Your communication was received with gratitude, Rethiko. Cheroka thanks you for your kindly caring.
With each new day I become more convinced that I must continue exploring Earth alone. Cheroka longs to remain here, with Roul and his people.
The implement we found in "the magic place" has caused much excitement. After leaving it in sunlight for a whole day, we experimented with its controls. We suspected that it might be an ancient recording device, and were proved correct when a voice emerged, startling Roul and his companions.
A male voice, deep and resonant gave the following message:
" To whomsoever may hear these words in the future, I send greetings from the people of the United States of America in the year 2045."
"We fear for the future of our planet in these dark times. We have tried to collect and store, in a secure place, items which may help and inform any of our people who are able to survive into a new age of planet Earth, an age which must surely come. As well as the items you already have discovered within this container, there is more. You must remove the base of the container using the same tool you have used to open the cabinet. Under the base you will find supplies of seeds. These will survive for hundreds, or thousands of years. They are seeds of corn, wheat, vegetables, fruit and flowers from our world. These, carefully planted and tended, will provide an ongoing solution if food is in short supply. There are illustrated instructions to assist you.
We, who have used our planet Earth so unwisely ask one thing only of those who might survive these times to build a new future: Love your planet. Live in harmony with it, and with one another. These are the lessons we have learned, but learned too late.
On behalf of the people of North America and planet Earth, I ask your forgiveness and trust that our mistakes will bring forth your wisdom.
I am President of the United States of America.
We remained in silence, deep sadness etched upon every face. Cheroka and I felt proud that the people of Alterion have, indeed, learned from the cruel lessons of their ancestors. We promised each other that we shall do whatever is in our power to assist the surviving population of Earth, wherever we find them, and shall spread the wisdom of the President's message .
I plan to return to our craft alone, and shall cross this land, eastward, to where appears on the maps a wide expanse of ocean. I shall cross the ocean to explore the area known as Europe.
At daybreak I bade farewell to Cheroka, Roul, and his companions, promising to return once my mission is completed. We felt sadness at parting, even temporarily, yet this is the only way we can both move in the paths our instincts suggest.
Cheroka and I shall continue to exchange reports via our individual Starcast wavebands, in the same way we send communication to Rethiko on Alterion. In this way, also with our psychic link, we can remain close.
My journey to the foot of the mountain took a whole day. After resting, at first light I adjusted the craft's controls, planning to travel high above the ground, yet low enough to observe surroundings. In the direction of the rising sun, I first re-traced our original journey back to the landing spot, then continued eastward.
I scanned continually for signs of life, but the rocky plains seemed to offer little shelter or sustenance. Barren landscapes continued for a long distance. Areas of what appeared to be large densely grouped rocks and stones appeared from time to time. I believe these to be all that remains of sites of ancient cities. Eventually, in the distance, the wide expanse of water marked on the map "Atlantic Ocean" spread out before me. Comparing my two maps showed that all of the original eastern coast of this land mass is now under the ocean. Where great cities once stood, the heaving sea has covered them, and to a greater extent than the later of my two maps indicates.
When I reached the coastline I reduced altitude to inspect the land more closely. There is no apparent shelter, though a possible food supply from the ocean would be likely to tempt any surviving population to try to exist here. I can see only desolation, and a grey expanse of sea. On my return I shall explore this area thoroughly.
Peace be with you
Many days and nights have passed since Druid left us. The Moon has grown full in the sky three times since his leaving. I miss his presence, but feel psychic closeness, which seems unaffected by distance.
I have made much progress here. Roul travelled with me to the "magic place", saw the contents of the cabinet and was amazed. He was unaware of his planet's history, and found this abundance of new information difficult to absorb. We shall return many times to enable him to properly understand all that the cabinet contains.
We found the store of seeds under the cabinet's base. I have convinced Roul and his people to move their settlement to the gentle hill country which lies at the foot of the mountains, the land there is soft and moist, there we shall experiment, planting some of the seeds. The people are nervous, I am persuading them slowly and individually that there is no longer anything to fear by moving away from this mountain.
Mara, Mos and Ari joined our community after I visited their settlement and told them of our plans. Mara has given birth to twin children. An extraordinary event for me to observe. The babies are growing healthily, assisted by some nutrient medicine from my store. Mara looks on me with affection, because I have helped her children to survive and remain healthy.
My relationship with Roul became even closer after Druid's departure. With Druid, I was close mentally, we were almost mirror images one of the other. With Roul I feel new emotions, strange and strong. Magnetic attraction, physical needs such as I did not at first recognise. His gentle understanding has brought me experiences of pleasure previously unknown to me. The mental connection I shared with Druid remains, and my life is enhanced further by a joyful physical connection with Roul.
Two more Moons have passed. Visitors to our settlement from a distant part of the mountain range arrived two days ago. Their journey, they said, had been long and difficult. Sitting with us before our fire in the darkness, they told of the reason for their journey. The three men are students of the skies. They carry ancient knowledge passed down through many generations of their families, some of whom were, no doubt, among original survivors from the "magic place".
The visitors told us that the name of this ancient knowledge is astrology, a science of the stars. The men had noticed a strange object in the sky beyond the mountains several Moons ago, something which looked, to them, like a falling star. They have been searching ever since, visiting every settlement seeking information. I told them, as gently as I could, that what they saw might well have been our spacecraft coming to rest on the rocky plain to the east. The men were jubilant! They asked many questions about Alterion and our journey to Earth. They have chosen to remain with our community. I hope to learn from them.
I am surprised to learn that my two pilgrims have moved in separate directions, but I trust the instincts which have safely led you thus far.
Cheroka, my dear, remember well the words of my last message. I am happy that you have found joy with Roul, your wisdom and experience is of value to the people there. You will gain new knowledge for your own store from the visitors of whom you speak.
I know little about astrology. I am aware that it was used by some during the period on Earth before our migration. Some of our early leaders were well-versed in its application. However, because, in its Earthly form, the knowledge they had could not be applied on Alterion, it eventually faded into obscurity.
Druid, my pilgrim: Travel well and safe. I look forward to news of Europe.
Peace be with you both
I travelled across the Atlantic Ocean at high altitude. A group of large islands was the first land I saw, these do not appear on my maps. Perhaps they consist of the highest ground of the area which once formed western Europe. In a wide valley, protected by hills and mountains on the most westerly of the islands I brought the craft to rest.
The sea around this piece of land is a beautiful, translucent blue-green. Low hills are covered in rich green grass, some animals which I identify as sheep wander peacefully in the bright sunlight. There are higher hills in the distance. The air is cold and a sharp wind blows across the land. I shall need to wear extra clothing as I explore.
Exploring, on foot, a large area to the south of my landing ground, I discovered an abundance of vegetation and small wildlife, as well as many sheep. I am confident that people will have been able to survive here. Heading back to the craft, as I reached the top of a low hill, I saw a small sea-vessel on the ocean. I hurried to the shore, waited at the edge of the water trying to signal to its occupants; they responded by waving their arms towards me.
As the vessel reached shore two people, a man and a woman, jumped out and ran towards me.
"Helloooo strrangerr !"
The woman used my own language, though with a very different emphasis. I glanced at the map and concluded that I must have landed on the remains of the country once known as Britain. I greeted the two, offering my hands to both.
"Wherre did ye come fra?"
Translating their question as best I could, I told them, "From a far distant land, my friends, but I believe we are related. I am Druid."
"We are James and Lorna".
They took me to their small home, a cabin of strong wooden construction. They carried a container filled with their catch of fish. I was treated with kindness. They provided food, the most delicious I have tasted since leaving Alterion.
I asked James and Lorna many questions, they, in turn, asked many of me. They have lived here all their lives. They sail to other islands when weather is kind. There are a few people living around the coast here, and more in the higher hills. The population fluctuates. From time to time newcomers reach the island, settle, then move on. Unaware of the true history of their homeland, James and Lorna know only that hundreds of years ago terrible events caused many people to die, and cities to be swept away.
James told of a land much further to the east where there is a large community of people. He also explained that some men from an island north of this one, travel great distances in long, strongly built boats. They had brought back this news from the east. James understood much of what they told him, although their language was not the same as his.
It seems that languages on Earth, once varied greatly, but have blended over time, to such an extent that most of the population in what remains of Europe are able to understand each other's words. I asked Lorna if my name sounds strange to her.
"Druid?" We know that word", she told me. "When I was a child my great-great-grandmother used to tell stories of magic. Men known as Druids lived on this land, long before the floods came."
James and Lorna listened carefully to my stories of life on Alterion, and how our ancestors had reached their new home. They questioned me, but I sensed they did not believe my words. It would be wise to allow them this doubt, and so continue in their peaceful existence which has remained unchanged for many centuries, even in the face of Earth's devastation. I resisted a temptation to take them to the spacecraft, to demonstrate some of the wonders of Alterion civilisation. They do not need such knowledge. They have everything they need, here in this place of tranquil beauty.
I stayed on the island for two Moons before taking leave of my hosts.
I have good news. I am to give birth to a child. Mara is helping me to understand the process, which will come to the point of my giving birth after two more Moons.
We have established a new settlement by a stream in the low hills at the foot of the mountains. Seeds have been planted and are growing well. People from other settlements in the mountains have joined us, so our community grows.
Roul travels with two of his people to the "magic place" at each Full Moon. They stay for 2 days studying items stored there, and bring back their findings to share with everyone, as we sit around a fire in the evenings. After food has been cooked and eaten, Roul and those who accompanied him relate their news, sometimes speaking, but more recently singing, assisted by one of the community who has made some instruments from wild vegetation, hollowed and filled with dried seeds. With these he produces rhythmic sounds to accompany the storyteller. The people respond to this well - they seem to retain what they learn.
The three astrologers are constructing a method to assist us in recording the passage of time. They have cleared an area of flat ground and, with pieces of broken rock and stones have outlined a large circle upon which they intend to base their on-going efforts to produce a visible representation of the regular turning of the planet and its seasons.
I miss the presence of Druid. From his latest report I am happy to know that he has enjoyed a period of fine tranquillity in Europe.
Peace be with you
When I left the islands of Britain I travelled on in a northerly direction, hoping to find the ocean-going community James had described. From the maps it would appear that remaining areas of the countries once called Sweden and Norway could form an island base for these ocean-travellers.
White-topped mountains and valleys soon appeared below the craft. Searching for a protected landing area I saw a large settlement between two of the lower hills. It appeared deserted. Darkness was falling, I was anxious to bring the craft to land. I discovered a suitable area beyond the settlement, touched down, and slept until the sun rose again.
I left the craft, wearing extra clothing, but the intense cold exhausted me. By the time I reached the settlement I felt near to collapse. I approached the nearest wooden cabin and pushed the door. The cabin was empty. A pile of animal skins lay inside. Shivering, I crept between them and slept.
I was wakened by a loud noise. Feeling much warmer, wrapped in one of the skins, I jumped up and looked outside. A small crowd was whooping, and laughing. They were watching some men bringing into the settlement a large dead animal, carried between them. One of the crowd noticed me and called out in a language I did not recognise. I called a greeting, and extended my arms to them. They came over to where I stood. I made gestures to indicate that I am a traveller from long distance, which they seemed to understand. A man from the back of the small crowd came forward.
"You speak English!" He placed a strong rough arm around my shoulder and laughed loudly. "You come with me!" He steered me towards another cabin, took me inside. A fire burned, its smoke taken through a wide hole above. Two young children sat by the fire, a woman worked nearby, preparing food.
I told him my name, and discovered that he is Oric, the woman Lata, and the two boys Oraf and Kal. He is an ocean-traveller. He told me of the lands he has visited. In return I told of my own journeys. My story entertained him greatly. He has said that he will translate them to tell to his companions in the settlement.
This community is aware of the devastating events of long ago. Their travels have revealed evidence which shocked them. They found, in a country far from here, ruins of cities where ancient scripts and artifacts still remain, along with bones of those who perished. They do not understand how these things have survived. No community remains there now. I asked in which direction I might find this place. Oric could only describe it as "far to the east".
Although I find the cold temperatures here difficult to bear, the land has great beauty. The night, which lasts much longer than in the mountains where Cheroka is living, brings a black sky filled with wonderful shining dancing light, known to these people as "Northern Lights".
Cheroka's latest report has reached me. I am filled with joy at her news, our psychic connection told me that something new and exciting was happening, but I had not anticipated the detail. I feel relieved that Mara remains close to Cheroka. I shall return soon to join them. I plan to conclude my travels with a final journey eastward.
Peace be with you
Greetings and congratulations to you both, my pilgrims. You have, indeed, found the courage of the ancestors you admire.
Cheroka, my dear, take great care, and follow the advice those who assist you. My thoughts are with you, and psychic assistance is speeding towards you now.
Druid, the explorer! You have achieved great things, both alone and with Cheroka. I am proud of your courage and insights. I shall await news of your further travels and ultimate return to Cheroka.
Peace and safety remain with you both
My thanks, Rethiko, you are very kind.
Six Moons have passed since my last report. I have received no news from Cheroka, and feel concerned that distance has faded our psychic contact, for I have travelled far to the east.
I have explored deserted cities which lay in ruins. I have travelled over a wide wilderness where wild animals roam. I have seen expanses of sea between mountainous island groups, and two larger land masses. Upon one of these I brought the craft down to explore on foot.
Within an area of hills and high sandy plains, I discovered some settlements populated by people of darker skin than others I have met. At first I did not understand their language, but with careful application I have learned enough to converse with them, and am learning more each day. I seem to have gained the respect and confidence of these people. I am being encouraged to stay with them to teach them about our way of life on Alterion, my stories seem to impress them.
When the people of a neighbouring settlement became angry following an event caused by one of my hosts, it seemed likely that discord would spoil the normally peaceful way of life here. I am proud that I was able to discuss the conflict with the two parties and assist them to come to agreement. On other occasions I have been able to alleviate pain when members of the community fell sick, by providing some medicine from my store.
After one more Moon I intend to return to North America by continuing in an easterly direction. The maps show that this will bring me to the western edge of that land, and I shall have travelled full circle around the globe of Earth!
Peace be with you
I try to make Starcast as Cheroka told me. The heart breaks to tell that Cheroka died when she give birth to our daughter.
I name our child Cheroka, in memory of her mother.
My people are very sad.
We thank Cheroka's people for sending her to us.
We now have much food from the seeds we plant, with Cheroka's help.
Our thanks and sadness never end.
I call our people, for Cheroka: "Cherokee".
Peace for you and for us.
Roul of the Cherokees.
I have waited for many Moons before responding to Roul's report of Cheroka's death. I have suffered a deep unending sadness, feelings never before experienced.
Forgive the lateness of my report.
I thank Roul for his kind words, and actions in Cheroka's memory.
I have considered whether to travel back to join the Cherokee community, but conclude that my place is here in the east - or perhaps elsewhere.
Cheroka's work is done, I cannot improve upon her wisdom. I should like to meet her daughter, and when time has passed and young Cheroka has grown, I shall journey back. Until that time I will continue to live among the people here, helping when I am able, teaching what I can, and hoping that I am affecting their lives as much as Cheroka has affected her companions.
I shall not send further reports.
In great sadness I now leave you, Rethiko.
Peace be with you.
I feel your pain, my solitary pilgrim.
Receive my psychic healing sent to you over vast distances, gathering strength with each moment.
I know that your work in the east will come to be of equal value to that of Cheroka in the west.
I regard your achievements with the greatest pride and humility.
Your words will remain in the data banks here for all time. Others will be inspired to follow in your steps, I am confident of this.
You have, indeed, lighted a pathway home.
Accept my deep sympthy for your loss. Please protect well and teach wisely our small, precious gift - young Cheroka.
May your community flourish and go on to teach others what you have learned.
Peace be with you both in your sadness.
Rethiko of the First City.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.