The Way Home (short story) | LET'S MAKE A COLLAGE: ROUND #136

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It's Round #136 of Let's Make a Collage ("LMAC"). The image for this week is another lovely landscape. My theme for this week will consist of a short story involving a visitation from another galaxy by a being who's young and inexperience. He's unfamiliar with space exploration and the galaxy that included Earth.

To create the setting, I started with the photograph provided by @shaka in his contest post: Let's Make a Collage - A Contest for All Creatives on Hive - Round 136 - ✨256 HIVE in the Prize Pool! Don't forget to include the link to the contest post in your entry as it's now a requirement.

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Image used with permission of contest owner for contest

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The Way Home

The invitation wasn't formal. It wasn't written. It wasn't even spoken. It was akin to a dare formulated in silence. Cascanu, a deep rusk, earthy hued humanoid with pits yet to be filled, hadn't attained secondary age. Unlike his senior friends already moved into adulthood, his knowledge base was considered "amateur". The overly inquisitive nature of this age group confirmed this. It was the only plausible explanation his mentor, Yelditi, could provide to his parents upon discovering, while away at the learning facility, he'd disappeared from their galaxy.

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How else could Yelditi explain her young student tracker's faint signal. Her intuition signaled that his destination was the nearest planet in their system. Glowing brilliantly at sunset, one couldn't deny it's appeal. She'd overheard several students discussing it recently.

"You haven't experienced the universe until you've seen the dancing planet up close." This particular youth led the rebel base in unproven speculations and theories. Careful monitoring would be required to squash his goadings.

Apparently she missed one meeting.

That session sealed it for Cascanu. He was the youngest of the group. The nearest moon's reflection, in with what his comrade described as resembling a dance in a circular motion, fascinated him.

Never mind that the knowledge handbook forbade contact with this planet until further study. He was set to study planetary systems in the Secondary. So why not get a head start, he reasoned.

The mission was set. No turning back now as Cascanu escaped from his school's flat and slipped through the guards undetected.

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Within five minutes the control systems were alerted. By that time, Cascanu had entered the atmosphere of the planet and disappeared through the hole he encountered and didn't know existed.

Only a one-semester course in driving helped to complete a standard maneuver.

Cascanu experienced a momentary loss of consciousness. He woke to unfamiliar star patterns. His craft stood motionless.

A loud explosion erupted. The portal glowed bright orange. Debris hurled in his direction directly hit his craft. The dive downward toward an unfamiliar landscape was unavoidable.

Desperate, despondent, and alone, he perched near the rock formation that held an known structure his knowledge bank couldn't classify.

Without his craft, he couldn't determine exactly on which planet he'd landed. The typography looked different from any he recognized from home.

I'm lost, he admitted to himself.

Cascanu stood upright and looked out over the horizon. He rose to a height of six feet. A few more years, and he'd be able to boast. At this moment, though, under these circumstances, he couldn't find pride in his physical attributes.

His thoughts jumbled, he attempted to assess the damage.

My beacon's destroyed. My family's craft broken. My lower outer torso plate is missing. My head's twisted sideways. My arms are tangled behind my back. No more unusual than wrestling with the Secondaries, though.

He placed his palm over his right side. His valve pump registered an extremely high level. If I weren't humanoid, he thought, I'd define this as fear.

For a second, dizziness overtook him. He fell to the ground.

Cascanu held his head in his hands. His thoughts turned to his parents. He didn't want to acknowledge their disappointment upon learning of his adventure. He knew that a month's detention at a minimum with no access to commute freely between school and home was in his future.

A chaperone would be assigned. He shook his head and settled back on the rocks. Looking out over the night's horizon of a foreign planet's country, that was the harshest punishment he could imagine at that moment.

He didn't know what was causing his condition.

What he also didn't know was that Yelditi was not far behind.

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"Primary Cascanu!" His eye sockets expanded as his monitor reading increased even higher. He wasn't sure at first. However, that familiar, low pitched stern voice repeated the command.

Cascanu stared blankly at his teacher. He attempted to square his shoulders, but slumped over. This wasn't a tactic he'd win.

Yelditi continued. "Do you know the trouble caused by your recklessness? Not only did you harm another planet. But another planet in another galaxy. Now remove yourself. Respect this galaxy history and resources. You've done enough damage for one night. The elders, including your parents will take full responsibility for your actions."

This wasn't the time or place for a lecture, but she had to counsel him. He was too important.

The Primaries, as his group was categorized, had yet to reach that stage of analytical study in their academics. To explore their own world may seem trivial. However, when they're a Primary and inexperienced, they won't comprehend the consequences of exploring the unexplored.

Exploration was not for children. Their bodies can't withstand the portal. The fact that Cascanu survived was a miracle.

"We've been allowed reentry through the dancing planet's portal. Come quickly. No time to waste. We must return to study why you survived. Perhaps you can provide our researchers insight into this phenomenon."

Weak, but capable of standing, Cascanu stated with conviction, "my friends won't ever believe this!"

"I'm sure they won't since none have ever attempted this foolishness. Didn't you recognize boasting at its ultimate? They will be reprimanded for their part in this folly."

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Yelditi unpacked her healing case and corrected his twisted outer body.

She placed the protective crown around Cascanu's head. With one tool, she repaired his craft and guided both home through the portal.

On their return, thoughts of another year as an Academy teacher weighted heavily. Those Primaries!

However, she'd probably be recommended for a promotion. Another student's wiliness and intergalactic disturbance excellently and with precision averted, the board will say.

Yes, Yelditi would continue as Head Mistress. There were few as it were whose courageous fortitude were consistently pitted against those Primaries!

The End.

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To create the collage, I uploaded both the contest photo and all images into Canva. With my Annual Pro Membership Subscription, I'm able to take advantage of the tools and features that allow me to blend the elements together.

Below are the images I included in my collage.

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I appreciate your visit and hope you like my collage and short story.

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CONTEST RULES

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

It is imperative that you read the post LMAC School - Public Domain Picture sources (Free Materials for creating collages) by @quantumg, which discusses public domain issues. The post offers valuable information on images for commercial use. Links are included to sources that offer public domain images and other images that are free for commercial uses. Using public domain pictures and free pictures for commercial use are requirements for all collages that are submitted as entries in the LMAC contest and the LMAC Image Library (LIL).

What is Let's Make a Collage?It is a weekly photography and collage contest.
Who created the contest?@shaka is the contest owner.
What type of contest is it?This Contest utilizes a single photo provided by the contest owner as the basis for you to create your own photo collage by adding to the photo provided.
What are the rules?1. Use as your starting point for your collage the photography provided by the contest owner. It is located on the contest owner's post for free use without any copyright protection.
2. Entries are required to be posted to the LMAC community and must contain a link to the contest post.
3. Entries need to set the LMAC account (@lmac) as 20% beneficiary to be eligible for the dynamic component of the prize pool.;
4. Extra support with the LMAC trail to all collages where LIL assets have been included AND the respective LIL-contributors set as 2% beneficiaries;
5. By submitting your contribution you agree that your artwork remains public domain and that it can be copied, modified and distributed, even for commercial purposes, without requiring further permission.
6. Any graphical element that is added to the photography either needs to be your own original work (e.g. own artwork or photography) OR needs to derive from sites whitelisted by LMAC.
7. IMPORTANT: Indicate the source of all materials used in your accompanying post. Otherwise your entry can NOT be put up for the final vote.
8. All sort of editing, modification and/or manipulation is allowed as long as no copyright is affected.
What do you win?Prizes listed on the contest owner's post.

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Thanks,
@justclickindiva

Happy rest of the week everyone with whatever your endeavors.

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SOURCES:

a) JustClickindiva's Footer created in Canva utilizing its free background and images used with permission from discord admins.
b) Unless otherwise noted, all photos taken by me with my (i) Samsung Galaxy 10" Tablet, (ii) Samsung Phone, & (iii) FUJI FinePix S3380 - 14 Mega Pixels Digital Camera
c) Purple Butterfly part of purchased set of Spiritual Clip Art for my Personal Use
d) All Community logos, banners, page dividers used with permission of Discord Channel admins.
e) Ladies of Hive banner used with permission of and in accordance with the admin's guidelines.
f) Image created in Canva by @justclickindiva utilizing one of its free templates.

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