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Super Ostrich

Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 1559
Location: NEPA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:02 pm    Post subject: NaNoFailMo Reply with quote

Like the last time I tried this, I wound up not finishing my NaNoWriMo attempt, for various reasons - One of which was that I wound up working on finishing up the first collection of strips instead.

But here's a bit of what I was writing (first draft, obviously) - the story so far is that a rumormonger in a box has been sold to the crew of a ship called the "Cargo Move" by Honest J!on as a "Florble," and they're trying to find a buyer. It's being told from the point of view of the rumormonger, as part of a distress signal, with the ship currently under attack.

I wrote:

The Cargo mover left my planet, the station, and in fact, the whole system far behind, and went to warp speed. Or hyper-jump. Or trans-galaxy hyper-transit shift. Whatever it was, they did it. I was now the farthest from home I had ever been.

Actually, now that I think of it, that may not exactly be true. I don't remember all the details, but rumor has it that one time I visited an alternate universe. I spent many years there, working my way up from a floor-scrubber on a small torpedo ship to command of the Ninth Galactic Fleet. There was excitement, adventure, intrigue, violence, mayhem, and all sorts of things like that, until at my grand moment of victory, poof! Back home, still a rumormonger. I suppose the poof may have been me waking up and the whole thing was a dream, but you never know.

But back to the travels of the Cargo Mover. I'm not sure of the exact route we took, but that shouldn't matter to you, since you probably won't be coming the same way anyway. (You are still on your way to rescue me, right? Good.) But I do know that on the way, we stopped in a system known to the locals only as “Other Home,” and the crew tried to see how much they could get for a used Florble.

A quick word about “Other Home” - The system is inhabited by yellowish slug-like guys, who live on a small rocky planet that was completely useless when they found it, but after a few centuries of work by their top engineers, it became only mostly useless, and marginally livable, which was a good thing, since the ship they came in was starting to get a bit cramped. Obviously, they were not originally from the system. I think they came from another one they called “Home.”

So the Cargo Mover came to a landing on the main planet of “Other Home,” and the crew opened the hatch and stepped out onto the surface, which was unfortunate, since the atmosphere was completely poisonous and corrosive. Since they had lowered the shields and opened the hatch, the ship (along with everyone and everything in it) dissolved from the inside out. Which, now that I think of it, would mean it isn't currently under attack near the Prowsplet Nebula, which would be a good thing, but it would also mean I'm not here to tell you this.

So the Cargo Mover came to a landing on the main planet of “Other Home,” and after checking the environmental readings and finding everything within tolerable (if not especially pleasant) ranges, the crew opened the hatch and stepped out onto the surface. Captain Merrit took the lead, followed by two guys wearing red shirts, and Pilot pulled along a small cart with the box marked “Florble” (with me inside).
Merrit pointed to a small group of buildings. “According to the travel guide, that's the largest settlement on this planet.”
“According to the travel guide, that's the ONLY settlement on this planet,” Pilot replied.
Merrit nodded. “So that would make it the largest.”
“And the smallest.”
“And the most likely to have someone willing to pay good money for a Florble!”
“And the least likely.”
“Just pull the cart.”
Merrit and Pilot followed the path towards the settlement.
The guys in red shirts unfortunately stepped off the path, and were immediately sucked into the poison rock-swamp and devoured by the swamp beasts.
Merrit walked up to the largest building and knocked on the door. “This must be the place!”
The door opened and one of the yellowish slug-like aliens emerged. “Gfrbet!” it said. I'll call him Gfrbet.
“Yes, greetings,” Merrit replied. “You're obviously an intelligent man who wants to buy a Florble!”
“Gfrbet gfrbet gfrbet,” Gfrbet replied.
Merrit turned to Pilot. “What's he saying?”
“He's saying 'Gfrbet.'”
“Thanks. Very helpful.”
“Any time.”
Merrit turned back to Gfrbet. “Okay then! You're obviously an intelligent GFRBET who wants to buy a Florble.”
Gfrbet narrowed its eyes suspiciously. “Gfrbet?”
“Yes,” Merrit replied. “Gfrbet.”
“Gfrbet!” Gfrbet repeated.
“Gfrbet.” Merrit pointed to the box with me in it. “Florble?”
“Gfrbet! Gfrbet gfrbet gfrbet!” Gfrbet oozed up and down a few times for emphasis.
Merrit thought this over for a moment, and turned to Pilot, who shrugged. Merrit opened his mouth, paused, closed it again, turned back to Gfrbet, and scratched his head.
“Gfrbet.” Gfrbet also scratched his head.
“Ah! Now we're getting somewhere,” Merrit said.
“Yes. You both itch,” Pilot observed. He reached into his bag and pulled out a small device resembling a radio. “Would you like to try this?”
Merrit took the device. “What is it?”
“A translator.”
“Why didn't you give me this before?”
“It doesn't usually work very well.”
Merrit shook his head. “Well, anything's better than this. We'll give it a try.” He turned it on, twisted a few knobs, and spoke into it clearly and distinctly. “Would you like to buy a Florble?” he asked.
“Greeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzxxsnrofrob!” the device said clearly and distinctly.
Gfrbet scratched its head again. “Gfrbet,” it said.
“Greeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzxfrbejfkr,” the device said, adding a few beeps and chirps at the end for good measure.
Pilot took the device, adjusted a few settings, and handed it back to Merrit. “Try it again.”
Merrit held the device up and spoke into it again. “Would you like to buy a Florble?”
“Gfrbet,” the device said.
Gfrbet perked up. “Gfrbet!”
The device was silent for a moment, and then said “Gfrbet.”
Merrit lowered the device in disgust. “Great. Gfrbet again.”
“Gfrbet gfrbet gfrbet,” translated the device.
Gfrbet frowned, grabbed the device, and ate it. “Gfrbet,” it said, patted its stomach (or whatever it had there) and burped.
“Hey!” Merrit shouted. “Do you know how much that thing cost?”
“Gfrbet,” Gfrbet replied.
Merrit turned to Pilot. “Is that right?”
“Close enough.”
“This is ridiculous.” Merrit grabbed the box (with me in it) from the cart, walked to the next building, kicked the door in, and dropped me on the floor (ouch). “Gfrbet!” he shouted, pointing to my box. “Florble! Buy it!”
Another yellowish slug-like alien emerged, and looked at the box. “I'll give you three credits,” it said. Then it pointed back to the first building. “But this is really more Gfrbet's sort of thing.”

Somehow we managed to take off and leave “Other Home” in less time than it actually took to follow the path through the poison rock-swamp back to the ship, retrieving the two guys in red shirts along the way.

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