Oct 19, 2017 11:21 PM
Behind the backs of bureaucracy
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He slices through several more rocks, then turns the blade off and sets it down.
"Light?" He asks again, reaching for the lamp and turning it up very slightly. He pauses to gage their reaction.

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They are not fans of light and also they'd like to try that blade thing can they have one.

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Alex turns down the light. 
He hands the blade over, but leaves it off. Turning it on is intentionally non-intuitive. 

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They spent a while trying to figure it out. They are curious as much as frustrated.

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Alex holds out his hand for it.

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He can have it back.

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"Thank you," he says. He's not letting them keep it. He does however, have standard, hardened ceramic trading knives. They are more effective tools as tools than as weapons, but they could still be used as weapons. He briefly debates the point, but the knives aren't going to be more dangerous than what they already have.
He pulls out three knives, passing two into the crowd.
He takes the third, cuts a piece off the candy bar, vigorously rubs the blade against a rock, and then cuts another piece off of the candy bar. He hopes to demonstrate that the blade can not be dulled.

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There is some scuffling over the knives. Someone tells the scufflers to cut it out. They would really like to try again to make the rock-cutter work.

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Alex passes out enough knives for everyone to have one. He really hopes he doesn't regret this later.
He does not give back the rock cutter. Instead he pulls out a large piece of cloth, at least six feet long and three feet in diameter. One side is a dark gray and the other is white. 
He attempts to cut the dark gray side with the ceramic knife, it is unharmed. He turns on the rock cutter, cuts a rock, and then attempts to cut the dark gray side of the cloth. It is still unharmed.
He turns the cloth over, and cuts the white side with the ceramic knife. It splits easily.
He offers the cloth to them.

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Ooooh. This is pretty fantastic and they are appropriately appreciative.

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He hopes that's enough to establish him as friendly. 
The translator has identified most of the words and the language's basic structure, it's time to some context.

"Alex," he says, pointing to himself.

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"Lûrûrz," someone offers.

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"Light," he says, pointing to the light.
"Blade," he says pointing to the blade of the axe and then the blade of the ceramic knife.
"Knife," he points to the knife.
"Axe," he points to the axe.

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Sure, they'll do translations.

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If they're willing to play along, he'll ask for eyes, mouth, hands, feet, food, water, stone, sand, cloth and sky.
He'll ask for colors by changing the color of the light to blue, red, white, green, purple and yellow.

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Yep, they're happy to play along. They will interject with questions, though. How does the light work, what is he.

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He thinks he has enough information for a rudimentary conversation.
"Do you get this?" he asks, with the help of the translator.

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Weird. Yep, got it.

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"New to this. Please talk. It helps."

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"What are you? Who made these things, how are they made?"

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"My name is Alex. I don't know the word for what I am. My friend made some of these and asked her friends to make others."

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"But you're not an Elf?"

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"I don't think so. I don't know the word. What's an elf?"

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Hissing, spitting. "Long ago there were Elves and orcs - that's us - and both lived here. But the Elves hated the orcs and tried to kill us all, and the Elf-gods and the orc-gods negotiated and made a deal. This land was ours, and the land across the sea was for the Elves. But there were more Elf-gods, and they were very evil and cunning, so they got the better end of the deal. When orcs die our souls go to the Elf gods and they torture us forever. And when Elves die their souls go to the Elf-gods and the Elf-gods bring them back alive, so Elves can never really die. 

 

And then the Elves invaded our land again and now they are trying to kill us all, again."

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"That's awful! I'm sorry. Maybe I can help you. How many orcs are there?"

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