Lycon used to be a peaceful planet. That was before the humans got there.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do
then by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-- Mark Twain
“Several Thousand Sunrises”
A Short Story
Dorrin leaned back in his hover chair. He mumbled to himself as he re-read what he had just entered into the data monitor on top of his hovering tabletop.
I just got my first survival position. I’ve been looking for something ever since I became an adult almost three hundred sunrises ago. True, I have gotten several positions offered to me. I even liked a few of them, but they weren’t what I have been looking for.”
Leaning forward, Dorrin started taping the top of his tabletop. He kept his three eyes on his data monitor. Dorrin continued to mumble to himself as he started taping again.
“I’m near the water on this island. I have been here all of my life. So, I have been looking for a position on the water. Only I didn’t get any position offers from them. I have only a couple of hundred sunrises before I turn Adult One, and I have to find a way to survive before then.”
“So, I took this position. It’s not really my type of position, but it will help me survive until I find what I am really looking for. I don’t plan on surviving with this position for more than a few thousand sunrises.”
Ten Thousand Sunrises Later
JaCia pointed to the adjustable chair in front of the tabletop she sat behind. “Please be seated. The sooner we do this the faster it will be done.”
Dorrin sighed as he sat down in that chair. He admittedly leaned back in it to an almost horizontal position. “I don’t need to see any MindMaster. The only reason I’m here is that its part of the judgment against me.”
“Yes, I know why you are here.” JaCia tapped the top of her tabletop once. She looked at the data monitor on her tabletop as words started to appear on it. “Do you know why you are here?”
“Of course, I do.” Dorrin sat up straight in his chair. “I’m here because Justice gave me a choice between seeing you or Core Confinement. I decided you were a better choice. Wouldn’t last too long in Core Confinement.”
JaCia suddenly looked over at Dorrin. “Why don’t you think you would last too long there?”
“Look at me.” Dorrin started with his head and passed his hairy palms down the length of his body. JaCia followed his hands down with him.
“I am, and I don’t see anything wrong with you.” Dorrin left his chair and started walking around that room. JaCia watched every move he made, “You look okay to me.”
Dorrin stopped his walking to face JaCia. “No, I’m not. I’m short and thin for a Lyconan, and my weight is a lot lower than the average Lycon. I wouldn’t last very long in Core Confinement.”
“We can decide on that later,” said JaCia. “Right now, I just want to talk to you about what brings you here.”
“It all started ten thousand sunrises ago when I got my first, and last, survival position,” said Dorrin. “True, I only planned on surviving in the underground tunnels for no more than two thousand sunrises, but I am still in that same position. At least I was until I got into this trouble.”
Dorrin returned to his hover chair. “I have always wanted a position on the water, and for the first one thousand sunrises I tried to get one, but after that, I gave up on ever getting one. That’s when I started collecting credits so that could get away from here and have a little adventure.”
When Dorrin paused for a few seconds, JaCia spoke. “Go ahead, continue.”
JaCia started tapping on her tabletop and looking at her data monitor as Dorrin continued. “That’s also when I made my Adult List.”
“Really?” JaCia looked at Dorrin in shock. “Most create their list just after they become adults. Some do it several thousand sunrises before that. They just aren’t legal until you become an adult. I was one of those Lycons.”
Dorrin sighed. “I was so busy with looking for my first position and having to take the one I could get and trying to get one on the water I didn’t have the chance to create one until then.”
“That’s okay,” said JaCia as she returned to her tapping and looking. “There are a lot of Lycons who don’t do it right away. It’s not for the same reason why you did it, but they still do it.”
“Did you do everything on that list?” JaCia asked a few seconds later.
Dorrin sighed again. “I did a few of them, but most I haven’t done yet. One of those on my list is a little adventure on the water.”
“I’m a little confused,” replied JaCia. “Isn’t the reason why you are here is that of your adventure? How can it still be on your list if you have already done it?”
“I did complete that part of my list,” said Dorrin. “Just haven’t removed it from it yet.”
“Why haven’t you done that?” JaCia asked. “Is it because of the trouble you got yourself into?”
Dorrin sighed. He did that a lot. “It took me almost eight thousand sunrises, and it wasn’t easy to do, but I did it. I finally collected enough credits to get me a watercraft. It’s a small one, but it’s only me. So, it was big enough for me.”
“It was a few hundred sunrises before my trouble began. Up until then, I did a lot of exploring. I even discovered a few things too. It was about halfway through my adventure around our world when the trouble happened.”
A few seconds later Dorrin continued. “I still don’t understand why I got into so much trouble. After all, only a few million Lyconans want them here. So, what is the big deal if I killed one human.”
# # #
Waiting in a long slow-moving line, Dorrin started thinking to himself. The unneeded credits I get from my position this time should be enough for me to get me that watercraft I have been looking at for about a hundred sunrises.
Dorrin slowly moved up the line until he got his position credits. It was almost sunset before he got them. By the time he exited those underground tunnels, it was after sunset. Dorrin looked up at the two white-dotted-gray circles that looked like oval eyes because they are that close together.
It’s too late to get my watercraft now. I will get it after sunrise. Dorrin thought as he looked up at the circles.
The next sunrise Dorrin got his watercraft. By the time sunset happened Dorrin was hovering slightly above the water with no islands within sight. Dorrin sat behind the controls of his new watercraft. First, he looked at one of the smaller monitors next to him that showed nothing but water. Then he looked at the large main monitor in front of him that showed only water too.
“I have the whole planet of Lycon to explore. Where should I go first?”
Dorrin sat up in his sleeper as the room he was in started flashing red. “We must be getting close to my first island.” He clapped his hands once and the flashing stopped. Dorrin got up and walked out the entrance which led into a corridor just beyond it. The entrance slid open as he walked toward it. As he goes through that entrance clothing suddenly appeared on him.
By the time Dorrin got to his control room he could see his first destination. After he got there he started exploring it. For fifteen sunsets Dorrin explored every part of that small island. Dorrin started with that region. He tried the food there, the entertainment, and the females. After that region he circled around the island, then he headed inward to the other regions. There were fifteen regions on the island and he explored all of them.
The next seven islands Dorrin explored the same way. It took him five to ten sunrises to get to each one and stayed at them twelve to eighteen sunsets. One sunset for each region he explored. At sunset, he stayed at one of the Visitor Rooms there.
It was on the ninth island Dorrin began having all his troubles, and it started with a discovery of a lifetime. Dorrin was a past fanatic. In every region, he went to the Past Room. It was the sixth region where he found it. A path image to a hidden room on the island. Dorrin gave up exploring the rest of the island to find that hidden room. He followed the path image and he did find it. Only it wasn’t what he expected it to be.
Dorrin had become a victim. It was the first time it had happened to him, and he was furious. He went back to that Past Room. When the One-in-Charge there didn’t tell him what he wanted to know, Dorrin started destroying the place. About halfway through the destruction he finally got what he wanted. It was a human who did it to him.
After Dorrin got all the information on the human he needed he went to the human region on that island. There were twenty thousand humans there. So, it wasn’t easy to find the one human he had been looking for. Especially since there was only a couple of hundred Lycons there. Dorrin did find him, though. He found him in a drinking room.
“We don’t want you on our planet. At least most of us don’t. I am one of those who doesn’t.” Dorrin glanced around at about fifty humans in that drinking room. He was the only Lycon in there.
Kivon stood right in front of Dorrin. “That’s bold talk coming from an alien.”
“I’m not the alien here,” said Dorrin. “You are the aliens on Lycon.”
“Not in this region.” Poula stood next to Kivon. “You are the alien here.”
Dorrin didn’t do anything for several minutes. He just looked at the humans who surrounded him. “We are a peaceful planet. When you arrived here in need, we were willing to help you. What did you do? You tried to kill us and take over our planet. Almost half our population died before we stopped you.”
“Most of us wanted to kill all of you too, but because of our peacefulness, we couldn’t do it. So, we split you up all over on Lycon with some of us watching you, so you wouldn’t try it again.”
“We know all that,” said Kivon. “Why did you bring that up now.”
Dorrin smiled wickedly. “Despite being the only Lycon here I’m not afraid of you stupid humans. I don’t want to fight you, but I will if I have to do it.”
Poula stepped forward. “I thought you were a peaceful race.”
“We were peaceful. You changed all that when you tried to kill us and make our planet yours.”
“There are a lot of us here,” said Kivon. “What makes you think you can do anything to us?”
Dorrin started laughing. “We are almost twice as tall as you and three times stronger than most of you.”
“I may not be able to stop all of you, but I don’t have to do that.” Dorrin pointed at Kivon. “All I need to stop is you if I don’t get what I want.”
“What is it that you want from me?” Kivon asked.
“I want the credits you took from me. If you don’t give back I will kill you first.”
# # #
Dorrin suddenly wakes up in his sleeper. He looked out an open part of one of his walls. “It’s almost sunrise.” Dorrin looked at the wall next to the opening. “I just got my first survival position. This was all a dream.”
“I’m not too late to change my future.” Dorrin smiled. “I should have known it was a dream when I saw myself thin.”
Word Count = 1,996