“How have you been spending your time on Terra?” Idol Polyp continues, once her story is done. It was a long story. She has accomplished much.
“I have not been here for long.”
“But you have been here.”
I nod. “It is strange. Everything is loud and bright.”
Idol Polyp hums quietly, and the note hangs in the air. “Terrans need to be surrounded by stimuli.”
“I had not learned that in my studies.”
“It is not a biological need; it is a social one. The Terrans live energetic lives of constant information. To sit in silence is, to many of them, an impossible task.”
“Have you grow accustomed to this need?”
“In part. I have my own quiet den to which I must retreat from time to time.” That must be where we are now. I am in Idol Polyp’s personal den! She must trust me very much. I will be worthy of that trust.
“I will try to retreat to my own quarters then, to spend time in the quiet.”
“One of my teammates refers to motionless quiet as ‘meditating’.” The Terrans have an active verb for a passive action?! Fascinating!
“Did it take time for your teammates to grow accustomed to you? I fear my teammates are not yet accustomed to me, but I do not know how long the imprinting process will take.”
“I had similar doubts when I first came to this planet, but I was imprinted upon in time. It is my experience that Terrans will always imprint, given time. Only the other day, Wall imprinted on our Central Console.”
“On a machine?!” I cannot believe what I am hearing, but I do not believe that Idol Polyp would lie to me.
Idol Polyp chitters gently in amusement. “He named it Sebastian.”
“But I thought that humans must imprint intentionally.”
“He did imprint intentionally.”
“But why would he choose to imprint on a machine?”
“Wall told me that the console had upset him, and that he wished to yell at it.”
I am very confused. “He imprinted on a machine only because he desired to treat it as a lower member of his pack?”
This is most unusual. On Kakel, any Leader that knows that one of the Lessers in their Cast is a Scrounger would remove that Lesser from the Cast. But on Terra, it seems to be the opposite! The Scrounger is brought into the Cast just so it may be berated!
“Should I attempt this?”
“To recreate this example. Should I be tiresome and irritating, in the hope they will imprint on me?”
Idol Polyp chitters in amusement again.
“I do not think that will be necessary. Perform your role, and be available for occasional social interactions.”
I am happy to receive this advice. I do not wish to be tiresome and irritating.
“How will I know when they have imprinted on me?”
“Terrans like to call each other strange names. If one of them talks to you but does not call you ‘Lodestone’, I would think that they have imprinted on you.”
“This is most fascinating. Do you know why Terrans do this?”
“I believe it is a mark of familiarity. If a Terran ignores the title or role of another, it means that they believe they are familiar enough to imprint properly.”
Ignoring titles and roles! “Idol Polyp, must I ignore titles and roles?”
“There is nothing you must do. Let the Terrans be Terrans. You are Kakelite. Be Kakelite.”
Idol Polyp is very wise. I am glad she could tell me this.