Along the hills and vales of Sagamore Venom lie twisting narrow trails which, if followed, seemingly lead nowhere yet you’ll still inevitably find yourself somewhere. Clearly not natural; as every so often, along regular intervals, you will find a short metal pole forced into the hard soil adorned with a small triangular flag atop. Along with the markers, as you traverse the footpaths you’ll find boulders or large rocks which may be etched with foreign symbols. I never was able to make head nor tail of them but they always left my spine tingling and the hair on the back of my neck sticking straight out. This should have served as a warning to me but alas, I am a Traveler heart and soul and I’ve never let a case of the jitters stop me before.
I walked the world for a solid three weeks, earth-standard time, before I crossed paths with one of the indigenous apex creatures who call this harsh planet home. I came to realize that they lived in small groups and seemed to travel further only under necessity. The creatures, whom I have named the Sagamores (for the Venom part comes later), were vicious and vile-looking creatures. I have included here a sketch as best I know how to draw, but you know my skills lie in diplomacy, a level head, and written word more than artistry.
The Sagamores walk almost exclusively upright on two scaly legs which somewhat reminded me of a cross between a lizard and a turkey. Their skin, a deep, dark purple with rough scales, quite reptilian, really, was thick and heavy over the legs and feet, seemed to soften as they moved up until by the crown of the head they appeared almost soft like feathers. A thin prehensile tail completed the look and the tail was longer than they were tall. Speaking of height, they tended to stand about five feet tall on average though I did observe some as small as three feet and two giants which stood over seven feet. Along the short torso were two sets of arm-like appendages, the lower set being short and ending in two-claws, the upper pair more muscly and longer with two elbow-like joints and ending in a more hand-like appearance of three fingers and an opposing thumb. The neck was elongated and allowed the head to swivel approximately 270-degrees either direction. It was quite disconcerting, I must admit. The head itself was a beaked affair with two wide-set hard unblinking eyes in which occasionally a long forked tongue would lash out and clean off.
The Sagamores wore no clothing although they did wear adornments of fashioned jewelry, I assume, as I did not ascertain any reason other than beauty. Mostly they wore arm or neck bands but some wore leg bands as well. It appeared to be beaten silver and other shiny malleable metals. I was not in captivity long enough to see any being produced. Along with the jewelry, many wore pouches of varying sizes and configurations to carry whatever it was that one deemed necessary to carry, I imagine. I would have enjoyed more time to fully observe this aspect of their lifestyle.
They certainly communicated. Mostly with body language and posturing but also hisses, clicks and warbles. This led me to believe they were not telepathic in any way.
I chanced upon one of their villages while walking along a footpath, as I mentioned, for nearly three weeks. Immediately I was taken into captivity, though not mistreated. They clearly did not know what I was nor what to do with me. And in fact they seemed to debate for several days as to what exactly to do with me. They seemed to know I was an intelligent, thinking being such as themselves. Other than when they initially took me into custody, and realizing we could in no way communicate, they did not attempt to talk with me at all. I seemed to be a mystery. I was kept in a corral with some, what I can only imagine were an equivalent of, sheep or other livestock. They didn’t appear worried by me, nor curious, so much as perplexed what to do with me. They did not begrudge me my physical needs when I opened my knapsack for provisions. And in fact, they gave me fresh water bowls whenever mine emptied.
They seemed to pay me the attention one would pay a stray dog, and in this way I was able to observe and take notes. Within about three days time they came to some sort of conclusion amongst themselves and six of them drew lots and accompanied me out of the village and down another trail. It took about a day and a half to reach the next village. In that time we marched at a steady but not uncomfortable pace. While on the way, they paused twice to hunt with the short spears they carried with them.
It was a brutal, perfunctory affair, two would remain with me while four would chase down a mule-deer sized creature. With vicious-sounding screeches they would attack, jumping onto its back before one or more would spit a vile liquid into the face of the poor beast. It did not kill the creature, instead stunning or paralyzing it as they would descend and hastily devour it while it was still alive.
My reception at the next village was much the same as the first, and after several days of deliberation, the Sagamores must have decided I wasn’t worth any more energy, for a group of them unceremoniously took me a short distance out of view of the village and formed a barrier of sorts and one pointed out and away. I took it to mean I was not welcome nor a threat.
I do wish I could have had more time to study these interesting beings however I chose wisdom over curiosity this time and continued on my way.
Vicious and alien
Barren and empty
A planet of many mysteries
Rocky tors to tumbling rivers
The sky an emerald green shade
Never a single cloud
Wild and untamed
©️tara caribou – 2018
This is the start of a series of short stories in the category “Explorations” in which you’ll read journal entries made for the planets our intrepid explorer has traveled to across the galaxy. I hope you enjoy it. Criticism always welcome.