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Greetings from Europa!
Meis’lo is old, even by Europan standards, and has a tendency to speak in alien hyperbole, simile, metaphor, and analogy, most of which I understand, some of which I have to extrapolate the meaning from the surrounding story, and others that I take wide stabs at in the dark. I need you to keep this in mind as I translate and paraphrase what he told me he witnessed as a young child at the highest point of the mountain Pwyll, the day the spiritual prophet Nes’Tim was slain.
Before the arrival of Nes’Tim, we, the land and the people, were not as you see it now. We were…less. Different in form, different in thought. Our thoughts were simple: Find food. Find shelter. The world was ice. Food lived in the water beneath the ice. We were not strong enough to break the ice, so we searched for cracks that led to crevasses in the surface to the water below in order to reach food. Many died while trying to capture food and became food themselves.
And then one day a being appeared in our sky. It was unlike anything we had ever seen before, above or below the ice. We had no concept of what it was but it moved as if it was alive, so to our hungry eyes, it was food.
It streaked across the sky and landed on the peak of Pwyll with such a tremendous force that shook the ground. We climbed the mountain and found it lying still, but alive. Whether it was injured before or because of crashing into Pwyll, I could not say, but we all knew it was dying.
When we entered Nes’Tim, I could feel its torture, its struggle to survive. I wanted to feed but I also wanted this being to survive, the others, the Sel’Tab, did not. They wanted to feast on the parts that gave Nes’Tim life and I alone stood in opposition, but I was not enough.
As they began feasting on the heart, Nes’tim released a scream, a noise ringing with tremendous power as it bounced off of the rocks and echoed through our bodies. That was the beginning of Alum’Vedca for us all. This wise and powerful being had called forth its heralds, despite being devoured by we lesser entities, and they covered the lands and all who lived above and beneath the ice with the prophet’s grace. From that moment on, we were changed.
When Meis’lo said they entered Nes’Tim, although I had no visual reference, I pictured him and his people walking into the mouth of a giant space whale. But when he placed a finger to the ground and scratched out in the dirt a rough image of what Nes’Tim’s heralds looked like, my entire perspective changed. His crude drawing resembled one of the terraforming pods launched from Earth.
Then I was hit with a bizarre thought. Meis’lo said that before Nes’Tim, they were less. What if he meant that they were microbes, or some other tiny organisms, tapeworms, even, trying to make a home in a body, the way bacteria does. What if, as they were attaching themselves to Nes’Tim’s body, the terraforming pods landed on Europa and released their biological nanotech payload, which bonded to the predeveloped Europans and the space whale and combined their genetic codes on a subatomic level and repurposed them, initiating the evolutionary process that eventually matured into the beings I have come to know and love?
What if the connection I suspected between the Europans and the land was due to the fact that on a fundamental level, there was no separation between them? Just like the astrophysicists on Earth believe we’re all made of stardust, what if the developed life on this moon was a genetic combination of land minerals, indigenous microscopic organisms, the space whale they called Nes’Tim, and NASA funded terraforming nanotechnology?
My mind hurts. I need to rest and process this.
Until next broadcast, this is Captain Edwards, signing off.
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.