Mr. Mason and The Carions, Adventure and Travel, Part 5
The links to Parts 2–4 are at the end of this story. The link to Part 1 is below. Please take the time to read all of them, the story is more robust and enjoyable with all the parts.
Three years ago, Planet Iltain, University of Gooplaxis.
“That, my friends, is why Bracus-5 is a pristine environment for Exo-planetary research, Botany, anthropology, evolutionary progression, and more. Bracus-5 has vast swaths of untamed wilderness. Its small pockets of emerging civilization are inspiring, with a mesh of complexity and simplicity. As the Benefactor of Bracus-5, my team and I have established a sphere of influence and business ties with the local inhabitants of three native communities. Trevine is a small inland village setting, Deltine is a small coastal port and fishing town. And Clontine is the capital city of the Kingdom of Spar, which encompasses each of the three. This foundation will allow you access to everything you need for your research.”
Josiphus Wander stood on the stage in a lecture hall. Twenty-seven professors, university staff, and 30 students sat in the auditorium seats listening intently.
He had just completed a virtual flyover tour of the untamed expanses of wild forests, jungles, mountains, estuaries, deserts, and plains of Bracus-5. The virtual tour included the inhabited spaces of the bronze aged society that is developing on Bracus-5.
“Mr. Wander, what type of training is required to gain access to Bracus 5,” an elderly professor stood and asked?
“Sir, the protocols are clear. We may explore the planet and interact with the inhabitants, but they must believe us to be indigenous. Our use of technology in and among the indigenous population must be covert and limited in the extreme. Infection of the natural, technological, or societal progression of Bracus-5 is prohibited in the non-interference protocols. Luckily for us, the sentient species are Homo Sapiens (Taosan-like) with no significant variations.”
“So fitting in visually will not be an issue,” the Professor interrupted.” The training Mr. Wander, How long, where, how intense,” he asked?
“Sir, my team will come to the university and set up the training in facilities provided. Expedition members will be in the program for nine months. We will teach survival skills, introduce the planet and the geographical area the expedition will be focused on, the indigenous sentient species, language, social etiquette, and mastery of the protocols. By the third month, we will move to total language immersion for all expedition members while in training.” Josephus explained. He paused, allowing the academics to marinate on the information.
“Mr. Wander,” a different Professor and woman From Egreos stood. “Would I and other Taosan-like species with noticeable variations be able to participate in the expedition,” the Professor asked?
Egarians are from Egreos, the 10th planet of the fourteen included worlds that are the Grand Taosan Galactic Empire. Egarians have a genetic variation that resulted in an exo-skeletal spinal covering that appeared as scales, from the neck’s base to the tail-bone.
“Wander Adventure and Travel on Bracus-5 can accommodate most of the races of the Empire. For some of the Taoson-like races like the Egarian race, we would use clothing, cosmetics, and even some temporary cosmetic surgery to mask the variation. With a planet like Bracus-5, we can even accommodate some of the Non-Taosan-like species, like the Gleb. We can explain to any indigenous that the Gleb is from the Northern Continent, a vast, wild unexplored wilderness. To the citizens of Clontine, the things that go bump in the night are from the northern continent,” Josiphus explained.
Six months later, Professor Harold Prystar, Professor Judith Pelnany, three security staff members, and fourteen students were in the midst of the training program.
“Protius will now demonstrate the basic movements with the sword. This is the level of sophistication that the Bracus-5 societies have reached as it pertains to weaponry, so you will need to attain a skill set that affords you the ability to defend yourself,” Josiphus said. As he watched Protius instruct ten expeditionary members. Josiphus then left the group working on self-defense and headed to the medicinals class led by his teammate Joannes Trelk.
“All of these Medical items contain the modern sophistication of Taosan Medicine; they are only packaged to appear Clontine. We have done this with every item possible. For example, they look like simple cloth bandages, but they are treated with the Antiseptic and blood clotting agents of Taosan medicine. So while it appears that you’re only getting a bandage, you are actually receiving medication,” Joannes Trelk instructed the class.
“Lunch,” Clee announced. Clee was an android but not a common site within the Empire. The Taosans believed that you should never have an android fulfill a purpose that can adequately be done by a Taosan if there is a Taosan that wishes to achieve said purpose. Taosans call jobs purposes. And Taosans only do jobs they want to, study, and love to do, bringing satisfaction and pleasure to them, thus becoming a purpose in life.
Josiphus, however, was short-staffed as his adventure guides Prol and Alfred were still in training.
At Lunch, Josiphus sat with Protious and Professor Harold Prystar.
“Clontine is the center of civilization on Bracus-5,” Protius explained. “Yet the inhabitants have not invented the microscope or telescope, nor do they understand the scientific why of washing their hands. They do, but they haven’t discovered Germs yet.”
“Do you all realize that in less than a year, you are going to voluntarily leave the wondrously, technologically advanced environment of Gooplaxis University to live on Bracus-5,” Josiphus asked?
“The Planet Iltain, one of the Included fourteen worlds, of the Grand Taosan Galactic Empire, has not seen such primitive conditions in over a million years,” Professor Prystar said.
“But we still call it Civilization as if what we have and what they have shared a common definition,” a student remarked.
“That is why these types of expeditions are so important to the citizens of The Grand Taosan Galactic Empire. We must remember our humble beginnings as well as recognize that Sentient species on all worlds have the potential to reach the sophistication of existence that we have achieved,” Professor Prystar said.
“From the Apex of civilization, it is easy to forget that some of the most advance civilizations in the Galaxy are just as treacherous as the untamed, pristine, unblemished wilderness that exists on Bracus-5,” Professor Allin added as she joined the group.
A year later, the training completed, the fourteen members of the expedition and their five Adventure Travel Guides from Wander Adventure and Travel Services were busy on the surface of Bracus-5. The Expeditions’ primary mission to catalog and sample the Flora and Fauna of a One Hundred Square Yard of Pristine Bracus-5 wilderness. Several anthropologists were among the members of the expedition. They accompanied Rolan to Clontine on supply runs and observation junkets.
Harold Prystar, head of the Exoplanet Ecology department at the University of Gooplaxis, on Iltain, led the students on the research expedition. He and his crew were hands-to-elbows deep in seed and plant samples when they received Clee’s notification, that another ship had entered orbit. Clee remained on The Bracus-Lord, monitoring the systems and expedition from space, she was attempting contact.
“Sir,” Clee radioed down.
“Yes.” Josiphus Wander answered.
“The trespassing vessel has dispatched a shuttle to the surface.”
“Track it to where it lands, send the coordinates to Protius.”
“Protius, when you get the coordinates send a drone for video and audio affirmation of the trespass,” Josiphus directed.
“On it, Boss.”
Rolan, a skilled fighter and adventure travel guide, had taken Jane, an anthropology student, to the city for some observational research and supplies. Three days later, but early, they returned in a rush with some important news.
“Princess Chelise has been abducted,” Rolan reported.
“So I was able to get a moment with Krel, Chief of the Royal Guard. I’ve developed a relationship with him over the past four years. There was a group of eleven that attacked the princess and her guards while they were on her morning ride. All the attackers but three got away a guard that was wounded in the battle relayed the story. Krel and I spoke, and he provided me this often used scarf that belongs to the princess. Jane believes it can help us find her,” Rolan told the group.
“All right, bring it together. Dr. Prystar, I am asking you to pause your research for a bit so that you and your students can join us in an adventure quest to find and rescue the princess,” Josipus Wander spoke.
“It is not really what we are here for, and it could be dangerous, correct,” the Professor asked?
“Professor, you know it is dangerous just being here and following protocols. But, yes, more dangerous as we will be pursuing ruffians who have the tenacity to abduct a princess,” Josiphus said.
Jane raised her hand, “Excuse me.”
“Yes Jane,” the Professor answered.
“I’ve been speaking with Ellie and Fran. We believe we can use the scarf to cast a location-seeking spell. It might take a few days to get results as it depends upon birds to do the seeking,” Jane said.
Jane, Ellie, and Fran were students at the university and had a talent with the Mystic Arts. “The spell allows us to use the essence of the princess from the scarf to find her. We will tell the birds to seek her out and then return to us after a while or if they find her,” Jane told the group of adventurers.
“You can do that,” Protius asked? Protius was a trained warrior with Josiphus Adventure and Travel. he wore studded leather Armour and carried a broad sword and small shield.
“Of course, all mystics can,” Ellie said.
“Well, I guess we are going on an adventure then,” Professor Prystar said. Prystar, in his survival training, had become an accomplished bowman and hunter.
After some time, Jane, Ellie, and Fran had gathered all the components they needed for the spell, and the others had caught six birds, so they were ready.
“Here, put these on the birds,” Rolan said. Handing the high-tech bands with video, audio, and Positioning sensors built into them, to Protius, Harold, and Mr. Wander.
“Ah, that’s cheating,” Jane said.
“Usually, I would not be so forward with the tech, but we are talking the life of the princess. Plus, we can’t pass on the potential gains that rescuing the princess will bring. This is our force multiplier,” Josiphus told the group.
One by one, Jane wrapped each bird in the scarf and spoke, “seek the owner of the scarf. Return once you have found her or return in two days,” Jane said to the birds. She sprinkled some ashes from the burning of the components they put together. Then Jane unwrapped the bird from the scarf and released them. The birds would chirp and dance around on the scarf, pecking, and chirping, looking at Jane, and then finally, Jane would speak a final word to the bird, “travel that direction,” she would point. The bird would then fly away. In the background, Ellie and Fran were chanting the spell, smoking, and blowing a particular herb they had brought that enhances the Mystics’ ability to communicate with animals.
“Now we wait,” Jane said.
“Clee,” Josiphus contacted the android on The Bracus-Lord.
“Do you have the signal from the six tracking devices?”
“Patch the video to us, and let us know if you see anything before we do.”
“Clee, have you had any luck with the ship that entered orbit,” Josiphus asked.
“No sir,” They are still not answering any of my inquiries.
“Alright, dispatch the shuttle to our location. I’m going to go have a talk with them.”
It took the shuttle three hours to get from the Bracus-Lord to the surface. Ensuring that the indigenous populations do not witness or experience the technology takes time.
Josiphus began the preparations for his trip to the intruding shuttle.
_________________ TO BE CONTINUED ________________________
Copyright: T. Mark Mangum, 2020.
T. Mark Mangum, a product of the unimaginable worlds of Star Wars, Star Trek, Connan, and the Lord of the Rings. Lover and writer of fiction tales. He is a Veteran and a father of six, and a game enthusiast.