Home > Fiction > ‘A funny thing happened on the garden path…’ Part 6

‘A funny thing happened on the garden path…’ Part 6

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Author’s Notes: I dislike this chapter, which is partly why it took so long to arrive.

 

Fifteen and a half days after Day 0

“But is it big enough?” James asked, inspecting the cave.

“It’s underground, with one narrow entrance and big enough to park the skimmer inside if you blew a bigger door. What more did you want?”

“A rumpus room.” He grinned and started fiddling with his watch. After ten or so seconds of being annoyed with him, his watch’s display erupted to cover the entire cave, displaying pictures and writings on the walls.

“Designed placement or random?” I asked.

“Random.”

“And they have six legs why?”

“Because aliens have six legs” he pronounced triumphantly.

“Did you make up the language or just swap symbols for common?”

“I did… what?”

“Did you make up your own language that the aliens speak, or did you take common and swap all the letters for ancient symbols?”

“I made it up. I think. Why though?”

“You want to call actual archaeologists and hope they don’t figure out this is a scam, right? So you wouldn’t want to use a language any old linguist without a postgraduate degree could identify before his lunch break as being rubbish.”

James looked taken aback. “No, I definitely made it up. And I know you’re wondering, but nowhere does it translate as ‘haha suckers!’” He switched the watch’s display off. “So, did you solve your problem then? How do we make this look old?”

“It’s alright, I know what I’m doing. We’ll just fiddle with the settings on the AMS a little, and then suddenly a couple of centuries will pass. No problem.”

“Alright then, plan’s all set.” James rubbed his hands. “I’m going to call the University.”

“No. No you’re not. What if they come immediately?”

“That’s still nearly a month.”

“James, trust me. I’d feel safer if we finished here and then called them, just in case the University splurges on yet another FTL detour.”

James winced at that, but agreed. There may have been a lot of work to do, but there was plenty of time to do it.

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