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Disturbing News and Further Struggles Edit

Yellow Tentacles was not used to luxury at all and soon got enthusiastic about how cool this place was, though tactfully again Silver Grey suggested cheaper items from the menu. Nothing was really cheap here but Blue Tentacles minded that it was nowhere near as good as the high class dining areas his family were used to. Purple put a strong restraining tentacle onto the former Patrician youngster and whispered firmly,
“Don’t make a fuss, Blue!”

“The music’s fantastic and the games look better than the 'Centaurians versus Earthlings Invaders' game that I've got." Yellow Tentacles started, “Come on Blue, the music’s cool.” Yellow continued. Blue drooped his tentacles and eye stalks slightly and tried not to show how bad he felt, after all this was music from Earth. (Terran readers may like this link to the original of the song, A Life on the Ocean Wave.) The tune was of course adapted to what Centaurians find musical and humans might have found it weird. The text was slightly altered as well as we can see in Life on the Ocean Wave. Galaxy Shipping Company seafarers joined enthusiastically in the choruses, (there were more than in the original work) and encouraged passengers to join in as well. Fortunately Yellow Tentacles and his family living among homeless Centaurians didn’t know the song well enough to sing it so Blue didn’t stand out when he preferred to keep quiet. A Centaurian announcer pointed out that when the sky darkens before or during a storm that’s the nearest Centaurians can get to understanding nightfall on Earth [1] while Centaurians in the audience showed appreciation. Purple put a comforting tentacle round Blue who was crumpling visibly.

Blue Tentacles got even more upset after the song ended when an announcer proudly explained that the Galaxy Shipping Company was so named in respect for Terran astronomy and for more democratic Terran traditions. Yellow raised his tentacles questioningly at that remembering his recent experience. Purple looked forward to his new life where being a former slave wouldn’t count against him. If he worked well he might get promotion and could perhaps afford these expensive places regularly, it was wonderful that he would get the benefit from his own work and not his master.

Blue Tentacles and Purple both hoped for less sensitive Centaurian music to follow but instead they went from an internal Galaxy Shipping Company transmission to a public broadcasting station.
“Now back to the main news item,” the announcer held his tentacles firmly to indicate something important, “We all remember the foolish young Centaurian who harmed our relationships with Earth, we don’t know how badly yet. Well we’re fairly sure Scarlet Tentacles has died together with those who tried to flee his household with him. “

The public announcer explained that the submarine which the fugitives had used to escape was found in open water well away from the coast with the battery exhausted and the generator missing. A large scale search was still in progress but as time passed it became progressively less likely that any would be found alive.

Purple could see the funny side of this but Blue gripped his tentacles to reassure himself that he still had a body.
“We’re not ghosts are we?” Blue whispered to Purple.
Purple led Blue out of the room and explained firmly, “No we’re not ghosts, we’re both alive. They’ve found the submarine, they haven’t found us, and they just think we’re dead!”
Purple stayed outside with Blue till that disturbing announcer was no longer on the screen, then Purple suggested they should return to the meal,
“Ghosts can’t eat can they?” Purple tried to be reassuring, “That should show you we’re alive.”
They returned to the other two, Blue Tentacles walked unsteadily, not sure if he was alive or dead.

Footnotes

  1. Readers may note the reference to the darkening waters is one of the differences between the Centaurian text and the original Terran text.

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