John: Hey, what is that impossibly dangerous-looking rock doing over there?
Kate: I have no idea. We should send little Nancy over to check it out.
Nancy is three years old. She skips, singing to herself as she approaches the dangerous-looking rock. She touches it. The rock instantly rolls over and squishes her to death in a horrible way. John and Kate were too busy looking at other rocks to realize what had happened.
—Old Iroquois saying
Kyle, age 10, woke up in an abandoned field some ways outside of Buenos Aires. He rubbed his eyes and resumed his journey. His feet were blistered from two days of hard walking and he was plodding significantly more slowly than when he’d first began. He’d raced from the explosion which consumed his father and his world. Now he was walking East toward Mecca, as his father had once mentioned. East in the hopes of finding help from anyone. Kyle had a keen sense of direction, but he was beginning to doubt it now. For two days he’d only managed to find bananas and banapples. His stomach protested its lack of sustenance. Kyle plodded along, hoping he could find help to the East.((I could not find a map to confirm there was an East to Buenos Aires. From what I recall about Earth, there was always an East unless you were on the North, South, or East Poles.))
His mind wandered. His feet followed.
As with any recent survivor, he thought only of what had just occurred. His father’s shout kept ricocheting in his mind, “Run! For the love of fuck, RUN!” Kyle did not know that word: ‘love.’ But he picked up enough context clues((Kyle thought the word referred to a fish of some sort.)) to escape before the building exploded. Despite the fact that Kyle was one of the company’s most valued assets, the guards were too busy and underpaid to put forth any effort into stopping him. So Kyle ran. And he kept running. The first night he stopped when the darkness overwhelmed him. Kyle had an impeccable sense of smell and hearing, so he’d barely slept the night as the jungle noises and sounds enveloped him. When he awoke, he found himself the small spoon to a puma. Kyle slipped out slyly and dashed away.
It was a while before he stopped running. After several hours, he found himself approaching what seemed like it must be civilization. He was tired, hungry, thirsty, and scared, so he didn’t quite believe his ears when he heard human speech in the distance. A normal human could hear strangers whispering from a mile away in ideal conditions.((I just made this up. Again: no wikis left. Also, I don’t remember how long miles are. So let’s define them as ‘whisper distances.’ In which case, this is certainly a true fact.)) Kyle’s hearing bordered on echolocation, but the conditions were far from ideal. Since he could barely hear speaking in the distance, he gathered he had a 90 minute walk ahead of him. Four hours later, he happened upon a house on the outskirts of town. It was an elderly man, out for a walk, that spotted him.
“Fish tacos((Kyle never found out what the man said, so I’m just going to substitute some things I like for his speech. So you can tell when I’m making things up, “I’ll enclose every lie in quotation marks.”))” he asked.
Kyle did not understand Portuguese and so did not know what to say. Kyle studied his lined face, concluded he seemed trustworthy, and stared at him some more.
“The feeling of morning dew” The elderly gentleman continued, with some urgency to his voice.
Kyle did not understand Spanish, either, and so remained silent, staring at the elderly man. They both stood on the pasture, unsure of how to continue.
“Friends reruns” the grandfather switched to English.
Kyle paused for a moment and realized he did not really understand any language. But he gathered that a response on his part was imminent, so he opened his mouth and uttered the most eloquent thing he could muster, “AaaaaaaAAAaaaahhhhh?”
The old man cocked his head and spoke, “footnotes((See?)).” He gestured to Kyle to come over. Kyle, however, had forgotten all gestures and walked past the old man instead. Perplexed, he said, “Spanish footnotes ((Si?))” Kyle ignored him, smelling something that had eluded him earlier: food. He began to run toward it. The old man, whose name turned out to be Neymar, followed him inside.
Kyle bounded up to the house, went around, and began devouring the pellets in the food bowl.