The Lost One: Part Five

Eva found that life on a ship could be surprisingly busy or not. Her parents, of course, did not find themselves with much to do, as they mostly pondered and planned what to do when they arrived on a planet and would be able to take up their work as farmers, which was something that they seemed to look forward to. Eva, on the other hand, had a great deal to do in trying to take care of the baby dinosaur. She found that taking care of a dinosaur was hard work, but that at least the dinosaur did not seem to be a picky eater, being quite fond of plants. What was a problem, though, for Eva was that the dinosaur grew larger rather quickly. She had figured from the size of the egg that the dinosaur would not be exactly small, but she was not prepared for the way that it rapidly grew in size. This presented several problems for Eva, one of which was the problem of concealment, as it was hard to hide an alert and active being that was her size and rapidly growing, besides the question of how such a dinosaur could be fed without others noticing the amount of feed that was missing.

One day Eva went to the place where she had put the dinosaur only to find it looking at her particularly curiously. When she went to feed the dinosaur the dinosaur placed her forehead against Eva’s and held it for several minutes. Eva felt this was a bit strange, to be sure, but it did not take too long before she realized that the dinosaur was doing some sort of bonding that would make their electrical currents and perhaps other aspects coincide with each other. Eventually, Eva felt as if she could feel what the dinosaur was feeling, a certain degree of loneliness and isolation but also a high degree of trust and fondness in her personally. Eva felt glad to be trusted by the little but growing dinosaur and wondered to herself how she would be able to keep the dinosaur safe and if there was some way that she could acquire more food for the dinosaur since it appeared as if it would be impossible to keep the dinosaur’s existence a secret forever.

After bonding with the dinosaur, Eva went to her parents and felt it necessary to explain to them what had happened.

“Mother,” she opened. “I have something to tell you.” She fidgeted a with her hands.

“What is it, dear?” her mother replied.

“When we were leaving the planet, one of the merchants gave an egg to me, and on this ship the egg hatched, and there is some kind of creature who is not growing very large that I have been taking care of since its birth,” she continued.

“Is that where you have been wandering off to there?” her mother asked, a hint of a smile on her face.

“Yes, mother,” Eva said.

“What do you plan on doing with this creature?” her mother asked.

“I do not know,” Eva said. “The creature is a friendly one, but is going to be human-sized before too long, and I’m not sure if it is something that our people would want to be with us.”

“Is it friendly?” her mother asked.

“Very much so,” Eva said. “But I think some people might find it scary.”

“Do you want me to see what it is like?” Eva’s mother helpfully asked.

“Yes,” Eva said. “Let me show you the creature.”

Eva’s mother followed Eva through the ship to the area where the dinosaur was happily observing the cattle nearby. Eva’s mother looked carefully at the dinosaur, who eyed her curiously.

“What sort of creature is this?” Eva’s mother asked.

“I don’t know,” Eva said. “It came in a large egg that we got on the planet, but the person who gave it to me didn’t want to give me very much information about it.”

“I see,” Eva’s mother said, lost in a fair amount of thought. “I think we might have to go to the elders about this. They might better understand what is going on here.”

“Do you think I will get in trouble for this?” Eva asked.

“I don’t see why you would. This creature here is one of God’s children, and is evidently not an unfriendly being.”

Eva and her mother left the area with the cattle and the dinosaur and decided to pay a call to the family of one of the elders, who was surprised as Eva and her family were not thought of as particularly notable within among the simple people.

“I have something to report to you, and I am not sure what to do about it, so I thought it would be worth asking your advice,” Eva’s mother began politely.

“Go on, daughter,” the elder said. “It is wise for you to seek good counsel when you do not understand what needs to be done.”

“Eva, do you wish to explain what happened?” Eva’s mother said, turning to Eva, who was blushing a bit.

Eva explained how it was that she had obtained a large egg that had hatched and described what had happened with the creature, including its bonding with her. The elder looked at her with a degree of interest and concern, and waited politely for her to finish before he replied. When she did finish, he said, “I am not familiar with this sort of creature, but if it is not a hostile creature, it certainly would have no problem being at home within our community. Would you mind if my family and I came to see it with you?”

“Not at all,” Eva’s mother replied.

Eva then led the elder and his family as well as her mother to the area where the dinosaur was happily frolicking and looking curiously at the people who came to see her.

“Is this the creature?” the elder asked.

“Yes, it is,” Eva replied.

“I see,” the elder said. “This is a curious creature indeed, but it does not look to be an unfriendly one. “Our community has certainly never had a creature like this one, but it obviously came from somewhere, and so it seems likely that our hosts may have some idea about what sort of creature it is. Perhaps they might give us some more information.”

“Okay,” Eva said, a bit puzzled as to why none of the adults seemed to know anything about her friend and where it came from. Truly this must be a very strange and rare being.

The elder motioned for Eva and her mother to follow him and his family as he went to talk to the commander of the ship.

The captain seemed surprised to be met with a group of simple people, who tended to keep to themselves and make few demands on his time or attention, which is precisely as he preferred it, seeing as he had been handsomely paid for taking this group of people in labor before they left the refugee camp. “Do you need my assistance with something?” he asked the elder.

“We do indeed,” the elder said. “This little girl,” he pointed to Eva, “obtained an egg of some kind from one of your countrymen before we left the planet and the egg hatched on this ship, and she has been taking care of the creature that was born. It is a strange being, and I have never seen its kind before. We figured that you might have a better idea of what kind of creature it is, as it appears to have formed some kind of bond with this girl and appears not to be hostile.”

The captain pondered within himself how to respond.

“Are you willing to show me this creature?” he asked the elder.

“I am,” the elder said.

The captain called a couple of his crew to follow him and the elder and his family and Eva and her mother back once again to the place where the dinosaur was still happily playing. The dinosaur looked at all of them rather curiously and politely, and the captain and his crew crossed themselves and looked at the elder and the other simple folk rather seriously.

The elder waited a beat and then replied. “Do you know what this creature is?”

The captain said that he did, and told him that it was a korinthidon, a creature normally found in Multipia that was known to bond with friendly people to it but to be incredibly dangerous. At this point the captain paused and thought about something. He pulled up his console and looked it, seeing a message from the authorities of Gorman 3 wondering if he had seen any evidence of the presence of a korinthidon. He felt a heavy weight within him. “Did you say that this little girl here got the egg that this reptile came in on Gorman 3?”

“That’s correct,” the elder said. “She told me that she got the dinosaur egg just before we left the planet from one of the merchants who was near the camp.”

The captain pondered this. “The Multipians appear to be interested in this dinosaur here, and have already sent a mission to Gorman 3 to investigate it,” he said, commenting on the report that he had received. He sighed to himself that he would have to report back to the authorities that although he had not known it before, he had now personally verified that there was a dinosaur on his ship, a dinosaur that, if upset, could sabotage all of the electrical systems and presumably send out a signal that would let the Multipians know exactly where he was.

He thought about this long and hard, wondering if the Multipians were chasing him too, and were using the dinosaur to hone in on his location. If that was the case, he might have to engage with them in diplomacy, and that would be a very dangerous task unless they were in a good mood. He wondered if the Multipians had any fondness for simple folk like this one, as it might be possible to outsource his diplomatic problems to them, and maintain his profits.

“Do you think you would be willing to talk to any Multipians who come our way about your search for a new home as well as regarding the issue of this dinosaur?” the captain asked.

“Certainly,” the elder said. “I do not see why that would be a problem.”

“Good, the captain said,” I have reason to believe that the Multipians may be tracking us and using the dinosaur as a sort of homing device to find us. Since they have not attacked us, I have hope that we may be able to resolve such matters via diplomacy. This is, after all, a system that they have claimed as part of their area of influence, and the Multipians are known to be touchy about such matters.”

The elder figured that this was the way of all empires to make grand claims and be touchy about others infringing on them and did not feel it necessary to either agree with or contradict the captain. At this point, though, the ship found itself in a particularly tricky asteroid belt and it required the captain’s attention. This particular asteroid belt required a lot of stops and a lot of slow moving in order to get through. The captain wondered what would happen when they got to the other side, as they were close to the planet where the simple folk were going to settle, and he had a bad feeling about what he would find when they got there.

For a Gorman smuggler like him, the Multipians were always bad news. Yet he did not think that this was not necessarily the case for everyone. It was often the case that those who did much wrong to others felt as if others were the most wicked sort of people. Those whom we do not wrong we tend to think well of, and think that such people think well of us, even though that is not always the case. But if we want to do evil towards others without thinking ourselves to be bad people we must think that the people we wrong are somehow evil and wicked and deserve the bad treatment that we are giving to them. Humanity is perverse that way, after all.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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