2013 Totem Head Story Contest Finalist.
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2013 Contest Finalist


A Tale of Two Suns
Written By:   Ruhani Ahluwalia, Texas.

So there I was, traveling to the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas, with my mom, dad, brother (Pavan), and uncle (Professor Cytogenes), a world-renowned geneticist, when I looked out the window and saw a shiny-red and silver spaceship with flashing blue, yellow, and green lights. I immediately grabbed Pavan as I trembled in fear. Suddenly, the leaf-shaped spacecraft drew closer until it hovered above our van. Terrified, I said to myself, "I’m too young to die; I’m only in 5th grade." Looking around the van to see my family’s reaction, I could not believe my eyes; they had not seen the 90-meter wide, leaf-shaped spacecraft hovering above. Then, the alien craft shot a green beam into my body, paralyzing me instantly.

"Ruhani, wake up!" Mom called as our van stopped at the observatory.

I checked my watch to see how much time had passed and to my disbelief, it displayed: 7:32 P.M. Saturday, December 22, 2012. "What! I have three hours of missing time, and how did we get here?" I uttered to myself.

"Come on Ruhani, quit staring at your watch and look at the star constellations!" Mom exclaimed.

Reluctantly, I strolled towards the gigantic telescope facing the sparkling sky. Mom, Dad, and I gazed at the stars as the presenter outlined the constellations with his laser pointer. Suddenly, Pavan pulled my shirt and pointed his finger toward the bushes in the far-off hills. We looked at each other in disbelief at what we saw. Flashing blue, yellow, and green lights captured our attention. Quietly, we slipped into the darkness to investigate. As we approached the lights, I noticed the same spaceship I had seen before. Immediately, an intense beam of blue light struck my brother and me, causing us to slowly levitate into the space craft. Before we could react, I realized we had disappeared into the dark sky.

"Ee-naw-mah-ka-poh," a strange voice thundered.

I turned around and stared in disbelief. Behold, an alien resembling a cross between a human and a peacock towered in front of me. Pavan started to cry. The blue-colored alien woman with peacock feathers protruding from her head and human arms and legs introduced herself to us.

"Hi, I am Mimiawmi," she said.

Startled, I quivered, "You speak English?"

"Yes, I can communicate with you using the translation device on my chest!" Mimiawmi replied. "I am a Phototrophian from planet Phototania, in galaxy Mopiter, five million light years away. We have studied earth and its people, and we understand your civilization and language."

"Why are we being held captive on your ship?" I asked nervously.

"We need you!" she replied hesitatingly as she turned her gaze toward the middle of the room and commanded, "Activate Hologram."

Speechless, Pavan and I saw a 3¬-D holographic image emerge.

"This is Phototania," Mimiawmi said pointing to an earthlike planet orbiting two suns and surrounded with a ring of rainbow colored moons.

I saw mountains, green oceans, colorful gardens with flowers, and breathtaking waterfalls of different colors. Strange vehicles sped on water, air, and land. Leaf-shaped, glass buildings floated above the ocean.

"Wow, this is awesome!" I said while looking at Mimiawmi. "Your planet is far more advanced than Earth."

She nodded quietly. I looked at the hologram in awe and silently wondered why one of the suns had a large black spot right in the middle. A voice on the intercom interrupted the silence. The crew started to prepare for landing. As we exited the ship, suddenly, two tall Phototrophians approached us.

"I am Weckerom, Security Chief from the Phototania Academy of Genetic Sciences, and have come to take you and Pavan with us," said the taller of the two.

"What is this about?" I pleaded with fear. "Where are you taking us?"

"We are not at liberty to tell you," Weckerom grunted.

Fearful, we followed them to a large hexagon-shaped vehicle with a rotating dome made of blue and red crystals. As we sat down, I did not notice any seat belts. The security chief started the vehicle and suddenly a safety, glass dome dropped over us as the vehicle hovered in the air.

As we flew to the Academy, I gazed through the windows of the vehicle and noticed towering buildings and vehicles made entirely of glass and crystal. I looked over my shoulder and noticed Pavan with eyes wide open, fascinated by the majesty of the breathtaking view outside. Far in the horizon, I could see lights resembling Earth’s Northern Lights and the wind gently dancing and swirling as it changed colors from green to purple to blue and pink. In the distant sky, the orange glow of the suns remained clearly visible, and I wondered why the sun in the western sky had a large black spot in the middle.

"Computer, ready to dock…Coordinates 25Z-30-8A Parallel," the voice commanded.

I looked up through the roof as the vehicle slowly spun its way vertically upward toward a gigantic, disk-shaped structure many miles wide and several stories tall. Like everything else on Phototania, this structure appeared totally transparent. Click! A few seconds later the door to a turbolift abruptly slid open.

A Phototrophian male taller than Mimiawmi stepped out.

"My name is Oganama Centuri, and I am the Director of Genetics at the Academy," he announced as he gestured us to follow him.

The turbolift stopped several stories later, and we walked through a metallic corridor to what appeared as a laboratory with strange looking equipment and glass chambers.

As we walked into the room, I saw eyes intently scrutinizing Pavan and me.

"We will be testing these human specimens….prepare for full body scan and Neuro-genetic PQ strand transfusion!" Oganama ordered the technician at the end of the room.

The technician nodded in acknowledgement as he pressed buttons on a large control panel in front of him. Before we could protest, two sets of arms lifted and strapped us to a glass chamber as we thrashed our arms and legs to break free. My eyes rolled to the monitors, and I could see lights flashing and data scrolling down the monitor screen rapidly. Soon, I fell asleep.

Waking up to a familiar face staring down at me, I saw Mimiawmi. I turned my head sideways to look for Pavan and discovered him awake but disoriented, and I felt dizzy too. I soon realized that we had not eaten for a long time and craved for food.

"We need to eat," I told Mimiawmi.

"Phototrophians don’t eat food like people on Earth," she replied. "Phototrophian bodies create energy through a process similar to photosynthesis on Earth," she added.

She walked to Oganama and whispered in his ears.

"I can try Zeta-X Phototransgeneic Activation on them," he hollered.

Soon they strapped us again to the chamber and a robotic arm pinched my thigh, and I felt a warm fluid run through my body.

"The humans are good to go!" Oganama shouted as he left the room.

Tired and bewildered, I looked at Mimiawmi for answers. I could sense a friendly smile on her face though not quite obvious.

"Let’s go to the lounge," she said as Pavan and I walked slowly in her direction.

"Please tell us what this is about and when can we go home?" I queried pleadingly.

"I will," she replied as we sat down in the lounge.

"Phototania always has sunlight since it orbits two suns," Mimiawmi explained. "The Phototrophian body generates energy through photosynthesis, and with perpetual sunlight Phototrophian civilization has no need for light in their homes, vehicles, and streets. However, the sun on its western sky is dying and its death would lead Phototania into a day and night cycle like Earth. Not accustomed to darkness, the Phototrophian authorities decided to study Earth – its plants and humans to investigate if elements from Earth species can be used to genetically modify the Phototrophian body as it prepares to function in a day and night scenario."

"We used you and your brother as human specimens for our research… You should not be hungry anymore since we have altered your body’s genetic code so you can carry out photosynthesis… You will be sent back to Earth shortly," Mimiawmi concluded reassuringly.

I noticed my hunger had ceased. "We can solve hunger on Earth if I can take your technology home with me," I said out loud. Mimiawmi was silent.

As we stepped inside the spaceship for our journey to Earth, Oganama handed me a genetic map.

"This genetic code can make the human body convert light energy into food while still allowing humans to eat the foods they relish," he said.

I knew my uncle, Professor Cytogenes, would be excited to use the alien technology.

"What an adventure this has been," I thought to myself as we thanked the Phototrophians for the genetic code that could alleviate hunger on Earth.




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