Frankie

 

In a house named Gandhara

Down Mt. Everest St

Live four kooky characters we’d like you to meet.

There’s the Professor, named Scott an inventor by choice

His wife Kali, Indian demigoddess from Bali

Their eight year old son Frankie.

He's cute and he's green

he's short and he's been

created to help make the family complete

A robot, named Robert helps with the chores; cooking, sweeping & keeping the house warm.

As we enter the house, what’s this that we see?

lush, tropical oceanic islands scenery,

adorns the walls.

Whilst our family’s sat down having their tea.

Professor Scott has a vegetarian feast, pulses shak & some warmed puri.

Kali eats the same but with some sweet chilli sauce

Frankie likes puri & carrots he eats raw,

now let’s let leave them to it, they’re on their fruit dessert,

of strawberry chocolate ice cream, mango & paw paw.

 

 

“Robert my kindly metal giant; being 7" tall, Robert my good friend. My father had him built to help with chores, though he became much more than just a work-horse & was considered a part of our family. His face is a plastic which looks reasonably skin like.” recounts an aged Frankie sat in a large comfortable red velvet armchair regaling a story from his youth.

 

It was a glorious hot sunny day, very still in the middle of summer. I’d gotten’ a video camera from a second hand market & wanted to test it so I went round the house filming each of my family. My dad’s a professor, with a middle aged scientist’s dress sense, fairly sensible, fairly drab clothes, he also has mousy brown hair & a long twirled moustache. He was squeezing some oranges as I passed him; “like some orange juice?” he enquired & I drank. Then I went through to the kitchen where my mum was making tea. "Supper will be ready by six" remarks Frankie’s mum, Kali holding a knife in one hand, a small bowl in another whilst making rotli on the work surface, Kali being a demi-goddess & as such possessing four arms. Kali blushes; not used to being filmed. " You look beautiful mum ne; like a Bollywood film star!"

 

I climb the stair to go outside, (The house "Gandhara being built into the ground following specifications by Professor Scott Cottis; underground dwellings keep warmer!) Outside I see a few houses & a large expanse of green with a mountain in the background; "Mount Everest". A small wood lies up a slope & ahead to the right. I see Robert; our tireless manservant, chopping wood. I call over to him, & as he turns towards me, he keeps chopping. An awful clank sounds as the axe hits Roberts metal leg & Robert falls down, and then begins to roll down the slope towards me. I put my foot out & bring him to a stop. "That's the third time this week!" I exclaim. "I know, but it's just such good fun" replies Robert with a big grin on his face.

 

"Is there anything you'd like to do sir?" asked Robert. As it was getting late I decided to stop filming........I didn't have any film in the camera anyhow. Myself & Robert went indoors to play Snakes & Ladders; Himalayan version....... Mountains & ski slopes. We finished the game, had some supper & went to bed.

 

At about 3am I was awoken by a loud low hum. I stumbled across to my window. Though it was the middle of the night it was light outside & as my gaze shifted upward towards where the sound was emanating I saw a floating disc; a flying saucer!

 

I felt my heart beating heavy; pounding in my chest & I became aware that it was warm, strangely warm, warmer than usual, indeed quite hot! I slipped my sandals on & travelled out into the still, warm air outside. The saucer was over a hollow a little way up the slope. A solid plod behind me, it was Robert. "What should we do?" he enquired. "I want to investigate" I replied. "Do you think that's wise? perhaps we should wake the professor" countered Robert. "No no! that would wake mum & you know how she is" I stated hoping that Robert wouldn't push it any further. Robert paused in thought and then concluded, " She'd be off with her sword  no doubt, scaring the life out of anything that's up there."

 

I beckoned Robert to follow me & as we got closer, so the heat increased! The saucer was still hot from the friction of entering earth's atmosphere guessed Robert. "Let me know if the heat is too much for you sir" offered Robert. I'm afraid I marched off in front in a very caviller manner stating "Oh but of course dear chap!". Two minutes later & I wasn't so steady on my feet. "I'm too hot dear chap!" I quipped. Just then Robert called out; he could see the saucer from his high vantage point. Robert then kindly carried me on his shoulders.

 

We gazed up to the saucer. The ship suddenly vented steam, a thick mist enveloped the surrounding area, including myself & Robert. Visibility was poor, still the water did help to cool things down. Ahead of us a doorway opened, a figure stepped slowly out, the figure is shrouded in mist, but the shape is certainly humanoid, though there appear to be two protrusions from the head.

 

"Is anybody there? calls the alien in a young female voice "I mean you no harm, is anybody there?". "Answer her Robert." I ask of him. "Welcome, my name is Robert, how may we help you?" Robert enquired. "What is this place? I am in trouble; my ship is out of fuel" explained the young female sounding alien. "This is the Himalayas, planet earth" replied Robert dutifully.

 

The mist cleared to reveal the alien; a young female, just a little older than Frankie, a green hue to her skin as well as eyes on her face also an extra pair of eyes on the end of stalks coming from the top of her head!

 

Frankie is taken, romantic music blares in his head drowning out all else, this alien girl being the first other green being he's ever seen; Frankie sees beauty personified.

 

The music fades as Frankies mums voice filters through... "FRANKIE! Frankie my dear boy where are you?", Kali's voice is Indian accented, but Kali speaks English, a rather posh taught in school English.

 

Kali spots Frankie & the alien girl; very much enraptured with each other. Kali enquires after alien girl with a coy smile "& who is this? Frankie my dear boy" Frankie blushes. "Come back home Frankie dear won't you & bring your friend, this is no time to be outside" implored Kali. "Please, I need to hide my ship others are looking for it" alien girl pleaded. "I looked to Robert who responded in kind "Right you are sir" Robert said & then he began uprooting trees & using them & grass to hide the ship. Kali, The Professor, Frankie & alien girl started making their way back home. The Professor gently interrogates alien girl. "Now my dear, do you have a name?" "Lena" replied Lena (alien girl). "A charming name" smiles Scott. "Now what are you doing here & how can we help you?" "There's somebody chasing me, or rather chasing my ship, the ship belongs to my father, he's been kidnapped, but what they really want is the ship, the ship is very special, but I'm not sure why, I think it's some new technical device that it has on board" gabbled Lena, glad to have a friendly face to tell her story to. Robert having finished his task came lumbering at speed, "another ship is heading this way, it's quite a long way off yet, I needed distant scan to make it out" reported Robert. "What? where is it?" squealed Lena. "Don't be too alarmed, Robert can see a good distance" comforted Professor Scott. "The fact that he needs distant scan means that the ship can't be any closer than our moon up there" explained Professor Scott, pointing to the half moon in the sky. " A curious thing that ship of yours ma'am, when I accidentally knocked a switch the ship disappeared from view; seems it has some sort of cloaking device installed" relays Robert. Professor Scott talks, swapping his gaze between Robert & Lena "A cloaking device indeed, Lena may not have been aware it was there, perhaps this is the new technical device?" queried Professor Scott. “Hurry up & get inside you boys!” called Kali, waiting with the door open. Kali then proceeds to usher the gang inside. Frankie takes Lena to his room. Kali goes into the kitchen to make tea, whilst The Professor & Robert go into the living room to talk about what should be done next.

 

"The girl seems very genuine, I think we should help her in any way that we can" commented Robert. "Yes I agree & yet we can't know what we are letting ourselves in for" responds Scott. Kali walks in carrying a tray with drinks & wearing a smile, did you see them together? Kali enquires excitedly. "Frankie's gone to his room" Scott began. Robert buts in "That's good & I hope he uses his hidihole; I can hear someone coming, heavy steps & more than one" Robert finished. Then there came a thump, thump, thump at the door "This is Strident" a loud voice stated, " open the door" it finished. Robert made his way dutifully but also nervously to the door & began to open it slowly.

 

 

 

 

STRIDENT

 

A silver badge is flashed through the crack in the door. Robert opens the door a little more to reveal Strident, a group of people about 10 strong. The Strident mob are all sporting short haircuts an wearing suits which looked too large. "A mechanoid huh? we didn't think this planet had the capability, you are from this planet? queried a Strident agent eying Robert lugoubriously. The strident agent behaving as a typical soldier; follows orders, belligerent to anyone except his superiors. "I created Robert" overspoke Scott "Now may I ask the reason for this intrusion?" Scott questioned as sternly as he could muster. "We are on the hunt for a dangerous fugitive who has stolen a valuable space craft" iterated the Same Strident agent, whom appeared to be the leader. "Dangerous?" spoke Kali in unbelieving tones under her breath too quiet for Strident to hear. "We know nothing of this, but can I ask where you're from? you are from another planet? how did you get here? Can I see your space craft?" Scott continued questioning, his main aim to be irritable & to make Strident go away, which it did. "We ask the questions" Remarked the Strident lead, then turning to his fellow officers he motioned for them to move out, stating "We're wasting our time here, they know nothing". Robert closed the door, with a thankful sigh. "Do you think they'll be back" asked Robert. "Hard to say...." replied Scott. "Well I didn't like them at all, so rude & not answering any of your questions, I'm going to check on Frankie" Kali gabbled nervously.

 

The door to frankie's room lay half open. Kali walked in looking anxiously around; "Frankie my dear, it's ok to come out now" Kali called. When she couldn't see Frankie or Lena, Kali moved a secret panel on the wall to reveal 2 buttons, one red, one green. She pressed the green button. the floor opened & a simple lift arose. Kali stepped gingerly on board, then pressed a further green button located on a central lift shaft & the lift duly responded, gently lowering Kali's svelte frame. Down below Frankies secret hidihole is revealed. Frankie & Lena sat pensively on wooden chairs gaze at Kali. "Is it safe"? Frankie asks of his mother. "For the time being, thanks to some ingenious banter by your father; now, Lena, will you come upstairs with us & tell us all your story in more detail & we'll see if we cannot help you out in some way". Kali beckons the 2 youngsters onto the lift. Kali presses the green button & the lift begins to rise. "Where are you from Lena, I mean you are from space & everything, the furthest any earthling has got is to the moon, what your life must be like, I can't imagine, are there many different life forms? why has nobody ever visited earth before? I'm sorry I don't mean to overwhelm you but you must see how anxious we all are to know more." Kali finally finished as they entered the living room.

 

 

Lena

 

Frankie addressed all assembled "Lena is from *Chilwaan de Boonn Prrsy" (say: Shilwan de bonn persay). "A literal translations would be 4th planet from the sun" Lena finishes for Frankie. We're kinda new to space travel too. We first met aliens about 150 years ago, our year being 360 days. What we have discovered is that the planets that have life, all tend to be similar; rocky planets, a certain distance from the sun it orbits, 1 or 2 moons. There is an intergalactic federation (I.F.), who are supposed to oversee justice & general government, though each planet may still hold its own individual political leanings... It can take up to 20 years to get a response from the I.F. My father loved meeting with aliens, discovering new technology, but now it seems the aliens want him, or at least his technology; he is a lot like you sir" Lena directs at Scott; "take my advice & keep a low profile, at least until you understand what you're dealing with, & when I say what I mean who. Forgive my sarcasm, but if we hadn't found alien life, then this would never have happened & I'd still be with my dad, I miss him" Lena’s speech ending tearfully. Frankie consoled her. "Who are Strident "? asked Scott. Lena spoke through tears, explaining that she'd only heard of Strident about a month ago, they were some secret organisation, who seemed to have been set up by some fairly paranoid dignitaries, people with wealth & influence, people who had banded together for their own safety, feeling that the I.F. was too far off to be able to help in the event of danger, unless of course that danger was 20 years off! Strident were a secret organisation, but for the most part, as for the visitors they'd had not long before, mostly those foot soldiers were little more than hired muscle, loud but with little brain power. "The little brain power should work in our favour" commented Scott.

 

"Can we help you? does your father have friends who could help? would it be possible for us to come along with you?" Scott fired questions at Lena. " I could use some help to pilot the ship; but first it needs fuel, frozen H2O is good" advised Lena. "Frozen water indeed!" smiled Scott almost laughing, then upon seeing Lena's concerned frown Scott continued by explaining that there was plenty of frozen H2O in the area. The explanation bought about a smile to Lena's face & as Scott began to question whether some kind of pump would be needed, Lena explained that the ship was equipped with a mechanism for extracting the ice & had enough reserve fuel to manage a short flight to a suitable site.

 

"Shall I make sandwiches?" Kali asked. "That would be lovely, though the ship does have food stores & facilities, but I could try some Earth food" Lena replied politely. Kali took Lena into the kitchen to help her make food. "Take a change of clothes" both Robert & Scott spoke to Frankie. Robert & Scott busied themselves gathering a change of clothes for Scott & Kali, a torch, some puzzle books; indeed everything they'd usually take on a long journey which they had occasion to do, being in a remote area, expeditions were a part of life. They were all set to leave; Frankie had donned his space suit, a fancy dress item that he'd got as a present for a birthday a while back. Lena smiled at him & Frankie smiled back bashfully.

 

"Any sign of our friends Strident?" Scott Spoke to Robert. Robert reported that he could hear them, but that they were about a mile away & so they set off, this intrepid band of adventurers. It didn't take long to reach the ship & Robert pointed out to all the cloaking switch & then they all boarded the circular metallic vessel. They dropped their luggage off in the living quarters & then made their way to the control deck, all except Robert who went down to the engine room following a suggestion by Lena. The ship could be flown by a single person, though with all the seats around & all the control panels it was clear that a crew would be the more usual way of things. Lena asked Scott if he'd sit in the captains seat whilst she went over to navigation. Kali was already over at communication experimenting with all the switches on the control panels. Kali was impressed, nay overawed, she could see all T.V and hear all radio channels. Frankie made his way over to the science station which had a viewer which could show outside the ship, over the electromagnetic spectrum, from gamma rays to radio waves.

 

"Ready for take off" Lena stated boldly. "Do you have a map?" asked Scott. Lena brought up a screen showing the local area & Scott instructed where the ice would be. "Aye captain" said Lena with a smile. Lena felt  a genuine affection for Scott as he reminded her of her own father. "All readings normal" added Frankie with a slightly broader smile. "all systems fully operational" calls Robert's voice over speakers. "Cousin Sahkti sends warm greetings & hopes that our journey is a safe one" chirrups Kali. There is a short silence, then "Kali?" questions Scott with an eyebrow raised. "Who've you been calling on that thing?" he presses. "There is no phone bill here...darling" Kali beginning her sentence with bitterness held from a past argument over a phone bill, but ending with an imploring, loving note. "Kali, it's not the phone bill I'm worried about, but what if Strident overhear?" Scott spoke to Kali in placating tones. Kali switched switches & checked the airwaves for any sign that Strident had been listening in. "No sign of Strident my good looking & wise captain" Spoke Kali, knowing how to subdue her husband. "I'm filling the fuel tanks now captain Scott". "How long?" asks Scott. "Less than 5 minutes sir" Replied Lena dutifully.

 

Inter Solar

 

With the fuel tank full & a mix of intrepidation & excitement the ship lifts off. Everybody has strapped seat belts on under the advice of their new found alien friend. The acceleration of the ship takes them by surprise, but more so the view on the view screen which shows the ground rapidly receding & then the spherical nature of the earth becoming apparent, The Earth becomes a green, blue ball, and grows smaller & smaller, diminishing into the blackness of space which takes over; feeling like an oppressive over blanket during a hot summers night, surrounding them, suffocating.

 

Suddenly Frankie & Lena begin to giggle as they see Scott & Kali turn a pale shade of green, due to disorientation. Scott is about to quiz the pair about the giggles, but Kali interjects; "Oh Scott, er... captain... oh honey it's Strident, they're chasing us; they're sending a message ordering us to stop & surrender the ship." "Can we out-run them Scott quizzes Lena. "The ship can outrun them, but I'm not the best pilot Lena confides in Scott. "Not the best pilot huh. Robert, how's it going down there? Look what I need to know is have you figured out the controls? Do you think you could pilot the ship?" "I've been checking the ship out sir & yes I feel that I could successfully pilot it." affirms Robert. "Honey, Strident are threatening to use force if we don't surrender" Kali informed Scott with some urgency. "Put the message over the speakers; but can you stall, can you pretend that there is interference?" Scott asks Kali. "I'll see what I can do" "This is Strident, power down & surrender the ship" Strident's message is heard over speakers. "Sorry, can you please repeat" Kali replies. "This is Strident, power down & surrender the ship, otherwise we shall use force" Strident's message came back. "Sorry, You tried to put powder to get rid of your curry stains, you think we should help you with washing it?" Kali garbled back, layering interference over the top of her broadcast. Frankie giggled at the reply. "Power Dow" Strident's message began, but before it could finish, Robert had gained control of the ship and the ship lurched, very suddenly they were travelling at tremendous speed, bits of debris, space dust flashing past, clunk, an object hits the side of the ship "Sorry sirs, I missed that one, it won't happen again" came Robert's voice over the tannoy. "Head for these co-ordinates" Lena said as she pressed buttons to electronically pass on co-ordinates to Robert. The ship, travelling at high speed already was still accelerating, Jupiter loomed large to the port, then began shrinking as Robert steered the ship up & away from the orbital plane of the planets, they started to pass through clouds of dust, the Oort cloud, which although had been theorised, & evidence had grown for it's existence, this was the first concrete proof any humans had of its existence.

 

The sight was mesmerising; Lumps of ice that glistened as the ships lights passed over them, different coloured clouds, some highly luminous, others black as soot.

 

"How long till we reach where we are going?" Scott speaks to Lena. We're heading for a small moon "Aamalliad"* out on the edge of my solar system. I have an uncle there; my father & I used to visit. We should be there in about one hour." Lena informs everybody. "Ok, I plan tea, it won't take two minutes, who's hungry?" Kali queries. Nobody felt desperately hungry, but it was something to do to pass the time. Kali had prepared samosas, puri, dip, raw carrot. As she returned she felt it a bit quiet & so she decided to tell a story.

 

"When I was young I used to visit my uncle Prien Bate.* He was very kind & always had time for me. Sometimes we'd sit & play a game, Mah Jong, Othello. My uncle loved strategy games, that's how I met Scott, the first man to beat me at chess". Kali smiles at Scott. "Sometimes my uncle would tell me stories, featuring lemmings. A group of lemmings lived high on the mountainside, where it could get very cold, with fierce winds. They'd huddle together for warmth but two had to go out to gather food. This they took in turns. Today it was the turn of Kasmil* & Shenga.* Kasmil & Shenga, unbeknownst to the others were very much in love. Now, Lemmings are known to leave groups from time to time due to overcrowding & this was an opportunity our loving couple had been waiting for. They left without saying a word to the others, once they left the group they wouldn't be welcomed back; lemmings have a strict no outsiders policy & outsiders is what the two would be once they failed to return in time. They set out in search of a place they had both seen in a dream, a place of low lying stepps, barren & exposed save a few rocky crevices where they'd be able to hide & start their burrows. The journey was far..... for lemmings that is. So they sang a song along the  way;

 

Lemmings gather nuts in May

Lemmings gaily have-a-way

We are lemmings and we do say

We are lemmings on holiday

 

After hours of travel they reached ground which they recognised from their dreams. They spotted the small group of rocks in the centre of the stepp, glanced around to be sure no danger threatened & then headed to the rocks. Their work cut out for them, they dug stoically & after an hour or so, they had a hole big enough to fit them both. They snuggled down feeling that they'd done enough for one day, they needed sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aamaliad

 

"Aamalliad* coming up sir" Roberts voice broke through, making everyone snap out of the trance which Kali's story telling had cast. "Plotting the co-ordinates provided by Lena, taking us in, should be about 10 minutes" Robert concludes. "I hope my uncles happy to see us" Lena murmurs half heartedly. Only Scott hears & he keeps quiet; there was already enough mystery & trepidation in the air, better to keep any negative thoughts out of the equation.

 

They see a farm, fields of a golden orange crop with a wooden house in the centre. The ship lands in a field close to the farm house. A robot, quite unlike Robert busies himself towards the ship. The new robot has a clear head; perhaps made of glass or perspex. A holographic face sits inside the clear head. The new robot has a slimmer frame, is shorter & altogether leaner looking compared with Robert, Robert looks quite clumsy & blocky by comparison. The adventurers exit the ship & the new robot greets them, beginning with Lena whom he clearly recognises. "Welcome mistress, welcome guests?" " Yes they are my guests Sixtyfive, I'd like you to meet Professor Scott Cottis, Kali, Robert & Frankie. Everyone this is Sixtyfive, he was constructed in 65 days and the name stuck." Lena conveyed. "A pleasure to meet you all; I'm afraid your uncle isn't as fit as he used to be, come inside" Sixtyfive concludes. "I'll just cloak the ship sir" Robert speaks, loud enough for others to hear, but especially Scott. They all trip inside where Sixtyfive makes them comfortable on chairs. Sixtyfive then leaves the room, to return a few moments later wheeling Sek* Luc Moob* in on a wheelchair. Lena rushes to her uncle & hugs him tightly. "My darling girl, it's been such a long time." uncle Sek responds. The two hug, obviously very fond of each other & obviously they'd not seen each other for a good while; the earthlings judged by length of the hug. "Now now child, introduce me to your friends" instructed Sek. Lena a little emotionally introduced both parties.

 

"I saw you on the news Lena, they say that you stole your fathers ship, but that he himself has gone missing, I've even had the police out here" Sek pressed Lena. Lena explained that she feared her father kidnapped, that the house had been broken into & that she had managed to escape using her fathers ship. She spent time indeed, explaining the whole story including Earth, Strident & her new friends.

 

"Your father is safe Lena" Sek states encouragingly; "he's sent me a message, he was hoping you’d turn up here, he'll be arriving soon & so will the Solar Generals & the media. Your father has friends in high places & is wise. He's been worried about you" Sek recited. Lena could hardly believe the news, it would all be ok. But for now there was nothing to do but wait, “show Frankie your old room Lena” suggests Sek, “I’ve kept it just the same”. So off Lena and Frankie went. “They like each other” smiles Sek to Scott and Kali. Robert went with Sixtyfive & discussed… whatever robots might discuss! Kali & Scott talked with Sek about social & solar politics & food. Sek was a farmer, this being evident enough from what Scott and Kali had seen when flying to his property on Aamalliad. Lena's father *Yerrt arrived perhaps an hour later. He was indeed a lot like Scott as Lena had said, though he was ten or fifteen years his senior with grey hair, his complexion pale green a trait which Lena, Sek and Yerrt all had in common. Yerrt gave instructions for them all to wait for Strident who had overstepped their authority and were to be set up. Lena's father Yerrt was indeed friends with people in high places; namely The Solar Generals. The Solar Generals, a commity for justice for the Alpha Centauri solar system, represented here by four individuals whom new Yerrt well noticed Scott and Kali, judged from the level of co-operation and good natured joshing. The Solar Generals had managed their solar system's politics since before contact with other life & were well respected. They had been keen, as had the government of Alpha Centauri to debunk Strident. When Strident arrived they all played dumb, Strident tried to use force & that was when the media & the Solar Generals showed themselves. Strident were humiliated & sent packing!

 

All was happy, all was sorted, & to be truthful it was a bit of an anti climax for our intrepid family of four.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The journey home

 

"I guess we should go back to Earth, but it just feels plain wrong to not stop & learn more about your lives" spoke professor Scott.

"I feel much the same" Yerrt began, "You have been most kind & generous, I can sense this from your demeanour and from my daughters account of you; & alas we have not been so fortunate with others, as our dealings with Strident evidently shows. I must tell you that we have known about Earth for some time now, but we didn't deem contact wise, true we couldn't be sure if you'd welcome aliens with open arms" Yerrt was explaining. "We are not leaders & I could not guarantee a warm reception "Scott interjects. "Indeed but more so, the technology you have , if you were to have contact then Earth people would likely harbour paranoia and jealousy." Yerrt tried painfully to empathise., "We'll drop you back to Earth, it's the only sane option, still, Perhaps we could visit every now & then." Yerrt offered. "That would be most agreeable" Scott replied hiding a little dissapointment at the thought of missing out on more immediate adventure and space travel. “Lena and Frankie get on well together”, Scott adds & Yerrt hums agreeably.

 

Our family of four, along with Yerrt and Lena board the space ship which brought them here, to Aamaliad. Yerrt allows them all to resume the positions they held on the journey to Aamaliad. Yerrt is happy to ride as a passenger, happy to observe the interactions of fellow shipmates, most keenly watching his daughter and Frankie. He liked Frankie as it seems everybody who meets him does. Both children are well behaved and rather mature for their years. Their gossiping encompassing mathematics and science issues.

 

It’s a long flight back and once again Kali provides food and continues to tell her story. If you remember our lemmings; Kasmil and Shenga had started a new lemming colony. Well I suppose it is a stretch to call two lemmings a colony, but Kasmil was carrying six babies inside her and they’d be born very soon, any day now. The make shift burrow they’d began with had now been deepened. There was a sleeping space, a food store and Shenga had just started a spare that would serve for a nursery. Sourcing food was now important and this was left mainly to Shenga as Kasmil tired easily from pregnancy.

 

Shenga stepped out to scout for food when he noticed a crow. The crow was limping.

 

Now crows don’t eat lemmings……. As a rule, but the crow is an unruly bird and they are usually best steered clear of.

 

None the less Shenga was curious and he ventured fairly close to the crow. “Anything wrong Crow?” shenga nervously, though trying not to show it asked. “CAW, CAWWWWW” the crow shouted, it was obviously in pain. Shenga mustered all his courage and went closer to the crow. It was then he spotted a thorn sticking out of the crows foot. “You have a thorn in your foot, let me take it out for you” Shenga stated calmly and firmly. “Caw caw, stop the pain, just stop the pain” The crow squeeled back. So it was, Shenga edged close to the crow and swiftly and carefully he plucked the thorn. The crows features relaxed, before he’d had a face like a demon! Twisted in anger, now his features looked more rounded and relaxed. “You are most brave to be helping me, tell me, you live here?” “Close by yes” Shenga replied. “You are new moved here yes? You want that I should fly high and spot for you any dangers, any food cyah! You like berries, they are good yes?” “Most gracious of you dear crow” “Most gracious of me?, most gracious of you stop my pain, now I help you.”

 

Shenga watched the crow fly off and went back to the burrow to check on Kasmil. He didn’t mention the crow, but slipped out again a little later to find a small pile of berries waiting for him. He smiled and hoarded the berries back to the burrow.

 

“Earth in view”, they heard Roberts voice over the tannoy; Robert being the only person not on the command deck and as such the only person not captivated by Kali’s story telling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All dropped off on Earth.

 

The Earth loomed large and was a friendly sight for our intrepid family of four guesting upon Yerrt’s sleekly designed ship.

 

Suddenly a call came over communications; “Honey, it’s the Solar Generals,” Kali informed. The Solar Generals had followed, interested to find out more about the Earth and it’s inhabitants. They’d been receiving our T.V and radio signals, but hed not yet visited personally. The Solar Generals offered a show. Yerrt took the ships controls, bringing it to a stop and raised the view screen giving plain view of the Solar General’s ships; about 14 or 20 of them. Then lights on the ships illuminated and music played; the music of Johan Sebastian Strauss. The ships swayed and flew this way and that in a dizzying display following the music. As the music reached an exciting crescendo ships flourished past, flying close to Yerrts ship. As the music came to a poigniant pause, the ships, using the ships themselves and thier lights as a medium, made faces with differing expressions, happiness, sadness, curiosity, contentedness and more.

 

Yerrt smiled, he’d not witnessed a display like this since he was young. The others were all agog at the mesmerising spectacle.

 

Then when it seemed like the display was over, Yerrt took the controls once again, this time he flew the ship. Surrounded by the solar generals, following the music, he flew the ship down into Earths atmosphere and dropped of our family of four. Frankie waving to Lena who viewed him from a window on the ship. Then the ships flew up and away.

 

Frankie awoke, not sure if the day before had happened or if he’d merely been dreaming. Then he remembered something. He went into the living room and switched the T.V on and went to channel eight. A picture came through. Lena spoke a recorded message which thanked Frankie’s family for their help and which promised further contact. Frankie’s Mum and Dad were stood behind Frankie along with Robert watching the message. The message ended, Frankie switched the T.V off and the family got on with their lives, happy, contented, feeling a little enriched and full of hope for the future.

The End

 By Scotty