Friday, 18 June 2010

What's in a Name? (Part 3)

Quietly, and with dignity, the rotund man climbed down off the crate, picked it up, and walked over to the Stranger. ‘Good day, good sir. I see you are not from here. Are you from there?’

Assuming that by ‘there’ this short man meant Kensurit, the Stranger replied, ‘No, I am not from ... ‘there’, as you put it. But I would like to know more about what troubles you. I have observed that this is an interesting urban development, and I am here to learn more about yourselves.’

‘Well, then,’ the middle-aged man smiled, ‘You’re speaking to just the right person. My name is Alsyn-Marks. Welcome to Magdar. Do come with me, my dear fellow, and I will take you to my house, where you can sample my lady’s hospitality. There, I will share more with you.’

On the verandah outside his home, and having seen the Stranger comfortably settled into his chair with a cool beverage, Alsyn-Marks seated himself into the matching padded red chair, and began to relate the story.

‘Several thousands of years ago this planet was discovered by the Alsyn brothers. They came from one of the Denebian colonies that settled around Arcturus. They surveyed it, and found it to be suitable for our people. So they returned to their home-planet, gathered together many colonists, and moved out here. They brought everything they had, so as to start life over. This town, Magdar, was named after one of the other settlers, an old fighter pilot from the Shane Wars. You may have recognised the name? (the Stranger shook his head.)

‘Oh well. Anyway. This was one of the first places to be settled, and everything went well for many years. The population grew from the original five hundred thousand to several millions in that period, and we (when I say ‘we’ I mean my people – many centuries ago) spread out over the whole planet. Life was good, and we were each able to pursue our careers unhindered. There was a form of overall government, but it was largely for the purposes of ensuring that no-one was short on necessaries.

‘Then the Dark Times came. Some of our settlements hadn’t been neutralising their non-biodegradable waste, and a plague caused by some virus that grew in the waste ensued. Soon it spread through the entire planet, and decimated our population to several hundred thousand individuals. That was a very dark time indeed.