Work in Progress: Battle Language

I’m not sure exactly where this is going, but it’s triggering lots of good ideas.

My stomach growled as I pushed the plastic curtain of the stall aside and thumped myself down onto one of the calf-high stools that lined the counter. There was an English menu, at least, but I went cold when the cook crawled into view.


Holding a big fucking knife in her medial claw.


Then I noticed the markings on her carapace, so I carefully reached over and pulled up my sleeve to show the tattoo of a winged octupus, twin to the one scarred into her thorax plate. She made the grating noise that I recognized as Knarlanti laughter, and placed the knife down between us.

“Ghaz!” It felt strange to be using BL to order in a restaurant, but that was the only thing we’d both be able to understand. Still, manners. “Ghaz, tchukru!”

Rations, shipmate!

Battle Language was simple enough. Although most of the Knarlant had sided with the Thlee in the war, enough of them had joined the human-led Alliance that we’d been forced to come up with a language that could be used by all members of the Allied forces.

It contained no pleasantries and had almost no grammar, only the imperative, interrogative, and simple present, but its entire 2000-ish “word” vocabulary could be spoken and understood by all three of the Allied species……

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