FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Updates for 5/9/18: What is She Asking?

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“It is nice to meet you, Mr. Jacob,” Surin said, still smiling.

The light green doctor started talking to Surin. Her tone was commanding but not oppressive. That said, Surin still seemed timid when interacting with her. After a moment he turned to me and spoke. “She wants to know if you are a Conva.”

“I don’t know what a Conva is. What is a Conva?”

Surin turned to Doctor Green and seemed to ask her what a Conva is.  Green replied with a quick sentence. Surin hesitated. He glanced to me and back to the floor.

“It’s Ok, Surin. What did she say?”

He looked me in the eyes and I could see something sad, maybe broken in him.  He looked back to Green and seemed to be pleading with her. She started to get impatient.

“Surin, what’s going on? What’s wrong?”

“She use words I don’t know in Earth words. I sorry. I don’t want punishment.”

I looked at Green. “Don’t punish. He is trying.”

I looked back at Surin and added: “Maybe tell her to try using simple words?”

Surin stared at me for a moment until I motioned for him to talk to her. He did and after a few interchanges between them, sounding very impatient, she held up her hands, with her palms facing each other a few inches apart. Then, with her left hand, she pointed to the space on the other side of her right and said something. Then pointed back to the palm-side of her right hand and said “Conva.”

Surin explained: “She from our place, you from other place. Inside place. Maybe between place!”

Surin’s eyes looked terrified. I wondered if this guy had been tortured or something. I tried to reassure him. “It’s OK, Surin. It’s OK. I think I understand, OK?”

I smiled as warmly as I could and he seemed to relax a bit. “Tell her, I am not Conva. I am from same place as her.”