Tag Archive: Confederation History


Year 10 day 3

I haven’t tried to explore the oceans, for the simple reason that they don’t have landmarks. For some reason it was not until early this morning that it occurred to me: couldn’t I teleport directly to a given latitude and longitude? I wouldn’t dare do it over uneven ground, of course, unless I teleported to a point high enough there was no chance of arriving underground. But a latitude and longitude where I had been before, where I knew there was nothing but water beneath me ….

I checked the coordinates I have recorded, and found two points from which I had gone high enough to be sure there was nothing but the tideless sea in sight, and where I could triangulate to a point at a latitude and longitude that I was sure was over water. It worked! So if I flew directly north from the northernmost land mass I have found, and teleported back to my home when I was tired, I could resume flight the next day from the latitude and longitude I had reached the day before.

I’ve been worrying about whether there was a northern ice cap, and this way I can find out.

I’m confident now it does not reach the peninsula I have been exploring; there is a warm current from the south washing its shores. But if I head due north, I can at least find out if the pole is ice-free. The northward equinox is the ideal time; I will have enough sunlight to see easily but any ice will not have melted yet.

Besides, it will give me something to do until the People return.

Year 9 Day 212

If there is a northern ice cap, it is not land-based anywhere on this northern continent or on this island or peninsula whose coast I have been following, and it’s getting too cold to continue northward. As far as I can tell, there is nothing but ocean to the north, anyway, and I’m well above the Arctic Circle here. From the time of year and the sun’s height at noon, I’m around 71° N.

The word is barren, but there’s no ice in sight. Or land farther north, for that matter, even when I levitate as high as I can go. Just salt water, and very unfriendly-looking salt water, at that.

So what shall I do next? The fur-bearers are well along on growing their winter coats, though I think it will be a few more fivedays before they’re at their best. I wonder if Songbird has weaned her daughter yet, at least enough that she could be gone for a few hours? Watching the northern hunters (or rather their women) tan furs was her idea, but I find I am looking forward to it. Maybe I can even figure out how they tan the really big hides, like the one on that carnivore I ran into the other day.

Could there be a floating ice cap?

Jarn’s Journal is a regular Friday feature. For the entire Journal to date see my author site.

Year 9 Day 62

The People don’t look like much as newborns, but Songbird and Giraffe seem proud enough of their daughter. They’ve named her Swallow, and she’s been formally accepted as a member of Rain Cloud’s band. I did not, I am glad to say, have to take any part in the ceremony, though I did provide the token to hang around her neck. It was a bit of flowstone from a fascinating part of the northern continent.

The area is not too far from where I encountered the pig and the northern hunters. It is a region of lakes, cascades, sinkholes and springs, and this particular bit of translucent rock, formed from the calcium in the water, looked almost like a bird in flight. The cascades certainly do not involve anything like the sheer mass of water in the falls I am tapping for counterbalancing, but they are beautiful. I am tempted to show them to Songbird, but I am already perhaps going too far in planning to let her try to understand the northerners’ method of fur tanning.

There is not a great deal of game near the lake this year, so the People will probably not stay much longer. I have assured the shamans that Rainbow has been more than satisfactory in meeting my needs, and she seems quite happy to stay.

Jarn’s Journal is the journal of a human-like alien stranded in Africa some 125,000 years ago. The Journal to date is on my Author website.

Year 9 Day 46

Well, Songbird had her baby today.

I’m just as glad I was at the salt lake. Salt is still an eagerly accepted gift, and to my surprise the salt pebbles are very popular – perhaps because they can be carried so easily in skin bags.

Giraffe went out with a group of the men early this morning, as a small herd of gazelles had been reported not far away, and is not back yet. Luckily there are at least two experienced midwives here, though from what they will tell me, this birth went a lot easier than the first.

Songbird and her new baby, a girl they tell me, are still confined to the birthing hut. At least this time the moon is a late crescent, so new moon is only a few days away.

I’d better see what is upsetting Patches.

Later

Thank goodness I responded to Patches’ vocalization and feeling of distress! Songbird’s birth pains had come quite quickly, and she had assumed that the women watching the children would continue to watch WildDog. They did not, and with the men away hunting, the little boy had wandered down to the shore of the lake. When I found Patches, she was trying to drag him away from a crocodile which he apparently wanted to approach! So Giraffe had quite a greeting when he returned with a gazelle quarter over his shoulder – news of a new daughter and a good deal of teasing that his son didn’t seem to know that a crocodile was dangerous. Most of the latter seemed to slide right off him; he was far to relieved to get the news of a new daughter. He may not know anything of biological paternity, but he is turning out to be a good father.

At least I should not be needed for the naming ceremony this time!

Jarn’s Journal is the fictional journal of an alien stranded in Africa some 125,000 years ago. The journal to date is available on my author site.

Year 9, Day 34

I don’t know why I even spent time wondering whether I should tell the People about the northern hunters. I’d asked Little Gnu about the spear tips.  I had Rainbow trying to tan fur and make me warm clothing. And I unthinkingly assumed that only those two knew?

I might as well have stood up at the most populated part of the Gather and announced everything I knew or had surmised about the hunters. It probably would have taken longer for word to get around. Everyone seemed to arrive knowing of my explorations. They may call themselves the People, but I have to say the Gossipers would be a better name!

Granted, it was fresh news to most of them, and the salt pebbles and stories of the salt lake were of far more interest than the northern hunters. The exception, of course, was Songbird, who was rather obviously pregnant again. The soft-tanned furs and my tales of skiing the mountain snowfields fascinated her.

“If you took me to watch the women preparing furs, I might be able to learn by watching them,” she said hopefully.

I looked at her protruding belly. “I can teleport you, yes,” I said. “But right now there are two of you, and I cannot teleport both of you together.” I wasn’t really sure, but I did not want to take the risk. “Besides, the season for the best furs is past. It is getting warmer, and the fur animals are beginning to shed their winter coats.”

“Winter coats?”

“Here we have rainy and dry seasons. In the far north, they have warm and cold seasons. In the cold seasons, the animals grow thick coats. When it becomes warm, they shed them. Right now there is shed hair caught on every twig. The skins would not make good furs.”

She thought a minute or so. “My child will be born soon, probably before we leave. How soon will it be cold again there?”

“The cycle of seasons – warm to cold to warm again – takes about as long as the time from gather to gather. So it will always be warming up there at the time of a gather here.”

She frowned and thought a little. “So the furs would be getting thick again when the new baby has teeth?  But before it can walk?”

I was stunned. The People simply did not think ahead that far. At least, the men did not.

Songbird looked at my face and giggled. “I am a woman,” she informed me loftily. “We must think ahead, for our children. So can you take me to see the snow and these northern hunters when I begin to chew food for my baby? I know you can find me.”

I sighed and gave in. “Yes. But remember we must stay hidden. They do not know of my existence, and I do not want them to find out.”

What have I gotten myself into now?

Jarn’s Journal was supposedly written by a human-like alien stranded in Africa some 125,000 years ago. This is part of the very early back story of the universe in which I have set my science fiction. Jarn’s Journal to date is on my author site.

Year 8, Day 230

I think I saw one of the northern hunters today.

It was quite a distance from where I met and killed the pig – I’ve been careful not to go back to the immediate vicinity of that spot. True, I have interfered with one sentient species, and I will continue to do so. I cannot stand to be alone again. But one species is enough. I will not bear the guilt of a similar interaction with this new species.

The People travel in search of game, following the rains. The group I saw seem to migrate also, but in response to temperature rather than moisture. There is now snow on the higher peaks, and the group or possibly family I saw appeared to be traveling toward the warmer coastline. They wore furs, which are so warm as to be punishing among the People, but I found myself coveting them in the mountains..

This species is even less R’il’nian-like than the People in many ways. Their skin and hair are lighter than that of the People, who are toward the darker end of the R’il’nian spectrum. Reasonable, as the People live in a very sunny climate. This area is a good deal cloudier, especially as we move toward the local winter, so heavy pigmentation would actually be somewhat of a handicap.

They are also built somewhat more heavily, with barrel chests and heavily muscled limbs. It’s hard to be sure of relative size at a safe distance, but I suspect they are not too different. Probably they mass more, though I imagine there is overlap between the two species in height.

The faces are quite different, with heavy brow ridges, large noses and little forehead, but with a great deal of brain case at the back of the skull. This suggests a difference in the brain organization, but without careful observation I cannot know what the difference is. Some of the differences appear to be cold adaptation, but not all. For the moment, I had better leave them alone.

Jarn’s Journal is the fictional journal of a human-like alien who was stranded in Africa about 125,000 years ago. The Journal to date can be found in its entirety on my author site

.

Year 8, Day 211

It’s taken me quite a few days to locate Little Gnu’s group and talk to him, but he has confirmed my suspicions. Neither of the weapon points was made by the People.

Maybe I’d better back up a little, since it’s been a while since I updated this journal.

When I teleport whole game to Rainbow, I let her do the cleaning and then teleport away what she says is waste. I tried leaving the innards behind, but it seems she has uses for some of them. At any rate, the pig (which was excellent eating, by the way) had a spear point and a short length of broken shaft in its lungs.

Pistachio tree (Photo source)

Pistachio tree (Photo source)

The point looked rather like the one I had found earlier, on the shore of the fish lake. They looked to me as if they were made in quite a different way from the method Little Gnu taught me, so I tracked him down and asked him. He agreed that there were others who looked like the People and made tools, but did not think that these chipped stone points had been made by any of them. In particular, he found the fastening of the bit of shaft to the point totally strange.

So what am I to make of this information?

Some creature similar to the People – and myself – put that spear in the animal’s lungs. Probably they planned to track the injured animal until it was slowed by loss of blood and shock, which by the way it was staggering when I first saw it would have immobilized it very shortly. If they had anything like the skill of the People in tracking, they would have tracked it to where I had teleported the carcass away, and possibly found my footprints. They must have been quite puzzled when both the pig and my footprints vanished.

I don’t think I should go back to that exact area, even if Rainbow has suggested that another pig (and more of the nuts) would be welcome.

Jarn’s Journal is part of the remote back story of my science fiction, set in the Jarnian Confederation. It is supposedly the journal of Jarn, a human-like alien stranded in Africa some 125,000 years ago. He has been exploring the north shores of the Mediterranean, specifically in the southwestern Balkans, although his home base is in the southern African Rift Valley.

I think I’ve been over-rating myself as a geologist, at least as far as explaining this planet in terms of plate tectonics.

Oh, some of it’s all right. I know that rift valleys generally indicate that plates are pulling apart, mountains are most likely where plates have collided, and that linear features are most often faults. I haven’t seen any island arcs on this planet, but I expect there are some. But how do I explain what looks like an underwater jumble of mountains? The computer has the basics of plate tectonics, and I’m pretty sure plate tectonics are what controls the geology on this planet, but the basics don’t include underwater mountain ranges aside from midocean ridges.

Aegean bathymetryI was following the coast west when the mountain jumble to my right was replaced by a jumble of islands. I went high, as I usually do when I want to get a good look, and found that the coastline turns north, but the sea to its west was an unbelievable tangle of islands. Some looked volcanic, though not in a proper arc, and when I tried to sense the sea bottom I found it almost as rough as the land to the east. Ocean floor shouldn’t to that! It’s supposed to be too thin to support much in the way of mountains!

The area is still part of the tideless sea, and seems to be bordered by mountainous terrain to the north and west. The weather is still hot and clear, though the southward equinox is approaching and I suspect from the vegetation that this is a winter-rain area. Is it worth while trying to map all of these islands before going on to the land to the west?

I wish my old friend Nal was here. He used to study planetology, and I suspect he could explain this sea of islands.

Jarn’s Journal is the fictional journal of a human-like alien, Jarn, who was stranded in Africa 125,000 years ago. He has made contact with a group of our remote ancestors, roughly mapped Africa, and is now exploring the edges of the Mediterranean Sea, using his abilities to teleport and levitate.

Jarn, of course, would hardly have gone high enough to see the Aegean Sea as a whole, and the French names of island groups, seas and countries are out of period by about 125 millennia. But his ability of perception would have allowed him to tell that the sea bottom was as much a jumble of heights as the mountains of Anatolia. Unfortunately the best bathometric map of the area I could find was the one above, from Wikimedia.

Year 8 Day 165

I’ve found the end of the trench.

It’s been running pretty well parallel to the coastline, but both the northward trend of the coastline and the trench stopped with a jumble of mountains trending east-west, as far as such a jumble can be said to have a trend. The coast turned abruptly westward at almost the same latitude.

My geology is pretty shaky, but I checked the plate tectonics in the computer. If the trench is an incipient opening between two plates, as I suspect of the lake I live on, the jumble ahead, which looks very new and raw (geologically speaking) probably represents a plate colliding with the separating pair. A triple point.

Once again I went very high to survey the mountains ahead, and found some areas that merely looked crumpled and earthquake-prone, and others with some very odd looking erosional features. Although it is still hot and dry, I suspect from the vegetation I am in a winter-rain area. Allowing for the considerable elevation, this area may even be prone to snow in the winter.

Several of the trees have what looks like unripe fruits and nuts of varieties new to me. I will have to check them out later in the season, and perhaps bring some samples back to Rainbow. But on the whole, this mountainous plateau doesn’t look very hospitable.

Jarn’s Journal is supposedly the journal of a human-like alien who was stranded in Africa roughly 125,000 years ago. He has met a group of our ancestors (who much to his annoyance persist in treating him as a god) and has mapped the coastline of Africa. He is now mapping the Mediterranean. His Journal (a regular Friday feature) gives some of the back story of the Confederation in which my science fiction is set, and can be found on my author site.

Year 8 Day 150

I’ve been getting lazy, but with all the time in the world ahead, there’s no use hurrying. Mornings I take a swim in the salt lake and explore northward along the trench. Then I teleport high enough I can see both the trench and the tideless sea , fly out to the coast and map the coastline to the north, often finding a good swimming beach and having a second refreshing dip.

I keep an eye out for things Rainbow might use in food preparation or clothing, and spend about one day in five at home, checking both my building and food for the two of us. But all in all, it is a very placid existence, compared to what I had with Rhino and Torch Flower.

Vegetation along the coast has been getting steadily denser, especially on the seaward slopes of the coastal mountains. I’ve been seeing good-sized trees for several days, and two days ago I examined them closely for the first time. They aren’t at all like the tall trees of the jungle, having needle-like leaves and a unique but very pleasant odor. The odor even extends to the wood itself. Rainbow has been experimenting with using a couple of the tools Little Gnu made her to carve wood, and I brought her back several pieces to see what she could do with them.

She says that the wood carves well, and if I will bring her more, she will make me a storage box for my clothes.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 537 other followers