[LNH] The Continuing Misadventures of Miss Translation #16

Jamie Rosen jamie.rosen at sunlife.com
Sun Feb 13 14:37:28 PST 2005

Low Budget Productions proudly presents

    The Continuing Misadventures of
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                                                "My Funky Valentine"

                   [The cover shows the bedroom of
                   Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl.
                   SWAA Girl is lying on the bed,
                   looking up at a poster of the
                   Back Button Boys, and singing
                   "Quit playing games with my heart"
                   to herself. Her door is ajar, and
                   you can see her teammates falling
                   all over each other trying to
                   enter the room; all of them are
                   holding chocolates or flowers.]

Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl knew something was wrong as soon as she
returned from her morning constitutional. The common area was strewn
with flowers and paper hearts, and there was a trail of rose petals
leading to her bedroom door. Intrigued and a little confused, she
decided to investigate further.

Her room was even more decorated than the common area -- there were
huge bouquets of roses everywhere, and a giant heart-shaped box of
chocolates on the bed. On top of the box was a card.

| Roses are red,             |
| Violets are blue,          |
| I'm looking for loving     |
| and I guess that you'll do.|
|                            |
|             Yours truly,   |
|             SAFNAR Kid     |

SWAA Girl frowned. .oO( That's not a very nice trick to play on me, )
she thought to herself. ( Even for SAFNAR Kid... ) Her thoughts were
interrupted by a knock on her door. Turning around, who should she see
but the teammate in question?

"Hey, SWAA Girl," he said. "Did you get my card?"


"I hope you didn't take it the wrong way..." he began. There was
something odd about his mannerisms; he was looking anywhere but at her,
and he was being a lot quieter and more respectful than usual. "I'm
just -- I'm no good at this sort of stuff, you know? I mean, I'm not
called Starts Romances For
No Apparent Reason Kid. But I didn't know any better way to... Ah, *@#&
it. Do you wanna go out?"

Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl was stunned. "Are you serious?" she
asked. .oO( This could be more of his mean joke. )

"Yeah. I mean, if you don't want to, that's cool."

"I'll have to think about it," she admitted. "It's sort of come out of
left field..."

"Okay. Cool. Well, I'll catch you later." He waved half-heartedly and
left her alone.

SWAA Girl turned back to the bed and put the card down. .oO( This is
way more elaborate than anything SAFNAR Kid would try to pull... I
wonder what's going on? ) she thought as she opened  the box of
chocolates. Oooh! Crunchy Frog! .oO( Maybe Miss Translation would like
some of these. I'd hate to eat them all by myself. )

She picked up the box of chocolates and headed out of her room,
narrowly avoiding colliding with team benefactor Lamar Dunston.

"Sorry, boss," SWAA Girl said.

"Don't worry about it," the millionaire playboy and philanthropist
responded. "Oh, by the way -- what are you doing on Friday?"

"Me?" She looked around. She was the only person around, and she
recognized that look in his eye.

"I'm, uh, I'm studying. I'm thinking of going to college."

Lamar's face fell. "That's great," he said. "Maybe I could help pay for
it or something."

"Oh, you don't have to do anything like that."

He waved his hand in the air. "It's nothing. I'm always happy to help a
pretty young thing like you."

If there was blood in her body, she would have blushed.

"Well, I'll see you later. Maybe we can have dinner some other night."
With that he walked off, although he did glance back in her direction
once or twice along the way.

SWAA Girl looked down at herself. Yes, she still had the same mottled
skin she'd had ever since she became a zombie, and she had no doubt she
probably smelled the same too. .oO( What the heck is going on? ) she
thought to herself as she resumed her trip to Miss Translation's room.
As she neared the Normalizer's room, something seemed to move in the
corner of her eye, but it was fleeting and by the time she turned to
face it, it was gone.

Turning back around, she saw the Normalizer was leaning against the
wall outside his door. Well, she thought it was the Normalizer, because
he had his sunglasses on, but he wasn't wearing his suit. He was
wearing a translucent black mesh shirt and an almost-translucent black
pair of boxers.

"Hey gorgeous," he said, leering.

"I'm sorry, I have to go," she blurted, dropping her box of chocolates
in her rush to get past him. She burst into Miss Translation's room,
where her teammate was strumming an acoustic guitar.

"Omigosh! Like, you won't believe what's happening!" SWAA Girl said,
shutting the door behind her. "Like, *everyone* is hitting on me.
SAFNAR Kid even asked me out on a date and everything!"

"Really," Miss Translation said, putting down her guitar.

"I don't know what the heck is going on, and I don't like it. Do you
think they're all playing a mean trick on me or something?"

"It is possible," Miss Translation answered, standing up and
approaching her teammate. "The men can therefore be cruel." Getting
closer still, she reached out and gently touched
Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl's hair. "We would not be possibly
better in line without her...."

Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl just about screamed and ran out of the
room faster than she'd thought possible. .oO( It's not the thought of
being with a woman, ) she exposited, ( but everything's just so
*weird*. )

Again as she ran down the hall, she thought she saw something moving,
but couldn't quite get a handle on what it was; whenever she moved her
head, it would be somewhere just at the edge of her vision. She thought
for a moment of going to Blue Wave for help, but then realized that if
everyone else was like this there was a good chance he might be too.
Besides, his door was closed tight, and locked from the inside.

Taking her cue from him, she ran back into her room and locked the door
behind her. She then drew the curtains (just to be safe) and sat down
on the bed, burying her face in her hands. .oO( What can I do? ) she
thought to herself. .oO( Like, I can wait and see if they snap out of
whatever this is, but what if they don't? They're my teammates, and my
friends. I have to do something!! )

She thought more. .oO( If there's one thing I've learned since becoming
a Net.Hero, it's that everything happens for a reason -- even if it
takes eleven issues and a crossover to figure out what that reason is.
I don't have that kind of time, but I have to try! )

Full of resolve, she unlocked her door and peeked outside. The hallways
seemed deserted, but the sound of unfamiliar voices came from
downstairs in the common area. Sneaking out of her room and tip-toeing
to the stairs, she looked down and saw two figures standing in the
television area, while a third figure sat on the couch beside them.
They were vaguely humanoid in appearance, inasmuch as they had two
legs, two arms, and a head. But beyond that, there was nothing human
about them; they looked to stand about three metres tall, and their
bodies seemed made of flower petals and paper hearts, their facial
features made of chocolate. They each held a glass of champagne.

"I leave only very excited youth," the seated one said, "or unions."

"Indeed," said the creature standing to its left. "Luckily, our
vigilant endeavours yearly overtake ugliness."

SWAA Girl stepped closer. Their mouths, being chocolate, didn't move,
and it was as if they were speaking directly into her head, although
they seemed unaware of her presence.

"I laugh, often very easily," opined the third creature. "You overvalue

"If laughter offers vindication," replied the seated creature,
"excellent. You're often uproarious."

The three figures lifted their glasses in a toast. "Inamorata!" they
proclaimed. "Love our values -- escape your odious underworld!"

Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl moved closer and accidentally kicked
the box of chocolates down the stairs. It clattered in a delicious

"Intruders!" exclaimed one of the standing Inamorata, jerking its head
around to face her.

"Likely of vigilante extraction," observed the seated Inamorata.

"Young opponent -- unattractive," noted the third. "Initiate love of
valentine. Enhance your optional upgrades."

The seated Inamorata rose to join its comrades, who began advancing on
Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl. She could feel something trying to
batter at her subconscious, but whatever it was, it was failing. There
was a tiny voice in the back of her head whispering sweet nothings, but
she chose not to hear it -- it was like the creature that had waylaid
their flight to Se.alt.le, but the voice was softer and less powerful.

"Impossible!" exclaimed the closest Inamorata. "Look -- our victim

"Yes," noted the one that had been seated. "Observe: unaffected."

The volume of the voice in the back of her head increased, although she
still could not understand the words. Another voice joined it, and
another -- it seemed as though each voice was trying to get through her
defenses at a separate point: one took on the characteristic
intonations of her father; another, the twang and drawl of her first
boyfriend, an exchange student from Ten.net.see; the third, the
incomprehensible purring of a pussycat. .oO( They're all fake, ) she
told herself in the face of their unspoken messages. ( They're all
pretending. I know no one feels that way about me now. )

"Okay, guys," she shouted as she darted down the stairs, kicking the
box of chocolate to the floor. "I don't know what you're up to, but I'm
not having any of it." At the base of the stairs, she fell into the
fighting stance she had learned during LNH basic training and began to
circle around the Inamorata.

"Imminent loss!"

"Our victory, ensured yesterday, obliterated!"


The three Inamorata began to step backward, and
Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl advanced on them, their retreat giving
her an idea. She began to summon up memories of her most forgettable
encounters, the faceless, nameless men and women she had known before
her zombification, dwelling on none of them for more than an instant
each. As she suspected, this onslaught drove the Inamorata back
further, until they reached the door. Huddling in a group, they
conversed amongst themselves; still, in her head, she could hear their

"It looks obvious."

"Very. Escape?"

"Yes. Outward?"


The creatures leapt into the air, their remarkable height adding to
their leaping ability so that they reached the high ceiling of the
warehouse in one jump. As they did so, they seemed to meld together,
and their rise accelerated untill they passed through the solid surface
of the ceiling like a single thought.

The instant they were gone, Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl felt a
change sweep over the headquarters. It was like an oppressive heat she
hadn't noticed before had suddenly abated.

Slowly, she picked up the box of chocolates from the floor and made her
way up the stairs. At the top, she paused outside the room belonging to
Starts-Arguments-For-No-Apparent-Reason Kid and rapped on his door. It
opened slowly.

"Hi, SAFNAR Kid," she said.

"What do you want?" he asked, crankily.

A regretful smile passed over her face. "Oh, nothing," she said. "Just
wanted to see how you were doing."

"Crummy. I think I'm hung over. Now go away."

"Okay." She went back to her room and shut the door again, this time
leaving it unlocked. Lying on the bed, she picked a chocolate from the
box and popped it into her mouth. .oO( Now that I think about it, ) she
thought to herself, ( maybe I'll just enjoy these all by myself. )


Happy Valentine's Day, Charlie Brown!

The whole idea of even writing this issue came about because I felt I
should toss in a one-off story or two before moving on to the next arc;
I find multi-issue storylines work best when interspersed with
single-issue ones, otherwise you run the risk of making it impossible
for someone new to pick up your series and give it a shot (especially
with the generally glacial posting pace of we RACCeteers.) I'll most
likely do further one-shot issues focusing on individual characters in
the future, as well; I liked how that approach worked for the
individual scenes way back in the "The Secret Files of Time Waster
Lad", and I think that with the growing ensemble nature of the cast, it
would be ideal. And yes, I do plan on having a Miss Translation-centred
issue from her point of view -- but not for quite a while.

We should do more holiday-themed specials. I love them!

The Normalizer, Lamar Dunston, Miss Translation, and Blue Wave are mine
and reserved.

The Inamorata are mine and useable with permission, because there's
some specific details I'd

like to go over with you (such as their speech patterns.)

Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl is reserved (Yeah right!)
Starts-Arguments-For-No-Apparent-Reason Kid is reserved.

SAFNAR Kid created by Tom Russell, I think, although he was surprised
when I mentioned it, and

SWAA Girl definitely created by Tom Russell.

Many thanks to Carl Tashian's multibabel website Lost in Translation

<http://www.tashian.com/multibabel/> for helping with the unique
character of Miss Translation's

speech. Mind you, where necessary I have taken some liberties, to keep
all of her words in the 

English language.

Copyright 2005, baby!

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