Simplifying Life ch01-1 -- The Pilots

(TOC) 注釈

Michel and Danielle stood with their luggage piled on a hand truck at the edge of the tarmac, looking around at the small airport. [JMR201611260922: The airport was nestled into the rain forest of one of the more populated islands in the subtropical archipelago they were visiting. ] They had just arrived on the only regular flight to the island [JMR201611260922: airport ]. There was one more long hop to their final destination, and it was scheduled on a local chartered flight.

Their supervising professor had introduced them to each other just a year ago, and had suggested they work together on their advanced degree projects. They were both studying island cultures, and they both needed to do research fieldwork.

So their professor had suggested they cooperate. If they did their fieldwork at the same island locations, they could back each other up when they had trouble.

They found it easy to work together, and getting their plans to mesh hadn't been too hard, although they added plans for [JMR201612261113: extra ] service projects to fill in time they [JMR201612261113: might would ] be waiting for each other.

Now they were on their way to their first island.

So they looked around the tiny airport, trying to find their charter company. Asking airline staff had produced only puzzled looks, shaken heads, and nods in various directions.

Their professor had told them that the only charter company available was small, and not very professional, but the responses when they asked were surprising. It was as if no one they talked to knew about any charter company.

The airport cleared out as the passengers on the regular flight went their various ways. The flight crew finished up post-flight checks, secured the plane, and left for their quarters or the local canteen. [JMR201612261115: And the airport staff, few that there were, also shortly left, their jobs done for the day. ]

Finally, there was no one left in the airport but a couple of rough-looking characters lounging in a corner in some shade.

"I guess we should try asking those two over there?" Michel suggested.

Danielle's eyes rounded. "I'll wait here and cover your back," she joked.

Michel nodded and half-smiled. "That actually might not be a bad idea."

Danielle shook her head. "Just kidding. Let's go with safety in numbers."

So they walked over to the rough pair, pushing the hand truck in front of them, and Michel asked, "Do you speak Manganese?"

[Manganese is the language which Michel and Danielle speak. I know. It's a metal. I'll tell you more about that, later.]

"What's it to ya?"

Michel blinked and looked closer. Not only was the voice feminine, but on closer examination the roguish person he had addressed was, indeed, a woman. He glanced at Danielle and read surprise in her face, as well. The way [JMR201612261117: she the woman ] was dressed, and the way she carried herself, one would never guess she was not male.

Michel continued, "Uhm, we've scheduled a charter flight and we were wondering whether you'd know where the company is."

"That would be us. I'm Beta and this is my partner, Omega. You must be Dan, and your girlfriend must be Michelle."

[Translating the names was difficult. I had to take some liberties. I hope you don't mind.]

"I'll get your bags," Omega offered.

"Where's your plane?" asked Michel.

"Oh, yeah," said Omega. "I knew we were forgetting something. You guys wait here with your bags and we'll go get the plane out of the hangar." And they headed out across the airstrip to a building that looked too small to contain an airplane.

"You're not going to correct them." Danielle was not asking.

"No. I wish there were a constable around."

"No constables, either."

Omega called out across the strip as they went inside the putative hangar, "Hey, if you guys want to hang around and explore the town before heading out, we don't mind."

"No thanks, our professor is waiting for us."

"Well, it will take us a couple of hours to get the plane ready, so you might as well look around. The luggage will be okay where it is."

Omega walked into the shade of the hangar and started working the doors open. "She says their professor is waiting for them," he said, nodding absently.

"Waiting for them, huh?" was Beta's response as she ducked beneath his arms, slipped through the hangar doors, and went to the airplane inside.

On the other side of the airstrip, Michel and Danielle discussed what they should do.

Danielle was not comfortable with the situation. "I want to make sure those two really are our charter pilots."

"I do, too. Should we take the luggage with us?"


"Good question."

Michel ran over to the hangar and asked, "Are you sure the luggage is safe there?"

"No less safe than anywhere else on this island," Omega replied with a shrug. Beta was in the cockpit with a list, running through the pre-flight checks, and Omega was checking the things she read out.

"That's somehow not very reassuring."

"It's out of the way where it is now. We'll keep an eye on it, go get yourselves some lunch. You might want to get some tamales for dinner, too. It's a long flight."

[We'll call them tamales. The grain was like corn, and the meat somewhat like beef, and the beans, well, they were legumes by most definitions. Tomatoes? Onions? {JMR201612261122: Cumin? Cayenne? } The flavors were a bit different, but the recipe and the overall effect was similar -- in my opinion, anyway.]

He returned to where Danielle was waiting, and reported the conversation.

With not much else for options, they decided [JMR201612261123: to they might ] follow Omega's advice.

Copyright 2016, Joel Matthew Rees

Table of Contents (Next)
With Annotations (Japanese, someday?)

0 件のコメント: