Message From Antiquity

Characters: Cat Rosha, Elanor Parry

It had been a few days since Cat and Brenda had gotten back from helping out the Science department explore some caves on the planet below. Cat was sitting on the floor of her quarters meditating, when she realized she had forgotten something.

She had forgotten about the diary they had found. Cat got up from her spot and went over to a small table where she had first placed the small book. She ran her fingers along the binding as she tried to figure out what she was going to do with it.

Parry, she thought. I’ll go take it to her. Cat put on her shoes and walked down the corridors until she got to Eleanor Parry’s quarters. Cat knocked on the door, but no one answered. She must be out, Cat thought.

Since Cat did not know where Elanor might be she went back to her quarters, placed the book in a bag and attached a note to it asking the Ranger archaeologist to translate it. Cat then went down to Parry’s quarters again and laid the bag against the door hoping she would find it.

Cat then walked slowly back to her quarters, already wondering what the translation might say.

Several hours later, Cat’s comm signaled an incoming message. When she answered it, Parry’s face came on the screen. “I got the book, Cat,” she said. “I wanted to thank you for giving it to me. I’ve only just started to translate it, but what I’m finding out so far is really interesting.”

“The book you found is a diary of someone who lived in those caves. Fairly young for her species — adolescent, I’m guessing — female, and she called herself Ka’irapan, which in English would mean ‘blessed with honesty,’ roughly.”

“It looks like one of the things we suspected about the cave system we explored was correct — it was a bunker of sorts, where the inhabitants of Rolui at that time took shelter during and after a massive nuclear bomb exchange. At the time Ka’irapan started her diary, there were nearly a thousand people in that shelter.”

“Does it give you any clues as to why they left? And in such a hurry, I might add? From the looks of the bunkers, they all look as if they left in a great hurry. It’s very suspicious.”

“I haven’t finished translating the whole thing yet. Unfortunately there has been no mention so far of them leaving. May I ask why you are so interested in why they left?” Parry asked.

“Well, as you might know, I’ve been around the galaxy once or twice and there was a story I had heard while on a small planet far away. It told of a small group of aliens who had visited the planet and tried to find a place to stay, but they were kicked off.”

“Really. Does the legend say why?”

“All I was told was that they were carrying something with them that could have brought great peril to the planet if they had not been kicked off immediately. I guess it was a big deal to the natives, because the experience became a legend told to the little ones to scare them. The native I was talking to at the time was too scared to mention why the aliens were kicked off. I have a sinking feeling that this diary might have a connection.”

“I’ll work on translating the rest for you so you may try to find your connection. Have a good evening,” Parry said.

“You too, and thank you for doing this, it means a lot.” Cat replied.

“You’re very welcome,” Parry said before turning her screen off.

Cat then turned around and stared at a picture of her Mother and Father she had hung on a wall. “God, I hope this is finally it,” she whispered.

Somehow, Cat managed to get to sleep that night, but was awakened by the urgent shrilling of her comm. For a moment she thought she was being called to scramble to her fighter, but then realized it was Parry.

When Cat activated the comm screen, Parry appeared, looking tired but rather excited. “I’ve finished it, Cat. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the legend you heard on that other planet, but I think you’re going to want to hear this. You want me to read it to you or come over there?”

“Sure! Sure, come on over,” Cat replied. Within a few minutes Parry was knocking on her door. Cat opened it and motioned her in. They both sat down on two chairs Cat had placed in her quarters.

“Okay, this is what I translated. I found it to be quite interesting.”

Then Parry started to read:

“This is a miracle. I am taking a chance, I suppose, of angering our great benefactors by writing this down, but someone must know of it. After over a year in our bunker, when we were resigned that in a few years more we would all die down here, we are being rescued. Beings from beyond our planet – beyond all the stars we can see – have come to us. They are taking us to another planet, another world, where we can start our lives again. Not only us in this bunker, but others from the few other bunkers and shelters too.

“I must go. We are called to leave now, quickly. Praise the One who made all things, that our people have somehow been saved from the folly that should have killed every last one of us. We begin again, somewhere beyond the stars.”

Parry looked at Cat. “You see what this means? A million years ago, this happened. None of the races we know now even existed that long ago – except for the First Ones. It had to have been one of the First One races that saved these people and gave them a second chance.”

Cat looked stunned for a minute as she took it all in. Could she have found another clue to how to find the First Ones? How could she put this clue into the pile she already had? Cat was confused and excited all at the same time. “Could I possibly borrow this? I’d like to read it again,” Cat asked.

“Sure,” Parry replied and handed the original book and the notes of her translations to Cat.

“Thank you so much. I’ll return it to you as soon as I’m done,” Cat said.

“Okay, no hurry. I don’t need them right away,” Parry replied.

“I can’t thank you enough for doing this. You really don’t know how much this means to me,” Cat said.

“I’m beginning to get an idea,” the Ranger archaeologist said with a smile. “You’re very welcome. I’ll see you later.” She gave Cat a small bow before heading out.

Copyright (c) 2005 Catie Dwinal and Jamie Lawson. All rights reserved.


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