Science Fiction

The water was flowing quickly on this beautiful and sunny day. The air was crisp and the rolling green hills gave way to the local flora and fauna. He squinted as he stared out into the distance of the rolling plains and saw from a mountain-side a glistening light. It reflected light from the sun, but to, to Pojo or He Who Hunts in his local tongue, it was a sign of the gods. A sign that the gods had spoken to him, chosen him, to go to that spot. Their sun god was the main being who gave all things life. The chemical reactions that it's rays induce made sure that all that breathed on this planet breathed that which the sun gave it. Pojo and his people understood that, though not exactly how. They could see that a plant would wilt if it did not receive sun, but flourish if it received more. His people were on the verge of discovering agriculture, but Pojo was set out to discover much more.

The distance between Pojo and the light was littered with boulders from eons past and was slightly yellowish-grey for it did not have as many nutrients in it's soil as did the green hills and beyond where Pojo and his tribe lived for this season. Pojo was well-fed before he set out and he had provisions and water in an animal skin bag with him. He looked out onto the horizon and doubted instinctively that he was in danger of being caught by a large land cat, they called it Night-Dweller, Skeelj. Mainly because it was yet day, and the Skeelj preferred dark and covered forests. There would be a possibility for him to shoot some game as well, he had arrows, a large and smaller spear, and some rudimentary stone tools. He gave a curt nod to the sun, in acknowledgement of it's challenge, and set off, planning to be back home the next day judging by the current time and the distance ahead of him, for the mountain-range was a half day away and it was just the cusp of the morning. Without giving it even as much thought as written out here, for these thoughts transpired in him as he set off, for Pojo was quite impulsive at times.

The plains were busy in the morning as herds of Grass-Eaters or Gupol, were out in large herds and making sure that they were protected. It was the breeding season and predators as well as grass-eaters were well fed and flourishing. His people were usually very low on the list of things that the local apex predator, a bipedal reptilian that can reach up to 300cm of height, locally called Death-Bringer though he rarely would hunt the locals. Pojo thus strode through the only shin-high grass plains toward the mountain range, keeping a steady pace but not too slow either, so he could get there in time. His eye constantly on the horizon should he see anything that would be differing in appearance from all the herds, or turned out to be a Death-Bringer. Though it was the breeding season of grass-eaters, lone Death-Bringers would roam and ensure that their territories were secured from other Death-Bringers. He had slain one before, but it was a juvenile, to slay an adult would be a superheroic task. He had heard of it done before by other tribes, but all tribes would say that of their own tribe. Pojo knew that and was thus skeptical. He gave a short muttering of prayer to the death god, in this case one of the two moons that orbited their planet. He hoped it had heard him, for now she slept.

The other moon orbits in such a way that it is only seen once every 54 years. It is estimated that in 2.3 million years the two moons will collide and impose an destructive apocalyptic event upon the planet. However the calculations were done by interns on the observation station at the time. They had also falsified their data as it would turn out, and conveniently the calculations disappeared when the press wanted to know more information. Actual calculations on the true trajectory is in the pipeline of the budget, allegedly.

Pojo meanwhile was venturing further toward the mountain range and was surprised that there was no more glint of the light flashing towards him anymore. It had guided him for most of the day over the plains and though intermittent, would flash whenever Pojo looked at it directly the most. He took a break under a Billo tree and ate some nuts and berries. As he munched on them he kept his eyes open and scanned the horizon. It wasn't until he looked up further upon the tree that he saw a Skeelj. It was sleeping clamly upon a larger branch, it's large claws burying themselves into the tree, it's long tail with poisonous tip swung to and fro like a branch itself. Pojo calmly got up and slowly moved away from the tree, his eyes never leaving the position of the Skeelj.

The cameras zoomed into Pojo as he backed away further from the Skeelj and headed further toward the mountain range where the beckoning light of the gods awaited. In this case the gods were Bakha from Accounting and Florgo from HR.

"I can't believe we got Bakha to go down on the planet. I can't believe that a local Trika hunter would see the signal. And I can't believe he also is going to it!" Bakha complained and stared at the footage from the observation post above the planet upon which Pojo dwelt. It was observing the local people, called Trika by Bakha's species, and was given the green light only two years ago to conduct more intrusive studies. This study was green lit by a board as an 'Innovative and fresh look,' towards native species studies in the galaxy. The Pro-Trika Environmentalist and Preservationist group PROTRIKA complained, as did the representatives of other native study observation posts, but the highly technocratic-oriented panel of the board wanted more results.

Florgo gave a smile as he peered into the camera that was disguised a bird of the local fauna as it observed Pojo walking up a path that was already set into the hillside of the mountain.

"Yeah, Bakha left already though. The robot that was flashing him went with her I think."

"You think?" Hos'ed arrived and Florgo and Bakha groaned.

"Hos, cut it out. We don't want to hear it. This one was green lit by the board." Bakha complained at Hos'ed and Florgo agreed. "It's happening, whether you like it or not."

Hos'ed scoffed "The repercussions to this will echo through eternity!"

"Write that one down, that's actually pretty good." Florgo conceded as Hos disappeared further down a corridor.

"I get that they care but, like, come on. It will help us as a species so much!" Bakha tried to reason with Florgo, but he shrugged.

"I dunno Bakha, I mean we are sending this guy to a bunker we built to teach them mathematics. This guy will see a bunch of stuff on the wall, and if we are very lucky, he will understand what he sees. Very, very lucky."

Bakha swirled around and waved all of her four arms about to emphasize the importance of her words "But this shows that if we can uplift these people with such things as mathematics, that it supports the idea that all species must adhere to certain laws of physics!"

Florgo raised a finger "Ah! But that is only if they are ready for it! I am telling you, this is a project that should've gone to Elokia."

"Elokia, Elokia, all you talk about is your old observation post Elokia. You're here now Florgo, it isn't that bad."

Florgo shrugged "Yeah I know, I'm sorry. Wait wait, look, he is going in."

Pojo entered the labyrinth. It was disguised as a cave entrance with similar stone as the mountain it resided in. To the touch it would feel the same as the mountain itself, but if Pojo was observant, he would notice that it would sound hollow if something were to fall upon it's surfaces, or clunk heavily with a sound different to something falling on stone. Florgo, Bakha, and many others who worked in the observation post were glued to their screens as they watched Pojo take his first steps into the labyrinth. His feet are covered with leather boots that are sturdy, but they are thin enough to feel the ground. He notices that the ground is much colder, but thinks not that much of it since it is a cave. Soon after though, he kicks a pebble and it bounces on the ground. He notices the sound is different and the observation post rejoices at the fact that he recognizes the difference.

Just as he is about to examine the phenomenon he notices a light in the cave that pulsates, much like the one that guided him here in the first place. He continues down the cave and the light gets brighter and the pulsating slows down until it is a constant light. The walls of the cave are illuminated now, depicting various drawings intended to gain the attention of Pojo and it works. He marvels at the sun within a cave and stares at it for a while. Soon thereafter he peers around and notices the drawings on the wall. They were groups of animals in a herd designed as hand paintings of the locals on the wall. At first a herd of nine animals, then eight, then seven and so on until one animal remained. Above each animal or group of animals was a symbol, a number. It held within it's walls a secret to Pojo, a secret he had yet to uncover, something that could fundamentally change the trajectory of his species... or not. It was up to Pojo to decide as these images would form in his mind. The observation post was disappointed when Pojo left just to the outside of the cave. He stared out back to the green hills from which he came. The sun was slowly setting upon the horizon and he looked out to see the various herds of grass-eaters, the birds flying above, and the trees dotted in between the various boulders.

The various snapshots of beings before him in their groups of ten to twenty, four to thirty, or anything above or below or in between, these images walked within his inner mind and strolled along. He was there and seeing the connections but had not yet made them himself. The observation post was on the edge of their seats for they could only see what they saw of him. They would only see what was given to them from their observations. Furiously their supercomputers were calculating things, observing everything possible, taking in the numbers. The atmosphere levels, the oxygen, the nitrogen, the methane, how the composition of the clouds was for the religious people of their species. Noting down the constellations at that moment. Making sure that every metric that was ever possible to have ever been thought of could come together to try to put the pieces of the puzzle in unison that made up the recesses of this creatures' mind.

Yet, no matter how much they would calculate or estimate or presume, they could never truly understand what Pojo felt that day. The exact description of the situation. How he felt the warmth of the sun on his face. How he could smell the various smells of the plains within his nose as it wafted across the fields, through the trees and caressed the boulders. He would see the animals ahead of them and think of the good they give to him, and the good that he attempts to give back, through their roaming and living as one. Pojo's had already found the secret that was hidden in the cave. But he would not be the one to solve it. As he looked upon the sunset he thought of his children and knew that they would be the one to solve this. They will know.

December 12, 2021 12:45

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