Cha'Nara's Gift Part 3 Chapter 24 Epilog
The hologram winked out, Emily and I just stood there looking at each other, tears were streaming down her eyes, I had a lump in my throat, I went over to her and put my arms around her hugging her gently because of the baby she was carrying. "Astounding, absolutely astounding!" I said, we located the last hologram and turned it on, it was Cha'Nara holding her baby, with Ben sitting at her side, "Deak, Emily, this is our son Deak, hope you don't mind our naming him after you," "No, not at all," I found myself saying to the hologram. Emily kneeled down in front of the hologram studying the baby, while Annie and Abby tried to get a closer look. "Looks like the Vagan genes are dominant," she speculated, "Kid appears to have lighter skin than Cha'Nara, the little hair he's got looks a little darker, but that could change, he's so cute, Cha'Nara's a mother now," Emily sat down and started crying, "Look at him Deak, he's a beautiful child," "I see him, he doesn't look too much like Ben, but your right, he's pretty cute."
After the hologram disappeared, we went through the other things, Emily found the Vagan computer, she placed her fingers on its face and immediately it came on, strange symbols appeared as well as words, "This is so cool Deak, I just think of things and they appear in my mind as well as on the screen here, wait! Oh look here are the pictures." We sat down on a couple lawn chairs and looked at the pictures, what we saw was incredible. Pictures of beautiful landscapes, strange looking cities, and even stranger looking people or beings. There were pictures of what Ben said were Elves, Fairies, and Pixies, they actually do exist. "This must be a picture of the ships crew, Ben wasn't kidding the captain is pretty damn good-looking, wow!" Emily poked me in the side. We saw another picture of Ben and Cha'Nara standing with the other crewmembers, he looked older, he wore what appeared to be black cargo type pants and a black tee shirt, and it looked like he had a weapon of some kind hanging off his waist, like some sort of sawed off shotgun. Cha'Nara was wearing tight black leather looking pants and a short-sleeved jacket, with a sort of black bra underneath, not unlike what she was wearing when we found her. Looking at their clothes a bit closer, they were about the same as the other crewmembers were wearing; they all had black boots as well.
Slowly it dawned on us that we were looking at images of another world, obviously there was "life" out there, I was fascinated by the pictures of Ben's crewmates, captain Irnay looked a lot like Cha'Nara, only a little taller, a lot more attractive, but with the same light gray hair cut in a sort of "bob" dark eye shadow, obviously Vagan females don't all try and look different. There was a man in the group that must have been a Motoken; he looked to be around the same height as Ben, not as well built, actually rather anemic looking, I could see why Ben was mistaken for one. The individual standing next to him must have bee their navigator Prax he was wearing a grey/green uniform maybe navigators wore a special uniform to set them apart, I could see what Ben meant about his eyes, the picture was taken too far away to really get a good look, but his eyes appeared to be yellow, and very cat-like, as Ben had said, he was bald, but looked like he was wearing some sort of goggles pulled up on his forehead. There was another female around Ben's height, very pale looking, almost like you see pictures of vampires, very short dark hair, dark eyes, pale lipstick(or lips, I couldn't tell) same black pants short sleeved waist length jacket, with apparently nothing underneath. I wasn't sure what position she held, or even her race.
The other being standing in the group had a bluish caste to his skin, slightly taller that Ben, medium build, oriental looking facial features, same black uniform, very short jet black hair, kind of reminded me of a short Mr. Spock couldn't tell by the angle of the photo weather he had pointed ears or not. They must have been standing in the control room; I could see a couple futuristic looking chairs, a panel of rectangular lights in three shades of blue and other obvious controls. I was struck by the fact that from what I could see of the control room (If that's what it was) didn't resemble anything I'd seen in the movies, but then again, movie and TV sets are designed by humans, this wasn't. Looking closer at the photo, I judged the crew to be looking confident, professional (As if I could read alien faces) did any of them have any idea where this picture would end up. Would they care?
"All of us had a difficult time understanding Cha'Nara's world," said Annie, "Even after she did that mind sharing thing of hers. Now that we are living here in the future, much of all this makes sense, but I still find it all pretty amazing."
We looked over the other things Ben had sent. There were three Dahampa's plus what appeared to be extra batteries, various pieces of jewelry, rings and earrings, a couple silver and gold colored bands that looked like they were worn on the head. We found a small case that had "for Emily" written on it, opening it there was what appeared to be what looked like sunglasses old people wore but they wrapped all the way around the head with a wide strap going over the top of the head. Emily put it on and adjusted the band in the back, suddenly she said, "Oh my God I'm looking at Cha'Nara, she's talking to me, it's like she is sitting right in front of me." "What's she saying?" I asked, "It's like she's talking in my head," replied Emily. "It's like she's just sitting in an all-white room, she's telling me not to be afraid, talking about her parents, her family, wait! Now there's pictures it's like a 3D movie in your head, weird. It's like she's right here in the room with us, she's telling me some personal things, how much she loves Ben.
Emily took the device off, "Whew! That was pretty intense, I'll try it again later, let's see what else there is." There were tablet looking things, which turned out to be books, which naturally only Emily could read. A larger container had actual clothes in it, there was an outfit just like Cha'Nara and her captain wore, Emily couldn't put it on due to being pregnant, there were even high heel leather-like boots for it as well. The jacket had shoulder patches with strange symbols on them. We also found black cargo type pants made of the same leather- like material as the uniform, a larger short-sleeved jacket obviously tailored for a man, and a couple caps that looked like those old WWII German field caps; these had dark glasses that pulled down from the inside, very ingenious.
We also found two light brown jump suits with more patches on the front and shoulders, they had what looked like zippers on the cuffs, pant legs and down the front, but zippers without the teeth, the material seemed very light almost like they were made from paper. I pulled one of the zippers and it closed like a conventional zipper but the fabric seemed to seal and become a solid piece. I pulled the tab down, and the seam opened up again, now I knew what Ben and the others thought when they saw zippers in our clothes.
Since it was getting late, we decided to inspect the other items later.
As for the pod itself, eventually I disconnected the avionics using the technical manual Ben had translated for me. I managed to get the internal heater to work. Ben didn't think there was much fuel left in it; however we would often put wet boots or coats inside to dry them out. It may not have had much fuel to fly anymore, but there was enough to operate as a "dryer," for four more years. When the kids were old enough, I put it outside for them to play on. It must have been made of something pretty special, because after spending years outside, the pod never showed a bit of age from sitting outside for years in Colorado winters sun and rain. Once I tried to weld something to it, welds wouldn't take; cutting it with a torch didn't work either. Recently we gave strict instructions to Ben and Sara never to get rid of it, I certainly hope they listened.
Over the days, we went through everything, viewing the other holograms and trying some of the foods that were sent. There were some things that resembled apples, but were the size of grapefruit, trying one we thought tasted like a lemon only very sweet. Ben said they grew them on the planet. We saved the seeds intending to see if they grew on earth but they never did anything in our back yard, probably too cold. Ben sent a picture of the vine they grew from, it looked like a pumpkin vine. Among the more interesting items Ben sent were the alien foods. We watched a hologram of Ben describing the various packages, they all had alien writing on them Emily could read them but didn't know what they were. Ben talked about something called "Pulke" "We ate it all the time on the Melori; it's like a bean lentil soup, fills you up one bowl will keep you going all day." Apparently, you added water, heated it up and "Voila" a full meal. Ben was right, it did fill you up, rather bland, but with a little hot sauce tasted pretty good.
There was something called "Spoo" which was like Chinese noodles or Chow Mien, according to Ben, this was another staple on board, this stuff tasted pretty good, kind of an "oatmeal" taste. There were small bars of something called "Quipe" Ben said was candy, but it didn't taste like anything. Then we came to "Pip's" favorite drink, "Jakka" I didn't allow Emily to have any because of the baby, it tasted like one of those heavy German beers, but after only a few ounces I was drunk as Hell! I could barely stand up; I was still feeling a "buzz" in the morning "Christ! This stuff is strong," I said, "And they let kids drink this?" I later tested a six-ounce glass of it only to discover it had a higher alcohol content that 180 proof vodka, no wonder Cha'Nara could put away a couple six-packs and show no effects.
We also found a tube like device that Ben said was a glue dispenser, "Use it sparingly, this stuff glues literally everything, once it's gone it's gone, and you'll be crying for more." He was right, it was ten times better than "super glue" or epoxy; it could even glue dissimilar materials such as plastic to metal or wood to glass. On one of the thumb drives Ben had kept a sort of diary, probably notes for his manuscript. One entry caught my attention, "That song Emily loaded onto the computer "Always A Good Time" by Owl City has become a big hit here on the Melori, many a cycle I'll be working alone in some obscure part of the ship and hear strains of that song echoing down the corridors, Captain Irnay loves it as well." "I wonder what would happen if I wrote to the band and told them "Always a Good Time" is a hit over in a parallel universe, comforting lonely crewmembers standing the "Dog" watch.
We maintained friendly relations with the Beneteau's for years until Bruce, and Walter passed away. After Sally died, the connection was severed. W stayed in contact with the McPherson's as well until the older members passed away.
We had two great kids, Sara, and Ben, but we never told them anything of our "Adventure," much of it they will be reading here for the first time (Sorry Kids) As far as Abby and Emily went, it was always "Aunt" Abby, or "Aunt" Annie. Everything that had to do with it, the pictures, artifacts etc. were kept in a safety deposit box at the bank, to be opened upon our deaths, and (You kids are in for a BIG surprise!) Ben grew up to be a civil engineer, Sara went on to med school, she returned to her native Colorado where she practices pediatrics at a hospital in Boulder.
For several years, after both kids were born, Emily and I would take off on our Harley and tour the west; we would leave the kids with Emily's parents. When they eventually passed we leased out the land for a number of years, we kept the house and out buildings for another several years "just in case." Finally, we had the barn torn down and sold the house. Waking through that empty house after all those years was more than we could stand, both of us had to make a hasty exit, however the old kitchen table as well as the chairs grace our home in Empire. Recently, Annie and Abby as well as their families paid us a visit. We sat down and watched the old video's once more. After watching ourselves enjoying Christmas of 1879 we were all bawling, we watched ourselves as we once were, friends long since dead, or gone far away, what will Ben and Sara, or even Abby's kids think when they watch this? Certainly not as we felt. We asked ourselves "What will be the reaction if our children let the world in on our "little" secret. Will it be amazement, or disgust. Whatever the reaction, it doesn't really matter anymore, believe it or don't, all we know is that it really happened, we received a truly unique gift from a being we can never thank enough, "God bless you Cha'Nara, where ever you are!"
This then ends Cha'Nara's Gift, the sequel begins with "A Star Called Home."
This story deals with Ben and Cha'Nara, and their life together, hope you like it.