The smell of cooked meat and fragrant fruit filled the air as the entire Pyorg tribe gathered in an outdoor common area. In the middle of it all was Richard. It was the most enjoyable evening Richard could remember in quite some time. He retold his triumphant hunt story to anyone who wanted to listen.
Richard scanned the area for Olive. He could not find her anywhere. In fact he could not find any female Pyorg anywhere. He spied Baqui conversing with some other men. Making the short trip over to where Baqui was, Richard skillfully stole him away from the other men.
“Baqui! Where are all the women?” Richard asked.
Baqui laughed. “You’ll get to take your pick soon when the chief brings them out. The eligible women are being instructed in the ways of seducing you to pick them as your bride. Your prize for surviving the inauguration hunt. You only get to pick one. The married women have prepared all the food we are eating at this reception.”
“That makes enough sense to me,” said Richard.
Suddenly the Pyorg men stopped mingling and began to make way as they saw the chief making his way from the strange central building followed by a line of young women. He approached Richard and shook his hand. The whole Pyorg community finished what they were eating and gathered around them.
“Temcancibus! As the first act of your inauguration into the Pyorg tribe, through the power vested in me, I present you with your new Pyorg name. From now on you will be known as Venator!” The chief exclaimed. “A fitting name for a great hunter.”
Richard liked this much more than his previous alias.
“Without further to do, we will move onto the second part of the celebration!” The chief exclaimed. “Venator! I give you, your selection of women. Choose one of these ladies to be your bride!”
The crowd parted and the eligible women, including Olive formed a circle around Richard. They began to dance wildly. Richard already knew who he was going to pick, but for the sake of the show he allowed them to continue their seductive antics. After a few minutes of this, Richard approached Olive and led her out of line into the center of the circle. They embraced.
“Chief, I choose Olive!” Richard announced.
“A very wise choice Venator!” exclaimed the chief. “Venator and Olive will be wed tomorrow!”
There was a massive amount of cheering and applause. The crowd broke into song. The party continued on into the night.
Richard and Olive retired to their separate rooms within Olive’s hut. This would be the last night they would sleep alone. It would be the last night they would sleep in this hut, because the wedding guests would help them build a new one as a gift toward their continued success. Olive’s current hut would be given to a young, single Pyorg.
Richard was officially a Pyorg, engaged to be married to the woman of his dreams. Quite literally. How would he ever explain to Olive that he had dreamed of this whole place, and her. Would she ever believe that he was from another world? If she did, would she still want to live together with an alien? Richard wondered if there would ever be a good time to explain this. He had no desire to be lonely on this largely unfamiliar planet he knew as Opposia. Richard struggled with his thoughts until sleep covered him.
Olive was elated. Richard had picked her to be his wife! The two were engaged and would be wed the next day. This was everything she had wanted, since the night she spent in the central building. Would Richard understand the purpose of the building if she explained it to him? Would he understand that she was the reason he was here permanently? Soon Richard would be locked in her embrace forever. She also knew he wanted to be there, since he chose her. Olive comforted herself with this thought. Even so, there would be no room for secrets once she and Richard were married. The truth would come out. Perhaps things would not be as horrible as she feared. Maybe in some way, Richard would understand, and they could live life as man and wife. Just like she had dreamed in days gone by.
Soon all would be revealed. For better or worse.