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Adele's teacher, Tabitha, has been instrumental in raising her and training her, and she tries to teach Adele everything she can to make her able to succeed when she goes to the human world in one year's time. Because the pool they travel through disrupts memory, Adele can count on not remembering very much at all, so sometimes she thinks her teachings are pointless since she'll forget everything, and she's understandably upset at the prospect of leaving the only home she's ever known for a total unknown. Tabitha teaches Adele to internalize and make "second nature" certain habits so that they will survive her trip through the pool to help protect her and inform her when she arrives.
Adele's race has the highest rate of people with prophetic abilities in all of the known dimensions, and though prophets are still a tiny minority they are at least recognized and very respected and established. If a child is born with blood-red hair (as Adele was), the child will be tested for prophetic abilities and sent for training if the tests are positive. Their parents try not to get too attached to them since some of them get whisked away for study and live in prophet hives, and then others (like Adele) end up leaving their world forever. It's a hard life, but very respected and envied by those without the gift.
People with prophetic abilities can do many different kinds of predictions, tend to have true dreams, and have the ability to control the destination of the special water portals. Adele is very gifted even among prophets, and her teacher recognizes that and chose her to train for a position in the human world establishing a prophet network there. She hopes to locate and train a few very rare human prophets and help establish their presence in that world.
Adele mostly speaks the English language taught to her by Tabitha, but she also speaks her home dimension's language of Shioan. Her people aren't "Shioan" themselves; her dimension was "settled" by people from a nearby dimension called Shio, and if they had a previous language before being settled by outsiders, it is lost.
The Negative One storyline begins by depicting Adele's struggle to accept her fate and deal with the sadness and joy it brings to her life and her family. Her story goes on to a life beyond Ailashuo; she travels to the human world and has to deal with the isolation and difficulty inherent in being an alien in a place she can't get caught. She takes a long period of research which helps her understand the human world--using her prophetic gifts to help her survive along the way--and eventually she's prepared to look for a permanent home to put down roots so she can have an established headquarters of sorts by the time she's ready to take a student. When her storyline meets up with those of the other characters, even her abilities are challenged. . . .
Once Adele finishes her research phase and wanders into the wilderness, she meets a small band of non-humans: Weaver, Dax, and Alix. She settles down with them and helps them survive in the harsh outdoor environment, while taking comfort in their company. She becomes something of a mother to the group, and though there is some distance between her and the others at first because they are alienated by her unusual abilities, Adele soon gains their trust.