A family sent on an expedition in the year 2017 to a distant planet to see if it is habitable for other humans has not made contact with Earth since leaving. What happens when a satellite crash lands on the distant planet? Will the reason the family was unable to make contact come to light? And will other expeditions be sent out once they realize that the family is still alive? Will the family be forced to go back to Earth after living on the planet they've called home for so long? Or will they be able to stay?
The First Family:
Year 2016: Jacobi Household:
Mr. Jackson Jacobi had been in his workshop most of the day. He'd been contacted by his boss, head of NASA, and been told that a planet had been found with Earth-like qualities. An Expedition was being sent out and they were looking to the Jacobi family to head off into space to the distant planet to colonize the planet for future colonization. He had readily accepted, knowing that his wife and children would love the chance to explore an alien planet. He had talked it over with his wife and they had agreed that the change in planets might do the kids some good. Their oldest was already acting rebellious. At the age of 18, Danza had outgrown the small town in which the Jacobi family lived in.
The kids had been told almost immediately following the decision. At first, only a few of them hadn't wanted to go. But after some months, they came around with the help of their own families. It wasn't long before the entire family, extended and all were packing up everything they owned and were getting ready for the one way trip through the galaxy to the unknown planet. And in fact, though they had to leave all of the friends that they had ever made behind, most of the kids didn't seem to mind. In their minds, this was a way to make new friends, if there were humans already living on the planet they were headed to.
The months that led up to the departure were full of packing, making sure everything was ready for the departure and in the right areas of the ship that was taking the family to the new planet, making sure the ship was in good working order and making sure no one and nothing got left behind. The ship, as it would be holding not just one family but also the spouses and children of the Jacobi children that had gotten married, had to be livable. There were living spaces for everyone on board. The younger Jacobi kids would stay in the living space with their parents but the kids that had gotten married had their own living spaces. There was a greenhouse to make sure there was always enough food on board for everyone.
There were live animals in one of the bays so that they could have fresh meat to eat while enroute to the planet as well as when they got to the planet. There were chickens to eat while enroute to the planet as well as chickens to lay eggs but not eat (for the planet only). There were cows for milk, two bulls (separated of course), a horse for each person, goats & sheep. In the greenhouse, there were fruits and vegetables of all kinds. There were seeds in packages for the new planet, gallons of unused water, buckets for fetching water. There were pots with trees in them, fruit trees as well as some vegetable bushes. There were bushes for coffee, tea and cocoa. Anything and everything that was needed to build a garden and greenhouse on the new planet was stashed in the greenhouse shed.
In the mechanical department, there were mechanical tools, solar panels for the houses that would be built, enough construction materials to build houses for the families and anything else that needed to be built, and plowing instruments. There were three tractors and enough fuel for the tractors for the first few years on the planet. There were rakes, shovels, saws, and a toolbox full of tools. There was oil in gas cans to keep rust off any of the metal material.
The Infirmary was stocked full of medical supplies and monitors. From scanners to ultrasounds to heart monitors. From medical books on diseases to medical books on natural herbal remedies. From modern medicine to western medicine to Indian medicine. If the family was going to last long on the flight as well as on the planet, then they needed to be prepared for anything.
Year 2017: The Port:
The family arrived at the port two hours before launch. They were packing the last of their things onto the ship. They hadn't packed everything they owned because they still had lived to live before leaving anyways. And there was a little change in plans. Less than a week ago, Jackson & Ariella's son Michael had been killed while he was trying to get some money out to pay for something that his wife needed for the trip. The men had just wanted his money but because Melissa had been there he'd fought to protect her and their unborn child.
After the funeral, which really wasn't much since Melissa opted to having him cremated, the family withdrew the last of their funds from their bank accounts and headed home for the remainder of their stay on Earth. The kids had gone out and about, collecting pictures of the friends that were staying behind and to say on final goodbye before leaving. They not only had to leave their friends behind, but also would not be able to talk to their brother Michael anymore like they had before he was killed.
As everyone boarded the ship and made sure everything was secured for takeoff and the sequential jump into hyperspace, Mr. Jacobi went to the cockpit to make sure everything was ready for them to take off. In the years since finding a way to send Expeditions to distant planets, Earth had made scientific strides to send the expeditionary with anything and everything they needed to survive the long trip to the planet and then survive however long they needed within the ship until such a time as they could build homes for them to live on the planet.
Most of the kids were young kids, so as they made final preparations to launch into space, all the kids were put into their cryo pods for the take off and the first year of travel while the adults buckled up and got ready for takeoff. As much as everyone was anticipating the takeoff, they knew that in order for everything to go smoothly, nothing was allowed to go wrong.
As the countdown began, the last of the Jacobi family got into their seats after making sure that everything was secured and nothing would fall over or break. It would be three years before they actually reached the planet, and the family needed to be sure that they could survive that whole time, which is why so much had been packed in the first place. Mr. Jackson Jacobi and Mrs. Ariella Jacobi were in the pilot seats as the launch started.
The ship was pushed into orbit and once in orbit, Mr. Jacobi took the ship into Hyperspace. As they entered Hyperspace, some of the adults and older kids looked out the windows and watched as Earth disappeared. They would have three years to figure out what they would do when they reached the planet. But in the meantime, they needed to get to work.
The Planet: Year 2021:
Everyone woke slowly, groggy after being asleep for the last week, the children had been put back into cryo nearly a year ago with most of the adults following suit. Only a few of the adults stayed out of cryo sleep to make sure the ship didn't fall out of Hyperspace too soon. But now that everyone was waking up, it was time to enter the atmosphere of the planet. The family didn't know what to expect on the planet's surface. All they knew was that they had to land on the surface in order to successfully complete this leg of the Expedition.
Mr. Jacob Jacobi was the first to move, heading for the cockpit. Mrs. Ariella Jacobi moved towards the rest of the cryo chambers to wake the others up and make sure that they were ready to enter the atmosphere of the planet and set the ship down once and for all. Entry into the planet's atmosphere was going to be bumpy as well as long since once within the atmosphere, they still needed to find a spot to land and according to Mr. Jacobi, that was going to be hard since they did not know how bit the land mass was.
As the kids and adults buckled in for the bumpy ride, Mr. Jacobi announced that they were entering the atmosphere and that they would land within the next twenty to thirty minutes, once they find a continent to land on. The kids hung on and some even screamed as the bumping got to be too much for them. But as soon as the bumpiness stopped, the kids watched out the Bio-Dome to see the sky passing over and watched as the clouds came into view, then trees and finally what looked like a continent. Contact with the continent was sudden and hard but not unexpected.
Once the ship was landed and the supports for the ship were in place, the kids got up and started trying to see if they could get out of the ship they had spent the last three years living in. They could see through the Bio-Dome and noticed what looked like some kind of village not too far from where they had landed. It didn't take the adults long to see the village as well and by them they had finished getting everything ready to head outdoors.
Everyone knew that the planet had breathable air as they had been told so before they left three years ago. So to finally be out and off the ship, the kids began having fun. They ran around, chasing each other and playing tag, moving in and out of the adults and then running away from each other so that they would not be caught. They were laughing, smiling and laughing some more. As their families made their way to the village, they brought with them some presents to give out just in case the people were friendly. The kids stayed close to their parent's grandparents, aunts and uncles.
When they got to the village, a few of the older villagers came out of their huts to greet the newcomers. The older adults moved into the village, presenting the gifts and trying to communicate with the leaders. The leaders watched the newcomers talking, watched as the presents were handed out to them and took the presents. They in turn gestures for them to sit down and have a meal with the village, the Jacobi family immediately agreed not knowing if refusing would be bad or not. The children, now seeing that their families were staying in the village, went out to explore. The kids ran into village kids and then ran off to play with their new friends.
It was Danza who realized that these people had probably never seen anyone else outside the village and any of the surrounding villages since the beginning of their time. Danza grabbed some of her siblings and went out to the surrounding woods to look for some flowers, to spruce up the dinner. They were dressed as explorers from another planet; they had nothing to complement their beauty. The flowers would go in their hair and make them look at least a little representable. As the kids went about their business, the adults began to sit around the fire and talk to the leaders.
Through a game of charades, the Jacobi family learned that the village was next to a river called Limpopo. And it was thus that the villagers called the planet by the name of the river. So, to, the Jacobi family adopted the name of the planet. As dinner was served, Danza and her siblings brought back the flowers for the woman's hair as well as their younger siblings and cousins.
Dinner was eaten with everyone talking at once, well trying to talk at the same time. With the Charades helping very little, some of the young-adult villagers began to help the Jacobi family to understand their language and vise-versa. The Jacobi family began to teach the villager English so that they could communicate better without having to use hand signs and try and figure out what the other person was saying.
As the dinner came to an end, the Jacobi families got up and thanked the villagers for their hospitality but told them that they had to get back to the ship that they had come in so that they could go to sleep. The villagers nodded as if they understood them and the Jacobi family left the village and headed back to the Bio-Dome for the night. They would begin the process of settling in for the long haul in the morning, but for now, they were exhausted and needed to the sleep they needed for a long road ahead of them.
Mr. Jackson Jacobi: 48, husband of Ariella, father of fourteen, good at tinkering; Job: Scientist.
Mrs. Ariella Jacobi: 47, wife of Jackson, mother of fourteen, green thumb in gardening; Job: Translator.
Danza Jacobi-Sithole: 28, oldest daughter of Jackson & Ariella, wife of Yandel Sithole, mother of five; Job: Hunter
Travis Jacobi: 26, oldest son of Jackson & Ariella, husband of Estelle Fowlis, father of three; Job: Arborist.
Omar Jacobi: 24, son of Jackson & Ariella, husband of Julie Pendergrass, father of two; Job: Doctor.
Michael Jacobi: 22, son of Jackson & Ariella, married to Melissa Collins, father of two; died a week before leaving Earth.
Florence Jacobi-Kamehameha: 22, daughter of Jackson & Ariella, wife of Oren Kamehameha, mother of one; Job: Mechanic.
Skylar Jacobi-Zahra: 20, daughter of Jackson & Ariella, wife of John Zahra, mother of one; Job: Electrician.
Elizabeth Jacobi-Singh: 18, daughter of Jackson & Ariella, wife of Sonu Singh, twin of David; Job: Herbology.
David Jacobi: 18, son of Jackson & Ariella, husband of Annie Starks, twin of Elizabeth; Job: Herbology.
Pride Jacobi: 16, daughter of Jackson & Ariella, twin of Wylcef; Job: Cook.
Wylcef Jacobi: 16, son of Jackson & Ariella, twin of Pride; Job: Teacher.
Tyler Jacobi: 14, youngest son of Jackson & Ariella; Job: Solar Energist.
Pritam Jacobi: 12, daughter of Jackson & Ariella; Job: Solar Energist.
Tamara Jacobi: 10, daughter of Jackson & Ariella, born during the flight to the planet; Job: Greenhouse attendant.
Arcelia Jacobi: 8, daughter of Jackson & Ariella, born after arrival on the planet; Job: Greenhouse attendant.
Hindi Jacobi: 6, youngest daughter of Jackson & Ariella; born after arrival on the planet.
Yandel Sithole: 29, a local from the planet that Danza fell in love with; Job: Hunter.
Estelle Fowlis-Jacobi: 25, married to Travis before leaving Earth, mother of three; Job: Arborist.
Julie Pendergrass-Jacobi: 23, engaged to Omar before leaving Earth, mother of two; Job:
Melissa Collins-Jacobi: 22, married & widowed to Michael before leaving Earth, mother of two; Job: Hunter, Gardener.
Oren Kamehameha: 23, engaged to Florence before leaving Earth, father of one; Job: Construction.
John Zahra: 21, engaged to Skylar before leaving Earth, father of one; Job: Construction.
Sonu Singh: 19, engaged to Elizabeth before leaving Earth; Job: Horse Tamer.
Annie Starks-Jacobi: 18, engaged to David before leaving Earth; Job: Basket Weaver.
Shadow Kenyatta: 27, married to Pride after arriving on the planet, father of three; Job: Musician.
Willow Khululiwe-Jacobi: 25, married to Wylcef after arriving on the planet, mother of three; Job: Cook.
Daria Morgandy-Jacobi: 23, married to Tyler after arriving on the planet, mother of two; Job: Cook.
Dario Morgandy: 23, married to Pritam after arriving on the planet, father of one; Job: Scientist.
Nicolas Loka: 21, married to Tamara after arriving on the planet; Job: Scientist.
Raize Lebo: 19, married to Arcelia after arriving on the planet; Job: Musician.
Chapt.2: Limpopo River Planet
Year 2028: Main Jacobi Household:
Mr. Jackson Jacobi: 58, husband of Ariella, father of Danza, Travis, Omar, Florence, Skylar, Elizabeth, David, Pride, Wylcef, Tyler, Pritam, Tamara, Arcelia & Hindi; Job: Scientist.
Mrs. Ariella Jacobi: 57, wife of Jackson, mother of Danza, Travis, Omar, Florence, Skylar, Elizabeth, David, Pride, Wylcef, Tyler, Pritam, Tamara, Arcelia & Hindi; Job: Translator.
Hindi Jacobi: 16, youngest daughter of Jackson & Ariella; Job: Teacher's Apprentice.
Hindi had just walked in from the garden after weeding it and harvesting some of the ripe fruit. Her mother had taken ill the previous night and her father was trying to figure out what was wrong with her. After her work in the garden, Hindi was to go to the village to get the medicine man and have him come to the home and see if he could heal her mother. In the seven years that they had been on the planet, Hindi had grown exceptionally into her teen years. She was very creative and it didn't take her long to figure out that she wanted to be just like her brother Wylcef. Wylcef was a teacher and if she played her cards right, she could also be a teacher.
She moved into the kitchen and set to putting the fresh food in their perspective places before putting the basket in the closet and moving to grab her cloak before heading for the village. Her sister Danza had married the first villager when she was twenty-one and they had five lovely children. Her brother-in-law Yandel was normally always in the village when she came to visit. But today, there was no time to visit. Hindi needed to get the medicine man and get back to her mother and father so that her mother could get better.
Her father had fallen ill last winter and though he had survived his illness, he had forever been weaker because of it. He could no longer do his job as man of the house and though most of her siblings were all married and either had kids or were expecting, she was destined to stay in the house she'd grown up in until her parents either passed away or agreed to let her start courting. She wished that her mother hadn't fallen ill, but with the way the climate was and the fact that they had already been old when they first accepted the Expedition rights; they were bound to leave this life sooner or later.
Hindi had been born on Limpopo, and though most of her siblings had been born on Earth, she had only seen photos of the planet. She knew that her family was from Earth, yet even though it was not possible, she hoped that one day she would be able to go back to Earth and see where her family had come from. She hurried faster now, through the village and a little ways into the woods surrounding the village to the medicine man's hut to see if there was anything that could be done for her mother.
The medicine man met her at the door with his walking stick, bag of herbs, and his cloak. He was fastening his cloak around his neck when she came upon his hut.
"I know what you have come child and I will help in any way I can, but let us hope that you mother hasn't seen the black Nginga."
"Thank you wise one."
They hurried on, back through the village, back towards the compounds that had been built to house the Jacobi family and back to her home to help her ill mother. She prayed that her mother would not see the Nginga. If her mother saw the Nginga, she knew that her father would not survive the death of his wife, though he had so many children and grandchildren to love him. Hindi knew that if her mother died, her father would soon join her.
When they got back to the house, the medicine man took off his cloak, leaned his walking stick against the wall next to the door and went upstairs. Hindi knew not to go up there. It was not her place to be in the room of a sick person that might die. The medicine man was upstairs for hours trying to help her mother. Her older siblings came over to help in any way they could, though it was Yandel who did the most helping, bringing hot water for tea up to Grandmother Jacobi's room. The medicine man had said that since Yandel had helped so many times before, it was best that he helped this time too.
Alas, the medicine man and Yandel came down. The medicine man grabbed his cloak and walking stick before turning to Hindi and her siblings.
"I have done all I can do for your mother. She is in the hands of you God now. She spoke of seeing the Black Nginga in her dreams last night. It won't be long now. But perhaps the child should not be in the house when her mother passes to the next world. I will arrange for her to stay with one of the Grandmothers in the village."
"Thank you wise one, but she will come home with Yandel and myself. My sisters can tend the gardens for the time being. She will not be in this house until our mother has been buried." Danza said.
"That is best. But make sure she also takes it easy. Your mother was worried for her."
"We will wise one, you can count on that."
With that, the medicine man departed the house to go back to the village. He left Hindi in the care of her siblings.
"I won't leave Mother and Father, especially not now that Father needs me so. I can sleep in the garden shed so that I am away from Mother at night, but I want to be here."
"It is out of the question Hindi. Mother is just too sick for you to be in the same house as her right now. And you heard what the medicine man said. Mother has seen the Black Nginga, she will not last much longer and Father will join her soon. They are soul mates; they can't stand not being together."
"But this is my house, I won't leave it. Danza, please don't make me go."
"I'm sorry dear sister, but it is safer for you to be out of the house at a time like this. You can bring Poty with you. I know the children will adore her."
"Fine, but I'm coming back every day to take care of the gardens and you can't stop me."
"Alright, we can come back to deal with the gardens but Poty will stay at our house."
Hindi headed to her room and packed her bag before coming back downstairs. Poty was curled up by the fireplace. Hindi slipped the rope around her neck and headed outside. She stopped at the garden shed and collected the deer's things and then walked with Danza to her house settled near the lake. You could tell that the girl did not want to be pulled away from her house, not now that her mother was so sick and could die at any moment.
Year 2028: Sithole Household:
Mr. Yandel Sithole: 29, husband of Danza, father of Tsidii, Maribu, Mariba, Zodiac & Mia; Job: Hunter.
Mrs. Danza Jacobi-Sithole: 28, wife of Yandel, mother of Tsidii, Maribu, Mariba, Zodiac & Mia; Job: Hunter.
Tsidii Sithole: 7, daughter of Yandel & Danza; Job: Greenhouse attendant.
Maribu Sithole: 5, son of Yandel & Danza, twin of Mariba.
Mariba Sithole: 5, daughter of Yandel & Danza, twin of Maribu.
Zodiac Sithole: 2, son of Yandel & Danza.
Mia Sithole: 6 months, daughter of Yandel & Danza.
That first night away from her house saw Hindi getting no sleep whatsoever. Poty lay curled at the girls' feet in front of the fireplace. Danza, Yandel and their children had all gone to sleep hours ago but Hindi could not sleep for she wasn't with her mother and father. Danza came down the stairs quietly and watched her youngest sister sitting on the couch and staring into the fire that roared in the fireplace. As she moved off the stairs, Hindi turned her headed and stared at her oldest sister, tears glistening in her eyes.
"Hindi, you should be asleep. We have to get up early if we want to get the gardens done before I have to go out hunting. And Yandel assured me Poty would stay in our fenced-in yard so no one would be able to kill her on accident."
"I can't sleep Danza. Father needs me now more than ever. And Mother…"
"Mother was worried about you. We must heed what the Medicine Man says. Yandel has never seen him this scared about one of us kids. The fear in the Wise One's eyes when he spoke of what Mother had said…Yandel will speak with the Wise One tomorrow about his and Mother's fears for you."
"No buts Hindi. Get some sleep!"
"Goodnight little sister."
Danza turned around and headed to the stairs. She sat halfway up the stairs watching until Hindi had fallen asleep before heading back to her own bedroom.
Year 2028: Fowlis-Jacobi Household:
Mr. Travis Jacobi: 26, husband of Estelle, father of Carley, Rae & Jack; Job: Arborist.
Mrs. Estelle Fowlis Jacobi: 25, wife of Travis, mother of Carley, Rae & Jack; Job: Arborist.
Carley Jacobi: 5, daughter of Travis & Estelle.
Rae Jacobi: 3, daughter of Travis & Estelle.
Jack Jacobi: 1, son of Travis & Estelle.
Year 2028: Pendergrass-Jacobi Household:
Mr. Omar Jacobi: 24, husband of Julie, father of Eria & Titen; Job: Doctor.
Mrs. Julie Pendergrass-Jacobi: 23, wife of Omar, mother of Eria & Titen; Job: Nurse
Eria Jacobi: 3, daughter of Omar & Julie.
Titen Jacobi: 1, son of Omar & Julie.
Year 2028: Kamehameha Household
Mr. Oren Kamehameha: 23, husband of Florence, father of Beauty; Job: Construction.
Mrs. Florence Jacobi-Kamehameha: 22, wife of Oren, mother of Beauty; Job: Mechanic.
Beauty Kamehameha: 2, daughter of Oren & Florence.
Year 2028: Zahra Household:
Mr. John Zahra: 21, husband of Skylar, father of Aysel; Job: Construction.
Mrs. Skylar Jacobi-Zahra: 20, wife of John, mother of Aysel; Job: Electrician.
Aysel Zahra: 1½, daughter of John & Skylar.
Year 2028: Singh Household:
Mr. Sonu Singh: 19, husband of Elizabeth; Job: Horse Tamer.
Mrs. Elizabeth Jacobi-Singh: 18, wife of Sonu, pregnant with first child; Job: Herbology.
Year 2028: Starks-Jacobi Household:
Mr. David Jacobi: 18, husband of Annie; Job: Herbology.
Mrs. Annie Starks-Jacobi: 18, wife of David, pregnant with first child; Job: Basket Weaver.
Year 2028: Collins-Jacobi Household:
Mrs. Melissa Collins-Jacobi: 32, widowed wife of Michael, mother of Aamir & Michael Jr.; Job: Gardener.
Aamir Jacobi: 12, son of Michael & Melissa Jacobi.
Michael Jacobi Jr.: 10, son of Michael & Melissa Jacobi.
Year 2028: Kenyatta Household:
Mr. Shadow Kenyatta: 27, husband of Pride, father of Makeeda, Dafina & Tahir; Job: Musician.
Mrs. Pride Jacobi-Kenyatta: 26, married Shadow six years ago, mother of Makeeda, Dafina & Tahir; Job: Cook.
Makeeda Kenyatta: 6, oldest daughter of Shadow & Pride.
Dafina Kenyatta: 4, daughter of Shadow & Pride.
Tahir Kenyatta: 2, son of Shadow & Pride.
Year 2028: Khululiwe-Jacobi Household:
Mr. Wylcef Jacobi: 26, husband of Willow, father of father of Jyoti, Dalmar & Runako; Job: Teacher.
Mrs. Willow Khululiwe-Jacobi: 25, married Wylcef six years ago, mother of Jyoti, Dalmar & Runako; Job: Cook.
Jyoti Jacobi: 6, oldest daughter of Wylcef & Willow.
Dalmar Jacobi: 4, son of Wylcef & Willow.
Runako Jacobi: 2, son of Wylcef & Willow.
Year 2028: Morgandy-Jacobi Household:
Mr. Tyler Jacobi: 24, husband of Daria, father of Marjan & Einar; Job: Solar Energist.
Mrs. Daria Morgandy-Jacobi: 23, twin sister of Dario, married Tyler four years ago, mother of Marjan & Einar; Job: Cook.
Marjan Jacobi: 4, daughter of Tyler & Daria.
Einar Jacobi: 2, son of Tyler & Daria.
Year 2028: Morgandy Household:
Mr. Dario Morgandy: 23, twin brother of Daria, married Pritam two years ago, father of Dragan; Job: Scientist.
Mrs. Pritam Jacob-Morgandy: 22, married Dario two years ago, mother of Dragan; Job: Solar Energist.
Dragan Morgandy: 1½, son of Dario & Pritam.
Year 2028: Loka Household:
Mr. Nicolas Loka: 21, husband of Tamar; Job: Scientist.
Mrs. Tamara Jacobi-Loka: 20, married Nicolas two years ago, pregnant with first child; Job: Greenhouse attendant.
Year 2028: Lebo Household:
Mr. Raize Lebo: 19, husband of Arcelia; Job: Musician.
Mrs. Arcelia Jacobi-Lebo: 18, married Raize one year ago, pregnant with first child; Job: Greenhouse attendant.