eco sci-fi the second Bides story
| Travelling Nam
This story takes place on the planet Lirr, home of the gentle Bides. See #2246005. Nam is not a typical Bide in fact apart from having four arms and legs he is as far from the typical Bide as it is possible to get.
Namdanu looked around his hovel. He could not help himself, he focused on all of the evidence of his solitude. He said to the empty room "No Bide should ever be alone like this. Nam you're going to have to meet people soon or you'll never be sane again." he looked at the farm he was drifting over, no one down there would be sleeping alone, they will all be well fed and tiered after an honest days work in the field. He walked over to the bunch of wet ropes with bits of bitter greens growing on it, picked a small handful, and ate without much pleasure. Nam looked over at the boxes of insects that were supposed to provide the protein of this micro-farm. That did it. He set about landing in the next empty paddock or meadow.
At first light Nam expected all of his new neighbors he had imposed himself on would be there asking questions and not understanding the answers! They would see the aeroponics garden, the single bed, and the micro-farm and assume he was in training to go to the planet Tisdon or Aulus. Six months in space would break any Bide, and the three years to Aulus is unimaginable.
Instead the smell of fresh pleat filled the air and right then and there Nam would willingly do anything for a crumb of it. It was quickly followed by a single voice "I'm Coatak" it announced, "veterinary for these parts." Nam started to say I don't need a vet, but deep down he knew he did. Coatak left a long pause then said "At the very least you need some proper food" breaking a crumb of the pleat and handing Nam the rest saying"we could use your labor, there's an infestation of crop mite in the lower field." Physical labor in exchange for food and companionship is all most Bides ever knew or wanted. And right now it was what Nam needed.
That evening after the main meal a tiered and happy Nam set up a slack wire. He tied a length of rope between two trees, letting its middle sag about two feet. When he stepped up onto it everyone was surprised, quadrupeds like the bides should not be able to balance on a piece of rope. He did his exaggerated balancing act, and everyone loved it and everyone was happy. Everyone except Coatak. Nam had been at peace in the field like a true bide, and now he is truly happy, but what about when we have seen all of his japes, and there are no more jokes to tell?
The next evening he answered their question, where had Nam been? how did his home fly? At first, Nam joked that it was a yurt like the traveling folk of the western led desert live in tied to a flying carpet from the fairy tail naly akr biy, and that if he did not keep it staked down it would fly away without him. Later on, after the little ones had gone to bed the question came up again. This time Nam had a model ready, a large paper kit with on a string and an apple tied beneath it. Nam ran pulling the string, the kite and the apple rose up. Nam put that kite down and piked up a smaller kite with a small ball of string, it was a bit of a struggle getting this kite all the way up to the end of it's string. That done, Nam picked up the apple still fastened to the big kite, tied this second kite to it and doped it. The apple swung down in an ark then stopped, the big kite had lifted into the air and was holding the apple up and back, whilst the higher kite continued to pull up and down wind. As they watched the apple float away into the darkening sky, everyone knew Nam would at some point leave.
Will Namdanu's life continue to be full of ups and downs? The ideas I offer in this piece are; that it is possible to survive on aeroponics and micro-farming. And that it is possible to fly powered only by the wind so long as you only want to go where the wind takes you. Think of a para-glider wing being pulled by a power kite on a long line.