Llama Trek is fiction and for entertainment purposes only. Any similarities between it and any life-form, living, dead, or imaginary, is purely coincidental and should not be taken seriously. No criaturas were harmed in the making of Llama Trek.
We rejoin the crew of the Bolivian Enterprise as they are on their way to deliver critically needed Quadra-triti-alfalfa to the planet C.R.I.A. The away team has answered a distress call from the planet A.L.P.A.C.A., where they find a life form unknown to them. The Enterprise is suddenly attacked by a war ship appearing through a menengial worm hole…
“Captain! We’re being attacked!” shouted Mr. Spot. “A ship just came through a menengial worm hole in the space-time continuum; it is a ship from the 24th century! They are firing on us!”
“Bean us up, Spotty!”
Suddenly, the communicator in Captain Curry’s grip emits an eerie sound; one that was long thought to be a thing of the past: static!
“What happened to my bars?” asks the incredulous Captain. “I’m down to two, no, one…nothing! Our communication is out!”
The Captain looked at Mr. Socks for an answer.
Mr. Socks flipped open his communicator, only to find that his communicator was also dead. In fact, it didn’t even make that annoying little double-beep sound when it opened.
Dr. McKid said, “My tricorder is dead too!”
Mr. Socks raised his eyebrows, and then looked at the Captain with a steady gaze. “What is it, Socks? What’s happened?” demanded the Captain.
“It appears that the enemy ship must have emitted an EMP. We’ve lost all power to our electronics.”
“But I thought all of our electronics were hardened against electromagnetic pulses?” queried the doctor.
“They were supposed to be. Rev 107.8 of the ATT&T_Vonage_Singular_BigBrother upgrade was released last month. It fixed a bug that prevented the EMP protection from working. However, our contract with BigBrother wouldn’t permit the upgrade because all of our portable electronics are being refreshed next quarter. They bundled the revision with the new upgrade.” He paused. “It was a cost savings,” trailed off Mr. Socks, looking forlornly at his useless communicator.
At this, the doctor coughed up a huge wad of cud into his mouth, and spat at a nearby rock. “What is it with this technology? If we can’t afford to do it right, why are we even going into space at all? How many times is BigBrother going to worry about pennies, and leave us stranded on some deserted planet?”
“Now Bones, calm down. You’ll blow a gasket,” chided the Captain. “You know that space exploration is not a top priority of BigBrother. They are doing the best they can with the money they have….”
“And leaving us stranded, like I said!” interrupted the doctor. “We should be back home. I didn’t rely on this electronic gizmo back then,” he said as he shook the dead tricorder. “I’ve forgotten how to diagnose a patient without one. Now what do we do?”
Suddenly, the barometric pressure changed in a way that only llamas can perceive.
“I think we better take cover…” said the Captain.
Just then, their ears pricked in alertness as the sound of a distant wind rapidly enveloped them, blowing sand and debris. They all jumped behind boulders, the doctor hesitating, and then reaching for the scruff of the dead AL’s neck to pull him under cover behind the rock face. A large boulder bounced by, followed by two more, each larger than the first. The sound they made was a muffled, slightly crackling sound…
“They look like Styrofoam rocks!” called Dr. McKid.
“They ARE Styrofoam rocks, doctor!” shouted Mr. Socks above the sound of the wind. “I suggest you keep your head down anyway!”
As suddenly as it started, the wind swept by and the air was calm. The long lashes of the llamas protected their eyes from blowing sand. “Is everyone all right?” asked the Captain
.”Aye, Captain,” said Socks. The others responded in turn as they got to their feet. All but the doctor, who was now examining AL more closely. He had his hand on AL’s chest, and then bent down to listen for his breathing, then his heartbeat.
“What is it, Doctor?” asked the Captain.
“Jim, I can’t understand it….I think he is still alive! The tricorder said he was dead…” the doctor said, trying to make sense of what happened.
“Elementary, Doctor….” started Mr. Socks.
With that, the doctor snapped a mean glare towards Socks in response to his usual condescending attitude. Socks hesitated a moment with raised eyebrows, then continued. “The enemy ship may have caused a local disruption in the electromagnetic field as it rematerialized from hyperspace. That caused your tricorder to read erroneously.”
Dr. McKid just shook his head. “I should have known better than to trust this electronic wizardry.” He paused, studying AL’s face. “Look, I think he is trying to speak. Help me hold up his head…”
AL was indeed trying to speak, a soft hum with a lower gurgling sound. They adjusted his body, helping him to sit upright. He opened his eyes. He began to hum again, this time more clearly. He looked right at the doctor.
“What is he saying, Bones?” asked the Captain.
“What am I, Dr. Doolittle? I don’t even know what the blazes this creature is, much less what language he speaks!” spat the agitated doctor. But as AL continued to hum, the entire crew was mesmerized by the sound. There was a familiarity with it, as though from their own past they recognized the language. AL’s deep, clear eyes were much like their own, and in fact, he seemed like a smaller version of themselves; almost like a relative long lost and forgotten.
Mr. Socks moved closer, studying the creature carefully. AL turned his gaze toward Socks, and momentarily stopped humming. The two seemed to connect at some base level, reaching back to an ancestral age that they both shared, but could not call to their conscious memory. Then, AL’s eyes began to flutter and close.
“He needs to rest. He took the brunt of that lightening bolt. He’s lucky to be alive at all,” explained the doctor as he eased the creature back down.
Mr. Socks sat back, a perplexed look on his face. “What do you make of it, Socks?” asked the Captain. Long years together had taught the Captain that Mr. Socks was a veritable catalog of information, from history, to science, and beyond. Socks was, after all, half JuanAHco. Being raised and trained in the disciplined JuanAHco academies was in no small part responsible for Socks’ incredible ability to assimilate huge amounts of information. It was indeed unusual for this senior science officer to be baffled.
After pulling thoughtfully on his chin, Mr. Socks settled back, and began speaking in low tones. “There is a legend, you may have heard it when you were young. Many centuries ago, there were four races of llamas. Two races lived in a sort of symbiotic relationship with humans. The other two races never trusted the humans, and stayed outside their influence. One day, another tribe of humans from far away attacked the humans that lived with the llamas. The attackers were called the espanas. Their numbers were small, but their methods were terrifying and as more of the espanas arrived, the original humans were overcome. Some humans and llamas retreated into the mountains and hid. The other race of llamas, called alpacas, stayed near the cities and their human friends. The alpacas were part of the human royal court, and legend has it that they were almost worshipped. In their relationship with the humans, they were treated as though they were sacred, never having to work like the other llama races did, or forage for food. The alpacas had become a race that so trusted the humans that they felt the invaders would realize their worth and also treat them like sacred creatures. But the espanas had a mission; they had come after gold, which they found in the temples of the humans. However, the humans also described their alpacas as gold, and the espanas wanted to destroy these living religious icons, so that the humans would tell them where the “real” gold was to be found. The humans died without telling the espanas, because to them, the alpacas were the real gold. The alpacas were slain alongside their human friends. They are known to us today only as the “lost race”.”
The doctor broke a moment of silence, and said, “Mr. Socks, the legend of the lost race is just that; a legend. We were all raised on that story, and we know it is not true. Only a few believe it. There is no proof of it. Why do you bring that up now?”
Mr. Socks continued. “Because there is evidence that some alpacas escaped the brutal slayings by the espanas. They went to a land call “The Land of Fire.” The alpacas described in the legend look just like AL. He is one of the two sub-races of alpaca thought to live with the humans, and be all but exterminated with them. When I looked into his eyes, I could see how we were connected, centuries ago. AL is a llama, and an alpaca. He is from the lost race. I can feel it….”
“Feel it, Mr.Socks? Why, I didn’t think you had any feelings….” Retorted Dr. McKid.
“Doctor, that’s enough,” said Captain Curry. “Let Socks finish. I, too, have heard about the escape to the “Land of Fire;” but that is what makes no sense. Llamas hate the heat, and the alpacas would have too. Why, look at AL’s coat; it is thicker than ours! Alpacas could not live in a land of fire. It is nonsense. The legend could not be true. Could it?”
Mr. Socks looked around at the strange land they were in, very arid, desolate, but not really hot. In fact, it was difficult to feel any temperature at all, as though the air temperature perfectly mimicked his own body temperature. It was as though the air was not there at all. There was no vegetation to be seen, and yet he knew the alpaca had to live on something. Perhaps the alpacas had adapted. Perhaps the legend was true.
Suddenly the Captain stood up. “The ship! What about the Enterprise, Socks? What did the EMP do to it?”
Mr. Socks rose up and looked skyward. “The internal systems onboard should have resisted the initial EMP. However, we don’t know what kind of weapons the enemy ship has. The safety of the Enterprise is unknown, Captain.”
Mr. Socks and Captain Curry fixed their eyes on each other. “And why did we get a distress call from this planet? Could AL know?” asked Captain Curry… (to be continued)
OK, Llama-Trekkies, this stuff ain’t as easy to write as you think. If you want future installments of Llama Trek, drop me an email and let me knowEmail Cyber
Peace, Llive Llong, and Prosper…