The Blue Orb
It has only been a couple of years Earth time since the human beings had discovered that other planets in the universe and beyond also had sentient life forms. It was the completion of the planet Earth’s first deep space station and the human’s government had to disclose their existence, or the humans would discover it for themselves. My father has been named Lyran Ambassador to Earth, and my cousin Siriana is coming too. We had been told that we are the equivalent of sixteen Earth years, and will be Junior Lyran Ambassadors. As a result we will be attending the first conference of Intergalactic Youth in this place called Washington D.C. Traveling in the vast reaches of the galaxy has always been in my blood, which is blue by the way, like my skin. I was born aboard a deep space vessel, the quiet and darkness in space is always like home to me. I started my school as a small on Lyra and the sky used to frighten me and I would run underneath a plant shelter, I think they are called trees on Earth?
Finally our departure was underway, “Mylin come look at these pictures of Earth people our age” Siriana points to the monitor on the desk. I see a human, I think it is a male of the species he has tall spikes adorning his head, and face jewelry and art. Another image is of a girl she has yellow skin and her hair (I think or fur) is dark and symmetrical like a head shield, “Sue Kim, it says she is a girl from Korea.” Siriana turns and looks at me in a very curious fashion, “What will they think of us cousin?” I looked at my reflection in the glass, pale blue skin and silver hair. “We look just like most girls our age on Lyra. What’s there to worry about? Siriana stood and looked in the glass, the same light blue skin, and silver hair; hers is just longer than mine. The door beeped and opened. “Well girls, I brought you some hot zorb from home. Drink it and get some sleep. We will be there when you awake.” We both drank the hot zorb down and were soon fast asleep in the nooks of our quarter.
I awoke to see the blue orb approaching. It was all the rage with our youth, we all had to have the blue orb pendants around our necks. I touched mine looking down at it and then back it coming closer in the glass. “Wake up Siriana! You have to see this. It is as lovely as I imagined. It looks just like my blue orb.” Siriana rubbed the snark from her eyes and came to join me, “Ooooo. I have never seen anything more beautiful. We had better get dressed.” We both put on our best clothing as we were told the arrival was a big event that would be displayed on screens all over the Earth. Our garments are of a plant based fiber and we are also a water world so we favor shades of blue, purple, and green. Our garments are draped and layered and float in the atmosphere when we move. We stared at our reflections in the glass, “We don’t look like them.” Siriana said nervously and chewed on her lip. “We have heads, and necks, and arms and legs like them!” I argued. “We do. We do” she says trying to convince herself that there was enough of a similarity.
A ship wide message was made by my father, “We have arrived. When we land there will be a greeting by the Earth leaders, and we will all follow protocol and follow their instructions. This is a big shock to many Earth beings, so make Lyra proud.” The ship materialized to the humans just before sitting down, the ramp was lowered onto the ground and we all descended in pairs. An Earth boy greeted me and Siriana, “Welcome to Earth. My name is Adin and I will be your host. “It is our great honor to be here,” we both answered. Adin smiled and invited us to follow him. “I am Mylin, and this is my cousin Siriana. “ Adin nodded and bowed, I am uncertain of his gesture. “The Earth girls are going to be jealous.” I look at Siriana, and she is smiling, At this time a Earth girl approaches, she is not smiling, she looks at us reproachfully, “Adin, Commander Cruise wants you with the Venusians.” She had not even acknowledged our presence. “Katy Maguire these are Ambassador Ferel, from Lyra’s daughter, and niece” he turns to finish his introduction, “Mylin, and Siriana,” Katy pushed her face into a grimacing smile, “Welcome to earth.” She says without warmth or honesty. Lyrans can communicate without words and so we do not lie. “I will be right there. Then will you please escort them to the dining hall?” Katy became more rigid, “Certainly,” she turns, “This way ladies.” Adin nods or bows again, “I will see you at the dinner. Again welcome.” I watch him walk away and I feel a heat generating inside of me. I began to panic, “Oh no!” I say internally to Siriana, “I think I might flash out.” “ No, no not now, not here in front of this unpleasant female Earth human” she answers in desperation. When my kind is attracted to someone our skin develops large pink spots, and the phenomena occurred regardless of my desire. Katy covers her mouth with her hand and points at me. Siriana’s worst fears are realized; she feels humiliated by the Earth girl and starts to cry. Now when we cry a blue mist excretes from our skin and envelops us in a cloud. Katy drops her hand from her gaping mouth and continues to point but now she is pointing at Siriana. I see an older elegant Earth lady approaching; she has bright pink hair in a bun on her head and blue windows in front of her eyes. She heads directly toward us stopping in front of Commander Maguire, “I need to speak with you privately now!” She turns us and extends her hand, “Hello, I am Dr. Julian Benet. I am the head of the Department of Intergalactic Multicultural Inclusion. I notice a tall dark fellow, also with eye windows, and a girl from the screen. Dr. Benet whispered over her shoulder and the pair came forward, “Hi I am Sue Kim,” “And I am Dr. Rushti.” Dr. Benet glances over at the stoic Commander Maguire, she turns back to us, “On behalf of The Earth Council on Extraterrestrial Affairs, I humbly welcome you to our planet. I believe you call it the Blue Orb?” She smiled warmly, “I must speak with Commander Maguire but I will join you soon for dinner. As Dr. Benet and Commander Maguire cross the room which was all glass on one side looking onto a wooded park with some water in the middle, I think about the places we have like this on Lyra. I can see Katy’s face as Dr. Benet is speaking with her and water is rolling down her cheek, I wonder if that is how human girls cry?
“Excuse me Miss,” I look up from thought as Sue Kim speaks, “We are lead ambassadors for the Earth Alliance, and we will be your guides for your stay here on Earth. Welcome, I am so excited to meet you. Do you have any questions?” Well I had a zillion questions but I just smiled. The room is full of round tables with colorful plants in glass and shiny silver implements all in sets of two, the humans and assorted galactic representatives were beginning to sit at the tables that faced a platform. I see two Venusian girls coming our way. They are very tall, with pale green skin, dark hair and eyes. They also have enormous black wings that they keep tucked tightly most of the time. I recognize Zer from a camp I used to visit for youth programs, “Zorn!” she greets me as is their manner. Soft sounds of moving water and some small creatures are chirping from boxes in the ceiling, it had disoriented me, “Mylin? Earth to Mylin. Come in Mylin!” Zer laughs at her own Earth joke. “Oh, I was thrown into another state by the sounds.” Zer looks as I had directed to the ceiling, “That is what they call . . . music here. Ours is just different,” Sue Kim steps closer smiling, “If I may be of assistance? This is what we call ambient music, it is sounds from Earth’s nature; a running stream, the birds in a forest.” Sudden understanding came to us all. “Oh yes” Zer agrees, “We have also these sounds on Venus,” Finally I see Dr. Benet returning with a somber expression which changes to a bright smile. Dr. Rushti invites us all to our table where we sit down; me, Siriana, who has since lost the cloud, Zer, her friend MX, Sue, Kim, and Dr. Benet. The room was starting to fill up with people and beings from all over the galaxy. The room was buzzing with energetic excitement, and now the music was an up-tempo lyrical poem. Once we were all seated people started to pour liquids of many colors and substances, when mine was poured I realized it was degaar juice from my world. Dr. Benet addresses the table “I apologize for Ms. Maguire’s behavior. If she had not missed every one of her Intergalactic Cultures classes, perhaps she would have behaved differently. However, the point of us all getting to know one another is to know all of our aspects, both pleasant, and unpleasant. Then we must grow, learn and unify from it.” She touched the blue windows on her face and adjusted them, “In case any of you interested in our student exchange program, allow me to invite you now. Zer’s left wing lifted just slightly, “Yes, there is so much I want to see here, I am certain my parents will agree.” I was thinking of the Earth boy Adin, and how I would like to get to see more of him, “Yes Dr. Benet, I am interested, and my parents will be working here as well. Thank you.” Zer’s friend MX also said she was on-board. “Great,” Dr. Benet smiles and then looks at Siriana who has yet to sign on, “And you Siriana? We would love to have you.” Siriana looks at me and then to Dr. Benet, “Thank you for considering me for such a high honor. It is just that I cannot bear to be away from my parents and my baby brother.” She looked down and fidgeted with the silver implements on the table. “I can certainly understand.” Dr. Benet says as she touches Siriana lightly on her hand. Food was brought to us from our specific diets and pallets. As part of our introduction we each explained our food dishes to the table and offered them to be sampled. The Venusians eat colorful fruits that grown from sacred trees, and drink a clear liquid like water but different, you cannot drink it, or I! We also eat a plant based diet of greens, roots, and fruits of a kind. The Earth people eat the flesh of certain creatures and they had chicken which I understand is a bird, the Venusians did not look very happy in that regard. They showed us a moving image of the Earth and all its wonders which left me misty and cloudish, I see Siriana clouding up again too. I guess we all have a lot to learn about each other, and to understand.
That evening as we were singing our songs of love, which all Lyrans do each night, the com on the door buzzed. Our visitor was Commander Maguire, “Please come in.” I say as I clear the chair of clothing for her to sit on. “Thank you for seeing me at this late hour. I know you have traveled far and are tired. Apologizing for my rudeness earlier does not begin to make amends.” “It is okay” Siriana says, “We are all learning to adjust to new things.” Katy attempted to smile as she agreed. “I want to come to Lyra.” The cousins were surprised by her announcement. “You do? We thought you found us repulsive? Siriana spoke softly with her head down. “I know. I am sorry. I was jealous. I saw the way Adin was admiring your beauty and I acted badly. Dr. Benet scolded me well and good. She reminded me that compassion and acceptance are key components of our Intergalactic Culture classes in our program. I was just so focused on the quantum technology that I could not be bothered with cultural exchange. I can be unbalanced at times.” She looked at Siriana who looked up and smiled, “We will be friends and learn from each other Katy Maguire. Plus I am going to miss my cousin.” Siriana looks at me and smiled “I will visit and we will ride the ocean waves together. I promise.” Katy stood to leave but stopped remembering something, “Guess what else?” We looked at each other, “My DNA shows I have Lyran ancestors.” Katy smiled broadly, “Thank you, goodnight.” Then Katy left and Siriana and I just started laughing and misting at the same time. The ‘blue orb’ is a lovely place that I think I will enjoy loving.
The short story was a Culture in Schooling assignment using Culture as a Disability as a lens. Of course I went with aliens. lol I am thinking of expanding it into a YA novel.
Top: Michaela Sagatova
Middle: Privind Pamantul
Bottom: Corina Chirila