I cannot say when exactly we met. He entered my life so quickly and smoothly that I wanted to enjoy the ride, which I did. And what a ride it was.
It was one of the worst days of the month, I remember. The office downsized a few dozen people, and, unlucky me, I was one of the chosen. And they were not too subtle either. They called me in, told me flat out I was going to be fired, and that was that.
How I met him I remember quite well.
I was walking down one of the park paths that we have in the middle of the town, drowning my sorrows in the nature around me, when I noticed a person right there off the path a few yards off.
He was about five foot ten, dressed in a black robe embroidered in swirly white scrollwork on the sleeves. A wide brim hat of white straw was perched on his head, and he was staring around the area as if he never saw it before.
Considering that this city was a rather small one in this area here, I was not that much surprised. When you are in a place you never been to, you stare somewhat.
He looked at me, and I took a step back in surprise. He looked like a bull: the squat, flat nose, the liquid brown eyes, the thick lips. My eyes flickered to the head to see if I missed any horns, which I couldn’t see any because of the hat.
He walked up to me and stuck out his left hand. “M’schron!” he said in a thick, deep musical accent.
“M’schron!” He grasped my hand and shook it in a firm grip. “Hosn m’lo’cxan”
“Erm…what are you saying…oomph!” I said as he pulled me forward and gave me a huge bearhug.
He pulled back with a puzzled expression, then smiled widely. Then he dug into one of his pockets and pulled out a thickly wired rectangle of black. He moved one of the wires and put it to my left temple. I felt a slight buzzing, then a huge force hit me.
I staggered, almost falling to the ground, but he gently propped me up, still having that strange device on me. After a few moments, it started to buzz again.
“What just happened…?” I asked, but he grinned once more and put the box on the side of his head. A moment later, he winced and trembled a bit. As he removed it from his head, he blinked a few times as if he was going out of a trance, then shook his head, dropping the hat to the ground. A pair of short horns erupted from a thick mass of black hair.
He looked at me and stuck out his hand again. “Hello! Good morning!” he exclaimed in those same deep musical tones.
I looked at that shovel hand then at his smiling face. “Er…”
He motioned with the hand that held the box. “Your language has no word for what I have, so I will call it ‘translator’. I am sorry for the pain, but that was the…” He paused for a moment, trying to find the proper word. “…computer connecting to your brain?” He tapped the side of his head and I nodded. “Then it took all that information and transferred to my own.” He put the box away. “It is strange talking in your tounge. I am…confused…at all the information.”
I could only nod as he continued.
“My name is E’Seathle Cholmus,” he said as he bent down to pick up his hat. “What is yours?”
“Pleased to meet you Thomas,” he answered, straightening up and putting the had back on his head. Then he looked around, admiring the veiw. “This is not the planet I was expecting. I thought it would be uglier.” He pulled out the box again and fiddled with it for a moment. A burst of static came out, bringing me out of my thoughts.
“Wait, did you say ‘planet’?”
“Yes I did.” He faced me again. “This IS Hg’Moah, right?” Then he thought for a moment. “Although, I think you would call it Earth?”
He nodded and fiddled a bit more with the box. A roughly heard statement could be heard from there. He responded back with a return statement. Then he looked at me and spoke again.
The response made his eyes widen a bit in amazement. I was sure he asked a question, then he put it away when the answer came. He came up closer to me and put one of those hamhock hands on my shoulder.
“I was told that you are to help me…what would the word be, colonize?” I nodded as he continued. “I was sent here to stay.”
“I think the word is ‘fortelling’.” He paused a moment, then nodded. “Yes, there is one was said, when I was born, that I was an avatar for one of the spirits in our world, though no one could say which one I was. However, I was marked and kept away.” He slid his hand on one of the coat sleeves. “This is their marker, saying that I was to be left out and die on my own.
“However, my parents didn’t want me to leave me, so they and the priests made a bargin, that I was to be kept indoors, never to be in any danger, to appease the spirit inside me. But something happened, something I do not remember, and they said that I had to leave.” He rubbed his sleeve on his nose as he sniffed. “I didn’t want to leave my family. I didn’t want to go. But I had to.
“Now that I am here, they have asked me to stay with someone. And I found you. Can I stay with you?”
I was a bit shocked at the forwardness of the question, but I couldn’t think of any other way to refusing. “Maybe for a few days while you get your bearings together–while you get used to this place,” I amended when I noticed his confused expression. “I thought you also have the current sayings when you picked up the language.”
“I did not, Thomas,” he said as he began walking on the path. I quickly followed and was soon beside him. “I only picked up the vocabulary and sentance structure. None of the idioms that you have.” He reached an arm around my shoulders and gave me a quick snug. “So, what is on this planet that is edible?”