Aug 17, 2019 8:48 PM
native Fëanorian Amentans
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"That'll be the general idea."

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"Do you have bleach?"

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"No, but my neighbor's naturally purple, she'll have some -"

He acquires bleach.

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He dyes his hair. Watches the news.

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Tapa's annexing a farm province of Voa. Anitam will be supporting Tapa on this. They are not currently implementing rationing - they grow enough food domestically, and it's summer, they can do quick crops of some things. They will no longer be recognizing Voa's maritime authority over certain fisheries and will be fishing them.

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That's fairly contained and civilized and moderate and reasonable. 

 

He is still vaguely sympathetic to whoever in Voa decided to turn the whole game on its head like that. But if you know you're a flip-the-board kind of person you shouldn't be blue.

Not that most people get the choice.

 

He goes in to sign up.

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They want his given name but don't ask for his job name; everybody who signs on is a litem. Soldier. There's a physical. There's a skills test - can he drive, can he shoot, can he run a mile, can he carry so much weight. Medical exam. They don't actually ask if he's grey. The orange medics and the yellow desk jobs and the reds have separate recruitment pipelines, so what else would he be?

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What else indeed. He can pass the physical. He has not used a gun before. 

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They'll teach him the basics but he'll probably wind up doing transpo or something in that case.

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Yeah that's fine seeing as he actually thinks the Voans are funny and doesn't especially feel like shooting at them. It's not like their greys had anything to do with their food export policy, anyway.

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He gets a uniform and a sidearm and three weeks of basic training and a truck. Ialtem's there too, although he knows how to shoot so he gets a bigger gun.

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He feels so much happier. It's weird how much of a difference it makes just fitting into your own skin. 

 

He doesn't speak Voan but there's decent machine translation. He tries to look up why they did this in the first place.

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The Voans seem pretty furious about it themselves; apparently it was a single blue actor coordinating a bunch of purples, one Allocator Savo. He has not made statements beyond that the food is safe; he is on tape eating something handed to him right then and there by a red, although he didn't touch the man himself.

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- and no one can, like, countermand him? 

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They can, they have, he just did a lot of damage before that and now nobody trusts their export procedures.

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It seems kind of dumb to go to war if they've already cut it out. But maybe he's just overthinking things because he got a green education instead of a grey one.

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Nobody in his squad is thinking that hard about it.

They join up with the Tapai forces. Tapap is loosely related to Anitami and he can try to pick it up if he wants to hang around the Tapai soldiers.

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- hey, gives him something to tell his dad about on the phone that isn't 'we're pointlessly shooting people but I'm still really happy because I was that miserable trying to be an intellectual'. 

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Well, Telkam isn't shooting people, he's hauling supplies in his truck.

The Tapai soldiers are pretty friendly and willing to teach him the language.

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- he doesn't want to be, like, his unit's unofficial translator. It feels too green. But he picks it up, describes it to his father over the phone and takes down his father's questions and tries to unobtrusively get answers.

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Plenty of greys pick up allied countries' languages well enough for field use and they have yellows back home for anything sensitive, he is in no danger of being slotted into a green occupation.

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This does not stop him from worrying! 

 

...sometimes he thinks he should run farther away. Knowing more languages would help with that.

 

By the time they've annexed the province he's reasonably proficient with Tapap. And his father's fluent.

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Halfway through the summer they've secured Imde province (well, Tapa has, Anitam helped) and they can scale down the operation to a border-securing one. His unit and their allied Tapai unit lose their red attachés in a confused ambush and they connect up with another Tapai squad that has one. She loads the bodies into her red-splashed truck.

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If he were a red he'd be on Voa's side, really. Guess maybe they have to draft them or something. 

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That night he can hear faint shouting from the area of camp where she's pitched her tent.

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