Pan Post 49 continues the Indra (Story Arc) story line, crossed over with CatH Post 66. Kara Pashna stands atop of the Big Ovai Pagoda and speaks with the god Brethrain, who is also the planet that Indra orbits. Brethrain helps Pashna modify his data-mould to communicate with the aliens that have come to Indra. Their ship lands upon the tower and the two women introduce themselves as Clear and Kimleigh. Clear tells Pashna that they were attacked by other Indrans and she needed to wash and change her clothes so Pashna takes them to a hotel in Ovai Major. During a taxi journey the two women come to realise that Indra is a pre-spaceflight civilisation. When Pashna has left them at a hotel he meets some nayaraks who go off to get clothes for the visitors. Pashna is upset that the fate of the planet seems to still be set and he must request help from the aliens to save his species.
Ovai stands tall, erect and white against the afternoon of the two Ovai Valleys. The tower remains silent now, with the revelries of the past months now gone. The air is cool and much drier than previous months, not the kind of conditions most Indrans would appreciate.
Standing upon the tip of Ovai, leaning against the wooden railings, is Kara Pashna. He taps one of his boots against the red-painted wood of the floor as he grows increasingly nervous. He taps his data-mould again, testing the signal strength. It's clear.
In the sky Brethrain is crossing the sky again. It makes several journeys across the sky a day, its longest is during the night so it can provide more light. Now, however, is one of the most magnificent times of the year - a visual of Brethrain himself. Up there the planet rotates to finally reveal the face of Brethrain. Two swirls to mark his eyes and a curled line to resemble a mouth.
Few can hear the god, only those with data-moulds or similar cybernetics can hope to hear his voice through the radiowaves. And now it comes through loud and clear. It sounds through the static noise of the device, fogged up by the atmosphere of Indra, but Pashna can understand it.
Brethrain: "It is good that you live, Kara Pashna."
Kara Pashna: "I would agree but I think I'm biased."
Brethrain: "Pesu overstepped."
Kara Pashna: "I think he knows that now."
Brethrain: "The aliens are nearby. I see their ship. You should be able to signal them now."
Pashna switches the frequency to what Brethrain said was an open channel and sends out a message. Brethrain had already guided Pashna in reconfiguring the device so that it would translate into a language Brethrain assured him they would understand. As the god of science, Brethrain's attributes often aided Karas that served other gods like Jitarayara or Trijara. Brethrain himself has no karas, no litiks, no nayaraks. No temples, no shrines. He needs none for he gazes down upon all of Indra once a year and all can know him.
Kara Pashna: "I am a Kara on this world. I would like to welcome the aliens to our planet. I am atop of the great white tower in your vicinity. I'm sending you a map through your navigation software. There should be enough room for you to land your space machine here."
Kara Pashna: "I mean ship. Your space ship."
He rolls his eyes, annoyed that he fluffed his lines in his opening speech. Brethrain sends him reassuring vibes through the data-mould, emotions pouring into Pashna's brain. After a moment the planet speaks;
Brethrain: "They are coming."
Pashna removes himself towards the entrance to the rooftop, ensuring ample room for the space ship to land. It comes roars overhead and swirls around the tower, probably inspecting it, before it comes to a hover overhead and gently descends. It's long and red and as it comes down small unfurl to allow the ship to stand upon the wood. Pashna was a little concerned the wood wouldn't be able to support the machine but Brethrain assured him it would and Ovai himself seemed unconcerned by the prospect.
When the ship has landed the hatch hisses as the interior normalises with the outside before it cracks open. He sees two women. The first to get out is red-skinned with long white fabric upon her head. Her eyes are black with a thin ring of pink and she wears a dress of silver. She looks very unkempt, her dress is wet and dirty and she's covered in sand. Pashna has never seen anything like this creature, could never have even imagined it. The fabric on her head seems genetic, not a hat, and her black eyes are the opposite to the blank white eyes of the gods and litiks. She doesn't look very happy.
Behind her comes a much shorter alien, this one has blue skin and, like the red one, has strange fabric on her head that resembles bark from a tree. She's neat and clean, unlike the red one. It's the blue one that sees him first as she points straight at him and speaks in an alien language to the red one. Pashna steps forward, trying to hold in his nerves, and speaks.
Kara Pashna: "Hello--"
His voice quakes and cracks. Embarrassed he clears his throat and tries again.
Kara Pashna: "I'm Kara Pashna. It is an honour to meet with you."
He bows his head. He's not sure how these aliens greet each other but he figures kowtowing to them, as he would Trijara or Pesu, would be unnecessary.
The red woman looks at something attached to her forearm. At first Pashna thinks she's blatantly ignoring him but then he realises the object must be a device. Perhaps something akin to his data-mould. He waits and hears her gabble to her friend.
Red Woman: "English English English English..."
While his ears record nothing but babble, his data-mould, thanks to the wisdom of Brethrain, now translates the language into Indran;
Red Woman: "He says says his name is Kara Panda and he's happy to see us."
He winces at the pronunciation of his name but decides to let it slide for now.
Blue Girl: "At least he's friendly. He's got a technological device like that other one so if he tries anything--"
She snaps her fingers and Pashna's face grows extra cold as his blood slips away in fright. He tries to gather his courage.
Kara Pashna: "Are you saying that you have met others on Indra? If you don't mind my asking?"
The red woman narrows her eyes at the device on her arm and glances up at him. She keeps her eyes on him as she speaks to her friend.
Red Woman: "I think he can understand us."
He nods and taps his data-mould.
Kara Pashna: "This is translating your words for me. So please..."
He looks at the blue girl.
Kara Pashna: "Don't do anything to it. Or me."
Red Woman: "He says don't hurt him."
The blue girl smiles sweetly, yet behind it he senses something less than pleasant.
Blue Girl: "I won't do anything to you if you're nice to me!"
Kara Pashna: "Kimneigh."
Clear: "Close enough."
Clear: "I don't suppose you know where I can get a change of clothes? I got into a fight with some punks on a beach and now I look a mess."
Pashna's eyes widen with surprise and concern.
Kara Pashna: "Someone attacked you!?"
Clear: "Yeah. It's okay though. You should see the other guy!"
Pashna looks at her mangled dress and purses his lips. He hadn't expected a change of clothes to be in order. He thinks quickly.
Kara Pashna: "Well. Erm. I could take you to a hotel? It's very close. There you can wash and I can try to get you some new clothes?"
Clear looks at her wrist device and frowns.
Clear: "He wants us to go to a hotel. Says he'll bring clothes."
Kimleigh: "Not sure it's safe to go leaving our ship behind."
Kara Pashna: "It'll be very safe up here! Ovai will lock his doors."
Clear: "I think he says the owner of the tower will lock the door."
Kimleigh: "Okay. But if someone tries to go for a joyride in my joyride, I'll be pissed."
Clear: "You remember it's my ship, don't you?"
The two enter into a dialogue that Pashna finds difficult to follow but he sweeps his arm towards the door and exit of the Big Ovai Pagoda.
Brethrain: "Well done, Kara."
He looks up toward the planet.
Kara Pashna: "Thank you!"
He looks down to find the two women staring at him.
Clear: "Did you just thank the moon?"
Kara Pashna nods slowly, unsure how to progress with this line of conversation.
Kara Pashna: "Yes. Well. I said thank you to the god Brethrain. You can see him there."
He motions to the planet's face. Clear squints at it.
Clear: "Your god is the moon?"
Kara Pashna: "Yes."
Clear: "He has a moustache?"
Pashna blinks. He has no idea what that word is supposed to mean.
Kimleigh: "What's wrong with a god having a moustache? Leave him to his religion."
The two women enter into a debate about moustaches, the pros and cons, none of which Pashna can follow. Instead he just leads them down through the tower to the streets below. As they exit, Ovai closes his doors and seals them up. The woman seem concerned that the doors closed but they just shrug and continue to follow him.
He might have walked the journey, it isn't far, and introduced them to Ovai Major's streets and people. But Clear looks like she needs to rest and so he hails a taxi. An imp waddles over quickly and the two women stare at it.
Kara Pashna: "It's called an imp. They're strong, don't worry."
Kimleigh: "You have another species of being pulling your carts?"
She looks unhappy.
Fortunately Pashna understands the meaning behind her words and moves to reassure her.
Kara Pashna: "It's not sentient. No worries. I know that they look Indran-- or even like yourselves! But they're animals. Smart enough to pull a cart and little else."
Kimleigh seems to forgive quickly and she eagerly hops into the open-air carriage.
Kimleigh: "Imp-cart joyride!!"
Clear appears less confident and looks at the imp with concern before eventually climbing aboard. Pashna gets on last and the carriage starts off.
Clear: "How does it know where to go?"
Kara Pashna: "There's only two stops. It's not intelligent enough to know places. It follows a scent trail. Personally I prefer walking but I'm afraid you would like to reach the hotel quickly..."
Clear scratches the fabric on her head.
Kara Pashna: "Can I ask you something personal?"
Clear looks dubious but shrugs in acquiescence.
Kara Pashna: "What is the material on your head?"
Clear looks panicked and pats her head until she realises he meant the white material stuck to her scalp.
Clear: "Hair. You mean hair. It's normal for most species, I tend to find."
Kara Pashna: "Are there... many species in the galaxy?"
Clear: "Now I know why they attacked us."
Kimleigh: "Wow! A real pre-spaceflight civilisation! I've always wanted to invade one!"
Clear frowns at her.
Kimleigh: "I meant to say visit one..."
Kara Pashna exits the hotel, leaving the two women to tend to themselves in their shared room. A group of nayaraks have gathered outside the hotel and he orders them to bring a collection of outfits and the rough sizes he guesses for both Clear and Kimleigh. Kimleigh may not need clothes but he wanted to offer them anyway. He also asserted they should be of the best quality - spare no expense.
Brethrain: "Have you finalised the next steps?"
Kara Pashna: "Yes, Brethrain. The biological samples are secured."
Brethrain: "Then you should bid farewell to all those you hold dear..."
Pashna struggles to hold back a tear that wiggles into the corner of his eye.
He trails off as he thinks of Map.
Brethrain: "It is all too late. The litiks visions are all unanimous. Opantid's riddles seem ever clearer - the end is coming."
Kara Pashna: "I do not want to be the only survivor."
Brethrain: "Someone must be. And you have been chosen by Pesu. He can find you again when you find our new world. For now, those aliens are to be the salvation of the Indran people..."
"This post tethers with CatH Post 66 directly, being written the same but from two points of view. It was interesting to write, especially translating Pashna's normal speech here into the gobbledegook English in CatH.
Brethrain as a planet/moon has been present throughout Indra (Story Arc) so its reveal as a god now, towards the end of the series, was intended to be a big surprise. Brethrain is based upon the month November[Ext 1] and the Cyber Monday[Ext 2] event held during that month - making Brethrain the god of science and physics and cybernetics." - Britt the Writer