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"I will pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again." 1859 Household Words Weekly Journal


Space Rocker: The Novel

by Michael Steenbergen
Copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Novel's
NAVIGATION

----------------Chapter 1

1  2  3  4  5  6

7  8  9  10  11

Chapter 2

12 13 14 15 16

17 18 19 20 21

Chapter 3

22 23 24 25 26

18 19 20 21 22

Chapter 4

22  22  23  24  25

26  27  28  29  30

31 32

Chapter 3

----------------

The feathered figure emptied the leather bag onto the shield of one of the warriors. A small circle of metal, pieces of bark, acorn, gold, jade, crystal, and stone fragments all tumbled into the fire tinted moonlight. The flattened circle of silver metal that Rocker carried in his satchel immediately caught the attention of the Feathered One, as the native with all the feathers was appropriately called.
Picking the silver circle from among the items on the shield, the native became intense as he scrutinized the object. He flipped the trinket over in his hands. He did this several times and then let out a mighty shout, lifting the charm high in the air. The Feathered One, obviously the leader, continued speaking loudly as he waved the metal circle back and forth. Rocker could not make out the language though he thought he recognized a word or two of the ancient Nazca dialect.
The silver circle was causing more than just a ripple of excitement. The natives were electrified by whatever was being said in whatever language. Those holding Rocker jumped back as if physically shocked or struck. The rest quickly merged into a chaotically rhythmic dance. Rocker was slowly recovering from the shock of the plane crash and his scientific nature asserted itself.
Despite his weak, woozy feeling, Rocker began to take note of things. He could see at least fifteen natives dancing wildly in the light of a fire — a fire they were building larger. It was in the middle of a clearing surrounded by a circle of thatched huts. Looking like ghosts in the smoky firelight, the figures seemed to dart in and out of the flames. None of the natives carried spears any longer. He felt a trickle running down his face and noticed several of his wounds seemed to be bleeding again.

The rhythmic dance quickly accelerated into an ecstatic frenzy and at some point, each of the tribe members danced by Rocker. They touched him, almost reverently. The shadows created a pulsing, strobe effect. To Rocker’s dazed consciousness, it was mesmerizing. He shook his head to clear the hypnotic fog and he dimly realized that his status has somehow changed from captive to honored guest.

When Rocker awoke, he could see a torch belching dark smoke, creating a hazy, dim light for the interior of the thatched hut. Despite ventilation through a small opening in the hut just above the torch, the air was heavy with a smoky smell as if potent incense had been burned.

A young native girl held him by the hand as he lay on a thickly carpeted mat, richly woven from the bright colored yarns common to most of the native textiles. Clearly meant for sleeping or coupling, the mat created a thick and luscious centerpiece of comfort. Two large chests were placed one at each end of the mat. Rocker guessed they contained personal belongings or items of dress.

Pottery and jugs lined one wall of the hut. A small cooking fire shared the same ventilation as the flickering torch though it burned with a much cleaner flame. A shield, spears and other weapons adorned another wall. Color, color and more color!

As Space Rocker stirred and sat up, he could feel his amulet was once again around his neck as the leather string gently moved with his body. Amulet was the proper native term for the leather bag Rocker always wore. Instinctively he knew all the tokens were back inside where they belonged.

The young Indian girl began to dress his wounds and change bandages. Sometime when he was unconscious he had been meticulously treated for his injuries. He could smell strong garlic and vinegar in the dressings and balms. La Pedrita, as the young girl was named handed Rocker a strong chocolate mixture, warmed and steaming. He sipped it slowly and noticed the native girl never met his eyes. It was almost uncomfortable.

As Rocker was feeling drowsy again, his head dipped slightly. He caught the Indian girl in a smile and said “I am still weak. I feel tired.”

She kept her head low and answered him in the same perfect Spanish he was beginning to become accustomed to hearing. “Rest, Master. Sleep now and let the body heal, my Lord.”

“I’m Rocker, just call me Rocker.”

“Yes, my Lord,” she answered.

Rocker gently drifted into slumber, his body relaxing and his head rolling gently to the side. The young girl continued cleaning and dressing his wounds. She was the personal attendant to the Queen of the Chapeck Aneal. Something of a companion, lady in waiting and bodyguard rolled into one small petite form. She had specifically been ordered, by the Queen herself, to make sure Rocker’s health improved and remained that way.

When Rocker awoke again, the afternoon sun was low in the sky and dusk was settling over the jungle. He saw the young maiden sitting in the corner, with her legs crossed, back upright, and yet she seemed totally relaxed. This was an illusion. La Pedrita never relaxed.

Some clothing from the knapsacks had been neatly laid at the end of Rocker’s sleeping mat. His bandaging was fresh and pliable. With a little help from Pedrita, in a few moments Professor Duncan looked like any other South American tourist. Except for not being able to button the shirt or sleeves over the bandages he was actually comfortable and able to move freely, stiffly but freely.

 

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