Lions, Tigers, and Bears... Oh My!
ROW80-2 checkin 6/03 - The Plane! The Plane!

Lost in Translation

This week's challenge from Terrible Minds was to use a random sentence for your prompt. Here's what was asked for - 


Click here right now.

That is a random sentence generator.

You will get a random sentence and you will use it as either the first or the last sentence of your up-to-1000-word flash fiction entry in this week’s challenge. For instance, I got the sentence: “The textual silence swallows against the geometry.” I have no idea what the fuck that means, but it’s great.

Write in any genre, you have one week. Due by June 1st, noon EST (Friday).

I clicked a few times, and got several interesting sentences, so decided to use them all. This is sort of a sequel to a previous story I did for Chuck, The Fire of the Gods.  Used some characters from a local radio show too, Afghanada.


Lost in Translation

"The newcomer constitutes the else goodbye."

What the hell? She checked the volume control, then keyed her mike again. "Greetings to the forest people. We are your friends."

The native chief smiled and spoke once more. "A splendid cylinder digs any grandfather."

"Crap," she muttered. She smacked the box with the side of her hand, then spoke, loudly and slowly. "We were here before, and lost one of our own people."

No response this time. The natives still had their weapons all at the ready, but seemed to be waiting.

She keyed the squad's internal channel. "Chuckie, I'm not sure these translator boxes are working any better than the last ones they tried here."

"I heard the last team just gave up trying to talk," he said. "Just went on with their research. Until the incident. But we won't calm them down much in all this armour. We're like the boys from the next town, walking into the Palace Hotel just itching for a fight. And everyone there just dying to take them all on."

"Standard protocol, you know that," she said. "But lets dial it back a bit. Keep your weapons ready, just lower them a bit, towards the ground. Try not to give the impression that between us we've enough firepower to wipe them all out." She fiddled with the box again. Maybe it's this blue knob, she thought. She reached up, lifted her visor and smiled at the chief. "We want to ask you about Barbara - "

The natives all shouted in anger and raised their weapons. Their leader shook his fist at her, and yelled, "The soft drum sands the dread synthesis. The newcomer constitutes the else goodbye." With another yell he threw his spear at her, a signal for the rest to launch their own spears and arrows at her team.

"Hold your fire guys," she said, barely having time to slide her visor down.

The weapons all bounced harmlessly off their armour, but the natives looked ready to charge now, axes and knives raised overhead. Her team all had their weapons at the ready now too, nervously sweeping the crowd, dotting them with their laser sights.

"Back up guys, carefully, towards the ship," she said. "Dean, get ready to lob some gas and smoke."

"Coach, incoming on your right," he called back.

She swerved, finger tightening on the trigger, to see a very small monkey racing at her, chased by a very large dog. In seconds the monkey had ducked behind her and the dog skidded to a stop, baring its teeth at her. It growled in a deep and angry rumble, hair raised on the back of its neck, tail twitching.

"Boo!" she said, stomping her foot at the dog. It just growled more and took a step closer. Those jaws looked powerful. "Damn it guys, I don't like dogs, especially when they look like they're part wolf and part Great Dane. And, I don't think this one likes me."

"They can tell if you're bluffing or not," said Chuckie. "Don't back down or he'll go for you. We had one like that on the farm, it was like he could read your mind. One time me and my brother was in back looking for this calf and -"

"Can it, Chuckie," she said. "Right now this one looks ready to leap."

"Want me to shoot it?" said Dean.

"No, it's only a dog, jeez. Let me think," she said.

There was a sudden whistle from the crowd. The dog paused, then looked back, as a little girl peered around from behind the chief. She whistled again, and the dog trotted back to her, wagging its tail. The girl smiled and waved her hand back at the armoured soldiers.

"Saved by the sisterhood," said Chuckie.

"Shut up," she said. "And not a word of this back at base. OK, lets try this one more time guys. Cover me." She carefully turned the translator box off, reached up, removed her helmet.

She smiled at the natives. "Thank you," she said. She smiled again, and gestured towards the little girl, while reaching back for the monkey. She peeled it from her leg, and shooed it back toward the natives.

 The chief gestured to his people to lower their weapons. Maybe these were the same gods as before, but just with thicker skins. At least they had stopped yelling insults at his people. He leaned down to his grand-daughter. 

"Thank you for calling back your dog. Now run back to the village and tell the women to prepare a feast for our visitors."

Maybe this time the gods would learn his language, so that he could tell them about their friend. How an evil witch had possessed her, leaving his people no choice but to kill her and consume her flesh. This was the way it had always been, only by doing this could they prevent the spirit form spreading to all her people. He smiled and stepped forward, eager to teach the strangers. They would be grateful that his people had saved them all.






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