Lost In Translation (v1.1) by Nils Durban

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SUMMARY: From the case files of MAAPI - the Malcolm Ackroyd Agency for Paranormal Investigations.

Ref. 13/241
McCreadie, A
address not reproduced
Report summary: prevalent incidence of physical objective displacement and unascertained audio events. increasing regularity over an approximate twelve year period.
Attending: Robinson, G
Shoosmith, E
Akadian, E

Eleanor sat in the back of the Land Rover, surrounded in darkness and tentatively sipping coffee from a Thermos cup, the idling diesel engine adding a steady bass thrum to the soft rock ballad that oozed from the single working speaker.

"It's not that I don't like him, not at all. And it's not that I don't trust him," she said, "It's just something about him that makes it impossible to get close - not that I want to or anything! But, I mean, the not eating thing, and the skulking around at all hours. It doesn't seem normal and, before you say it, I know that we're not really in a ‘normal' line of business, I know it attracts a lot of oddballs and geeks, but he doesn't really seem to be one of those either," she sighed deeply, "I expect you think I'm mad, don't you, Greg?" she waited, "Greg?"

She leant forwards and punched him in the shoulder, causing him to stir suddenly from his slumber, "What? What the...?"

"How can you possibly sleep?"

"Erm, because I'm tired?" he yawned. "Were you saying something?"

"Just to myself," she said, "as usual." Here we are then. What's left of Malcolm Ackroyd's Agency for Paranormal Investigations. Or two thirds of it, anyway. How long are we going to plod along like this, on the back of former glories? How long can I go on?

The interior of the Landy was bathed in light at that moment - the headlights of the Transit as it crested the rise behind where they were parked. It pulled up alongside and Eric got out and walked over to them. Greg wound the window down, "got everything?"

"Yes," Eric replied, "I think so, but the EMP's on the blink again so we'll have to do without."

"Fine, never got anything meaningful from it anyway."

Eric looked in back, "Hello Eleanor."

"Hi Eric," she answered, and then, after a second or two of uneasy silence, "well, can we get going already?"

I really don't dislike the guy. He's just a bit weird, is all. Eric Akadian had been Malcolm's last recruit. She recalled that she hadn't handled his arrival pretty well - had felt that the dynamic that had evolved between the three of them had been interrupted by the new appointment. But she had to admit that he'd had his moments, and he'd been there with Malcolm right at the end, when the two of them couldn't be. She could never take that away from him and, to this day, for all his oddness, she still felt that they owed Eric a debt of gratitude. If that meant letting him play his part, then so be it. He probably didn't have anything better to do, and herself and Greg would never have made much of a team on their own - they were just too comfortable with each other's company. Perhaps they needed some oddness after all.

"There's nothing to worry about, Mrs.

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