Bloen [ Part III ]

The Zooldgars

Parts: [I] [II] [III] [IV] [V] [VI] [VII] [VIII]

After a while, after I rose in the army ranks, I started going through a strange phase. My mind had started wandering into thoughts I had not pondered before.

In my studies, I learned all about the civilizations that roamed our ex-planet. From the ancients to the recent cultures, I delved into their mythologies and their beliefs. The irony, I found, was the fact that most of their recent belief systems and religions were build upon the concept of ‘peace’. Of course, knowing humans, ‘peace’ was a very relative concept.

I thought about humanity’s current state. For all we know, we were the only humans left in existence and that was already terrifying for most of us. I wondered what would happen if we actually found a decent planet and got another chance. At times I had doubts, doubts that we would be able to prosper again. But these doubts had to be cast aside, my only focus had to be finding a new planet.

By the year 2366, I had my own battalion of scouts to command. We had been finding more planets with valuable resources that we used to build more spaceships. Our fleet grew steadily until it could no longer fit on the island. Better spaceships were developed, ones that would travel along side our island. One of these spaceships was mine to command. After consulting my crew, we had decided to call our ship “Vimanapura”. My scouts excelled in their scientific fields, I made sure of that by hand picking every one of my crew members.

We explored more planets than any other battalion. We unearthed more resources in one year than all the other twelve battalions combined. And our crew kept growing larger and larger. By the year 2372, I became Admiral of the Scout Legions. Thirteen battalions, three spaceships per every battalion and two-thousand three-hundred and fifty-eight scout members in total. The other military divisions also grew, specially the science branch of the military. And it was all thanks to the work of the scouts.

But bureaucracy started annoying me. Like since ever, human politics was a hassle to deal with. My power as Admiral bought me enough resolve to avoid the politics as much as possible but eventually, it caught up with me. My daily chores went from explorations and adventures to lunches with the heads of the divisions, political gatherings and useless meetings. At times I would not even show up, and I’d get words of disdain from the other leaders.

I knew that I had to deal with my dying passion for exploration. I had to embark on an adventure, before the life of a politician could eat me up from the inside. And so, one day, I ordered five scout battalions to join me in a venture towards a new planet.

The planet we aimed to raid was a couple of thousand light years away, but it was one of the planets that our telescopic space-monitoring system had classified as ‘possibly habitable’. With our latest warp-engines, the trip would take almost four months.

The venture was approved by our elders. The elders, although difficult to deal with, kept strict commitment to the scouts and their ventures. They believed that beyond anything else, our number one concern was to find a habitable planet and the scouts were the only hope for that.

The preparations required months, during which we, the scouts, kept training more and more. Until the day came when our venture was to launch. Sixteen spaceships set out towards that planet.

We had not code-named the planet yet, but we referred to it as “The Hope”.

Almost a month before reaching that planet, our scanners detected life on its surface. Intelligent life.

The planet was mostly covered with a vast ocean and had one land mass, a Pangaea. On that land mass lived a primitive form of intelligent life. A primitive ape-man. This was not a surprise to us, the planet resembled our earth — or what we know of it from written descriptions. The Hope also had an atmosphere that was optimal for life. It was the seventh planet in its solar system. The star at the center of that system was twice the size of our sun, but it burned with less intensity. The land was covered with vegetation. They were very similar to the ones we had back on earth but they differed slightly in color and shape.

Even the primitive ape-like specie we found there was very close to what we humans believed our genetic ancestors looked like. Ape men with primitive communities were spread out across the Pangaea.

From a brief tour around the planet, we saw that these primitive creatures are segregated into tribes of sorts. Each tribe had it’s region, it’s land. We also learned that these tribes were governed by a Chieftain.

We circled the planet for a couple of weeks, learning more and more about this indigenous specie before we confronted them. Their numbers weren't that large, our primary scanning revealed that there were around thirty thousand of them. Their Chieftains were held with high regards, they viewed them as magnificent leaders and followed them wherever they went.

We also realized that it wasn't exactly a patriarchal system that they followed. Some of the tribes were led by females, while others were led by males.

A few weeks later, we chose the tribe that was the most peaceful and we sent one ship to greet them. Aboard that ship rode the leaders of the battalions and myself.

As soon as we landed close to their village, they rushed towards the ship which they viewed as a marvelous bird. Astonishment and fear crept across their hairy faces as they saw us, we were creatures that looked very much like them and that shocked them.

I was the first to approach them, they were reluctant at first, they feared us. But then their Chieftain, wise as he was, walked towards me with a face glowing with confidence and serenity.

The Chieftain — amazing me with his intellect — turned to one of his tribesman and “greeted him” by cross-grabbing each others arms and bending forward towards each other. I had understood that the Chieftain was teaching me their greeting habbits.

A smile grew on my face as I made that realization, I walked closer towards him and extended both my arms. With my left arm I grabbed his right arm and vice versa, we then both bowed towards each other. Comfort struck the faces of the villagers as they understood that we were not here to harm them.

The Chieftain then opened his arms upwards towards the skies, waving them around as he said “Zoold”. He continued by turning around to his people, he pointed at them, looked at me and said “Zooldgars”.

I responded by turning around, pointing at my crew and saying “Man”. The Chieftain grabbed his walking stick and drew a shape of a man with a star for a head and wings, on the soil beneath him.

He uttered the word “Man”.