Ribbons are like roads tying different places together in time and in place. Candles project warmth and light the path for each person to find their way to what they are seeking.
|Hubble Image - Free Use|
A CHRISTMAS SPACE STORY
This is a continuation story told as part of a series. Links to the previous stories in this series are at the bottom.
Seek and you might Find
Wait and that which you seek might find You.
Odiwa and Dev sat in the captain's office, sipping something like tea. Dev had come to discuss the explorations team that would go down to the Lower Levels.
"Well, Dev, I think you need to talk to Noot before you make any plans. We can always add you to the team later."
"Why Noot? Aren't you in charge here?"
"They don't call me Capt'n for my good looks, Dev. Noot is my right hand man. I'd trust him with my life. He usually heads up any expedition. Besides, you just got away from those Lower Levels, and I think Noot might have something to say to you, too."
"Okay. I like Noot, I have no problems talking to him. He brought us to the Upper Levels to meet you, and I'm grateful for that."
"Drop by later and bring Moby with you. I have something I want to tell him."
Dev knocked on Noot's door and heard him say, "Come on in, I'm just looking for some maps."
As he looked up to see who had knocked, Noot felt a little strange and his heart was thumping as he saw Dev. Was this his long-lost son?
"Hello, Dev, what brings you to my place?'
"Odiwa wanted me to discuss the exploration team and whether I should go or stay behind. I'd like to help out, but I hate to leave my family alone. I guess you will be in charge of the explorations, won't you?"
"Yes, and I think you should remain behind now. You can go on the next exploratory team, but for now that son of yours needs his dad.
"Oh. You're right, he's had a tough time. He sure likes you, though. I almost forgot, Odiwa wanted me to tell you my kidnapping story. We got to talking about how we got here and he thought you'd be interested."
"I am. Very much. Sit and I'll make us a hot drink. That was a brave move that you did, escaping from those slaver types."
"I didn't have a lot of choice, I knew that my wife and son wouldn't be safe if we stayed. I had a lonely childhood myself, after my mother was killed and my father disappeared. The kidnapper told me my father did the killing, but for some reason I couldn't believe it. He raised me and then left me alone for a while so he could continue raiding. He took me and my family with him when he came out here to avoid the Galactic police. Then, he died on the way from some virus he contracted and his gang decided to make us slaves. That's how we arrived here in the Lower Levels. How did you end up here, Noot?"
"I had nothing left to lose. I came home to find my wife dead, and my son missing. The planetary police wanted to frame me for it since they had no other evidence. I did what most smart guys do, and left for the Outer Reaches. I didn't know who did the dirty deed but my life was worthless after that. I searched and tried to find out about my son but always came up empty. I was a hermit here until Odiwa decided to pull me out of my melancholy."
"Your story seems almost parallel to mine. What was your wife's name?"
"Nita, my only love." Noot saw Dev turn pale.
"Is something wrong, Dev?"
"My mother's name was Nita. The kidnapper changed my name to Dev."
"What was your birth name?"
"I only remember my mother calling me a nickname, Dari."
"Dari is a fine name, usually used for the proper name Darielo."
"And what was your son's name?"
"Darielo Newt. It's why I'm called Noot here on the space station. . ."
Dev swallowed but his mouth still felt dry. "It's very hard hearing all this, yet it makes me feel hopeful. You think I'm your son?"
"It's hard for me too," said Noot. "I'm afraid to believe it, yet it would make me the happiest man if it's true. I praise the Fates that brought us together. Do you think I'm your father?"
"I don't think all these things are just a coincidence. My brain is spinning, though. I don't think you could have killed my mother since you said she was 'your only love'."
"A kidnapper will say anything to cover himself. Perhaps he wanted a son like you. I don't understand why he would have killed Nita though."
"Mother tried to fight him. She tried to protect me from him. I could hear them yelling and he must have hit her because I heard someone fall. When I ran in to the room, she was lying in a pool of blood. I was terrified. I didn't know where my father was."
"I was working out at the asteroid field. That work used to take me away for weeks at a time."
"I'll have to tell my wife, Jio and Moby."
"We'll tell them together if you want."
"I would like that, Father."
"I like the sound of that, Son, it makes an old man feel like life is good again."
Odiwa had carved a spaceship from a scrap of wood he found in the storeroom. Dev's son Moby would get a gift while he told him the ancient story of Christmas, an old Terran legend.
When the boy came to see him he told him about candles left in the windows to help travellers to find comfort if they were far from home. He told him of the ribbons given to tie back the hair of men and women in the early days of the celebration. For the children, gifts were left by a jolly man who dressed in red, and lived at the North Pole, making toys to give to children. It was a tradition in some countries.
Moby listened quietly with eyes as round as could be, but those eyes were staring at the small carved spaceship sitting on Odiwa's desk.
"Toys? Is that a toy?"
"Oh that, some guy in a red suit must have left this toy here. There is a name on it. Well, my goodness. . ."
"What?" Moby couldn't sit still. "I wish it was for me."
"That seems to be a wish come true. It says, 'for Moby'."
Moby's mouth dropped, "For me? Are you sure?"
Odiwa smiled and handed the small wooden spaceship to the boy. "For you, and I hope you will remember to tell your children that story, too. We must always remember our home planet of Terra, where humanity originated."
A few minutes later, Moby's parents and Noot come back and tell Moby that he really does have a grandfather, Noot.
"Then all my wishes have come true, Mr. Odiwa. Will you thank that man in the red suit for this spaceship?"
"I sure will, Moby."
Moby turned to Noot, "Hi Grandfather, I knew, when I first saw you."
(The End of Noot's story. More character stories to come.)
Do you think Christmas will become a legend in the future, when humanity is spread through the stars?
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Merry Christmas to you and Best Wishes for the New Year!
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Hubble Space Station Images
WEP - Change of Heart - Discovery (3)
WEP - Unraveled Yarn - Lower Levels (2)
WEP - Road Less Traveled- An Outpost Story (1)