We’d been running late. The astronomer and his prophet were pressing us, but the conditions in the south Enceladus jet stream were not good for launch. As well we were short two hyperdrivers due to budget cuts from the respective treasuries. A fine way to treat us, the best of the best, and now we had to drive as well. The prophet was insisting that now was the time. Only one of us was from Enceladus anyway. The other two from Titan. Anyway, we had seen a recent rapid brightening of the blue planet, actually the astronomers caught it first, on there new differential light plate. A solar alert went out, and after a day or so we could all see the light, bright in the sky, where once it was just a small bright speck of blue, now it was pretty significant.
I Melchiora, was the only female in the group, the other two slugs from different countries on Triton moon were Gasparon, a kind of devious scholar, always out for greatness, and Balthozo, equally adventurous as Gasparon was clever and had been to the earth before on a previous mission. Still, they were talented and knew a lot about the solar system. Enceladus education was great, but derived from the books of the larger moon, so always just a bit behind. The prophet had told me, “it will be a baby, this king, take care when you get there. but be sure not to tell the others, it will frighten them.
Gasparon, the captain, said “OK they’ve started the countdown, lets get out of here”. We all agreed, and loaded into the capsule.
“Wait, did you get the gifts ?” I asked.
“Sure..,… but its heavy ! … the Gold one.” Said Gasparon
“OK great.” , I didn’t tell ’em about Ben’s baby blanket I had smuggled on board. They would have laughed at me for sure, and we didn’t need it at this time.
The bright red light on the central console, started flashing slowly and the little countdown clock ticked over. We were strapped in and ok to get moving. It felt good to be finally on the way.
Nothing quite like the feel of the gate valve opening and our little craft being nudged into the jet stream of the ice geysers, which rapidly pushed us faster and faster until we shot through the jet a a massive speed and then quiet, and our moon was far below us. At 20 miles out we switched to the tesla drive and were propelled out in a massive curve by means of the magnetosphere. So beautiful the rings of saturn as we shot past at high speed toward the sun.
Out here interplanetary, we only had the light from the sun to guide us forward, and we battled the solar wind all the way out toward it, the brightening blue planet, our destination.
Balthazo spoke after some time, “We got to aim for the Pyramids, line them up in the scope, and we make our entry through the atmosphere at that angle.”
Balthazo had been to the blue planet before. He had brought back stories of the great king Herod, and others in the land near the Mediterranean sea. He had said that the pyramids of Egypt were the best, and since you could clearly see them from space, they were an excellent navigation point going down.
It got a bit bumpy shooting through the wispy edge of the atmosphere, but never mind, with the great pyramids in sight, we dropped down into the sea.
“You mind telling me, why we had to land in this sea ?” I asked.
“We got to go see Herod, he’s the great king here in Judea.” He’s got a reputation and such, so we have to go see him, just get permission to travel through his land to go see the new king, who might related somehow.” – Gasparon said.
“OK fine, perhaps it’ll work”. I said.
Out of the sea, and onto the land of the blue planet, we made our way and picked up some clothes. Eventually we came to the place of Herod. We were warmly received, but when we mentioned about the new king,… well I guess Herod’s reputation was fully justified, he just went super quiet, and called for some water.
“When you eventually find this .. new “King”, come back and let me know more ?”
And we made our polite farewells.
We passed by many small villages, and over the next day or so, saw people looking unconcerned,. we had enquired after the new “King” but everyone just looked at us in a kind of astonished way.
We really had got lost for the day, but then the bright light which had reflected off the upper atmosphere before was now visible in the eastern sky.
There in a stable, passing by, we saw, since the door was open, a baby with angels and other heavenly beings crowded round.
“Forget it, this can’t be the place” – said Balthazo, I’ve been round here before. It’s no place for a king.
Gasparon was still a way back, and coming up from behind us.
“Look, wait here for Gasparon, he’s still way behind,.. I’ll just go in and take a look. Something strange about the light there” – I said.
I reached into my pack, and took out the brown paper package hidden there. I walked calmly over to the door. Inside the light was bright, but coming from no where in particular, and there was a kind of static in the cool air. There were humans, a mother, a father, and their little one, wrapped up in kind of nothing much. I took the gift package and gave it to the mother. She thanked me, looked at the strange fastenings, and then opened it carefully. Taking the blanket, she opened it out on the floor, looked at it, and in a curious way said “Thankyou, It’s very nice, and I’ll keep it for him when it gets cold. His name is Emanuel actually, he is who he is, and the world has changed tonight, yet still not what it should be.”
“I know the name is not right, I said”, but it is in memory of where we came from, and it made it for my own son, when he was little, his name is Benjamin. It’s not a normal Enceladian name, but I liked it, and got it from a book, which Gasparon had brought back and given me, when he returned from this place many years ago.”
Gasparon and Balthazo walked in then, and they had realized things were a bit different here. They came forward and all three of us looked carefully at the new born one. “This is the king.. he’s wonderful.. get your gifts. This is the one”. I said quietly.
Everyone was a bit quiet then. There was a breeze outside, and the light inside, and the baby, and the mother, father, some animals resting in the back of the room.. not really a room.. more a stable.
Gasparon gave the gifts, destined for the new king to the father. The Gold and the other things we had brought down from Saturns rings. Balthazo made a small speech. Then we left quietly through the side door.
When we left the stable, we found that we were confused, something changed in our purpose, our hearts were a bit different. In a way we felt alien to ourselves, and we had no desire to go back to the spaceship down in the sea. We had no desire to suck up to that pompous Herod the Great as well, so we went off in the opposite direction. Eventually we wandered the earth and got lost in the peoples countries there. Something died in us. There was a birth, yes, but also a death, and it seemed to us that we could not go back the way we had come. We had passed a point in time when things past would be gone, and things yet to come would be less so, what they might have been.