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[2010: MAY-JUN] So Much For First Contact...


Msgrv32
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"Hello, my name is Daniel Wong. I arrived this morning in Naypyidaw. The local sherrif was there to meet me. He was driving a pretty beat up SUV but looking around I didn't really see any other cars. The local sherrif was what I called him. I couldn't pronounce his name. A language barrier existed between us. He spoke an odd sub-dialect of the Wa language that was indigenous to that area. I spoke Chineese, English, French, German, and a fair bit of Latin should the case require - it never does sadly - but for all my training I couldn't wrap my head around half the things he said to me. I got lucky of course, he recognized me right away. I think it was my suit that gave me away. My jet black pants and white long sleeve shirt stood out around these parts. He came up to me quickly and shook my hand. We got into his SUV and he showed me a map. He pointed too a spot on the map. The spot was more than 100 kilometes north of the city. I shook my head and pointed to Naypyidaw. He pointed again to that spot. I fell back into the passenger seat and threw up my hands."

... the following is a partial transcript of the conversation... my recorder has been acting up again...

Daniel Wong:

"I was under the impression the incident had happened in the capital. "

Sherrif:

"...No. Happen... countryside."

Daniel Wong:

"Oh fantastic. How long will it take to get there?"

Sherrif:

"...2, 3 hour... maximum."

Daniel Wong:

"Let's go then."

... the sound of the engine stalling... after several tries it starts up... the car shifts into first gear...

Daniel Wong:

"What street is this?"

Sherrif:

"...Yangon-Naypyidaw highway."

...the sherrif could be heard chuckling...

Daniel Wong:

"What... what is it?"

Sherrif:

"...this... highway."

...the two men shared at laugh for a moment... a sigh can be heard....

Daniel Wong:

"This is an unusual situation."

Sherrif:

"...yes."

Daniel Wong:

"We appear to have ourselves some time before we arrive."

Sherrif:

"...yes."

Daniel Wong:

"You were the first person to find Torak?"

Sherrif:

"...Tor...Torak?"

Daniel Wong:

"The Alien. Torak was it's name."

Sherrif:

"...yes."

Daniel Wong:

"You found the Alien... first?"

Sherrif:

"...no."

Daniel Wong:

"Someone else?"

Sherrif:

"...yes. I find... second."

Daniel Wong:

"Can you give me a description of it?"

Sherrif:

"...alien?"

Daniel Wong:

"Yes, can you tell me about his face."

Sherrif:

"...face...yes."

Daniel Wong:

"Go ahead."

Sherrif:

"...grey, long, no eyes..."

...writing could be heard against a small screen as notes were taken...

Daniel Wong:

"Take as much time as you need. Speak clearly into the recorder. Deposition."

Sherrif:

"...now?"

Daniel Wong:

"No time like the present."

...the sherrif cleared his throat...

Sherrif:

"...near...campground. I... drove... found Alien. Dead... in the arms... of a... shopkeeper."

...a silence settled as he finished...

Daniel Wong:

"That's it?"

Sherrif:

"...yes."

Daniel Wong:

"How do this happen? How could someone just kill a representative of another race?

Sherrif:

"...Kayin... has few schools... few reach secondary education... most are isolated... farmers... barely surviving... enlightenment... not in Kayin... a tribal culture... no eyes to outside world... monsters... shoot first... ask no questions..."

...end transcript...

"We drove for a while. The highway was degraded in sections. We passed small towns that seemed to consist of giant factories... likely meth labs. I always had issues stomaching this part of the world. In many ways they were as alien to me as the thing I was coming here to investigate. There were always semblances of humanity that I could see in them. Things that made me think if not for their corrupted surroundings and experiences they were just like me. These types of feelings were exactly why our agents were kept from having long assignments in this part of the world. Going wild in this part of the world is especially dangerous. The temptations of the area could cause men to lose their minds. The urge to slip into the forests and never return wasn't one I had. I wanted nothing more than to escape this assignment. Escape proved to be impossible as I was the closest field agent and once I was in possession of the body we would be returning it to it's people. This operation was to be hush hush. My superiors told me very little about what would happen. My orders were to round up everyone who had seen the alien and report in once my objective was complete. When the SUV came to a stop I got out and stretched my legs. The Sherrif went inside a small shop and emerged with the shopkeeper. The slight thin man was frightened and shaking as he was pushed into the back of the SUV. I got in after him and got out my recorder. The Sherrif said some things to the shopkeeper that I didn't quite catch. Whatever he said seemed to make the old man more cooperative. He nodded at the Sherrif and then said to me..."

Shopkeeper:

"I speak... English... some."

Daniel Wong:

"Very good, you would be the first from around here."

Shopkeeper:

"My daughter... go to British school... she teach me."

Daniel Wong:

"How old is your daughter?"

Shopkeeper:

"She is 24. She will be... Doctor... soon."

Daniel Wong:

"That's good, is she here now?"

Shopkeeper:

"No... she is China... finishing education... getting papers..."

Daniel Wong:

"She doesn't know what happened?"

Shopkeeper:

"No... I tell no one... what I found."

Daniel Wong:

"That's good to hear. Now take your time and run through exactly what happened."

Shopkeeper:

"I run a shop here in village... armed men demand I pay for protection... they broke my arm last week when I didn't pay... I was going to end it all... I went out to campground with a gun... by the fire I saw it... I fired in fear... it dropped dead... I was scared it was the men... come to finish me off..."

"At that point I had enough to make a full report for management. Our car was nearing the mortuary. The body was inside. I had statements from both the witness and the independent investigator who found him. The shopkeeper had a daughter I was going to have to contact once things were completed here. She would be needed here in the future. I walked into the morgue my heart heavy. As the shopkeeper and Sherrif went ahead to officially give their witness statements I sent a message to management. A got a reply that they were 5 minutes from my position and that I was to keep everyone inside. I put my phone in my bag and walked into the cold room. The three other men stood around the 7 foot body. The lights were low as the aliens skin was light sensitive. I didn't know if it was scales this thing had or what now but it was grey in colour and it smelled awful."

...the sound of a record button can be heard...

Daniel Wong:

"You all swear this is the alien?"

Shopkeeper:

"Yes."

Sherrif:

"...yes."

Doctor:

"...yes."

Daniel Wong:

"No one besides the three of you knows what happened here?"

Shopkeeper:

"Yes."

Sherrif:

"...yes."

Doctor:

"...I tell no one."

Daniel Wong:

"I know... I trust you guys. Alright I need to step out for a smoke. Stay in here ok?"

"I walked outside and lit my cigarette. My mom would say 'smoking kills'... but as the team of 3 men clad in military fatigues moved past me into the building I knew we all died someday. I heard the gunshots ring out as the Sherrif, Shopkeeper and Doctor met their ultimate fates. I walked over and got into the medical chopper. A few minutes later a group of Medical Troops brought a giant black body bag inside the chopper. We took off and flew for about three hours. We landed in a small clearing and they took the body out and placed it on the ground under some LED lights. I wasn't allowed to get out. The helicopter took off once they were back inside. We just left the body in a clearing and went back to base. Management gave me some story about this being prearrainged with the aliens race. My response to them was short and sweet 'So much for First Contact.' We likely didn't make a good first impression."

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  • 2 months later...

Wow. The cynicism and resignation in this story work really well. I loved the inclusion of the transcripts. Great experimental writing. The ending of the tale, with your protagonist's conclusion that they made a bad first impression was well-done. Finally, your burnt out part of the world with the factories that looked like meth labs did wonders for the atmosphere. In all, a good tale with a weary protagonist.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Thank you so much, I'm really glad the cynical nature of the main character was able to shine through. I love reading about Burma and I hope I at least somewhat captured the essenence of a ravaged but mysterious part of the world.

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