Time: 10 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.
“National Tourism Day” (Inspired by this list of silly holidays.)
We met Kosmos at the Spaceport in Richmond. With him (I suppose I really should say it based upon the literature, but it feels rude) travelled a xenobiologist and a diplomat. We were there for local color. I guess we were there to be hillbillies for Kosmos, but everything seemed so different for him I can’t believe he noticed.
When Kosmos came down the jetway, the laughter from his mechanical translator filled the room. The port had been largely emptied, a huge inconvenience, but worth it to host one of the first extraterrestrials. If everyone wasn’t already staring at him, they were now.
“The waves here stand!” he declared to the diplomat, who seemed unfazed. Thomas and I exchanged a glance. I’d once hosted a Tibetan exchange student, and I remembered the culture shocks of her visit. We smiled nervously.
The luxury limo conveyed us west to the mountains. Kosmos had demanded to see mountains.
I had seen Kosmos’ kind on the news often enough, but it was different to experience him in person. The pressure suit hummed softly. Pumps and valves whistled softly at several rhythms. Sometimes, I could see the fluid move through the transparent plates near the top of the suit, where I guessed his face or at least many of his sensory organs must be.
“They tell me you are called Jessica,” Kosmos said, turning his whole body to me in the limo. “And that you are native to this region.”
“Yes,” I replied, feeling a bit out-of-body. “My family has lived in these hills for over ten generations. I’m very proud of it.”
“Hills,” Kosmos breathed in pleasure. “I want to see them all. And caves and cliffs and whatever else you’ve got. This geology of yours fascinates me.”
“I could, uh, show you the fault line down on route 151.”
“Exquisite,” Kosmos said. He turned back to the window.
“His people are aquatic,” the xenobiologist leaned my way. “They live at a depth of 500-1000 meters. He’s very interested in how we live at the boundary of two phases.”
“Of course,” I said. I still wondered what purpose Thomas and I could possibly serve in showing Kosmos around.