments.
"So what does art look like around here? I've always found that to be one of the most fascinating parts of going to new worlds, learning about what people do for architecture and singing and clothing and painting and so forth; you get to see all kinds of things I wouldn't ever have thought of myself!"
I don't know if we need specifically to read her mind, or if discussions with others will clarify what we need to know
And then Rubiel gets started before she finishes composing.
The obvious test for my theory is to see if others are incapable of mentioning the same topics.
"That does sound interesting! I mostly just change colors directly when I'm experimenting on new designs, but some humans I talked to a century or so ago introduced me to ways to do it manually and I think the limitations add a lot of fun. I think my favorite is tie-die, which gives rise to some fascinating colors - it looks something like this."
Rubiel changes their shirt into a blue, green, and purple spiral coloration to demonstrate.
"I can imitate it now that I know what it looks like, but none of my designs had anything like this until I had an example to work from, and of course it's just fun to do."
Using a handcomp is a little slower, but not prohibitively so. (Hopefully the "locals" aren't bothered.)
If we want to test Xinai's theory, it might be a good idea for some of us to split up.
Does anyone else in the "pointedly ignoring each other" category look promising?
I think it's wise to talk to more people but it sounded to me like the woman's spouse just isn't seeing eye to eye with her about this topic.
Depends what Havvi considers promising! There's a couple people silently playing a board game while ignoring other people, and one doing laundry.
The laundry person seems less likely to be bothered by being interrupted. She walks over to them. (What color clothes are they wearing?)
"Good morning! My companions and I" (she gestures) "are envoys from another civilization very far from here. I was hoping to get some more context on the war, and on anything else you think would be helpful for us to know about."
"The civilization we represent wants to explore the inhabited worlds, establish trade and free movement and the flow of information between them, and improve the standard of living for all sapient beings," she recites from memory. "We are very new to your world, and we don't know who we ought to talk to."
"Before I talk to them, could you tell me a bit more about what it means to be a chaplain here? I don't want to accidentally give offense."
"The place I currently live has city governors elected by an unweighted vote of all citizens in that city and a national council elected by a general vote, as well as various appointed administrative positions. The place I lived before that also had an elected national council, but it was a lot smaller, only certain people were allowed to run, and in practice everything important was controlled by -- the people chosen by the Council to allocate a scarce resource."
"It works for us, but I don't think it would be good for everyone. In any case, it leaves me without much understanding of what a chaplain does."