Following on from here:
In the morning of his escape from his exhaustive servicing of the Lady Lord, and after receiving a report from Macrig that the pod had returned empty, Adrig's first act was to start up his Sample 717 monitoring system and try to find out what Edrig was up to, for the rather crucial detail that Edrig did not know about, due to his lack of participation in the basic training programme, was that every field-tripper had a locator chip inserted into their footwear. Adrig's ability to visually monitor and record events on 717 was less flexible, and required complex maneuvering that made real-time observations impossible, but Edrig's location remained exactly plotted as he made his escape.
Oh, my boy, my boy, my boy, what have you done?
Adrig was thinking fast as he monitored Edrig's movement northwards at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour, and the realisation soon dawned on him that the Lady Lord would probably not know about the locator chip either, due to her disdain for the details and the value of basic training, and her general lack of attention to detail about pretty much everything other than her own comforts and needs.
Hmm... That may save the day for him, if we play this right, pondered Adrig.
And while Edrig traveled north in the swift train he studied Adrig's English language pack intently, and then began to write in big letters on a little notepad that he had bought at the station:
I have a damaged voice
Cannot speak much
Please be patient
Ah yes, he thought, that will be a help while I get to grips with the language, and practice the low pitched voice. But he had overheard a couple of men in the station toilets speaking to each other in a rather high pitched tone, which had reassured him. The fact that the high pitched tones seemed to be coming from the same cubicle puzzled him, but he thought their squealing was at a level he might just manage to get down to, with practice.
And he was quite calm, settled into his seat in the train carriage as it trundled over an impressive bridge in a town called Newcastle, and then halted by a crowded station platform where many more people got on.
A large man sat down heavily beside Edrig, looked at him, and began to speak.
'Fancy dress party?'
'Edrig understood the 'fancy dress' reference, having heard it before at the club, where Adrig had explained it to him, and so there and then he resolved that his next priority must be a change of clothes. In the meantime, he smiled at his new companion and showed him his little note.
'What's this man? Oh... so ye canna speak man? Oh that's a shame. Never mind. Will it get better?'
Edrig recognised the questioning tone, but just looked puzzled, so the question was repeated to him, very slowly.
'Will... It... Get... Better?'
Edrig figured out the meaning, so he nodded and smiled.
'Oh, that's canny man. That's good. And I hope your dress sense improves too man. You're not going to pull any ladies around here dressed like that I doubt.'
Ladies? Pull ladies? Edrig looked down at his language pack and remembered it was open at a section entitled 'Interactions with Ladies', with English phrases interspersed with instructions in his own language.
'What bloody language is that man?' asked his neighbour. 'Just a load of squiggles. Are you an Arab. You don't look it?'
Edrig went to his notebook again, and wrote:
Foreign. Far away
and showed it to his new companion.
'Ah well man. Good luck when you get to Scotland, wherever you're from. They're all bloody foreign up there.'
And then the man fell silent, and Edrig studied his language pack some more as the train sped on.
And as he traveled farther up the South-East coast of Scotland Edrig looked at a leaflet displaying the railway map and considered his options. Up at the top there was the place whose name was on his ticket. In...ver...ness... A bit of a mouthful. Much farther south... Ed...in...burgh. How was that pronounced? Somewhere in-between these options he saw Perth. Ah... that seemed to trip off his tongue easily enough.
'Perth,' he enunciated clearly, practising getting his voice pitch as low as he could manage. 'Perth... Perth. I... am... going... to... Perth. Yes... Perth... Perrth... Perrrrthhh... Perth.'
He liked the sound of it, and then he noticed that the man beside him and some of his other traveling companions were looking at him.
'You going to Perth mate?' the man beside him asked, and in that instant, feeling the need to avoid appearing uncertain, Edrig's decision was made.
'Yes,' Edrig decided to attempt to say. 'Yes... to Perth.'
'I can see what you mean about your voice mate. I'd give it a rest instead of trying to speak like that.'
'Yes... But... You... Understood?'
'Yes I did mate, though it sounds as if an angry woman is squeezing your balls, ha ha!'
'My... balls? A... woman?'
'Sorry mate. I shouldn't laugh. Yes. I understood you.'
'Good,' said Edrig. 'Progress.'
And then he wrote:
Thank you very much. Are there nice ladies in Perth?
and showed it to his neighbour.
'Nice ladies?' replied the man, somewhat bemused. 'I suppose so. As nice as anywhere. There are all sorts.'
Edrig scribbled some more and offered his notepad again, showing:
Pole dancer ladies? Not men. Not naked pole dancer men. Ladies?
His companion squinted at this, sniggered a little, and offered, 'Oh I don't know mate. I don't know about that. I don't know Perth well.'
The man fell silent, looked the other way, and a few seconds later got up from his seat and walked off. To the toilet, Edrig presumed, but he never returned.
'I am going to Perth. To find ladies,' Edrig mouthed quietly to himself, as he looked out of the window at the countryside on a pleasant summer evening.
'To Perth... To lovely ladies...'
And the train sped on.