Myth of the Ammkar
“Well, let’s hear your theory, Selina,” Hannibal urged.
Selina glanced at Hannibal with a warm smile as she prepared to answer. “As I said earlier, I haven’t seen anything quite like it before but I did say that it reminded me of a myth I heard when I was little,” she stated. “The myth originated from the ancient times of my planet. Let’s see if I remember how it goes.” She stared at the Relic, searching her memory. “Hmmm,” she murmured. “It seems to me there was this myth about visitors from the sky that crashed on our planet just as our civilization was beginning to take hold. They crashed in a desolate area of our planet known as the Crucible. Myth has it this area was a vast wasteland where some of the most dangerous creatures of our world existed. It was dotted with many active volcanoes and great Dune Seas; an area to be avoided at all costs. This starship crashed there and the survivors of the crash tried to get out of the Crucible. Of ten survivors of the crash, only one made it out. The myth said the alien appeared to be Kaitian, only bigger in stature. The people that found him treated his injuries the best they could. In the end, they could do little for him because the injuries were too extensive. But before he passed on, he told the wise men about himself, what he’d seen, and where he’d been. Apparently, according to the myth, he said that he was from Kaitia thousands of years in the future. He claimed to have searched the galaxy for the Ammkar: a device of unimaginable wealth and power made by a legendary alien race called the Etherians...a vastly advanced civilization that has long since vanished from the annals of galactic history.
“The device, according to the myth, was the key to the greatest treasure ever amassed in the universe. The myth also said that just before he crashed on our planet at that time, he claimed to have actually found the Ammkar on a small blue planet in the farthest reaches of the galaxy; however, he was unable to procure it because terrible, fearsome creatures and many other deadly perils guarded it. The legend states that he actually saw part of it and said that it was a vast mechanism buried in the middle of the planet with a special key needed to activate it. He claimed to have seen some sort of representation of the key and it was very similar to this thing,” she said, referring to the Relic. “He did not, however, find the key. Before he could locate and retrieve it, he was caught up in a violent civil war on the planet that grew into an interstellar conflict and was forced to flee. In the flight from the planet, the guidance control on his ship was destroyed by hostile fire from the ground and orbit. He had to jump into hyperspace without the guidance controls working properly while he was still within that star system. Because of the uncontrolled jump, he emerged too close to the Coctyus Maelstrom…the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, which nearly destroyed his ship. The result was that when he broke free of the Maelstrom, a wormhole opened up and deposited him in Kaitian orbit nearly five thousand of our years in the past. Our civilization was just beginning to take hold. He passed telling the last bit of how he got out of the Crucible. This is just a brief synopsis of the myth in terms that you can grasp. It’s not exact and I’m sure that there was more to it, which escapes me at this time; but I think that gives you the gist of it.
“The ship that crashed in the Crucible was never found and the account of the survivor was relegated to myth for thousands of years. Many believed that it was a just a figment of someone’s imagination. There was only one copy of the original account, which was found some five thousand years after the supposed account was given. It stayed under lock and key in the Great Museum of Kaitia and only top-level researcher like my father were ever allowed access to it. This myth is much like your myths about Amacia and Atlantis: apparently, there was some truth to it; however, unlike Amacia, no one on my planet ever really decided to investigate it. The written account given in the myth was found completely by accident when the excavations of the city of Kaliph were done. They found it in one of the temples they uncovered.”
“What significance is Kaliph to your culture?” Hannibal asked.
“Kaliph was the oldest city ever discovered on my planet and apparently the cradle of our civilization,” Selina stated. “It was some five thousand of our years old and was buried in the Dune Seas of the Crucible. Apparently, the geological and meteorological activity of my planet shifted various aspects of the surface during the height of the city and the Crucible swallowed the city. Prospectors who went into the Crucible in search of precious metals found it. After it was found and the excavations began, we found out that at its height, Kaliph was a city nearly as big as your New York City with great high walls that surrounded it. Also, it was said that in its height, the city was nearly three hundred miles from the Crucible and that the Crucible of that time was nearly three times as small as it was when the city was found.”
“Just how big was the Crucible?” Harry asked.
Selina scratched her head for a second as she searched her memory. “At the time the city was found, the Crucible was nearly as large as your North American continent,” she stated.
“Wow, that’s some desert,” Harry crowed.
“Yeah, but you must also remember that my planet was nearly seven times the size of yours,” Selina returned. “In comparison to the total land area of my planet, it was only around five percent of it. Also, it was ringed by great mountain ranges as big as your Himalayas. The rest of the planet was very lush and moist like this planet is. The mountains surrounding the Crucible were high enough that they blocked the jet streams and all the weather they would carry so the Crucible remained a desert. Anyway, it was during the excavations that the source of the myth was uncovered. It was the only hard evidence ever found about the myth; however, no one felt compelled to investigate it further. It was filed away only to be forgotten again. The only reason I know about it was my father, who was one of the main researchers at the dig, allowed me to help with the deciphering of the ancient texts that were found. It was part of my schooling.”
“Speaking of schooling, when does Dennis get home from school?” Hannibal asked.
“He should be back here in about half an hour,” Mary answered. “Is anyone hungry?”
There was a resounding response of yes. “I think we’ve got something I could throw together to hold everyone until supper,” Mary announced as she headed for the kitchen.
“It seems that we’ve forgotten all about the time,” Hannibal said.
“Indeed, we have,” Selina purred. “I completely lost track of the time. I tend to do that when I get into something that I enjoy. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon. It has given me some time to get to know some new friends and to get out of the Temple.”
“I don’t know about you Hannibal, but it seems that the things we’ve seen and heard today are as astounding as those we heard about last night,” Harry declared.
“I think I’ll have to agree on that,” Hannibal returned. “You were right to bring these revelations directly to me, Dan. What you’ve uncovered is of great importance.”
As Hannibal spoke, Mary re-entered the room with a platter of sandwiches and a couple of bowls of potato and corn chips. Dan immediately picked up the hologram projector and turned it off, putting it back into his satchel. Mary sat the snacks on the table and said, “We have ham, roast beef, and turkey sandwiches. What do you want to drink? We have water, milk, lemonade, tea, cola, and lemon-lime soda.”
Hannibal answered lemonade, as did Dan and Harry said tea. Selina thought for a minute and said, “I’ve never had lemonade before. I’ll try it.”
“Could you give me a hand?” Mary asked Harry and he nodded, rising from his seat and following her into the kitchen. “Go on and help yourselves,” Mary called over her shoulder as they left the room.
Hannibal grabbed a ham sandwich and a handful of the ranch-flavored corn chips and returned to his seat on the sofa. Dan took a turkey sandwich with some potato chips and Selina looked carefully at the sandwiches. She gingerly picked up a roast beef sandwich and smelled it, then nibbled at it. “My, this is good!” she beamed as Harry and Mary returned with the drinks and proceeded to pass them around. “It tastes like a xarog.”
“What’s a xarog?” Harry asked while handing her the lemonade she asked for.
“It’s what you would consider a cow on my planet. The animal was however about four times the size of your buffalo, had six legs, and a great set of curved horns coming out of the skull,” Selina said after finishing a bite she had taken when Harry asked the question. “Even though it tended to be foul-tempered, xarogs were domesticated and used as food.”
“That’s some cow,” Hannibal chimed. “Being that you’ve never had lemonade before, just sip it to decide whether you like it or not, Selina.”
Selina sipped the glass of lemonade and a look of intensity came over her as the flavor spread through her mouth. She licked her lips slightly and her expression lit up. “This is a strange taste,” she beamed. “It’s sour and sweet at the same time.”
“Lemons are a sour citrus fruit that are cultivated on this planet,” Hannibal informed. “The sweetness comes from the sugar that is mixed with it in order to counteract the sourness.”
Selina took a larger swallow. “It’s strong too, but it’s good,” she observed. “We didn’t have this kind of beverage on my planet.” Everyone continued to munch on the snacks when the sound of a school bus echoed from outside.