Posts Tagged ‘false alarm’

Where There’s Smoke

Posted by Victor on .

After a few hours hurtling at ludicrous speeds into deep space, all systems on the Temerity are running smoothly.  Trent has been resting in his cabin while Dakaasin has been using the tactical station on the bridge to monitor the cockpit interface systems, but the start of his first shift on duty is coming up. Hungry, he decides to head to the galley for a quick bite before getting ready. He reflects on how cool it is that Zik was willing to hire him on as part of the crew, manning the tactical station and the Temerity’s considerably powerful weapons, despite having blown a huge hole in the side of  the Kodiak! Adapting to life in space requires a whole new way of thinking, but Trent is confident he’ll get the hang of it.

Stepping into the hall, Trent catches a whiff of the worst odor you can smell on a ship: smoke! Throughout history, fire on a ship has been the worst enemy of sailors and spacefarers alike! He charges into the galley, following the scent and raising the alarm, but stops short at a strange sight. Mizhakwan, a medicine woman who Zik has trusted for years, is in the galley calmly creating a small smoldering fire in a seashell and fanning it with a feather. Trent has never seen these things before, and, completely bewildered, asks Miz what she’s doing.

Mizhakwan explains that’s she’s just doing a smudging, and Trent is just in time to give her a hand. Being a little shorter than average, Miz explains to Trent that he can reach all the hatches she can’t to let the smoke into all the spaces it needs to go to make sure everything is clean.


You see, dear readers, a large number of the Zozian colonists who left Earth all those centuries ago were North American First Nations people. The leader of Project Zoz, the secret initiative to create the first human interstellar colony, was a billionaire engineer named Edward Eriksen, who had humble beginnings as the son of a Cree mother and a European father. Then, a prophecy was made by an influential Ojibwe medicine man about an imminent disaster that would burn the Earth. When Edward quietly put the word out among the elders that he was planning an interstellar exodus, they recognized the opportunity to do what the ancestors of the Ojibwe had done when the prophecy of the coming of Europeans had been made before they arrived – they would migrate away from the impending danger! They also saw the wisdom of establishing life on other planets, and thought they could help be stewards and protectors of that new branch of life. As a result, a large percentage of the colonists who were selected to accompany Edward on the journey into the unknown were representatives of numerous First Nations, especially from the Anishinaabe. These people brought with them their traditions, one of which is smudging to clean the energy of their living spaces.