chanter_greenie: a Pringles can with the words 'you can't write just one' written across it (drabbles are like pringles)
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
This orange!verse fic has been sponsored by W. Blondeau, an RL friend of mine. It ended up a free verse poem of sorts. It starts after the events of "Jij Bent Zo" and runs concurrently with the earlier two thirds of "Cat's In The Cradle". Warnings for a little language and some dark news-related imagery.


Kendra gets her little Army surplus shortwave receiver in the fall.

Fzzzt, bzzzt, bzzzzz--9410. "This is London. This is London calling. You're listening to the BBC Worldservice, broadcasting from Bush House." So the BBC does come from England; she was right.

Cracklecrackle--"The situation in Liberia continues to be--" Where's Liberia? Labeled library wall maps are useful.

Bzzzzrrrrmmmm--is that a guitar? It can't be a guitar. It sounds a little bit like the autoharp someone brought to a music class in fifth grade. Does whoever uses 9595 come from... Asia? Maybe she'll ask. Maybe she won't. Dad did say be careful.

Fzzzt bzzzt brrrrr "--outbreak of yellow fever in Senegal--" Where? Mr. Kaplan the librarian knows about countries when a person can't find them on the big wall map, and he didn't even look at her funny when she asked. Okay.

Fzzzzrrrrt "--Even if we're halfway round the world!" Did that station ID say 'blonde'? Maybe 'blonde'? What the hell is Radio Blond? Wait, Flanders. Is there a country named Flanders? Oh, Belgium. So that's what an atlas is good for. The song was catchy, wherever it came from.

Slowly, fall turns to

Fzzzzt "--medical community's warnings haven't spread to the States as yet. That country's deaths from lung cancer and other associated diseases are on the rise, and--" Huh? Smoking does that? No way. Really?

Fffffffzzzsh snapcrackle--6165. Wow, those bells get under your skin. Kendra likes them.

Fzzzt zzzt "Crouch! Touch. Pause... Engage!" What kind of game is that???

Fzzzzsp "--attack on a presumed militant convoy near Kabul that mistakenly struck a wedding party has not been widely reported in the American press." Whoa. really? God, a wedding. That's... terrible.

winter.

Fffsht "Hello and welcome to Music 52/15. You're listening to Radio Netherlands, the Dutch international service." Kendra's never heard music like that in her life.

Ffffft--9410. "--U.S. administration has pledged to continue the hunt for suspected militants both at home and abroad. Nobody says the name McCarthy here. Then again, they don't have to. For the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent, I'm--" what the hell?

Fssssszzzt!--9535. "Radio Exterior de España."

Fzzzzzfffft--15235. "You are tuned to the English service of Channel Africa, broadcasting from Johannesburg, South Africa in English and French."

Winter.

Fffffffzzzt crackle mumblemutter "--accusations of race-based voter intimidation in both large and small communities here. When asked, ordinary citizens of all ethnicities--" Kendra needs a damn dictionary now "--admit the same, but do so quietly. The reason seems abundantly clear."

Fzzzzsss "Reporting from Washington for Radio Canada International, I'm--"

Ffffffpt "--made little if any mention of the event. When asked about the incident at a press conference the following afternoon, the mayor insisted that the police had been within their rights to break up the parade, citing Houston's public decency ordinances. Pride march organizers have leveled charges of brutality as well as blatent discrimination; these go as yet unanswered by city officials."

Winter.

Kendra has chills.

Winter.

Fffffssshz "You're listening to Deutsche Welle, and this is Chart Chat."

She twists the volume dial further toward its maximum and tries to ignore them.

Winter.

Fffffffzt "This is Headset, from Radio Sweden."

Ffffzzzzzzrmmmm--it's music, but not like Kendra's ever known music. A man--that is a man, she's pretty sure--is singing words she can't pronounce, hitting notes she didn't know existed. Al-lah, he says, at least to her ears, Al-lahu acch-something. It's beautiful.
She looks it up. Takes her a week to manage it. Allahu akbar. God is greatest. Then sings my soul, my savior God to the--- It's like reading Bible verses out loud. Like reading Bible stories. Okay.

Winter.

ffffftzzt--6165. "Hello again, and welcome to Language By Radio. Or, as we'd say it here in Holland--"

Kendra tries repeating that one, promptly falls tongue over ass, faceplants into her pillow and snorts with laughter for two minutes flat.

Winter.

Doesn't stop her, even if she repeats the hide-in-pillow, red-faced-laughter maneuver more times than she can count.

"Hello en welkom bee--dammit. Hallo en welkom by--shit!" Martha Hawley makes it sound so easy. "Hallo en welkom bij--finally. Hallo en welkom bij taal dur--that's not right. Taal door radio. Hallo en welkom bij taal door radio. Got it."

Winter.

"Hallo--" She knows that one, they went over it already. "--mee--mean? What? Mijn--is that right? Riiiiight. Mijn naam is Kendra. Hallo, mijn naam is Kendra."

"Ick? Seriously, did they just say ick? Ik kom oot--no, ik kom uit. Ik kom uit Galena. Hey, I kinda like that."

Winter.

"Okay, green is groen, easy enough. Blue is blauw? Red is road? Rude? I could say something pretty rude right now, yeah. Um. Red is rood. Orange is frickin' obvious. Black is zv--what the? Zvart. Zwart. Okay. And white is witte, that's easy too. I wonder what purple is. Huh."

"Ik heb hulp? Ik heb hulp nodding--wait, that's wrong. Ik heb hulp nodig."

Winter.

and the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon

“This is Radio Prague.”

“--Broadcasting from Cairo, Egypt.”

“Radio Nacional da Amazonia, bom dia Brasil!”

Winter.

Kendra gets dark circles under her eyes that season, and she gets ideas, and she gets lots to think about after not very long at all.

And winter. Turns to--

She hates it. She loves it. She eats up the truth of it all and begs for more. It makes her sick when it doesn't make her wanna sing, and--

Spring.

--the thing is, even with the case of churning guts the stories can give her, it’s so, so goddamn much better than not having them in her life.

Spring.

Might rip her apart, but the honesty and information combination is like food to somebody starving to death. She can’t reject it now she’s got it, even if some of it tastes worse than reheated roadside shit. It’s just. Too. ... Something, to her.

Spring.

The word she’s fishing for is fundamental. She doesn’t have it.

Spring.

So she just keeps going, forget having a word for what she’s doing.

Spring. Turns to--

Fzzzzzt.


Notes:

*9595 is a frequency used by Japan's Radio Nikkei

*9410 is a frequency used by the BBC Worldservice

*15235 is a frequency used by Channel Africa, an outlet of South Africa's SABC

*9535 is a frequency used by Radio Exterior de España

*Radio Vlaanderen International is a broadcaster originating from Belgium's Flanders. There is no international counterpart in Radio Wallonne (Wallonia) that I know of.

*Radio Nacional da Amazonia is a broadcaster from Brazil. Translation of the Portuguese: Good morning Brasil!

*Chart Chat and Headset are entertainment programs originating from Germany's Deutsche Welle and Radio Sweden respectively.

*Language By Radio was a program broadcast by Radio Netherlands. Martha Hawley is a radio personality from RNW who's known for a friendly, warmly mellow manner on air.

*A number of North African, Middle Eastern and Asian radio stations do broadcast recitations from the Koran on a regular basis.

*In our universe, there really were both a civil war in Liberia and an outbreak of yellow fever in Senegal in the autumn of 2002.

Wow!

Date: 2014-08-08 09:04 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is beautiful and eerie. I love all the different languages! I'm glad this got sponsored.

I've linked it on the Schrodinger's Heroes page.

Re: Wow!

Date: 2014-08-08 07:17 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
That's what I figured, you must have been using your own experience for inspiration. I think that's why it works. You naturally picked things that stuck in your mind and were therefore interesting. It's one of the things that intrigues me about this series.

Re: Wow!

Date: 2014-08-08 03:45 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
V. nicely done, if chilling.

Reminds me of Talis Kimberly's disc The Hearth and The Hive...

Date: 2014-08-08 01:37 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Kinda reminds me of my days of being a radio ham... I got started with an old reciever set and a jury-rigged antenna strung between two trees, just listening to all the different stations out there.

I wonder if and how long before Kendra gets the urge to talk back like I did...
Edited Date: 2014-08-08 01:38 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-08-08 02:38 pm (UTC)
thnidu: glowing light bulb. tinyurl.com/33j2v8h (light bulb)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Oh wow. Yes, the languages and the realness.

• honesty and information combinationn
-> combination

• Walloonia
-> Wallonia IIRC

It took me a moment to recognize when I was getting into the notes. It would help if you put something like "NOTES" in between the story and the notes.

Oh, and the representation of the static is just absolutely fine.
Edited Date: 2014-08-08 02:40 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-08-09 12:26 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
You're welcome. :-)

Just noticed:
• Radio Nikei
→ NikkeiWP

Breathtaking

Date: 2014-08-09 03:47 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
There's a feeling of RUSHING in this, first her rushing into the new activity, listening almost at random, and then things RUSH over her, many rush past her, not yet understood.

But I love it. The static comes across as a character in its own right, an obstacle, a tease, a distraction... It creates more awareness of interaction, even though she's largely listening and thinking.

Beneath all of that are the words broadcast; the snapshots of a world which is very, very plausible, and far too close to be comfortable.

Re: Breathtaking

Date: 2014-08-09 10:28 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I've been checking into a local short wave club, after reading one of your Orange!verse. Now, I'm drooling to find some of the unusual language materials, too!

Re: Breathtaking

Date: 2014-08-10 05:28 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Right now we're still pricing out units; can we try this, will I have to be up at all hours of the night to use it, etc. I've made a note of the frequencies, though. ThANK YOU.

Re: Breathtaking

Date: 2014-08-15 12:10 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
That's another thing I like about this series, how it takes the author's hobby and makes it part of a storyline, so people can discover a cool new thing.

Re: Breathtaking

Date: 2014-08-15 12:08 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
>> Beneath all of that are the words broadcast; the snapshots of a world which is very, very plausible, and far too close to be comfortable. <<

Basically that's why I love the Orange!verse and keep prompting for it, or sponsoring when I can afford to. It's a harsh look at what would happen if the world took the rightward, neocon path at every fork. It's scary because it's plausible. Sometimes we write to imagine brighter worlds, like the Scarlet!verse; sometimes we want to say "Here there be dragons."

Re: Breathtaking

Date: 2014-08-15 12:45 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
This is why I quit discussing politics online for /years/.

I consider myself a libertarian. VERY socially liberal, but fiscally conservative. (Don't get me started, LOL!)

That neocon view scares the mud out of me, precisely because it's not "my rights start where your rights stop, and vice versa." It's entirely about "THIS way is the only acceptable way."

Not only no, but get me OUT of there! It's too much like what's going on right now!

Yet the thing that makes the 'verse readable, even /eagerly/ anticipated, is that the characters aren't just going along with it. They're fighting in subtle, and often very long-term ways.

I want to laud that action in fiction, because we don't see much of it to laud in real life right now.

Re: Breathtaking

Date: 2014-08-15 01:52 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
>> It's entirely about "THIS way is the only acceptable way." <<

That always puts my hackles right up.

>> Yet the thing that makes the 'verse readable, even /eagerly/ anticipated, is that the characters aren't just going along with it. They're fighting in subtle, and often very long-term ways. <<

I agree. Not only is it gratifying to read about people fighting back, the tactics are useful to know -- especially the tidbits about radio, because it has such a deep history with resistance movements.

>> I want to laud that action in fiction, because we don't see much of it to laud in real life right now. <<

Too true. That's why I read and write a lot of what I do, because I want to promote those ideas.

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