Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Travelers - 4

Arlytian Terms:
Government Punishments:
**Rights Restrictions - denying certain specific freedoms to those convicted of breaking a law
**Pronounced Physical labor - physically difficult and sometimes demeaning tasks given to criminals
**Temporary Isolation - Completely cut off from human contact barring having necessary needs met for a designated amount of time
**Enforced Personal Service - an indentured servant type deal to pay for a crime
**Corporal Castigation - physical punishment, usually a severe paddling, done by a high ranking official to a law-breaker.  This is done without an audience, but the sentencing of it is often public knowledge

Chapter 4

Minus the crew flying the ship, every Traveler on board had gathered in the dining area, which was the largest room on ship and could hold everyone.  Charge Pilot Seren was moving with authority to a small stage that had been set up, allowing him to be seen and heard by all. 
“Fellow Travelers,” he began both seriously and with the spark of excitement in his eyes.  “We are approximately thirty hours from our destination of Neveah.”
The pause was purposeful and the smile he let show on his face gave the encouragement for his fellow Travelers to cheer.  Excited voices filled the room and chattering about what this meant was allowed for a couple minutes.  Eventually though, Seren motioned for them to quiet down so he could continue.
“I want to go over some new details and refresh your memory on others, so I’d appreciate your undivided attention during this meeting.” 
Some nodded.  Most simply gazed expectantly at the pilot. 
“Arriving at Neveah does not mean we get to immediately disembark from the ship.”  His expression was mild, but it held some sympathy.  “I realize many of you are anxious to experience Neveah, but caution is of utmost importance right now.  A team of Purifiers will be carefully outfitted before being the first to venture outside.  They’ll take water and air samples to make sure the planet is acceptable for us to live on safely.  I’ve been told that testing could take up to a week, so please be patient. 
“Also,” he continued.  “When the time comes when we can disembark, I want you to remember the regulations we established back on Arlytia months before we left.  First, we do as little damage to Neveah as possible.  Our Agriculture crew members will be doing extensive research on the plant life Neveah offers, and will be working closely with the Purifiers once we’re out of the ship.  We eat and drink nothing on the planet until it’s been approved safe by those teams.  The reserves we have on board ship are there to supply us for several more months if needed, so we will not starve.
“I am also in the process of preparing a team of Travelers to focus on the wildlife of Neveah.  We have little idea of the animals that live there and we need to learn as quickly as possible what poses a danger and what is relatively safe.  Please do not approach any wildlife if you can avoid it.  However, if you are able to study or record pictures of species you see from a distance, it would be appreciated in the furthering of our research.
“One last point for now,” Seren said, and his tone grew quite serious.  “I want to emphatically remind you that we are not an ungoverned people simply because we’re entering what is likely a very untamed land.  The laws of Arlytia apply to us still, as do the consequences of broken regulations.  I’m very pleased that I’ve had to do no more than issue a handful of warnings while we have traveled.  It has reminded me that each of you are among the most honorable as well the most talented and intelligent individuals that have been born on Arlytian soil.  However, the ship does have a criminal holding ward that can still be put to use if serious laws are broken.  And as you well know, other consequences may be employed as well.  These include rights restrictions, pronounced physical labor, temporary isolation, enforced personal service, and corporal castigation.  I will follow through on these actions if it is necessary, but I truly hope that will not be the case.”
Charge Seren’s face softened just fractionally.  “I’ve been honored to share this mission with each of you, and many of you have become good friends.  I hope the coming days, weeks, and years will bond us together and provide a solid foundation for the future generations that will follow us.  You’re dismissed.”
With a poise many envied, Seren left the small stage area and quickly disappeared from the room, likely going back to the Directional Room with his flying crew.

Little more than a day later, Oz and Cayson stood with hands locked together in a private room, accompanied only by Charge Pilot Seren as a screen showed Amrynn and three others preparing to be the first to step onto Neveah’s ground.  The ship had landed three hours previously to a lot of cheers when it touched ground safely. 
It only made sense that Amrynn would lead the group of Purifiers in the expedition.  She was their Charge and was extremely good at her job.  That didn’t make it any less stressful or scary for her husbands who could only stand by and watch with praying hearts that nothing would harm her.
Dressed in skintight suits, gloves, boots, and helmets, those stepping out of the ship would hopefully have no exposure to the atmosphere of Neveah until it could be tested for purity and safety.
A signal was given and Cay sucked in a breath while Oz squeezed his hand.  They watched tensely as doors were opened and Amrynn led the way, the first to step onto Neveah’s aqua green turf and making a mark in history for their people.
There was a momentary blip as camera views changed from inside the ship to the four people now on the outside.  Oz, Cay and Seren watched silently as Am and her crew did quick tests on the air quality around them with handheld devices.  These tests wouldn’t be as accurate as others, but it would give them an idea of the air’s level of purity.  It was impossible to tell from the screen what the results were, but nothing in body language or hand motions indicated a threat.  That was some consolation to the two husbands.
For the next hour the three men in the room continued to watch almost silently.  The quiet was only interrupted when Charge Seren had to respond to a communicator call.  They watched the Purifier team collect innumerable samples: air, soil, sod, small plants, and several small jars of water from a nearby stream.  Although anxious, Cayson couldn’t help but be intrigued by the look of that stream.  The water itself looked to be the palest of purple as it flowed, but once in the jars it appeared clearer than glass.
Finally, the signal they waited for was given and the four members of the team made sure their samples were safely stored in portable units before making their way back on board.  Oz and Cay sighed in simultaneous relief when the ship doors closed and Amrynn could be seen taking off her head covering.  She looked healthy and uninjured.  Just as they turned to leave the room and go to her, Charge Seren came up and placed a hand on each of their shoulders.
“Thank you,” he said seriously.  “I know it was a lot to ask of you to let her be one of the ones to take this first risk.  You’re all to be commended.”
“Thank you, Charge Seren,” they both said together.  It was entirely respectful, but utterly clear that the men wanted to go to their wife.
“Take the rest of the day off,” Seren ordered.  “You all have more than fulfilled your duty for the day.”

Cay reached Amrynn first.  By then she’d changed into her normal uniform, but Cay was still quick to cup her face and look seriously into her eyes, at the same time seeming to take in the rest of her body as well.
“Are you ok?  How do you feel?”
She smiled and her lighthearted laugh was uplifting.  “I’m fine, Cay.  I feel exhilarated!  It was wonderful to experience firm ground and see flowing water again!”
“Any dizziness?  Stomach pains?  Impaired vision?  Do you have a headache?”
Amrynn hugged him tightly and placed her mouth near his ear.  “Cayson, I feel fine.  I haven’t been harmed.  Breathe.”
He did take a deep breath even as his arms tightened around her.  “We should have insisted that Oz and I went with you.”
“And you’d have done nothing but gotten in my way,” Am declared, but her eyes were soft.  “No more worries, Love.  We’re together.”
She pulled out of his grip then and turned to Oz, who was looking pale and anxious to touch her.  He lifted her off the ground in his embrace and just held her silently, but she could feel the quicker-than-normal beat of his heart. 
“You calm down too, big guy.  I’m right here,” she consoled.
Cay’s hand landed warmly on her back as Oz continued to hold her.  “Charge Pilot Seren has given us all leave for the day’s remainder,” he informed her.
That loosened her hold on Oz and her expression was startled.  “What?  I can’t take leave.  I have to start testing those samples immediately.  Some will only last through a certain length of time and…”
“And you delegate,” Cay said firmly.  “If you need a few minutes to do that, it’s fine, but you are taking the day off with us.”
The stubborn look both men were well familiar with came over her face.  “I am not passing off my work to someone else.  That’s not right.”
Oz stepped closer to her and made her jump as he landed a fast swat.  “No arguing, Amrynn.  This is an order and a gift from Charge Seren.  You will not dishonor him by negating it, and Cay and I would appreciate the chance to be with you after we spent the morning fearing your harm.”
She looked saddened by that, but still undecided.  “But there’s so much to do…”
“Am,” Cay said firmly, drawing a wary eye from her.  “One, Oz just told you ‘no arguing’; and two, do you not have a crew capable of doing or starting these tests?”
“Yes…” she admitted. 
“Do you trust them to follow your orders?”
“Yes,” she sighed. 
“Then we’ll walk you down to your unit, wait for you to designate assignments, and then we’re taking the day off.”
His look was firm, which honestly made Amrynn want to argue, but she was distracted by Oz nuzzling her neck from behind.  His nose and lips tickled her skin for a few moments before he smoothly turned her to face him. 
“Listen to Cay, dearling.  Then we can go somewhere private and you can tell us what Neveah was like.  I’m anxious to hear about it.”
It was sincere and Am finally acknowledged the reality of a day off as well as the gladness of having time to share the morning’s adventure with her men.  She nodded and the three walked off together.
        Across the room, looking like his attention was entirely on the two Purifiers talking to him, Charge Seren discreetly observed the Trio as they reconnected and then left a few minutes later.  Happiness for them made a hint of a smile appear on his lips, but it disappeared quickly in the wake of his own sense of loneliness.


  1. The new place sounds beautiful so far. Especially the description of the water being a pale purple.
    Poor Seren, he seems like the strong and silent type that suffers lonliness alone :( i want to cuddle the stuffing out of him to put a smile on his face

    1. Thanks, Yojin Chung :) Sorry for my delay in replying. I've been working a lot lately. I'm so glad you like my physical descriptions of Neveah, and also that you're drawn to Seren. He's definitely a good guy and deserving of some happiness. I don't plan on keeping him alone forever. Thanks!

  2. Amrynn is a strong woman to put aside her wants to for her men. I don't think the threat of punishment changed her mind(though it probably helped!) but more realizing they needed to be with her. I could be wrong though, its happened before, lol.
    I agree with Yojin Chung, poor Seren. I hope he can find someone too. I'd like to see more of him.

    1. Thanks KK. Amrynn is definitely a strong woman, both physically and emotionally. She did realize her men needed some time with her.

      You'll definitely be seeing more of Seren. I enjoy writing him :)