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Week 28: Pang "Ve Svem Vlastnim Jazyce"

Title: Ve Svém Vlastním Jazyce (In His Own Language)
Author: lar_laughs
Pairing: Radek Zelenka/Atlantis
Rating: PG
Word Count: 836
Prompt: Week 28 - pang
Disclaimer: None of this world is mine. It is owned by people who merely let me play here.
Author's Note: The Czech translation comes from Google Translator. Any discrepancy comes from the fact that I'm not completely sure of sentence structure and the program itself is only about 80% right with most of it's translations.
Summary: Radek finds himself wishing to hear the sounds of his home land. Atlantis obliges.


It felt like forever since Radek had heard a voice speaking in the language of his birth. Atlantis was full of all different languages and accents and some of the men from the Russian Alliance spoke a language very much like his but it wasn't the same. He missed his mother's soft singing as she leaned over the washing or his father's boisterous jokes around the fire when the work was done for the day. He even missed his brother's sarcastic wit that had always made him cringe as a boy, knowing that he would most likely be next in line to be toyed with.

At night, in the dark of his room, he often spoke out loud as if there were others around him. Sometimes he imagined that his voice was actually someone else's but that only made him feel more alone as his intellect reminded him that he was truly the only one in the room. "You are a crazy man, Radek Zelenka. Talking to yourself like this. Anyone would think you'd finally been pushed over the edge."

He was very close to the edge these days. Rodney never passed up a moment to remind the other scientists that he was the one to come up with the Midway space station, never giving credit to Samantha Carter except in passing. His ego was growing larger by the day and Radek feared that it would one day actually burst and cover them all in tiny bits of Rodney goo. He had other daydreams very similar to this one, all along the same vein of something happening to Rodney so that tiny bits of Rodney rained down from the sky. This was not anything he'd ever shared with Dr. Heightmeyer, nor would ever share it with the new psychologist that had recently been assigned to the city, a man who smiled too wide and talked too loudly for any true confidence. These daydreams were his and his alone.

It was no coincidence that he was deep in one of those waking dreams when he first heard the words spoken in the accent he'd never thought to hear again. "Co tady děláš (What are you doing here)?"

He looked up, convinced he'd fallen asleep at his desk again. The tiny pinch to his arm was just as painful as it should be so he really was awake. The woman coming toward him was beautiful but most of the people on Atlantis were beautiful. The people in charge of sending over both military and civilians seemed intent on making sure it was a city populated with only prime specimens.

"Já dělám mých výpočtů (I am doing my calculations)," he replied, trying not to stare in wonder. He'd never seen anyone this beautiful in his home country, yet her accent was perfect.

She sank down into the chair next to him. "Mohu se podívat (May I see)?"

Radek moved the monitor so that she could see the stream of numbers and letters that made up his latest assignment. Instead of staring at the equation, he found himself gazing intently on the woman like a boy who had never seen a woman before.

"To je špatně. Právě tady. Vidíte? (This is wrong. Right here. Do you see?)" An elegant finger pointed to the lower right hand of his screen. Almost immediately, he saw that it was indeed the very miscalculation he'd been searching for. Had been searching, in fact, for two days. "To pomůže (Does that help)?"

"Yes," Radek sputtered in English, forgetting himself entirely as he hurried to make the corrections before the answer disappeared. "Thank you."

"Would you prefer that I spoke to you in English?" She tilted her head to the side, watching him with an unnerving intensity. "I thought you would prefer your mother tongue."

"Kolik jazyků znáte (How many languages do you know)?"

Her laugh was like the perfect piece of music played by a master. It was a bubbling brook in the depth of summer when the air was full of the scent of wildflowers. It was heaven. "Many. There are many of you here for me to learn from."

A chill settled over his shoulders, blanketing him in despair. "You're from Atlantis?"

"I am Atlantis."

With a pang of heartbreak, Radek directed his attention back to the screen again. He'd only conjured her up from his other dreams, the ones that weren't full of Rodney bits. Of course she wasn't real.

As if sensing his thoughts, she touched his arm with long, delicate fingers. "I am as real as you would like me to be, Radek. Můžu být tvůj přítel také (I can be your friend as well)."

It took a moment before he trusted his voice. Covering her hand with his, he swallowed his fear and reluctance. "Chtěl bych to (I would like that)."

"Good," she whispered, her breath warm on his ear as she leaned forward. When she settled her head on his shoulder, Radek found himself smiling. Sometimes dreams did come true.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
panisdead
Dec. 10th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
Poor beleaguered Radek, man. His sorrow when he realizes he's not speaking with a real person is affecting.
lar_laughs
Dec. 12th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
I'm so glad that came across! Thanks for reading!
lilyfarfalla
Dec. 11th, 2011 07:55 am (UTC)
Oh my dear Radek! He needs some pigeon friends, poor guy.
lar_laughs
Dec. 12th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
OOOH! I'd forgotten about the pigeons! That has given me an idea... Thank you!
saphirablue
Dec. 11th, 2011 11:01 am (UTC)
Wow! This is great!

I feel Radek's lonliness and his desperation to hear his mother tongue again.

Thank you!
lar_laughs
Dec. 12th, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it and that the desperation came across!
tdancinghands
Dec. 12th, 2011 09:52 am (UTC)
This is a lovely story, and I encourage you to post a link, at least, on welovezelenka. I would like to caution you, and all authors, to *please* avoid the temptation of using Google Translate. I am an American living in Prague and learning Czech, and I will not innumerate here the number of mistakes that result from using this program, but any Czech speaker (or even student) will cringe at seeing them.

My advice: what would you have done when writing a story about a character who speaks a language you don't know before Google Translate? Probably just used italics? Honestly, since neither you nor most of your readers understand nor know how to pronounce this language, this solution is just as good, and avoids the whole bad translation deal.
lar_laughs
Dec. 12th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that advice. I've grown used to using Google Translate when I sent things to my Portuguese relatives even though it does make them cringe. I'd forgotten that we just italic the words!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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