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Maze

Feminine Confrontation

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Je'La sulked as she searched through the trash for a few scraps of food. Once she was a hunter, a warrior. Once she had pride, and once she had known her place in the world. Only now, she no longer had her world, but was marrooned in a strage sphere far from home with no hope of returning to her people. She lived alone, surving as a scavanger, pulling what sustinance she could from the human waste. Once she had her pride, but she had been forced to swollow that along with the garbage in order to survive.

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It was last call at Morley's. When Moira was here that late, it wasn't usually for entertainment, it was to watch for the rough crowd. Fortunately there wasn't anything to worry about tonight. After everybody left, she said her goodbyes to the cleanup crew and left.

Before she could get to her car she heard rustling from the dumpster area. Normally this wouldn't bother her, but the sounds didn't sound like stray animals fighting over scraps. Her pulse quickened as she powerwalked over to the darkened area. "If there's anyone in there, I'm gonna have to ask that you please come out," her voice was not judgemental, but it was a bit terse, "There are shelters you can be in, much nicer than this."

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A noise, not rough and harsh like th growl of the metal beasts humans used for tavel. What were they? Cars? Not born, but built. No, the sound wasnt like that. Footsteps? Perhaps. The rock like texture of the city was different, the sounds were altered because of this, echoing around her. Je'La did not like it here. Around one of the edges of the man made pillars....what was the word...building. Yes, around the building came the cry of a woman. Je'La did not answer immeadiatly, as her graps of the earth toung was fumbling and narrow. Je'La could see the speaker, clear as day, her eyes able to read the warmth of the living, even in the dark. Perhaps by human standards, she was beautiful. Je'La did not understand the intricies of human courtship, nor did she wish to learn them. She'd asked that Je'La come out of hiding, saying there was something called a 'shelter' where she could stay. What this 'shelter', Je'La did not know. Emerging into the illumination of one of the tree's which humans made to capture the sun....streetlamps?...Je'La addressed the woman, her tone haltering and unsure as she muled through each word "No...Je'La is hungry, scavange for foods. Earth female leave Je'La alone yes?" Je'La really didnt want to fight on the matter. On a whole, most humans were pathetically weak. How they'd survived so long was a mystery. It was only a chance few whom were powerful enough to stand on there own two feet. If pressed to leave before eating, Je'La would fight back. She didnt want to do this because there was no honor in defeating someone far below your own strnegth.

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Moira could not believe her eyes. What was this woman doing here? She wondered what the procedure was for finding a lost alien. The space woman didn't need a shelter, she needed an English lesson and food. "I can get you food," Moira smiled as she put her hand on the woman's shoulder, "Real food that doesn't have flies on it."

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Je'La blinked. Food would be good, but would it be right to accept it. To accept aid from one's own tribe was not dishonerable, but to take from another with whom you shared no bounds and whom owed you no debt was not right. "No need...ch..." Je'la had to think the word carefully, its shape on her toung strange and forign "cherity"

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Was the space woman trying to sneeze? Moira watched witch a confused smile. Putting two and two together, she surmised she didn't want the help, but the girl looked famished and she wasnt doing to get anything tasty out of the trash. "It's fine," Moira said, "It's customary on our planet to buy hungry people food. Plus, I can get you a nice place to sleep."

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Je'La sighed, the woman continuing to press her offer. She claims earth custom is to offer food to the hungry. If this is so, than it would be rude to say no. Perhaps it waas the hunger, or perahps it was just the emotional strain of having woken up from a fifty year sleep onto an alien world and having to reconcile with the fact that she was never going home, but Je'La felt inclined to take the offer. She curled her hands into fists, and struck her knuckles together with enough force that her joints cracked and the ground shuddered. It was a custom from her people, a way of like a salute "Je'La accepts, is in earth woman debt"

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Moira smiled nervously as the space woman punched her fists together. She wasn't going to ask unless it got physical, then it would be less asking more subduing the alien. Then again, the mysterious woman was an alien, what kind of alien physiology did she have? Could she eat normal food? Would the water burn her when they tried to clean her up? All of these questions would be answered in due time.

"Alright, let's go," Moira nodded with more of a greeting smile, "You have to try some of Yashida's Garden." As they walked to the end of the parking lot, Moira pulled out her keys and pressed the unlock button. The car made a a short noise as the lights blinked once. "I'm guessing you can't drive," Moira chuckled as she got in the driver's seat, "so you can ride shotgun." Opening the passenger door, she waited for Je'la to get in.

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The earth woman looks me over for a time, and then says we should go. Je'la walked along with her out of the allyway, hearing her words, but not able to understand them, so she mearly listened in silence. Out of he rpocket, she pulls several strps of metal, they jangle together almost musically. A shriking noise erupts from one of the nearby car-beasts, is eyes flashing bright, causing Je'LA to leap backwords, expecting it to charge or attack, but it dosnt, it only sits there. The earth girl cally enters into the beast. She does not seem overly concerned by the creatures outburst. It opens towards Je'la, and the woman invits her to sit. Carefully moving, ready to strike if this is some manner of trap, should the beast spring, she edge closer. It dosnt react to her touch, so Je'la enters, clearly uncomfortable, but not expressing her concern.

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Moira noticed Je'la trepidation. Beckoning her in to the vehicle, "It's OK, it's not going to hurt you." Clearly all alien civilizations aren't as advanced as she saw on her trip with Dark Star. She wondered how they got around on her planet, and exactly where she was from.

After closing her own door, Moira reach over Je'la and closed the door for her, as the space woman seemed to not know what to do there. Putting the key into the ignition, Moira cranked the car. "Do you listen to music on your planet," she asked as she put in a CD. The folk rock cover band, The Vigilantes, softly filled the air. The car began to move after she asked her question.

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THe woman assured Je'La her beast is tame and wont harm her That does little to stop its roar of life as the beast awakens from its slumber from startling Je'La. She forcerd herself to take a few deep breaths, she slowly relaxed. Her companion asks about music. While its true that at times of celebration, storys of old were sung around the fire, the strange etherial sounds which float out of the air were nothing like Je'La expected. "Noise...where come from?" She ask, her head turning around trying to find its sourse "Magic?"

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Moira laughed at the concept of the CD being magic. Then she thought about it, she had no way of explaining how the music was coming from the little plastic disc. Little things you take for granted, eh? she thought.

"No, not magic," she said ejecting the CD, "technology." The car was silent as she held the disc. "That," she points to the console, "turns this," she points to the disc, "into music." Pushing the CD back in the music started again.

The streets were empty and the drive so far was smooth as the car stopped at a traffic light.

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Je'la listended to the explination of how the silvery disk created music. It got on her nerves a little, having to ask all these questions. Things which should be obious no longer made sense. She was lost in unfamiliar terretory. On her home, even when outside her tribes hunting grounds, at least she knew how to survive. What to eat, how to hunt. Here, she has none of those advantages. It made her feel very stupid. The music, if she could even call it that, was full of strange sounds. The singer was speaking words to fast for her to keep up. It made her head spin a little. "Earth music is...different" She commented. "Much here is...different"

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Moira wondered what music was like on Je'la's home world. How different could it be? Hopefully she was enjoying it.

The car started moving again after the traffic light turned green. It didn't have fat to move as Yashida's Garden was a turn right from the light. "So, what kind of food do you like to eat," Moira questioned her guest as she pulled into a parking space and turned off the car.

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Je'la shrugged "Earth-people food is strange tasting. Je'La dose not find it as enjoyable as food on home-sphere" She answered. She found earth food tasted like chemicals, dripping unnatural substances and slime, not at all like the taste of freash meat from a successful hunt, or the sweetness of handpicked vegtables. As far as Je'La could tell, earth people actually liked spraying their meals with gunk. How they haddned poisend their race to death was a question Je'La couldnt answer.

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