Home's horrid Edit
When lessons started the tutor told young Blue Tentacles how far he had had got behind others of his age. That’s what came of wasting so much time in prison. He pointed out any number of mistakes the boy made. The tutor remembered his employer had said he want the boy to understand he’d done wrong and made sure he did. The boy tried to learn although he was thoroughly miserable.
Later the tutor told the boy's parents that the Blue remembered more than teachers would expect despite being away from studies so long. The boy was also learning new material better than expected. Normally it would be some time before a youngster got back into the rhythm of studying after a break but this hadn’t happened. The boy had learnt quite a bit from the skills for life courses at the prison and many adults wouldn’t have bothered with those courses.
Father called the boy in to see him, told him off for all the things he’d forgotten, told him off for all the things he’d missed learning in prison, told him off because what he’d learnt during skills for life wasn’t what a Patrician youngster needed to know. Finally he said the boy would have to do much better before he could get a mudbath. When the boy started crying father sent him away for being weak. Later mother came to him and took him quietly to one of the smaller mudbaths though neither told father he’d been there.
There was plenty of studying and little free time. At first young Blue Tentacles tried to study hard. Tutors kept telling him that Terrans were good and he shouldn‘t have say bad things about them. Once Blue reminded them that most Terran cultures are more equal than Centaurian society and he got punished for that. However he worked the tutors hardly ever told him he had done anything well while his father was even more critical. In the end the boy stopped trying and then father told him he was stupid and lazy.
At least Mother seemed to care, she kept her ladies maid on light duties so she had time to be with the boy, there was a rapport between them that grew steadily. One voice kept young Blue Tentacles going, sometimes when things were really difficult that small voice was hard to remember but Blue never forgot the compassionate prison psychologist.
“I’ll be brave,” Blue told his mother’s maid, “I’m young and there’s plenty of time for my life to improve.”
“You’re a Patrician and a free Centaurian that means when you’re an adult you can do so much more to make your life good.” The ladies maid replied,
“Later when I’m an adult I will see to it that my life will become much better than it is now.” Blue Tentacles continued.
The maid minded that she was a slave and she hoped she could improve her life but didn’t easily see how.
One time both passed an impressive window of the mansion where Blue Tentacles could clearly see some of his brothers and sisters in one of the outdoor mudbaths.
“Will you let me sneak down and joint them?”
“Your father, the master will find out!”
“Why won’t father let me into a mudbath?”
“We shouldn’t question those who are above us.”
“Our Lord the Sun wills it.”
Blue watched as the brothers and sisters played chasing each other, pushing each other into the mud and wrestling. Their tentacles waved about and flashed with pleasure.
“Centaurians No!” one of the Sun Priests exclaimed, “You should wrestle with more decorum!” After that the wrestling became prettier to watch but was clearly less fun. Blue Tentacles just mumbled miserbly,
“I wish I could be in that mud.” The maid put a few tentacles compassionately round the boy, even she was allowed in the inferior mudbaths that the servants used and she understood things must be hard for him. All at once the light of Proxima Centauri started getting brighter and more like our sun. The youngsters and the Sun Priest got out of the mud and started rushing indecorously towards a shelter. The maid wrapped strong tentacles round young Blue.
“Come away from the window! The sun is flaring!”
“I want to look at mud at least.”
“Come away, it’s dangerous. I’ll get you some mud when I can.”
The sun got so bright even Blue Tentacles realized he had to go. “Our Lord the Sun has sent the flare to punish us for sin, we should consider our sins and repent!” the maid reminded Blue Tentacles though the boy had been taught that from earliest childhood. 
- ↑ They were each a sister and a brother at the same time remember, Centaurians are hermaphrodite.
- ↑ I've recently read that Proxima Centauri flares much more often than I suggest here and I'm going to try and find out. Writing Hard science fiction without even small inaccuracies is very difficult as I am an amateur astronomer and can't always easily chase up facts that professionals have at their fingertips.