Jarn’s Journal is the fictional journal of an alien stranded on Earth roughly 125,000 years ago, just when our species was beginning. His story is the backstory of the Jarnian Confederation, the science fiction universe in which Homecoming and Tourist Trap are set.

Day 610

Do not interfere.

I ignored that wisdom, and now it seems I am hopelessly entangled.

Songbird is back, and not alone. She has brought her whole clan with her. At least, I suppose it is a clan – they all seem to be related in one way or another. And while I never bothered to count them when they were in their own encampment, her words suggest they are all here.

I am rattled. No, incoherent. Not with rage, but with sheer bewilderment at what to do or say.

When I awoke this morning Songbird was perched cross-legged on the floor where her bed used to be, with Patches on her lap.

My mouth dropped open, and a little of the happiness faded from her face. “You are not glad to see me?”

“Of course I’m glad you are safe. But how did you get here?”

“We walked, of course.”

Matter-of fact. Puzzled at my not seeing the obvious. But I have never walked directly to their camp. Pieces, of course. I explore by walking to a point I can memorize as a teleport destination, and then teleporting back to the shelter. The next day I teleport to that spot and start walking again. If there is a distinctive enough landmark, I may be able to teleport to that landmark. But direct walking? The encampment must have been several fivedays of walking from my shelter! And Songbird had never even seen the landmarks along the way!

Then my mind suddenly caught up with her first word. “We?”

“Of course. It is not safe to travel that far alone. They all wanted to meet you, and my family wishes to give their thanks.” As a god, her mind said.

“Songbird, I am not a god. I am a lost traveler.” I do not know how many times I have tried to tell her that.

This time was no more successful than usual. “We did not wish to interfere with your hunting or your calendar, so we set up camp an hour’s walk downstream. We hope you will visit, but we did not wish to intrude.”

That, I suspected, was a memorized speech. Her mind said that many of her people were frankly afraid of me and what I might do, and wished to propitiate me. That I did not want! Frightened animals are dangerous, and I suspected the same was true of Songbird’s people.

Maybe ….

“I would like you to carry a message for me. I wish to see the shaman. Here.” I suspected an hour’s walk for Songbird would take me several hours, and I have some thinking to do before I meet these people. And some things to check on the computer.

At least I will have a chance to meet that shaman!

Jarn’s Journal, or at least what I have written to date, is on my author website.