Canto 88 – Monkey Men (the Green Thread)
Lemurians were shaped like human children except for the thumbs on each foot and the long prehensile tail. Most sentient aliens and Unhumans treated them like mere animals mostly because they wore no clothing and spoke no discernable language. Of course, nakedness made them much more like the Classical Worlders rather than apes. They were covered in soft tan and chocolate fur, but it covered up no more of their bodies than the oil that a naked athlete from the planet Mantua might wear.
And lack of language didn’t necessarily make them any less of a person than the vast numbers of humans that fell under the general heading of “stupid people”. Emperor Slythinus, though, the deposed Emperor of the Galtorr Imperium, had discovered a telepathic ability that he shared with the monkey people. He called it the “shining” because it was more a matter of reading colored auras and electrical impulses around the monkey people than reading actual words from their minds. It was a primitive brain-to-brain language that served as a sort of pre-telepathy. It allowed him to translate for the Lemurian people.
Ookah, the Lemurian leader, now stood in front of King Killer, Dr. Hooey, and Slythinus naked as the day he was born and radiating green-colored lies.
“How could you not tell me about this?” raged Slythinus. “You have been my most trusted friend. Better than my top advisors on Galtorr.”
The monkey man shined an answer that was intended to be soothing and conciliatory, but ended up being a transparent form of lie.
The blind Emperor turned to King Killer and Dr. Hooey. “They found the device when they first came through,” he said, interpreting. “They found it from the other side because they did not originate here. Ookah and his friends sought to keep the knowledge of it from me because they feared I would be hurt by the place’s guardian, some villain they “shine” at me as being a “white man”.”
“Interesting!” cooed Hooey. “These little monkey people have developed a real fondness for you, a man mostly snake by nature. Tell me, did you have your eyes when you first met them?”
“No, of course not! Prince Ali blinded me before he marooned me here.”
“I wonder if they would’ve had an atavistic fear of those eyes if they had seen them.”
“What I want to know,” said King Killer, “…is where is the dang thing, and how do we use it?”
Slythinus took a moment to “shine” back at Ookah. The little simian looked quite agitated as the answer came back.
“He says he will take us to the place. He has no other way to tell us.”
Ookah turned and gestured to the monkey people who surrounded the tree house sitting in each and every one of the trees around it. They began jumping up and down on branches and shouting raucously, sounding more like upset children than alien primates. Eerily, it almost sounded like a series of swear words.
“They don’t like it,” interpreted Slythinus, “but they promise to take us there and help us defeat the white man.”
“Natives defeating the white man?” said King dubiously. “That doesn’t sound like something that happens too often in History.”
Hooey laughed aloud. “Now the skeptic thinks he knows History better than a Time Knight! Wait and see. And remember the Little Bighorn.”