The long-distance space hauler IFV Londoner was in its downcycle, with most of the crew in cryosleep and just a skeleton staff rotating through the shifts. With the warp encapsulators running at three-quarter power, space slid by in an inverse blur of colours.
On the bridge of the Londoner, Officer Makra Tanner was repeating sentences in Lathusian as prompted by his training program. “Vant rass za lathos medan, vlas zo nidar!” He spoke several times, adjusting his pronunciation as prompted to.
His co-pilot glanced over. “Come on Makra, just run a translation layer. Your implants are able to handle that. Hell, I’m running it now and know exactly what your saying!”
“This is too important to trust to technology, Sana.” He replied, repeating the words again.
“How in the stars is ‘Do not touch the Lathos Medan, that is for dinner!’ too important to trust to a translation layer?” Sana sighed, rubbing her hand over her face.
“This isn’t just idle chat on shore leave, or ship-to-ship comms. I’m meeting his parents. I need to be able to speak Lathusian without A: Tripping over the words, and B: spending precious seconds twiddling my thumbs translating while they think I’m slow or rude!”
The pair laughed.
“Or both,” Makra agreed, “so I can at least spend my time awake on this trip getting conversational in the language.”
Silent as she checked over some sensor readings, Sana’s shoulders slumped. “Okay, okay, you can practice your languages. On one condition!”
“Spend some time grilling me on Ultragalaxy GP facts and figures. I put in an application for Factmaster and-”
Makra chuckled as he interrupted. “Biological memory only, no extended storage allowed. I know the rules. You’ve got a deal.”