INTRODUCTION OF UKOO
Fallout Equestria: Letters to Celestia - Chapter 10 Excerpt
“Wewe si punda…” A voice said. It was female, it was curious. I stirred as wakefulness approached like a hazy fog that slowly entered my mind. I felt like I’d been underwater. Not wet and drowning, but the pressure, the weight… and I was now rising to the surface
I slowly opened my eyes. My eyes fell on sky-blue ones. She cocked her head. Her shock of white hair flopped from over one eye to the other. Her ear was adorned with two small rings and patched with dark tips. Her muzzle was dark too up to the bridge, and then her face drew into a satin-white with two dark stripes across either cheek. I saw a glint of gold and noticed her neck adorned a singular circlet. I wondered for a moment what those rings meant, if anything at all.
She looked at me curiously. She was shorter than some of the other Zebra’s I’d met, younger it seemed; and she gazed at me with youthful curiosity. “Unafanya nini hapa?” She asked.
I could tell it was a question by the tone, but I had no idea what she was asking me. “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Zebrican.” I tried to tell her. I took note of where I was; I was tied to a pole again in a tent, and it seemed this time I was bound much tighter, and with a sinking feeling I remembered I didn’t have my scalpel anymore to help cut my ropes.
“Sijui wewe…” She replied and almost seemed to pout. “Je! Huesema Swahili kabisa?”
I looked at her and, with my vision still swimming a little from the drug I’d breathed in, I shook my head. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”
She was visibly upset at this. Her face screwed up in determination, she sat on her hunches, closed her eyes and seemed to be concentrating on something. “N-name… be… Ukoo.”
My eyes widened. “Ukoo?” I asked, pronouncing it like ‘u-ku’.
Her eyes opened and she gave me an unimpressed look. Suddenly her hoof flicked my ear sharply. “Ouch!” I protested, shaking my head.
“Ukoo.” She said slowly, pronouncing it ‘u-ku-oh’.
“Ukoo.” I repeated back.
She was particularly happy about me getting this right. She then started jabbing me in the chest excitedly. For a flash of a second, I was annoyed, then I realised what she wanted. “Oh, my name is ‘Tome Tale’.” I put emphasis on my name and slowed it down for her so she could follow it.
She mouthed it a few times before saying, “Toe-ma-ta-ler?”
This time I gave her a look. I told her my name again, and she seemed to think about it. “Toe-ma Tale?”
Well at least she got the surname down, I thought. “Good enough.” I told her with a smile.
She smiled happily before trying to concentrate again. “Why… here?” She asked, pointing at my chest again.
It occurred to me she likely didn’t grasp directive pronouns like ‘you’, which would make this awkward. “I don’t know.” I told her honestly, not sure if she’d be able to understand me.
Suddenly there was a sound outside that drew her attention. She panicked for a moment and pushed her hoof to my chest. “Rudi baadaye, ah…” She struggled for a moment before saying one word. “Sleep!” She said it with a bit of a hiss.
I took it for a warning and immediately closed my eyes enough that it would appear as though I were sleeping, though my left eye was open the slightest crack to watch what was going on. I watched her blurred form jump up and head to the tent opening. I heard a gruff voice from outside of a Zebra I didn’t think I’d met yet.
“Ulikuwa unafanya nini huko?” He asked gruffly. His silhouette was taller than her, probably older, perhaps a guard. “Unajua huruhusiwi huko.” He sounded stern.
I heard her give a nervous answer. “Nilikuwa nikiona kama angehitaji maji lakini amelala.”
He saw the flap get pushed aside and the gruff Zebra poked his head in. His eyes found me. The glared for a moment. I couldn’t quite see his features, but I thought I might have seen a beard. He seemed satisfied with what he saw and pulled his head from the entrance and back to Ukoo. “Kurudi kwenye masomo yako.” He barked at her, and I heard the sound of her galloping away. The stallion poked his head in again, but only for a moment before I heard him trotting away as well. He pulled back and I was left alone in the tent with my thoughts.