*Quick note before I start: This is the 3rd installment in a series I’ve called the Lost Colonies which is largely about human society adapting to the strange environments of other worlds. You can read the other installments here: 1, 2,4, 5, 6, 7. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing this series, but with my new work schedule I had to bring it to a close. If you’ve enjoyed this story follow me on here for my other writings. Thanks again to everyone who has reblogged, liked, replied, DMed, or otherwise shown their appreciation for this series. It means a lot to me that people enjoyed it and the love you’ve all shown me has really helped keep me going for these last few months.*
A bead of sweat dripped down Kiara’s forehead as she hauled the last of the containers of equipment into a weathered shed. Even though the gravity on Steadfast was lighter than her homeworld it had still been a long day of preparations for what the colonists called “The Tides” and her back was aching. It felt good, reminded her of her childhood. It had been a long time since her days scouting beyond the Thaw and though she loved exploring the universe and finding hidden pockets of humanity it wasn’t often that she had a good reason to get her hands dirty.
Kiara looked around for the colonist she was helping and found her tying large heavy knots to some sturdy looking rings sunk deep in the ground around the house. “Jun! I finished loading the crates. What’s next?” A moment later the device on Kiara’s hip perked up and translated Galactic Basic into the old Earth dialect that these colonists still spoke. It was supposedly a form of pre-unification Mandarin, albeit with several hundred years of taxonomical drift.
“Did you remember to tie them down spacer?” The elderly woman asked as she went back to her knots. “Yes I did. Everything’s stowed properly for the Tide.” Jun simply grunted and Kiara was sure that she would find an excuse to check on her work before the day was done. “Well trace the cables on the house to the anchors in the fields, just make sure I got them all secured.”
Kiara shrugged and took off a jog around the edges of the complex. There were 8 lines attached to winches built into the porch surrounding the circular house. The whole effect would have looked like spokes on a bike wheel from above. Sure enough as she reached each anchor Kiara found the knots tied so well she couldn’t have tightened them if she wanted to. Kiara finished the 2 kilometer jog back at where Jun had been previously only to see her double checking Kiara’s work in the shed. “Good work spacer. You’re done here, go check on Hai and see if he needs any help in the kitchen.”
Kiara smiled to herself and took off to the house to find Jun’s husband. Kiara found him stirring a large stockpot in the kitchen with a basket of freshly baked rolls on the table. Hai was friendlier than Jun but rarely spoke at all. “Greetings Hai, Jun sent me in to see if you needed help.” Hai simply kept stirring as the translator worked. “No, you can rest if you’d like. Help yourself to some bread.” Kiara picked up a roll and spent a long moment simply smelling the heady aroma of yeast and herbs. That was one of the major perks of a primarily agricultural world like this one: wheat meant bread.
Jun came in from the field carrying one of the black, meter tall, egg shaped stones that dotted the hillside to the East and Hai gave her an affectionate peck on the cheek. It was the only time Kiara had seen her blush. Jun set the egg down on the table and grabbed a large, flat tool from near the sink. Sliding the sharpened edge of the tool into a crack in the side of the stone Jun twisted and the stone split open along the perimeter to reveal that it was in fact a large mollusk. As Hai went to work transforming the near meter of mollusk into some wonderful smelling soup Jun washed her hands and sat down at the table across from Kiara.
“So, you said you wanted to interview me spacer?” Kiara straightened up, set the translator on the table, pulled her datapad out of her bag and hurriedly swallowed the last of her roll. “Yes, sorry, let’s start over. I’m Kiara Williams and I’m a special liaison for the Galactic Republic. We’ve been traveling the galaxy learning more about the human colonies and outposts that were lost when EarthGov fell. We’ve made it our goal to re-establish contact with as many of them as we can and to find ways to reintegrate them into galactic society if they wish to rejoin us or to simply learn more about them if they don’t wish to rejoin.”
Jun picked up a roll and thoughtfully chewed as she listened to the translator. Kiara continued. “We understand that this planet is a former EarthGov military outpost that was kept off of most official records. I just want to assure you that we’re not here because of the military, I just want to learn more about you and your culture.” Jun gave a short laugh as she heard that. “Well if you did want the military then you came a few hundred years too late. When the war was over they left us here to rot. That was a long time ago sure, but your ancestors being slaves that got thrown away isn’t exactly something you forget.”
Kiara decided that telling Jun that there was never a war, that EarthGov simply fell apart from the inside was a talk that could wait for another day. “I know how hard that is. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve come across a number of similar stories of EarthGov’s crimes. I came from a lost colony myself. We can talk later about what, if anything the galactic council can do for you, but first I’d like to learn a bit more about your culture if that’s OK?”
Jun nodded as Hai slid a bowls of soup in front of the women before sitting down himself. “Well let’s start with the obvious questions. We’re several kilometers in land but the hills are covered in giant mollusks and your home is apparently built to float, exactly how does that work?” Jun laughed into her soup. “I thought spacers were supposed to know everything about science. It’s the moons, we’ve got 3 of them and they have enough mass to make the tides a bit bigger than you’ve probably seen, especially when they align like they’re doing right now. Only happens a few times a year but when it does it can get this old place up over those hills if we don’t anchor it in place. When they don’t align we usually don’t get tides high enough to even reach us.”
Kiara gratefully sopped up the last of her meal with a third roll “I saw some houses out closer to the shore on my way in. Are they temporary? Where do the rest of the colonists live?” Jun sat back with a cold glass of some brown liquor as Hai kissed her on the cheek again before going out to the porch. “We call the people on the shore ‘Drifters’ because they just let their houses drift along with the tides when they roll in and steer them as needed. Sometimes they get swept out to sea but they usually keep a kayak or 2 to tow them back into shore if they need to. Decent folk, sometimes we hire them to help with the harvest if the blackshells, mollusks as you called them, get a good meal from the tide. We usually sell most of the harvest to high grounders who live further in land and up mountains where even the big tides can’t reach.”
“Exactly how high can the big tides go?” Jun got up from her chair and led Kiara to the porch. Somehow the tide had come in over dinner without her even noticing. In the fading light of dusk Kiara could see the tops of the hills nearly a hundred meters under water. “We must be 500 meters up!” “It’ll get up to 700 before the night is out.” Hai tightened a winch nearby pulling the shed which was floating nearby a little closer to the main house before sitting on a swinging bench chair to watch the sunset. Jun joined Hai on the bench and guestured to Kiara to take a nearby seat.
“So you’ve asked your questions spacer, and I don’t care much about your republic. I’ve been on this planet all my life and I don’t intend to leave. You’ll probably find some Drifters looking for places to drift and there’s probably some high grounders who’d be interested in leaving too, but not me or my Hai. What about you though? What’s your plan?”
“I’m not exactly sure what you mean Jun. I’m just doing my job and trying to learn about people who got lost out in the stars.” Jun shifted in her seat and leaned back into Hai “Well I’m not lost spacer, I know where I’m at even if where I’m at drifts from time to time. Do you have a home out there in the stars? How about someone to come home to?”
Kiara shook her head. “I spend most of my time travelling the stars, the closest I have to a home is my ship, but that’s really all I need.” Jun and Hai shared a look. “Just because you drift doesn’t mean you can’t find someone to drift with you, or someone you can always drift back to. That’s how I met my Hai after all.” Kiara smiled at the thought and got up from her chair to go back in the house leaving Hai and Jun to watch the sunset in peace.
Kiara opened up her commlink back to her ship in orbit and opened a channel to one of her contacts on the galactic council. A familiar Turic face filled her screen. “Ah Kiara, it’s nice to hear from you. Is everything is going well on MX-103?” “Yes Kit’cha, everything’s fine, this interview just took longer than expected but I should be back at the station in a few standard cycles.” “That is good to hear Kiara, I’m sure Corporal Jett will be glad to hear -” “JEANNE MADE CORPORAL!?” Kit’cha’s face fell slightly “I forgot we were keeping that a surprise.”
Kiara laughed to herself and took a deep breath. “Say, Kit’cha, I was wondering…” Kiara grinned fighting down an unfamiliar nervousness in the pit of her stomach. “when I get back, would you like to get some dinner? Just the two of us?” Kit’cha seemed caught off guard at first. “I’ve learned a lot about humans since I was assigned to the lost colony division 12 sols ago and I’ve learned a lot about their customs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but given the context would this be what humans call a ‘date’?” Kiara didn’t say anything but simply nodded, feeling her cheeks flush with color. “I would greatly enjoy that Kiara Williams.”
bombastic??? Bomb??? Gasp. Look closer. Bombastic has 9 letters. 3 x 3 = 9. And 3 + 3 + 3 = 9. See that? 3 3s??? Triangles have 3 sides, points, and dimensions, that’s 3 3s BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. Columbine has 9 letters too!!!! COINCIDENCE??? I THINK NOT. Eric has 4 letters, but his full name is 15 letters which is dividable by 3??? another 3??? 👀👀👀👀 me too. Dylan is 5 letters and klebold is 7 letters. 7 + 5 = 12, ALSO DIVISIBLE BY 3. All I SEE ARE THREES, COLUMBINE WAS DONE BY ILLUMINATI.
1. go do // jónsi 2. human // ellie goulding 3. sweet misfortune // ming bridges 4. schizophrenia // jukebox the ghost 5. hands on the water // skyhill 6. dangerous // big data 7. i am not a robot // marina & the diamonds 8. demons // imagine dragons 9. running up that hill // placebo 10. after the storm // mumford & sons 11. shake it out // florence & the machine 12. long division // death cab for cutie 13. turnin’ // young rising sons 14. weight of living, pt. 1 // bastille 15. love me like you do // ellie goulding
“…the Canadians were on top of us. All of a sudden I became quite calm and I worked myself into a fury. I wondered what my comrades up in front were up to: had they been killed or had they allowed themselves to be rolled over? I crawled on my belly back to my foxhole and grabbed the first Panzerfaust [a shoulder fired anti-tank weapon] - I had three of them in my foxhole. I got it ready and looked for my first victim. There it was, a Sherman, large and powerful. Its turret was pointed at the battalion command post. Its gun was firing round after round.”
“Now there were more tanks: one, two, three, four, five Shermans could be seen in the blue haze of cordite - laden air….I aimed the weapon again, and the bomb roared out. I did not see the impact because a covering tank had spotted me and taken me under fire. I heard the detonation and then ran furiously in a zig-zag pattern and jumped into my foxhole.”