Jacques Pilon had been a tree cutter for as long as he could remember. His job, was to cut blue, Centaurus Pine trees, and pile the lumber for pick up once a month. He was, in fact, the only tree cutter in the outpost. It was easy to lose track of time out here, so he could really only estimate just how long he had been here. Every morning he climbed to the top of Mt. Gordoz, and watched the green glow of Centaurus Alpha 1’s sun rise. And every night, he returned to this summit to watch the sun strip it’s green hue from his world. In this way, he calculated, that he had been here for 15,300 sun rises and sunsets, about 42 years in Earth time.
He often thought about Earth, his life there, and what became of the family he left behind; a wife, 3 children, and Marisa. Marisa. He thought of her most of all. How different his life would have been, if only he had never met her. As he climbed down from his perch atop the mountain, he thought he could hear her calling him. How he missed her sweet, melodious voice. He could hear her at the trial, informing the panel of justices of her relationship with Jacques. In detail. He could hear the observers in the Great Hall, sigh, and the gavel pounding on the table, demanding silence. He could hear the chief justice’s words ring out through the hall. “Based on the evidence presented here, we find you guilty of a most heinous crime. Guilty of sabotaging the continued existence of our way of life. As such, you are hereby sentenced to spend the rest of your natural life on an isolated outpost, keeping civilization safe from your perversion for all time”.
He had met Marisa at a bar one night, in a less than upscale part of town. He was astounded by her beauty. She was built. He told himself that he loved his wife, but this, well, this comes along once in a lifetime. He began frequenting the bar, just to see her, and on the chance she would notice him. He sat on the same bar stool every time. The one seat that would allow him to view her no matter in the bar she went. He shuddered when he saw her bend over to clean a table. When she finally struck up a conversation with him, her words were like music to his ears. And sex with her, well, he was pretty certain his brain had achieved orgasm. As time went on, she began to open up to him. She told him that she was in trouble with criminals who had wanted her to transport several pounds of oysters beyond city limits. “But oysters are outlawed.”, he said. “If they catch you, its life in prison”
Oysters had been banned several years ago. It was thought that they were an aphrodisiac, being used to turn innocent girls into sex slaves, creating a climate of indiscriminate and uncontrollable sexual activity. The Grey Suits made them illegal. “I know.”, she replied. “But what choice do I have?”
In an attempt to gain regular access to all that was inside this beauty’s pants, Jacques agreed to help her transport the contraband. He was caught with 3 1/2 pounds of shucked oysters in ice filled cases, as he tried to cross the border from The Portlands to Leslieville. The trial lasted only 2 hours. He was found guilty as charged, sentenced to spend the rest of his life, without human contact, on Centaurus Alpha 1.
Every morning, after watching the sunrise over Mt. Gordoz, he headed back to the wooden dome he had made by hand, that served as his bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. He sat on the wooden slats that he used as his bed, and looked at some of the trinkets he had brought from home; a family photo, as faded now as the memories of those in the picture; a book of sayings by an Earth writer named Hunter S. Thompson, a baseball glove and ball, a videopod containing tens of thousands of pornographic films, and a checker board.
Upon his arrival here, he scouted every square inch of this rock. There were rivers and streams everywhere, providing plenty of water. There were leafy green plants that were edible, and seemed to have a wonderfully hallucinogenic effect. He called these mindfucks. There were insects that looked like large roaches, that were surprising tasty, a sea urchin, that resembled an oyster, which he called erectoids, as he found them both delicious, and, after eating them, usually resulted in a hard on that required about 30 minutes of videopod use. There was also a population of animals that looked like squirrels, although they stood over 5 feet tall. They could be seen all across Centaurus Alpha 1, running here and there, always seeming so busy. At times Jacques envied them. He envied their drive, their sense of purpose.
Once a month, a supply ship would arrive, and jettison needed supplies such as first aid, medical needs, and food staples like flour, coffee, and sugar. He never saw or heard anyone. He just found the pod, with the month’s supplies, exactly where the stack of lumber had been: nestled in the brush about 300 metres from his dome.
It was shortly after a delivery, as he went to retrieve his supplies, that Jacques noticed a solitary squirrel, laying motionless in the brush. “Meat for a month.”, He thought to himself as he drew his home made bow and loaded an arrow. Jacques took aim, and drew back the arrow.
“What do you think you’re going to do with that?”, the squirrel asked, with a thick Spanish accent, as it rose to his feet, looking Jacques up and down. “You are very small. Who are you?”
Jacques wasn’t sure if he really head what he had heard. Perhaps it was merely the effects of his morning dose of mindfuck. The hallucinations were sometimes bizarre as hell. He sat down on the edge of a rock, and gazed at this animal, not certain of anything. “I must be so messed up.”, he thought.
“Do you speak?”, the beast asked.
“I, I, I do.”, Jacques stuttered.
“Well, that’s surprising”, the squirrel responded, “considering your inconsequential weapon.”
“You speak?”, Jacques asked, although it sounded more like a statement of fact.
“What are you?”, Jacques queried. “Where I come from, Animals don’t speak”.
“Oh I’m sure they do”., the beast replied. “Your may just not be able to understand them”.
Jacques and the animal spoke for hours. He learned that the animal was a preador. Preadors had the ability to shape shift and take on the appearance or characteristics, or both, of any other creature they had seen. Jacques learned that preadors had no names, and decide to call this particular preador Numero Uno.
From that point on, Jacques and Numero Uno would meet at the drop site and talk about all things in the Universe. Jacques regaled his friend with tales from Earth, and stories about his family. Numero Uno informed Jacques that there were over 3 million preadors, and much like humans, no 2 are alike.
Plans were made for Jacques to visit his friend’s burrow, and meet the local scurry. Jacques set off, his satchel laden with erectoids and mindfuck, and his videopod, just in case the preadors were into porn. The burrows were actually massive caves, connected by an intricate array of tunnels that spread out across Centaurus Alpha 1. There were communal rooms, and individual areas. It was set up like an apartment complex, and it was all interconnected. The preadors had created and organized an entire civilization down among the caves. There were libraries, sleeping quarters, and storage areas filled with the fruit of the blue, Centaurus pine that resembled acorn nuts.
Numero Uno led him through the maze to what appeared to be an arena. At the centre of the great hall was a statue that looked exactly like Rocket J. Squirrel, of cartoon fame. Numero Uno explained that long ago, there had been another human who came to Centaurus Alpha 1. When he died, the preadors found his videopod among his belongings. When they viewed it, they saw visions of a great and noble flying squirrel. They were so awe struck, that they erected a statue in his glory, and in his honor.
There were hundreds, if not thousands of preadors as far as he could see. Row upon row, they chattered, and chirped. Numero Uno raised his paw and there was silence. “This is the human I told you about.”, he prayed. “And this”, he turned to Jacques and placed a paw on his shoulder, “this is my scurry. And tonight, we celebrate”.
It had been a long time since Jacques had been to a party. Probably sometime during his college days. And then there was the rally he attended with his wife, protesting the 3rd Great Depression which, he had told his wife, was the most depressing part of the depression. He never really liked parties, or any large gathering. He disliked the inane small talk, and never really knew what to say to people he barely knew, and most often, didn’t like. In fact, he had no friends. He used to say that he liked it that way, but deep down, he was lonely.
The preadors erupted into joyous mayhem. “I brought some gifts for you and your friends.”, he said to Numero Uno. “With these, it will be a real celebration”. He reached into his bag and produced copious amounts of erectoids and mindfuck. “You eat these”, he said, as he gobbled up a handful of the hallucinagen.
Huge vats of blue Centaurus pine fruit was brought out, and the preadors came down from their places to partake in the fruit, and the gifts Jacques had brought. Before long, most of the preadors had begun to experience their effects. Jacques starred in amazement, as an orgy of epic proportions broke out. Some of the younger females, giggled like the school girls Jacques remembered being with behind the bleachers in high school, and then ran away as fast as they could. Soon the animals began humping anything and everything within reach. As the mindfuck began to take effect, they were out of control. Jacques watched in amazement, while a little fearful. “I hope they don’t come over here.”, he said to Numero Uno.
“Relax, my friend.”, he replied. “You really aren’t that attractive.”
The preadors took the party outside. Engaging in sex acts as perverse as the stuff he had kept locked up in his head for years. Males began having intercourse with knots in the Blue Centaurus pines, while the females began their ritual mating rite, which involved opening their vaginas and masturbating, in the hopes of attracting a male. It worked. The frenzy hightened, an despite the reassurance from his friend, Jacques now found himself on the receiving end of a preador’s amorous fantasies. “Do you think you could change your appearance first?”, he asked her.
“To what?”, she replied.
“Human female.”, Jacques informed her. Brunette, hazel eyes, long legs. That would be perfect.” The transformation was as close to what he remembered Marissa looked like. And she was just as perfect.
Numero Uno exited the cave dressed in leathers usually reserved for mortorcycle gang members, or The Village People. He straddled a female, and grabbing her ears, attempted to ride off into the sunset. “Vrmmm. Vrrrmmmm.”, he squealed. “Faster, bitch. Faster.”
When it was over, when the erectoids and mindfuck had worn off, when the preadors returned to a state of calm, Jacques surveyed the aftermath. There were almost a hundred preadors dead, and many were missing. There were males hanging upside down , with their erections stuck in tree knots. Numero Uno himself had passed out atop his female motorcycle, with his pump still in her gas tank. The carnage was beyond description, and Jacques felt sick with guilt, humiliation and shame. He left the burrows, and returned to his dome. “What have I done?”, he asked himself.
He climbed up to the top of Mt. Gordoz. The glow of the setting Centaurus Alpha 1 sun seemed to calm him, as the sky shimmered in multiple shades of green. “Hey, human.”, he heard his friend’s voice calling out to him. “That was one hell of a celebration, no”?
“It was.”, Jacques replied. “It was”.
“Then why so down?”, Numero Uno asked.
“I feel like I’m responsible for everything that happened last night.”, Jacques stated, apologetically.
“You are.”, his friend replied.
“Well, I feel terrible about it.”, Jacques added. “I turned your celebration into an orgy of debauchery and perversion.”
“Also true.”, Numero Uno said. “And we want to thank you”.
“Thank me?”, Jacques queried. “Thank me?”
“Of course”, the giant squirrel informed him. “We haven’t had that much fun since we discovered that nuts don’t just grow on trees.” The two of them laughed. “We want to make this a regular event.”, he continued. “Once a month. At the new moons. And on special occassions”.
“I thought you guys would hate me after last night.”, Jacques stated.
“Hate you?”, Numero Uno asked. “Not likely.”
As the sun set, Jacques and Numero Uno retired to his dome, and spoke of working together. The preadors would help with the cutting and stacking of lumber for the monthly visit from the supply ship, and Jacques would provide them with party supplies, once a month, and on special occasions.
On the 3rd Sunday of the following month, when the 2 moons of Centaurus Alpha 1 were full, Jacques arrived at the burrows with bags and bags filled with erectoid and mindfuck. “Ready to go wild?”, he asked Numero Uno.
“Ready and willing”, the giant squirrel replied. “And listen, if you are up to it, I can arrange for you to take the motorcycle for a ride tonight.” Jacques looked at his friend, and the two of them laughed like they had never laughed before.