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A Janitor's Adventure: 2.2

by ExOmelas


Ennet sighed and looked to Grescin. Janny looked back and forth between the two of them and waited for someone to say something.

“I must heat up the ship,” Ennet said. He put his fingertips to his forehead, causing slight indentations in the skin. “Can you… operate with this?”

“Indeed,” Grescin said, rolling her eyes. “Come with, Janny. Let’s go for some food.”

The door, which was the same one Janny had come through from the Endoleon ship’s cockpit, slid slowly down. Ennet’s finger kept tapping on the screen, but the rhythm was so regular that Janny figured he was particularly impatient for the door to open rather than actually doing anything with the touch controls. Finally, they were able to step out onto the wooden platform.

They were level with the opening they’d flown through, and only a few metres away along the wall. That opening was now sealed, with some wooden shutters having unfolded from above, which were now hanging down across the cave mouth like a curtain.

“The craft doesn’t enjoy accelerating upwards,” Grescin explained, leading him towards a slightly rickety wooden staircase. “So we built this platform we could land on.”

“Fair enough,” Janny said, focusing on making sure his hands were firmly gripping the railing.

Grescin seemed happy enough on the steps, craning around to make eye contact with him. “So, the SRA means Scentian Alliance.” Except, there was a word in between ‘Scentian’ and ‘Alliance’ that Janny didn’t recognise.

“What was that?” he asked.

Grescin repeated the word, but he still wasn’t getting it. The closest he could think was the word ‘Fihol’, which was a kind of fish in northern Fladaer.

“In any instance, the reply to your other query is indeed, we will be returning you home,” Grescin said as they reached the cave floor. It was surprisingly even, and as Janny looked down he realised that the stone was slightly glossier than he’d have expected, as if it had been covered in varnish of flattening.

“That’s nice of you,” Janny said, looking back up at Grescin.

Grescin shrugged, leading him towards the middle of the cave, where a knee-high stove had a black pot balanced carefully on it. She said, “I might not call it understanding to Ennet. He could believe you are calling him soft.”

“Oh, okay,” Janny said, noticing a few tins arranged around the base of the stove.

Grescin chuckled. “I’m only joking. It’s only that the centre motivation is likely to preserve these.” She picked up the nearest tin and showed him the little picture of a bean with some googly eyes on the front.

“Ah! Fair enough,” Janny said again.

His gaze drifted as Grescin emptied the beans into the pot. The gentle hiss of the gas and the flame were rather soothing, he thought, and his heart rate started to slow. That was actually the first he realised it had been thumping away a good bit faster than usual. He took a deep breath and looked around. There were a few stalactites on the ceiling, but only the roots. The actual dangling stone seemed to have been sheared off, which made sense if you were going to be flying around up there.

“You are speaking aloud repeat,” Grescin said. That sentence didn’t even make grammatical sense, Janny realised.

“Um, I’m getting a bit tired. Would it be okay if I went and cleared up some of that mess?” Janny pointed towards the pile of clutter he’d been alerted to before. The light there was dim, as the wall beside it sloped outwards in a slight overhang, casting a shadow over the mess. Most of the cavern was lit by warm yellow, although slightly greenish, electric lighting. After so long on the Endoleon ship it was getting on his nerves.

“You wish to clean?” Grescin raised her eyebrows.

“Well, tidy,” Janny said, then realised he was so tired that may have been the same word in Scentian.

“... Fair enough,” Grescin said in Fladaerian. “I will shout you when the food is prepared.”

Janny smiled and breathed out. “Thank you.”

He trotted off towards the pile of stuff and let himself sink into his daydreams as he sorted the items into categorised piles. By five minutes in he had piles arranged by size, by purpose, even a few rows by likelihood of use. Although, each pile had roughly two items in it so far, so he had a ways to go. He got to work, thinking about Fri, Cri and Upumsel. Hopefully they’d be working hard, and to the schedule.

After a few more minutes, he reached his hand out over what appeared to be a perfectly normal, if slightly dusty, pink pillow, and grabbed a big black ring. It was about the size of his head, and perfectly smooth.

He knew what that was. He could almost put his finger on it. In case that would actually help jog his memory, he ran one index finger all the way around the circumference. As his finger reached the point where it had started, there was a bing-bong noise.

“Request state tongue,” the ring said. Janny blinked hard and stared at it. Yes, he was not quite that deliriously tired. The ring had in fact spoken.

“Um… Fladaerian?” he asked.

“Translating from: Fladaerian,” the ring replied. A little LED on the outside face of the ring blinked red. “Please state target language.”

“No, no!” Janny cried, “Fladaerian is my language!”

“Janny!” called Grescin, “Are you out of distress?”

Janny looked around and realised there was a stack of books in front of him. He scooted to the side and held up the ring, waving it at Grescin. “I think I found a translator ring!”

“I believe I have retrieved a tongue circle,” said the ring, in what Janny thought was Scentian The whole thing blinked red twice then went back to black.

Janny took a deep breath. “Target language: Fladaerian.”

“Translating to: Fladaerian. From: Fladaerian.”

Janny slapped his hand against his forehead. “Translating from: Scentian. Please.”

“Translating from: Scentian,” the ring agreed.

Janny whooped with delight and punched the air with the hand holding the ring. Grescin jogged over and took the ring from him, placing it on his head. With his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth, Janny carefully folded some skin over the edges to keep it secure. If he’d been feeling extra ambitious he’d have tried to put it under his skin, but the tidying in the dark hadn’t re-energised him quite that much.

“Lunch is ready, by the way,” Grescin said. Janny was glad to realise that the ring didn’t have to go through the repeating of words once it knew what it was doing.

“Fantastic,” Janny said, stretching his arms and getting to his feet.

“So, the SRA,” Grescin said, pouring some beans into a bowl. Ennet was approaching from the wooden stairs, but he served himself when he arrived.

“The word I was missing was the middle one,” Janny said, settling down on a foldaway chair, as did the others. He added, “Unless you’re a fishermen’s union.”

Ennet frowned for a moment, then opened his mouth and pointed at Janny’s head. “Ah! I forgot Roli said he might bring by a translator ring. Carry on, Grescin.”

“Alright, SRA stands for Scentian Resurgence Army. Have you heard of it?” She took a big gulp of her beans.

“Not really,” Janny said, blowing on his own beans, “I don’t pay much attention to politics.”

“Okay… Well… You know how us, the Scentians, used to control your country?” Grescin asked, her voice getting slightly high pitched.

“I know that,” Janny said, “But then the Endoleons came and freed us.”

“Right…” Grescin said, frowning ever deeper. “I mean yes, that is what happened. But it’s not like profit didn’t play into it. They built factories in Fladaer making stuff that Scentians were producing - many of the medicines, in particular - and our economy collapsed. We’re trying to level that playing field.”

Janny wasn’t sure if that made sense, but Ennet was nodding as he shovelled in mouthfuls of beans.

“Okay,” he said, lingering a little on the second syllable until he was sure he was saying the right thing.

“Our intention was to take that Endoleon ship to the next rock over,” Ennet said, setting his empty bowl down beside his chair. “And keep it there until the date for the delivery had passed. But then TIPO came by…”

“Ah!” Janny stuck an index finger up in the air. “Them I’ve heard of. They’re the Endoleons who send us a lot of our orders.”

“Exactly.” Grescin nodded and took a second, smaller serving of beans from the pot. “And they don’t take kindly to their trade getting disrupted, being a Trade Integrity Protections Organisation. So they’re constantly on our tail. We just have to lie low here for a while though. We have a frequency manipulator that hides this empty cavity from radar. Once the ship charges we’ll probably be okay to take you to the Hub.”

“That’s actually where we were going anyway,” Janny said.

Grescin nodded. “Yeah, your pilot introduced herself as part of the crew of the Trade Ship Daer-Hub. Daer-Ta to the Hub, right?”

“Yeah,” Janny agreed, scraping up the last of his beans. “So I’ll meet the others there? Hah! I bet Upumsel will think he can get away with slacking. I can’t wait to see his face when he realises I’m there for inspection after all.”

“We’ll try and get there a bit before actually,” Ennet interjected. “We have to get the wipe.”

Janny had heard him say “wipe” before but actually thought he’d mistranslated. “What’s the wipe?”

“Well, we can’t let you walk around cleaning your toilets, remembering where we hide all our stuff,” he explained.

Grescin’s shoulders hunched up a bit. “So we have to… er…”

Ennet put his hand on one side of his forehead and drew it along to the other side with a quick whistle. “We need to get you a mindwipe pill.”

“Oh,” Janny said, looking around himself for a reason he couldn’t quite put his finger on. He looked back at Ennet. “But then you’ll let me go home?”

“Absolutely,” Ennet said, leaning forward. “We really don’t have anything against you Fladaerians. It’s the Endoleons coming in and interfering with the matters of our planet. Revolutions of the people are one thing, but that’s entirely another. If you want to go back and work for them, that’s up to you.”

Janny looked from him to Grescin, who was smiling with pursed lips and nodding. He shrugged. “Okay, sure.”


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Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:22 pm
mellifera wrote a review...



Hey Bisc!

(I'm so sorry it's taking me so long! hit a massive burnout wall whoops)

Since these are parts cut up of whole chapters, I am going to comment on the flow of the end of 2.1 into this part. It's not really bad or anything, it's just,, odd that Janny has no reaction or mentioned feelings about what was being discussed last part? I know you said he starts off not really questioning what's going on, which is fine and I think a really interesting character to have develop! But this isn't so much questioning as it is... I don't know. He did question them saying they weren't going to take him home, so I'm not sure now if he's not realising that they're deflecting, or he dismisses it as soon as the question is ignored. I,,, think that could be a little more explicit? But it seems that I've been having trouble getting on the same wavelength with you so it could just be me :p

re: all that ^ so I know that Grescin does actually answer this when they're walking together, but just to clarify, I wish there was... a little more indication as to what Janny was feeling? Which I guess has been the sort of catalyst for all of the things I've said before: a little more insight into how Janny's feeling?


the stone was slightly glossier than he’d have expected, as if it had been covered in varnish of flattening.


I love this description :D

although slightly greenish


I think you could use "slightly" or "greenish" to get the effect you want? "ish" already kind of implies it's not fully green, so... I wouldn't have used both.


I really like that it's introduced that cleaning seems to be a calming activity for Janny! It's where he feels most natural (that's the vibes I'm getting anyway), and he genuinely enjoys doing it. His personality comes out more here, which I really like to see!


He got to work, thinking about Fri, Cri and Upumsel. Hopefully they’d be working hard, and to the schedule.


Now here I can see the more unquestioning side of his nature. He's hoping that his employees are working hard, without seeming to consider he's not going back to them any time soon. This stands out to me in what I think you were trying to achieve with his earlier personality here! So, yay!

“I believe I have retrieved a tongue circle,” said the ring,


xD

“Translating from: Scentian,” the ring agreed.


"the ring agreed" bit made me giggle I'm here for this ring (I can also imagine you're a big fan of it as well so you don't have to do the translations even though they were pretty funny haha)

Ennet put his hand on one side of his forehead and drew it along to the other side with a quick whistle. “We need to get you a mindwipe pill.”


oH OH! OH nO! !! janny???! please somebody save him


Okay so, I don't know if it's because you brought it up, or that his personality has more of a play in this section, but I'm definitely reading into the whole thing you were discussing in the last part about how Janny's... really unconcerned about what's going on? Maybe my confusion was partially because I started later and then restarted, so his personality was a little different then, but it could very well be that I just, did not get it. Either way, I think it's expressed a lot better in this chapter (though, again, I think the beginning of this part of the chapter could have more reaction). Also Janny just wants to go home :( what a precious boy but he needs a lil more awareness of situation. he confused but he got spirit!


I'm very curious about how he gets into the position he's in later, how he escapes Ennet and Grescin, and what the heck is going to happen with the whole memory wipe thing!! I'm very concerned and nervous for One (1) cleaning boy.


Also I was pleasantly uncomfortable with the description of him... absorbing the translator ring into his head? I did have to reread it a couple times (and upon revisiting it just as I was writing it, I,,, realised that he was sticking his tongue out in CONCENTRATION and now, in fact, holding the ring with his tongue and absorbing it into his cheek, which was a mental image I was having lots of trouble with, but no I just am a little slow), but otherwise I love how much you play with these species' flexibility! It's super fascinating. I'm so interested in how they can meld and manipulate their bodies!


Okay! I think that's all I have for you today! I'm sorry if I misinterpreting anything again :(

I hope you have a wonderful day <3




ExOmelas says...


hey, thanks so much for the review! Don't worry about pace of giving me them - I've been busy with uni and LMS so while I am really glad you're still reading this there's zero rush <3

I think the reaction you have towards the second half of the chapter and Janny not questioning anything is the reaction I'd have hoped to elicit for the whole thing, pretty much everything up til now. I'll reread both halves of this when editing so that I can try and distil what worked from the second half :)

Thanks again! :D



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Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:11 pm
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fraey wrote a review...



Hey! Since I want to keep up the 50-review pace, I need to go for the second one today, and what better than the next lovely chapter of yours! The few things I would like to discuss briefly today are characters, setting, and plot. Mostly because I want to feel like I'm helping with this review and I like to go into stuff and use this advice for myself later, lol.

First, characters, which will consist of the main three: Janny (of course), Grescin, and Ennet. Let's go for Grescin to start. She seems like a pretty adorable worker - exciteable, happy to help, and with plenty of knowledge to really help Janny figure out how this ship worked compared to his previous one. She also understands how things work - in wanting to help Janny use the ring device and guide him through everything. Ennet as well seems like the person more in charge, I think, and he seems like he's got a good head on his shoulders at least to be able to work together with people from other planets and things like that.

Past that, let's go to the setting, whoop. So, since Janny moved from one ship to the next one, which is more affiliated with the Scentians (I'm pretty sure that's where Grescin and Ennet are from), I am trying to really picture how this new system functioned and looked like. So, details like "yellow" and comparisons to the previous ship really help in trying to see everything and not compare everything to the stereotypical sci-fi stuff XD. As ever, I really do like getting all of these little hints and such and getting more description (wherever it fits) is a really fun thing and I like that.

Lastly, the plot. I like how it seems that every end of these chapters seems to be hinting at big things happening/a new detail popping up later, much like this one as well. So, learning about the political/societal view of these different planets helps a lot in establishing this world, but I must say I am a little sad that Janny will have to take the mindwipe eventually :{ perhaps Ennet and Grescin will promise to remember him at least. I'm really curious to see where this story goes now!




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Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:00 am
Dossereana wrote a review...



Hi @DougalOfBiscuits I am finally here to review this sorry it took so long, I no I said I would do it I just had a lot of stuff that I had to do that was a bit more important then this. So lets get into it shell we.

Stuff that I really liked about it and the lines that I like

“I must heat up the ship,” Ennet said. He put his fingertips to his forehead, causing slight indentations in the skin. “Can you… operate with this?”

Nice description, I can just imagine him doing all of this, and saying everything that he said. But one thing I was just thinking here to change one word in suggestions, the bit that I change will be in bold.

Ennet’s finger kept tapping on the screen, but the rhythm was so regular that Janny figured he was particularly impatient for the door to open rather than actually doing anything with the touch controls.

Haha I quite like Ennet I think his kind of funny, him and Janny are my favorite characters out of them all. These lines gave me a bit of a laugh for some reason.

[/quote]Ennet put his hand on one side of his forehead and drew it along to the other side with a quick whistle. “We need to get you a mindwipe pill.”[/quote] okay I love this line I think that there is great humor behind it for some reason, but there is one spelling era that I can fixes here and really its just a small one.

mindwipe>mind wipe
I just think you forgot the spaces between thoughts letters there, but that is all this line was great.


Lines that mite need a little bit of work

“Indeed,” Grescin said, rolling her eyes. “Come with, Janny. Let’s go for some food.”

Okay so I feel like this could do with a little bit of work, I just think that the last line is not really flowing very well, so I will put this in suggestions and the stuff that i change will be in bold.

They were level with the opening they’d flown through, and only a few metres away along the wall.
Okay so I really like this line but there is just one thing that is kind of bothering my here. So there not really birds they don't really have wings so they cannot just fly though something, and i feel like that is what you are kind of saying when you say flown also a spelling era that I can fixes here.

metres>meters that is just a little thing. now this will go down in suggestions and I will do the same thing as i have with all the other lines.

Suggestions

“I must heat up the ship,” Ennet declared. He put his fingertips to his forehead, causing slight indentations in the skin. “Can you… operate with this?”

Pleas tell me what you think of that. also if you say you don't like it I will be just as happy as i would be if you said that you do like it.

“Indeed,” Grescin said, rolling her eyes. “Come with, Janny. Let’s go get some food.”
So I just feel like what you said was not flowing very well so I hope this is good, if not then that is fine I don't mind.

They were now level with the opening they’d just come through, and only a few metres away along the wall.
okay so that is all that was two things I did here and just remember the spelling mistake here to.

So that is all that I can say about this, if I was being harsh and not very nice then I am really sorry, I apologize for every thing that hurt you here. I really liked this chapter your great at writing. I really look forward to the next chapter when it comes soon. I hope you have a great Day/Night Biscuits

@Dossereana Out In The Sky Of Reviews





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