Jarn is a R’il’nian, a human-like alien, stranded on Earth, on the African continent, roughly 125,000 years ago. He has found and rescued a human child. This is the background of the universe I have imagined in my science fiction books Homecoming and Tourist Trap, though they are set much closer to our own time. Jarn’s species has a number of what we would call esper abilities, including something they call conditional precognition.
Songbird’s language is beginning to feel much more natural to me. Her views on the world do not.
I cannot help thinking of her as a dependent, as a child who needs shelter and protection.
She rather obviously thinks of me as some sort of godlike being, capable of miracles (such as plumbing and setting her broken leg) and quite incompetent at taking care of myself. She has taken over the cooking, not because she is a better cook than I am (which she is), but because in her mind it is a female’s job to prepare food, as well as to procure most of it.
She also has me thinking twice about the abilities of the shamans.
Songbird’s mother and her mate – Songbird doesn’t seem to have a word or even a concept for “father” in the biological sense – did not want to leave her, but the shaman assured them not only that leaving was necessary so that the rest of the tribe would not starve, but that leaving Songbird was a necessary sacrifice to the gods. So far as Songbird is concerned, I am the god the shaman predicted. A rather strange and incompetent god, but still a god. Had not the shaman foreseen it?
Is it even remotely possible that the shaman has enough conditional precognition – untrained, of course – to recognize that I would rescue her?