Castle Roland


by Darryl-Radio Rancher

Short Story

Short Story

Posted: 1 Dec 2014

By The Radio Rancher
(edited by TSL)
Copyright © 2010 - 2014

Fallon was a beautiful planet. It was perfect for human life. Its axis angle was such that the seasons, if you could call them seasons, didn't vary by more than a few degrees Fahrenheit.

The average temperature hovered around 75 degrees F. The rain would fall in the early evenings for an hour or so. It was gentle and warm. There seemed to be no violent weather of any sort there.

In short, this was a perfect place for a vacation planet. It was about three quarter the size of Earth, but it had a very similar atmosphere. It might have been slightly more oxygen-rich.

Varga Ventures INC. showed considerable interest in the planet.

Arnald Walsh could see the piles of money he could make by turning the place into a mega-resort planet. Anyone who saw Fallon instantly fell in love with it.

There was one small problem, however. Fallon didn't want to be turned into a resort planet, and the conscious wishes of Fallon would make themselves known soon enough.

First there were the minor accidents involving heavy robotic machinery. A bulldozer fell into the excavation pit it was digging, and the fuel managed to leak from its tank and catch fire. The resulting explosion was heard for miles around. As it turned out, no one was in the vicinity when the accident occurred. When the smoke and dirt settled down there was no sign of the bulldozer or the hole it had been making.

Of course that was not the last accident to occur, as the project moved along. The next unexplainable mishap was when the starship Falcon toppled over and crushed the monitoring building that had just been finished.

Again, the accident happened after the entire site had been closed for the day.

While more incidents continued to occur, the management of the reconfiguration project, refused to see that there was any reason to examine the nature of the planet and what might be necessary to make her happy.

One person did notice the disappointment of Fallon, and decided to try to make things right with the world, if he could. Devin Rogers was certain he had figured out the problem. He knew that Fallon was angry at the humans who were destroying the landscape and would eventually pollute the atmosphere.

One day the ground began to shake. As people started to run for their lives, giant, gaping holes began to appear beneath the huge buildings of the complex. Strangely enough, the only people left on the campus when the quake occurred were the owner and the chief of staff, and for some unknown reason, none of the doors of the collapsed building would open. They seemed to be extremely tightly stuck, and no one could seem to pry them loose.

Consequently, the officers of the corporation perished in the freak 'accident'. Four hundred employees managed to reach the corporate starship, which had been waiting at the spaceport to receive its cargo and a large compliment of passengers. Of course, no one expected there to be the huge number of people ready to leave the planet, but they all managed to squeeze their way aboard.

When they were safely off planet, they contacted the main office on Earth and reported that the head honchos had been crushed beneath the huge piles of rubble that were once towering buildings,

They were informed that they should immediately return to earth to determine the next thing the company would decide about the future of the project. As the giant ship had lifted off, there was a tentative movement in a small pocket formed by some debris that had somehow managed to fall in such a way as to completely protect a young man from all the heavy crushing masonry.

Devin slowly worked his way out from under the massive fragments of buildings that lay in a tangled mess on the beautiful landscape. He reached for his communicator, flipped it open and called,

"Henry, are you there?"

There was no answer and no telltale 'gleep' to let him know that the repeater had grabbed his signal and retransmitted it. He tried again with the same results or lack thereof.

His head began to pound, partly from the strain of removing himself from the rubble, but partly from the stress of thinking he may be the only one left alive.

Shortly after he found his way out from under the massive building, the ground started rumbling again.

Devin decided to get as far as he could from the building or what used to be a building. He ran as fast as his legs would carry him away from the massive structure. He looked back just in time to see the entire building sink into the hole that appeared in the ground. He watched as the surface began to close over the mess below. And a smooth grassy blanket was once again covering the face of the planet.

Devin was not a big man. At a glance he looked to be about five feet four inches tall, and he had a beautiful olive complexion. He was well built with a reasonable complement of muscles for a man his size. He had a full head of light brown wavy hair that just didn't quite manage to stay where he wanted it. He had gorgeous brown eyes that could look right through you and melt your heart when he looked at you.

Devin's communicator began to chirp.

"Who could that be?" he thought. He grabbed the little device and pressed the talk button.

"Hello!" he said, as he pondered his situation.

There was no answer. The readout was flashing.

'Fallon' it said blinking on and off.

Devin was puzzled.

Why would someone name anyone Fallon? he said to himself. That would be like someone naming their kid 'Earth', or 'Mars'. But wait, he thought, how in the world could there be a message on the communicator?

Then the communicator beeped again. This time he was watching the readout and he saw it flash, "I am Fallon." It flashed several times and then flashed, "Really! I'm glad you are here."

"Who are you?" Devin typed.

"I told you, I'm Fallon," came the reply.

"How can I be talking to a planet?" asked Devin.

"Well you are. Who do you think saved your life?" appeared on the display. "You are a loving, beautiful person." appeared next.

"Thanks." Devin typed nervously.

"I seem to be the only person left here," thought Devin.

"Well, came a voice in Devin's head, "It depends on how you define the word person," came the soft spoken reply.

Devin's head was spinning as he began to think about the implications of the fact that he was talking to a planet, and more importantly, was being answered by a planet.

"Pardon me for putting it this way, but, this is big, I mean really big!" said Devin.

"I have been aware and thinking for billions of your years," said Fallon. "If you were to examine my core, you would notice that my body, if you will, is made from carbon compounds like your own. My brain is 'the size of a planet' to quote Douglas Adams," said Fallon.

"You have some options," Fallon said, pausing for effect. "Option number one: You can stay here, and I will provide you with food and shelter. Option Two, I can send out a distress call and hopefully contact a nearby craft to take you home. Those are your choices at the moment.

Only you can make the choice. I will tell you that I would rather that you stay. I was very lonely for many, many centuries until I managed to attract the attention of that horrible bunch of greedy bastards."

The ground began to rumble as the phrase 'greedy bastards' was spoken.

Devin thought for a moment. He had never been very successful in making or keeping friends. It seemed that he always managed to alienate the people he worked with or the neighbours down the hall. No matter what he did, he knew he was never going to be popular. Finally, it seemed, someone liked him, or could he possibly hope... that it was deeper than just liking him. Could it be love?

If he were still living in Chesterton Indiana, he would be sitting in his apartment eating a grilled cheese sandwich, and tomato soup, watching the Discovery channel.

"What a life I was having there!" he thought. At least here he had someone to talk to, someone who cared about him and about what he was thinking

"You seem to really care about me," he said as he felt the wave of love wash over him.

"Of course I do." said Fallon. "Why do you think I kept you trapped and unconscious until after they left?" Fallon asked. "Would you like to see the home I designed for you to live in, if you decided to stay?"

"If I stay here, will I be alone here forever?" Devin asked.

"I don't see any reason why we couldn't find someone to join you here," Fallon answered.

There was a short pause and then Devin "heard" someone say, "Hello Devin." The thought reverberated in Devin's heart and mind. He felt warmth of love wash over his whole being.

"Hello" came the wonderful thought. "Devin, it is very nice to meet you. My name is Delaren. I am an Eclara, a very old race of multidimensional beings who have taken on a task to help make the universe more sane and liveable. We do our best to bring people together and make them happy," said Delaren.

"I wondered if you would notice our dilemma, Delaren?" said Fallon.

"I am almost always paying attention," said Delaren. "They are about to celebrate their Christmas holiday, back on Earth. That always makes me feel all fuzzy inside, and so I want to do something special to make someone happy. This time, I suspect I can do something that will cause happiness for two. Fallon, How long have you been aware that you were sentient?" Delaren asked.

"I have been here and lonely for many thousands of years, Delaren," Fallon replied.

"I know that you have loving feelings for Devin, and you feel very distressed that you can't really show him your love. Devin, You decided to come here to get away from your lonely disturbed existence on Earth. You were afraid to show love to another person because the people you were attracted to were other men or boys. If you will allow me, I think I have a solution for both of you."

There was a long pause while Fallon and Devin pondered the possibilities. Finally, the tension was too much for Devin.

"Well, tell us what you want to do." Devin chided.

"I want to give Fallon a human body," said Delaren. "Fallon, you have a beautiful soul and a tremendously brilliant mind. You are stagnating here with no one to keep you happy. You could have had an entire planet full of humanity but you chose to drive them away, and of course, you had a very good reason for that. You didn't want the complete destruction of this beautiful world. However, you are in love with this one particular human and he needs you as well, and I am sure, in time, he would love you, too. If I were to leave you now, you would probably stay here... and slowly, both of you would become miserable. You would each yearn for the love of each other and always wish you could share your love.

I can give you the opportunity to have the thing you both want. There is one small problem, and I can't help you with this one. If I give you a human body, it is final. I can't put you back to what you are now. As far as I know, you are unique. In all the dimensions through which I have travelled, I have never met another sentient planet. I can take your soul and place it in a human body, but I don't understand how you exist as a living planet, so I couldn't return you to your original state. If I change you, it is final at least as far as I am able to help.

If you decide to have me do this, I will concentrate all your essence; your living being and mind and move it into a living body. It will live the normal span of a human. I can transfer it, and for that matter, Devin's as well, to a new body before it is lost. But I cannot reinstall it into this planet." Delaren said. "Do you want to be in a human body?"

Fallon thought for a few milliseconds, and said, "If you can do this and I will be able to hold, love and be loved. I can't think of a better Christmas present," said Fallon.

"How do you feel about this, Devin?" asked Delaren.

"I already love Fallon, and I was wishing I could hold him in my arms and show him how much I cared." Devin answered.

"I see," said Delaren. "I was pretty sure that was the case, from the thought pattern I was detecting, but I didn't want to jump to conclusions. Fallon, have you decided what you want?"

"Oh yes!" exclaimed Fallon. "I have wanted someone to love me for ever so long, and I always felt that I could be happy just being there for them, but this is so far beyond anything I have even dreamt of, that I would be stupid to turn it down. I have one question, however. What will happen to this little ball of rock when I am no longer part of it?"

"Fallon, You will always be a part of this place; it will be ingrained into your soul as long as you live and you will still care deeply about how it will survive. You and Devin will care for it and it will flourish and blossom. It will be a place of beauty and love. Anyone who comes here will feel the love and the spirit of the place will encompass them and strengthen their love. You two can spend the rest of your lives bringing happiness to all who come here and there will be many visitors. They will find the love of their dreams, and you and Devin will help them find what they want in their lives," said Delaren.

As Devin watched, the ground began to shake and vibrate. A faint glow began to take form in front of him. Devin saw the outline of a handsome young man take shape in front of him. As the man began to solidify, Devin could see how wonderful he looked. Devin stood there looking at the man, and realised that he was looking at Fallon. This was the man he loved and who loved him for himself. There was no pretence; they knew how they felt about each other and they knew how the other felt as well. Once Fallon became solid the two fell into each other's arms and held one another for a very long time. Their smiles were bright enough to light the entire planet.

"Thank you, Delaren!" they chorused.

"Ho, Ho, Ho" Delaren chuckled, "All in a day's work! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

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