This post was supposed to go up on Sunday, but this is what happens when you are hit with SURPRISE CRITICAL SERVER MAINTENANCE! Which took us until Monday night to really resolve, so now I can finally bring you all the seventh and final special Boosting the Signal post for the 2015 NIWA anthology, Asylum. The final featured author is Walt Socha, whose story in the anthology is “The Seventy Percent Solution”, and he offers you a small prologue for that story now! (And Walt is now the second Boosting the Signal guest I’ve had whose piece stars non-humanoid protagonists, too! With a nice tasty goal of GTFO, always a classic.)
Prologue to “The Seventy Percent Solution”
“Your food cravings will cause trouble,” Adur chittered. “Think of the future.” He wiped a paw over his face.
“Future?” M’rist shook her head, whiskers quivering. “We People are bred to be sacrificed to the whims of the Two Legs.”
“Stealing food from the nest of the Two Legs worker will not help.”
“But the dark food is very tasty.” M’rist lowered her gaze. “Makes me feel good.” She looked up. “Is there no hope of communicating with them?”
“We have discussed that. Remember our non-talking smaller cousins? One ran the maze quickly without pretending to be confused.” Adur shivered. “The chief of the Two Legs cut his head open.”
“Even if they knew we can talk like them?”
“We hear their low pitched sounds and understand them, but the Two Legs can not hear our higher pitched words. Even if they could, I doubt they could understand.” Adur sat, licked the back of his paw, and brushed it across his face. Even if they did establish communications by sound or by inking the sound symbols on paper, what would the Two Legs do? Could they trust creatures who cut their prisoners heads open for merely running through their primitive mazes without hesitation?
Letting his grooming falter, Adur let out a deep breath. The Peoples’ only hope was to escape this prison of pain.
But what then? The People did not even know what lay beyond the hard metal doors. They had mastered the many sheets of symbols stored in the nests of individual Two Legs. But even with visual images, it was difficult to interpret the descriptions of the outside world.
He resumed his grooming.