It's a family dinner. They've taken another pound or so of meat out of stasis, in five little pieces browned and covered in salt, still hot from when it was seared two months ago. There's a big pot of oatmeal and a salad and bowls and spoons for people to serve themselves. The people are just sitting down - a middle-aged couple, a strikingly handsome man with very dark skin, a young woman whose eyes are focused on something not in front of her, and a girl just launching into a monologue. They're really not expecting company.
"And their... magic, doesn't do their detail work?"
"They have to know what details to work."
"Okay. I hope I don't get sick then."
"So. Bathroom." It’s over this way and Dareni is going to explain the soap, because it kind of sounds like Amenta doesn’t have soap and Dareni would like her alien guest to be clean. And also everything else, because who knows how they do things on Amenta.
"We have soap," she clarifies, but she attends to the full explanation.
She repeats the word "soap" a couple of times like she’s trying to memorize it and then chirps "in the bathroom no one can hear you scream!" on the way out.
"The magic here means I can’t watch you or listen to you from outside."
When Peka's done Dareni will be out here explaining everything to the others.
Peka can't understand her but can emerge so as to be no longer hypothetically maybe screaming.
Dareni waves. The younger person waves even more enthusiastically and says something that prompts Dareni to say, "Eyik wants an alien friend and I bet she'd teach you Devin."
"Tefin is a language but not the movie language?"
"Yeah. The movie language is Hari. Almost every person on this planet speaks Hari a little and some people only speak Hari. You can go anywhere if you speak Hari. The words I've taught you are Hari. But right here in Elit City we speak Devin first. It's better for our mouths. Maybe it's also better for your mouth but probably not because you're saying the name wrong."
"Some languages on Amenta have those sounds. I can sort of do it if I pay more attention. De-vin."
"Yeah! I'm glad your mouth and ears are a lot like ours."
"This would be a lot harder if you were weird crystal aliens or something yeah."
"You would have died if you appeared where the - where the ocean people live. Because it's in the ocean. And even if they were a wizard of knowing, a - person that only talks by changing color - wouldn't be able to pronounce Tapap. It's really good for you that you appeared here, you could have been either of those places if you appeared less than a mile away."
"...yeah, I hadn't even thought about landing in the ocean, that would have been bad, I can't swim."
"I bet Eyik would teach you."
Dareni translates this, which prompts Eyik to say something to the older man, which prompts Dareni to say, "...Okay, before you think about going anywhere, you should know what the government wants, and you should know that if you don't have magic of hiding then your clothes don't hide you, and you should know that people mostly don't know how to understand Tapap - and even people who know how to understand can't look back at the things you said inside this house, same reason I can't watch you in the bathroom."
"...people can see through my clothes? Kinky. Uh, yeah, does the government want something with me, my government would sure want an alien that showed up."
"Maybe they will want to talk to you when they know - " brief Devin aside and response from the guy who brought the movie " - and they don't know yet. They want everyone to, uh... there's a list. They want everyone to give them money when they say to. They don't want everyone to - do anything to other people, like touch them or do magic on them - to them? - or take their things or - stuff you can't do and I don't know how to say in Tapap - or go to someone's house if they don't want you to, or trap someone away from the outside, or say someone did those things if they didn't."
"So they - collect taxes and you can't steal stuff or break into people's houses or kidnap them or accuse them of crimes they didn't do or... touch them?"