I am not a writer... do not to pretend to be one or ever will be one but I just had to do this as it was bugging the heck out of me
so I hope you enjoy:
Yah-ta-Hey, that is what I am called… it means “very good” but I still don’t know what I am really good at. So I have gone to the stars to find out.
Here is my story of how it made that decision.
My family history reaches across the stars to a time long ago with the “ Great Explosion” on the Planet known as Earth that was destroyed when it’s sun went super nova over 3000 years ago.
I am an AmerIndian that comes from the Navajo stock of the Southwest United States Of America, I prefer to be called by my Tribal name: Dineh This is translated as “the People”. We were and are desert people who prefer to keep our sheep and goats free of our many predators. I cannot say that we are a peaceful People. With the Arapaho, Apache, and other tribes, we fought infrequent territorial fights for water ground. Then one day, a great sky bird landed near out Main Hogans and we were told about the sun’s coming death and of the “Great Explosion” and we were given the chance to be part of it. Our Elders and medicine Men spent many days before agreeing to be part of this exodus into the stars. 78 Clans were gathered from the desert along with all their sheep, goats, horses, dogs, women, children, and belongings and made the trek to Los Alamos where our ship lay, ready to take on her cargo. Finally after 2 months of loading and planning with the pilots and crew, the Anne McCaffery was ready to reach for the stars.
The Anne McCaffery was an early ram ship that used rocket power to lift off until its’ ram engine could be opened and used in interstellar space, that meant Cold Sleep for all who rode in her dormitory pods.
The pilots made sure that we understood what was to happen before we lifted, while we were in transit and then when we were awakened for our final part of the landing procedure and then they said good night, sealed the dormitories, leaving us to dream the sleep of the enthralled.
The alarms were ringing loudly and stridently forcing me to open my eyes and swallow to take the dryness out of my throat. Then I realized that something was wrong with the ship, everybody was coming out of their sleep shells, confused and looking to their elders for an answer… only there was no answer to give…. Over the intercom system, the pilots’ voice came telling us of a solar storm that destroyed the ram jet’s net of force, radiation caused the death of the main computer’s AI that controlled the ship while all slept. The dormitory pods were being ejected one at a time to a planet that was .001 LY from our present location. Nothing was known about this planet but the Anne Mccaffery was designed to protect her cargo at all times, even to depositing them on a planet that offered an option of life vs death in space. All in all 77 pods were ejected, the last pod had damage to the locks and were unable to eject and they shared Annes’ fate. We could see the pods spiraling down to the planet surface… each pod landing point some distance from the next. When we hit atmosphere, we lost sight and contact of all the pods around us so we were not sure of how many actually landed safely.
The Dormitory Pod was quiet the smell of burning insulation, the crackle of electricity from a short somewhere was all we could sense. Darkness enclosed the inside of the pod and fear sat on its’ regal throne until the elders found the needed switches… light flared and went out with deep booms somewhere in the bowel of the pod. Handlights were found and distributed among the elders who gathered the tribe together, took stock and then waited for the head council to determine what to do.
The decision was made… instruments tested the gravity, air density and composition, took a live look at the exterior and the elders decided that this land was livable. The main hatch was found and scouts were picked to spy the land out and to report back what they found. I was among the chosen scouts and my path lead to the north where a great plain could be seen on the edge of the horizon. During my travel, I found edible food, drinkable water, and prints of something that my training could not identify, the land that I went through was empty and very much like home… desert with its varied and tough plants. Under the plants, small creatures scuttle with the speed of creatures that are hunted by others.
A week later, I am reporting back and am surprised that I am the only one to report back. This bodes evil for the elders who are reluctant to release the People to set up their hogans and start their new lives in a new land. The pod decided our moving out as the main reactor that supplied the ship with food, water and protection gave a shriek of sirens and an automated voice came up…. Radiation!!! Core melt down!!! Damper failure!!!! I can tell you, the Dineh can move when the need is dire… people,. Animals and goods started an orderly exodus to the planet side.. with the intent to put as much distance as possible just in case, the reactor went critical. When it did, the dormitory pod disappeared in a white light and resounding explosion. Even at 10 miles distance, we all felt the pressure wave and the heat of the explosion as it rode the hillside and crested over us while we were on the reverse slope. Again, I was put on scout duty with a duty to find good living grounds for the tribe. This time, I did not go alone, my Brother went with me. Five days on the Road we are leaving trail signs of what we found so the elders, who were following would know what we were doing. On the 7th day, we entered a valley, green with vegetation, flowing creeks that led down to a fairly large lake and ground flat enough to grow our corn and build our Hogans. My brother elected to stay and scout further as I went back to report our final findings. I never heard from him again.
Six years has passed, our Hogans are built, The Dineh are getting accustomed to the new life, corn is high, sheep are fat, the goats are milking again. The dogs and horses did not do very well… both species died shortly after making planet fall… The elders have sent out scouts to make contact with other tribes so far, no contact. No signs have been found, no fire smoke has been seen on the horizon, until the 7th year, Contact was made… the elders said that the planet was ghost ridden and many of their young men have gone missing while on the hunt of discovery. The tribe is only half of what it should be, they agree to consolidate with us and move to our Hogans.
The strange prints that I saw earlier are very numerous where we found the tribe…. Searching, I come across signs of struggles and then drag marks. The tracks are old and weathered but still speak clearly of horrors that had happened. On return to the Hogans, I reported what I saw and the elders asked about the dormitory pods and how they fared…. The answer was that it became haunted and no one has gone back there for 7 years.
Great!! I was picked to go back , find the dormitory pod and see if there was anything salvageable that we could use and then report back to the Elders. Although it is an honor to be picked to be on a possible dangerous mission, I still felt uneasy in my spirit. Three weeks later, I have found the pod, it appears undamaged, the hatch is open and the shadows are deep inside but there comes a smell that reeks of death. Circling the pod, I see the tracks of many creatures… overlapping and confusing the message that the tracks once held. I position myself off to one side and quietly watch for activity and to see if I can see the source of the tracks. I am not long in waiting, a rather large creature comes out on 4 legs, the body is about 4 feet long and held parallel to the ground, what would be the waist of the creature goes up another 2 feet and ends in a triangular head with large bulbous eyes and a set of vicious jaws,
At the base of the waist are 2 more legs… modified to look like arms that are hinged so that they can close on each with points that appear to be as sharp as spears. My mind races to see if I had anything that might be compared and come back with a sickening sensation: The Desert mantis, except this mantis is only 3 inches long, feeds on flies and small bugs that lived on the chapparal of my desert. As I watch, more come out, appear to be communicating with each other by moving their legs and antennae around and looking from one to the other while occasionally looking in the direction of the abandoned Hogans.
I wait until dark and quietly move out and race back to the Dubious safety of my Hogan. On arrival, an Elder meeting is called and the finding is discussed. In the morning, the elders declare that we must fortify our valley to the best that we can, no longer will hunters go out alone, everyone from the children down to the older Elders must be accompanied for safety. Days are spent fortifying and putting up a palisade around the immediate area then scouts were sent out to spy the land. Then the unforgettable happened, a scout team was ambushed by the creatures, only 1 scout returned, horribly gashed and lacerated as if he had survived a gauntlet that we used to use on our enemies. Long standing battle procedures were enacted, warriors went to their station to guard against attack. All is quiet, except for the crickets….. Crickets???? The elders reach the same conclusion… we have not heard crickets in 7 yrs… it is THEM!!! We have been found!!! Warning shouts from the pallisade show an attack is happening… reserve warriors armed with long lances rush to the aid of their brother warriors, loud yells, battle cries, bodies thudding on the ground and then it is over… 6 of the creatures lie in the throws of death but three of our warriors are gone… no remains,, just gone. For a Hogan of only 3500, this is not good. The elders gather around the dying creatures and get a good look at them… heavily armored, quick agile legs, swift and deadly forearms and the vicious jaws now opening and closing as if trying to say something. Then stillness as death overtakes them. We are lucky, on further exam.. they have no wings nor do they look like they ever needed wings. We need not fear aerial attack. Then we hear the sheep and the goats in their pens bleating in fear and panic… Warriors converge on the scene and dispatch several creatures who have speared many of the sheep and goats.
Time slows down when one is in a fight to the death and it was the same here. Daily, we are besieged, warriors and animals die, the creatures( we now called Monsters) seem to spurn death just so we can die, to be dragged off and eaten. The elders offer prayers to the Changing Woman who had 2 sons.. One was Monster Slayer and it is to him that we pray the most to.
An Elder has gone off to Meditate off into the Hills… he firmly believes the Monster slayer will protect him… Since he is also a Shaman… He has strong medicine and has the courage to believe in the old ways.
He is gone for nearly 10 days and we are losing more and more warriors, our sheep and goats are down to just a few head that we have put in the center of the pallisade so they are somewhat protected.
All is surprised when he walks through the Hogan’s gate and announces that Salvation has come to our beleaguered tribe. Just behind him there walk two of the strangest creatures I have seen.. one is a commanchero with the largest sombrero, the other is a walking mountain lion of our desert mountains back on earth. He has on funny looking clothes and walks as if he is completely at home walking on his hind legs. When asked, the Shaman says that they came to him in a peyote dream… first as bright flashing lights and then as you see them now… it is too bad that they cannot speak or be understood but Changing Woman sent them here for a purpose.
The two beings are trying very hard to make themselves understood…. They draw pictures on the ground showing the what looks like circular lines with dots on them and we appear to be the 3rd dot. They then draw more separate circles with dots and then point to themselves…. Understanding comes… They are from another planet system but why are they here? The elders try to communicate with them and it seems to go so slowly until the next attack… then we see these creatures are not only from another place.. but from another time with magic that we have never seen or dreamed of. The Monsters attack the Pallisade from three directions and have gotten over the walls…. The two pull out weapons that streak out lightning and where they hit… dozens of monsters fall in heaping piles or disappear in bursts of light.
With their magic, the fight is over in a few minutes with all the attackers dead, gone or vaporized. We did not lose a single warrior!!!
The elders and the Shaman turn to face the two and solemnly get down on their knees , spread their arms and look to the ground. All the other Dineh do the same while the two strangers look on with puzzlement and some embarrassment as what to do. The commanchero gently touches one of the elder and signals for him to get up and soon all of the Dineh are standing and circling the Saviors.
Breakthrough!! One of the elders has grasped what the Saviors want, he was going through one of our old records looking for something to help when the Commanchero took an interest in one of the tech manuals that lay nearby. He looked at it, called the Mt Lion over who got excited and then did a quick grab for a pocket and came out with a small square device that he immediately began playing with, all the time making sounds until the elder suddenly gave a start and quickly looked at the Mt Lion as if he had heard a sprit talk. Common ground was finally reached with this little box. It turned out to be a universal translator and it only took a few words and some adjustments to figure out that the Dineh were speaking a version of Earth English and not the universal language now called OOLITIAN. Progress came fast and furious… it turns out that the commanchero is called “El Viejo” and the Mt Lion is called Captain Hesperus and they are looking for a form of ore that can be used to create fuel for their space ships. I notice that El Viejo has a crooked grin that reminds me of the Trickster from our homeland… the Coyote who is friend or foe… depends on how he feels or on what Changing Woman tells him.
We ask what is this ore called and he replies: Uranium.
We used nuclear reactors in the dormitory pods and they used uranium as fuel…. We just happen to know where one is and ask them are they willing to help to get this fuel from the dormitory pod? It appears that it is quite important and we quickly reach an accord. Tomorrow, we will go together and get the fuel they need and all they have to do is eliminate what is in the pod.
Early morning, we are on the crest of the hill overlooking the abandoned dormitory pod, the two saviors and 1000 Dineh warriors with long lances and special steel tipped arrows.
Earlier after the Hogan battle, the two asked us what did we call these creatures and we said Monster.
They laughed and said that Monster was indeed a good word but where they come from,, they are Thargoid land warriors. Almost impossible to kill except by lasers and other nasty devices.
So now we watch and wait…. The Thargoids come out, do their meetings and prepare to head to our Hogan… but this time… we ambush them!!!
Arrows fly into the massed Thargoids, pinning many to the ground while the 2 weapons that our saviors use are blasing them down faster than they can come out of the old pod. After several hours at full operation, El Viejo’s weapon starts to sputter and lose power to kill and the Thargoids are still pouring out of the pods in unstoppable numbers.The Dineh fight as they can only fight… deadly and efficient.. but even the arrows are used up and the fight becomes long lance to long arms and then in close with knives. The Dineh are VERY good at hand to hand fighting and are making a good accounting but even they are being beaten back with injuries increasing with every step back. Captain Hesperus looks around frantically, then presses something on his belt and he goes vertical on a trail of smoke and disappears in the direction of the Hogans. We look at each other and think “coward”. El Viejo has now pulled an archaic weapon from his side and with deadly accuracy, continues to blast Thargoid after Thargoid. The Percussion sound from his weapon, has an effect on the Thargoids and they pause in their attack… their heads cocked as if listening for something in the sudden silence on the battle ground. But this only lasts a few minutes then they continue the attack.
Over the Horizon, we see a large boxy item come flying in at a low level. From the front of the vessel, 2 bright lights come forth and vaporize huge amouns of the Thargoids as if they did not even exist. The blasts left a zigzag image in our retinas while the pilot fired continuously and accurately until there were no more moving Thargoids around us. The pilot lands the vessel at the pods’ hatch and then gets out, pulls a pin from a large circular object then hugs the ground as if he were trying to become part of it. The interior of the pod lights up, shakes, then belches out a large cloud of what looks like steam. El Viejo says that Captain Hesperus just used a blockbuster neutron device… guaranteed to clear out any vessel that is infested with Trumbles.
Trumbles? Are they the same as cockroaches? El Viejo laughs and says in that were only true but indicates that trumbles are worse.
It appears that this neutron device sends out lethal vibrations and density particles that can penetrate even the walls of the pod and if there is anything organic inside… it is killed instantly while preserving the inorganic material.
El Viejo and Captain Hesperus walk boldly into the pod… and an hour later,,, they come out with several funny looking bags that must weigh 100 pounds or more…. Inside is several grams of uranium that was lifted from the reactor and that this is enough to refuel their ships energy supplies.
As they get into the ship, we ask if there is anything that can be done about the Thargoids that are still on the planet… El Viejo drops his head and says no there isn’t but we can set it up so that they can never bother you here. We gather our dead and put as many as we could into the space craft and they head of back to the Hogans…. We take the rest… form litters and head back to the Hogans on foot.
By the time the ground warriors return.. the elders have met and agreed with Captain Hesperus and El Viejo as to what is to be done.
With the help of the able bodied, four posts were mounted on the hilltops surrounding our territory,
These were then hooked up to sensors that took in the signature of the body heat and texture of Thargoids…. Humans and others could freely pass through these mounts although that was not reccommended but if a Thargoid should try to sneak in, it would instantly be recognized and destroyed. Of the four peaks, the elders named the northern one: Hesperus Peak. (Dibé Ntsaa) and the color of this peak is black and another dedicated to the Coyote in honor of his cunning and intelligence..
The elders also proclaimed that on all of our art…the double zig zag lightning bolts will be featured as a tribute the Captain Hesperus’s strong magic in eliminating our enemies.
As El Viejo and Captain Hesperus loaded and then boarded their shuttle( for that is what their vessel was), I stood and asked how I can become a star warrior like them. El Viejo chuckled and Captain Hesperus snorted and asked if I had any common sense to which I replied… if I did, would I be asking this question? El Viejo motioned me to board his vessel and said that once we get to Captain Hesperus’s ship. A call will be put in to transfer me to Lave Academy where I will start my new career…But I did need to let the Academy know the name of my planet of origin. That is when I said: Earth… The home of the Dineh, past, present, and future.
locked, loaded and hunting