Barasil & Soghanis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Volcan Matton has just graduated in the University of Yazorba, Kingdom of Scarsaron, on Barasil which is one of the twin planets on the Barasil Soghanis System. He yearns to go to Planet Soghanis to study the reptiles. But will he get the job? And what is life like on Soghanis?

Submitted: November 04, 2016

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Submitted: November 04, 2016

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I attended my last year at the University of Yazorba in Yazorba City, the capital of the Kingdom of Scarsaron, on the southern continent of Velechia, Planet Barasil. Barasil was one of the twin planets that orbited each other as they travelled around our sun. There was another continent in the north called Yassi. Between the two continents was the Equatorial Ocean made up of the Sea of Jemnia, Sea of Asorgia, Sea of Droflong and the Sea of Denish. Scarsaron was on the southern shore of the Asorgia sea.
 
The other planet was called Soghanis.  Both the twin planets harboured life and my people had evolved on Barasil a hundred thousand years ago. 
 
I sat in the advanced zoology lecture listening to our lecturer talk about the zoology of Soghanis.
 
"This massive looking reptile," explained Professor Jarken Wassen "Is called the talnarki". The talknarki appeared to be a large lizard with a beak that had a shoulder height of a metre. "The talnarki live in the tropical deciduous forests of the main continent of Soghanis. It feeds on the mainly smaller cat sized reptiles called drodas". Both talnarki and drodi walked upright. The drodi had like a high curved hump. "The drodi in turn feed on crickets and other small insects".
 
Both Soghani reptiles looked fascinating. I knew that Soghanis had a wider range of climates than Barasil which was mainly a temperate planet.
 
"And that's all we have time to talk about today," continued Jarklin "Next week we will talk about the reptiles of the Mindai Peninsula".
 
I packed up my books and pencil case and popped them into my backpack before putting it on my shoulders. I weaved my way through the seats, then walked up the aisles and out of the lecture theatre. I then walked through the corridor towards the exit.
 
***
 
Once I had left the building I walked up to the top of the hill and looked up at Soghanis which was towards the east. It was three in the afternoon. Because of the pull of the gravity that Barasil and Soghanis had on each other, they had always been locked into orbit so that we could only see one face of Soghanis. We never get to see the other side of Soghanis. As a result Soghanis always remained in the same position in the sky.
 
At this time of day Soghanis was at half planet. I could only see the eastern side of Soghanis. How I wish I could go to Soghanis, so that I could study the reptiles for myself. It was only back in 3293 that we first set foot on that planet. That was like 63 years ago. Five years later people started colonising Soghanis. Then they formed the Barasil Soghanis Alliance in 3303.
 
"It's a lovely planet. Don't you agree?" said Jarklin. I turned to see him walking up the hill towards me.
 
"Yes, sir," I replied. "It is a cool planet. I would love to go to Soghanis. So that I can study all the reptiles". I smiled up at Soghanis.
 
"Yeah. I've been thinking of telling you this," I turned to look at Jarklin. "I've been talking to one of my friends on the Mindai Peninsula". The Mindai Peninsula stuck out from the mainland up towards the north pole. "He's looking to hire an assistant to help him study the reptiles of the Mindai Desert".
 
"Really?" I could not believe what I was hearing.
 
"Yes. I recommended you to him. He would like you to apply for the job. Come with me. Once we get back to the office, you can fill in the application. Then I'll send it off. How does that sound?"
 
"That sounds awesome!! I'm so wrapped!!"
 
***
 
We walked back towards the Faculty of Science and Engineering building, which consisted of three towers, across from the biology lab classes.  We walked up the staircase towards the third floor and through the corridor towards the door on the left. He opened up the office and then opened the web page of the National University of Mindai Desert, bought up the job ad and clicked the apply button. Then told me to fill in my details. I complied. He helped me to upload my CV and covering letter.
 
Once I clicked the send button, Jarklin wrote me a letter of recommendation to a Doctor Garhellion Barzhuba and sent it off to him.
 
Jarklin turned to me and said "Right, young man. I've sent a letter of recommendation to Garhellion and we'll hear back from him in a few months time. He said he'll give you a shot".
 
"Thanks, Mister Wassen," I replied "I appreciate that".
 
"That's ok. Have a good evening".
 
"You too" I said waving to him as I walked out the office.
 
As I walked down the corridor towards the stairs, I couldn't believe I had applied for the job. I sure hope that Doctor Garhellion does consider me for the job. I'll be happy if he did. I walked down the stairs, feeling really excited about it.
 
***
 
Once I had completed my exams I returned to my parents farm near the city of Pamtak. Pamtak was a smaller city with only a population of 50,000. My step-dad was Pitwel Yaksin. He owned a dairy farm and was also in the Board of Directors at Pamtak Dairy. My mum was Jinkel. She was a sheep farmer and rode in the equestrian event. Mum married my step-dad when I was 12.
 
While I was awaiting a reply from the National University of Mindai Desert, I helped my parents make hay for the cattle. The perimeter of the Velechia and Yassi continents was covered in temperate forests and had great conditions for growing fruit. Then heading towards the poles, you come across the temperate grasslands, then boreal forests, tundra and finally polar desserts. That was on both of Barasil's continents.
 
My step-dad used his tractor to pull the hay baler around so that the hay was put into rectangular bails. I had to go into the hay paddock and roll the hay into rows so that they could pick the hay up onto the truck using a kind of metal ramp with a conveyor belt. Then I had to jump into the back of the truck and help pick the hay up and stack it on the truck. Once the back of the truck was full of hay, we took it along the road, turned left down the gravel road towards the hay barn. Then I had to help stack the hay into the barn.
 
Everytime I helped with the hay, I would get hay fever. I sneezed and my nose felt runny. Then we headed back to the hay paddock and stacked more hay into the back of the truck. Once we had picked up all the hay and stacked it in the hay barns, we returned back to my parents place where we got out of the truck.
 
Mum said to me "Go and get the beers out of the fridge please, Volcan".
 
"Yes, mum" I replied.
 
I went and got the beers out of the fridge and brought them to the backyard where my parents waited with their two farmhands, Va'utra Mindaisen and Mileto Ghan. I handed them the beers and we opened them up and sipped the beers as we looked up at Soghanis in the east.
 
"Look's like Soghanis is reaching full planet," said Mileto sipping his kokaiya beer. "Must be approaching eight aye". Soghanis becomes a full planet at nine in the evening where we live. He leaned over to me and said "So, your step dad. He tells me you applied for a job on Soghanis".
 
"Yes," I replied. "I hope I do get that job. I would love to go to our twin planet. See the reptiles of the Mindai Desert".
 
"Yeah. Them reptiles are fascinating".
 
My step-dad cooked the steak on the barbeque and placed them on the plate, saying "Meats ready".
 
We got up and collected our steaks. Then we returned to our seats and started digging into them. The sun set and Soghanis reached full planet. Mum looked up at Soghanis, saying "Looks like a storm is brewing round its equator. You see the hurricane?"
 
***
 
I woke up the next morning. I stretched and yawned as I walked down the corridor and through the living room that was adjoined to the dining room. My parents sat at the table eating their cereals and toast with gimeta tea.
 
"Good morning," sang mum "How are you this fine morning?"
 
"Good thanks" I replied.
 
Soghanis was a waning crescent in the morning as the sun was going behind the planet.
 
"There's some breakfast at the table, son. Help yourself".
 
"Thanks".
 
I poured myself some muesli and poured milk on it. Then I started eating my muesli. Mum took a bite of her toast as step-dad sipped his coffee. Then the phone rang.
 
"I'll get it" cried mum as she got up from the table and walked over to the telephone that was on the kitchen bench. She picked up the phone and said "Hello. Yaksin residence. Yes, he is. I'll just go and get him". Mum covered the phone with her right hand and said "Volcan. It's for you. It's your old professor".
 
"OK" I replied as I rose from the table and walked over to my mum who handed me the phone. I grabbed the phone off her. "Hello"
 
"Volcan. This is Jarken here. Just received word from Doctor Garhellion. Congratulations on passing the exams. He has gone through all the applicants. He has accepted you for the job". Mum listened in on our conversation. "Congratulations".
 
"So I have the job?" I asked.
 
"Yes. He's just sent me the space tickets to Soghanis. Your space plane leaves Yazorba International Space Port in two days time. Pack your bags. I'll be meeting you at the Faculty of Science".
 
"Wahoo," I said "I am so glad to hear that. Be looking forward to it".
 
"See you tomorrow. Have a safe trip".
 
"Thanks. Can't tell you how pleased I am to be accepted. I appreciate it". I smiled.
 
"See you tomorrow".
 
Jarkin hung up and I placed the phone down. Mum screamed jumping up and down and step-dad got up from the table and walked over to me. Mum hugged me enthusiastically and kissed me on the cheek. Step-dad patted me on the back as he said "Congratulation, son. Better get prepared for the trip".
 
***
 
In a couple of days time, we arrived at the Yazorba International Space Sport with Jarkin. It was formerly called the Yazorba International Airport before they started putting people on Soghanis. We walked through the main entrance of the spaceport. There were lots of people around. I carried my two suitcases with me and my laptop in my carry bag.
 
"I can't believe this," said mum "You're going to Soghanis. My son the colonist".
 
It was nine in the evening as we approached the checkout counter where the operator was standing. It was a long queue and we waited for a while. Then came my turn to check in.
 
"And where are you off to tonight" asked the checkout operator as I handed over the space tickets.
 
"Brazeria," I replied "In the Republic of Mindai".
 
"Oh, the Mindai Peninsula on Planet Soghanis. Place your bags on the scales please". I complied, putting my bags on the scale. "And you're carrying your laptop on board". I nodded. "That's fine. I'll place your bags through". She wrote down my name, flight number and destination on the labels and attached them to my bags. "Go to gate 12 please. The plane leaves in twenty minutes".
 
We walked through the security check out and down the corridor until we came across gate 12.
 
"So you'll be leaving us?" said mum.
 
"Yeah" I replied nodding.
 
"Well, good luck". Mum gave me a big hug and I hugged her back. "Have a save trip, my dear. Be good. I hope you'll be happy there".
 
"You behave," said step-dad "find yourself a girl".
 
"I'll behave" I said.
 
"Good luck on your job," said Jarkin "have a safe trip".
 
"I will. Thanks for everything you've done for me" I stepped into the queue.
 
"Nothing to it" said Jarkin.
 
"Goodbye," said mum "See you new years".
 
I waved goodbye to Jarkin and my parents. Then turned and waited for the steward to see me. Finally I showed him the ticket and he said "Go right through that gate".
 
I did as I was told. I walked through the gate and got in line to get into the space place. It was the yarkvokel model 328. A very elegant slender spacecraft which was flattened and streamlined with a pointy nose. It was painted white with a red stripe on the side. I climbed up the steps into the plane. The air hostess welcomed me aboard and I turned around and waved to my parents again. Then I got into the spaceship.
 
I walked down the aisle of the craft as the second air hostess showed me to my seat. The seats were made of soft gray fabric with a blue and black horizontal stripe in the middle. I sat down in my seat and looked out the window.
 
As soon as everyone was buckled in, I heard a pinging sound and the female voice on the intercom said "This is captain Jiadilan Marsue. I'm your captain for today. We are now about to take off so if you would fasten your seatbelts, that will be much appreciated".
 
I did as I was told. The hostess closed the doors and walked down the aisle to the front. The engines came on as the space plane taxied down the corridor, down to the end of the runway and turned around. We waited while another space plane landed on the runway in front of us and turned left towards the space port. It was heading towards nine. Soghanis was at full planet.
 
Then I heard the engines power up, getting louder and louder. The space plane took off down the runway and we climbed into the sky towards Soghanis as we flew over the trees. We climbed higher and higher, the temperate forests below us as we climbed above the white clouds and out of Barasil's atmosphere. I saw Soghanis growing as we got closer.
 
The captain said on the intercom "If you would please set your time to Western Mindai Time. That would be fifteen hours ahead of us".
 
I did as I was told. The time on my cell phone changed from 10:36 pm to 1:36 pm the next day. The laptop automatically changed to Western Mindai Time.
 
Our space plane shook from the friction caused as we entered Soghanis atmosphere. It shook violently. I could see the wings glowing bright orange from the friction. For a while it shook. Then we were through and our space plane dived beneath the clouds towards the Mindai Peninsula. We flew over the only temperate forest on Planet Soghanis. Then we crossed the temperate grasslands towards Mindai Desert in the west. We descended towards the runway. The space plane bumped as we landed. We slowed down as we taxied down the runway and turned right towards the spaceport building.
 
I looked at the time on my cell phone. It was 2:49 in the afternoon. Our space plane slowed to a halt as the engines winded down.
 
"You may now take off your belts," said the captain over the intercom "Hope you've enjoyed your flight. Have a nice day".
 
I took off my safety belt, grabbed my laptop and walked down the aisle towards the back with the other passengers. The air hostess said "Thank you for flying with us. Have a good day" as we exited the space plane and walked down the steps onto the tarmac. I spotted a man in his fifties with a strong build and gray hair, holding up a sign that said Volcan Matton. I walked over to him. He stepped towards me and said "You must be Volcan Matton" as he offered me his hand.
 
"I am" I replied, accepting his handshake.
 
"I'm Doctor Garhellion Barzhuba from the University of Mindai Desert," he said "Welcome to Soghanis".
 
"Thank you".
 
I followed him towards the gate of the spaceport where a middle age women and a young couple my age were waiting for us.
 
"Volcan," said Garhellion "This is my wife, Barzhuba, my daughter, Yallavadan, and her boyfriend, Gamok Una".
 
"Nice to meet you" I said.
 
Barzhuba had light brown curly hair with a heavy build. She wore a light blue button sleeve shirt, jeans and black leather boots. Yallavadan had brown straight hair that went down to her shoulders and a medium build. Gamok had red ginger curly hair with a medium build and brown eyes.
 
"Welcome to Soghanis. You'll going to love it here," said Barzhuba "Put your bags in the boot, darling".
 
I complied. I put my bags in the boot and we climbed into the car. Garhellion climbed into the driver's seat, put the key in the ignition and started the engine. We pulled out of the parking spot and went down the driveway of the spaceport.
 
"So, Volcan," said Barzhuba "What time did you leave the spaceport in your country?"
 
"It was nine pm when I left" I replied. We travelled through the hot, dry desert. The cactus all around us.
 
"So that would make it noon our time" said Gamok. I nodded. "So back in your country, it would be …" He thought about it for a bit. "Three plus twenty four minus eleven minus four". He mulled it over in his head. "It must be midnight in Scarsaron. Don't you think?"
 
"Yeah. Something like that. My country is fifteen hours behind".
 
"You must be very tired" said Yallavadan.
 
"Yeah, I am," I replied "I had been up since eight Scarsaron time".
 
"So you were up since eleven last night, local time" said Gamok.
 
We pulled into the driveway of a big white two story house with concrete walls. We pulled to a stop. I was very tired.
 
"There we are, Volcan," said Garhellion "This is my house. I'll show you to your room". We climbed out of the car. I got the two suitcases out of the boot and carried them into the house. I followed Garhellion up the stairs and into the room on the right. "This is where you will be sleeping".
 
"Thanks" I replied.
 
"Make yourself at home".
 
I unpacked all my bags and placed my clothes in the drawer, put my soups and shampoo in the top drawer and my laptop on the bedside table. I lay down on the bed and fell asleep.
 
***
 
That afternoon I dreamt that I was walking through the hot desert, drinking water out of the metal canteen bottle. There were cacti. I saw a group of large crocodillian lizards bathing in the hot desert sun. They're could lador. Then I spotted some birds flying in the air making a squawking sound.
 
"Volcan, dinner time".
 
I woke up and rubbed my eyes as I sat up. It was Yallavadan calling me. I looked at the time on my cell phone. 6:43 pm. The hot desert sun was setting. Barasil had reached the half planet stage and growing bigger.
 
I rushed down the stairs. Yallavadan led me into the dining room on the right, which was adjoined to the kitchen. There was a red and white checkered table cloth on the dining room table. They had laid out what I assumed to be lizard meat, poultry, cactus, red tamarillo fruit, mashed potatoes and lettuce.
 
"Dig in," said Barzhuba "Before your dinner gets cold".
 
I could not imagine how food could possibly get cold in the desert. The only desert in the Barasil Soghanis System. As we dug into our dinner Garhellion talked about his family history.
 
"So, Volcan," asked Garhellion "What do you know about Soghanis history?"
 
"I believe it was Lakhuda Ghana who first set foot on Soghanis in 3293," I said "Soghanis was colonised five years later and the Barasil Soghanis Alliance was formed in 3303".
 
"Yes. That's right. I moved to Soghanis when I was eighteen years old to do my bachelor of science at the University of Mindai. I was born and raised in the Republic of Khakon. Know where that is?" Garhellion chomped into some lizard.
 
"That's on the other side of Barasil, right?" I bit into my roasted vulcher.
 
"Yeah. Where I grew up I never got to see Soghanis in the sky. Nor experience a planetary eclipse. I had to learn about it from watching this documentary series. I found the reptiles fascinating. So I decided to move to Soghanis to study the lizards".
 
"I moved with my parents to Soghanis when I was eight," said Barzhuba "My dad wanted to help build the University of Mindai Desert. Took eight years to complete the project. Met Garhellion at the University. It was so romantic. We used to go to night clubs. Journey to the desert. Look up at Barasil".
 
"The Mindai Desert University was completed thirty years ago," said Garhellion "Yallavadan and Gamok were both born here. On Soghanis. They're native".
 
"I grew up near the north pole, on the tip of Mindai Peninsula. Moved down to Brazeria to get close to the desert reptiles," said Gamok. "It's the only desert in the system".
 
We had ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert. It tasted sweet. It was the first time I had chocolate since we don't have it on Barasil. Barzhuba, Yallavadan and Gamok helped Garhellion with his research on the desert reptiles, getting to know them more as they have science degrees in Soghanis zoology.
 
After we had finished our deserts we sat down on the couch and watched a local game show called Vahu Dalia Cardoni. The contestants had to work out what time it was Karoka, Barasil, when it was 3pm on Jourdney, Soghanis. On Barasil the Prime Meridian was at 0 degrees latitude while on Soghanis it was at 180 degrees latitude. So if it was midnight in Gromar, Barasil, then it was noon in Mindai.
 
One of the contestants correctly worked out it would be 6pm in Karoka.
 
"Correct" replied the game host on the TV show.
 
"When you were at school, Volcan," asked Yallavadan "Did you have to learn the time zones of both Barasil and Soghanis?"
 
"Yeah," I replied. "I had to work out what time it was in Mindai, Karkon, Jundiai, Mardue".
 
"Me too," said Garok "We did it during calculus and algebra. A pain I know. But we had to do it".
 
"That's right" said Yallavadan.
 
My eyes were getting droopy. I was exhausted. So I closed my eyes and dozed off.
 
***
 
During that evening I dreamt that me, Yallavadan and Gamok were running through the Mindai Desert. We climbed over the sand dune, around a large rock and saw a heard of ladors travelling through the desert towards the oasis. Barasil was a waxing crescent. They were feeding on the carcass of a large reptilian herbivore called a dongoran. A pterodactyl flew overhead.
 
"Volcan" said a voice. I opened my eyes. It was Garhellion. He was shaking my shoulder, saying "Come on. I want to show you something".
 
"OK" I replied, getting up off from the couch.
 
I noticed that they had turned off the TV. I followed Garhellion out of the house into the front yard where Barzhuba, Yallavadan and Gamok looked up into the sky. I looked up too. It was the middle of the night. Barasil was at full planet.
 
I could see the blue Equatorial Ocean around Barasil's equator. The continents were mainly green with small glaciers round the poles.
 
"It is so beautiful round this time of night," said Gamok "You see the storm brewing in the east. On the Yassi continent?"
 
"Yeah," I replied "Look's like a hurricane has struck the Vadhalla Republic and Kinskya too". There were clouds covering the eastern part of Velechia too. "You see that point sticking into eastern Asorgia from Velechia?"
 
"Yeah. At forty degrees west".
 
"That's my home country. Scarsaron".
 
***
 
The next day we headed into the desert in Garhellions four wheel drive. He and his wife sat in the front and we sat in the back. We were headed off road along the sandy desert. I could see the cacti and the large rocks sticking out of the desert. It was a bumpy ride.
 
"So, Volcan," said Garhellion "What do you know about Soghani's climate zones?"
 
"Well," I replied "The northern point of the Mindai Peninsula is covered in tundra desert. On the western part of Mindai is the only temperate forest on Soghanis. Down the centre is temperate grassland and in the eastern part of Mindai is the Mindai Desert with chaparral in the north and tropical Savannah in the south. Then you have the tropical deciduous forests around the centre. As you head further south you come across the tropical Savannah which leads into the temperate grasslands, followed by the boreal forests and the tundra desert. That's about it".
 
"Yes. Good lad". Garhellion pulled to a stop and switched off the engines. He turned around and said "We stop here. We'll go by foot".
 
We jumped out of the four wheel drive, grabbed our backpacks out of the back and walked towards the east. We walked for miles, surrounded by sand dunes and cacti. We stepped over a sand dune to find a heard of large herbivorous carnivores called dongrans. They were the size of cattle with horny bumps on the tops of their heads. Their long tails flicking from side to side. A male dongran mooed like a cow too. They sounded like cattle.
 
Mainly the therapsid animals, which includes mammals and their ancestors, had evolved on Barasil, starting in Velechia and spreading toward Yassi. The sauropsid animals, which includes the birds and reptiles, evolved on Soghanis. Two different types of animals in the Barasil Soghanis System.
 
Some of the dongrans fed on the cacti which only grow in this part of the system. Others fed on the small succulent plants which grew on the ground. I noticed a flock of storks flying in the sky above us. All birds started off in Eastern Mindai and spread towards the east and south. They squawked in the sky above us.
 
I spotted a flock of jarkha running through the desert towards the dongans. They were small bipedal therapods with thrills around their necks. They surrounded one of the dongans. One of them squirted acid in its face. I spotted a flock of flying reptiles called jadadhur flying in the sky above us, circling around in a spiral as jarkhi hopped on the dongran and dug into its flesh with their hind feet.
 
All of a sudden the dongrans went into a stampede towards the south as a large therapsid predator called a gamboi came into view from behind a rock. It sounded like a trumpet, the way it roared, or a coyote. It was about four metres in height running with enlarged hind legs and reduced four limbs. It was covered in white feathers.
 
"Fascinating," I said "the way it runs. Must be running at up to a hundred k's per hour".
 
It finally caught up with one of the dongrans, snatching it with its teeth, flipping it in the air and chomping it. It swallowed the dongran whole in one peace.
 
"Be very still," said Garhellion "Don't make a sound. We don't want that thing chasing us".
 
We waited until the gamboi left. Then ran out into the open as the jadadhurs ate the carcus greedily. The scashias, which were white feathered birds, circled in the air above us, waiting for their chance to a feast.
 
***
 
A couple months later my parents came and visited me. I was about to attend my graduation ceremony at the Brazeria Town Hall. Garhellion took me and my parents to the National University of Mindai Desert graduation regalia room. We walked up the stairs into the small office where the other graduates were getting into their graduation regalia. We stepped up to the clerk.
 
"I am here with Volcan Matton and his parents" said Garhellion.
 
"Oh, the graduate from Yazorba I believe" replied the clerk. She was in her mid sixties with grey curly hair and glasses. "I have received the special regalia for you, courtesy of Yazorba".
 
She walked over to where the gowns were. The Mindai Desert graduate put on pitch black gowns with sky blue lining and black caps with the cotton strings hanging off them. The clerk picked out the maroon gown of Yazorba University which had the yellow lining on it and the maroon cap.
 
"Here, try that on," said the clerk, handing the regalia over to me.
 
"OK," I said, grabbing the regalia off her.
 
I went over to the fitting room and put the gown on over my clothes. Then I put on my maroon cap, making sure that it fitted nicely. I heard one of the female graduates say "Hey, that gown looks different".
 
"Yeah," I replied. "That gown represents the University of Yazorba. I'm from Scarsaron".
 
I smiled as I looked in the mirror. Mum came up to me and said "Do you like it?"
 
"I love it, mum".
 
"Great. Let's go. The graduation starts at seven".
 
"OK".
 
We walked out of the regalia room and down the stairs onto the footpath.
 
***
 
Once we had parked the SUV in the parking building we walked over to the great town hall where the graduation ceremony was being held. We went up the stairs, through the double glass doors into the main foyer of the hall. I stood in line to have my graduation photo taken.
 
"That's an interesting gown" said one of the other graduates standing in line.
 
"This is Yazorba regalia" I replied.
 
Once it came my turn to have a photo taken, the photographer got me to stand against the white curtain and said "Smile".
 
I smiled as I had my photo taken. He then took me to his laptop and asked me for my details and I gave him my mum's details as well.
 
We then walked into the main auditorium. The usher asked me my name and showed me where my seat was. Once everyone was seated and all the graduates were in place, the ceremony started.
 
The chancellor of the National University of Mindai Desert called out the names of each graduate one by one, each one stepping up and receiving their degrees or diplomas. Then I got told to move up with the other science graduates that did their biological science degrees. In Scarsaron it would be called bachelor of science in biology. We stood in line and one by one we were called up on stage to receive our degrees.
 
"From the University of Yazorba, Scarsaron," announced the chancellor "We have Volcan Matton".
 
I walked up the steps, onto the stage and strolled over to the chancellor who handed me my degree. The crowd clapped as the chancellor handed me my degree and said "Congratulations, Mr Matton" as he shook my hand.
 
***
 
The next day Garhellion's family took me and my parents out into the Mindai Desert. We parked the SUV in the sand dunes and hopped out. We grabbed our backpacks and hiked out into the sand dunes. As we walked over the top of a sand dune we spotted a group of crocodilians basking on the sand.
 
"Aren't they beautiful," said mum "The ladors".
 
"They are lovely, aren't they?" said step dad.
 
The ladors roared like lions. There were small bipedal reptiles called farashi, running through the sand, chasing after the jarkha which suddenly spat acid at them and hissed as it opened it's frills on its neck. Garhellion grabbed his shotgun and shot one of the farashi in the back of the skull, blood spurting out its neck.
 
"That's dinner" said Garhellion as he walked over to the freshly killed farashi, picked it up and put it in the chilly bin with ice in it.
 
***
 
That evening we sat around the fire camp as Garhellion cooked the farashi over the open fire on a spit. It was the size of a turkey. We looked at the small brown birds, called misils, hopping along the ground, digging for bugs and larvae.
 
"Look at those little birds," said mum "They're so cute".
 
"I think it's done," said Garhellion "Dinner is ready".
 
Garhellion took the farashi off the spit, cut off pieces of flesh and served it on our plates with spiced lettuce, beetroot, mango and kumara. We dug into our dinner. It was so fine, I enjoyed it. The  farashi tasted sweet and juicy.
 
"Have you eaten beef, lamb or pork, Yallavadan and Gamok?" asked step-dad.
 
"No, we haven't" replied Gamok.
 
"Me neither," said Yallavadan "The only meat I've eaten is reptile and poultry. That's it".
 
"I've eaten beef, lamb and pork, growing up on Barasil," said Garhellion "You'll love it. They have sweet juicy flesh".
 
"Yeah," said Bazhurba "I remember eating lamb chops as a child, beef stew, steak, Velechian pork. Yum. Such fond memories. Now I eat reptile and poultry".
 
"I've always wanted to try poultry and reptile meat" said step-dad chewing on the farashi.
 
"It's the first time I tried it," said mum gnawing on the bone "I love it".
 
"I'm used to eating reptile and bird," I said. "I miss the beef, lamb and pork back on Barasil".
 
"Me too," said Garhellion "Me too".
 
***
 
  Once we had finished eating our dinner, we drank our tropical fruit beers and me and our parents talked about growing up on Barasil and trekking through the temperate forests, while Yallavadan and Gamok spoke about their childhood in the Mindai Dessert. We laughed and told jokes into the night.
 
When midnight arrived we stood up and looked up at Barasil above us, which was at full planet. Seeing the blue Equarial Ocean between the two continents.


© Copyright 2017 simon arthur. All rights reserved.

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