Greetings From Europa – Seventh Transmission: Europan Day Of Pay

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Greetings from Europa!

Today is isogoles, which is the monthly day of pay for everyone who lives on Europa, no matter what your profession, no matter how old you are. And we’re not talking about money because Europa has no currency, per se. People are paid off, each according to their needs. Some are paid in food while others are paid in services or clothing, or one of nearly a hundred things that serve as some sort of commodity here.

Since my family has the ability to grow our own food and my children are adept at creating clothing, we accept water as payment, as our village is far removed from the sea and a trip there and back would take nearly three weeks to complete and that’s only when conditions permit.

Today also marked the arrival of Denpa to our village, which caused the usual amount of excitement. Denpa is an envoy that travels from village to village delivering messages from other communities both near and far.

He’s the Europan version of e-mail, 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.

Production in the village stops whenever Denpa appears as locals crowd around to hear if they’ve received a message from distant loved ones. I’m always excited when my wife gets messages from home and though I know it’s silly, I secretly pray that Denpa has a message from my mother and father. Hell, I wouldn’t even mind hearing from my older sister at this point.

Like I said, silly, but you have no idea how hard it is being the only one of your kind, even though I’m surrounded by the kindest beings in existence. I am so very far away from my home, and at times I feel every inch of that distance.

So, if you can hear this transmission and you have the ability to broadcast, please try to send me a message, a ping, anything.

Please.

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

To be continued…

Text and Audio ©2014 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Greetings From Europa – Sixth Transmission: Through Neighbors’ Eyes

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Greetings from Europa!

Forgive the brevity of this broadcast, but I’m really tired after a full evening of shig’umfu, which means interesting world of another and is a brand of documentary qik’climajh in which your neighbors must tell the story of your life as presented to them in casual conversations. It’s important that the exchange be casual. Purposeful family exposition is frowned upon as it comes off as braggadocio, which will most assuredly be included in the story your neighbor tells.

The most interesting thing about the ritual is the closer you get to shig’umfu, the friendlier your neighbors become. Now, don’t get me wrong, Europans by nature are a pretty inquisitive and sociable lot, but come shig’umfu, interest in your family, your life and even your day to day misadventures increase tenfold.

Also fascinating to note, equal importance is paid to the subject matter as well as the telling. Families put forth their very best experiences, both positive and negative, hoping to present layers of interesting source material. The teller is then responsible for arranging the events as to present a story replete with happiness, sorrow, triumphs and defeats, births and losses, because everyone knows the best tales take you on a journey through a full range of emotion.

Careful attention to detail must be paid because there’s nothing more shaming than to have the family whose story you’re telling correct you, though, in polite society that almost never happens. Still, most can tell by the expressions on the family’s faces whether you’ve gotten the story right.

All this may sound like a silly waste of time to you, but it’s really educational in that you get a glimpse at how your neighbors view you and your family. Tonight, it was my family’s turn to reenact our neighbors’ lives, all eighteen generations, so I’m sure you can see why I’d be tired.

But it was fun.

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

To be continued…

Text and Audio ©2014 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Greetings From Europa – Fifth Transmission: Lemonade Boom

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Greetings from Europa!

You’re not going to believe this, but we’re in the middle of a lemonade boom on Europa. I guess that needs some explaining, doesn’t it? Okay, well, the cultural exchange in my house goes both ways. Usually, I learn Europan culture as my children learn it. My wife is a patient and excellent teacher. But at the same time, I try to sneak in a few Earth facts along the way, and my children love it.

One time, when they were curious about what I did when I was their age, I told them about how my mom helped me build a lemonade stand in front of our house when I was a kid. They went nuts over the concept and begged me to help them build one here on Europa.

I know what you’re going to ask and the answer is, No, Europa does not have lemons. So we improvised by using a sweet mineral root from the tree that grows in our backyard. I even taught them the English alphabet, or enough of it so they could spell the word LEMONADE. I offered to make the sign but was vetoed. They wanted to write the word itself which came out looking like “JBWQNADB” but they were so proud of themselves that I couldn’t bring myself to correct them.

At first I thought they had set themselves up for disappointment, as passersby only offered their lemonade stand the queerest looks, but my youngest, Nes’Tim bless him, started calling to them, “Hey, come buy our lemonade stand!

Soon people flocked around as my kids poured cups of lemonade and told the story of how my mother and I created this custom on Earth. Again, I didn’t have the heart to correct them in the middle of their sales pitch. People stayed, listened to the story, drank the alien concoction and invited others to join. I’m sure they stayed for the novelty and not for the lemonade. Although made from sweet root, that concoction was the most bitter thing I’ve ever tasted in my life.

The next day, when I thought that the lemonade curiosity had passed, I stepped outside to see a crudely built lemonade stand on each of my neighbors’ doorsteps. But there was no competition in it. Everyone visited everyone else’s lemonade stand and listened intently as the stand owner related the tale of how I discovered lemonade. Apparently, they thought that the telling of the story was the key part of the transaction and that the drinking of the lemonade itself signaled the end of the story.

Weird, but funny. And I have to run now. I’ve drank more than my fair share of lemonade today and I think I’m going to be sick.

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

To be continued…

Text and Audio ©2014 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Greetings From Europa – Fourth Transmission: Ninsas’ Wombs

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First Transmission * Second Transmission * Third Transmission

Greetings from Europa!

My family and I have had an extremely busy week lifting cu’nals and transporting them (with the help of our egami, Rocky, of course) to the highest point of Pwyll as an offering to Nes’Tim, the prophet I mentioned in an earlier broadcast.

The cu’nals we carried are a weird sort of biological storage unit, bred from birth to warehouse different types of material. Ours were uz cu’nals, or food holders, for lack of a better translation. They’re really pretty nifty. Like having a living Tupperware chest. Nothing ever spoils once you put it in an uz cu’nal.

Oh, and for those of you trying to learn Europanese from my broadcasts, before you go using the word uz in sentences, thinking that you’re talking about food… the proper word for food is spo.

If you were to use the term uz to a Europan without following it immediately with the word cu’nal, you would most likely be the recipient of a severe beating. Uz by itself describes a sexual act that you wouldn’t want to participate in, nor watch anyone perform. Trust me on this.

The big news on Europa right now is Ninsas‘ decision to close several of her wombs. Ninsas is a sort of hybrid queen, but the term queen doesn’t denote royalty… exactly. Okay, this isn’t making sense, so let me try it another way.

Every fifty or so years, a female Europan is born blessed with multiple wombs. This female has all her needs met as her primary function becomes that of procreation. She is tended to and admired, but holds no real power over anyone aside from male suitors and women that cannot bear their own children.

Although Europans don’t understand the term fad, more than a few have adopted Ninsas’ children to brag to their neighbors. Ninsas’s kids have become more collectible than Beanie Babies. But before you start to worry, let me assure you that they are all well cared for. Europans revere children as micdow yl or the new vessels of life.

For those of you following along with scorecards at home, yes, that is how I and my wife were able to have kids. Humans and Europans aren’t compatible in the birthing way, so Ninsas’ litter was a welcome blessing and was actually a welcoming gift from our neighbors.

And yes, Europan families often exchange children as house warming gifts, though it isn’t necessary since Ninsas’ birthing cycle is still going strong and one can just as easily adopt a child and give that as a gift instead. Which is fortunate, since I love my children to death, and couldn’t dream of parting with any of them. Even on their worst days.

But back to Ninsas’ decision. She felt it necessary to close five of her thirteen wombs after noticing that the litter from these wombs were runts that usually didn’t survive the week. An enclave of abogzons or gynecological engineers, have stepped in to examine and repair the damage to these wombs.

Although saddened by the birthing decrease, the community is optimistic that the abogzons will repair the wombs. After all, their credo is ipu llqr mwyll xfrr or success or death and I’ve never heard of an abogzon suicide as fulfillment of a contract.

Well, I’ve run my mouth long enough this time around, so I’ll sign off with this friendly reminder…

Uz.

Just kidding. Seriously, don’t use that word on its own.

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

To be continued…

Text and Audio ©2014 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Greetings From Europa – Third Transmission: Egami Doctor Visits

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Greetings from Europa.

It’s that season again, the time of year when all the families in the communities are asked to bring their egami in for routine physicals. What’s an egami? I hear you asking and the simple, though not totally accurate answer is, they’re mineral-based creatures primarily used for family transportation. Seemingly mindless and docile, the egami require very little care and are virtually inexhaustible. Normally, on Earth, creatures like these would have been enslaved and abused, but here, Europans go through an extensive interview process and accept the humble beasts of burden into the family structure to the point where they dine and sleep together.

My family is fortunate in that we live so close to an egami clinic, which means Rocky, our pet (it feels so weird referring to him that way, but I simply don’t have a better word) is always amongst the first to be seen. Yes, I think of our egami as a male, though they are gender non-specific, and yes, I was in charge of choosing the name. I just wish there was someone around to get the joke. Sometimes being the only one of your kind can be a lonely thing.

Naturally, there are those who grumble that lotteries should be drawn each season to rotate the order in which the egamis are seen, but these complaints usually come from the hermits who live on the fringes of the community and they are easily ignored since they generally tend to moan about everything.

The physical is more like a spa day for the egami. After their vital signs are checked, they are basically pampered for the day. Another function of physical season is to offer families the ability to trade in their egamis if they’re unhappy with them, which is extremely rare, but has been known to happen.

My family is quite pleased with Rocky, although sometimes my daughter wonders if he would have been better off living in the wild. The problem with this suggestion is, once you’ve domesticated an egami, very seldom do the wild herds accept them back into the fold, so most wind up dying from what is believed to be either loneliness or lack of affection.

Which is a horrible way to die and who would subject a family member to that?

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

To be continued…

Text and Audio ©2014 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Greetings From Europa – Second Transmission: The Kramdens of Bensonhurst

First Transmission

Greetings from Europa.

The other day a qik’climajh — translation, translation… uh, I guess they would be considered the Europan version of storytellers — acted out the Tragedy of Nes’Tim, the famous surface whale whose fossilized remains rest at the highest point of Pwyll.

Once the most revered being on Europa, the spiritual prophet Nes’Tim was slain by the heretic tribe, Sel’Tab, during the height of the Glacial Wars. Meis’lo, a relative of my wife, is the only surviving witness to the tragedy. He was a child at the time, and foolishly wedged himself between the heretics and Nes’Tim. He was lucky to escape the confrontation with his life. He bears the scar of the puncture wound over his second heart.

The Sel’Tab, not above slaying a prophet, apparently had qualms about murdering a child. While I wish I could have met Nes’Tim, I’m glad that Meis’lo was not the one killed during that skirmish. Despite his nearly 600 years of age, he is a great history buff and I love talking about Europan history with him.

Back to the qik’climajh, a term that actually covers both the person telling the story and the act of storytelling (it sounds complicated but you can tell the difference when the word is used in a sentence). The ritual of the qik’climajh is that everyone in attendance takes turns telling a story.

I, unfortunately, am not much of a storyteller, so when it came to be my turn, I chose to talk about one of my favorite classic comedy shows, The Honeymooners. I tried to explain the concept of television and quickly abandoned it when I sensed the crowd getting restless.

As I retold a few of the episodes I remembered best, the ones with the chef of the future, Carlos mambo lessons, and rubber marshmallows, I watched their faces knot in confusion. At first I thought it was my fault. As I said, I’m nobody’s first choice for a storyteller, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It was the concept of KramdenRalph, as they referred to Mr. Gleeson’s character, they struggled to understand. In fact, his character was so perplexing to their Europan mindset, it sparked a great debate amongst the elders, who couldn’t find the logic of how and why everyone tolerated the portly bus driver.

After many hours of serious debate, the consensus was that NortonEd and KramdenAlice should have stripped KramdenRalph of all his possessions and exiled him from the village of Bensonhurst, armed with only a Handy Housewife Helper and a can of KraMars Delicious Mystery Appetizer.

Now, I’m actually looking forward to next week’s outing because I can’t wait to get their take on Seinfeld.

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

To be continued…

Text and Audio ©2014 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Greetings From Europa – First Transmission: Brave New World

Europa

This is Alexander Edwards, former captain of the Intergalactic Space Vessel Expediter.

Greetings from Europa.

I know that sounds hokey, like one of those golden age of radio programs, but I really couldn’t think of a clever opening line. I chose that particular opening because it’s the most accurate. This broadcast is coming to you from the Jupiter moon we were warned to stay away from in 2001: A Space Odyssey. And truth to tell, I don’t know if I can really call this a broadcast. I mean, I was able to salvage this transmitter, but I’m no engineer. The green light blinks but I’m not sure this thing is working. And is a broadcast truly a broadcast if no one hears it?

I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m rambling. My thoughts are all over the place right now. I have so much information to impart and have no idea where to begin. My crew and I were on route to Saturn when our ship, the Expediter, was bombarded by meteorites the size of Fiddle Faddle and we were forced to make an emergency landing here on Europa. It was a catastrophe. But they say any crash you can walk away from is a good one.

The problem is, I’m the only one who can make that statement. The rest of the crew died on impact and I spent the next three days burying them in shallow graves. I know what you must be thinking, why would I waste three days of oxygen burying dead men. The way I see it, if not for their sacrifice, I wouldn’t have had oxygen to begin with, and they were friends who deserved a decent burial, at the very least. I did for them what I hope they’d do for me if the situation was reversed.

Turns out that I used up all their oxygen for nothing. When I had depleted the last of the air supply, I decided that I was going to take my life by removing my helmet and succumbing to the Martian atmosphere. As you can see, I wasn’t successful. Oh, I removed my helmet, all right. I just didn’t die very well. It turns out that an aborted terraforming project that the Intergalactic Council labeled a failure, actually produced a layer of breathable oxygen. It’s thin and took my body some time to adjust to it, but it’s here nonetheless and is pollution free which isn’t a bad trade-off.

I wish I could tell you how long it’s been since I crash landed here, but I honestly have no idea. At the time I wasn’t thinking about tracking the days. The bulk of my concentration was focused on staying alive. I’m sure you understand. So, let’s just say I’ve been here for a while. A long while. Long enough to make contact with the indigenous life forms here, and acclimate myself to the Europan way of life. In fact, I’m married now…with children.

I would elaborate on that, but I’m trying to keep the transmissions short in order to conserve energy since I’m not sure how much juice this generator holds.

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

To be continued…

Text and Audio ©2014 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

All Her Yesterdays

The immortal bard once wrote that tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time. And as it was true for we poor mundanes trapped within the confines of this all too real world, so too were the mythical, mystical inhabitants of the Fairytale Realm subjected to the ravages of time, albeit creeping at a pettier pace.

At two hundred and seven years of age, dementia had robbed the old woman of her name and memories but whenever she sat by the window of her woodland cottage, staring past seven small graves that had not been properly tended to in years, she sang a long forgotten song from when her hair was as black as ebony, lips as red as the rose, skin as white as snow and impossibly the birds in the air outside seemed to dance in time with her lovely, lonely melody.

Text and Audio ©2019 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

One To The Dome

One hot summer night, after one too many tallboys, and bored out of his skull, Lem Planter fetched his cheaper-than-dirt Colt King Cobra .357 Magnum and unloaded his revolver in the air, trying to put a bullet between the eyes of the man on the moon.

As one would imagine, his aim exceeded his reach, but one of those shells actually managed to find a target as it fell back down to Earth, striking Miss Hattie Clements in the top of the head. When word reached Lem, he confessed immediately and was arrested once forensics matched the bullet to his pistol.

The saving grace to this story was even though the bullet was lodged in an area of Hattie’s brain that was deemed too dangerous to be removed, she not only survived but fully recovered from the incident, and when she was released from the hospital, she refused to press charges and even visited Lem in prison to personally thank him. She felt deep in her heart that it was the best thing that ever happened to her, because from the moment she awoke after the accident, she was able to physically see and have direct conversations with God.

Text and Audio ©2019 & 2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

As I Push My Whimsy Forward

I am of two minds. On the one hand, I want to make a good impression, to reveal glimpses of the parts of myself that will make you think favorably of me. On the other hand, I do not wish to mislead you by pretending to be wholly one thing, when I am an amalgamation of paradoxes that should not be able to function in one body, one personality, let alone society, yet somehow does.

Then you offer me a smile that is polite and mild, and my mind is made up, for I do not wish to hide my light beneath a bushel. It is my desire that you see all of me and I see all of you, because in that act there is such a freedom of either acceptance or rejection, that transcends the simple mediocrity of belonging.

So, as I push my whimsy forward, unfolding politeness and decorum to display the complexities that live and thrive at the very core of my being, I offer you the opportunity to follow suit in order to form an unbreakable bond and temper a love forged in the flames of two pure hearts.

Text and Audio ©2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys