Essdy continued his story:
When the Eacim astronauts awoke from their hibernation they found themselves a great distance from the gravitational pull of their two suns. These explorers were having difficulty adjusting to the rigors of space. However, once their ship was far enough away from any interference emanating from their suns, someone could easily pick up their distress beacon as they were in the midst of a few commonwealth systems.
Naturally, Eagle Douglass was the first to arrive. Eagle would often search for anomalies and calls for help. He picked up the Eacim signal quickly and decided to rendezvous with the small Eacim ship.
Once he was close enough to the Eacim system, he docked with the tiny ship. A distress beacon was one thing, but actual communication with a new species is a difficult task. However, Eagle attempted to communicate with this new species. It was all for naught as Eagle was no linguist, and as I have said, the Eacim were not good with languages either.
Eagle decided to lookup his old buddy Sparky Daniels. Sparky was an excellent code breaker and linguist. This Nimrov figured out the galactic standard sign language, and he deciphered the Izanian language. This friend of Eagle has had a knack for this type of thing.
Of course, the question was where to find Sparky. He had left NASA after the episode with the Thradlumites. Earth left him out to dry, and he did not appreciate it one bit. Eagle knew he was not back on Nimrov 4, so he needed to determine what he doing for a living in the Galactic Commonwealth.
Sparky was a captain of a small cargo vessel. His vessel was larger than Eagle's, but most cargo vessels were much larger than Sparky’s ship was. However, Sparky had some advantages as he specialized in Earth goods. Many species in the galaxy enjoy some of earth specialties. He would trade these for various other goods. This way, he would get to spend some time on his home world, but he also has to interact with a variety of other species.
In this way, Sparky could keep his linguist skills exercised. On this particular occasion, Sparky was on this very station we are sitting in. He had run a full load of Nimrovian Chocolate. This candy is in big demand all over the galaxy. It is always profitable to make a chocolate run, and this station is an excellent trading spot.
Eagle met up with him here, and as always, they caught up on old times. Eagle had ferried the two Eacim explorers to the station, and he introduced Sparky to the three explorers. After a few days, Sparky could communicate with the Eacim on a rudimentary level. Sparky informed Eagle that an enormous invader that inhabited another continent of the explorer’s world was invading these Eacim’s home. They were looking for help.
Eagle and Sparky wasted no time in taking the Iguana II toward the Eacim home world. During the journey, Sparky learned more and more about the Eacim language. He was practically fluent when they reached the launch site. The Eacim welcomed home their three heroes. The Xer had once again destroyed crops. These enormous beings even ventured into one of the cities and toppled numerous structures.
Unfortunately, during the time of the launch and their return, the Eacim engineers had constructed their first series of weapons that they were planning to use on the Xer next spring. However, their hibernation cycle was drawing near. They gave Eagle and Sparky all of the information they had gathered on the Xer. These two outsiders from Nimrov would have several months to devise and implement a solution before the Eacim would use their weapons on the Xer.
First contact with any civilization is a tricky business. This is especially true of lesser-sophisticated civilizations. They tend to be superstitious and are generally unaware of other species in the universe or even the world. Thus, these two men had to be cautious.
Sparky studied the language carefully, but he could not get much information from the Eacim recordings. He could guess at a few words, but that is all he could get. Further, from the sounds and descriptions of the Xer, there was no way that Sparky or Eagle could utter some of the guttural utterances of the Xer.
The Iguana II had a good stock of supplies, but it was not enough to last the winter of the Eacim’s home. Furthermore, they were in no shape to withstand the harshness of the upcoming season. Thus, they decided that they should scout out the Xer for themselves.
With the direct observation of the Xer’s life, Sparky felt he could better understand the way they do things. With this further knowledge, he believed he could grasp their language. However, it was going to take some time. Thus, they were going to have to find a place in the northern hemisphere to live. The two men could leave the planet for supplies if they needed them, but they had to find a spot on the warmer side of the planet to act as their base.
The Nimrov’s rented a planetary scout vehicle to find the ideal spot for their base. This vehicle was capable of flying very high in an atmosphere. In fact, it could fly high enough as to be invisible to the naked eye. That way, they could map out locations for study, and find a place to station.
Eagle enjoyed flying this craft. It had been a long time since he flew an airplane. He spent a great deal of time taking pictures of the northern hemisphere on his recon missions. He even took the time to do some acrobatic maneuvers. However, he did those on the southern hemisphere so he wouldn’t be noticed.
They determined that a particularly arid and rocky spot on the southern coast would be an ideal spot for their base. The men would use a hovercraft to get close to the Xer villages. They could camouflage the vehicle and make observations. They would even attempt to get close. In the cover of night, they intended to create a hidden outpost to do close observations.
It took them several weeks to cut a niche out of a large rock close to one of the Xer villages. It was the perfect spot, and they created their observation "blind" with great care. It was virtually undetectable, and very close to a Xer settlement.
Fortunately, the Xer language was less complicated than the Eacim's language. This is often the case with less sophisticated societies. It took months of close observation to obtain a rudimentary understanding of the Xer language. The Eacim winter was about to come to an end and Sparky felt he could understand what the Xer said. The next problem was going to be how were they going to approach the Xer?
Sparky and Eagle agreed that the best thing to do was to wait until the Xer landed on Eacim soil, and try to communicate with them at that time. This would lessen the fear that they Xer may feel and the two men hoped it would prevent any xenophobic tendencies in the future.
However, the Eacim planned to attack the giants when they next landed upon Eacim soil. They had lost a great deal of food to their neighbors, and they did not want to lose any more of their own citizens. It was going to take some convincing to give Sparky and Eagle a chance to talk to the Xer.
Minor misunderstandings were the cause of many wars. These conflicts would continue for generations simply because of a failure to communicate. While the intentions of the Eacim were valid, they should have approached the Xer when they first landed upon their continent. They were partially to blame for the situation. Nevertheless, Eagle and Sparky were there to prevent war.
When the Eacim leaders awoke from their hibernation, Eagle negotiated a settlement. He promised to supply the Eacim with whatever crops the Xer damaged in exchange for time to meet with the landing Xer leaders.
As was now a regular springtime occurrence on the southern continent, the Xer landed with a boat full of their beasts. However, instead of encountering nothing, Eagle and Sparky met them at the point of landing. The two men surprised these giants, as they had never encountered anyone on their southern journeys. They were even more surprised when Sparky spoke to them in a pigeon version of their language.
Sparky explained to them that another being, the Eacim, raised the food that their beasts were eating. He told them that the Eacim were ready to use force to prevent any more destruction of their crops. He also informed them that he and Eagle were intervening to stop potential bloodshed.
The Xer were at first threatened by these men and all of their information. They stood and roared at the men in an attempt to intimidate them. After all, these giants were about 3 meters taller than these men were. They were indeed giants and their roars showed it.
However, the two men stood their ground. They had negotiated with many races, and they knew they had nothing to fear. They were there for the good of the Xer as well as the Eacim. In his broken Xer, Sparky invited the giants to tour a town of the Eacim. They introduced the Xer and their neighbors, the Eacim. They now realized that they shared their world with these tiny intelligent creatures. The northern and southern hemispheres had a lot to learn about the other.
The first barrier to overcome was the language barrier. It would be quite impossible for the two sides to communicate via their respective spoken languages. Both sides had limited physiology to speak the others language. Thus, they had a general communication barrier.
Starting from this, Eagle and Sparky taught both sides the Galactic standard sign language. In this way, they could communicate with each other. Not only that, but they would also be able to communicate with any other Galactic Commonwealth cultures that may come their way.
The two sides averted a war and a communication channel was established. The omnivorous Eacim could share the bounty of the Xer’s massive cattle. Thus, they allowed limited grazing upon Eacim farmland. Further, Sparky had established a new trading partner. He could trade Xer and Eacim goods for Nimrov and other goods. This was another source of foodstuffs for these neighbors.
These giants are a long way from exploring space, but they have made the first step. They have begun to explore their world. They know there are others out there, and they are not frightened to encounter other beings. Hopefully, they will live in peace with their neighbors.
"Thanks Yarnspinner. I'd be interested in seeing some of the goods these Xer produce."
"Oh, well I have a manifest from Sparky Daniels with me that I'll let you borrow. I was thinking of getting something myself. If you see something you like, I can pass along the info."
"Tender fix up my friend here. I'll check out the manifest as quickly as I can. Some of my customers may be interested as well. I'll let you mediate any deals Yarnspinner. Now, let me see what they have."