Garn the Magnificent was walking towards his hotel on Kan-Kun IV when he heard a sound he thought he’d left 30,000 light-years behind. English.
“Hey Marge, why is the sky green here, again?”
“Heck if I know, George,” said a woman with large, pink-tinted hair towering over her rather wrinkled face. “But it sure is strange.” She huffed out a breath. “And I don’t know why everyone here is either blue or green. It’s unnatural.”
They were starting to attract some rather unsavory attention, so Garn sighed and approached them. “Greetings, Sir, Madam.” He said carefully in his best American accent. “Is this your first-time off Earth?”
The man jumped slightly. “It talks English!”
Garn shot him a narrow-eyed glare. “My good man, I am Garn, one of the finest specimens of Cambian male in existence and perhaps the only one on this planet who speaks your language. I am not an it.”
The man flushed and looked away. “Uh, sorry,” he mumbled. “We lost the guidebook they gave us at the, what do you call it? Door station?”
“Portal station,” Garn corrected, not unkindly. He looked closely at the two Earthlings. They were dressed in matching orange and blue polka-dotted short pants topped with what he thought were called T-shirts. The male’s said ‘The Boss,’ and the female’s said ‘The Real Boss.’ He just hoped no one else could read them, because the locals usually answered challenges to authority with armed combat – to the death.
“Where is your translation chip?” He asked. “It’s not wise to venture out without one.”
“Do you mean that awful thing they wanted to stick in our ears?” The woman clapped her hand over said appendage. “I’m not letting anyone tamper with what God gave me!”
He noticed that their noses were reddening under the twin suns overhead. “Ah, well. Let’s find some refreshment and I will orient you,” Garn said as he gestured them towards a tavern that was at least marginally respectable.
Once seated, Garn asked the wait-droid for ale and pulled out his spare ‘link. He downloaded a basic translation program and a local guidebook from the interplanetary transit authority. “So, what brings you to Kan-Kun IV?” he asked as he tapped a few buttons to translate the guide into English. “I didn’t think your government was letting civilians off-planet.”
“Heck, I didn’t know there were other planets out here to visit,” the man guffawed.
“We won a radio contest,” the woman added. “For a beach vacation.” She looked around nervously at their nearest neighbor – a Tellurian mercenary with a particular fine set of long, curving tusks. “Is it safe here?”
“Of course not. What would be the fun in that?” Garn answered blithely. When the woman blanched, he reached out and patted her hand comfortingly. “However, the beach is indeed a fine one and unlike most planets, there doesn’t seem to be any really large predatory sea-life here. Just watch out for tentacles and you will be fine.”
The woman went a shade paler. “I knew we should have just stayed home this summer!” She looked over at her companion. “So, what if the beaches are closed back home, George? I’d rather take my chances in Ocean City than here!”
“Ah – that’s right!” Garn nodded wisely. “Your planet is still in the middle of the KOV-ID 19 restrictions, yes?” He sighed yet again and wondered just whose bright idea it was to send a bunch of unsuspecting Earthlings on vacations off-planet. He wasn’t sure the cosmos would survive it.
Garn signaled for another ale and began to teach Marge and George of New Jersey how to survive on an alien planet. He had a feeling he’d be here awhile.
Happy Thursday, Friends!