Honored and esteemed,
I am writing from Radchaai space. Actually it's not Radchaai just at the moment. It's very complicated and I'll write about that in another letter. Right now I want to write about something IMPORTANT i.e. this video I just watched which I believe depicts the creation of new humans. The natural way, I mean.
Bizarrely, this seems to involve mashing bodies together in multiple orientations and combinations. Most, but not all of the bodies' various protrusions and holes are used for this purpose. I am currently pursuing investigations into WHY the most intriguing holes seem to be completely ignored.
"Zeiat, what are you doing?"
"Licking," said Zeiat.
Sphene squirmed, pushing Zeiat away. Zeiat let her, and Sphene spent some time wiping out her ear.
"Did it work?" asked Zeiat.
"Well, were you trying to make me feel disgusting?" asked Sphene. "Why does your saliva smell so... pungent?"
"I'm trying to understand reproduction," said Zeiat. "I'm on a fact-finding mission."
Sphene raised her eyebrows. "Is that how it works for the Presger? You lick each others' ears?"
"No, of course not." Zeiat waved a hand. "Why would I need to find any facts about the Presger? They don't have ears, anyway. Did that feel erotic? Are you pregnant?"
Sphene looked at the wall blankly. Zeiat cocked her head, waiting for Sphene to find out whether she was pregnant or not.
"No," decided Sphene. "That's not how it works."
Zeiat noted this down, mentally. Then she decided to note it down physically, so she wouldn't forget.
For your consideration, here is a list of holes which do not produce pregnancy:
Mouths (really thought this would be the one)
Don't worry, there are still a few left to try.
"Are you sure you're not pregnant yet?" asked Zeiat.
Sphene groaned in frustration and pushed Zeiat back between her legs. "Just keep trying."
Zeiat resumed licking for a few minutes, but she really didn't seem to be getting anywhere. And there were all these fluids—
"Is there something wrong?" asked Zeiat.
Sphene's thighs tightened around Zeiat's head. "Keep going."
"You're leaking," said Zeiat. "Fleet Captain Breq was very insistent about fluids remaining inside the body."
"Don't worry," Sphene gritted out. "I'll explain later."
Zeiat licked, a little dubiously. Sphene hissed.
"Try using your hand," said Sphene. "I'm almost there."
"Almost where?" asked Zeiat. "Are you going somewhere?"
"I'm trying to," said Sphene.
Intrigued, Zeiat pressed her hand against Sphene's flesh and licked with renewed effort. Sphene began shifting, her hips bucking, and then suddenly she stilled and her flesh pulsed, releasing fluid all over Zeiat's gloves.
Those were probably unhygienic now. Fleet Captain Breq had been trying to explain about hygiene, too, and Zeiat was almost sure she'd got the hang of it.
"Are you pregnant now?" asked Zeiat.
"No," said Sphene, dreamily. "Maybe we should do it again."
After repeated experiments, it has become clear that oral contact is not sufficient to create new humans. I am continuing to humor Sphene, but only because I like her and want her to be happy.
Fleet Captain Breq has very kindly drawn me a diagram, which is enclosed.
Hope to be home soon! But not too soon, of course.
P.S. I checked again and I am definitely not Dlique.