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Gollem Buries His Son
Months later Gollem arrives back on his home planet Mar-Keen with the sad duty of saying goodbye to his son and only known living relative. There was an inquiry into the reason of a mechanical problem with Gollem's ship and their unexpected and unavoidable contact with people on earth.
The crewman who spoke to Gollem about the need to kill the men from earth who had come to help them was hard put to explain his threat. He said he didn't understand how the men on earth were able to translate what he was saying to Gollem in the language of Mar-Keen, or how they could pick up on his private telepathic communication that was directed only at Gollem.
Hedron, who was the head investigating officer who interrogated the offending crewman whose name, is Nargin said there wasn't an excuse for what he did regardless of how the men on earth knew what he was saying. You were already aware that they heard you telepathically and you didn't know what other abilities they may have had so you should have kept your thoughts to yourself. Apparently these men were trying to be helpful and your outburst may have cost the life of the injured crewmen including Gollem's son.
As time passed Gollem and a couple of others in the crew met at Gollem's home to review their experience with the men on earth very much regretting the result of that experience. One of the crew had managed to capture a picture on his recorder of Martin and the others on their horses before Nargin foolishly scared them away. The group spoke of Nargin's narrow mindedness that left no room in his thinking for the unexpected happenings in life. Mernard said he felt Nargin should never have been allowed to join in their search for life on other planets; he wasn't suited for that type of exploration.
One of the major topics of conversation was always about the horses. Melic said. "I can't get them out of my thoughts Gollem, such beautiful animals and they carried their riders with such speed and power. I only wish I could understand how the men and the horses communicated. Neither the men nor the horses hesitated when they felt they were in danger."
Larion agreed, "These people were amazing, they came freely, although cautiously to offer their help without knowing who we were or if we would harm them. Personally I also found them to be handsome and unlike us, they had a variety of eye and hair colors, even their skin tones varied. There was warmth that I felt coming from them that made me feel safe and welcome. It's a sensation that's very hard to put into words."
Gollem said, "I feel we have missed an opportunity to learn so much from them, they're the first mankind we've found in all our travels through so many galaxies and that damn Nargin ruined our chance. I know they appeared to be far behind us technologically but even that we're not certain of. Their instant response to Nargin's threat was proof of some rather amazing abilities that we don't understand and may never get a chance to learn about."
Mernard spoke up with a question, "Gollem, have you shown the images that I captured on my recorder of the men and their horses to Hedron?"
"No, I haven't Mernard, I've told him of them and all the kindness that we experienced but have felt a hesitation to show him those images and I'm not sure why."
Mernard said, he had wondered if Hedron saw them would he consider allowing us to return to their planet to learn more about these people. That is if they would allow us to make contact with them again after Nargin threatened their lives.
Gollem looked thoughtful as he said, "I believe if we approached them with respect and kindness they would accept us. When I took the small cruiser to find them and apologize for Nargin's threat, they replied pleasantly and wished us a safe trip home. Maybe I will show the images to Hedron and see what he says about the possibility of a return trip."
The following week they once again met at Gollem's house to find out what Hedron thought of their request. The news wasn't good, it turned out that not only did Hedron say no to their request but went even further by forbidding them to ever return to earth. Gollum said, "I still didn't show the pictures to Hedron, I had such a strong feeling that I should not although I still don't know why I feel that way."
Larion said, "My grandfather has an old scout ship he used to cruise about through nearby galaxies when he was young, I wonder if it would make it as far as the earth?"
Mernard said, "Good night Larion, Hedron has forbidden a return trip, what are you suggesting?"
"What I am suggesting Mernard, is if grandfather's old ship will take us that far than I'm willing to try making it back to earth, and frankly I don't care if I can't make it back to Mar-Keen. Since my grandfather's death I have no one here and there was something special I felt when we met the men on earth. I know it may sound crazy to you but I want to know more about them and their way of life."
Gollem laughed, "I know what you really want Larion is to learn to ride one of those horses."
Larion replied, "Well yes, that too, but I also felt a warmth and kindness from the men we met that I don't feel from our own people."
"With that I agree Larion, maybe we'll have to give more thought to the possibility of using your grandfather's ship to return to earth."
Mernard said, "I think you're both out of your minds, but you're not going anyplace without me, so there'll be three of us making this trip if we decide to risk an attempt to make it back to earth."
Larion asked if they should ask Melic since he wasn't with them at this meeting, he was also intrigued with these people and I know he hasn't any family left either. Gollem said, "I think we should include him if he is interested, it wouldn't be fair to leave him behind since we're his best friends."
After meeting with Melic and finding he was just as excited about trying to reach earth, plans were set in motion. We would have to procure enough fuel cells to power the small ship as far as earth without creating suspicions from the high command, especially Hedron since he was the officials who forbid us to attempt a return to earth.
We decided the four of us should be able to come up with enough fuel cells by spreading those purchases over a several months.
Six months later their small group felt they had Larion's ship supplied and ready. They were given permission to explore an uninhabited planet in a nearby star system which would get them far enough away from Mar-Keen to change course for earth unnoticed. By the time they neared earth again over two years had passed.
Chapter 20 to follow: