Since beginning the Alien Sundays back in 2016, I have been focused on aliens that live in universes that are essentially like our own, with planets and stars and space and what have you. But today’s are not like that. These guys are from some alternate dimension, called Threk’lsho, where physics are different altogether. Human eyes would not even be able to process the images it received from this universe, but that would be the least of our problems since our physical forms would be unable to survive the experience. There is life adapted to this dimension, though:
Hk’Lennsrs are a species of beings native to Threk’lsho, having evolved in a cluster of rocks that float around the life-giving warmth of a flaming nebula. We can kind of fathom their living space by comparing it to our own experiences. The fiery nebula is the center of their “star system” and it is surrounded by floating rocks that look like an asteroid field in a movie (not like a real asteroid field). These rocks range from tiny to the size of a mountain, but never the size of planets that orbit our stars. This is a simplified explanation, but will work for now.
These beings, if they could exist alongside a human, would seem to be several stories tall, but in their native dimension they move with the ease that a squirrel might in our dimension. They move around on four tendril legs and their large body/heads are covered in sense organs that we do not understand. They primarily feed by sucking heat out of floating rocks, which have gathered heat by floating around the fiery nebula.
Hebbel is a landscaper of sorts, which means that it gathers together the larger floating rocks that exist in the space of this dimension and tethers them together so that Hk’Lennsrs can build things on them. They do not use buildings for shelter or anything of that sort, but there are reasons why they occasionally need big space for technology. Hebbel actually just likes big rocks. Thinks they’re neat.
Ecking is a courier who travels long distances, and since the field of rocks surrounding the nebula is comparable to the orbit of planets, those are some truly long distances. Because of this, Ecking’s mind has adapted an impressive memory for directions and spatial coordinates.
Fns is a musician, which is actually an occupation more closely related to a scientist in this dimension. Because there is some manner of atmosphere suffusing the space around the flaming nebula, sound can travel all around. Musicians do still create songs for pleasure, but also to study the effects of the music on the universe, or to communicate across the cosmic distances.
A Fact About Hk’Lennsrs: This dimension, if not the system around the flaming nebula, has been visited by the multiverse-protecting wizards called the Wallfixers. They have waged a war in this realm against higher dimensional beings that we would describe as demons. Though the Hk’Lennsrs are not involved in this conflict, they have seen the effects of it in the distance (to make it understandable to the human mind, think of it as if they are seeing smoke and explosions on the horizon, but on a galactic scale), and spent much time debating what it could possibly be.
It has been a long while since I have reviewed a Canadian Heritage Minute, but since this is the sesquicentennial year of Canada, seems like maybe I ought to do a few this year. Let’s get on it.
I have little faith that this one comes from an actual historical event. They wanted to make a piece about Frontenac’s refusal to surrender, sure, I can get that. I may not be big into tying a country’s military victories so close to its worth, but I can see the appeal. That makes sense for this thing. But to fill out the minute, we are given this nameless guy who steps out of the crowd to show off. I mean, look at his twirl accompanying the “Ah Oui, Lieftenant!” This guy is the class clown of 1690 Quebec. He just wants eyes on him instead of this silly war thing. He comes up with such winning jokes as getting names and ranks wrong, then calling someone an idiot. Grade-A material there, guy. And then he does the fakey, Errol Flynn-style sword fight. Again, all for show. This guy and his little comedy stylings probably did not actually exist in the real history of these events. And that’s a damn shame. Also of note, I love the anger in the American’s “General Phipps!!!!” line.
And then Frontenac gets to be in the last couple seconds of his Heritage Minute.
I like this one! Five out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake.
The origin of the Exoles is a closely guarded secret among the Exoles, their home being located in a dense nebula that has little seeming value to other races. The Exoles are able to keep the location of their home a secret easily, since they have evolved the ability to not only survive in out space, but to thrive there. Exoles now ride through space, soaring on solar winds among other methods of travel (they can easily hitch a ride on an unknowing spacecraft), and only stop into planetary atmospheres on rare occasions. There is not a lot of “society” among Exoles, as they largely roam the cosmos solitarily, but they do come together for matters concerning that secret home of theirs.
Always Soar is a traveller who is interested in seeing as much of the universe as it can during its lifetime. Having left home early in its life, Always Soar has never returned. Instead, it has encountered more different places and things than any of its peers, and these life experiences are what it cares about most.
Star Watcher is content to stay in a relatively small part of space. Having found a trinary star system in Sector Bokka that has dozens of worlds going around it, providing resources and comfort and that is all that Star Watcher could want.
Fast Drift is one of the Exoles most involved in keeping what little Exole society there is, alive. Taking messages between the home and the far-flung Exoles, Fast Drift makes sure that everyone is as up on the latest news as it is possible to be in a species spread across veritable light-centuries.
A Fact About Exoles: Communication between Exoles comes in several forms. They can create pulses of radio waves that create patterns of “words” which is ideal for communicating at a distance in space (and is also the language with which they communicate with other species), but it is very draining of the body’s resources. For more intimate and detailed communication, Exoles will entwine with one another and slowly writhe and wiggle in ways that get their meanings across clearly and with much less use of energy.
C.T. Young (whose initials don’t stand for anything) appears in the 1953 film Bright Road. C.T. is a troubled student who is singled out by Miss Richards, a new teacher who hopes to turn him around. Indeed, C.T. does not see the point of going to places like school and church, and when there he is completely unable to hide how much he doesn’t want to be there. It takes him two years to get through every grade and the old teachers have given up on him as a “backwards child”. But he isn’t a bad child. He doesn’t really associate with the other schoolchildren much, apart from his girlfriend Tanya, but he is extremely well behaved at home where he not only helps take care of the kids who are younger than him, but also uses the profits from selling his honey to do things like buy paint for the house. For Christmas, he even gives a jar of that honey, his only source of income, to his mother with a note saying it is “from the bees” and that’s pretty cute. C.T. loves other animals too. He has a dog named Come Here (who, incidentally, seems to be smart enough to warn him when he is running late for school), sings along with birds, and is fascinated by a caterpillar going into a cocoon which is a useful metaphor for his own story. Basically, C.T. is a very good child who just doesn’t fit into the usual schooling methods and that’s what Miss Richards sees in him. She recognizes that he is skilled at drawing and encourages him there. She also catches him helping another kid with math problems, proving that he may not care enough to do it for his own sake, but he’ll do it to help someone else.
But I’m not here to review good children. Lets focus on the beekeeping stuff. Of the bees he says, “Me and them, we’re sort of in business. They make a little honey, I sell it.” It doesn’t sound like he makes a lot of money, but the fact he makes any is a good start. At the film’s climax, a swarm of bees comes through the open classroom window looking for somewhere to hive. C.T. is unfazed as he stops the other students from panicking or harming the bees, grabs the queen, places her in a jar, and carries her, his hand covered in bees, to find a nice tree in the woods where they can live.
Unfortunately, that is a redemptive moment for an earlier bit of Beekeeper Rage. Granted, it takes an awful lot for C.T. to work up to that moment of anger. His girlfriend Tanya dies of pneumonia, which is understandably something one would be upset about. Then, after he returns to school, having skipped for a while, he finds classmates singing the “Three Blind Mice” song, which has always upset him for its imagery of cutting off tails of the mice (he loves animals that much). He reacts to this song by grabbing a jump-rope and swinging it around as a weapon to lash out at everyone, then gets into a fistfight with another student.
I like my beekeepers to be good fighters, and though that C.T.’s only fight is a Beekeeper Rage moment is sad, he does acquit himself well. He is also able to take several hits on the hands with a ruler from the principal without flinching. And, though he is told he must apologize, he notes that, after he saved everyone from the bees, he was forgiven without needing to apologize. Way to get a moral victory, C.T.
3 Honeycombs out of Five.
For the record, the movie is based off a short story called “See How They Run” by Mary Elizabeth Vroman, but in that story there is no mention of C.T. keeping bees, so it is not canon here.