Devil Dialogue

With everything going on, the devils were a welcome distraction.  Every day I looked forward to lunch, so I could see them.  They got me wondering about how much we could learn from them about Alchibah.  They obviously had a language of some kind as they clearly named things.  But I wondered if it was just for them, or if there were other animals they could communicate with.  At the very least, I could see if they could help us with naming things.

So with Marianna's permission, I downloaded pictures of the samples we've collected.  I wasn't sure if the devils were going to understand what pictures were or if they'd even really see them very well, but I figured I give it a shot.  I just hope they wouldn't destroy my computer!

As if on cue, the devils arrived at lunch.  I had plenty of fries waiting for them (though seriously wondered if they were going to get sick from eating them so much, as who knew if they were even remotely nutritious for them).  They brought some Cappies and I gave them some fries.  I also had a picture of a Cappi on my screen.  I turned the computer towards the few devils that remained at the table, and I pointed to the screen.  The devils looked at me, then looked at the computer.  I pointed again and said Cappi.  They looked at me some more and I got concerned.  So I held up a Cappi, said Cappi, then pointed at the screen and said Cappi.  Still nothing.  I had a pencil and some paper for notes, so I drew a quick outline of a Cappi, and repeated the exercise.  Then I did it again and included the picture on the computer.  They immediately started saying "Cappi!  Cappi!"  So I then gave them some more fries and showed a picture of a basket of fries.  I said Fries.  They agreed, Fries!

I then moved on to a picture of a small slizzard.  I wasn't sure how they would react, assuming a larger slizzard would be a predator.  They looked and immediately said "Paac!"  After giving them their fries, I showed them a picture of a much larger slizzard.  They took a step back and hesitated.  I pointed and said, "Paac?"  They looked at me and said, "PaacPaac!"  I guess a small one isn't any concern, but the bigger ones are.  I also imagine they would end up saying Paac over and over again if they saw a big slizzard, like you would in a warning, and so the double name became its name.  At least that's how I make sense of it.

I did this many times more, alternating between plants and animals, and always rewarding with fries.  Hannah kept an eye on my fries supply, and always had more ready when I was low.  Which was good as the devils didn't seem to mind staying longer than they had previously.  They didn't have words for everything, as I suspected, but I a lot to work with.  "Lil'li" for one of the stream's fish, "Panna" for the tree that killed Robert, "Teh" for one of the pine-like trees, etc.

When it was time for me to get back to work, the devils seemed disappointed it was over (of course, I'm probably personifying that).  They flew alongside me on my walk back to the Lab squaking "bye! bye!"

I think I may have made some friends.  :)

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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