Jan 18, 2018 8:25 PM
listens like spring
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A goddess visits Amenta
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On a beach near the village of Otara, a portal shimmers into existence. When fully formed, it is a round opening, just over three feet high, through which the view is very slightly different if looked at from the right angles. Someone looking closer might be able to make out the edges, wavering like heat haze. 

A few motu fishermen are nearby, hauling in their day's catch. They do not notice the portal immediately, but the sound of their singing carries through it on the breeze. 

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On the other side are taller, grey-haired people hauling fish into port.

One notices the shimmer and breaks off down the beach to investigate.

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The portal continues to exist, and singing continues to drift through it.

It's a little small, but one of the grey-haired people should be able to fit through it if they bend double. 

The sound of approaching footsteps catches the attention of one of the nearer motu, who also comes to investigate. He has curly black hair, and is short enough that he could walk through the portal with no trouble.

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"Hello?" says the fisherwoman, blinking at him.

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He blinks back. That isn't any language he recognizes.

She looks like a human, so... "Hello. Do you speak Common?"

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"Oh stars, there's aliens," says the fisherwoman, staring. "There's teeny cheap-special-effects aliens."

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The tiny alien shrugs. Still not any language he knows, and if they don't speak Common they're unlikely to know his native language. Humans never do. 

"Hey," he calls over his shoulder in Reo. "I found something weird and magic, anyone know what it is?"

Others come to investigate. Someone tries sticking a finger through the portal, to see what happens, and reports a tingling sensation. They are mostly male, all black-haired, and none of them are more than three feet tall. 

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A few more greys drift over. One of them calls someone and gets put on hold.

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"Maybe we should get a priest, or a wise-woman?" one of the motu suggests. 

"Go on, then," says another. After a bit more arguing back and forth, one of the younger men is sent running to the village to fetch someone with a better chance of knowing what's going on. 

Someone tries poking the edges of the portal, and gets a static shock. After that, they back off a little, but stay clustered around the opening so they can look through. 

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The first grey pokes it.

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There is a slight tingling sensation in her finger, like she's stuck it in fizzing water only without the wetness. 

It doesn't hurt, and there's no resistance. 

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"Weird."

"Stop poking it. I'm calling the princess's office."

"It doesn't hurt or anything."

"Stop anyway."

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When nothing particularly interesting happens, some of the motu start drifting away to return to their work. The fish aren't going to haul themselves up the beach, after all. 

One of the older men sits down by the portal, watching the strange humans whose hair looks older than their faces. 

After about ten minutes, the youngster returns with a woman dressed in green, a little shorter than the fishermen and with longer hair, in which she has braided a flower. The men move out of her way so she can look at the portal. 

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"Hi?" says a grey.

"Stop talking to them, what if you fuck it up -"

"The princess's office isn't picking up, what if not talking to them fucks up?"

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The priestess shakes her head; she doesn't speak the grey-haired people's language either. 

"I will pray," she decides. "Perhaps my goddess will know what to do."

Turning towards the sea, she stretches out her arms and starts to sing. 

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And a girl steps out of the water, even smaller than the rest, to join in the song.

Her dress seems to be woven of living green leaves, there is a flower in her long brown hair, and something about her informs everyone present that this is a god, and she is curious

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"Whoa," says a grey.

"Magic aliens!"

"This is great!"

"Unless it's not, keep your nose on."

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She laughs like bubbling water, and comes over to look through the portal.

"Hi! This is new," she says. Everyone present understands her. 

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"...hello ma'am," says the first grey, suddenly more tentative.

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"Oh no, don't call me ma'am, you'll make me feel old!" she laughs.

She says 'old' the way children do, when they're too young to imagine being old themselves. To Amentan eyes, correcting for the way motu are half-scale, she looks around four at the oldest. 

"I'm Puna, goddess of spring," she introduces herself brightly. "Who are you?"

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"...we're some fishergreys. She's contacting the princess's office, they'll be able to get someone more important to talk to you."

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She pokes the portal and wiggles her fingers about to feel the tingling.

"That translates really weirdly! What does your...hair colour? What does that have to do with you catching fish?"

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"...our hair is grey because we're grey caste and here fishing is a grey job."

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"Oh, okay. Like dwarves! I think dwarves have castes." 

She shrugs.

"I guess it works for them. I wouldn't know, I just look after my islanders." She smiles at her priestess, who smiles back.

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The grey on the phone gets ahold of somebody and starts excitedly yammering - "Aliens! I am not shitting you magical mini brown haired aliens one of them has translation -"

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"What language is this?" Puna asks one of the other greys. "I've never heard it before, and I thought I knew all the languages there were." 

Since putting her hand in the portal didn't hurt, she tries poking her head through. This is only an avatar; she can replace it if something terrible happens. 

Nothing terrible happens.

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