They aren’t humans. So, they can’t be alive. After all, they are only trees.
A pointed metal stick on his left foot slices into a large tree Beanik is climbing up. His right foot does the same thing parallel to the first one. Then the sticks in his hands are used as he continues his climb. Each time a stick enters the tree a faint scream can be heard by Beanik.
“What was that?” Beanik asks. He looks over Luccindia. “Did you say something?”
Luccindia looks at Beanik. “I didn’t hear anything.”
Beanik shrugs his shoulders and continues with his climb. The faint screaming continues too. When he gets to some branches, he stops. Beanik takes his right hand away from the stick in it. Then he takes another long stick out of his shirt pocket.
Only this stick has no points. Beanik pushes a button on the bottom of it. A long thin red beam of light shoots out the top of it. He uses this beam to slice through his nearest branch. Almost to the tree itself. Now there is only a small bump where the branch used to be as it falls to the ground below him. An even louder scream happened every time another branch is removed from this tree.
“It’s happening again,” says Vintian. “Isn’t it?”
“I hear you have been hearing voices,” continues Vintian. “Is that true?”
Vintian leans forward in his chair, puts his elbows on his desk, and his hands under his chin. “Are you hearing voices again? Yes, or no?”
“Thought that you went to see a Mind Buster,” says Vintian. “That you no longer heard them. Maybe you came back to make a living too soon.”
“I did go to see a Mind Buster,” answers Vintian as he sits on the other side of the desk that Vintian is sitting at. “And I am ready to make a living again.”
Vintian gets up and walks around his desk to face Beanik as he turns toward him. He puts his hands on Beanik’s chair. And gets to within an inch of his face. “If you aren’t hearing voices again, then what happened yesterday?”
“The voices before were within me,” answers Beanik. “This one wasn’t. Her voice was coming from the tree I was cutting down.”
“Did I hear you correctly?” Vintian asks. “One of your trees was talking to you.”
Beanik shakes his head slowly. “No, she wasn’t talking to me. She was screaming.”
After removing the last branch from a tree, Beanik puts his beam of light back in his pocket. Beanik continues his climb to just under the thick leaves on top of this tree. Once there, he uses his beam of light again to cut all the branches off the top of it.
The screaming starts up again. Only this time it was so loud it shakes the tree violently. “Why are you slowly killing me too?”
Beanik looks all around him. No one else is anywhere near him. He can barely see three other climbers. But they are too far away for them to hear or see anything. “Maybe I am hearing voices again. Only it’s worse this time. They aren’t from within.”
“Maybe I did return to making a living too soon,” says Beanik. “There’s no other reason why I’m hearing them again.”
“There is one reason,” says the voice from beyond Beanik. “I don’t know what you are talking about your past, but you aren’t hearing voices.”
The voice continues a few seconds later. “You are hearing my voice. I’m right in front of you.”
“I know what you are thinking,” says the voice. “I’m not a small tree dweller living within this tree.”
“I’m the tree itself,” continues the voice. “I am alive just like you. And I can prove it.”
Without a warning or a chance to say anything more, the tree Beanik is on starts to move away from where it has been. Beanik hugs the tree with both his arms and legs as his sticks start coming out of that tree. He also looks down at the ground beneath him.
Beanik tries to look beneath this tree. But he can’t see any kind of legs. The roots sticking out of it are moving slightly. Maybe they are its legs.
Now Beanik tries to look where he is being taken. He moves his head from one side to another. Finally, he sees a large hill opening just before they go in it. The tree bends down almost in half to walk through the darkness there. Suddenly, the tree stops after the darkness is gone. She straightens herself up. Then she turns back to the darkness they have just come out of.
Look behind me,” says the tree. “What do you see?”
still hugs this tree as he scoots slightly to his right so that he can see around it. “What am I supposed to be seeing?”
“Your future,” answers the tree. “If you don’t stop killing us, this is what you will be facing in about twenty years from.”
“What you are looking at is our young,” continues the tree. “They will be raised and taken care of until they are old enough to live on the surface of Trelona too.”
This tree starts walking. “When they get to our surface and find out what you have done to us, they will kill you.”
“You don’t believe me, do you?” The tree asks as she starts to walk around their young. She stops at another opening. Only this one there is light within it too.
After entering this smaller opening, the tree turns slightly to show Beanik what is in there. “You believe me now, don’t you?”
His face says Beanik can’t believe what he is looking at. Two human heads on thick straight tree branches and five other alien races on branches too. “There have been two other human planets who have tried to do what you are doing. They failed. And so will yours if you don’t stop killing us.”
“We can’t colonize this planet too,” says Beanik. “If a planet is already populated, we can’t colonize it. That’s one of our top rules on Nudown.”
“This planet is already inhabited by trees,” continues Beanik. “So, we need to leave here and find another planet that we can colonize.”
Vintian smiles as he leans forward in his chair. “Who told you this planet was already inhabited?”
“This planet is called Trelona,” answers Beanik. “And a tree told me about it.”
“So, your inner tree is no longer screaming,” responds Vintian. “It’s telling you that he is alive.”
Beanik shakes his head slowly sadly. “She is the only one I have talked to. But she has never been my inner voice. And she is alive. They all are. Including the ones that we have killed so far.”
“You have obviously come back to making a living too soon,” says Vintian. “That isn’t a problem anymore. I will be sending you back to Nudown as soon as I can arrange it.”
“It’s not too soon,” says Beanik. “I want to continue to make a living. Just not on Trelona.”
Vintian’s smile gets even bigger. “Maybe someday you can help colonize another planet. Just not this one.”
Walking down some corridors on their Space Station, Beanik can’t stop thinking about what is happening there. What am I going to do now? I’m no longer making a living here. And soon I will be back on Nudown.
Seeing another Mind Buster for a problem that I don’t have anymore. What I have been telling is the truth. I’m not hearing voices again.
I need to do something to stop Nudown from colonizing Trelona too. But how can I do that? Especially, since I only have a few days to do it. If I’m lucky.
Beanik stops walking as several other Colonizing Creators walk past him. When they look at him, they start snickering and begin whispering to each other. Everyone here thinks I’m hearing voices again. I’m not. But how can I prove it to them?
Suddenly, Beanik stops walking again soon after he starts doing it. I can think of only one way to stop Nudown from colonizing Trelona too.
It’s not going to be easy. Especially, with convincing Nudown to do it like this. But with a little help from Trelona, I think that I can solve both of our problems.
Beanik watches as the last transport of the day returns to their Space Station. After tapping a few buttons on the control panel in front of him, the image on the large monitor above the panel disappears. A few seconds later an image of Power Control appears on it.
My superiors don’t care if the trees on Trelona are alive. All they want to do is colonize another planet for Nudown for a couple of million more Nudowns.
I’m not going to let it happen this time. We have already done it three other times. And I won’t let it happen again. Beanik starts tapping some more buttons.
Seeing about twenty-five Nudowns frantically trying to find out what is going on in Power Control, Beanik smiles. The image of Power Control changes to Trelona again. After a few more buttons are pushed, a light blue beam comes toward these trees. Not to destroy them, but to spread the blueness over the top of them. “They aren’t going to be able to kill any more trees now.”
A pounding comes from outside of the entrance to Secondary Control. Beanik swivels in his chair to face it. “This is your Commander. I order you to open this entrance at once.”
“I’m not part of your crew,” responds Beanik. “I don’t have to give in to your orders.”
“I have something I need to do,” continues Beanik. “Once it’s done, I will let you in.”
Beanik returns to what he has been doing. Tapping buttons on his panel. After he pushes a few more, he looks up at the monitor. Now he’s looking at Trelona just above the ground. looking at the whole planet very quickly. Slowing down every so often. But not stopping.
Suddenly, Beanik stops looking. “We don’t have to kill any more trees. There are several large landmasses where we can live without us doing it.”
“Now all I need to do is get everyone else to agree to it,” continues Beanik. “And that isn’t going to be easy. In fact, it may be impossible. But I have to try. It may be the only way to solve both of these problems.”
Just then, the entrance there blows open. Commander Poolim walks in along with six other Nudowns with weapons. Two of them grab Beanik and pull him out of the chair so that another Nudown can sit in it. She admittedly starts pushing buttons.
A few seconds later she swivels around toward the others. “There is now Protection all around this planet.”
“Can you remove it?” Poolim asks.
“I don’t think so,” she answers. “He has put a lock on it that only he can remove.”
Beanik struggles away from his two grabbers and smiles. “I’m not just a tree killer. I have been making a living on Space Stations most of my adult life.”
“I’m the only one who can unlock it,” continues Beanik. “And I’m going to do that until you agree to stop killing these trees.”
“Vintian has told me all about you,” says Poolim. “Take him to Freezing until we get back to Nudown.”
Poolim continues to watch the large monitor as they start to drag Beanik away reluctantly. “If we can’t unlock it, we have no choice but to destroy it and move on to another planet to colonize.”
Almost everyone’s jaws drop as an image of a tree appears on the monitor. “You can’t destroy us. It isn’t going to happen. If you try to do it, your weapons will return to you. And you will be the ones destroyed.”
The Word Count is 1,994
What you are about to read is true. Nothing needed to be changed. After all, this has already been translated into a language that we all know and understand - English (German, French, Italian, Russian, etc.).