Lakszi Junakkson waited for his son to be fully recovered from his injuries to take him fishing in the Northern Ocean, he thought it was the perfect moment to reconnect with his son and know him a little better now. The obligations of the Senate and the Library were minimized during the season of Hell then, so to speak, many Firstten took that period as a long vacation and therefore only the most basic needs of the community were covered. Although the medicines of the newcomers were resulting were effective with the female population, there still was some woman who insisted on sucking young’s K’ntic breasts, which bothered her husband who hasn’t been educated in the Firstten society, but the sweetness and goodness of the girl had always yielded to the entreaties of the most superstitious women. The Junakkson patriarch was very proud that Xavier had accepted his surname because surely there was nothing comparable to have three Healing Mothers and two intrepid Star Travelers in the same home, although this imply to live with less space in his humble abode.
Junak was very happy to can share that long sabbatical time with his father, for this young fisherman had been very difficult twentieths with the training, jahta’s construction, having to give up his beloved Kaunis, the countless adventures of that eventful journey … Although to have the luck to can tell his exciting story, a new epos to write in the book of Junakkson family, he felt alone and eclipsed by the protagonists of the moment: K’ntic, Xavier and David. His father had noticed that disaffection which little by little was overtaking Junak and so organized that activity for the two of them. Searched for the best place and threw the fishing net, both were skilled sailors and for them it was a breeze.
“Junak, my son, for quite some time I wanted to have a man to man conversation with you. You know you are the first born and heir of Junakkson saga.”
“I know, Father, you’ve proven that many times.”
“But you don’t trust me.”
“What do you mean?”
“You hide from me your powers, you feel ashamed to be a mongrel and you don’t realize that I am too.”
“Do you have powers?”
“Don’t you see sometimes things on your mind that after a while happen?”
“Yes, Father, and it scares me. I knew that grandpa would die half a journey before he had the accident.”
“It’s terrible but it’s a gift linked to our Neitsi half. Yeah, Junak, we inherit part of the genes of Neitsi. Or you have not noticed you have your mother’s ears?”
“Yes, they look like hers, but the Mother’s ones Madre are prettier.”
“For me she is the most beautiful woman in the world, as it is for you Kaunis.”
“Why do you talk about Kaunis? I can’t approach her, she can’t be mine, and she’s the wife of an elector of the Senate.”
“You’re wrong, no longer belongs to another man, her husband died about ten journeys ago. Kaunis is free as a bird, with permission of her beliefs.”
And how this changes things?”
“Everything. She has no husband and you do not belong to any other woman, the law shall impose no impediment so you can be together.”
“But that was very recently, still having to go into mourning.”
“Do not be a fool, son, she is suffering and you too, why should it be? Will you let another take place on your bed that belongs to you? Will you let another man be the father of your son?”
“Where is he? Where am I going to look for her?”
“She’s at Balta Zemës farm, six mailins north of town. Don’t wait to get back to the Pelerines Islands because you will lose the trail. “
“What would I do without you?”
“Do not sing victory, maybe she doesn’t want… Zelen Island women have very strange customs, they belong to a rural cultural very closed.”
The next morning Junak decided to go to Balta Zemës, K’ntic wanted to help preparing him his best clothes in order to he was presentable. Even Xavier repaired an old carrocicle so he could go without making a great hike because they were calculated roughly about eleven kilometers in terrestrial measures. Before leaving, his father stopped him from his house’s door.
“By the way, I haven’t told you the Kaunis’ surname. So don’t you want to know it?”
It was not a secret?” Junak asked surprised.
“She was the wife of Senator Visek, so that will be her name.”
“No, very soon she will be a Junakkson.”
He started up that device driven by a small electric motor connected to pedals to be operated when the battery ran out. The road was very dusty and that carrocicle did nothing but bounce, but nevertheless it soon came to the Balta Zemës farm. It was a house surrounded by green meadows; at some distance you could see a barn and a haystack. Its activity was very intense, he saw people working on the fields, getting in and out the barn; they leaded animals and carried different types of agricultural products from one place to another. Junak passed the gate that was ajar and instantly a man of certain age stood before him.
“Where are you going, lad? Here only the people who work in the farm are allowed to get into.”
“Sorry Sir, I am looking for a person. Her name is Kaunis Visek.”
“The widow Visek? Please come on, I’ll lead you to the field where she works. But you have to leave your vehicle outside the fence.”
They walked along a path surrounded by green fields and some yellow, there could be seen the canals that watered everything. Although he knew that they existed, he had never been in one of these fields; Junak had been educated as a seaman and only knew how to extract the riches of the ocean, apart from the specific training for the Great Trek. The journey took just over a mika; he finally saw a field where they were preparing the furrows to plant something, a woman with a straw hat was driving a plow pulled by two large oxen.
“OK, the person you’re looking for is the woman who controls the oxen. Now I leave, and then return where to you came.”
“Many thanks, Sir.”
He approached the woman; it was evident that she was new in the job because she had some difficulty mastering these beasts, ‘it would happen the same to me’ Junak thought. Kaunis stopped the oxen when she realized who the person who was coming towards her was.
“Junak? You can’t be here.”
“Now I can so, there is no law that requires me to be away from you. I come to claim you as a wife.”
“What happened? I know there is a new Healing Mother.”
“Things did not go as they should, the K’tmenü hurt me and if the Stars Travelers hadn’t helped me I would have died.”
“And the girl Neitsi? What does she think about your trip to go see another woman?”
“She married one of my saviors.”
“Yeah, and now, as you have failed, you come to see if the poor widow falls rendered on your arms.”
“You are unjust; I have come for you, for you and our son.”
“Just like that? You’ve taken some time to come get me. Must be two twentieths you got back from your trip.”
“My father told me where you were today, but I couldn’t come to look for you even if I knew it, I’ve been very seriously injured, about to die.”
“Sorry, but I do not want to be the consolation prize.”
“You aren’t, you’ve always been the unique. The words you wrote in that letter still sound in my heart, a love like this doesn’t die from one day to another.”
“You’re just a brat who does not understand anything, which was between us you died the day that you set sail to look for another woman. Now go away, I’ve to idle the mourning and when the moment arrives one of the men of the farm will get me as wife.”
“Go at once; I have a lot of work. And don’t ever come back.”
Junak left heartbroken, the young man did not expect that such a hostile reaction from Kaunis. On the other hand, Kaunis hid her tears until her beloved disappeared from her sight. She had rejected the unique love of her life but it was necessary to follow the moral doctrine of the family. An unwritten tradition of the island said that the marriage of a woman with a younger man contravened standards of morality; if she did, her family would rejected her forever and she could not count on it if things got ugly. Very sad, unhitched the oxen yoke and led them to the stable, took maybe a couple of mikas or just slightly less and opposite the barn Junak was waiting for her sat on a bale of straw.
“Didn’t I just tell you to get out? What are you still doing here?”
“Nobody will move me from here until you tell me the truth.”
“You do not want the truth; you want to live in a cloud of the ‘chosen’ Junakkson. My family will never let me marry a boy three twentieths younger than me.
“There is no law against it. Failure to be the husband of the Healing Mother sets me free. You are also free to have no husband.”
“The Matriarch would agree to our marriage only if you brought the young Neitsi to bless young virgins for marriage.”
“What? I don’t want to involve K’ntic in this affair.”
“The Neitsi are not as good as you think, kid. Ask your mother. I still remember when she came to bless me, how she messed my childhood, I went from playing with dolls to sleep with an old man.”
“Explain yourself. What do you know about my mother and what does it have with that are you telling me?”
“So we must start at the beginning, the Zemës farms are not just for growing grain, women are also grown.”
“Women? That’s stupid; do you expect me to believe that you are bred like cattle? That you’re goods to be bought and sold?”
“Let me continue, in our family three out of four babies who are born are girls. Taking advantage of this genetic abnormality, the Matriarch trades with women, anyone with enough money can marry one of us.”
“And what is the role of my mother in all of this?”
“Your mother came to pick the prettiest girl for her son and that just turned six horbitts arranged my marriage to an old senator. She herself accompanied us the wedding night to help us to consummate the marriage, making sure I got pregnant quickly, since the small Junak needed a fertile trainer for the trip. It was all for you to play at houses with me, to serve you a young woman on a platter.”
“Do you mean that our love was a lie? What about the letter written in your own handwriting that I deposited in the tree on the Island of Sighs? Did you also lie then?”
“Your mother dictated it to me, there is poetry within the Neitsi’s capabilities, and this is an intellectual faculty which they not lose at performing the act of fertilization.”
“I want to die, how can I look at your face? How can I come back home and talk to Mother like that?? I feel ashamed for being so simple.”
“There’s something certain, my love, I really love you, and I swear this is true. But I have to fulfill the destiny what my family has for me and this fate isn’t with you. The Matriarch would put at least two conditions to turn a blind eye: this would be that you bring the Neitsi girl to Balta Zemës and that you recognize as yours the girl I had with my husband.”
“Sorry, then I can only say that it’s the last time we meet. I don’t want that you submit K’ntic to your superstitious nonsense.”
Before Kaunis could react, Junak stole a kiss to her, long and humid, the last. Their hands were the last thing to separate, which were released little by little. Tearfully, the girl saw how he was going, now so, towards the old carrocicle parked beyond the fence. The few mailins separating Balta Zemës to Kota Utara became for Junak the hard path to the harsh reality, of the destruction of the lives of a young couple by the action of a series of stupid and outdated conventions devised by embittered people.
K’ntic heard the arrival of the carrocicle and went outside; she saw the look of sadness in Junak and wanted to encourage him.
“What’s wrong, Junak?”
“It didn’t work, I’m devastated, and Kaunis wants no part from me.”
“It’s my fault, I should have waited to you get better, I’d now tour wife and you wouldn’t be so sad.”
“Sweet K’ntic, you know I don’t love you this way, you’d have caught my sadness and you would never have been happy.”
“But it saddens me to see you unhappy.”
“Do not suffer, I’ll survive.”
“Do you know that we the Neitsi die if sadness defeats us?”
“Well I’m glad to not be Neitsi and want you to be happy with Xavier.”
“You’re wrong, I know you have a Neitsi hand, I can see a honey colored glow in your eyes when you’re sad. I know also you hide your powers and not use them because you don’t want to scare your people.”
“If I die, enkindle a pyre with a great flame so that Kaunis could see I died because she doesn’t love me and my heart no longer supports failing to beat next to hers.”
“What powers do you have?”
“I cannot talk about them and I beg you not to tell anyone. Fanatics of rationalism could attack me or my loved ones.”
“Can’t you do me a demonstration, although it would be a small one? Come on, just one little thing.”
“Swear you will not say anything. Secret should not be revealed.”
“I swear I’m an expert keeping secrets. My lips are complicit in my silence.”
Junak took a dead bird from the ground, covered it with both hands and held it to her heart. He waited for a while closing his eyes and when he opened them kissed tenderly K’ntic’s lips, who shivered as she felt the humidity of the tongue of the young man.
“Why did you do that? What if someone saw us? The kiss of a Neitsi is sacred and dangerous; you can unleash forces that you don’t know.”
“Love is the cure to death, for a moment I felt your pure love and I could transfer it to this dead bird.” He opened his hands and the bird flew away. “Forgive me to steal you a kiss, but I know you have so much love in your heart that you can save more than one life with it.”
“Could you wake up to a dead person?”
“I’m not sure, the person who cedes his love should be someone who loved the dead person in a way that only a woman Neitsi can. Neitsi women are capable to love someone so hard that they can die with the fact to separate them from the person they love, because such a great grief invades them so that live escapes from their bodies.”
“It’s romantic and terrible at the same time, now I fear for the life of my twin sister, she loved me in a sinful way that bordered on madness, could she be dead?”
“What does your heart say?”
“It says me no, that Pulxer is not dead.”
“The she’s still alive, because despite having lost all your powers this link never disappears.”
“How do you know so much about us? Where does this wisdom come from?”
“My mother and grandmother are Neitsi. Besides, if I concentrate a lot, I can read the soul of Neitsi the same way that your virgins do.”
“Just can do about Neitsi? You can’t do about anyone else?”
“Well, I’m not sure, I can see your soul easily to Mother and you, the rest of the people of the island have blue eyes and you know that this color represents a barrier.”
“Dou you love much to Kaunis? Are you sure that she deserves your love?”
“Is summer hot? Is sea blue? Is grass green? How could I not love Kaunis without denying myself? If my heart beats is because I think of her every time since I get up at the morning, if I breathe it’s because I try to evoke her delicate perfume, if I look at the sky it’s because I expect to see her face on the moon Stora or in the celestial fringe.”
“That’s much love; you are more Neitsi what you think. I’ve never seen a warrior with such a poetic way of love.”
“And what good is it if she doesn’t want to be with me? And to top I found out that all have been a farce mounted by my mother, in favor of the mission to go to Maa-Alune to look for a new Healing Mother.”
“I have the solution, because your mother already mentioned me this matter. So I’m a Healer Mother and the son within me is the result of the Great Trek.”
“Did you already know? What game are you playing?”
“It’s your mother who wants you to find Kaunis. Everything happens according to her plans.”
“But Mother is a manipulative, if you knew what forced my lovely Kaunis to do … I found out that she is not like you.”
“I know, your mother told me. She has also told me that if I bless to the virgins of Kaunis’ family they’ll allow you to bring her home with us. Los Junakkson must support each other, and I as Healing mother I have to do more than anyone for the happiness of the family.”
“I don’t want you go, I know for a fact that they’ll make you horrible thing. They are strange and extremely superstitious women, they’ll force you to stoop to levels that you can’t imagine, and I could glimpse any of the memories of my mother recalling the appalling humiliations that these crazy women carry out.”
“I cannot avoid my destiny; it’s a part of the role I have to play in this society. I have the mark of serfdom in my body.”
“Your destiny is to love Xavier and the baby you are carrying in the womb. Now that David and your husband have perfected the cure to the bacterial disease it’s not necessary that all women who ask you suck your breasts.”
“But I still want to bless these girls so that you can marry Kaunis. It can’t be such a terrible thing.”
Junak and K’ntic got on the carrocicle and came back to the farm. At the gates of the farm Balta was again the old man who attended Junak the first time, but now seeing K’ntic bowed and invited them to enter.
“Come in, oh beautiful Healing Mother, you and your companion. Wish that your magical breasts make get away the devilish disease from our humble farm. The virgin Zemës await eager to be blessed with your love. “
“Thanks, gentle guardian.” K’ntic responded in gratitude.
Junak held K’ntic’s hand and they went together to the house; it was very clear that the Matriarch knew he would come back with his young goddess; it was all a trap from which all of them were victims and perpetrators at the same time, prisoners of farce as old as our civilization. Inside the house there was a hallway and a door that Kaunis blocked with her body, this time she was breastfeeding her baby, Junak fought back tears at the sight of his beloved and his infant son. Both approached Kaunis, but she just let pass to K’ntic.
“I’m sorry, as of now it’s a women’s matter.” Kaunis said just before kissing Junak’s lips. There will be time for you to meet your son. Very soon we will be together forever, my lips will be yours.
“Kaunis, I beg you to treat her well, she’s a very innocent girl and she’s scared.” But the two women ignored him and they crossed the door closing it behind them.
Junak sat on a wooden bench that was near a wall, just then entered the lobby a peasant of his stature but with broad shoulders caused by years of hard work in the field.
“You must be the young Junakkson, who wants to take my daughter Kaunis to the Pelerines.”
“I love Kaunis, Sir.” Junak responded with determination.
“Why Kaunis? Your friend is blessing very cute girls, I could quote you a good price, and a hero deserves the best merchandise. There is a girl who is beautiful like a doll and loving as an angel, a luxury for senses.” Junak couldn’t believe what he heard, that total lack of respect for these girls treating them as objects rather than as people.
“You offend me, Sir, these girls are people, I don’t like that women be treated as merchandise. I want to Kaunis much, she is the mother my so.”
“Would you also come for Kaunis if she was ugly? Absolutely not.” The flippant tone of that man annoyed Junak.
“Kaunis would be for me the most beautiful woman in the world even if people saw her ugly. I couldn’t fall in love to another person; she’s my life and nobody else.”
“Neither your friend Neitsi? She’s very good-looking; many men would get mad with that dwarf of sweet lips and black hair.”
“This ‘dwarf of sweet lips’ saved my life; she has been mother and sister for me. She’s such a pure creature who loves everyone, even to those who don’t deserve to be loved by anyone. She deserves the respect due to her position as Healing Mother.”
“I see you’ll be a worthy husband for my Kaunis.” That man radically changed his speech, as if all this would have been to try Junak in a sort of revalidation. “You have not fallen into any of my traps. Bless you, Junak Junakkson, your nets back to port always filled to feed the family who you will rule with wisdom and justice.”
“Thank you Sir.”
K’ntic and Kaunis came after more than three mikas since entered that room. Kaunis had tears in her eyes, guilty tears, and K’ntic looked like physically another person: they had cut her hair to shoulder and she wore a blouse and a skirt like women in the farm wore. Kaunis was carrying the baby on her hands and behind her a girl of more or less a horbitt was hidden.
“What have they done you? Why have they cut your beautiful hair?”
“Please don’t ask me, I just want to go from here. Take your new family and go home.”
“I’m sorry; I didn’t want to involve you.”
“I’m a Junakkson, you protect me and I protect you. You have the right to the love they wanted to deny you, but now I need a hug from Xavier, I miss him.”
Junak took the child in his arms; she was tiny and spoke unintelligibly. She was so used to strangers so that she didn’t protest at taking her.
“What’s your name sweetie?”
“Drobne.” Kaunis intervened. “And he is our youngest son, Pisike. They’re the little Visek.”
“No, they’re the little Junakkson, Drobne, Pisike and my wife Kaunis Junakkson.”
Arriving at carrocicle, Junak couldn’t avoid hugging K’ntic, who began to mourn tenderly on his chest. The young man could see the guilt’s face of his couple.
“K’ntic, stop mourning, I swear I will find a way to repay you.”
“Compensate me taking me home. As soon as I’m on my husband’s arms I will have forgotten this damn place and the pain that these women caused me.”
Activities of David in the North Pole.
By stepping this wonderful planet discovered that I was in the middle of an advanced civilization similar to ours in many respects, but adapted at such inhospitable conditions that it’s really incredible that they could prosper that way. This discovery changed radically my view of things giving me the balance that had been looking for and so I made a firm resolve to learn all I could about these people who had welcomed me with open arms without any suspicion. I started with my immediate environment to study the Firstten, as Junakkson really formed a cohesive family and a role model for their people, were a saga admired by all their compatriots.
Ivre offered herself to teach us to read and write the language Firstten to newcomers, a very rich language in sounds that it was written on a strangely familiar alphabet though was unlike any I had seen on Earth. Our flexiscreens were very useful because we were able to make quickly a dictionary Firstten – Spanglish. It also recorded vocals; as soon as I come back to the ship I could upload this tongue in some accessories that would serve the terrestrials to contact the people of this planet, of which we would have to seek an agreed name, because it’s called Miracle by us Firstten call it Peyi.
There was only one vowel which couldn’t be processed by our flexible pocket computer, on names as S’ladan or K’ntic the voice program didn’t recognize a vowel and inserted an apostrophe, in fact it was a vowel that sounded as ‘iaei’, but pronounced quickly; a letter that in Firstten alphabet seemed the symbol pi. Problems apart, I could immediately communicate with these people, vital question if I wanted to gauge the extent of their culture and use their knowledge to build a radio to contact our ship. All programs about how to get to the base camp was cleared by the impact of the emergency landing in Shelter Island, we could take years looking for a little corner of eleven square kilometers in the middle of a forest unless we could come up with the solution to our transmission problems. I could wait to be found, but how? Lakszi explained to me that tides of Madness Ocean were very strong and in a matter of days the slider would be swallowed by the waves.
In another vein, an element that changed the lives of many people was the drug that ‘Doctor Droid’ got synthesize with local mushrooms and samples of the famous antigen used before. The Firstten had achieved centuries ago that a substance would produce an immune response to the attack of deadly bacteria that produced damage in the female population of the planet, but the social cost of that course of action was very high, proof of this was the use of the women Neitsi as a means to administer the savior serum. The analytical of our cybermedic system showed that the bacteria was a mutation of the E. Colli, which was infected by a virus which had a special predilection for the XX chromosome pair. The antibiotic generates was powerful enough to eradicate the disease in Kota Utara within a few days. Lakszi and Junak dedicated themselves to distribute the antibiotic everywhere, carrying thousands of bottles and application instructions in carrocicles of the postmen who came to pick them up. Three days of treatment were sufficient to kill the bacteria dormant in females of all ages.
Personally I started to enjoy Firstten clothes, they were pieces of fabric very pleasant to the touch but resistant to daily use. I was walking through the streets of the village and was greeting all the people with whom I came across, I felt increasingly more integrated, with each passing day I was more Firstten and less Atlantic. I was especially interested by the devices they were able to build, very sophisticated if we consider that the population was not large enough to form large corporations that could develop a tech industry to the level of our multinationals. They built vehicles with electric motors, solar panels, batteries, they had electricity and running water at home, fortunately for them they had not yet invented the television. Their firearms were surprising, they built automatic rifles and machine guns very similar to those there were at the beginning of XXI century.
Socially they had developed a representative democracy that seemed to work much better than in our civilization, because being politician meant to assume the responsibility of managing diligently the resources of the community and not an institution of power and self-enrichment. It was very clear that they were a sovereign people deciding for them all walks of life together in a rational and several ways. Racially arguably they were primarily Caucasic, except K’ntic who had many traits that reminded the Asian women despite her very white skin more typical of a Nordic. It also drew attention to the great difference in height between the two races, as the Neitsi, because the Neitsi of Junakkson house seemed small girls beside the adults Firstten, who were of similar stature to ours and in many cases significantly higher.
I liked helping Lakszi and Junak in their tasks of fishing, sailing in was like going back to the ages when I practiced yachting with my academy companions, especially with Marc and Soizick. One day I heard a familiar sound as soon as I released the moorings.
“A radio?” I asked.
“Explain yourself better, David; I don’t know what you mean.” Lakszi answered.
“Noise comes from that jahta.” My Firstten was still very limited; I spoke with my hands more than my mouth. “There, electrical noise signals.”
“Szomszéd have been trying for horbitts to build a device that serves to communicate at a distance, but he only gets to make hideous sounds.”
“I know the noises.” I pointed to the sky. “Signal ship, machine brain.”
I had recognized the noise made by the ship’s computers when sending encrypted information packages through hertzian waves, Santa Maria’s crew had found a channel for data transmission through the aggressive magnetosphere, it meant that a powerful enough device could communicate with the ship and get the coordinates of the colony. Junak moored again the boat at the dock and I headed to that jahta.
“Szomszéd Hello, I’m David Lavall.”
“I know you; you are a traveler from the stars.” Answered Szomszéd, an elderly man to whom my visit filled with curiosity.
“Does your device send signals?”
“No, my son, I have been transmitting for twenty horbitts and just receiving noises.” Szomszéd’s face was disappointment. “Now it does that bit-bit-bit which I don’t know what it means.”
“Transmission ship, written words.” I would have liked to be more explicit but it was very difficult. “The device works. Every bit is piece of letter.”
“It is not possible, do you want to say that this noise that this noise is emitted by one of devices from space?”
“Computer sends signal, help me to build a machine.” I started negotiating. “I help you and you to me. Together we can do great things.”
“Do you mean that you can help me to make this work?”
“Your device is called radio where I come from. Where is antenna?”
“The antenna is above the gate of the rudder.” He showed me a small-sized parabolic antenna on the roof of the gatehouse.
“I bravefrog tools, work together.” I held out my hand. “Deal?”
“Sure.” He took my hand and sealed the deal. “But please learn somewhat more of our language because I hardly understand you, son.”
The next morning I went to Szomszéd’s home, which opened happily as soon as I knocked the door. Passing through the entrance I had the feeling of entering the house of someone with Diogenes Syndrome, there were stuff around and pieces of various materials scattered around the room that served as a workshop. I dropped my backpack loaded with a lot of things that I was sure that they go well for our purpose, to not discourage him I obviated that I wasn’t very skilled in electronics.
“Alright, Szomszéd, to start doing things, we need space to work.”
“I know what you mean, if you help me we can clean this damp at a time.”
Said and done, we got down to work and got a valuable space to work quietly. I emptied my bag on the table that was in the middle of the room, I had taken from the bravefrog potentiometers, capacitors, a scanner of frequencies … my first idea was to build a radio to the man saw that I was talking seriously and I was willing to keep my word of helping him. Despite the large number of materials available to us and although Szomszéd already had a pretty decent receiver, we lacked a transmitter powerful enough to counter the difficult conditions of the Miracle’s ionosphere, machine that would be invented for us. Eventually, after eight journeys we found the right frequency to transmit and the old man built some homemade amplifiers with sufficient capacity, but to prove it we needed distance.
“Szomszéd, now I have to take bravefrog, leave the radio on and wait till you hear my voice.”
“How long do you think?”
“I do not know; I want to try from the North Pole …. Geo geo.”
“The Geographic North Pole?”
“Then you have a long sail to, it’s more than six hundred mailins far and it’s in the midst of the sea.”
“Do not suffer, bravefrog…is also jahta, I can surf the sea.”
“Does it also go by the water? Great machine, you are travelers from the stars, you can do it all.”
“Not everything, I cannot return to the ship with the woman I love.” I replied. “Wait till night, the reception will be better.”
“All right, I’ll wait for you.”
On the way to the bravefrog I came across Junak and Kaunis, who was carrying the baby. I offered Junak to accompany me to the North Pole but he politely refused, the truth was that I invited him to look good but I felt like doing alone this trip; it was my adventure as I could have tested the radio from anywhere much closer without making a journey of hundreds of miles.
“I’m sorry David, Kaunis and I have things to do, fare thee well.”
“Thank you, goodbye family.”
I sailed a few hours by sea to reach the North Pole, in that latitude we could not speak strictly of night because Alpha Centauri B weakly illuminated the sky with orange light. I stopped the bravefrog in the middle of those waters of various shades and extended the antenna on the roof of the vehicle, I connected a rudimentary battery built by Lakszi to the radio because I wanted that most of the parts of these devices were native, so could manufacture them at home and join them in their boats without having to develop a complex industry that would require time and staff that they didn’t have. A little bulb lit illuminating the frequency indicator; I turned slowly the tuning knob until the desired channel. Yes that was the moment of truth, the real test of this invention; I pressed the button to transmit.
“Hello, one, two, three … testing, Szomszéd, can you hear me?”
“I hear like you’re on my side, kid.” The old man’s words were heard loud and clear through the speaker. “Are you really at the North Pole, don’t you fool me?”
“As surely as the orange sun illuminates me, we just made the first radio totally Firstten.”
“So many horbitts waiting and it’s real, sailors will now ask for help when they are in trouble, you changed our lives David. And congratulations, you are talking my language increasingly well.”
“Thank you, now I’m coming back to Kota Utara.”
“Alright David, see you soon.”
I was a good time in this wonderful place, I couldn’t remember ever having been in the middle of such quiet waters; I lay face up and I was enthralled with this alien sky I wanted to share with my beloved Camille, who must surely believe I’m dead. The moon Stora and another little moon from which I never could remember its name accompanied Alpha Centauri B; Proxima Centauri was a little and red ball which almost touched the horizon. Just missing rings, but at that latitude couldn’t be seen because I was in the most northerly point on the planet Miracle.
Returning to the city of Kota Utara, I began to build a large antenna to get in touch with the Santa Maria. The easy part was the reception, because Szomszéd had already gotten and kindly gave me his prototype to perfect it. Whether I could plug it into the computer of my and got to build an amplifier with enough power as to bring the signal to the ship, I could emit data packets with enough consistency to make come to look for me with a slider or a shuttle. I had already assumed weeks ago that Xavier would stay and live with his new family, I had never seen a man as happy as him and I would not be who forced him to go to the la Colony, the small K’ntic and the fruit of their love were now his universe.
Return to the Island of the Pelerines.
Finished the hellish season, it started to rain cats and dogs everywhere, filling lakes and rivers dried by the brutal summer again. That storm filled with joy to all the temporary residents of North Pole, who sang and danced under the curtain of water falling on them. It was time for everyone to return to their islands, their homes, their crops, their fishing grounds, the tasks traditionally developed. They had finished the days of forced and now urged to leave the land before it started to freeze everything quickly. Everyone carried their belongings on boats; there were boats of all sizes: fishing, passenger, livestock, various goods, of food, etc. At that time, the family Junakkson was larger as usual, but it was also truly that they had got more means for travel. All preparations for the return home had already been carried out according to a strict schedule marked by Patriarch Lakszi Junakkson, anything that was not strictly necessary for the voyage or then in the Pelerines Island would stay in that house which would remain buried under the ice for three long seasons or twenty Earth months. While protesting, David had to leave the antenna that he was built to communicate with the Santa Maria.
“I do not understand Lakszi; I can disassemble and reassemble in the Pelerines.” David protested at not being able to take that bulky appliance in bravefrog.
“But did you make it work?” Lakszi asked.
“No, but I will do it very soon. Signals already reach me; I just need a little more power to send data to the ship.”
“Sorry David, you can assemble one equal as soon as we arrive at the Pelerines. Your vehicle is complete; if you put this pile of junk it’ll lack space to carry people.”
“I can get more space…” David fell silent as he felt a hand that grabbed his. It was K’ntic, beautiful as always and heavily pregnant.
“I also feel your anxiety to reacquaint yourself with your lover, David.” K’ntic said. “But your wait will be rewarded. Your patience is our hope; do not lose it for so little. Imagine if I had rushed to this creature that I have in my womb got out. The new antenna will work, I’m sure of it. Xavier you’re like Moses leading his people through the wilderness, please be our guide and our inspiration a little more.”
“Wow, K’ntic, you are so that sometimes I forgot you’re a very wise woman instead of a just a pretty girl.”
“If it was not for you nor Junak nor me would be alive, so I know you’re not a selfish brat. I am convinced that your love is still waiting for you up there in sky.”
“Well come on, everybody into the bravefrog before ice closes our way.”
David’s words were not a joke, because within hours the rain turned to heavy snow and they expected a very bad time to get home. The bravefrog was the last boat to sail; it was the only one who could pick up from the rear to the crew of the sailing ships that could be affected by a shipwreck. The jahta of Lakszi was tied at the stern of bravefrog and was towed by that very powerful vehicle. Despite the inclement weather the clan arrived at the Pelerines uneventful and on schedule.
Once downloaded everything and restarted all activities, David wanted to go see Szomszéd. Upon reaching the address that the old man had given him, knocked on the door but no one answered. He saw a boy of about ten years (or four horbitts) and asked.
“Hey kid, have you seen to Szomszéd?”
“I saw him entering his house a couple of mikas ago, should be sleeping because I have been here for a while and I didn’t hear any noise.”
The last works worried David, he didn’t remember that Szomszéd liked to nap, so he pushed the door and saw that it was open, without any locks. Hurried into the dining room of the house, a room that was similar in distribution to which he had seen in the house that was in the Northern Continent. He crossed one of the doors which led to the bedroom He saw that the old man was laying on his back in bed, with his eyes closed and with a look of peace on his face, or perhaps a grimace like a smile. David touched his carotid and didn’t found pulse; Szomszéd had left that world placidly, without noise. The young man could not avoid dropping some tears, the inexorable walk of the time passed bill in the whole universe, Miracle included.
“At least you got what you wanted before die, old devil.” David thought aloud. “You have left a legacy to your people; you are for Firstten the inventor of radio.”
The funeral for the old Szomszéd was very simple, the only family he had on the island was a nephew with who haven’t spoken for horbitts. Kapinës was the most western island of the Archipelago of Pelerines and was used as a cemetery for the inhabitants of the Pelerines and the surroundings. Each clan had their ritual, incineration as in case of Junakkson or burial as in the case of Gamble. He was buried in a hole directly, without any wrapper apart from his most elegant clothes, to ensure that his body feed the soil of the island and made it fertile. Then they planted a tahan tree, which was able to withstand the extreme heat and the freezing cold and gave a very nutritious fruit.
The notary of the Pelerines Islands also attended the funeral to attest burial and after the act came to David.
“It’s customary in the Pelerines to deliver a letter with the last wills of the deceased to his heirs after the funeral ended.”
“Then you have to talk to another, I was not even his family.”
“Szomszéd Gamble just mentioned to you in this letter he wrote before me before leaving the Northern Continent. This paper belongs to you.” The notary Gave the document to David.
“Sorry, I have still some difficulties with your tongue, could you help me?”
“I read it you with pleasure: hereby the undersigning, Szomszéd Gamble, I give all my properties in the Pelerines Island and Kota Utara to David Lavall, I know that he will use them wisely and he will materialize my gathering knowledge on things that will make life easier and more comfortable to Firstten. David, you’re the most seemed to a son I’ve ever met and I have learned more with you in the few twenties that we have shared than ever before to know you. Please accept my humble possessions because you are the only one who deserves it. “
“I am excited, I did not expect.”
“The people have accepted you as a Firstten more, honor the memory of your friend accepting his possessions and enlarging the heritage he has left.”
“What about his family?”
“Every Firstten chooses his family, and Szomszéd chose you. With this other document I certify that Gamble house becomes Lavall house, it makes you the patriarch of Lavall clan.”
David shook hands with the notary with tears in his eyes and went to bravefrog where Junakkson were waiting for him to return to the Island of the Pelerines.
The legacy of Szomszéd Gamble.
After coming back to the Pelerines Island, David asked help to Xavier to do some cleaning in his new home. Once fixed the new home, wanted to offer a small reception with Junakkson. As soon as everybody was there, approached K’ntic and put both hands on her belly.
“K’ntic, Xavier, I want that the creature that is moving naughtily in this belly has a home and a family. It has already the family, thus the Junakkson and I will watch for he/she don’t miss anything; so I want to share this house with my friend and his beautiful wife because it is big enough for the two families to share. Although Firstten appointed me patriarch of the clan Lavall, at the moment I am the only member and I feel a little lonely.”
“I have no words, David.” K’ntic stroke David’s cheek. “Xavier and I are grateful for what you have done for us. Fervently hope that you can gather with your loved Camille and you enjoy soon your own family.”
“I will build an antenna sufficiently large and powerful to contact my people, but part of my heart will always be with you although I go from here “After the last words, all Junakkson made a scrum around David where was not seen where a person started and where the other continued.
The next morning David got up early and after a good breakfast started by fetching materials with which build the antenna; Junak offered him to help because his father released him that day of fishing tasks. The young man led him to the area of recycling containers of the island, where you could find a lot of materials classified according to the criteria of the old man who picked up waste from all his countrymen in a carrocicle ceded by the Confederation. David loaded in the bravefrog everything what he thought he needed to make his device, Junak commented him that the price of all of that stuff should be agreed by haggling.
“Hello sir, I hope to reach an agreement beneficial to both.”
“Dear David, the entire island’s inhabitants owe you much. It would be an insult to the community to accept your money.”
“I insist, your work has a value.”
“My work has been paid by your presence; you have developed a medicine that cured my granddaughter, the debt that my family has with you can’t be paid with four pieces of scrap.”
“Thank you, but the antibiotic is very easy to manufacture with our machine.”
“Thanks to you and your friend.”
As soon he had the necessary materials, David took many days to design and build a prototype antenna. K’ntic’s womb was getting bigger and walked with some difficulty, but enjoyed talking to David and so went every day to his house to see how he worked. This process of physical union with Xavier had provided her with some knowledge that she wanted to understand.
“How has your race got to do all these amazing things?” K’ntic asked.
“It’s hard to explain; surely everything is out of necessity, in the same way as you.”
“But we have not gotten very far.”
“It may be that you have everything you need. Do you wish something more than what you have now?”
“I just miss my sister, otherwise I’m very happy.”
“When we have more mobility we will go to see her.”
“You’d have to face a king who is a little crazy.”
“Aren’t you free of visiting her when you want?”
“Mother Starica separated us because Pulxer loved me too much.”
“Too much? Oh, I understand. Don’t worry, sure we will find a solution. I think this is now.”
“I’m going to send a message…” He began typing what he was saying aloud. “Camille, my love, I’m David, Xavier and I are fine, we have found an aboriginal civilization of humans. Come to find me at the following coordinates. There is a bacterial disease that affects women, urges medication to the staff’s colony.”
“Sure that they come to find you immediately, will you take Xavier?”
“Xavier has to stay here to take care of you and woe to him if he doesn’t. When appropriate I’ll prepare the things for you to go to the Colony, if that’s what you want. “
“I want to stay here, I’m a Junakkson. My toddler will come soon; I think it is eager to leave.”
“Do you want to know if it’s a boy or girl? I think that Doctor Droid has a function of ultrasound.”
“It’ll be a boy, to be a girl should have had a lesbian relationship.”
“Xavier isn’t a Firstten biologically speaking; perhaps with a terrestrial man things don’t work the same. Our evolutionary paths diverged long ago.”
“Maybe, maybe not, but if I knew now it would lose its charm, don’t’ you think?”
“On Earth women want to know to choose the color of the clothes before the baby is born.”
“I’m not a woman of Earth, the colors of the clothes are not so important for us.”
“You’re right, on Earth there are no women like you, perhaps only Camille.”
“Is she also tiny and her eyes are honey colored?”
“I do not mean the physical aspect, but that you and she are two very special women. Seeing you I just feel like to protect you from the dangers around you.”
At that time Xavier arrived, carrying a sack on his shoulder.
“I’m going to get jealous. You’re more time with David than with me.”
“Do not suffer for that, my love, what do you carry in the bag?” K’ntic asked curiously.
“Fruits and vegetables brought from another island, a boat loaded of food has come. Look, I’ve been told that this fruit is from the Maa-Alune’s tree!”