Robert Heinlein summed it up the best in a title of one of his works – ‘The Green Hills of Earth’. I was standing on the observation deck again looking down at my home planet and thinking that for a guy who never actually saw the earth from this perspective, he hit it dead on. The blue-green ball below me was one of the most awesome and welcome sites that I had seen in a long time. What made it even better was that Tequila was on my arm and we were going to be home soon. Home. It was a word that I hadn’t really felt for a long time. My journeys over the last three months had taken me a lot of places but right now I just wanted to get back to my pub and manor home and get back to the business of fighting Mr. Lies. I now had a score to settle.
During the last few days I had gotten the lay of the land galaxy speaking. Earth was fairly isolated on its spiral arm in the Milky Way. Because of this we were well within the borders of an interstellar confederation made up of several alien races. We are pretty much left alone for a couple of reasons 1) we are not technologically advanced and 2) human beings are too dangerous right now to be part of something like the confederation. We just haven’t figured out how to play nice with other kids. Avion and her fellow ship travelers were a survey team that kept track of planets like ours and keeping an eye on them. Assessing if they are ready for first contact. In our case, contact is made on a limited basis and only with people who the survey teams assess can handle the idea of aliens. They also kept an eye out for problems.
I was picked because of my fight to keep things free and open in pub. Respecting others and their decisions is big with Avion’s people. They also respected my war against Mr. Lies. Mr. Lies was a force they had encountered before on other worlds and wanted to see gone. My little pub war did not escape their notice because they could feel the outcome of that war would have a significant implications for the rest of our planet. The spiritual and fantastic elements of our world were of great concern to them because they could not control them.
“The ship’s boat will be departing soon, you should get ready to leave.”
Avion’s voice came up from behind us and we turned to her and could see some tears in her eyes.
“I take it you are moving on after you drop us off?”
“Yes, Barkeep we have other worlds to look in on. I must however admit that I like Earth the best. It is beautiful and filled with some beautiful people. I shall miss you and it.”
Tequila and I went back to our room. We changed out our clothes from the local garb for shipboard life to our pub clothes. I was back in my barkeep outfit and Tequila looking absolutely sweet in her barmaid attire. We then wandered down to the ship boat dock. The ship’s shore boat was about the size of small bus. It looked like the front end of a bullet train and had room for about six passengers plus the pilot. Avion herself was flying us down and we were the only two passengers. The boat launched and we found ourselves floating toward our home.
Avion had told me there was little chance of being detected. The ship and boat were equipped with jammers and stealth technology that pretty much meant the detection systems of earth would be blind to our presence. The plan was to set down in the pub courtyard, For the moment though Avion took us on a pretty wide and scenic course of the planet and the we heard the thrusters fire as we descended. The view was beautiful and then I saw it. The little bay in which sat my small city and its river and in the middle of it all my pub appeared in the windows. I felt Tequila’s grip on my arm tighten as I understood the feeling.
I saw Captain Rum’s ship in the bay, then the outline of the pub and courtyard appeared. I could see a crowd of people in the courtyard and new the welcome wagon had been called out. As we approached the center of the courtyard, familiar faces began to appear. Sherry, Vodka, Rum, Pina Colada, Margareta, Scotch, Bourbon, Wine, Gin, Naphtha and all the rest were there and I could tell they were cheering although I could not hear them. The ship touched down and the door opened and now we could hear the cheering of the patrons. We stood up and headed out the door to the crowds.
The first one to great both of us was Pint the dog. He ran up with his tail wagging so fast I am sure it propelled him forward. Tequila scratched his ears and rubbed his chin. He licked us both and then lead us down the ramp door. It was there that we found or families and friends who greeted us all warmly. I lost track of the number of hugs I received. The signs of ‘congratulations and welcome home’ were everywhere. I don’t think we could have been more warmly received.
Avion oversaw the unloading of the chest from the boat. Colonel Gin assured me all was prepared for it and then insisted that I enjoy the party which was half wedding reception and half welcome home party. His calm demeanor indicated to me there was nothing on the red alert list right now so I relaxed. It was simply good to be home.
Avion near the end of the night said goodbye. She kissed each one of us and promised to return regularly to check on us and the chest. Tequila hugged her and then she boarded the boat and took off into the sky. The rest of the night was spent telling stories and receiving gifts and well wishes from all our friends as they headed out. It had been a long day and night and near the end, Colonel Gin offered us a ride back to our house. We sat in the back seat as he drove us home. Tequila leaned her head against my shoulder and then we saw it – our little manor home. I thanked Gin for the ride and then we got out and he drove off. We walked up to the door.
I was tired but I knew certain traditions when coming into a home needed to be observed. I opened the door with my key and then swept Tequila up in my arms. She giggled and then I impressed her by taking her up the steps and to our bedroom and once I laid her down in our large canopy bed I suddenly realized that I wasn’t tired anymore and neither was Tequila. So after burning off this new-found energy, we fell fast asleep in each others arms. We were home.
Welcome to All Things Rabyd, your friendly neighborhood ‘clothing optional’ theology pub. I, the Rabyd Theologian and your bartender, thank you for stopping by. Please drink your theology responsibly or have a designated driver to get you home. Please tip your waitress and they might give you a kiss on the cheek. Just remember life is short so enjoy it. Blessings and Cheers!