In the weapons corridor people begin to gear up, despite every few minutes something hit’s the ship. Whatever it is, dad says it must be really big to make the ship jump like it is.
“That guy was wrong to do what they did.” Dad mutters as he equips weapons to his sides. I put a knife in a holster on my leg. At least twenty people have geared up. Other’s either refused to do it, or is against violence. This isn’t about violence tough. This is about survival.
“You have to have a code to open the freezer now.” Marie calls out. She’s all geared up, and ready to do some serious damage. I hold onto a bar that’s connected to the wall as the ship gets hit again.
“How many hits like that can this ship take?” I ask Marie. She shakes her head.
“Not that many more. We need to move, now!” She says. I nod, and out of the corner of my eye I see Marcelo run over.
“They’re retreating...” Marcelo says, confused. Marie’s eyes widen, and we all run to the window to look outside. For a second I’m in disbelief. Outside there’s hundreds of humans, all standing at least over six feet tall, some eight or nine feet tall. They look so... normal, except they’re legs and arms are really long. Dad and I exchange glances. These must be the things they were talking about, who we were supposed to be sold to. They must have chased the other things away. That means were not alone at least. As for being sold as slaves... Nobody here on this ship will stand for that. I turn to dad.
“Do you think they expect us to just obey them?” I ask. Dad nods.
“Probably. I want everyone to pretend to be nice alright! We must put hostilities aside for now, they got rid of whatever wanted to kill us.” Dad tells some others to send word to the humans that are non-violent that they will stay aboard the ship, while others go scope out the situation. I follow dad outside when one of the aliens look over at where we are standing. Dad, Marie, and I stop ten steps away from the ship. The aliens take a few steps forward, but one comes all the way to meet up with dad.
Now that it’s close up, I notice that their skin is sickly pale, and they have little to no hair. They’re feet look like a kangaroo’s foot might, and they’re nails kind of look like rocks sticking out of their skin. They hold something that resembles a gun, but made out of rock. Some of the soldiers are carrying sticks, which I would guess are meant to make us obey. Someone’s carrying a torch. The leader begins to make clicking sounds. At first were silent, but then one of the technical officer’s step forward.
“My name is T’wain Lesotho (Pronounced T-wha-ain), I’m an engineer for the technology aboard the ship. I can understand what he’s saying.” T’wain pauses. Dad nods for him to confine. “He is speaking a Xhosa language, which is a tonal language based on clicks that mean different things. It’s very similar to what tribes in Africa spoke.” The guy says. He’s a tall African American man, with short black hair and dark brown eyes. His skin is light Carmel brown, and he’s dressed in a black uniform, armored like everyone else. T’wain turns to the alien and repeats what he said to dad, that his name is T’wain and he’s an engineer aboard the ship. He also tells him that we are here for peace, and won’t cause any ill will. The alien looks at T’wain before speaking in clicks. T’wain turns to us to translate.
“He says our languages differ a little, but he can understand me regardless. They said they come in peace, but other creates here are not as friendly as they are. He says our ship is safe at night, but in the day we should have it hidden. They said the tropical area is the safest place, but not when it snows.” T’wain looks at dad. “What would you like me to say?”
Dad pauses for a moment, thinking about his reply.
“Thank them, and ask them for advice. What should we do if it snows?” T’wain nods and turns back to him. He makes a few clicking sounds. The alien clicks back, and T’wain replies before turning to us.
“They can help us by taking some of us underground, while others stay above to guard the ship. Their foe is afraid of them, and won’t attack while they’re around.” T’wain says. Dad nods.
“Alright, well follow some of them underground, and a few will stay here. Thank them for us?”
T’wain nods and talk to them. After a minute, the alien lets out a noise. Three of them jump forward and walk over to the ship. They turn back toward us as if they’re soldiers watching out.
“What do we call them?” I ask T’wain. He turns to the leader again. After a few clicks, T’wain turns to me.
“I had to explain to them what a name is, and he says call him... L’wazi, which means knowledge.” T’wain tells me. (Pronounced La-Wha-zee) L’wazi repeats his name, and T’wain smiles. Lwazi says his name a few more times and smiles. T’wain laughs. “L’wazi says saying his name like we do feel weird. I told him our language is complex, but we learned it all the same. He agreed language is very... different for them too.” T’wain says. I nod, and the leader clicks at us. T’wain motions for us to follow. Marie, Marcelo, Dad, and I all follow L’wazi. The doctor and Reggie stay at the ship to watch over those who are left.
“What is their race called?” I ask T’wain. He clicks, and waits. The thing clicks back after a minute.
“He says that they are Liwa tribe, a tribe of Omniglot, Omniglot meaning tall hairless creatures like us. Except we call ourselves homosapiens. They have a different name for they since they’re culture are all about the language and were they come from, things of that nature matter most to them.” T’wain says. I nod.
“Does that mean they could potentially learn our language?” I ask. L’wazi smiles and nods. He makes a few clicking sounds.
“He says his people learn language very quickly, and the more we talk the more they learn. Like how he knew you were asking if they could learn our language. He knew that because the sounds and consonants are kind of what their clicking language would be able to represent.” T’wain says. I smile.
“That sounds awesome!” I answer. T’wain laughs, and the Omniglot laughs too. It sounds like a audio hiccup, but none the less a laugh.
“Would it be ok if I called them the Omn?” I ask T’wain. He clicks, and the nods to me. I smile.
“Good, cause it’s easier to say.” I answer.
For the rest of the trip I’m silent. Were lead through the tropical area, then we stop at a cliff. L’wazi drops off the cliff, and a second later I hear a thud. T’wain walks over to the cliff, and looks down. L’wazi is hanging in a cave opening about ten feet down. T’wain looks over at us and then back down. He clicks a few times, before nodding. T’wain turns back to us.
“He said he’d catch us, and that they’ll make an easier entrance for us. But for now, we need to jump off the cliff.” T’wain says. I take a step closer to the cliff’s edge, and my head starts to swim at the sight of the ocean’s water beneath us. I know what lives in the ocean, and the fact that they could probably jump this high terrifies me even more then the thought of falling from this height. I look over at my dad, and he smiles at me.
“You can do this. It’s easy.” He says motivating me. I laugh and shake my head. If this is how I’m feeling, imagine what dad would think if he knew about the ocean creatures. I think he only knows about the snow creatures that tried to kill us when we were on the ship.
“Let’s see you do it then, if it looks so easy.” I answer. Dad shrugs, takes a step forward, closes his eyes, and then leaps. I gawk at him as his body goes down, down, and then finally an Omn catches him. Their arms dip a little, before steadying, and finally holding him right. He waves at me, before disappearing into the cave. I look back at Marie and she gives me thumbs up. She’s not scared of heights at all! I sigh, take a look at the Aliens that all seem confused, and then back at the water. T’wain walks over to me.
“The Omn are confused as to what’s taking so long. They’re wondering if bringing us here was a bad idea. Why don’t you show them that we can be just amazing as them, huh?” T’wain asks. I nod, and he lets out a click as I walk back a few steps, then run and jump. For a moment, my feet are airborne and my body is suspended in midair. Then, all of the sudden air rushes at my face as I drop down. For a few seconds it feels like I’m going to hit the water and they missed me. Then, something snaps and I’m in midair still, but I’m no longer falling. I open my eyes which I didn’t know were closed, and I look at L’wazi is holding me, and then moving me into the cave. Dad gives me a hug when my feet are on the ground.
“You did it!” He says laughing. I smile, and I feel a little shaky. The others don’t take nearly as long as I did, but when they jump they only give L’wazi a second of a heads up. He catches T’wain and Marie, before us all head further inside. Torches are lit on the walls, but I think it’s only for our benefit. The Omn walk on all fours down here instead of on two’s like they did on the surface. The ceilings are still tall, but I can tell the reason they walk on all fours is so they don’t hit their heads. As we walk the tunnels look almost like an aunt tunnel might, except a big version of one. They’re all brown, but with weird circle patters around it. L’wazi motions for us to be quick, as he crawls down the side of a wall. T’wain looks down and turns back to us.
“It’s like a slide.” He says and he jumps down. I jump down next, and I slide down a huge tunnel! The tunnel is long, and kind of reminds me of a water slide tunnel, except it’s pitch black inside. The longer I slide down, the deeper this tunnel feels. I get a sense of unease. If I wanted to leave here, I wouldn’t be able to. I’d have to have one of them help me up that long tunnel, since humans don’t have claws or anything like they do. I wonder how they even climb up the walls as they do…
After a few seconds my feet hit the ground. I roll across the ground and then stop. I groan as I place my hands in front of me. The rolling hurt my side, but otherwise I’m alright. The ground is as soft as it looks; it’s not. But it is smooth enough to roll across. T’wain helps me up as I come to a sitting position. I stand in front of him, and behind me I can hear Marie and my dad sliding across the floor. Marie lands first and dad a few seconds after her. A few of the Omn crawl out of the tunnel and up the walls. T’wain turns when one of them starts to click. He nods, and after a few seconds he turns to us.
“This is one of their chiefs, Mcebisi. (Mc- eh- bye- see) He’s an advisor.” T’wain says. The Omn crawls toward us. He looks at us for a few seconds before clicking to T’wain.
“He says you are most beautiful for an outsider, and so is Marie.” T’wain says smiling. I nod, and tell him to thank Mcebisi. Mcebisi looks just like L’wazi. He’s tall, got long arms and legs, his feet look like they have rocks for toe nails, and he has a lot of wrinkles. His skin is pale white, and they almost look as thin as a tree branch is. For some reason, to me he looks wise with the wrinkles and his hair is grey. This must be what it looks like to age for them, as it is for humans.
“Rolihlahla!” I hear Mcebisi say, when another Omn approaches. I look at T’wain. He smiles.
“Rolihlahla is trouble maker, Mcebisi’s daughter.” T’wain says. I nod. The looks way different then the males of her species. Her hands have sharp grey claws, almost like a cat’s claws would look. She has long hair, and dark green eyes. Around her neck is an onyx gem, and it sort of glows. It’s tied with a brown string, and three light blue beads. Her arms and legs aren’t as long as the males, in fact they look similar to humans. Her hair is pure white. She looks a lot like Mcibisi though.
“Her name sounds like Rolanda.” I tell T’wain. The girl clicks at me.
“She says you may call her Rolanda, she like the sound of it.” T’wain says. I laugh, and smile at her. She tries to smile back. Her teeth are similar to humans, sharp in the front and the back look like they’re almost square. The girl begins to click at me and T’wain talks.
“She’s saying that our kind looks like they did many years ago. Except they went through a big adaptation, and are just now starting to look as they are. The ground creatures as they sometimes refer to themselves as are forced underground because of the weather and the… Healots?” he pauses and gives Rolanda a questioning glance. After a minute of clicking, he continues. “Healots are those creatures that live in either total warm weather or total cold weather. They have long arms, longer than theirs and the Omn sometimes eat them.” T’wain pauses as the girl keeps clicking.
“They eat them because they are sort of like land octopuses, able to be eaten and taste good.” T’wain stops talking when someone new enters the room. This person looks a lot like Rolanda, except her hair fades from white into black. T’wain begins talking again as Rolanda introduces us.
“This is Rolanda’s sister, Zola. Zola is younger then Rolanda, which is why her hair fades into black. As kids they’re hair is all black, and when they get older it begins to grow white. White is a sign for age, and here it’s a good thing. Age and maturity here are a lot like what we considered it on Earth. It means you can be trusted and you’ve learned a lot here.” T’wain smiles. I nod for him to go on. “Zola is saying that they might eat the Healots, but they Healots are enemies with the sea creatures, the Se, as they call them.” T’wain pauses and clicks back at her. They click back and forth for a minute. “They don’t know why they call them the Se, maybe it’s because they live in the sea. But either way, they’re the dangerous ones. In all they must do everything in their power to stay away from the Se.” Zola stops clicking and she turns to me. We stare at each other for a minute, before I feel a nudge in my brain. Then I hear a voice.
‘Can you hear me?’
‘You understand me then?’
‘My name is Zola, and I’m letting you read my brain patterns.’
‘How is this possible?’
‘Us Omn as you’ve nicknames us have incredible brain power, and we can use our minds to do many thing’s. This is one of them. As you’ve been responding back to me, it means that your brain can develop the power it takes to communicate like this with others. You can adapt much more then this if you had the time.’ Zola says
‘Will you teach me?’ I ask her. She nods, and I smile. “T’wain, I think I’m beginning to like being here.” I tell him. He turns to me, as if Rolanda did the same thing Zola just did. I laugh and he smirks at me.
“Bia!” Zola says, and turns toward another Omn. (Bye-yaa) I look at T’wain and he shrugs.
‘This is our youngest sister, Bia.’ Zola says to me telepathically. I nod.
’How is it you can think in my language, but you can’t actually say it?’ I ask.
’Our brains can connect because they’re similar wave patterns. Speech is different however, because each species has their own language and it’s sometimes hard for other’s to learn that language. Our brain thinks, but for us Omn sometimes we cannot say what we are thinking.’ Zola answers. Bia has pitch dark hair like Zola, but her skin is a little darker than her sister’s. Her eyes are pitching black, and in the like they look onyx green, which is close to black. Her eyes sparkle in the fire, and I see that Bia is smaller than her sister’s. She’s also shorter than them too, but several inches. Her arms and legs are still skinny and long like the Omn though. Bia begins to click to Zola, and after a minute all of the Omn head out of the room. Zola however pauses and turns to us. ‘There is a pressing matter we Omn must attend to. We will be back to show you all around, for now just rest.’ Zola tells me. I nod and tell everyone else what she said.
“I guess we could sit and rest up a bit.” Dad says, shrugging. For some reason I get a bad feeling… I’m not sure if it’s about the Omn, or just being so far underground. The only light we have is from a single torch, which looks like it could go out at any minute. I really hate being in the dark… about anything. I sit down against the wall and close my eyes. I feel like it’s going to take some getting used to, to fit in this place. I hear everyone shifting. After that, I don’t hear anything.