Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Trouble with Jinn

Remy was accustom to wandering the deserts of Sintaus 5.  His parents had been explorers of this world when he was a child, left to play in the ruins of a civilization that had long disappeared, as his parents mapped and researched what was left of it.  As the years passed its mysterious landscape became as ingrained as any home could be, to a child of off world explorers.
Now that he was an adult of twenty-seven years Sintaus 5 had once again brought him into her fold.  Remy was part of a team of scientist sent back to this desolate planet to find out if colonization was possible, on this once luscious world.  He and three others had volunteered to spend the next ten years trying to unlock its secrets, before their government marked the planet as unsustainable for mass habitability and moved on to the next location, some 200 light years away.
Dr. Tintin had spent much of his life exploring other worlds, his white hair contrasted against his overly tan, weathered skin.  This would be his last exploration party as his bones could no longer keep up where his mind would have them wander.  He was grateful to have three hand selected scientist with him.  Dr. Nugilis or Angel as he liked to call her was an expert at locating subterranean water.  Dr. Zimmer was not only a medical doctor, but a master tracker, her expertise had been honed by her race thousands of years ago, as a means of survival on her planet which is covered in thick jungle, and Remy, their expert on Sintaus 5 and doctor of archeology.  
Their shuttle landed just yards away from the largest set of ruins on the planet.  Eager to be back on the planet he remembered as home, Remy popped open the hatch and took a deep breath of the arid air as he exited the shuttle.  Angel had already grabbed her gear and began to work.  Water was the first thing they needed to find or this whole mission would have to be scrubbed.
“Hey Angel, I think I remember a deep water well not far from here.  You want me to show it to you?”  Remy offered enthusiastically.
Dr. Tintin disembarked the shuttle and began to spout orders.  “Remy, let Angel do her job.  I need your assistants setting up camp.  Angel, make sure you take a phase pistol with you, if you plan to go anywhere out of our line of site.”
Angel opened one of the conex boxes she had placed on the ground moments ago and removed a holster containing a pistol.  She strapped it on to her hip and began to walk towards the ruins.  “I will be back in thirty minutes, if not, feel free to look for me,” she said as she turned her tracker on.
“Remy, make sure we are tracking her on the mainframe before she gets too far,” ordered Dr. Tintin.
Remy ran back into the shuttle and pulled up the tracking screen.  “Everything looks good Dr. Tintin.”
“Good, good.  Now please help Dr. Zimmer with the tents.  It will be night soon and I am expecting a substantial temperature drop.  It will not please me to have to spend another uncomfortable night in the shuttle.”
“Don’t worry Dr. Tintin, Saran and I will have those tents up in no time,” Remy smiled as he unloaded one of the larger conex boxes containing tents.  
Before long all three tents were up, one large work tent and two smaller housing tents.  Remy was resting on a block of stone drinking from his container of water, when he realized that Angel was still not back from her search for water.  “Has anyone heard from Angel?”
Dr. Tintin was sitting in the shuttle looking at the tracking screen.  “I have her located in the same spot she has been in for the last hour.  I tried to contact her by radio but there is no answer.  Maybe you should go check on her Remy.”
Remy looked over at the screen, taking note of her location.  “She is right next to the well I was talking about earlier.  I’ll go get her,” he said as he strapped on his pistol and grabbed the hand held computer.
Remy made his way down what looked like an ancient road that led into the city.  As he passed through the large arch of what appeared to be gates, he noticed the air getting thick with moisture and a low fog began to cover the ground.  It was something he had never witnessed here before.  The planet was pretty much one large desert, the only water was located deep within the crust.  He continued to walk until he reached the town center where the well was located.  Angel was sitting on a stone block next to the well typing on her hand held computer when Remy approached her from behind.  “You must have found something phenomenal, for you to miss your check-in and ignore Dr. Tintin’s calls.”
Angel just sat there typing on her computer as if Remy were not even there.  Remy walked around the well and stood in front of her.  As he gazed down at her, he was shocked to find her eyes glowing with a beautiful blue hue as she continued to type.  He reached forward to touch her shoulder, when she abruptly looked at him and began to speak.   
“Tu atha natu retori sa.  Retori sin tu et tu nata,” she yelled at him as if he had disrupted her from something important.
Remy stepped back as her hands flew even faster across the keyboard of her computer.  He pulled out his hand held and called Dr. Tintin.  “We have a problem.  Angel is physically okay, but she is talking in some unknown language.  It’s like she didn’t even recognize me.”
“Go ahead and stay there with her, Dr. Zimmer and myself will be there shortly.”
Remy sat down on a block across from Angel and watched her peculiar behavior.  Just as he could hear the voices of Saran and Dr. Tintin coming from the distance, Angel stopped typing, let out a sigh and crumbled to the ground.  Remy dashed to where she was lying.  “Angel! Angel!  Wake-up!” he yelled as he picked her up in his arms.
She began to open her eyes and mumbled, “What the hell just happened?”
“I was going to ask you the same question.  When I got here about fifteen minutes ago, you ignored me and then started yelling at me in a language I have never heard before,” he said as he sat her back down on stone block.
Angel rubbed the back of her neck as Dr.’s Tintin and Zimmer joined them and she explained.  “I was sitting here taking water samples when I notice a blue glowing smoke rising from the well.  I don’t remember anything after that.”
Dr. Tintin bent down and picked up Angel’s hand held computer.  He began to read what she had been typing during her memory lapse.  “It appears we are not alone on this planet.  Anyone ever heard of the Jinn?”
They had all heard the stories of the mythological Jinn, a race of beings that could bend the elements and the minds of others to their whim.  But that would be a story for another day.   

C.G. Powell

Author of Spell Checked: Book One of The No Uncertain Logic Series

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