Something to ponder on as you wander on


Some liars are born that way, some are self-made; but the really great ones are elected to Congress…
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

THE VALLEY.............

This is a companion story to a story I wrote a couple of months ago,,
called the Final Option…it is of course a long one…so grab yourself
a cup of java…and spend a couple of minutes in ‘The Valley’…
just my attempt at a real story…its either this story or some
of my home movies from my vacation in Guadalupe….


THE VALLEY……………



THE BATTLE OF SAIPH

This is Ranger 5:…attack pattern df5…maintain speed…
Red 4 you have a Kachalot fighter coming in on your 3..
Firing…
Watch that mine field at Q345,, Q23…
I’m going in to…(ssshhhss)…
This is Ranger 5:…we have engaged a large number of
Kachalot fighters,, they appear to be screening the
Kachalot Battle cruiser at Q35t67,, we’ll try to draw them off…
(sssshhs,, click click….) Ranger 5:….Starranger has been hit…
Maintain attack on Kachalot battle cruiser….
Ranger 5:…over… maintaining attack…firing tyolon missiles…
You’ve got a fighter on your tail,, bank right 60 up…
I see em,, banking right,, dropping Ktor mines…
That’s got em…
Two Kachalot fighters ahead…firing Bartell guns…one down…
come on,, come on... banking right…one left…he’s squirreling…
mines ahead,, forty up,, banking left…there he is…I’ll get em…
He’s heading for that small moon…firing halo guns…got em…
he’s still able to maneuver…in the moons atmosphere now….
last of tyolon missiles locked on… firing…
gravemark a couple of Kachalot…
Damn,, going thru debris field...(bang) ….Mayday,, Mayday,,
this is Ranger 5 do you read?...Mayday…going down…
We read you Ranger 5,, we have you on our scopes…hang in there…
Mayday,, Mayday this is Ranger 5…ejecting cockpit capsule…
Mayday…

THE STARRANGER

A KACHALOT CRUISER

The ore refining ship O’Robinns is orbiting the small moon
Orcues#21…its been in the Saiph system for 18 months,,
exploring the outer planets and moons for deposits of minerals to
be refined and transported back to Earth…
It uses the latest in GP radar and holographic mapping,,
but still,, it is best to have human eyes on the surface of the
planet to do the final assessment of any ore deposits that
may be detected…
Stan and Bill are on Orcues#21 inspecting a valuable Beryllium
ore deposit…

Bill,, what kind of reading are you getting over there?...
Airmed looks good,, 68% nitrogen,, 18% oxygen…14%
misc gases and inert elements….nothing we haven’t seen before…
Yeah,, that’s what I’m getting over here,, soil samples
are pretty sterile... I’d say it would be OK to remove our helmets…
Thank God…its always like an oven in these things…
Medlab should look into these enviro suits…
I tell them that after every planetwalk and nothing
ever gets done…lets get out of these suits,, so we can
move around easier…make sure you turn on your beacon
this time...
Yeah,, yeah,, mom….you forget once and…
O’Robinns MLC:…come in…
O’Robinns MLC:…go ahead…
Everything seems normal down here…were losing the
enviro suits…haven’t seen any life forms or dinos…over…
Well if you do,, remember to get some dino steaks for the
galley freezers…there should be a large deposit of Beryllium
about 300 m West of your location…over…
Roger that…heading that way now…

Bill,, what’s your assessment…
Looks like a good site for machine miners…
Scraper haulers mostly…I’d say its about 200 m deep…
Yeah,, ore specgraph comes in at 89%... should make the boss
happy…I’m gonna head over around that point there…
OK,, Stan…leave your com open,, you’ll be out of my visual…
Roger…wouldn’t be long…

Bill,, Bill…I’ve found something…get over here…


What’s up Stan?...damn…look at that…
He’s been here a while…his uniform kind of
looks like he was a space ranger…
Nagh…see the wings…he’s a space jock…
Well what the hells he doing here?...
I don’t know…see if you can find any ident on him…
Me?...what’s that gray thing on his lap anyway…
Must be a plant or something…I’m sure it doesn’t bite…
I’m gonna look around…

Stan,, over here…looks like a cave or something…
Damn…look at all the gear and work that’s been done…
He must have been here a while…
Did you find any ident?...
Yeah,, he’s a Capt. Rienoon of the Stard…
Stard?...
That’s all I could read on his uniform…
Well,, maybe we can get some more info on him
from the ships com-matrix…lets head back to the ship
with our samples and find out who this guy was…
It’s almost dark anyway…

(Capt. Rienoon’s body and some of the gear from the cave have
been removed from Orcues#21 and are now being examined
in the med-lab aboard the O’Robinns.)…

Well,, you guys certainly did find something different this time...
Yeah,, well who is he and how did he end up on that moon?...
His name is Brussco Rienoon,, he was a MK47 fighter pilot during
the war with the Kachalot,, 45 years ago…
He recorded a bunch of stuff on his personal ringdisk recorder if
you want to take a look at it…
A ringdisk,, geez…I doubt if we even have anything that will
read them…
Check with Mike in communications,, I’ll bet he can rig up
something…old space radios and recordings are his hobby…

(a day later Mike has rigged up an old plasma-halo receiver
with a medtech screen to view the ringdisks)
Hey,, great job Mike…that’s a great picture….what about
the sound…
Oh,, sorry…just turn that knob there…
Oh,, yeah...geez,, I’m amazed that these things are still good after
all this time…thanks Mike…
No problem…you know,, once the data is recorded onto the
ringdisk its there forever…hey,, let me know what you find…
I’ve got my own work to do…
Thanks Mike…



CAPTAIN RIENOON'S FIGHTER

A KACHALOT FIGHTER

This is Ranger 5 do you read?... Mayday…going down…
We read you Ranger 5,, we have you on our scopes…hang in there…
Mayday Mayday this is Ranger 5…ejecting cockpit capsule…
Mayday…
(bam,, bam,, bam,, swoosh,, the cockpit capsule rockets skyward
away from the MK47 fighter,, the parachutes deploy within
5 seconds and the capsule floats to the tiny moons surface below,,
its still a hard landing tho on the rocky desert like surface,,
Capt. Rienoon struggles with his harness and slams the ejector
button for the cockpit canopy,, its compressed gas bolts eject it
away from the cockpit)…

Damn damn damn f**k,, what a stupid rookie mistake,, flyin thru
a debris field like that,, sh*t…
(Capt. Rienoon, reaches into the cockpit and switches on the
emergency beacon,, and tries the radio)…Mayday Mayday this
is Ranger 5,, do you read?...Mayday….(sssshhsss)…
Sh*t,, I could be here for days,, who knows how long before they
can send a rescue team for me…sh*t…damn it,, better make an
inventory of what I have here…thank God these newer fighters
come equipped with enough emergency supplies for two weeks…
at least the designers thought of us pilots for once,, instead of
all their high-tech gear…

(Capt. Rienoon,, is a fit young man of 27 years,, he has been a
space jock for 6 years,, married with a little girl back home on
Earth…its been a long time since he’s seen them in person…
The halo-messengers make things easier for him and his family
but its still not the same as being able to reach out and hold one
another…he was promoted to group flight leader 2 years ago,,
and has been aboard the Stardevil for 18 months now…
he knows that the war against the Kachalot has not been going
well lately,, but he hasn’t given up hope yet)…

(Capt. Rienoon,, has unloaded what gear he could from the cockpit,,
the parachutes were retrieved and now make a tent like structure
over the cockpit,, giving him some shade from the sun…
(click) the sound of the ringdisk recorder that every downed pilot
is required to use,, to record the experiences of the crash and
what they find…all for training others that may come after)…

A KACHALOT

CAPTAIN RIENOON

(click)…DAY 1:…the cockpit looks to be in good shape…it was a
little harder landing than I was anticipating but I came out of
it ok…the mounting struts seem to be buried in the desert floor
about 4-5 inches…no way to move or get under the cockpit…
I’ve unloaded most of the emergency supplies and fastened a
crude tent structure over the cockpit using the parachutes to
provide some shade…radio still seems to work…there’s static
anyway…no way to tell if I’m transmitting…need the engineers
to put a light on it for the next refits…the surrounding area
appears to be mostly desert,, no plants,, or animals that I can see…
in the distance I can see a low range of mountains to the South…
there’s smoke rising in the West,, maybe the remains of my fighter
or of the Kachalot,, airs breathable,, I guess that’s obvious,,
at least I’m not dead yet from some micro-robe,, temperatures
about 82 deg,, a little warm,, could be worse…removed flight suit,,
to make myself comfortable while I wait… not much to do here
except to keep trying the radio and wait….(click)…

(click)…its about 11:00 now,, the temperature has dropped
about 40 degrees,, using my flight suit and thermal blankets to
keep warm…I was awakened by the sound of a parachute against
the cockpit,, must have thought it was an animal or something…
stars very bright,, I can see the movement of Starships over the
horizon,, hope their ours…falling wreckage making meteorite
streaks over the Northern sky…tried radio again…no answer…
just have to wait till tomorrow……(click)…

(click)…DAY 2:…The morning was colder than I’d hoped it would be…
have installed solar panels around cockpit to keep beacon and
radio going….note to engineers,, provide longer cables for solar
panels….still no radio contact…will have to start rationing water
if I don’t hear from anybody today…note to who ever made
the beef noodle space “D”,, did you taste that crap?…
your fired….(click)…

(click)…DAY 5:…I’ve had to stay in the cockpit for the last two
days due to high winds and dust storms…still no radio contact….
started to ration food and water two days ago…
Can’t stay here much longer…will try for mountains to the South
tomorrow if I don’t hear from anybody…need to find water and
some type of food before rations give out…mountain area seems
to be best option….(click)…

(click)…DAY 9:…have reached foothills of Southern mountain
range…dust storms on desert plain start suddenly and knocked
me off my feet a number of times…advise others just to sit and
wait out dust storms as best you can…foothills as expected,,
typical loose rock and boulders…no signs of plants or animal life…
no visible stream beds or water erosion features…this could be
a dead moon with no life or water on it…only a few days more of
water and rations…(click)…

(click)…DAY 11:…this mountain range seems to be an upthrust
of the moons crust,, very unstable surfaces,, I have to watch my
footing constantly…not hard packed like on Earth…still no signs
of vegetation or water…should reach the top of this rise by midday…
have reached peak and have a full panorama view of surrounding
area…bleak …I’m getting tired easily now…I’ll have to be careful
as I trek down… (click)…

LANDSCAPE OF ORCUES #21

(as Capt. Rienoon is carefully descending the opposite side of
the foothill,, the large projecting rock that he is using to brace his
right foot on breaks and he looses his hold on the rocky surfaces…
he begins a bouncing uncontrolled sliding,, tumbling freefall down
the mountains side…sliding as best he can on his backpack and
trying to control his speed by digging in his heels is all he can do…
it’s a dangerous 5 minute cascade of rocks and boulders until he
finally comes to rest near the valley floor)…

Ooouch,, ohhhh…God damn it…ohhh,, my ankle…
F**k,, my heads bleeding,, I think…oooo…where’s my
backpack?....oooo….can’t turn my left ankle…
There it is…( Capt. Rienoon’s backpack has slide farther down
to the valley floor near a large outcrop of rocks)…
got to stay awake….awak…………

(click)…DAY 12:…I think this is day 12,, not really sure how long
I was out…the sun looks to be at about 10:00,, does it matter?...
I’ve just spent about an hour dragging myself down the slope to
my backpack…took some pain pills and examined my ankle,,
it might just be badly twisted instead of broken…can’t really tell,,
at least there are no bones protruding,, but its about 4 times the
size it should be,, had to cut my boot off…my head must of stopped
bleeding during the night…I think I’ll just lie here against this
boulder awhile…not much point in trying to do anything now…
water and rations are almost gone…maybe enough for two or
three days…sh*t,, what a way to die…on a sh*thole nothing of
a moon….oh on the bright side…there appears to be some
vegetation on this stinking moon,, at least in this valley….
I’ll describe it for you,, I’m not doing much of anything else…
its about 24 inches long,, about 10 inches wide with puffy tube
spikes on all sides,, its kind of a yellow-green-moss color…
I can only see the one bush…its near the end of my right leg as
I’m lying here…I wonder if its eatable… (click)…

(click)…damn it gets cold here in this valley fast…I think maybe
I slept a couple of hours…ankle still hurts a lot,, I’ve taken a
couple more pain pills…heads kind of swimming,,
…did that bush move or has it always been there by my knee?...
I can’t remember,, I’m tired…(click)…

(during the night as Capt. Rienoon sleeps the bush very slowly
makes its way up along side his body,, it takes about 2 hours for
it to travel from Capt. Rienoon’s knee to near his head…
Every few feet as it travels along it extends out a number of small
feeler probes to learn about this strange creature that has fallen
into its valley…as it rests near Capt. Rienoon’s head,, six feeler
probes with suction cup like ends attach themselves to his
head while he sleeps)…

Damn its cold…I think I’ll have the last of my “D” rations now,,
at least it will be hot…

Hello,, what’s a “D” ration?...

What?...what?...who said that?....is there someone there?...
Help…help…hey,, I’m over here…

Hello,, what’s a “D” ration?...

What?...what?...who said that?...

I did…

Where are you?...I must be hearing things,, losing my mind…

I said hello…isn’t that the correct way?...

Where are you?...

(the bush extends a suction cup feeler and touches Capt. Rienoon
right knee)…I said hello…..hello…
.
What?,, what the hell?….get away from me…what are you?...
(Capt. Rienoon grabs a large boulder and raises it above his head)

Please…hello…I am here,, hello…

(Capt. Rienoon lowers the boulder)…..hello?... what are you?...

I am me…what are you?...

I’m called a human,, you’re a plant right?...how can I hear you?...

I am me,, I talk to your mind…

How,, do you mean telepathy?. .how do you know my language?...

I probed your mind last night to learn about you…
(the plant raises a feeler with a suction cup end)…
I probed your mind…

With that?...don’t touch me again…

Why?...

Just don’t… do you have a name?... are there others like you
around here?...

I am me…I am alone here…what are you called?…

I’m called a human,, I come from a planet a along way from here…
my name is Brussco…other humans call me Bruss do
you understand?...

Yes I understand…I have no name…no one calls me…I am alone…

(Capt. Rienoon puts the boulder on the ground,, he realizes that
this bush creature means him no harm)…

Yeah,, well I guess we’re both alone here…you need a name,,
I need to call you by some kind of name…how about…Joe…
it’s a name from a book I read a long time ago…can I call you Joe?...

I am Joe…and you are Bruss…

JOE

(click)…I’ve huh… make contact with a life form on this moon…
not sure what it is,, its that bush creature I described yesterday...
don’t know if its plant or animal…there appears to be only one…
appears friendly…it can communicate thru thought transmission…
I’ll get back,, as I learn more…ankle injury still bad,, I don’t think
its broken,, but I doubt I can walk very far on it…having to take
pain pills for my constant headache…(click)…

(Capt. Rienoon takes a small sip of water from his rations and
eats two survival wafers…his water and food supplies are
almost gone now)…

What was that?...why did you put things in your head?...

What?...this stuff?...( Capt. Rienoon shows Joe the water and
a survival biscuit)…
This is water and food,, I need these things or I’ll die…

Oooh,, I have seen some of that before…

What?...this?...( Capt. Rienoon shows Joe a small amount of water
he has poured into the palm of his hand)… Where?...When?...

The clear dirt is about 5….days?....over that way…
(Joe indicates the direction with a raised feeler,, its to the West
along the valley floor)…

I call this water…you’ve seen it?...

Yes,, it moves over the stones,, it never stops…

5 days away,, huh…that’s a long way…

Yes,, I suppose so…it seemed like 5 days when I went there…
but I wasn’t paying much attention…I was just wandering around…

Damn that’s a long way away…do you know of any water
closer than that…..wait,, you said 5 days for you…for me
it might only be a half day or so…damn I’ve got to try and
walk on this ankle…

(Capt. Rienoon,, puts his boot back on over his swollen foot,,
cutting and making it fit as best he can…he takes from his
pack a roll of silver tape and binds his ankle and boot as tight
as he can…and then tapes on two flat rock to the sides of his
lower leg to act as splints…it will have to do…Capt. Rienoon
removes the alum poles that frame his backpack and tapes them
together to use as a crutch…the top is covered with whatever
clothes he could find in the pack,, a couple of shirts,, socks,,
pieces of flat rocks,, all bound and taped together to form a padded
top to fit under his arm…he takes another pain pill…his third today…
and waits until the throbbing in his head and ankle are more
bearable before he attempts to travel over to the ‘clear dirt’ as
Joe described it)…

(click)…Joe has told me about a water source that may be near by…
I’ve wrapped my ankle as best I could…its quite the cast,,
I’ll bet it weights 10 lbs or more…Doc would love my use of tape
as wrapping gauze…going to head for the water source soon…
before it gets dark….(click)…

(Capt. Rienoon struggles to his feet,, trying to keep all his weight
on his right foot and the crutch…his backpack is slung over his
left shoulder...its all he can do to drag his left foot along the ground
and thru the rocks of the valley floor)…

Joe…are you going to come?...I can carry you…

No,, no,, no touch…I will follow you…you will be easy
to find…your leaving a big scar in the rocks…

Yeah I see what you mean,, can’t be helped tho…
OK,, I’ll meet you by the ‘clear dirt’ than in a couple of days…

(the trek Westward for Capt. Rienoon was slow and painful,,
every movement hurt…it wasn’t really walking at all,, it was more
like drag and hop drag and hop,, every twenty minutes or so
Capt. Rienoon would have to stop to catch his breath,, he couldn’t
afford to try and sit,, so he just leaned against his crutch and tried
to regain some of his strength…with only 6 pain pills remaining
he wanted to wait until he absolutely had to have one…even with
his cast made of rock,, dragging his left foot,, caused it to bleed
and leave a red stain on the valley floor…Capt. Rienoon would
occasionally look back to see if Joe was there,, but after a few
stops he could no longer see where Joe was)…

(the valley floor was wide and the sun shown overhead most of
the day…the floor was made mostly of compacted dirt with small
grape size to egg sized rocks along the way… smooth rocks as if
they were tumbled smooth by bouncing along a river bottom…
but that must have been long ago…there were also debris of
landslides leaving there deposits of boulders and rocks…
some of the boulders were as big as houses,, while others were
just large enough for Capt. Rienoon to take a moment and sit on…
the hours of dragging his foot and constantly leaning against the
crutch were beginning to slow Capt. Rienoon down,, he was now
only able to travel half the speed he did when he started…
how much farther he kept thinking to himself…was Joe right
about the water?...was it still there?...maybe it was just a seasonal
spring?...the scenery never seemed to change,, ahead was more
white grey valley,, looking down at his path,, was the same dirt
and rocks he had been limping thru for hours…
lifeless chalk colored dirt)…

(the shadows were becoming longer now and the darkest of the
valley sides were closing in,, but up ahead there seemed
to be a change,, perhaps it was just an illusion created by the
mixture of light and shadows…but the white grey valley ahead,,
seemed to have more color to it,, perhaps up ahead,,
Capt. Rienoon could now see touches of green,, and yellow,,
and streaks of honey coloring among the rocks and boulders…
another hour or so of stumbling along and he could clearly see
the small green plants among the boulders and scattered along
the valley floor…a sure sign that water was somewhere near by…
then thru a recent landslide area and among the dislodged boulders
he could see it,, a beautiful sight,, clear fresh water bubbling up
from the ground,, a clear spring with a small rivulet making its
way down along the valley floor…sheer exhaustion now overtook
Capt. Rienoon and the last few feet towards the spring was more
of a fall than walking…his head and shoulders were soaked by
the water…he drank the clear liquid with cupped hands until he
could take no more…if the water was poisoned or full of germs
and gut eating alien bacteria it didn’t really matter…
Capt. Rienoon only had enough supplies for a couple more days
anyway…to die because of poisoned water or to die of starvation
a couple of days from now…what difference did it make…
for Capt. Rienoon to survive,, this spring had to be safe…
it had to be)…

(click)…day…hell I don’t know what day it is…I’ve found the
water than Joe said would be here…found it last night before sunset,,
had my fill,, it tasted sweet and cool…its morning now,, cold among
the shadows here…I don’t feel any effects from drinking the water,,
no stomach cramps or dizziness,, I’ll run a water test later,,
just to see what’s in it,, but it really doesn’t matter now,,
if its poison,, well,, I’ve had enough to kill ten men…I’ve unwrapped
my left ankle and I’m keeping it in the stream,, seems to be
easing the pain…
The area around the spring has some vegetation,, hopefully
its eatable…I’ll do tests on samples,, that’s where my biggest
worry of poisons comes from…no sign of Joe,, course I expect it
will take him a couple of days to travel this far…(click)…

(click)…late afternoon now,, clear sunlight coming into the canyon
floor...still no effects from the water,, ate two survival biscuits…
only six left…tested some water samples from the spring…
its loaded with some kind of organisms,, but I don’t have the
equipment to tell what they are…like nothing I’ve ever seen before…
they could be harmless or maybe they don’t react with my
human dna/chromosome structure…tested some of the green
plants near the water edge…no indicators of any known Earth
poisons,, very high amounts of Omega 3 and stanol-sterol esters…
so far the plants look non-poisonous and eatable…I’ll make a soup
tonight with what I can find…
hope it tastes better than it looks…(click)…

(click)…another morning at the spring…ankles feeling a lot better
today,, swelling is way down,, a couple more days and I maybe
able to at least walk on it…made a soup last night with some of
the native plants around the spring…very bad tasting,,
could barely eat it,, even worse than anything the mess hall
could make…needs a lot of seasonings…or something…maybe
able to find some natural mineral around here to help with
the flavor… there’s a small recessed area along the North wall
of the canyon that looks as if I might be able to dig out and make
into a better shelter…at least I’ll be near the water and some
eatable plants…I’ll need to start exploring the nearby hills to
find more survival items…looks like I’m going to be here for a
while…home sweet home… yeah,, should have been picked up
days ago…still no sign of Joe…I’ll have to start calling him
slow Joe…mighty slow Joe…(click)…

(click)…late afternoon…have taped up by left boot and ankle as
best I could…I can walk on it some if I’m careful…need to do
something…did a little exploring to the West,, following the
stream along the valley floor…about 2 miles West the canyon
opens up into a large valley…not much there…looked like just
stub grass and weeds…maybe be able to dig for roots…still no
signs of animal life…looks like I’m going to become a vegetarian…
have started to clear away some of the rocks along the North
recessed area…slow going…but it keeps me busy and occupies
my mind…not so lonely when I have things to do…I never realized
how much I’d miss another person voice…even sergeant Defoe’s
would be welcome…What with his Tennessee accent and all…
funny,, I can almost hear everyone’s voice,, clear as day,,
like they were sitting in the same room with me…(click)….

(click)…took one pain pill and slept well last night…I maybe
overdoing it,, clearing away the rocks and rubble around my
new ‘home’…can’t afford to get seriously hurt…the more I think
about it the more I realize just how quiet this place is…
no sounds at all,, except for the wind rushing past my ears…
I’m going to make some wind chimes as soon as I get a moment
to sit down…its too quiet…I wish Joe was here…
Even talking to an alien creature would be preferable to all this
damn silence…I wonder if I should go and look for him…
if he…ha,, ha…if it doesn’t show up tonight…I’ll head back to look
for him tomorrow…one thing they don’t tell you in survival training
is how much work there is to do,, if your going to be someplace
for a while…starting with nothing is a lot of work…I wonder if
this moon has seasons,, is it winter or summer now?...
the nights are cold…maybe I should look for a campsite farther
up the ridgeline?...no,, I’ve done too much work already,,
I’m near water and I don’t what to haul everything uphill…
I’ll just have to be ready if colder weather comes…still no effects
from drinking the water or eating the native plants…damn its quiet,,
makes you start to hear things,, just hoping for any
sound at all…(click)…

(click)…awoke from sleep by a large sonic boom and the
sound of thunder,, then the explosion of something hitting the
ground miles from here,, I could feel the tremor…must be some
more space debris from the battlewagons…I’ll check it out in
the morning…(click)…

(click)…another great morning,, ha ha…my back is taking a
beating from sleeping on the ground…can’t seem to get ahead of
my needed work load…at least my new ‘home’ is nearly complete…
just need to fashion a door of some type in case the weather turns,,
out of what I don’t know…no wood around here to build anything
out of,, might have to do some savage work at a cash site to get
some metal panels…I should investigate that large explosion I
heard last night,, maybe there are pieces of wreckage there
that I can use…(click)…

(click)…heading towards the crash site I heard from last night…
half way thru the large valley to the West...I can clearly see the
smoke from the crash site on the horizon,, looks to be about a
day or twos’ walk from here…hope to get there before
everything is cooked…(click)…

(click)…crash site wasn’t hard to find,, the remains are still partly
on fire and in a 15 ft deep crater…it left an impact trench
about 6 feet deep and 3 miles long…looks like a piece of one
of the battle cruisers,, its maybe as wide as a football field and
about 800 yards long…maybe a section from near the
communications quarters…hard to tell really…I’ll set up camp for
the night and see what I can savage in the morning…(click)…

(click)…gathered what I could from the crash site…it was as I
thought,, part of the Starranger,, guess we took quite a beating
by the Kachalot…only a couple more hours till I get home…
I’ve fastened a crude sled,, to drag behind me…the crash site
was pretty bad…I found a number of bodies inside…poor devils,,
never knew what hit them when the hull was breached…
I was able to salvage some unexploded gas canisters,,
med supplies and a couple of weeks worth of space ‘D’s,, if their
not already ruined from the heat…the wreck looks like it could
be a good place to salvage any building materials I may need…
its just a long haul,, but what isn’t around here,, not like I can just
pop over to the corner hardware store and pick up
what I need…(click)…

(click)…finally finished putting a door over my little cave area…
should help to keep the heat in at night and block most of the
wind,, even figured out how to build myself a crude table
and chair…all the comforts of home…for a cave man…
(click)…

Please…hello…I am here,, hello…

Joe,, Joe…damn it you make it…I’m glad to see you…
Was your trip hard?...

Travel like every day…just followed your marks in the
stones…

Damn its good to hear and talk to…to someone…
I was beginning to go mad just talking to myself and that damn
recorder of mine…

Damn,, damn,, damn,, is that how to say it?...what does it mean?...
did you find clear dirt?...

Yeah,, yeah I found it…just like you said it would be…
I’ve made a lot of improvements around here to make things
easier for me,, do you like them?...

Damn,, damn,, looks the same to me…stones and rocks,,
stone and rocks…

Yeah,, I suppose they are to you…damn its good to
have some…someone to talk too…

Hello…I am here,, hello…

Joe…thanks for coming…it won’t be so lonely with you here…

Hello…I am here,, what is lonely?...

Well,, I guess being lonely is a human trait,, its being by
yourself to long…not being able to talk to anyone or see anyone…
not being able to do things with others…
Have you been in this valley all the time Joe,, have you
ever meet another being like you?...

I always here… I have never found anybody except you…
I like the rocks and stones,, they don’t bother me…

Haven’t you ever wondered if there are more like you?...
Where they are?…I guess humans are different…we like to
be around other beings,, other humans…to have an interaction
with someone…to be alone for a long time,, can be very bad
for a human…

I am here…

Yes,, you are,, and that is good…good for each of us,, I think…

(the days,, months and years passed…Capt. Rienoon and Joe,,
learned a lot from each other…the small cave site was always
being improved by Capt. Rienoon,, it kept his mind busy,,
and his hands full of things to do… Capt. Rienoon even taught
Joe some Earth games like checkers and chess…Joe was very
adept at learning new things…they would often sit for hours
after twilight discussing the heavens,, mankind,, God,,
good and evil…the very meaning of existence)...

(Capt. Rienoon long ago gave up any thoughts of being rescued,,
then one evening he called for Joe to join him and view the
night sky…Capt. Rienoon had finally come to the answer he had
been questioning himself about for many weeks)…

Joe,, thanks for coming…Joe,, you know I don’t know what
I would have done had I not met you…your company has kept
me going thru the years…and I must say that I will always think
of you as a friend and I have nothing but kind thoughts of you…

Yes,, I am here…I like to be with you…it has been good…
You have shown me a lot and taught be so much more that before…

Joe…you see this…( Capt. Rienoon holds a small silver tube in
his hand,, its only about 1 inch long and about a ½ inch wide)…
I’ve had this ever since I’ve been a pilot,, every pilot gets one…
just in case…inside this tube is a small capsule,, the other pilots always called it the Heaven capsule…its for the last act of ones life…the final action…
In Earth years I’m still a fairly young man,, I must be about
34-35 years old now,, I’ve lost track of the years…and I could
maybe go on here for another 10-20 years,, here with you,,
if nothing bad happened,, if I didn’t hurt myself…but Joe,,
tonight is going to be my last night with you…
I can’t go on anymore…
I need more than just the sunrise and the sunset…I’ve done
all I can here…there really is no point for me to continue…
No one is coming for me,, I will never leave this place or see
Earth again…
Joe,, I must tell you that you are one of the finest beings I’ve
ever met…I’m glad,, so glad we had this time together…
but tonight,, under these beautiful stars and with you here…
I’m going to take my Heavens capsule…and sleep forever…
Thanks Joe and goodbye…..( Capt. Rienoon opens the silver tube
and places the small glass vial in his mouth…
it was a painless death,, so far from home)…

I am here…goodbye Bruss…I am here…(Joe stared at his friend
just laying motionless in the rocks,, and then Joe crawled up
onto the lap of Capt. Rienoon and there he stayed…
Never moving,, never doubting…there Joe stayed until
his final day also came to him)…………………

8 comments:

Elle Jaye said...

"clear dirt". I love it.

Bob Johnson said...

Beautiful, love Joe, added so much to the story.

gt281 said...

to Elle:
to AstoBob:
well,, I see that you both survived
my little short story...I'll try to
use more pics next time...lol
thanks for reading it....

Swubird said...

gt281:

Wow! You weren't kidding. That was the longest post I’ve ever read - 5,649 words!

I love the Katchalot fighters. Great imagination. Telepathic plants? Yikes! And the pictures were just fabulous.

As always, gt281, you have a fantastic imagination. Right up there with Isaac Asimov.

I would say, May the Force be with you., but I think it already is.

Happy star cruising.

gt281 said...

to Swubird:
Thanks for the nice comment as always…I don’t know what happened,, one minute it was
two paragraphs long and the next it overloaded my double Athlon 64 processor….

And I think you meant to say
“May the Farce be with you”…lol

Shorter posts on the way,, I swear….

Marvin the Martian said...

Ooh, pretty pictures. And a peaceful death. Like the ending of "Space Cowboys."

gt281 said...

Well I’ll be,, 3 humans and a Martian made it thru my story…

Thanks Marvin,, hope you didn’t have to use too much
Visine to keep reading…

Uhhh,, Marvin…I’ve heard rumors of a Martian and Kachalot alliance to conquer Earth,, any truth to that?.

The Faerie♥Kat said...

You already know how much I love this story; maybe you should turn it into a novella. Think about it.