“What do you think Aliza’s baby is?” asked Meriza.
“I don’t know, maybe she should get rid of it.” said Vabby.
“Yea, the thing is probably in constant pain.” said Ex’ves.
It was late in the afternoon and the three women where working on making new cloths for the tribe. They worked over a series of baskets in one of the side rooms.
“She should just put it out of it’s misery.” Said Vabby.
“Why are you so intent on eliminating the mutated baby?” asked Meriza.
“Well who knows what that baby is capable of doing, what if it grows up and kills us all!” said Vabby.
“And why is it you harbor such images of horror?” asked Ex’ves.
“Yea, how would you like to have to take your baby and throw it off the cliff down into the valley?” asked Meriza with obvious sarcasm.
“How do we know one of your babies isn’t capable of growing up to kill us all?” retorted Vabby
Aliza stood just outside the door and listened to the gossip inside the room and a tear appeared at the side of her eye. She turned and walked quietly back to her room where Z’lot lay sleeping in her bed. She lay down beside him and kissed his forehead. She lay there for many long minutes just looking at his soft young face. Then and there she resolved to raise this babe, and see that he grew up to become a great man, much as Aton was already well along the road to. Even if he did grow up to be a freak of a boy with a shiny arm, she vowed that he would be the best.
“You are going to be the smartest, strongest, and quickest of all the children ever!” Bragged Aliza
Long minutes passed and Aliza drifted off as she dreamed of raising her baby Z’lot. Her rest was broken by a voice, “Mom I’m done with my chores can I go outside and play?”
Aliza sat up in bed and baby Z’lot screwed up his face and let loose with a baby yawn.
“Yes you can go outside and play, just make sure you stay in our valley! Ok.” Agreed Aliza
“Ok mom.” Said Aton as he dashed out of the room and for the surface tunnel.
Aton walked from the tunnel the double suns catching the shimmer in his silvery hair. Soon the others kids had joined Aton playing outside in the valley. They had two large moss balls that they kicked around on the ice. This was the game of moss kick. There where four teams of kids, and with only two kids per team, they had to get the ball of moss down to one end of the valley, they where aloud to use their hands. If one team member touched the wrong ball then the teams would switch and the score would switch with them, after which a point would be deducted from the team that touched the ball. The one problem was there was no way to tell the balls apart.
Gi’za ran up the wall of the valley dribbling the ball in front of her, she kicked it up slope and over a ledge towards Flex, her teammate, and keeping it away from Tori’ana, and the opposing team.
Aton was a quarter of a valley away working up the valley against Z’mo; he ran a sidekick left to Zeek his team member. But there was Nasher ready to take the ball back the other direction. Zeek faked left, then right, and kicked the ball between Nashers legs. Nasher reacted quickly, spinning his feet about and catching the ball with his heel, and sending it out sideways toward his teammate Z’mo who caught it with his other foot and did a hard kick back down the valley, he followed it up by running hard after it. The others skidded left and right as they did their best to follow him.
Flex was down there already working the ball hard down the valley toward the score, left then right against the defending Tori’ana. Tor’vey blocked Gi’za by running an inside curve behind Tori’ana. Flex saw this and faked right but flicked the ball with his left heel to the left sending it skidding just beyond the reach of Tori’ana Gi’za skidded nearly out of control to catch the ball. But Flex had already taken the motion of his right fake into a full dodge around Tori’ana. Tori’ana managed to catch this and did her best to follow. Gi’za passed the ball high on to the advancing Flex but Tori’ana jumped equally high in the air and caught the ball with her left boob.
The dynamics of the game changed immediately. Gi’za and Flex had to double their efforts working to take up defensive positions. Flex skidded on the ice and landed on his side. When he finally got up Tori’ana had already passed the moss ball on to Tor’vey.
Gi’za could not hope to make a defense against two attacking team members alone. They worked around her easily to score.
* * * * * * *
Team 1: Tori’ana, and Tor’vey
Team 2: Gi’za and Flex
Team 3: Aton and Zeek
Team 4: Nasher and Z’mo
* * * * * * *
“What is it?” Asked Dr. Vi’tar.
“Some weird formations and a thick carpet of moss.” Replied Criz, “I mean this stuff is really weird! You’re going to have to see it to believe it. Careful coming down though, some of these things are dangerous.”
“Dra’var give me a hand down.” Said Dr. Vi’tar.
Dra’var wedged his feet back into the crack they had been climbing before, shoved one shoulder into the tinny space between where the new crack formed from the floor and the ceiling they where working below now. With his hip wedged into the narrow part of the newest crack they where discovering he lowered Dr. Vi’tar into the dark space below.
Dr. Vi’tar found himself perched between two odd shaped arches of Ice with nodules on their ends. Beneath him was a thick and lusciously deep rug of moss. Although the slope was steep the shaggy substance clung to the Ice like no other layer of moss they had ever seen.
Dr. Vi’tar looked over his shoulder and saw Criz farther down the sudo wall of the massive chamber holding the moss torch over his head, a trail of smoke wafting upward towards the contorted roof.
“Come on down guys, I’ll help you. Just be careful this moss is slick.”
Dra’var began to descend with the help of Al’trex. Dr. Vi’tar helped him down guiding his feet onto the steep floor. Dra’var turned and worked his way down toward Criz as Al’trex dropped in beside Dr. Vi’tar. The four of them made their way through and over and sometimes under the alien icescape and their odd formations. Dr. Vi’tars eyes began to adjust to the feeble sputtering darkness. He saw massive blocks of ice hanging seemingly frozen in time. It looked as if the entire roof had broken open. Cracked under trihugic forces. A lake or under-mountain sea had begun to pour into the cavern. The whole roof floor combination seemed to have flash frozen. He saw a single misshapen column of ice going from floor to ceiling.
That’s when they noticed the formations around them where no longer made of ice. The mations where rather massive fungus. The great shrouds atop translucent stamens held the heat from their torches close to the ground. The air warmed and formed a fog. Their feet puffed up small clouds of spores as they walked.
“Their mush’zhrooms!” said Criz.
For indeed they where walking on mush (A term for rotting moss). The fog around them began to thicken and condense on the colder moss turf growing on the mush below, forming a wet dew that coagulated the spores from dust into a slimy goop that stuck their feet. The turf they walked on was comfortable; it’s small blades tickling the spaces between their toes.
They began to work on getting some of the moss and taking down one of the mush’zhrooms.
Al’trex took a swing at one. It’s stalk quivered and he found him self in a cloud of spores.
“AHHH Chew!” He bellowed. He gave another swing at the now motionless behemoth. This time it blistered open and toppled to the ground jiggling like a plump breast, releasing more spores in its last troughs on the ground that had bore it through life and now death.
The tribe would feast that night. And for many nights to come. They would enjoy large meals of mush’zhrooms with a nicely prepared variety of moss sauce.
* * * * * * *
Two and a half months later the white object in their sky disappeared into the glare of Raz, their Red sun. The leaders meet in the main room to discuss the significance of the sudden appearance and equally remarkable vanishing of the Blath.
Dra’var, the more religious of the leaders said, “And how do you explain that because the object passed across the eye of Zan that it was a message from Zan the Great?”
“It could have been anything.” Said Al’trex
“How can you say that?” defended Dr. Vi’tar, “Can’t you all see it was a sign for my sons…”
“You are in no position to speculate on the appearance of the object. Your point of view is affected by your experience.” Interrupted Meriza.
“Your right Meriza, my views have been affected.” Conceded Dr. Vi’tar, “But the connotation and it’s context remains, whether you admit it or not.”
“We all know of the worth of these events in our lives but we are not here to discuss implications of import, but to speculate on possible consequences of these events, such as the object vanishing into the Raz.” Consulted Aliza comforting her husband by rubbing his back.
“Could it mean the end of Raz?” asked Al’trex.
“It could, it could mean anything, or nothing at all.” Said Vabby, Dra’vars wife.
“Do you guys think we will ever see it again?” asked Dra’var
“If we did see it again what do you think that would mean?” asked Meriza
“Lets not speculate on what if’s.” said Aliza, steering the topic again.
Aton was helping his cousins Quivera and Tor’vey with their studies. He himself was also working on his studies. They sat on small patches of moss in the hallway to the surface, working in the light from the main meeting their parents where having there.
Something up the hall caught Atons eye and he looked up the hall, but saw nothing.
Aton scribbled a math problem on the patch of moss in front of him. Then he wrote the simple answer & just then the meager piece of charcoal broke in his hand, and again something up the hall caught his eye. Aton looked quickly this time and saw a lingering sharp blue. The light made the walls look like they where covered with craters lit at a low angle. Aton stood slowly watching the exit of the tunnel, and he took a few hesitant steps toward the top. As he watched he saw another sharp rise and fall in the light followed by a second, both with a hint of lavender. Again the light lingered. There was a third burst of light and Aton began to walk to the cave exit. Quivera and Tor’vey following now.
They walked from the cave to again see something they never had seen in all their years of watching the stars.
Two to three times a second there where bright red streaks of light shooting across their sky with long bright lingering trails of blue light and swirls. Every now and then a massive silent burst of light would pop like an exploding star and just as bright.
Aton stood there almost unable to believe it. A long delay between streaks helped Aton realize he should call the others before the event came to an end.
Aton turned and shouted back down the tunnel, “Something is happening to the sky!” Words that now at their uttering seemed to become a given in these times of surrealistic change on a celestial magnitude. His voice seemed to echo back through all time, followed by a rumbling thunder that could have been time itself resisting the these changes that had recently affected their lives, and bore a new one.
The crowd that was their families, and indeed their fledgling civilization came running out into the open sky.
The spectacle affixed their eyes at all points and at none. Someone in the crowd began to hum a tune to the trails of light. The tune became a son, with words not of meaning, but with words of pure emotion. Someone else took up counter melody, building on the various intricacies of the same emotion. Soon the song became an entire choir as all joined in, this time reflecting the different points of emotions but matching perfectly on six or seven part harmonies.
As the minutes passed the streaks became more frequent. Some of them maintaining perfect parallelism through the duration of their flight.
Soon great waves of light broke like the tides of change over their sky filling their eyes. The song died away as the celestial show became overwhelming. Millions upon billions of shooting stars passed over their heads every second.
The hours past silently this time, the small group giving off puffs of condensed breath forming small ever-dissipating clouds of moisture. The sky show slowly abated, but every single person stayed on through the night till the first of their suns, Orz, began to rive a glow from behind the familiar jagged walls all around them. The meager light showed recently formed high wispy clouds carried away lazily by lofty turbulent winds.
Again several times a second long trails of light lazed behind the feathered clouds yet somehow in front of the brightening blue sky.
Presently Orz peeked its orange brilliance between the teeth of Valn’tar. The distant rays hit the miniature ice crystals high up in the thin atmosphere following undiscovered laws of geometric reflection and refraction. The resulting image reached the eyes of the group still awake enough to bear witness.
A giant ring framed in a great vertical shaft of light piercing out from the heart of Raz itself and an equally great horizontal cross of light also through the heart of Raz. The two beams of light formed quadrangles and outlined by a second fainter ring. The compounding halo effects resulting from a kind of super symmetry added to the effect with four glowing globes above, below and to both sides of Orz at the intersection of ring and shaft’s of light.
Again the hours passed as much of the group continued to snooze. This time Raz peeked its red brilliance upon the small group of Iceversakians. Fire and Ice and a second ring, halo, and star. Now most of the shooting stars where washed out by the double suns. Only a select few could be seen blazing trails across the many-colored sun rises. The show ended as discreetly as it begun.