Greetings from Europa – Thirteenth Transmission: Grahas

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Greetings from Europa!

We’re on the road to Dery’Ylok Prefecture, and by we, I mean Meis’lo is accompanying me for part of the journey, as his home is on the way. I’m able to send this broadcast thanks to the egami (whom I’ve nicknamed Roadie) lent to me by my village, who is transporting my transmitter. He (I’m assuming gender here, but have no actual frame of reference) is smaller and younger than Rocky, our family egami, but quite up to carrying the load of the transmitter, its solar panel and antenna array, as well as the uz cu’nal packed with supplies.

We also have a third travel companion, my son, Jampi, who stowed away in the uz cu’nal and would have died if Meis’lo hadn’t requested that we stop to take a food break. The boy hid himself inside the storage unit because he wanted to come with me, not realizing that uz cu’nals were vacuum sealed. Yes, I was relieved that he was alive but I was also furious at how reckless he was, and I was about to chew him out something good, when Meis’lo, the peacemaker, spun the event into a story of courage and adventure. He repeated it so that I would remember because that was one of the conditions of the village gift of the egami Roadie. I had to promise to bring back many wonderful stories.

At least now I know why Jampi wasn’t there to see me off, which hurt my pride a bit, I must admit. We’re not only father and son, we’re best buds, and thanks to his heedless nature, we’re about to embark on our first adventure together. I have to remember to send a message to my wife with the first Denpa we come across, to let her know that Jampi’s safe with me.

I might have mentioned in an earlier broadcast that the weather here is typically mild, but ever since the death of Rezter, there have been fluctuations in the pattern. As we made camp for the night, we got our first taste of really cold weather, something I didn’t pack for. And it was Meis’lo to the rescue once again, who took morsels from our meal, set them out and sang a prayer that attracted a small cluster of creatures no larger than gerbils, called Grahas, that resembled stone armadillos.

The old man scooped one into his hand and stroked it, advising us to do the same. The Grahas gave off the musty smell of a space heater burning kerosene, which triggered homnils in me, a warm, yet sad, reminiscence about something in the past. Childhood memories flooded my mind, and for the first time in a long time, I missed Earth.

Jampi must have sensed my sadness, because he scooted closer to me and leaned his head on my arm, as we sat there in silence, stroking our Grahas for warmth. This moment of quiet reflection made me think, what am I ever going to do, if and when a rescue party arrives here? Do I go home to the familiar, or stay in this place where I am welcomed but not truly a part of?

Until next broadcast, this is Captain Edwards, signing off.

To be continued…

Text and Audio ©2014 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Glossary of Terms

  • Abogzons – Gynecological engineers.
  • Agvann – Translation: The will of Nes’Tim; an accident.
  • Alum’Vedca – The day marking the new solar cycle of Peace and Maturity; a tribute to the era when Europans evolved from their primitive prey state.
  • Arcek – A spiritual theologian
  • Biem – A time to show respect for the aged.
  • Biss’ore – Travelers, nomads
  • Bokloryn – An unrepayable debt; an act that places the receiver in a lifetime contract of servitude.
  • Cu’nal – A biological storage unit.
  • Denpa – An envoy equipped with an audiographic memory that can store and recall spoken messages at will in the same voice, tone and inflection of the original person who spoke it, who travels from village to village to deliver messages from other communities both near and far.
  • Egami – A docile mineral-based creatures primarily used for family transportation due to the fact they are virtually inexhaustible.
  • Gates of Juh’holl – Europan afterlife; where souls are released from the flesh to become stardust and rejoin the universe.
  • Grahas – A gerbil-sized creature, resembling a stone armadillo, that emits heat when stroked.
  • Homnils – A warm, yet sad, reminiscence about something in the past.
  • Ipu llqr mwyll xfrr – Abogzon credo meaning “success or death”; satisfaction guaranteed.
  • Isogoles – Europan monthly day of pay.
  • Jampi – Captain Edward’s son.
  • Jbwqnadb – The Europan spelling of lemonade.
  • Jhisal – Meis’lo’s home village.
  • Klanea – Translation: unknown to us; stranger.
  • Mecot’ra – Unterraformed areas of Europa.
  • Meis’lo – The only surviving witness to the murder of  the prophet Nes’Tim.
  • Micdow yl – The vessels of new life; children.
  • Nes’Tim – The most revered spiritual prophet on Europa, slain by a heretic tribe who call themselves Sel’Tab.
  • Pwyll – Europa’s highest mountain.
  • Qik’climajh – Depending on its usage in a sentence, denotes either the act of telling a story, or the storyteller themselves.
  • Sel’Tab – A heretic tribe responsible for the death of the prophet Nes’Tim.
  • Shig’umfu – “Interesting world of another”; a documentary qik’climajh in which neighbors tell the story of a person’s life as learned from casual conversations.
  • Spo – Food.
  • Uz Cu’nal – A biological storage unit used primarily for food preservation.
  • Uz – An unspeakable sexual act; a derogatory term; an insult.