First Landing

by joetwo

Every planet in Human-occupied space has a First Landing, the place where the first settlers landed. Geographic considerations often mean that it is no longer the political or economic centre of the world but First Landings always have a place in the cultural and spiritual life of a planet.

In some of the older worlds,  the exact spot has been lost in the mists of time and rival cities and towns argue conflicting claims, however in a surprisingly large percentage of worlds First Landing has been preserved by the unique and often odd traditions the inhabitants use to remember their long lost founders.

By far, the strangest tradition has to be that of Lemilla.

It begins at exactly 3.15PM on the anniversary of First Landing. Thousands of people converge in the large park around the landing site and on a podium in front of the ancient bones of the colony-ship the Curator, the hereditary ruler of the planet, begins to read, verbatim,  from the recordings of that historic landing.

“We’ve landed!” He or she says, their voice echoing through the speakers and via broadcasts across the world.

“Thank Fuck!” The crowd responds “That was not a moment too soon!”

“Where are we?” The Curator calls again

“Haven’t a fucking clue” The crowd murmers “But the place is habitable”

“Only just!” The Curator adds in solemn tones  “It’s a real shit-hole!”

“Nonsense, breathe in that air!!” The crowd chants followed by, “Oh God! It smells like Granny’s feet.”

There’s ritualised coughing followed by the crowd saying “Can we go somewhere else?”

“Sorry folks!” The Curator replies “The engines are screwed. We’re not going anywhere.”

“Well that’s just fucking great!” Echoes from a thousand voices, “We’re stuck here.”

“We are, I’m afraid.” The Curator says ending with “We have to make the most of it.”

Then each member of the crowd raises a glass of home-made vodka and repeats, “Make the most of it” as a toast before drinking.

And that’s it until next year.

###################################################

Written for trifecta week one hundred and three.

 

Advertisements