" I am receiving battle field transmissions from a planet about one hundred and fourteen light years from here. Actually, I am receiving data from a great many conflicts now that I am searching for them. " Trent said.
" What are they saying? " Asked Emmer.
" It will take a while to filter through it, there is a lot of data. " Replied Trent.
" Wars. It is almost ironic that the more enlightened we become, the more homicidal we seem to be. " Semma stated.
" Agreed. " Cree said raising her glass as to toast Semmas statement.
" Personally, I find it hard to comprehend. Here we are, on this unbelievably fanciful beach, devouring these incredibly delightful morsels of delight, engulfed by worm fragrant air, and mused by hauntingly magical sounds streaming from the jungle fauna, and just out there on those twinkling lights are millions of beings killing and dying. It is like a solid holographic hallucinogenic dream or something. " Said Semma.
" Somebody beat me to death with a rock. " Emmer said with his head cocked and gazing in Semmas direction.
" I'm only expressing my opinion on the irony of life in the universe. All around us, others in a myriad of shapes and sizes, are existing at the same time yet experiencing very different existences. " Semma countered.
" Yes indeed. Some only a few feet away as a matter of fact. " Replied Emmer.
Cree jumped in. " I found a rock! ".
That started the laughter flowing again.
" Just out of curiosity how big a rock is it? " Semma chuckled.
" It's only a two whacker, but end results are the same. " Cree said.
" Oh no you don't. It has to be a twelve or so whacker, or nothing doing. I want it to really hurt. That way my lovely wife can feel accomplished. " Emmer said.
" Your so thoughtful, but an eight or nine whacker would be sufficient. " Replied Semma.
" To kind my dear, to kind. " Emmer sighed.
" Only two of these shell things left. Who want one. " Cree said.
" I could not eat another crump. " Emmer said, then quickly added, " Besides it would almost be cannibalism. "
Cree started to laugh then caught herself.
" He wasn't referring to the shell food. He was referring to the crumb. " Semma quipped.
Semma and Emmer both laughed.
" We are only kidding with each other. We talk this way all the time. It is meant to be funny. Especially when making fun of him. " Semma said.
" She only married me so she could make fun of someone besides herself. You see, no matter what she said about herself, there was never an argument. " Emmer said.
" Excuse me for interrupting, but here is something you might find of interest. On the planet Stroma, if I am pronouncing it properly, one of the warring factions has detonated their entire stockpile of nuclear devices. The entire planet will apparently be uninhabitable. " Trent said.
" When did this happen and were is this planet. It is one hundred and twenty one light years from here. In the closest arm of the Quillet galaxy. Now all I get is static. On a planet called Julla, they are using poison gas. Ah, on Witten, they have been recovering from chemical and biological attacks for nearly a thousand years. They have just recently regained a rudimentary radio transmission system, and no video imaging transmission. " Trent said.
" Well Trent, this is a true dichotomy of experience. Here on Minn, and anywhere else. " Emmer said.
" If I could feel pain or ecstasy, I would surly avoid war zones. However, from an interest level, I think being in at least near the action is much more attractive. " Trent replied.
" If and when you have a chance to experience actual war, you will and I do mean, " you will " regret having done so. " Said Cree.
" I understand, but when you are part of all the parts it is difficult not to want to stop the bad parts. Did that make sense? " Said Trent.
" I wasn't thinking of it that way. Wow. Being the bomb that blows you up, the bullet pierces your heart, or gas that chokes you to death. More brain hurt stuff. " Said Emmer.
In silence, they sat around the ember pit picking through the odds and ends left on the table, and sipping their drinks while contemplating Trent's dilemma.
Cree stood up. " Did you hear that? " Referring to a loud splash not to far off shore.
" Yes. It sounds like another one of those Lumbaleens. " Semma said.
" It was a Lumbaleen. They are more active at night. If you listen, you can hear them calling to each other. They sound like high-pitched string instruments. Kinda. Sorta. " Said an attendant.
They sat quietly listening for the sounds of Lumbaleens. The sounds made by the breeze weaving through the trees along the shoreline were the first to dominate the night. The thin fractured waves remaining active were next in line. Then in the distance, came the calls sliding along the sea. Some of the calls were whistles, some cough like, and others clicks. After a while, you could tell the difference between one Lumbaleen and another.
" Trent, can you bond with the Lumbaleen? " Semma asked.
" No more than any other object. Size is not a criteria. It is how concentrated I am. We have not as of yet been able to determine what my concentration level must be or how to concentrate me. Why did that sound funny? Trent asked.
" It would be fascinating to know what they were saying to each other. Like, did you hear the one about or uncommonly strong currents today. Maybe things like, how was I to know she was your wife. " Emmer said.