First Aid & Ideas
It had been at least three hours since we phoned Dr. Huan, the experimental vet grad student in the ASU animal husbandry lab. When Deke called her, he vaguely gave her an idea as to what we were doing. I'm sure she expected us to walk through the door with a wounded Big Foot or something.
Needless to say, a wounded space-lizard seemed to please her even more. Not to mention the two other healthy space-lizards accompanying it. In spite of this obviously unique event, the good Doctor displayed a great deal of professional restraint, and went right to work. The long white lab coat seemed to swallow up her small frail looking body.
Dr. Cynthia Huan had been your basic country vet from Laos, who came over to the U.S. in the early seventies. Her former patients were water buffalo and chickens, and an occasional goat. She was presently working her way through ASU grad school helping Deke with Llama maintenance.
I couldn't help but notice how attractive she was. Her long, straight raven black hair formed a perfect frame around a smooth oval face. Her wire-rimmed glasses sat perched on the rim of her nose as she examined the burnt Capthraw.
She re-dressed the wounds with an aloe-vera and vitamin A salve, and covered them with gauze. "I would sure like to give her some antibiotics, but I would hate to see how her system would react. This is really something, they look almost like lizards, yet obviously warm-blooded! And the feathers . . ."
"Yah, kinda like big birds with hands!" Bob quipped. "Welcome to the club, Doc!" I added. "What ever are we going to do?" the Doc replied, ". . . we can not just turn them over to the authorities . . ."
The Doc was right. This whole situation was getting more and more complicated as time went by. I figured that it might be time to sit down and do a little bit of brain storming. So I suggested that we hold a pow-wow.
"We can not stay here . . ." the Doc said, ". . . it will be morning soon, and this place will be filled with students!" So it was back to Llama land, with the ever expanding space-lizard team.
I rode with Dr. Huan and our three friends in the Doc's panel van. Deke and Bob headed back together. Mike and Greg took off for home right after we got here, since Mike had to be at work, and Greg had a meeting at 10:00. I wasn't due back until Tuesday, so I called and extended my vacation until Thursday.
We all had decided that for the time being, "Llama Land" would make a great base of operations, at least until the Deke's boss got back next month from his trip to Chile. NM was doing much better, she seemed to have finally gotten use to us humans.
FB and Scrawny were as amazed by our world as we were of them. It was hard to remember that the only "world" that they had ever known, was a spinning cylinder, miles in diameter. I guess it would be like a kid who always saw pictures of airplanes, and finally got to go flying.
The ride from the college took a little more than an hour, and we reached the front gate just before dawn. When we first got here last night, the darkness hid all but a few Llamas from sight, but now, in the early morning twilight, the full splendor of the largest Llama herd in Marion County was spread out before us.
Feather Butt was transfixed on the animals. He motioned to the translator hanging limp around my neck, and in response, I put it on.
"Those Llamas . . . Can you talk to them?" He asked. "Sure . . ." I answered; ". . . but they won't talk back!" FB looked at me for a split second, then did an amazing thing; He laughed. "Won't talk back! that's great!!" Well at least someone appreciated my jokes! He shared the joke with Scrawny, who just kind of sat there looking at his sister. FB stopped laughing, and returned his gaze out the window.
Deke and Bob arrived first and had the gate opened, so we just drove on through. They followed, locking it up behind them. The Doc and I moved NM into Deke's bedroom, and covered her up. Everybody else went into the living room and sat down. We joined them there.
Scrawny spied Deke's computer, and put on FB's translator. I gave mine to Deke, and he gave the space lizard a quick course in the Commodore 64 PaintBrush program with mouse, left him drawing electrons across the monitor and came back in and sat down with us.
"Well guys," I started; "what's the game plan here?" Deke responded; "It seems that we have to figure a way to attract their parents, but yet not attract the Feds. But where are the others? Where is this 'Home Ship'? In orbit? Where?" "I think we need to look at the computer in the little ship." I added. FB had gotten the translator back from Scrawny, so that he could join in the discussion.
"Yes, Scrawny can call up anything you need. The guy's a 'hackin' fool!" FB proclaimed. I translated for my un-translatored friends. "One thing we are going to need is our own computers to deal with all this data . . ." the Doc said,". . . we have got to start getting as much information about these . . . these . . ." "Capthraw." I volunteered.
"And we are going to need the services of some more people . . ." Doc continued,". . . technicians, skilled in different fields. I would like to do some tests on these Capthrawns, but I will need help."
"But we need people that we can trust . . ." Bob added; ". . . anyone we bring in is going to have to be able to keep a secret." We all agreed on that point. This was going to have to be sort of our own private "Space Lizard Underground."
"Well, I for one would like to learn more about your world here." FB said. I asked Deke if he had any "Earthy" books about, and he motioned over to his meager book shelf. Mostly Llama manuals and the like, a volume on Zen and a large coffee table edition of the "Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy".
"This is perfect!" I said as I handed FB the hefty volume opened up to the "Planet Earth" chapter. FB immediately started flipping through the pages.
"What are we going to do if something happens to one of those translator-droids?" Deke inquired. "We had better learn each other's languages just in case." "I wonder if there are anymore on the little ship?" I replied, "We never really asked them one way or another. Well FB, how about it? Do you guys have anymore translators back in the car?"
The alien was glued to the book. He was flipping back and forth through the pages, from picture to solar system diagrams, to star charts. He looked up when he realized that everyone was starring at him.
"This can't be!" he said; "I've looked at the video crystal records of our ancestral system many times, and your solar system is almost exactly the same!" "Surely star systems that have a similar mass would evolve along similar lines." I replied.
"No! You don't understand! The planets ALL look the same, and are in the same order. The surface of the Earth is different from Thrawn, but the Moon is exactly the same!" "Are you sure of this?" I asked. "These pictures and diagrams, I've seen them on the video crystals! And look at those craters . . . it's the Capthraw-in-the-moon!!"
Now everybody was looking at me. "What's he saying?" Bob asked. "He said that our solar system looks exactly like theirs. Even our moon has the same crater groupings as the Thrawnian Moon." "Maybe they are from some 'parallel universe' like in Star Trek!" Bob suggested.
But as thoughts of all those near-light trains and relativistic twin brothers from high school physics films came into mind, I started to feel like I was finally beginning to understand. These three "Space Lizards" were back on Thrawn; but it wasn't the Thrawn their grandparents had known.
© 1996 by R. D. Frederick
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