It was a myth that Earthborn had four hundred words for "ground." Muri only found eight in her reading: land, landscape, sod dirt, park, field, terrain, continent. There was excitement in Canticle all that morning, (another Earthborn word, she was certain). The delegation was coming. One hundred and one Earthborn, the first to visit Red Storm in a thousand years. Muri's mother discouraged her from feeling too excited. Earthborn were delicate, willowy things, unaccustomed to the Jovian heaviness and likely would not leave their carapaces. So she should not be making any plans to play overball with anyone. Muri was an expert on Earthborn, she knew all that, would have been the first to tell everyone at school if Miss Choi didn't bring it up first. Of course, that's where the lesson stopped. There was no mention in Ms Choi's class that we were descended from the Earthborn, that Jovian children evolved from those slender, brittle people on the third world. News pundits scoffed at the notion, dismissing it as irreligious and unpatriotic. The very idea that the people of Jupiter shared blood with the Earthborn or with the fethered couatls of Venus, the Dryborn of Mars, or the cold metallic intelligences of the Middle Belt,
"And I suppose you think the woven ships just appeared out of nowhere?" Ms Choi went on to remind them in class that day, at length, of the Parable of the clock makers, and made everyone copy it down.
When Muri got home, her mother scolded her again for being a nuiscance and speaking out of turn. That Ms Choi was wrong seemed not to enter in to it. Muri watched the news later, footage of the carbon harvesters hauling one of the great wind snakes to build a meeting place for the Earthborn, When her mother was asleep, Muri got out the big dictionary Aunt Cirrus gave her, and read long into the night.