Lesedi Spoke no Chinese. Botswana in its defiance favored English as the global tongue though the rest of the world reserved to learn both. By 2058 linguists had yet to come up with a universal translator for English and most Asian languages. Too different, too tedious. For this reason, Lesedi felt trapped and alone in a sea of surveillance and unfamiliar logograms.
She sat facing a balding Chinese man and an African man. “黑妹，” the Balding man said, “不好意思让您-…” The African jumped in to translate, leaving out 黑妹，’black sister’, because it felt racist to him, most things felt racist to him here.
“Dr. Morulaganyi, we would like to apologize for bringing you here. We understand you may be apprehensive about working with the Chinese government- especially under the circumstances of your asylum. We ask you to hear us out…”
Asylum, they called it. She stopped listening. They already decided for her; no matter what they might say, she had no real choice. She would accept the asylum and do for the Chinese what she would have done in Africa. After all, the Chinese had more money.
For a moment she wondered why she hadn’t been more careful, why she hadn’t expected to be a target. She knew it wasn’t anything she could blame the Chinese for, no she bet that every government wanted her the moment they heard about her work. The Chinese just got to her first.
A girl walked in, and the two men continued speaking “…这是胡博士-…” “…This is Dr. Hu. She will help acquaint you with life here in China, you will find her English very good.”
“Hello, how are you? My name is Jennie” Said Dr. Hu.
“Hello… Jennie.” Lesedi said, and shook the woman’s hand.
“Come this way.” Lesedi felt that this was abrupt, but she followed the girl out of the office and into the blue skies of China.
And on every radio in the world, the voices trailed on.
Lesedi seems fated to solve the riddle of the voices, but what will the rest of the world do? For answers to these questions and/or other ones log in for the Call part 5
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