Greetings from Europa – Seventeenth Transmission: Crash Site

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When NASA first introduced its latest rocket design, the Intergalactic Space Vessel Expediter, and proposed the manned fact-finding mission to Saturn, Alexander Edwards leapt at the opportunity, and former astronaut John C. Roberge backed his play.

Edwards, Eddie to his friends and colleagues, was an AsCan, an astronaut candidate, when he first came on Roberge’s radar. He was bottom of his class and written off as a wash-out, but Roberge saw something in Edwards, a drive, a determination, an unlucky kid who needed a break. So, Roberge took the kid under his wing and watched Edwards bust his hump to rise from last place to top of his class.

Roberge himself was sent to NASA Mission Control Center, located in Houston, Texas, when he was promoted to Capsule Communicator, or CAPCOM, for the Saturn Mission.

The astronauts who successfully made the vetting process were:

  • Dr. Georgina Douglas, physician, surgeon, and biologist.
  • Mr. Leon Powell, executive officer, second pilot, astrogator, astrophysicist, and photographer.
  • Dr. Faith Perkins, biochemist, and hydroponicist.
  • Dr. Ward Smith, semiotician, stores officer, and historian.
  • Dr. Natasha Marsden, atomics engineer, electronics and power technician.
  • Mr. Jude Randall, electronics engineer, chemical engineer, practical machinist & instrumentation man, and cryologist.
  • And Captain Alexander Edwards, commanding-pilot, astrogator, geologist and selenologist, and rocketry engineer.

Roberge wished his friend and protégé, as well as the rest of the Expediter crew, “Godspeed,” as the countdown commenced. The launch was a success and the Expediter was on route to Saturn.

When the message came in that the Expediter had been bombarded by several tiny meteors that damaged the integrity of the hull, Roberge was on duty, and the final message from Edwards before communication ceased completely was that the crew was going to attempt an emergency landing.

Knowing Eddie like the back of his hand and how Eddie thought because he taught the man to think like an astronaut, Roberge used Expediter’s last known position before the meteor strike and calculated their best chance of survival would have been to attempt a landing on Europa.

Roberge attempted to reestablish contact, listening for a reply. He listened and waited, waited and listened. For hours. Those hours became days, those days became weeks, those weeks months, and those months became years. But Roberge, in his role as CAPCOM, showed up every single day and broadcasted signals to his friend who was lost somewhere in the void and listened for a reply.

Eventually, NASA had no choice but to announce the probability that the Expediter and her crew had not survived the emergency landing. Funeral services were held for the brave astronauts but Roberge did not attend because he wouldn’t allow himself to believe they were dead.

Roberge was approaching retirement age, and the top brass planned to use that as an excuse to relieve the former astronaut of his duty, but before that happened, CAPCOM picked up a signal. It was Captain Edwards’s first transmission since the meteor strike. He was alive, and as Roberge suspected, he was broadcasting from Europa.

CAPCOM sent word to Mission Control and in violation of protocol, Roberge fired a tweet out on the Twitterverse.

Roberge attempted to broadcast a message back to Eddie, realizing that the relay time for a radio wave message to reach Europa was between 35 to 43 minutes and another 40 some odd minutes to receive a reply. When none came Roberge suspected the transmitter was damaged in the landing and could only transmit but not receive.

Talks of a rescue mission were underway and NASA was in the midst of designing an updated version of the Expediter model rocket when funding stopped over fears that a manned trip to Saturn was too risky. But now that Eddie managed to get a signal back to Earth, surely the funding would resume.

This, however, was not the case, chiefly because Eddie stated in his broadcast that he was the sole survivor of the landing. The question arose as to whether it was worth spending billions of dollars on a rescue mission to save the life of one man.

Other concerns were that he had made contact with the indigenous life on Europa, mated with one and had hybrid children. If brought back to Earth, what manner of diseases might he be infected with? And being stranded on the moon and forced to embrace alien cultures, how much of his humanity had he retained? Or was he under the influence of some alien superintelligence? And Capitalists were afraid of his power if he returned to Earth. He was now the unofficial ambassador to Europa and if he claimed citizenship all trade negotiations would have to funnel through him.

Still, the public movement to save one of their own had begun and #RescueEdwards became the new campaign of the western world.

Since the first broadcast, Eddie had managed to transmit once a fortnight at the same hour, but after the sixteenth broadcast in which he expressed concerns about a murder that happened in a place called Dairy Elock Prefecture the messages had stopped for a month.

Hope faded again, but Roberge held strong, and transmitted a message to establish contact on a regular basis. Eddie would have to make contact soon, because Roberge couldn’t hold off his bosses from forcing him into retirement.

As he was about to leave for the evening, a burst of static blared through the speakers and a voice fought its way to the surface:

“Greetings From Europa!” the voice said. It was Eddie but the signal was weaker than any of the earlier broadcasts. Roberge recorded the message and grabbed a nearby pen and pad on which to transcribe at the same time.

“This might be my final transmission because the battery indicator on the transmitter is showing it’s on low power mode. It could be a problem with the solar panel, the wire connections or the poor battery itself is at the end of its life. So, I’ll make this brief,” Eddie said. In the background there were chirpy clicking noises that several linguists identified as an alien language which was labeled Europese for simplicity. It was probably the voice of Eddie’s Europan son, Jampie.

“Since my last broadcast, my son and I have traveled through three villages without incident and now we’re less than a day out from Dery’Ylok Prefecture. Ever since we left the last village, I’ve been getting hit with strong surges of déjà vu and now I’m starting to realize why.

Just up ahead, although covered with tall grass are the five grave markers I made when I buried the members of my crew. This place is our crash site. When I last saw it, it was all scorched land, but even at a disaster site, nature persists. And those grassy hills in the distance beyond the graves must be the wreckage of the Expediter.

“Jampi!” Edwards called out and then his language switched to chirpy clicks, presumably as he spoke to his son. “Jampi! Jampi!”

“I am such an idiot!” Eddie said in English. “I explained to my son that those hills are actually my starship, how I came to be on Europa and no sooner than I got the words out, he was off like a shot to investigate it.”

More chirpy clicks but Edwards’ voice sounded worried.

In English Edwards said, “I’m stepping into the domed section of the ship that used to be stellar cartography and I have to admit that I’m filled with a bizarre sense of homesickness and fear. But, this could be a godsend because I’m surrounded by Earth tech, so perhaps I can locate a replacement powercell.”

“Jampi!” Edwards called out more forceful than before and communicated in Europese.

Then there was a sound of metal on metal, followed by a female voice, distant and echoey.

Although faint, Roberge could have sworn it said,

“Hello, Eddie. Been a while, hasn’t it?” in perfect English.

Then the transmission went dead.

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.

Greetings from Europa – Sixteenth Transmission: News From Dery’Ylok Prefecture

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Greetings from Europa!

Jampi and I stayed in Jhisal long enough to repay Meis’lo and the rest of the village for their hospitality. This was done by sharing our stories and pitching in with the communal chores.

On the morning that we packed our egami and prepared for our departure, two Denpas entered the village, one from the east, the road behind us, and the other from the road ahead.

I recognized Huc’yan, one of the Denpas from my village, who carried word from Kubus and Veron. News concerning the children of Rezter was coming less frequently now because villages grew scarcer the further out they traveled, and when they finally arrived at Pwyll there would be no word until they had completed their pilgrimage and were on their way back.

For now, Kubus and Veron had managed to circumnavigate mecot’ra safely. They encountered biss’ore, a band of travelers, or nomads and after describing their pilgrimage, received an offer of friendship to camp with the group and travel together as they were headed in the same direction, at least for four days.

Huc’yan also had a message from my wife, who was relieved that our son was safe with me. She had never been separated from myself or our children before and admitted that she didn’t realize the value of the things taken for granted until they were gone. This was her way of saying that she missed me and Jampi and it nearly brought tears to my eyes hearing Huc’yan imitate not only my wife’s voice, but the pain in it as well. I made him repeat the message several times, which he did without complaint. I sent word back that neither I nor Jampi ever felt we were taken for granted, and I added, “We miss you, too.”

The second Denpa, the one who traveled in from the opposite direction, wasn’t known to me. He brought news of a terrible tragedy that occurred in Dery’Ylok Prefecture. A young Europan girl was killed (not the word the Denpa used, but my human inference) by the mother of another girl. The two children were playing in the field when they came across a (the Denpa used a word that I had never heard before. When I asked for clarity, no one could help for the word had no translation. It was known to Europans and had never needed explaining before). This object, whatever it was, was so fascinating that the girls fought over ownership of it. Their village elder was called in to arbitrate the dispute and after listening to both girls’ stories, awarded it to the one who told the most compelling tale. This threw the mother of the other girl into a frenzy and she strangled the little poor girl, stole the object and was caught attempting to hide it.

The news was almost too much to process. Fighting over an object? Jealousy and anger? Murder? This wasn’t the Europan way. As I mentioned in a previous transmission, Europan children are considered micdow yl, sacred, the vessels of new life. Something was definitely happening in Dery’Ylok Prefecture and it wasn’t right, and here I was traveling to this place carrying my son in tow.

I voiced my concerns to Meis’lo and asked if I could leave Jampi in his care. The old man agreed without hesitation, but offered a piece of advice:

“This is Jampi’s age of learning and he is with the best teacher, his father. He is safe with you because you will do everything to protect him, and he needs to experience the world, both good and bad.” I let that simmer a long while, and in the end, Jampi and I continued on our way to Dery’Ylok Prefecture. The little scamp would probably have found a way to sneak out of the village and follow me anyway, so it was best that I knew exactly where he was at all times. And Meis’lo was right, I would protect my son with my life, and if agvann occurred, then it would have been the will of Nes’Tim.

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.

Greetings from Europa – Fifteenth Transmission: Death and Rebirth

First Transmission * Second Transmission * Third Transmission * Fourth Transmission * Fifth Transmission * Sixth Transmission * Seventh Transmission * Eighth Transmission * Ninth Transmission * Tenth Transmission * Eleventh Transmission * Twelfth Transmission * Thirteenth Transmission * Fourteenth Transmission

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.

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.

Greetings from Europa – Fourteenth Transmission: Respect for The Aged

First Transmission * Second Transmission * Third Transmission * Fourth Transmission * Fifth Transmission * Sixth Transmission * Seventh Transmission * Eighth Transmission * Ninth Transmission * Tenth Transmission * Eleventh Transmission * Twelfth Transmission * Thirteenth Transmission

Greetings from Europa!

By our second day on the road (keep in mind that one Europan day is equivalent to three and a half Earth days) we were able to reach Meis’lo’s village, Jhisal, and I was surprised at the great deal of reverence he was shown by the entire community. Young ones wanted to count the wrinkles on his face, and the adults asked permission to swipe their fingers across his brow in order to taste his sweat.

While we might find these actions bizarre on Earth, here they’re meant as a sign of admiration. Europans secrete a fluid from their sweat glands that typically take on one of four characteristics, and it is believed that you can tell a lot about a being’s personality and character traits by their sweat appearance and taste.

Clear sweat has almost no taste and these types are neat, tidy, and plan things meticulously, almost to a fault. Amber-colored sweat has an odd maple taste and these types are spontaneous, prone to do their own thing without planning or worrying about the opinion of others (this was Meis’lo). Brownish sweat types taste salty and tend to live in a private world inside their minds. And milky sweat has an astringent taste. These types tend to be great thinkers, and usually become village leaders or arceks.

Meis’lo finally made sense of everything by informing Jampi and I that it was Biem, a time to show respect for the aged, especially those who have lost their families, because in a Europan village, no one is alone and no one is forgotten, a fact that I can personally confirm.

So, after dispatching a Denpa to my wife to let her know Jampi was well, we sat around in a circle and listened to elders tell stories of what amounted to “the good old days” and ate the pickled meat of a tart root with shredded algae, and washed it down with a spicy mineral water. A good time was had by all. When the festivities ended, and everyone entered their rest cycles, Meis’lo generously offered us lodging in his home. After Jampi was tucked in tight, Meis’lo pulled me aside, his expression more serious than I had ever seen before, because he claimed that if I planned on continuing my journey to Dery’Ylok Prefecture, I needed to know the full story of the death of the spiritual prophet Nes’Tim.

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.

Greetings from Europa – Thirteenth Transmission: Grahas

First Transmission * Second Transmission * Third Transmission * Fourth Transmission * Fifth Transmission * Sixth Transmission * Seventh Transmission * Eighth Transmission * Ninth Transmission * Tenth Transmission * Eleventh Transmission * Twelfth Transmission

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.

Greetings from Europa – Twelfth Transmission: Mecot’ra

First Transmission * Second Transmission * Third Transmission * Fourth Transmission * Fifth Transmission * Sixth Transmission * Seventh Transmission * Eighth Transmission * Ninth Transmission * Tenth Transmission * Eleventh Transmission

Greetings from Europa!

This morning I sensed an eagerness in my wife that I hadn’t seen since we first met, when her curiousness about a klanea opened the doorway of my being accepted into her village.

At first, I thought she was eager for me to leave, that perhaps she had grown tired of my strange, non-Europan ways and customs but was too polite to say, and she could finally find some peace in my absence and settle into a brief period of normalcy with our neighbors.

That couldn’t have been further from the truth, which just goes to show that no matter where you go, there you are. Here I was in the most peaceful paradise in existence, the happiest I’ve ever been, and I was still carrying with me all the baggage and insecurities of my old life.

Outside our home, the village had gathered to see me off on my spiritual journey with a present of a village egami (one not belonging to any one family) and an uz cu’nal packed with food for the trip. I have no idea how word spread so quickly, but I suspect my wife had a hand in it. Everyone was in attendance, except for Jampi, who tried to hide his disappointment when I told him I would be leaving for a while and that it would be best if he stayed behind to be the man of the house, an expression I’m not sure he understood. I voiced my concerns to my wife and she said she would speak to the boy in time and bring understanding.

Just before I left, a Denpa arrived and announced that Kubus and Veron have reached a mecot’ra, one of the areas of Europa where the terraforming hadn’t taken hold.

You know, I just realized that if these broadcasts are being picked up, the receiver might not understand the complexities of a terraformed world. The process isn’t just about creating conditions for plants and vegetation to grow in order to create oxygen, you also need to create a greenhouse effect to keep Europa warm by trapping the sun’s rays and creating an atmosphere by releasing any of the moon’s available CO2. Then, you have to create a protective shield in order to deflect the Sun’s radiation and prevent solar winds from slowly shaving the atmosphere away, which NASA did by placing a field generator between Europa and Sol to act as a magnetic umbrella.

But there are places on Europa where the air is so thin that it is practically unbreathable and the landscape is a brutal, icy tundra of peaks and valleys, a result of the daily rise and fall of Europa’s subsurface ocean due to tidal forces from Jupiter. I sincerely hope that some miracle comes to their rescue so that Rezter’s children can put this hurdle behind them and that they aren’t forced to give up their pilgrimage, as I begin mine

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.

Greetings from Europa – Eleventh Transmission: Complexities of the Tongue

First Transmission * Second Transmission * Third Transmission * Fourth Transmission * Fifth Transmission * Sixth Transmission * Seventh Transmission * Eighth Transmission * Ninth Transmission * Tenth Transmission

Greetings from Europa!

Communicating isn’t as easy as you think it ought to be. The same word can have several different meanings between speaker and listener, writer and reader, and sentences often offer sub textual detours that were not part of the original narrative. And that’s when all parties involved in the conversation are native speakers of the same language.

Now, imagine taking your complex native language and translating it in your head so that an uncomplicated mind could comprehend it in their native language, a language that you are not yet fluent in. That was the conversation I had with my wife that lasted the entire solar day.

And before you misunderstand me, I am not calling my wife simple, she is highly intelligent, as are all Europans, they merely communicate in a language stripped of unnecessary complexities, where events, thoughts and requests are expressed as stories, and if the story is about them, they refer to themselves in the third person. Whenever I refer to something being suspicious or mysterious, that is solely from my point of view. These people know nothing of suspicion, mystery, or guile, so when I told my wife I wanted to travel to Dery’Ylok Prefecture to investigate Rezter’s murder, I had just taken the first step in an uphill struggle to make my point known.

She understood the concept of murder from the story of Nes’Tim, but had no firsthand knowledge of one being taking another being’s life in anger, jealousy or revenge, no concept of investigative police work, gathering evidence, and bringing guilty parties to justice, because none of these things had ever occurred during her lifetime. Any event that happened beyond her ability to comprehend, was written off as agvann and left for fate to handle.

Just as I was about to concede to the futility of my labor, Meis’lo interceded on my behalf and told a wonderful, though not quite accurate, story of my wanting to go on a spiritual journey to the place where Kubus and Veron began their pilgrimage, as a sign of respect.

Confusion immediately disappeared from my wife’s face as she said, “Xal argok khuts Gix’oh?” which loosely translates as “Why didn’t you say so in the first place?”

And that’s the thing about language, you never know how your words are being interpreted, so be careful and kind with the words you say, and understanding of the words you hear, because you never know their true intent or how they are being perceived.

Bless your ancient soul, Meis’lo, because your misunderstanding has set me on a purpose. I finally think I know why I’m meant to be on Europa.

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.

Greetings from Europa – Tenth Transmission: Peace and Maturity

First Transmission * Second Transmission * Third Transmission * Fourth Transmission * Fifth Transmission * Sixth Transmission * Seventh Transmission * Eighth Transmission * Ninth Transmission

Greetings from Europa!

My village has been seeing increased Denpa activity ever since Kubus and Veron began their pilgrimage, as everyone is keen to keep track of their progress.

The last report we’ve received was that the children of Rezter had reached Svalegos, a swampy region in which their egami, who is carrying the uz cu’nal containing their father’s corpse, cannot cross easily. While there is no damage threat to Rezter’s physical body, as the uz cu’nal can preserve it indefinitely without loss of integrity, I’m sure the children want to send their father’s spirit on its way to rejoin the universe as soon as possible. And though Kubus and Veron did not actively seek help in crossing the wet and spongy marsh, nearby villagers have taken up the act of gathering stones to build a narrow walkway to aid the egami across.

In other news, today is a very special day on Europa, the Alum’Vedca, or the day marking the new solar cycle of Peace and Maturity, a tribute to the era when Europans evolved from their primitive prey state. As they are a race fascinated with storytelling, I’m sure you can imagine all the proud reenactments that have occurred today, each family putting their own personal spin on the act of evolving into a higher life form. My family did as well, but I didn’t participate, despite Jampi’s persistent urging for me to evolve with him. Although I’m sure the villagers wouldn’t have minded, it felt a little disrespectful to me. I am happy to learn and participate in all aspects of their way of life, but I never lose sight of the fact that I am an outsider, and that at any given moment I might unintentionally offend someone in an act of cultural appropriation. I doubt this would ever happen, as I’ve said, they are a kind and generous people, who would most likely rejoice in my participation. It’s just some of that human baggage that I can’t seem to shake off, which makes me err on the side of caution.

The Alum’Vedca celebration did bring a bit of fortune my way, as Meis’lo, a relative of my wife, traveled to our village to share the day with us. As the oldest living Europan and witness to the Sel’Tab attack on Nes’Tim, I wanted to pick his brain in hopes of getting some background information and perhaps a few leads in my investigation into Rezter’s murder.

Inquisitive by nature, Meis’lo was more than happy to assist me, and he had access to information that none of the Denpa were aware of. It turned out that Rezter wasn’t the first mysterious death to occur in Dery’Ylok Prefecture. A female Europan with arcek markings painted around her neck, who was referred to as Klanea, which translated as unknown to us, or stranger, had been found with a similar blow to the head as Rezter, but her death was classified as agvann, or the will of Nes’Tim, an accident, as she was located at the bottom of a steep cliff, and was assumed to have fallen from a great height.

The urge in me to get to the bottom of this is stronger than ever now, which means I need to take a trip to Dery’Ylok Prefecture, and the only thing standing in my way, is somehow explaining the entire situation to my wife, and getting her permission to let me go.

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
  • 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.
  • Ipu llqr mwyll xfrr – Abogzon credo meaning “success or death”; satisfaction guaranteed.
  • Isogoles – Europan monthly day of pay.
  • Jbwqnadb – Europan spelling of lemonade.
  • Klanea – Translation: unknown to us; stranger.
  • 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.

Greetings from Europa – Ninth Transmission: The Unrepayable Debt

First Transmission * Second Transmission * Third Transmission * Fourth Transmission * Fifth Transmission * Sixth Transmission * Seventh Transmission * Eighth Transmission

Greetings from Europa!

Kubus and Veron finally reached our village, and so many Europans offered up their homes that a lottery was held to determine which family would house the children for the night. Miraculously, our family won, though, thinking about it, I suspect Jampi may have somehow tampered with the lottery ballots to skew the odds in our favor, the little scamp!

My wife prepared a nice dinner of auduron maetek pulp with fu’ton drop soup, and all our neighbors dropped by to offer provisions for the road and listen to whatever details the children of Rezter were willing to share.

It turned out that Rezter wasn’t just a simple Europan from Dery’Ylok Prefecture, as I originally assumed. Kubus and Veron informed us that he was a practicing arcek, a spiritual theologian, who had a vision that a band of dissenters were secretly forming a new tribe of Sel’Tab, and shortly after he announced his vision to the village, he was found slain inside his home.

There was no follow up to the matter because the Europans have no police force, no crime investigators. If caught in the act, offenders are dealt with immediately by the entire local community. If there are no witnesses to a crime, the matter is left for fate to handle.

After the last of the neighbors had gone, and before our guests went to bed, Jampi told Kubus and Veron of our desire to join their pilgrimage, to help out in any way possible, and they perceived it as a kindness so great that it brought tears to their eyes, a kindness they had no choice but to decline because it was considered Bokloryn, an unrepayable debt. To accept our offer would have put the children of Rezter into a contract of servitude for the rest of their existence. We attempted to explain that they would owe us nothing, that as a foreigner, I wanted to study the ritual of passing a soul through the Gates of Juh’holl in order to gain a better understanding of Europan culture so that I could better fit in, and that I, if anyone, would be indebted to them for teaching me such a valuable lesson. Adding that last bit probably cemented their decision, because they had no desire to place me in their debt.

So, although it was Jampi’s idea, I took full responsibility and apologized if my ignorance in Europan culture came across as rudeness or disrespectful. They claimed they understood and that no offense was taken.

Kubus and Veron set off on the road in the early morning, with the entire village in attendance to wish them well and pray for their success. And that should have been the end of that, but something within me couldn’t let it go. Their father was murdered, and the murderer had gotten off scot-free and was walking among us. Somebody had to bring Rezter’s killer to justice, and I was just the persistent foreigner to do it. There would be no debt to repay because I wasn’t doing it for Kubus and Veron, I was doing it to protect my own family.

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.
  • Arcek – A spiritual theologian
  • 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.
  • Ipu llqr mwyll xfrr – Abogzon credo meaning “success or death”; satisfaction guaranteed.
  • Isogoles – Europan monthly day of pay.
  • Jbwqnadb – Europan spelling of lemonade.
  • 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.

Greetings from Europa – Eighth Transmission: Gates of Juh’holl

First Transmission * Second Transmission * Third Transmission * Fourth Transmission * Fifth Transmission * Sixth Transmission * Seventh Transmission

Greetings from Europa!

Before the terraforming project, Europa’s atmosphere was virtually nonexistent due to the gravity being roughly thirteen percent of Earth’s. Now, with the aid of vegetation, the atmosphere is equivalent to living in a high-altitude region on Earth, which my lungs have acclimated to when I am at rest, but I have to employ breathing techniques when attempting anything strenuous.

The only reason I’m mentioning this is that there is almost no weather here, nothing severe, anyway, no rough wind conditions, and no harsh seasons. Yet, the sky has been shifting colors ever since a Denpa brought news of the suspicious death of Rezter, a Europan from Dery’Ylok Prefecture, who was rumored to have been beaten to death by a member of Sel’tab, a tribe that was supposed to have been extinct since the assassination of the spiritual prophet Nes’Tim.

As our community listened in bewilderment, it struck me as amazing that this simple death of one Europan in a small village could affect everyone so drastically. On Earth, it was a given that deaths occurred all the time, some natural, some accidental, and others by violent crime, so much so that unbeknownst to me, I had become desensitized to it. Yet, these gentle beings were affected enough to cause fluctuations in the mild weather, which makes me wonder about the true bond between this land and the natives, a connection that I as an outsider would never experience, never be a part of, no matter how long I lived here.

To honor their father’s passing, Rezter’s children, Kubus and Veron, are making a pilgrimage, carrying their father’s corpse in an uz cu’nal from Dery’Ylok Prefecture to the peak of Pwyll to place the body in front of the fossilized remains of Nes’Tim and pray for their father’s entry through the Gates of Juh’holl, where Europan souls are released from the flesh and become stardust in order to rejoin the universe.

As is tradition, families along the way have opened their homes to Kubus and Veron, offering food, aid and sleeping accommodations to help them along the way.

Very soon, Kubus and Veron will be passing through our village and in addition to offering them a place to rest, my youngest son, Jampi, wants to accompany them on their journey. To my surprise, his mother signed off on it and both my daughters are in agreement, so if Kubus and Veron are amenable to the idea, our family will join the pilgrimage and lend our voices to help open the gates to Juh’holl for Rezter.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, although they’re adopted, I really love my children. And though I’m not supposed to have a favorite, Jampi’s in the lead by a country mile.

But don’t tell the others, as these things are subject to change.

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.
  • 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.
  • Ipu llqr mwyll xfrr – Abogzon credo meaning “success or death”; satisfaction guaranteed.
  • Isogoles – Europan monthly day of pay.
  • Jbwqnadb – Europan spelling of lemonade.
  • 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.