Lost In Translation

Druid stormed out of the cafeteria, dragging Cosmos behind him. An impressive feat, given the latter’s massive size. “What the hell was that! That might just be the last time I help you talk to a girl, bruh.” Druid was fuming; more out of deep embarrassment than actual rage. Cosmos tilted his head in confusion; a frequent tell of his that reminded Druid of a puppy. A 7 feet tall bodybuilding puppy. “Druid-Friend, I do not understand why you are Emotion-Angry.” The Cygni had some form of embedded translation device. Compared to Earth technology, it was incredibly sophisticated. It was also far from perfect, as evidenced by his alien friend’s latest social disaster. If he was better at communicating, everyone would see how kind he really is. “Look Cosmos, what you said to Spinel Tap was completely inappropriate. I tried my best to help; I really did. But you need to meet me halfway, man.” Cosmos seemed to consider his words. “Druid-Friend, what in particular was inappropriate? I will adjust my Word-Choice in the future.” Druid sighed. “Where do I even start? Okay, well, how about when you said ‘I find your body ideal for both combat and breeding.’ That was seriously terrible. It implied… let’s see, what would you call it? Forced-Breeding, I guess.” At that, Cosmos bared his teeth. “Never! Forced-Breeding is disgusting crime, deserving of the most severe punishment!” Druid nodded. “At least we can agree on that, Buddy.”

“Look, I knew what you meant. But that isn’t the point. The point is whether Spinel Tap knew what you meant. Judging from her reaction, she didn’t. That’s dangerous, Cosmos.” Cosmos shook his head. “Then, Druid-Friend, what would you say to tell someone they are ideal for breeding?” Oh, boy. Here we go. “Ideal for breeding? Well, the closest, least offensive way to say that would be ‘You are beautiful.’” Cosmos tested the word; puzzling over its pronunciation and meaning. “You are… beautiful. You. Are. Beautiful. That Word-Analog is found in my own language. Yes, I will say that next time.” Cosmos smiled, finally. It could be unnerving to strangers, given his sharp teeth. It was a welcome sight, however, for Druid. “Good job, Cosmos. Just be careful though. If you don’t know if a girl already has a partner, you don’t want to be too intimate. That could be offensive too.” The blue giant growled in pure frustration. “Complications, humans! Many complications!” Druid couldn’t help but laugh. “You know, I’m a human, and I completely agree.”

“Now for the second thing you said. ‘I have been formulating a plan to kill you, and I am left wanting.’ Why did you think that was an appropriate thing to say?” Cosmos tilted his head again, this time in the opposite direction. “Druid-Friend, that should be obvious. Informing a fellow Soldier they are difficult to kill is the highest form of praise.” Not this crap again! “Spinel is not a soldier! Neither is Kid Dynamo! I don’t know where you’re getting all this!” Cosmos flinched back. It was rather jarring, as he could probably snap Druid in two with his bare hands. “You do not understand, Druid-Friend. They are definitely Soldiers. Great Soldiers. They are excellent at Fracture.” Druid placed his face into his palm, and rubbed his eyes. “Why does everything you say revolve around Fracture and Killing? Why?” The look Cosmos gave him pierced right into Druid’s heart. What he said afterwards just about shattered it. “Because, Druid-Friend… My entire life has revolved around Fracture and Killing.”

What happened to him? What has he been through? Druid felt an uncharacteristic sense of hatred at whatever made his friend so broken. His damaged, awkward, amazing friend. “Cosmos, your past may have revolved around that nonsense. Your present doesn’t have to. And there’s no way in hell your future will. Not if I have anything to say about it. Isn’t there something else you want from life? Something other than violence? I’ll help you reach it.” It may have just been Druid’s imagination, but he thought he saw a faint flicker of light in Cosmos’ Heart. The Heart which glowed brightly for every other Cygni he had seen, but never for his friend. “Yes, Druid-Friend. I want to be like your human ‘Heroes.’ I want to Mutual-Breed a suitable female. I want to be a Soldier-Father. I want to honor Her sacrifice.” ‘Her?’ So there may have been someone who wasn’t completely monstrous to him. At least he had that much. “Those are worthy goals, bruh.” Cosmos nodded. “Yes, Druid-Bruh.” Nope, nope, nope. “Actually, ‘Druid-Friend’ is fine, Cosmos, thanks.” “Very well, Druid-Friend.”

“Druid-Friend, I have a question of my own.” That’s new. He very rarely talks unprompted. They heard the bell ring, signifying the end of lunch. But Druid thought this might be important. They both had a means of propulsion to reach class in a hurry. “Yes? What is it?” Cosmos looked almost shy before asking his question. “Do you have a suitable female in mind for Mutual-Breeding?” Druid felt somewhat nervous. He had long since stopped feeling ashamed of himself. He just didn’t know how an alien would react. “No. I love females of course, but I do not wish to Mutual-Breed with them. I prefer to Mutual-Breed with males. The one I have in mind is in another class.” No, he wouldn’t feel offended. No matter Cosmos’ reaction. But… “I see, Druid-Friend. Yes. I only wish Mutual-Breed with opposite sex, but Mutual-Breed with same sex is understood among Cygni. For many.” Well then. “That’s a relief, Buddy.” Druid felt a weight lift from his shoulders. “What is a relief, Druid-Friend?” How do I explain this? “You see, Cosmos, that’s something that might make other humans lose respect for you. Not all other humans. Especially these days. But some.”

“Druid-Friend.”

“Yes?”

“Nothing could make me lose respect for you.”

“… Let’s get to class, Buddy.”

If we had never reached out to him, what would he have been like? Still violent? Still unstable? We would have lost the person he’s become. The hope of The Hero he may grow to be. Now, there may very well be those who are too far gone…

He’s not one of them.

Druid (Preston Grove)
Cosmos (Grueeurg)

Lost In Translation

Halcyon Days (The Perks Of Being A Paragon) SimonRed