The Ka’yno Visits
(Day 36 on Tashoo)
The nightmare has returned. But, as with all the previous nightmares, this one is different, although it has the same theme. In this particular nightmare, I am sitting on a blanket on a beach. I can see the pounding waves and smell the salt in the air. Beside me is a woman, a very beautiful exotic looking woman. She is the woman that has been haunting my dreams since my fighter training at Tonojen. She is different from every other woman with whom I have ever spent time. She has blue-blond hair, yellow-in-blue eyes and lion yellow skin. She is wearing a two-piece bikini style swim suit. It seems to be made out of leather. The bottom of the bra which completely covers her modest breasts and waistband of the panties has leather strip fringe. The leather strips give the panties a look like an extremely short hula skirt. She is smiling at me showing straight white teeth through lips that are slightly browner than the rest of her skin.
The sky is a beautiful shade of azure blue punctuated with occasional fleecy white clouds. The sun, a yellow-white orb, is shining brightly. I cannot understand why the sun is yellow-white. It should be yellow-orange. Am I on Tashoo or another world? But, why would I dream of another world? There is no world other than Tashoo. Right?
I am lying on a blanket with the woman sitting next to me. I don't know her name, but she and I seem to be in a relationship with each other. She is leaning on one hand and smiling as she looks down at me as she gently caresses my face.
I look around and see the white sand of dunes about fifty meters away from us. I look at the water and see seabirds skimming and diving into the water. Occasionally, I see the head and dorsal fin of a dolphin breaking the surface to catch a breath of air. I also see bait fish breaking the water as they attempt to escape the dolphins and other predators. I reach up and gently caress the woman's arm causing a sigh of pleasure to escape from her lips.
As I lie there enjoying the company of this beautiful, exotic woman, I notice that the fleecy white clouds are slowly being replaced by a gray fog. The woman slowly fades into the fog and I see her lips form the words, “Mvilu, come find me. I will be waiting for you. I love you.” Then, she fades completely from my sight.
As the woman fades from my sight, I find myself in a smoke-filled room. I'm wearing a uniform and sitting at a table with another human in uniform and two creatures that look like dinosaurs. The word Khorcha comes to my mind as I look at them. The male Khorcha has mentioned something about how I aim the guns of my star fighter. I can hear myself responding to his comments. I can't see my face and head, but I can see different parts of me. It's almost as if what I'm dreaming is something I've experienced. But, when would I have experienced this dream? I don't know the answer, but I truly believe this is more than a dream. I believe it is a memory of some kind. It is a tantalizing wisp of a memory. A memory like a word that is on the tip of your tongue but always slips away just as you are about to say it. But, if it is memory, when did it happen? What is it about?
“I don’t use my computer to aim or fire my guns. I don’t trust a computer for that purpose. They have a habit of using logic when instinct quite often aims guns better, there is also the potential problems of hacking and viruses.”
“Then my respect for you is even higher. But, I should have figured this out on my own. You aim and fire your guns when most pilots, depending on their computer, would not even consider doing it. This may be why you are such a deadly fighter pilot. Either way, your shots hit one of my engines. My radar officer, gunner, and I were able to eject in time to avoid the engine’s explosion as a result of the ensuing chain reaction. Unfortunately, my radar officer was killed when flying debris from the explosion punctured his escape capsule causing an explosive decompression. My gunner was uninjured and reassigned to another fighter. I received injuries that prevented me from ever flying again. Because of my past military experience, the Zahr-Khohr was impressed with me and offered me the opportunity to become an ambassador. I accepted the offer because I knew it would allow me to spend more time with my family.”
The female Khorcha, the name Rokshesan comes to my mind, speaks up, “Commander, these experiences are precisely what we are talking about. Your killer instinct intrigues us. We have always been told that humans do not possess this instinct. We have been told that it was bred out of the human species more than three hundred Terran years ago. We have not observed this instinct in humans before.”
I am still a bit leery and short fused. This showed in my reply to Ambassador Rokshesan. “If the Khorcha and Yavkognians hadn’t brought this war to our doorstep, you would still be looking for it. I show this 'killer instinct,' as you call it, only because of what your people did to us at Tonojen. As a general rule, humans are peaceful creatures and I am the leader of that peacefulness.”
“But, you were learning to kill when we were attacking the disputed area of space.”
“That doesn’t mean I am a killer by nature. It only means that I believe that freedoms are not truly free. Somebody must be willing to sacrifice his life to insure that everybody else has these freedoms. Unfortunately, sometimes these people must learn to kill to protect those freedoms from those that would try to steal them. It has always been this way on Terra.” I say this last while looking directly into the eyes of the Ambassadors.
Ambassador Dreydos interjects, “But, don’t a lot of humans distrust your military?”
I turn to him and say, “That is true, Mr. Ambassador, especially politicians. But, when it comes time to fight for our freedoms, they are thankful that we are around, even though at the same time they want to cut funding to the military.”
The Ambassadors both laugh, as evil a sound as I have ever heard. “In the Khorchan Empire, there are none that questions the needs of the military. What the military wants, it gets. Why is this not true in human space?”
“Because we believe that the military is the servant of the people, not the other way around. This is especially true here in the United States of America. It has always been true here. Of course, at one time or another, we have had military people that thought they knew more about what the country needed than the civilians, but those military personnel learned a hard lesson when they were sent to prison for a long time or killed when an attempted coup failed. Our constitution clearly states that the military serves the civilians.”
I want to wake up, but I can’t. I'm drawn into the nightmare. It's so real. If I didn’t know better, I'd think that the dream is reality and I'm actually living it. What are these things that I'm seeing? Who are these people? I'm so upset by what I'm seeing that I'm moaning in my sleep. I want to wake up; but, I can’t wake up! Please, dear God, let me wake up!
Soon, I hear a gentle scratching. Scratching? Why do I hear scratching in my dream? Then I hear a door opening. A door? What's going on? Why do I hear scratching and a door opening? Now I'm hearing a gentle voice calling me. I hear the voice calling my name, but it isn’t the name in my dreams that I'm hearing.
“Mvilu? Are you all right?”
Suddenly, it dawns on me who it is I hear calling and I awaken. I answer her, saying, “Yes, TaAra. (1) I am all right.”
“Did you have another of your nightmares?” (2)
“Yes, I did, TaAra. I do not remember ever having them until I arrived here in Talo-Vy. Of course, I do not remember very much of my life before I arrived. I know they are dreams, but they seem so real. It is almost as if they are something I should remember.”
“When the time is right, you will remember. I was preparing the nakyvy for Rora when I heard your moans. Would you like me to prepare something for you as well or would you rather sleep longer?”
“No, TaAra. I do not think I could sleep any longer. Besides, I am afraid I will have another of my nightmares.”
“All right. I should have the nakyvy ready in about five athalloo. You should have just enough time to get ready.”
“Thank you, TaAra.”
My-Ara laughed lightly and said, “Mvilu, how many times do I have to tell you, you may just call me Ara and you may call Rora by his name or Rora if he is agreeable?”
I put a slight emphasis on her name as I said, “I am sorry—Ara. I guess I am just trying to make sure I do not make a mistake if we have company.”
Ara just laughed sweetly as she left my room.
Shortly after I became a part of Ara's household, she took me to the market place. We went to what could only be described as a tailor. I didn't understand the language very well at the time (it was only two days after my arrival in Talo-Vy) so I had no idea what was going on. When the nohachy, I believe her name was Zan-Shasta, led us to the back of her booth and approached me with a tape measure in her hands, I looked at her with a small amount of trepidation since I had no idea what was going on. Through signs and a demonstration on herself, Ara told me that TaShasta was going to take my measurements.
After taking my measurements, I heard TaShasta say, “Shoovatooja Shurtan, Tithe'hoohachoshoo'vooshoova Kandoo, TaAra.” (Literally, Nine Shurtan, Three twenty, ten, five (Seventy-five) Kandoo or $29.25)
Ara looked aghast and spoke quietly with TaShasta. After a few athata, they seemed to reach an agreement on payment. Three days later, TaShasta arrived at Ara's home carrying a package which was given to me. As I watched, TaShasta started perusing the different tapestries that Ara had in a room I had never seen before. After several athalloo, TaShasta picked two that were some of Ara's most intricate works of art. One depicted a series of geometric patterns and the other was of an animal I had never seen before. Ara later told me that it was a Taojoo and was a favorite animal for display in homes around Talo-Vy because it was a favorite prey animal.
After TaShasta left, Ara had me open the package and I saw three sets of loincloths and vests and a pair of sandals. Ara also indicated that I should go change into the new clothing, which I did. There are a lot of tailors on Terra that wish they could be as good as TaShasta is at sizing a customer. The loincloths and vests fit me as if they had been grown by my body.
The next morning, I got out of bed and retrieved one of the suits of clothing that Ara had purchased for me, got dressed and a few athalloo later, I was sitting at the table eating our humble nakyvy. I say humble because, for a long time almost all of our meals consisted solely of vegetables from the communal garden. It amazed me how much an obviously carnivorous animal ate vegetables. However, I must also point out that most of the vegetables have a meaty flavor to them. I would guess that they are also very high in protein.
Not long after I started grasping the language, I mentioned the lack of actual meat to Ara and Rora, Ara said, “It is because Rora guards the garden nine days and has only one day off. That does not give him a lot of time to hunt for us and, when he does get a chance to hunt, he does not have much success. Plus, his pay for being a guard is only fifty Kandoo (3) a day and he is not paid for his day off. He receives his pay on the day before his day off. It is not easy to purchase much on four Shurtan, fifty Kandoo. So, we have to depend on the hunting parties to provide us with our meat ration and they have not been very successful lately.”
I looked at Rora and asked, “Rora, do you know what methods the hunting parties use to obtain the meat?”
“No, since I am always on guard duty, I do not go out with the hunting parties. But, my friend, Zo-Kyna is a member of our Ka’nany (4) hunting party. I will ask him to stop by and see if he can answer your questions.”
“Thank you, Rora. Perhaps he will have information that we can use in the future.”
Rora laughed. “I doubt I will be able to use any information that Kyna might possibly give you.” He said, as he finished his meal. He stood up, “kissed” Ara and left for his job guarding the garden workers from marauding wild animals and the aforementioned raiding parties from nearby villages that occasionally attack Talo-Vy for anything that they want and need, including food, females and slaves. (5)
Shortly after Rora left, I asked, “Ara, would it be all right with you if I return to my room. I feel an urge to do something.”
Ara looked at me somewhat mischievously and said, “Mvilu, if you feel an urge, I believe there are nohachy slaves that would be willing to accept your advances. After all, you are a very attractive Uany chohachy.”
At first, I was at a loss as to what she meant. However, as soon as I realized to what she was referring, I blushed and said, “Not that kind of urge, Ara. As you know, I remember a few things from my youth and one of them was an exercise routine that I did every morning. Since I did not do my exercises this morning, I would like to go to my room and do those exercises now, if you do not mind.”
“Of course not, Mvilu. With your physique, I do not doubt that you did a lot of exercising before you became a part of our household.”
“Thank you, Ara. It should not take more than a hi’nu.”
I returned to my room and removed my vest and sandals and started a martial arts workout I had been doing ever since I was a boy. It consisted of a combination of movements from karate, aikido, judo, Jiu jitsu, and taekwondo. I did kicks, rolls, punches, and isometrics. One of the kicks was a jumping scissors kick. After doing this kick, I would land on the toes of one foot and maintain a crane stance as I slowly extended my other foot straight out in front of me and equally slowly moved the leg directly behind me while I leaned forward until my chest was perfectly parallel to the floor. I slowly lowered my foot to the floor and immediately did a forward flip and landing in a hand stand which I slowly changed into a one hand handstand. I would push myself back, land on both feet and slowly lift one leg up until I was back in the crane stance and then slowly extend the leg until it was at 135 degrees to the floor. Once again I lowered my leg to the floor and moved into a butterfly kick. It was while I was doing this last movement that Ara, in one of her extremely rare cases of exercising her rights as my mistress, entered my room somewhat unexpectedly without knocking. My kick went completely over her head causing her to flinch backward into the short hallway between my room and the dining room.
When I saw what I had done, I ran out of my room and apologized profusely. “I am so sorry, Ara. Are you all right?”
“How are you able to do that, Mvilu?” She asked, incredulously.
“Years of practice, Ara. As I said, I have been doing this exercise routine since I was a young chorothoo.”
Ara laughed and said, “Mvilu, I am sure you just mean chorothoo. A chorothoo is by nature young. You were a chorothoo until you were three years old. You were a chojasa from your third birthday until your thirteenth birthday. At that time, you became a chohachy.”
“Thank you for the clarification, Ara.
“To continue, I was just finishing my exercises when you came in. Is there something you need for me to do?”
“No. I was just wondering if you would like to accompany me to the market. I would like to purchase a few things to add to the nakyvo.”
“Of course, Ara. Just allow me to bathe. I am covered in sweat and I know I don't smell that good.”
“I can wait, but hurry.”
I picked up a clean suit of clothes and headed to the bathroom. I took a quick bath and was just exiting after drying off and combing my hair when we heard someone scratching on the door. Ara answered the door and gave a small gasp. I saw the chohachy that I saw on my first day in Talo-Vy, the one that Rora had taken me to see. Ara looked over her shoulder quickly and gave me a quick shake of her head as if to tell me not to speak.
The chohachy said, “Chitekuro, My-Ara. May I come in?” (6)
Ara looked back at him and said, “Chitekuro, Great One. Of course, welcome to our humble home. Please enter and grace us with your presence.”
The chohachy entered looking as mean as the first day we met, if not meaner. He looked at me for a few athata and said, “I see you still have your slave. How goes his training?”
Ara had a look of mild consternation as he passed her when she replied, “He is making progress, Great One.” (7)
“You know that he has less than five-twenties of days before his trial before the Ishoo'se Aka’ny (8).” (9)
“As I said, Great One, he is making progress. But, I fear that he is not ready to have a completely intelligent conversation with anyone, especially the Ishoo'se Aka’ny.”
“I see. Would you please take him to another part of the house? I would speak with you in private.”
“As you wish, Great One.” She walked over to me and took me by the hand and led me to my room. Before she left me, she bent over and whispered into my ear, “Mvilu, please listen closely at your door. I fear being alone with the Ka’yno. I have heard rumors about him. I also seem to remember something from my rothoochy (10) about him, but it is difficult for me to bring it forth. If you hear anything said that causes you worry, please find an excuse to return to the dining area. This will keep the Ka’yno honest and open with me. Perhaps it will even make him leave.”
I whispered to her, “Of course, Mistress TaAra.” I decided to use the honorific of her name just in case the Ka’yno could hear us speaking to one another. She smiled at me in the Mory way that I had learned to recognize, turned and returned to the dining area.
As she requested, I opened the door about one and a half centimeters and listened and watched intently. Like Ara, I didn't think I could trust the Ka’yno, as the Mory called their leader, to be a very honorable chohachy. It wouldn't have surprised me in the least to find that he would sneak up on enemies and strike them down without giving them a chance to defend themselves or that he would have someone to surreptitiously assist him during a fight. (At the time, I didn't realize how true this feeling was.) This bothered me because in my short time here, I had come to know a few achohachy and found every one of them to be honorable to a fault. Unfortunately for me, the Ka’yno was sitting facing my room. I worried that he might see me watching, but he seemed intent on Ara and not whether or not anyone was watching him.
I could hear Ara saying, “How may I help you, Great One?”
“Your slave has his own room? He is not shackled in any manner? Are you not afraid that he will escape?”
Ara laughed a gruffly gentle feminine laugh and said, “Where would he go, Great One? How could he escape? During the day, I am awake and in the household. If I leave the house, I take him with me. At night, there are the wild animals that roam the village. They would surely kill and make a meal of such a weak creature as my slave.”
The Ka’yno thought for a moment before replying. “I suppose you are right, My-Ara. I guess I never thought about it in that manner.”
Once again, the Ka’yno was silent for a few athata before continuing down a different tack. “My-Ara, I do not understand why you continually repulse my advances. I am Ka’yno of Talo-Vy. I could make your life so much better.” Now, I understood the situation with Rora. The Ka'yno desired Ara and was hoping to steal her from him.
“Are we going to have this conversation once again? I know you could do these things, Great One. I just have no desire to mate with you.”
“What about My-Rora’s chorotha? Would you mate with him again?”
I was shocked and confused. Why would Ara mate with Rora’s father?
“That, Great One, is none of your business. It is mine and mine alone.”
The Ka’yno said triumphantly. “So! You know who My-Rora’s chorotha is! Does he know?”
“I already said I know who chorotha Rorany (11) is. The Mating Law allows me to choose who will be the chorotha of my arothoo. He is the only one that I have ever mated with and will be the only one I will ever mate with and no, Great One, Rora does not know and as long as the ‘Chorotha-Rothoo Law’ remains in effect he will never know. I will not risk losing either one of them to some petty outdated law.”
I couldn't understand why Ara would be worried about Rora knowing who his father is. Why would she fear losing either one of them? I knew that Rora and Ara slept in different rooms and I was at a loss as to understand this aspect of their society. But, the societal norms are different from society to society.
I looked back and thought I saw a dark scowl come over the Ka’yno’s face when Ara said this. His response was, “You can mate with as many achohachy as you so desire. I do not understand why you would refuse their advances. Plus, there are no achohachy stronger than I am. So, why not me?”
“I do not desire you nor any other, Great One. It is true that I could mate with as many achohachy as I desire, after all, that, also, is part of the Mating Law. But, I desire only the one.”
Subconsciously using my fighter pilot observational skills, I could see that the Ka’yno was slowly getting angrier and angrier. But, I must give him credit because he covered quite well. Finally, he said, “You know I could make you Noka’yno of Talo-Vy. Would that not be sufficient reason to reconsider my proposal?”
“Noka’yno? Great One, does that not violate the Mating Law?”
“I could have the law changed, My-Ara. You know that I could. No one would challenge my decision, except perhaps Mu-Naka and he would accept my decision even if he disagreed with the reasoning behind it.”
“I have no doubt that you could change the law, Great One. But, it would not change my mind about mating with you.”
“Soon, My-Rora will have to leave Talo-Vy, perhaps you will be more interested in mating at that time.” Like Ara's statement concerning Rora's father, this statement also confused me. I would have to ask Ara about these statements as soon as possible.
“I do not think I will, Great One. However, as I said earlier, even if I did, I would not be interested in mating with you. There is only one I want, but I know I cannot have him.”
I could see that the Ka’yno was starting to get more and more agitated at the constant rebuffing that Ara was giving him. I suppose it was all the more angering because Ara rebuffed him in such a gentle manner. She never raised her voice; she was almost shy in her rebuffs. I could see that it was with great difficulty that he maintained his calm. “Why not me, My-Ara? Am I that repulsive to you? I am a full head taller than any other chohachy in Talo-Vy and at least fifteen percent stronger. I would be able to give you big, strong arothoo. Who else would be a better mate for you than me?” He paused in thought for a thata before continuing. “You know that I could force you to mate with me.”
“Yes, you could, Great One. But, I could also force you to do battle with all the achohachy of the village at the same time if you did and you know that. You may be a lot of things, Great One, but I do not believe a fool is one of them.
“And as for the type of arothoo you could give me, that is my fear. I would not want to have the type of arothoo that you could give me.”
“You could not rebuff me if you were unconscious.” For some reason, his statement caused me a bit of concern. I thought he was implying possibly causing Ara harm.
“Great One, I should warn you. Recently, while Rora was on guard duty, a chohachy came to my door. He started pounding on my door, which told me that he was not in his right mind. Likely as not, he had consumed too much alcohol. I came to the door and opened it slightly. When I did, he forced the door open and acted like he was going to forcibly mate with me. When Mvilu saw this, he attacked the chohachy with a ferocity that I have heard only a nohachy Kootona possesses when protecting her arothoo. Before the chohachy had time to think about what was happening, Mvilu had beaten him senseless. I asked a neighbor to contact Ka' Mu-Naka and have him send one of his Suala Ka'ny guards to take the offender away. I believe that if you made an attempt to attack me, Mvilu would do the same to you.”
“If your slave attacked me, he would be put to death and you know it.” There was a slight pause while he thought. Then, he added, “Of course, that could solve a problem for me.”
“Great One, I could prevent his death by telling the Ishoo'se Aka'ny that you had attempted to forcibly mate with me. We both know that the word of a nohachy (12) concerning forced mating, either an attempt or actual act, is accepted without question as being the truth. My word would prevent his death, especially since he would be defending my honor and you know what the result of that testimony would be.”
This seemed to trigger the anger that was building in the Ka’yno because he fairly shouted, “I will have you, My-Ara! There is nothing you can do to prevent it! Sooner or later, My-Rora will be gone or dead and then you will be mine!”
When he said this, I left the room and walked into the dining area and, in the hesitating voice of someone who isn't fluent the language he is speaking, said, “Mistress, may I please leave my room? I am getting bored in there. I would like to stay in here and listen to the Ka'yno and you speak so I can learn your language better.”
Almost as soon as I started speaking, the Ka’yno quickly stood, looked at me as if I would make a great meal, and, after a few athata and in a calm voice, said to Ara, “I must be returning to the Suala Ka’ynony, My-Ara. I would ask you to reconsider my proposition.”
Ara said, “I will reconsider it, Great One. To be Noka’yno of Talo-Vy would be a wonderful position for a nohachy to have. But, my answer will not change.”
After he heard Ara’s answer, the Ka’yno glared at her, then me, turned and walked to the door. He paused for a couple of athata when he reached it as if he had something else to say and stared longingly at Ara. Then, he turned and glared at me again. Finally, he opened the door and left. Ara and I both breathed a silent sigh of relief and each of us sat heavily in a chair.
She turned to me and said, “Thank you ever so much, Mvilu. I do not think the Ka’yno would have actually attempted to perform a forced mating on me. But, I am glad I did not have to find out.”
“You are quite welcome, Ara, and you are quite right in what you told him. I would have done whatever it took to protect your honor, just as I did a few days ago. You treat me like I was your chorothoo. How could I do otherwise?”
Ara smiled and said, “Come, let us go to the market place as we had originally planned to do.”
1-The prefix Ta before a name means the equivalent of Miss, Mrs., or Ms.
2-From the first day I entered into her home, My-Ara has treated me like a son. Yet, her concern for my well-being never ceases to amaze me. By this time, I know my status in her household. But, I had always been led to believe that slaves were continually and regularly abused by their masters. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know the circumstances that made me the slave of My-Ara and My-Rora, nor her attitude concerning slavery.
3- I would like to explain the Mory monetary system here. The usage of money has been around for over two hundred thousand years among the Mory. However, they use the barter system as often as they use money, especially if the one making the purchase has little or no money to spend. Even in this semi-primitive society, they make certain that no one starves or goes naked.
The Shurtan is the standard monetary unit of the Mory. Every Mory village in the region where Talo-Vy is located uses the Shurtan as its monetary unit. It is believed that the Shurtan is used among the Mory all over Tashoo, their word for their world. When I first started to learn the language of Tashoo, Ara told me that the Mory believed that only they used the Shurtan. However, I learned later that the Shurtan is the standard monetary unit among the Uany as well.
There is no paper money, therefore, the Shurtan is only found as coinage. The Shurtan is available in .01, .10, .50, 1, 10, 50, and 100 Shurtan coins. Coinage less than one Shurtan is referred to as a Kandoo. (Kandoo basically means percent.) The one Kandoo coin, 1/100 Shurtan, is approximately five cm in diameter, made of aluminum, bears a representation of a Mory claw on the obverse and a corn like vegetable known as a Sansone (sahn-soh-neh) on the reverse, and its value is equivalent to three cents. The ten Kandoo coin, 1/10 Shurtan, is an equilateral triangle with sides approximately five cm long, is made of tin, bears a representation of a Mory dagger on the obverse and an okra like vegetable known as E'gasoo (eh'-gah-sue) on the reverse, and its value is approximately thirty cents. The fifty Kandoo coin, 1/2 Shurtan, is an octagon five cm across, is made of copper, bears a representation of a Mory long sword on the obverse and a fish on the reverse, and its value is equivalent to one dollar and fifty cents. The one Shurtan coin is an oval approximately five cm by three cm, is made of brass, bears a representation of the head of a Mory on the obverse and an animal known as a Taojoo (tah-oh-zyoo) on the reverse, and its value is equivalent to three dollars. The ten Shurtan coin is approximately five cm in diameter with a round hole in the middle approximately five mm in diameter, is made of bronze, has sixteen lines radiating out from the hole to the edge of the coin on both sides, and its value is equivalent to thirty dollars. The fifty Shurtan coin is an equilateral triangle with five cm long sides with an equilateral triangular hole in the center with five mm long sides, is made of silver, has nine semi-circular lines radiating from the hole to the edge of the coin on both sides, and its value is equivalent to one hundred fifty dollars. The one hundred Shurtan coin is an octagon five cm across with an octagonal hole in the center five mm across, is made of gold, is engraved with eight equilateral triangles on both sides, and its value is equivalent to three hundred dollars. On each of the coins, the name of the village where it was minted is written in the pictograph/rune writing system of Tashoo. The only exception to the name of the village on the coin is the few hundred of each that are minted each year for use between villages on the extremely rare occasions when villages actually purchase items from each other. (I say it this way because, significantly more often than not, villages raid each other for the items they need.) When writing the shorthand symbol, the Mory use ^ to denote the Shurtan. There is no special symbol to denote the Kandoo coins. They are written as their Shurtan equivalent, but referred to as their Kandoo name. For example, an item that is listed as ^5.14 would be referred to as costing 5 Shurtan, 14 Kandoo. To my knowledge, nothing costs less than one Shurtan.
5-The way that Rora “kissed” Ara was by rubbing his cheek against hers. I later learned that the Uany kiss as Terran humans kiss but the Mory consider this to be obscene. The reason they don't kiss in that manner is the same reason they are incapable of pronouncing B and P. Their lips aren't semi-prehensile like human lips, plus, because they have a muzzle, their mouth opens wider than a human's mouth, which may be the reason they consider kissing on and with the mouth obscene. There is also the possibility that they only use their mouths for eating, talking and fighting.
6-Chitekuro literally means Long Life in the language of Tashoo. It is a generic greeting in the vein of Hello in Terran. It is also used in parting as a way of saying good-bye or au revoir.
7-What caused Ara's consternation was the fact that the chohachy had overlooked, or ignored, Mory protocol. What he should have said in response to her invitation was, “I wish my home was as luxurious as yours.” The Mory stand on tradition and the invitation and response in the traditional manner is one of the most important traditions in the Mory society. Because of this, it is the only manner in which they invite each other into their homes, even if the visitor had been asked at an earlier time to visit.
8-Council of the Chiefs
9-The Mory counting system is strange and took me a while to figure it out. They have a base twenty counting system. But, they don’t count directly to twenty. They count to five, then start over saying, for example, five-two for seven until they reach ten. At that time, they would say, ten-three for thirteen and ten-five-one for sixteen. Starting with the second twenty, they put the number of times twenty has been reached in front of twenty, etc. Therefore, five-twenties would be one hundred.
12-adult female who has borne cubs