Galactic Chronicles 1: EARTH
CHAPTER 3: Sky Spirits
Summary: The Anuna come to Earth and find it a fruit ripe for the picking, unaware that the Guardian watches their moves and takes steps to protect “his children”. Bopho and Wilto start their journey to take the spear that killed a Sky Spirit to the Giants of the Earth.
With his hands clasped behind his back Pod master Adad looked over the ocean bay below. Lazy waves lapped onto sandy beaches, the water was of a particular breathtaking shade of azure blue, competing with the similar colored cloudless sky. He stood on a hill watching white birds sail in the gentle breeze above the unspoiled forests reaching all the way to the sandy beaches. "In all my years, this is one of the finest and most attractive planets, I have ever surveyed." He said to Enkil, his first Servling. While there could be no open or real friendship between One of royal blood and one that was born among the ranks of the Servlings, there was something close to that between the two men of the Anuna expedition, Adad was certain about that. They had landed on this virgin planet, thinly populated by two races of humanoids. One of them was remarkably similar to the Anuna. The other was bulkier, stronger but equally intelligent.
Enkil remaining in his deeply bowed position several steps behind his magnificent looking master and said while looking at the ground." Your praise raises this meaningless world to prominent status, my Lord."
Adad in his golden gleaming uniform armor, and the big red ruby cut to a perfect sphere worn in a head band on his forehead proclaimed to all that he was of royal blood. He stood in sharp contrast to Enkil who wore a simple light gray combination and instead of a ruby his head was shaved clean, exposing the two humps above his eyes. The humps painted red, in the house color of Adad. Inside those horns was the Controx, the devices implanted into every Servling at birth. The left one was to receive orders from the master and the right one to punish or kill if a Servling failed to please his or her master.
Enkil was not bitter about that, Adad was a good master and treated him well.
Adad kept looking over the ocean." I think the smaller ones could possibly be made into Servlings, they are primitive yes, but they do show potential. The brutes however displease too much in their appearance to consider that. We shall eradicate them."
Enkil did not say a word. His master was thinking aloud and not addressing him.
Adad finally turned." I will have a vacation retreat right here. The view is truly magnificent."
Wilto found the leader from across the river already standing by the river bank, holding a bundle of the thin shafted throwing sticks they used to spear fish out of the river. Here the river was wide but shallow enough you could walk across without getting too wet. The water had become colder already and Wilto imagined that there was already snow on the ground, where the river was still very little and you could get across with a single jump. Many seasons ago his tribe had lived where the river was little and the winter was longer and colder. He and his hunters crossed the river and greeted their big friends. Wilto's hunter had become friendly and familiar with the big ones. They understood each other now and knew their names. Both Wilto and Bopho noticed that their tribes often used sounds of the other tribe to describe things and started to mix the sounds together. It was this mix of sounds both leaders used to talk to each other and each time they met it was easier.
Wilto clasped Bopho's underarm and grinned, then held up a long snake he had caught this morning. He knew Bopho liked eating them. Bopho who was in deep thought about the things the Beaver tribe had told him, and was surprised about Wilto's present." More sharp stones you need?"
The smaller Wilto shook his shaggy hair," No, Bopho likes eating Slither longs. Wilto knows! Wilto gives Slither long to Bopho no need give sharp stone."
A hunter would give sometimes a nice fox tail, a shiny beetle or something like that to a woman he liked, so she would favor him and not just because he was strongest. Bopho gave food to the Beaver tribe and now Wilto gave a snake to Bopho. "Yes Bopho like eating Slither Long."
They went up river together where large rocks formed a narrow and many fish would not jump but swim along the narrow close to the river bank, where they could be punched with thin sticks and thrown on land.
Bopho needed to tell Wilto what he had heard." Hunters and family of beaver clan walks from down river to up river. Comes to Bopho cave, Bopho thinks first to say go not stay to Beavers."
Wilto stopped paying attention to the rushing water below the rock he was standing and looked at his big hairy friend." Wilto see fire last night, outside Bopho cave."
"Yes beaver stay before cave for night and tell me that naked ones like Wilto come with Spirit warrior to kill all like Bopho. Naked Ones like Wilto hunted many of Beaver and other like Bopho. Say all like Bopho to be hunted by Naked Ones!"
Wilto actually put his hand on Bopho's Shoulder." Wilto does not want to hunt Bopho. Bopho does not want to hunt Wilto. Wilto seen hunters like Wilto many moons ago, when Wilto was little, Wilto knows Bopho. Bopho good! Wilto will throw sharp stick to anyone not good to Bopho!"
The larger tribal leader felt deep affection for the other and returned to look out for fish he could spear.
Adad commanded over a small fleet of six Vimana ships, each ship was commanded by a member of his blood and each had twenty Servlings along. They were not equipped to really take over a world, even as primitive as this one, sending one of his Commanders back to Anuna was an option of course, this world being outside the Anuna Sphere of influence it would take this planet a complete orbit around its native sun, before reinforcements would return. However this was not what Adad kept from sending a messenger to the Throne World. He feared that an eager commander trying to better his position could convince another family or even the Emperors pod to come and take possession of this world and leaving Adad and his family out of the profits and spoils such a rich world would bring. This planet was not only one of the most perfect worlds he had ever seen in terms of supporting live. It was a treasure house of minerals and ores. Complete with a primitive race that could be used as slaves to mine it. Such a find would elevate his family and of course him to great importance. He could buy himself a place in the inner court of the Emperor himself and purchase one of the Emperors daughters. His sons would have the Highest Blood and the chance to be Emperor. With his guiding hand in the background his importance and might would be second to none.
Adad smiled at his own thoughts, he always was ambitious. Had he not cleverly disposed of his brothers to be the Pod leader of his family and made sure his father withered away in a private asylum? With this planet in his possession and under his control, he could finally get rid of the old man permanently. All this was of course wishful thinking until he could secure this world. His eyes fell on his faithful Servling Enkil. Maybe he could send him! Enkil had no ambitions was unable to go to another Pod leader. He would have no choice but to go take his message to the right person. Of course that meant he would have to send Enkil alone. Or he could go and leave his servants behind. Leaving them behind meant he could take more treasure. Yes that was the answer!
The naked ones called this period winter and so did Bopho's tribe now. Bopho didn't like the winter or the cold, but he believed it was not as cold as last season and the river did not freeze, at least not yet. Still he was glad he did not make the decision to follow the Shaggies. The forests provided food and so did the river.
Only a moon ago Uliu one of the mothers of the tribe accidently left a hollow still half way filled with roots next to a fire and when she came back the roots had changed just as the meat did. It was softer and tasted better! Bopho came to the conclusion that all food should be heated by the fire. Uliu encouraged by her discovery begun to experiment and her most triumphant discovery was the combination of meats, roots and grass seeds with water. It was so different from all food they knew before.
During the time of the winter, Bopho and his hunters did not go as far away from the cave as usual, because the light disc would slip behind the mountains much sooner. No one liked to be out in the dark as the forests were full of spirits and magic and it was not the hunters place to share the night with the spirits, but today he had gone further than he planned, chasing after a big stick head. He had wounded it with his throw stick but it did not fall. It was bad omen to wound food and let it escape, so he decided to follow the blood trail.
He knew when he reached the point to turn around and go back. The other hunters had good luck and they had plenty to carry home, only he had not made his kill today. He knew his hunters would follow him but there was no need." Go back take the food to our place. Bopho will follow the stick head and come later."
Partially eager to follow their leader and partially glad not to stay out much longer his hunters returned.
So in the waning light he followed the clearly visible trail of red trickle on the white snow. The snow was not as deep as it was last season and barely covered the ground. Like the naked ones no one in Bopho's tribe walked bare feet anymore, but used fur skin, stitched together forming soft hollows for the feet. He remembered how they followed the Shaggies through hip high snow without anything on their feet only a season ago. Yes much had changed.
The Stick Head had a strong spirit. It lasted longer than any food he pierced before, but finally in the last faint light of the day he saw it kneeling in the snow, the broken throw stick still in its side. Bopho hurled another one and that sealed the fate of the Stick head. It was too big even for him to carry or drag back in one piece. So he dressed it, split it in four pieces. Thanked the spirit of the Stick head for providing him with food and dedicated the rest he could not carry to the spirits of the wolf and the forest. Just as he was about to shoulder his load, he heard voices coming from behind the shallow ravine that was before him. At first he wanted to flee and run as fast as he could. He was alone and he would not be able to stand alone against a wandering tribe, but then his curiosity got the better of him.
He checked the wind to make sure his scent would not be carried towards the voices and as silently and stealthy as he could he crawled up the shallow ravine and hidden by the low branches of the trees that stayed green he looked down the other side and saw three spirit men dragging his friend Wilto and twenty warriors and ten women of Wilto's tribe behind them, their hands bound together. The first spirit men looked a lot like Wilto but had no hair in their faces at all. They wore shiny skins close to their bodies and they had a bright shining third eye on their heads making the path before them as bright as day! The other two also had tight skins but theirs were not shiny. Lesser Spirits!
Poor Wilto! He was dragged to the realm of the spirits! Bopho was terrified to his soul but also felt sorry for his friend.
He was about to leave as silently as he had come, when he saw the Shiny spirit man stumble over a root, and fall! He did not understand what the Spirit was saying but it sounded angry and he heard the sounds of pain! If the spirit man could be hurt by falling, then Bopho could hurt him with a throw stick! He never aimed more carefully, because he knew if he missed the Spirit would drag him to the spirit world as well.
Bopho threw and the spear hit the shiny spirit right below the bright light eye. The spirit man gargled, coughed blood and collapsed with trashing his legs in the snow for a few seconds then remained still…the shiny light eye now looking into the sky!
He had killed a Spirit man! A demon! The Spirit was bleeding! That encouraged him and he hurled his second throw stick, just as one of the other spirits pulled something from its side. The spear killed the second, but not before a stream of fire and light came out of the falling spirits hand and spilt tree not far from Bopho and set both parts on fire! The last of the Spirit men had circling around looking right towards Bopho. He had angered the Spirits. He had killed two now the third would strike him with fire and thunder! Bopho was very afraid but the burning fire never came. As he dared to look he saw Wilto holding a big rock with his still tied hands and the spirit man lying on the ground before him.
The material that held Wilto's hands together was much like sinew. White, and soft yet tough and impossible to tear apart, but it yielded to Bopho's cutting stones after a few attempts. Wilto looked thankfully but they didn't speak much while they both freed the others. Too much went through both of their minds, the still burning tree on the ridge was a clear warning and testament to the powerful magic the spirits commanded. But as frightening as they were, they bled and died just like food and just like others. For a moment he considered taking one of them home and see if they could be eaten, but their magic light eyes were still there and as bright as day! Something was still alive and maybe they would rise again. He had to prevent that!
He gathered rocks and piled them over the body of the shiny one. Wilto barked and his hunters and women gathered more rocks, sticks and dirt and all three spirits were covered under a mound of rocks in a short time. Only now did he feel save enough to talk to Wilto. "Spirit men come to Wilto?"
"They come to Wilto and kill many children and old with fire and thunder! Then they say men and woman to come and work and obey and get food. Not obey and not work and no food and death! Shiny like sun spirit man says it is our destiny to serve the Gods. Shiny like sun man said he is God to us. He commands the clouds to come and he flies in it away! Yet the ones he leaves behind beat us with long whirly stick and with magic that hums like hornets, crackles like lightning and hurts very bad. They say many others like us already work for the Gods. He ask me to know of others, tell him where Hairy ones and others are and get no beating and extra food. I say I know no others and he beats me and gives me magic pain. Wilto see one get hurt and bleed, Wilto thinks Gods no good, and Gods only like Wilto but lots of magic!"
Bopho looked around." We go. When light comes, then your shiny one will look for these and call them! All of Wilto now come to Bopho and we hide."
Adad loved progress and seeing hundreds of naked natives sweating and working for his benefit was progress to him. His ships did not carry advanced analysis equipment, but the tests done showed that this planet was rich in rare earths, every mineral and metal in abundance. It was almost as if some unseen force had made this planet especially for those undeserving primitives and gave them all they needed to start a civilization of their own, too bad he had found it first. It was not easy to show primitives barley above the non-sentient beasts how to use even simple tools, but in time and with the hard hand of a good master they would become good slaves. "Ronar should be back with more slaves! This is going too slow! I want the holds of our ships filled so I can leave!" He asked Enkil.
Enkil fearing his master's hand, kept in perfect devote position." A member of the True Blood does not always share information with a Servling. I am blessed beyond believe with the Sun of my life who is Adad the magnificent, not all Servlings are as blessed as I."
Adad felt pleased with the devotion and love his Servling felt for him. Yes he was a hard master, but he could be generous and even have a good word to a Servling occasionally. However he also felt annoyed not to get the information he wished. Enkil was not to blame, Ronar never give a Servling any information. Yet he needed to vent his frustration and he kicked Enkil anyway. Not as hard as he could have and he knew Enkil would feel blessed to be touched by his master.
Without looking at his Servling he opened the cover of his wrist communicator and called Ronar.
Ronar did not answer! He could not even detect Ronar's Comm. Unit. Ronar was of lesser blood, like all the other Commanders that were with him on this expedition, but Ronar had ambitions, hidden ambitions. Did he decide to leave, perhaps to beat him to the Throne world? No other explanation was possible. There was nothing on this world that could harm a Commander of the blood in his Armor and he had two Servlings with Thermo Guns along as well.
The Guardian did not openly interfere yet, but he had planted a few suggestions here and there. The aliens were less of a threat than anticipated. They did not possess technology of faster than light communication and their technology was rather crude. He had analyzed their computer data and left a few little adjustments. The navigation data slightly altered would make sure they never made it back home and tell about this world. He had transferred the bodies and the equipment of the slain aliens into the lava flow of an active volcano. No need for his children to learn how to use thermo blasters just yet. His violent children, many bowed in fear observing and living events that were millennia past their level of understanding. Trembling under the fists and whips of the alien aggressors, but not all of them! Some had learned that god bled and could be slain.
He continued to observe.
Wilto had found a few more of his tribe, hiding with fear in the dark; Bopho did not hesitate and invited them all to his place. There he told his story to the group and Wilto as his witness verified it all. There was much discussion, more discussion than ever and not all were happy about the events. Especially the former Clan leader of the Beavers and his new friend Napho felt strongly, but when Wilto told them that Bopho had slain two of the powerful spirits they decided to quit challenging Bopho, at least for now.
The events had changed Bopho forever. He was no longer a Hunter, but a Slayer of Spirits and Demons. He had shed their blood and while he did not understand the significance of it all. He felt that his world also had changed as well. The spirits and demons of the night that roamed the forests were no longer the realm of the Shaman and his dreams.
His Shaman had danced for hours and eaten some of the red little softs he had collected during the summer and dried in the sun. The Little softs with the long thin heads that looked almost like a hunter's penis and grew in the brown leaves underneath trees were Shaman food. The good spirits of the forest would enter the Shaman when he ate those Little Softs.
Now the Shaman lay still completely covered under the skin of a bear. With a sudden cry he threw of the skin threw dust and ashes all over him and howled like a wounded fox. He sat down again, laughing then crying. "Bopho has angered the tribe of the Sky spirits but the spirits of the Earth are glad and for the sacrifice and the blood. The winds are wild and will scatter Bopho and all those are with him. The trees and the rocks and all that is below want to protect Bopho and all those are with him. The throw stick that had slayed the shining spirit must be brought to the Giant of the Earth and then he will protect us forever!"
Bopho shuddered and didn't like the Shaman's dream." Who knows were the Giant of the Earth is to be found?"
"When the light makes its way in the sky, a wolf will show the way!"
There was no trace of Ronar or his Servlings, his ship and the rest of his subjects was still here. Adad did not like mysteries, especially not on an alien world. He still did not suspect anything native was responsible, he suspected a conspiracy among his own. Maybe Ronar was more loyal to him than he thought and he was murdered because he stood in the way of some other Commander. Treasures and riches were the most common causes for eroding loyalties. There was a lot of it here and all for the taking. There was one thing the Almighty Emperor back on the Anuna throne world, valued more than Blood lines, and that was treasure and valuables in vast quantities. Did one or perhaps several of his Commanders already plot against him? It was not completely unthinkable that they banded together behind his back.
He could no longer wait, he had to return. There was already plenty to fill three ships. He had the most percentage of Royal Blood in his veins and he could plot and play the game for power as good as anyone!
Just at Dawn the dream of the Shaman came true. Napho had seen a white wolf of great size walk past the cave. It howled and went down river were it disappeared. Napho was sure he had heard Bopho's name in the howl. Now Bopho did not want to go on a long walk down the river, perhaps for several moons to find the Earth Giant, but the Shaman's dream was not to be ignored and the Wolf did come! The leader of a tribe had to do things he sometimes did not want to do if it was good for all. He did not like to leave Napho in charge while he was gone, but the Shaman saw him return with great glory and many new things for the tribe and Napho promised to keep things well. There was a nagging thought in the back of his head that Napho was glad to see Bopho leave and he might have to fight and kill him when he returned. Wilto appeared next to him with a bundle of throw sticks and declared he would not let Bopho go alone.
So he wrapped the throw stick he had used to kill the Shinny Spirit in a soft Stick head fur and tied it with strips of skin to his back.
Napho watched as the two hunters made their way down the narrow path to the river and waited till he could no longer see them. The former leader of the Beaver Clan put his hand on Napho's shoulder and a smile crept on his lips. Later he would bury the wolf skin he had worn to fool simple Napho and the tribe would be his.