Twenty years before, Henare and Matiu’s tribe found the alien teleportal. The two Maori warriors entered it, and since then they’d journeyed to 48 alien planets. They missed home, but Time Dilation* spoiled their homecoming.
“I miss Rongo’s roasted Moa*,” said Henare.
“Ah!” smiled Matiu. “Arorangi made that wonderful sauce to dip it in!”
Back on Earth, the jungles were gone. They found a modern concrete jungle.
Many of the people they stopped didn’t even speak Te Reo Māori*. The one fellow who did tried to sell them a watch. He told them the Moa had died out. The Hast’s Eagles* they feared in their native land were extinct.
Henare said, “Remember those huge roasted grubs on Ephrenimus VII?”
“They were great!” grinned Matiu. “And that spicy sauce! That’s why Ephrenimus was our home base for years.”
Henare turned back to the gate to the stars. “Let’s just go back home.”
Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/04/15/christchurch-new-zealand/
I had to do some research for this one.
Maori: The native peoples of New Zealand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Māori_people
*Te Reo Māori: The language of the Maori
This story uses actual Maori names. I got them here: https://www.huggies.co.nz/parenting/parents-and-children/maori-baby-names
*Moa: Giant flightless birds native to New Zealand. Now extinct.
*Hast’s Eagle: A giant eagle that preyed upon the Moa. Reportedly able to carry small children away. Now extinct.
*Time Dilation: A difference in the time passed on Earth and the time for someone traveling away from Earth. When traveling a distance from Earth, the closer to the speed of light one moves, the more Time Dilation is experienced. Less time passes for the traveler. Even satellites experience a certain amount of Time Dilation. The heroes of this story experienced hundreds of years of difference. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation
This is a song, “Go Back Home” by Stephen Stills (from CSN). It tells a similar story and includes an awesome guitar lead by Eric Clapton.