The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 11: “The Power of The Love Song”

“As it dawned on me that I was going to be eaten by the Horma, I started to sing, at first softly then in a midrange tone. I improvised the lyrics so I dont know the exact words I used. But it was a song about Universal Love.
“I amazed myself because even as I listened to my song I marvelled at both my own creativity and the beauty of the song.
“I threw all my genuine love into the song, seeing myself and all else encapsulated by the Universe in Its womb of compassion and understanding.
“The tentacles that gripped me began to slacken and I noticed that the small sound from the two trees had ceased. Gradually the trees stopped swaying as the tentacles finally left me and withdrew.
“I continued singing, shooting love from my heart at all things and genuinely meaning it. I did not immediately leave the entrance of the cave. No, my love was too strong to place emphasis on escaping.
“Then an utterance reached my inner self, ” ‘Go, brother, before they come for you. We’ll tell our kindred elsewhere on this planet to keep their tentacles off you and your kind.
” ‘We, the Horma had never before now recognised anything as sentient who dont exhibit three traits, namely, appreciation of the beauty of sound, the universality of love and the absence of fear.
” ‘You have proved yourself sentient and we have no more right over you.
” ‘As for the Goona, the Insectoids, they enslaved us about one thousand years ago by finding out the secret of our existence. It is called the Sinuga, a large piece of diamond buried in the centre of this planet. That is the source of our power. It’s rays circulate this planet, nourishing us. The seizure of this diamond forced us to become carnivorous for survival. Help us, Commander El Nuk. Let us forge an alliance against the Goona and recover Sinuga the Diamond.

“I continued to sing even as the telepathic utterances imprinted themselves in my heart. Then I moved towards the direction the Goona brought me, still singing deep in love and joy.
“Along the way I saw other trees I had not noticed before, with tentacles raised in salutation, till I reached a large open field brightly lit by lights hanging from poles. In the centre were some of my crew struggling to untie themselves as they noticed their guards, the insectoids slipping into a stupor.
“My crew joined me in the song and before long we had completedly freed ourselves from the Goona without firing a shot.

“Before morning, The Intergalactic Forces had arrived and rounded up the Goona. Sinuga the Diamond was recovered and reburied in the centre of the planet.

“This event taught me the power of love, especially expressed in a song. It was beautiful and touching to see millions of tentacles from the Horma raised in joy as we lifted off from their planet that day.
“That is one experience I’ll never forget, Shoram.”

My father’s story kept on being picturised in my mind that night. The whole thing reminded me of the Cragto and the way I communicated with him. If only people could see the power in constantly keeping love burning in one’s heart…

( My wife and I dressed up to attend a seminar to be held at the Main Hall of the Castle of The Blue Flames. Guest speaker was going to be Sri Rajiv Kapoor from Kerala University. We’ve attended many seminars in which he lectured, but this one was going to be a thriller. He would talk on ‘Cosmolingo and Human Languages.’
As I drove towards the venue I remembered the story El Nuk told Shoram about the power of love.
“I wish Shoram’s father had definite lyrics or could remember fragments of what he improvised. Maybe he sang in Cosmolingo?” I said.
“Most probably and that is why the Horma understood it”, my wife replied.
“Even if the song had been in Topazi or Hanian, the thought behind the song would have been conveyed to the minds of the Horma, anyway”.
“That’s true”, my wife agreed, and before we knew it we had arrived at The Hall.
I parked the car and we both made our way in and chose our seats. We were among the earliest arrivals.
People started trooping in and soon it was a lively place.
Someone sat close to us but we did not pay much attention till we heard him say,
“Good day, Mr and Mrs Mook”.
Sitting right beside us was Corporal Niku!)

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The Story of The Stranded Extraterrestrial 10. “When I was Fleet Commander”

The party was glamorous, beyond anything I had expected on this journey. I had become an Intergalactic celebrity. Broadcasts upon broadcasts around the Confederation was about me, with a lot of mentions about my father too.
The quadrophonic music in the hall reverberated around us as we gyrated with joy. Then the music stopped suddenly. Commander Roon had an announcement to to make:
“By the powers conferred on me by the InterGalactic Confederation, I am happy to announce that Shoram El Nuk has been honoured with the title, ‘Member of the Brotherhood of Unicorns’! Henceforth his name will be preceded by the title ‘Sir’.”
There was a loud ovation and shouts of “Sir Shoram, Sir Shoram…”
Then I broke down and wept.
My anxious father rushed to my side as the curious crowd looked on.
“What is it, son?” he asked.
“Mum should have been here to see all this”, I said, and I could perceive the deep empathy from the crowd…
”Aw, how touching”, said an elderly woman, “but be assured, she’s here. She is not in oblivion. She knows and she is as happy as we are…”
“Yes! She is with us!” shouted another section of the crowd, “let the party go on…!”

Later that evening Akhenaton 1 landed at the colony where it was to spend the night and recharge. My father and I went into our joint cabin, had a shower and sat on the couches. We did not go to the restaurant for dinner but rather ordered for room service which was promptly provided.
We ate silently. For some reasons I felt guilty about arousing my father’s emotions by mentioning my late mother.
“Do not be hard on yourself, Sir Shoram. It was a mutual thought. She should have been here.
“Sometimes I blame myself for not spending time with her. I loved my job as Fleet Commander so much I was always spending most of many years in space. I was not with her throughout the duration of her pregnancy. I came rushing back after I got the news that you were born. That was when I applied for leave and spent three months with her…. and with you. One night she called me to our room and solemnly implored me to get some time for her. She told me how lonely she felt without me.
“‘Most of your trips are voluntary. You dont apply for leave when you should. I have a heart, you know. I have a heart…’ she kept on weeping and I could not bear it. I realised how much she loved and needed me so I made up my mind to take my last trip to Plaeides in order to supply some cargo on behalf of the Government and then retire voluntarily on my return.

“On the way to Plaeides, we encountered ten pirate ships that attacked us with powerful missiles forcing my ship to deviate from our space track. We fought back with all the powers in our arsenal. We sent for reinforcements but before they arrived the ten monstrous ships had forced us to land at Planet Bingoten.
“The pirate ships surrounded mine and I had to order the cabin crew to land. We were track-lost and the ship’s engines were all knocked down badly. The crew were not in the mood for psycho-manoevering. It was a hard, hard day.
“When we surrendered and came out of our ships we found the bandits to be outlandish insectoid creatures with strange, powerful weapons far beyond ours. They had no name.
“I was separated from my crew members and taken to a cave by seven insectoids who, in more peaceful times, I could have laughed at as being ungamely in appearance, like giant mantises. By the entrance of the cave were two swaying trees. They had beautiful brown leaves. Even in danger I could not fail to notice that.
“The insectoids tied my hands and feet and walked away leaving me in the cave.
That night I thought of escaping. The two moons of the planet illuminated the mountainous area in which the cave were situated and I noticed that a small sound like that of a cricket came from the midst of the two swaying trees.
“I easily untied the rather weak ropes and edged my way to the entrance.
Suddenly a tentacle from one of the trees reached out and coiled itself around my waist. That was when I realised my true situation. I was being guarded by the Horma, the infamous carnivorous trees!
“I had always dismissed such stories as fables but this taught me never to discountenance anything without verification. Anything dreamed up by people can exist physically. Legends are thoughts, and can manifest.
“I struggled, but my weapons had been surrendered to the insectoids. Another tentacle entangled me around my chest region, pinning my right arm to my body. With my left arm I grabbed the first tentacle but a third one hovered around my head as the two dragged me. It seemed they were trying to tear me apart and share me between themselves…”
I listened as my father recounted his story and shuddered. He has gone through a lot of dangers joyfully just to bring home the daily meal of his family.
As he spoke in the dim light, I recognised him for who he really was. A loving husband and a caring father. He would forever remain my role-model.

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The Story of The Stranded Extraterrestrial 9: Trrrpalogu!

The darkness in the ship became thicker until I could perceive it as a swirling ocean of very dark energy with billows on top billows. I could feel its touch even when clad in my spacesuit like all others.
I sensed an eerie silence and turned to look at my father who was barely visible in the darkness. To my horror I found him in a state of stupor. I looked around but could hardly see the others but I knew they were in the same state.
Then the darkness deepened and the sensation of sound ceased. I relaxed on my seat and focusing on a point between my brows started chanting one of the names of the Origin as advised by my father. Hu.
I did not finish six chants before a bright flash appeared within my mind followed by the sound of chains. Then the Cragto appeared in my vision!
That was the last person I expected, since he was an acquatic entity but any help was welcome in this situation.
‘Um…you have to be smart, Shoram. Go after Jul-wan now. Her name is not Julian but Jul-wan which means the Queen of Dark Energy. She’s…um…a stowaway on this ship and she is the Last of the Trrrpalogu, the creators of dark torrents of rain, poisonous gases and the Doldrum. There were about one hundred of her species in existence about a thousand years ago at the edge of the Universe, but the Forces of Good hunted them down and annihilated ninety-nine. The whereabouts of Jul-wan had remained a mystery to us till I heard your call. Stand up, render yourself invisible and go after her with your laser-beam. Make sure she does not bite you. Shoot her in the middle of her brow, for that is where the metal she uses in controlling the doldrum is. Shoot her there and keep off. Keep your wits around you and do not forget your martial discipline’. Then the Cragto faded off.
I grabbed my laser beam and stood up but the darkness was almost crushing. The ship was moving in an uncontrolled manner but I had my Stabiliser on and gradually groped my way back to the restaurant where I last saw Julian, as she falsely called herself. I relied on my Extra Sensory Perception to guide me there because by this time I had started feeling the effect of the Doldrum as if it was hot pepper poured on my body. I saw flashes of Jul-wan still seated at the table laughing with her colourless eyes fixed at a spot in front of her. Despite her awesome powers she had no idea I was approaching. Or so I thought.
‘Shoram!’ I heard a telepathic call from her and I was slightly startled. ‘Do you think you can stop the Doldrum?’
‘Easily’, I replied calmly, ‘ Easily, Jul-wan!’ It was her turn to be startled.
‘How did you know my holy name? This is blasphemy! It is not supposed to be pronounced by any mortal’.
‘Well, I have done that and you’ll soon be gone from history’, and so saying I fired the laser beam. She threw herself to the other side, making me miss widely. Apparently she could not see me physically but her psychic impressions were excellent. I saw her clearly although camouflage was not working perfectly due to old age. She was over a thousand years old, even though she was disguised as a young Terran of twenty-five.
Suddenly I saw her flying at me, her fingers turned to claws and her teeth to fangs. Balancing on the sole of my right foot I sent a powerful kick to her face with my left foot catching her on the jaw. I perceived the sound of her heavy fall as well as another cracking sound. I must have broken her jaw. As she struggled to her feet I pulled the trigger again, this time hitting the target, which was space between her brows. Something like a small metal ball fell out and as I looked, undecided about what to do, the welcome voice of the Cragto came into my mind, ‘Pick it up now!’
As I picked it Jul-wan began to transform to an old shrivelled humanoid creature. Suddenly the darkness gave way and the choking grip of the Doldrum was loosened. It all happened so fast I just stood there bewildered. When I turned to look at Jul-wan, she had become a tall, slender, ugly, twisted, freaky humanoid defying any decent description. I so was horrified I nearly dropped the round metal. That was the source of her power and if she got hold of it again it would be a disaster. I looked through the window and found the Doldrum receding and reducing in size.
‘It’s all over, Shoram. You won’, Jul-wan hissed like a serpent. ‘The Doldrum will soon implode and I’ll be dead…congratulations…you saved your race..’

I heard a stir behind me and found the Security Personnel headed by the Commander gaping sleepily at the scene before them.
‘This creature’, I announced to them, ‘is the infamous Jul-wan The Trrrpalogu, wanted by the Goverment of The InterGalactic Confederation for crimes against all beings. She is the embodiment of the Doldrum and here is her Source of Dark Power. The evil metal ball!’
Soon everyone came out of stupor to gaze at the monster lying there. I saw my dad grinning widely.
‘I’m proud of you, son’

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The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 8: The Doldrum Approaches.

We fastened our seat belts and Stabilizers as instructed, switched off all communication gadgets and sat in a relaxed meditative mode. The long hiss I heard during the initial take-off resumed. Then I experienced the ecstatic delight for which Space Leap was so famous. At first the sensation of linear movement was felt, then that melted away into a feeling almost akin to disembodiment. It was as if our bodies had become the spaceship itself with our minds directing every part of it. Everything became one and motionless. The ecstasy was not what words can convey. The only condition close to it is the bliss of meditation.
Slowly, after about 30 Hanian minutes, the sensation of motion was restored. The stars, which had become blurred during the Leap became individually crystallised again and we felt like people waking out of a soul travel session. We were refreshed and joyous beyond our imagination.
Then the announcement was made, ‘Our First Leap into The Space Highway has been very successful. We are already half-way towards Terra. Congratulations, everyone’.
There was a long standing ovation and cheerful banters among both members of the crew and passengers. Even Commander Roon came to the passengers’ deck to give a thumb up, grinning from ear to ear.
‘So, this is what Space Leap feels like’, I said.
‘Yes, son. That is Space Leap. A beautiful experience. Time stands still as distance is wrapped up. But it has to be done in phases so as not to overshoot the intended destination’.
‘Great. Thanks, Dad’.
‘For what, son?’
‘For such a wonderful opportunity’.

Another announcement was made, ‘ In the next two hours we shall make a stopover at our station on Planet Nagistari for routine Recharging and maintenance. Meanwhile, you may walk around, take your meals and enjoy yourselves. Have a nice time’.

My father and I sat at a table in the restaurant at the ground floor where, to my delight, we were served by people, not robots. The meal was very good. Healthy food, not the type synthetically or tele-produced.
My father later left me and took a walk around the spacious floor while I washed down the meal with a bottle of red wine.
‘Hi’, I heard the voice of a female and turned to see the Red Head who had earlier been spacesick smiling at me.
‘Wont you invite me to sit down’?, she queried in her sensuous voice.
‘Oh, I forgot my manners and I apologise’, I said, ‘Do take a seat. What would you have? Hey, waiter! Over here’.
She ordered for some tele-produced drinks and smiled at me.
‘My name is Julian’.
‘Jul..what? I sputtered, ‘that’s not a Hanian name. It sounds alien’.
‘You’re right, it’s a Terran name’.
‘Are you Terran’? I asked, bewildered.
‘No, this is my first visit. I was born when my father was off to Terra and by his calculation I was born in the Terran month of July, so he decided to give me that name to commemorate his first journey to Terra. Dont you like the name’?
Hesitantly I replied, ‘I do’. There was something about her smile that triggered an alarm in me. She was something other than what she claimed to be. It was not the name. No, I had no problem with that. This girl’s eyes were colourless and….well, I had to keep an eye on her.
Suddenly another announcement came over the telecoms, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, this is an emergency. Get back to your seats. A large Space Doldrum is eating its ways through space towards us at an alarming speed. Back to your seats and take all safety precautions in preparation for a diversion into Null Space to avoid getting caught’.
I looked at the direction my father had gone and was grateful to the Origin to see him hurrying back. I stood up and went with him towards our seats. Before then I looked back and was surprised to see Julian sitting calmly sipping her drink with a grin on her face despite the danger alert.

We sat down with some apprehension. I turned to my father, ‘What is a Space Doldrum’?
‘It is a very wide, dark expanse of negative energy that envelopes any metalic object, crushing it or liquifying it within 70 hours depending on the type of metal. So you can imagine what will happen to this ship, which is partly made of ‘starkra’ metal. The Doldrum is the only threat to ships, although I had never encountered it throughout my career’.
‘What do we do now?’ I asked.
‘The worst thing in this situation is fear. Fear kills your initiative. Remember who we are. All things were created for us and by us. If you keep this in mind, nothing will ever worry you’.
‘Good idea in any other different condition’, I thought.
My dad caught my thought telepathically. He turned to me and in a quiet tone said, ‘Have you forgotten your training at the Academy so soon, Shoram? Come on, son. Chant Hu and calm your nerves. An idea will occur to us. Yes, we can overcome the Doldrum. All we need is to remember who we are. We are creators’!
No sooner had he said this than we were plunged into a darkness so thick that all the lights in the ship were eclipsed.

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The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 7. My First Interstellar Voyage.

The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 7. My First Interstellar Voyage..

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The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 7. My First Interstellar Voyage.

The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 7. My First Interstellar Voyage..

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The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 7. My First Interstellar Voyage.

The day came when we had to depart our dear Planet Han. Friends and relations waited for us at the spaceport to say goodbye. I fondly remember my mother’s sister, Auntie Seri’s hug and tears before we all departed to the port where we saw my friends from the Academy and many of my relations too, some smiling, others looking grim.

The ship, Akhnaton 1, named after an ancient Terran king, was a giant oval monster; a huge, three-story ship with 700 psycho-engines and an equal number of digital ones. It was dark in colour and was capable of camouflage and outright disappearance from the view of all organic creatures.
All the the floors were guarded by armed personnel, though the second floor was strictly reserved for eight thousand passengers, complete with restaurants and conveniences.
The lowest deck served as a recreational section and for sight-seeing. The sides had wide windows with touchscreens where one could zoom in and out of the scenery outside.
I sat by my dad in the passengers’ floor beside a small window where I could see our Planet recede as we sped away. I must confess it was unnerving for me, being my first interstellar voyage. Before now I had only visited planets within the same system.

We were ready to go. I briefly looked through the window and saw friends and relations waving from the visitors lounge of the port. Then the usual pre-flight ceremonies started.

A female cabin crew member stood at the front and in a comforting tone began to instruct us on safety measures and acceptable conduct by passengers on board.
Each passenger was equipped with a Universal Viewer for scanning the universe, a Gravity Stabilizer Belt that roots to you comfortably to the floor or the ground of any planet no matter the gravitational fluctuations, a spacesuit to be worn in an emergency or whenever a harmful radiation was detected and even a space life-boat which was expected to automatically drop for each person from the roof in case there was need to abandon the ship due to a grave danger. We each had a Translator, which was a headset that automatically translated any language in the universe into Cosmolingo, so that communication with beings outside the Inter-Galactic Confederation would be easy. In addition to all that we were allowed to carry licenced light weapons and Field Protectors worn as a band on the wrist which can be switched on to produce an impregnable Force Field around the person wearing it, to ward off some category of external attacks. For example some bullets or laser beams may be rendered impotent.

There was a long hiss and we were airborne. We were lifted slowly as an honour to those waving goodbye on the ground. A sudden disappearance was never considered right. I could not look at my Viewer for long. Some of our friends were shedding tears as if we would never return.
Then the ship zoomed off noiselessly and within Hanian seconds I saw the round globe that is our planet receding. It was a beautiful spectacle. The main sun was shining in the overwhelming darkness of space and its light was reflected on the planet and moons, because their atmospheres could disperse light. The darkness enveloped everything else despite the three suns.
My father cleared his throat suddenly. We had not said much to each other all this while.
‘Smooth take-off’, he remarked. ‘The young navigators have learnt well. Taking off is the most serious part of handling a space-ship. Make an error, and you land yourself in a dangerous spot such as a Space Doldrum’.
Before I could ask him what a Space Doldrum was, a man in his middle ages approached our seats grinning from ear to ear.
‘Commander El Nuk. Glad to see you on board Akhnaton 1. You are assured, this will be a thrilling ride…and this must be your son, Shoram. Handsome chap. Reminds me of how you used to be when we were at the Academy…Oh, sorry, Shoram, my name is Maja Roon and I am the Commander of this ship. Your father was a former fellow student at the Space Academy and former co-navigator aboard the ship Sikak. He was very efficient, Shoram..’
My father acknowledged his compliments and the Commander went back to his quarters.
‘Nice man’, said my father, ‘and very efficient too. Relax boy, we’re in safe hands’.
By this time Han has become a spec in the distance. I zoomed on it with my Viewer and observed its bluish aura.
Just then there was a groan from a passenger behind us. Someone was spacesick and the medics were soon on hand to give aid. The sick person was a red haired female. Two medics ushered her towards the clinic on the far end of the deck. I smiled. What is a beauty like that going to do on Terra? Females! She may just be interested in jewelries for which Terra is very famous. What a way to waste resources! But it is really nobody’s business.
The girl returned with a smile and apologised for her behaviour.
Just then the announcement was made, ‘ Please get seated and brace up for the First Leap’.

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The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 6: Absurd Identity.

The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 6: Absurd Identity..

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The Story of the Stranded Extraterrestrial 6: Absurd Identity.

( We sat before the TV in the evening waiting for the main news. Rumours were all over the place that an extraterrestrial had been captured by Sergeant Doma and Corporal Niku, those nosey policemen who questioned us in our house a couple of days ago. Some said the alien was captured trying to rape a woman, others said he was captured struggling to eat earthly food that choked him. Some said he was like a reptile, others said he was insectoid.
The news was read on TV. Yes, it was true that a person who appeared to be an alien was actually captured while riding a bike at top speed. He had large eyes, a small mouth with whiskers. He had a large head and a tail! The colour of his skin was green and he was about five feet tall. The ‘alien’ did not resist arrest and was found to be very fluent in English. However on closer examination he was at last found be fake. He was wearing a nearly fool-proof disguise, to the disappointment of Sergeant Doma and his partner who had arrested and taken him to the police headquarters.
The Sergeant appeared in an interview afterwards.

Q: Sergeant, we know you’ve been on the trail of ETs for a long time. What do you say about this catch now?
Doma: (Clears throat) It was a great mistake and I apologise to the public for this misinformation. Actually, there is no way I would have thought Sam Kudu would play this prank on us. We know he is a movie star, but it is gross mischief to make the police look stupid.
Q: With what has happened now do you still believe ETs exist? Dont you think all your chases will end up this same way?
Doma: I have never seen an extraterrestrial before…
Q: All I’m asking you is, can you affirm that ETs are not fanciful ideas borne out of superstition?
Doma: Well, I’m no longer sure. In fact I am not sure at all that I believe in their existence. But my partner thinks he can telepathically contact them.
Q: Did Sam Kudu, whom you wrongly arrested as an ET emit any vibration that led your partner to conclude he was an ET?
Doma: As I said before I am very sorry. God! I hate ETs, fake or real.
Moderator: Viewers, that’s all the time we have for this absurd mistaken identity. Good night.

My wife and I laughed till our ribs began to pain us.
‘Do you know what tomorrow’s newspapers will say about this’? my wife asked,’Sam Kudu turns to ET. Gets arrested’, or ‘Sergeant Doma Admits Chasing Shadows’ or any funny headline like that..’
I replied, ‘And the cartoonists will have a field day making a carricature of poor Doma and Niku. So much for their chase’.
‘That should teach people not to meddle in matters they know nothing about’, my wife said.
‘I agree with you’, I chuckled. ‘With their images battered now, we are free to pursue our space goals unhindered, thanks to Sam Kudu. But trust the police, he will be charged to court for God-knows-what..’ I could not help laughing again.

That night I took the Shoram scripts for further reading. My wife suddenly snatched them from me and hurried into the bedroom. I followed her, slightly annoyed.
She laid on the bed and put the scripts under her pillow then dimmed the lights.
As I reached out to take them she held my hand and pulled. I fell on top of her.
‘You’ve been showering all your attention on Shoram and Nasima instead of me’, she said teasingly, ‘I deserve that attention, don’t I’?
‘Women’! I said, ‘you are all the same’.
‘Stop bellyaching and come over’.
She was irresistible in the dim light and before the count of three I was on an ecstasic assignment).

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The Story of The Stranded Extraterrestrial 5. The Cragto.

( I gathered the sheets and headed for the study where I wanted to comfortably continue reading the extraordinary story of Shoram. Just then my attention was drawn to a TV broadcast saying an extraterrestrial had been captured by the police. I was interested and called my wife. We sat and listened, hoping to see a footage of the capture. There was none so we lost interest and I headed for my study where I started reading…)

It was Contemplation Day according to our tradition based on a lunar calender using the revolution of the biggest moon revolving around Han. Most people were headed for their various temples to give thanks to The Origin. My father wanted me to follow him to our own temple but I declined, prefering to go to the serene Forest of Springs. I drove in my flying car through the air, looking at the scenery below. The forest consisted of very tall trees with grasses adorned by flowers of different colours. The morning light made it look like an embroidered carpet from the air.
I landed in a clearing near a spring gushing from a hill surrounded by a grove of flowers. I parked the car and stood at the centre of the clearing, raising my hands skywards with my eyes closed, feeling the Oneness of Being, the Beauty of Life and Love Eternal. Slowly I entered the Point and found myself soaring till I reached the bank of a blue river. There I stood, knowing that my body was left behind in the Forest of Springs.
Out of the river a creature emerged suddenly. I was not frightened. In my state of being fright was impossible. The creature was like a giant turtle, six feet long, four feet wide, short limbs and a long neck holding a python-like head.
‘Peace be on you’, it said. I recognised it immediately as the Cragto, also known as the Wise One and Custodian of the Sea. Those who saw him in their dreams, contemplations or visions were considered very fortunate indeed. ‘Shoram…… Welcome to my world’, said he. ‘I deliberately sent for you in order to strengthen you. I noticed how distraught you are about Nasima’s passing over to the other side. Shoram, death does not exist. It is an illusion. Death is only a journey. Your mother and Nasima are both patiently waiting for your father and you to join them when you finish your assignments on Han. Do not be worried. Look cross the river now’.
When I looked, I saw my mother who died six years ago standing with my beloved Nasima at the other bank of the blue river. They were attired in shining multicoloured clothes and were radiating so much love. They waved at me and I waved back.
‘Son, do not distract your attention from the now. Do your Hanian work and enjoy your life. When the time comes we shall wait for your father here, and for you too..’ the telepathic message came from my mother, now looking like a very young woman of twenty-two.
I also sensed Nasima saying, ‘I will also wait for you, Shoram. So go about your business and forget about the past and its sadness. What matters is the here and now…we are happy where we are, so don’t grieve anymore because that hurts…and oh, I have removed the scars of my bite so you can be free of me till we meet again..’ so saying, they both vanished out of sight and I turned to the Cragto who had stretch its neck, bringing its face close to mine and looking straight into my eyes.
‘Shoram, do not forget your spiritual exercises and everything will be okay for you. As for your father..’ and his voice trailed off.
‘Shoram’, he resumed but did not continue what he wanted to say about my father, ‘um…um..I will always be here and next time you return we shall… um…um. Go well, Shoram. Come back after returning from your journey..’
I found myself back in the Forest of Springs with my hands raised and the yellow sun bathing the environment with a beautiful colour.

When I told my father about my experience with the Cragto, he was delighted. ‘You are doing very well, son. Many have tried to contact the Wise One all their lives without success. And..yes, the Cragto is right… I have been making plans for both of us to embark on a journey to…guess where? Planet Terra’!
‘Haaaaaah’, I screamed in delight, prompting our domestic robot to approach us with dispatch.
‘Can I be of help, Commander El Nuk and Master Shoram? I heard a scream..’ the robot squeaked.
On a different occasion I would have rudely sent the robot away but this time I hugged it in joy as we pranced about.
‘So we are going to my dream planet at last. The planet of the Lone Sun…. I am going to visit Egypt, Mesopotamia and Cush! We shall see London and Atlantis…’ I said joyfully.
My father laughed. ‘London and Atlantis’! he roared with laughter.
‘What’s funny, dad’?
‘They are located in two different times’, said he. ‘You’ll see many more interesting places, such as the Underworld civilisation’.

( I had not taken my breakfast and I knew my wife would soon come in to give me marching orders to the dining table…)

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