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Part of Endeavour: Where Angels Fear To Tread

Universal Translator

Endeavour NX-06
Friday 13th May, 0200
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Antione had been sifting through some languages that he was trying to decipher for any chance encounters. He had been at his station for hours with nothing to prove of his efforts. He sighed as he stopped to try and regroup his thoughts. His job could be one of those no one wanted due to the amount of extra work it took at times, but he pushed through. 

He looked up seeing the arrival of Commander Xiang. He smiled “Hello Commander, what brings you to the bridge at this hour?”

As she stepped out of the turbolift, Shu held up the padd in her left hand as a non-verbal explanation of her reason for being on the bridge. Her right was busy steading the cup of coffee she was sipping at. Walking, reading and drinking were after all a combination of skills all officers had to learn and master at some point in their careers. It only took a few seconds before she could voice more of her explanation, those seconds spent crossing over to the empty command chair. “Someone has to draw the short stick every once and awhile,” she said, her Australian accent coming through proudly. “Right, let’s see, we can turn this ship around, go to high warp and go screaming into the void of space where no one will ever find us, or maintain course and heading?” It only earned a few chuckles from some of the other late-shift bridge officers.

Antione didn’t say much, but the joking manner of the Commander was well known on the ship, especially to someone who had been there awhile. He just shook his head and looked back down at his console waiting to hear if he had any orders. The many hours of sifting had started to really get to him.

“Anything interesting going on out there?” Shu asked as she tucked the small padd down between her left leg and the seat arm, twisting the chair slightly to face Communications. “I mean, I know there are a few ships on long-range sensors, but what’s the gossip, Antione?”

Antione shook his head “There is no current gossip to share. I have been working on translating this dialect for the past few hours and it has been the main event of the evening, though I have kept an eye on the comms. The frequencies are rather quiet…knock on metaphorical wood that it stays that way.” He said with a small shake of the head.

“Dialect?” Shu’s head tilted to the side and an eyebrow rose in questioning. “Aren’t dialects just a particular form of an existing language? Like Scottish, American, and British English?” She stood and walked over to the Comms console, though about the same level as a sitting Antione thanks to the raised level he was sitting on the lowered level she was now standing on.

Antione shook his head “They are but the language isn’t something I can pinpoint it sounds like something we all know, but then something about it makes me question the origin of i.” He said as he touched his ear listening closely to the sounds.

“So, which language then is it supposed to be derived from?” she asked as a follow-up. “Romulan? Is it something we should send back to Command so they can get a team of linguist on it?”

Antione appreciated the worry, but if it needed to be sent back he would have already done that. “No there’s no need for that this was marked low priority when it was sent to me, but I have been trying to get it sorted. I can get it just sometimes it’s a game of time.”

“Would it help to play it over the bridge comm system perhaps?” She looked around the bridge at the three other people manning it at this hour. “I wouldn’t mind if it would help, what about all of you?” There was a chorus of ‘meh’ in response, a resounding apathy to the prospect.

Antione thought for a moment “Maybe a louder version of it could perhaps help than just the confined noise in my ears.” He switched the sound to the bridge comms and the dialect loudly reverberated on the comms before Antione quickly adjusted the sound.

“I’m all for helping, but maybe, turn it down just a touch,” Shu said, waiting for Antione’s compliance with her request. “Not much louder okay? Would be nice to hear myself thinks while reading performance reviews of all things.”

Antione smiled “I think this is what I needed all along. Can you hear those small growls in the dialect? It helps to determine the language of origin. What Commander do you think it is?”

She stopped, eyes rolling upwards with a slight tilt of her head backwards to look at the ceiling, a thinking pose if ever there was one. “Growls, a guttural barking language.” She turned to take a few steps back to the captain’s chair, sitting herself down while still in thought. “You know, this sounds an awful like a golden retriever fighting over a chew toy. Maybe a German Sheppard? And the owner is perhaps Russian, or German?”

Antione smirked it was true he was using the moment as a teaching tool, but sometimes it was the best way to proceed “Would I ever do that? Yes, I sure would, but seriously Commander this is a good way to test your linguist skills and maybe add to that knowledge.”

“How’s about you stick to talking nice to the aliens out there, I’ll stick to using the universal translator?” she replied. “I speak the universal language of mathematics after all. Everywhere you go, as long as you know the rules of math, you can figure out how to communicate with someone. And violate the lightspeed barrier as long as you remember to carry the three…or was it a four?” she postulated, crossing a leg and leaning back in the centre seat.

Antione smirked “The universal translator that’s the easy way out. However, I suppose I’ll concede to your observation especially considering my skills with math is moot compared to yours.” 

“Right, now, serious question,” Shu started, twisting the chair slightly. “Could you hail all the ships in range and see if anyone has any recent netball or rugby games from Earth? And more importantly video of it?”

Antione shook his head “You know that’s not allowed, but I can maybe contact a friend who may be able to help you in that area.” 

Shu smiled and planted one elbow into the chair’s arm, leaning into it in her best roguish captain impression. “Counteroffer, hail everyone in range, part of our standard,” she checked the chrono display at hand, “0230hr sweep and make sure all is well and good out there and while you’ve got them on the line, just drop in a question out rugby and netball.” She sat up properly, grabbed hold of her padd and turned it back on. “Heck, I’d even settle for men’s netball at this point. Totally different game, but still fun to watch.”

Antione shrugged and complied with the orders doing his job. The Commander had quite an interesting request and he hoped that someone might have a video to appease the hankerings of the Commander.