The Dreamers Gallery

Gronican Legends: The Odysseys of Jason Greybeard

The Earth on which we live has been a nation of aliens for as long as there have been people. As the food source for one part of the world grew thinner the people took up their furnishings and carried them, I mean literally carried them on their backs, to settle in another part of the land. So they became the first aliens.

Aliens who originally lived in Africa journeyed far and wide settling in Europe and in most other parts of the world. So most Earth folks are aliens from one part of the world or the other. And they are also descendents of those original African ancestors.

But at this time we're here to talk about the history of one particular set of aliens, the Gronicans who came to Earth many years ago and settled in almost every country. Now their arrival was carried out discretely over many years. They came in space-time warpers -- teleported over the interstellar distances by electro-magnetic transmission.

One story concerning the Gronicans that I'd like to tell you is about a friend named Que --(Key): Que son of Que, son of Que, of the Chamelion, also called the Greenfolk or the Plantfolk, or to use the slang, "Peepoders." But first you need some background about Gronicus itself to understand why the first Que came to be the last of the his race on that planet.

Que of the Chamelion People

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"Que of Gronicus."

"Gronicus from Illium."
Imagine a world where the sun shines for only one year every one hundred years. This indeed was the situation on a planet many light-years away.

"The Ice Queen."
Once there was a beautiful planet named Gronicus. It circled a warm sun called "The Mother. Light" Mythology told of an ancient struggle between the warmth of Mother Light and the cold of the Queen of Ice, a dark proto-planet circling the mother, whose orbit was almost exactly that of Gronicus but on the other side of The Mother Light. . After many years of battle between the forces of light and dark there came a truce between them and balance in that solar system was achieved.

"Que of the Chamelions."
On Gronicus there was a wealth of animal and vegetable life. With creatures of all sizes and descriptions living in balance with one another. One unique feature of Gronicus was the evolution of plants into sentient beings who looked exactly like the humanoids of the planet, only they were often green in color and had a civilization of their own. Que and his people were a particular type of plantfolk with a chamelion-like ability to change their color to match or blend into any background. As time passed in Gronicus history the animal humanoids grew dominant over the plantfolk and the plantfolk were looked down as inferior by the humanoids

Gronicus was a wealthy land where there was more food than anyone could eat, but still, among the poor, there were starving people There was more land than anyone could use but some people were homeless. It was a land of plenty but there was no love.

The powerful citizens who had everything kept hold of their possessions and looked away from the sadness and poverty in their land.

"People As Objects."
Possession of things became more important to them than anything and so they valued objects more than people. Though, sometimes people became objects to them and were valued as possessions.

"Death of the Land."
Greedy folks brutalized the land, destroying its beauty so that they could wrest more and more profit from it, taking everything and leaving nothing for the future. And so the beautiful world became a wasteland.

"Death of the Young."
Nation battled nation for the best remaining land and many of the brightest and most beautiful of the young were killed during the savage wars. During this period most of the plantfolk were killed.

"Killers and the Dead."
During the wars there was much cruelty done by one nation to another. Millions of people were killed, some of them most brutally by insane leaders.

"Games of War."
The wars became games where people could develop and try out very powerful weapons -- weapons that could kill a million people at a single blow. And when the weapons became too powerful for even the warmakers to use the wars came to an end. Then the governments continued to make powerful weapons which were not needed, but which gained them even more money. Of course small wars continued among the lesser nations who didn't have the powerful weapons, but the power elite saw to it that these "brush-fire" wars were kept under control.

When the power elite had quite used up the land, polluted the rivers, lakes, the streams and the oceans, they developed spaceships to travel on to neighboring planets and moons. Here the process continued again, waste, corruption and disaster.

"Two Flyers From the Moon."
One day Two flyers from a colony on the moon came down and told of changes in the solar system. While terraforming one of the larger planets there had been a malfunction in the calculations. This error had disturbed the balance of the planets and shifted a neighboring planet, The Queen of Ice, from its orbit. When the planet finally rebalanced its position it was now in an orbit near Gronicus, held in a delicate position between that planet and its sun. Now most of "The Mother's " energy was deflected by the wayward planet. The engineers didn't know what to do.

"Curse of the Ice Queen."
There were great discussions and arguments across the land blaming the engineers for their mistake. New plans were discussed to change the planet's orbit, but many were afraid that a new mistake would bring the two planets into collision and a final disaster.
The superstitious ones said that it was a curse of the Ice Queen from the legends of ancient times and others said. . .
But what does it matter what they said? The dislodged planet came and stayed and because it was there the days and nights on Gronicus grew colder and it was always dark. The ice and snows came and more snow came and the people were forced to dig into the ground and build their cities beneath the earth. And for a hundred years it was like this.

With all of their technology they could have turned the underground into a paradise. And that would be true except that none of the ruling elite wanted to expend the money in that way.

"Living Below the Surface."
The young folks suffered the most, living away from the light and fresh air and the open skies. And old people continued to work for their entire life, generally until they died, often while working.

"The Word."
During the transition to the underground world many of the remaining plantfolk had died off leaving only a few scattered families. Among those was Que and his family who lived on the ice fields with the last of his people. One day Que came down from the glaciers to the land below or "The Cellars" as they were called and told of the coming of the Children of Light. At first no one believed him but since he was a harmless old duffer they put up with his presence. The children accepted him though and believed in him from the first.

"Children of the Light."
Then one day there came the Children of the Light, whose energy was that of their parent -- "The Mother" -- the glow of their energy set the sky ablaze and the people living beneath the earth could see their light pulsing down air tunnels.

"The Melting."
So the ice began to melt, and the land resurfaced from beneath the snow and things began to grow -- all manner of things.
And the people emerged into the light, to play in the fields and stroll at the ocean which had gradually thawed out, and life went back to normal.

"End of the Light."
But by the end of that year the Children of the Light had used up their energy, given all they had to the people of Gronicus -- and they themselves were in need of an energy transfusion. But the citizens of Gronicus wanted them to stay, to continue lighting and heating their world. It was Que, of the greenpeople who told the Children to return to their home while they still had enough strength.

"The Return."
There was nothing for the Children of Light to do then but return to the sun, to recharge and regain their energy. Before leaving they promised to return in 100 years to give the planet another wonderful year.

"Legends of the Outerworld."
The people of Gronicus went back to the underground to wait out the 100 years so that their grandchildren could have a year of Spring and Summer. And for all of those 100 years there grew legends of the beauty of growing flowers and trees, the wind in the branches, glorious sunsets, warm nights under starry skies, the taste of fresh fruit, and the wonder of free flowing rivers and the joy of swimming in the ocean.

"The Chamelion People."
Que and his people continued to live both underground and on the surface and to dwell among the ice caps and over the next century their numbers dwindled until only Que and a small band of Chamelion were left. But the story of their remaining days on Gronicus and of their struggle to keep alive are one of many Gronican Tales that we'll bring to you at another time.

So for now: "Vale' Wanderer!"

Captain Jason Greybeard.
* Captain Greybeard is a member of the New Haven Science Fiction Writer's Workshop which meets once a month (3rd Sunday of the month). For Workshop Information contact Beth at (203) 287-8346

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Comments to author: RJ Le Blanc Last Revised: October 16, 1996
All contents copyright © 1996, RJ Le Blanc. All rights reserved.