[LNH] The Continuing Misadventures of Miss Translation #12

Jamie Rosen jamie.rosen at sunlife.com
Sun Jan 16 11:25:21 PST 2005

Low Budget Productions proudly presents

The Continuing Misadventures of
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"Settling In"

[The cover shows Miss Translation, Sleeps With
Anything Alive Girl, Starts Arguments For No
Apparent Reason Kid, Blue Wave, and Lamar
Dunston standing around a table, each holding
small plastic cards, and turning towards the
camera in shock and horror. A shadow has fallen
across them, and in unison they are exclaiming
"But... but you're DEAD!"]

Starts-Arguments-For-No-Apparent-Reason Kid, Blue Wave and Cabell
around the lab table as Lamar Dunston, wearing various sorts of safety
equipment that the others weren't (they're Net.Heroes, after all, and
just a previously-anonymous benefactor), examined the package they had
received mere hours before. [See last issue -- Ed.]
"Maybe it's a bomb," Cabell surmised.
"Or some sort of surveillance device," Blue Wave suggested.
"Don't be stupid," SAFNAR Kid said, rolling his eyes. "It's obviously
meant to open a portal for them to sneak into our headquarters."
"Hmm," the three mused.
After a few moments of silence, Lamar Dunston removed his goggles and
wiped his gloves on the armored vest he was wearing.
"It is," he said, pausing for dramatic effect, "a gift basket. Just
it appears."
"You mean, these bannanas are really bannanas?" asked Blue Wave.
"And these flowers are actual flowers?" queried Cabell.
"And this can of peanut brittle is really a can of peanut brittle?"
inquired SAFNAR Kid.
"Ha ha! I knew it! What is it?"
"Open it and see."
SAFNAR Kid, with a gloating smile on his face, unscrewed the lid of
can of peanut brittle -- and snakes flew at his face!
"Aaaah! Get'em off! Get'em off!" SAFNAR Kid stumbled backwards and
fell to
the floor before he realized that the snakes were, in fact, artificial.
Really, really obviously artificial. "That's not funny," he snarled
the ground.
Blue Wave scratched his head through his mask. "Maybe this card will
explain things," he said, plucking an mother-of-pearl envelope from the
basket and opening it.
On the front of the card was a picture of three fluffy white kittens
looking curiously at a puppy in their midst. "Welcome to the
was written below the picture in a gold-foil cursive, and in similar
on the inside was "We're sure you'll fit in purrr-fectly." Beneath that
some text in black, handwritten block letters:

Dear former Net.Heroes,

I understand you misplaced one of your compatriots at the
hospital recently. If you are still interested in finding
him, you may want to visit Net.Santo's corporate HQ in
I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of each other in the
future. I know I'll be seeing a lot of you. Good luck!

Mr. Everywhere

Lamar looked at the Cabell and the ex-Net.Heroes. "Your compatriot?
he mean the Normalizer?"
Blue Wave's eyes narrowed. "I would imagine so, yes."
Impatient, SAFNAR Kid grabbed the card from his teammates hands and
at it himself. "Se.alt.tle? How the heck could the Normalizer have
all the way to Se.alt.tle from Net.ropolis?"
"I would imagine this Net.Santo has something to do with it," Blue
Lamar wandered over to a computer on the far side of the room and
checking something while the others spoke.
"We should go and investigate," Blue Wave said.
Cabell stepped back. "Whoa. What's this 'we' business? I'm not part
your little team."
"Then what are you doing here, huh?" SAFNAR Kid said, stepping
forward to
close the distance between himself and the Ereh.WANian ambassador. "Why
don't you run along to your little embassy and play Diplomacy or
whatever it
is you do for fun there?"
Cabell frowned, and one of his eyes started to glow. "Fine," he said
through gritted teeth. "If that's how you want it." He stalked off,
the door that connected the warehouse/headquarters to his miniature
like a teenage girl that had just been grounded.
Blue Wave did his best to ignore the whole situation, turning instead
Lamar. "Have you found anything?"
Lamar nodded slowly. "Yes, it's just as I thought. I've got a few
in Net.Santo. Nothing major, and not voting stock.... but enough that
we can
have a pretext for a visit to their corporate headquarters." He smiled
slyly. "And I can even write it off as a business expense."

*  *  *

"I don't like this," Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl complained to
Translation as they arranged the former's living quarters.
"That thing?" Miss Translation asked.
"I don't like how we get stuck setting up while the 'boys' all stand
around acting scientific and important." She pulled a 'Hunks of the
Legion' calendar out of a box and hung it on the back of her door. "Why
can't we be down there too? Why do we have--"
"It *is* its part," Miss Translation pointed out.
Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl ignored her and arranged her make-up
the make-up table in the corner. She still had to get a lamp without
shade for that corner, so she'd have something to use when she put on
make-up. Not that it really helped her appearance anymore, since she
had that deathly pale colouration now, but still... it was important to
maintain good habits in that area, just on general principle.
"What do you think of Blue Wave?" she asked, studying herself in the
mirror on the table.
Miss Translation looked at her quizzically. "That thing appreciates
"Do you think he's nice?"
Miss Translation shrugged. "Enough nice."
Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl sighed wistfully, staring off into
distance. "Yeah. He's really nice to me, you know? I mean, I used to be
popular. You know... before.... and it's so hard now, nobody wants to
around me or talk to me at all, and... well..."
Miss Translation looked around awkwardly. At last she noticed a box
sitting in the corner of the closet, next to the full-length mirror.
has forgets him," she said, moving to get the box.
Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl's reverie was broken, and she turned
see what Miss Translation was talking about. "Oh! No, don't bother with
one," she said, moving quickly to intercept her teammate. "It's
nothing. You
know. Private things." She would have blushed if there'd still been
to rush to her cheeks. "Let's go see what the others have figured out,"
said, ushering Miss Translation out of the room, turning out the
light and closing the door as she left.
When the room was empty, a single, hairy arm emerged partway from the
mirror. It groped blindly on the floor for a second before finding the
cardboard, then wrapped its fingers around the box and pulled it
the mirror to whatever lay on the other side.

*  *  *

Mr. Everywhere watched the former Legionnaires puzzle over his gift
basket, a small smile on his tired face. Even the fake peanut brittle
worked like a charm -- he had added it only as a lark, not expecting
Starts-Arguments-For-No-Apparent-Reason Kid to fall for such an obvious
trick. But then, not everyone was as familiar with the obvious as the
Panoptical Plotter was
In another screen in the corner of the wall a figure moved with
toward the building, a rucksack slung over his shoulder.
"What is he doing here?" Mr. Everywhere muttered to himself. "Well,
matter. His presence will have no bearing in the long run, that much is
plain to see." He tapped a few keys on the arm of his high-backed
still declaiming to himself. "Now, to put the next phase of my plan
motion." The central monitor changed to an image of a young man in
orange body armor, idly teleporting a pencil from one hand to the
other, a
textbook of some sort open but unattended before him. "Scissors Kid!"
The young man jumped, startled, and began to feign studying. He then
looked up, as though only just realizing he had been spoken to. "Hmm?
"Wake Ezekiel and Taran. The three of you are going on a trip.
... The Ruins of Sig.Ago!"

*  *  *

"Back with the Legion, you would probably have taken a flight.thingee
Se.alt.tle, right?" Lamar asked as he fiddled with his computer.
Blue Wave nodded. "That seems about right." He noticed Miss
and SWAA Girl coming down the stairs and nodded to them. "Ladies," he
Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl smiled.
"Well," Lamar continued, typing and occasionally clicking the mouse,
afraid that we don't have a flight.thingee, at least not at present.
But we
do have something."
"Private jet?" asked SAFNAR Kid from the couch, where he was watching
latest World Wrestling Entertain.net pay-per-view extravaganza.
"Teleporters?" suggested Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl.
Lamar chuckled. "Hardly."
"Course of the sphere?" ventured Miss Translation.
Their no-longer-anonymous benefactor gave her a funny look. "I don't
*think* so..." He looked at Blue Wave and SWAA Girl, both of whom just
shrugged. "No, what we have is better than any of those things. We
... Frequent Flyer cards! For each of us!"
He pulled out a set of plastic cards held together with an elastic
started handing them out.
"Frequent. Flyer. Cards." SAFNAR Kid said in disbelief as he walked
to the desk where the other Net.Heroes were gathered. "Aren't you
to be a millionaire playboy and wealthy philanthropist?"
Lamar nodded. "And you don't get to be that way by throwing your
around recklessly. Relax. I've already booked us business class to
Se.alt.tle -- the flight leaves first thing tomorrow morning."
"I hope you bought an extra ticket."
Everyone turned to see who was speaking, and muttered amongst
when they recognized him -- the red and black costume was unmistakeable
even from a distance.
Cannon Fodder.


You may have picked up on the fact that these last two issues (if
you've read
#11 recently -- it's been almost a year) are slowing the pace down
considerably. I think of them, essentially, as transitional issues, as
wrap up one chapter in the life of Miss Translation and her associates,
set up strands for the next chapter. It's rare for me to build
something in
advance, and while a fair bit of Miss Tran is still scattershot, by the
of my pants, an equally fair bit is actually being set up and sketched
ahead of time. It's an unusual situation for me.

The really strange thing, though, is that when I first 'killed off'
had a completely different story planned for bringing him back, a
mini called "Cannon Fodder and Invisible-Intangible-Inaudible Lass Hit
Road." And I've got half an issue of it written, and I still toy with
it on
occasion. So one day you may see an Elsewhirls by me of a story that I
which is probably not a first but isn't all that common. That'll
see the light of day the same time as "Walking the Dead", my first
in the 'Vertical Visions' series of AcraElsewhirls stories I've been
on since the 90s. Which is to say, it will be posted around about the
time Satan orders thermal underwear.

Cabell, Lamar Dunston, Mr. Everywhere, the Conscripts, Miss Translation
Blue Wave are mine and reserved. Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl is
(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.

Cannon Fodder created by wReam, I believe, and not reserved.

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
taken some liberties, to keep all of her words in the English language.
Copyright 2005, baby!

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