Philae 436
rating: +3+x

Day 1 Day 8
Or is it 8? We arrived 8 days ago but Taat brought me this book today. He told me I could be our historian now that we’re here. I didn’t know what a historian was, so I asked him, and Taat said it was someone who wrote everything down so that nobody would forget. I told him I don’t need to write anything because I don’t forget anything, but he said that was why I would be a good historian. I liked that. I heard Napnap say that it was a way to distract me, but I like writing.

Taat said I should introduce myself first, so people far from now will know who wrote it, and everything that happened before I started writing. My name is Akhom, I’m 394 years 8 months and 24 days old, and Taat is my best friend. I used to live in a cave and everyone from my tribe was there, but then a bunch of big trucks and humans came, and the humans told us to go in the trucks. Elder Esmet always said the humans were bad, and that we used to walk around the whole land before they pushed us into the caves and trees. The humans didn’t seem bad, but they did yell at us, and me, I don’t like when anyone yells at me.

Day 12
I changed it to 12 because that’s how long we have been here, instead of when I started writing in this book. I forgot to tell you but we live in a city now, the one the humans built, but the humans all left and they put us inside. Taat says the humans are building a wall, but they already built a lot of walls here, so why is Elder Esmet mad about it? The city is called Philae 436, which is what Taat says the signs say, but I can’t read human writing even though I’m learning. When we left the truck they told us to walk into this building and then they drove away. Taat says they used to make things in this building, which is what all the machines are, but Esmet told all of us not to touch them, and then he repeated it to me more slowly.


Day 14
I miss the cave, but I like Philae 436. Someone told me that when the humans were here there were lots of lights. The lights won’t come on anymore but I want to see them. I want to see the ocean too, but Taat says that it’s on the other side of the city, and Esmet told us not to leave the building. In the other buildings they put other tribes, some from very far away speaking words I don’t know. Our enemies the Nooba were put in the building next to us, but we don’t fight anymore. Elder Esmet says that since we’re in a new place, we need to make our enemies into friends and help each other.

Rak told me a good joke: “When the humans came they kicked us out of their cities, now they put us in theirs and took ours.” I thought it was funny and laughed but Rak didn’t laugh.

Day 18
I keep hearing that someone from another tribe was shot trying to cross the wall. Esmet is even angrier, he scares me sometimes but he’s the tribe Elder and he knows what’s best. Napnap keeps going out and then returning to tell us about the new things she knows. She says the city is divided in these areas, and that the cave tribes like us were put in the Industrial areas. The tree tribes were put in the Commercial and residential areas, which are the tall buildings I can sometimes see far away.

I still like the Industrial area, there’s a lot of machines here, where the humans made a lot of stuff. They put them along the fun moving floors so they could make them, but now the lightning is gone and they don’t work. My brothers and sisters keep finding little pieces of machines and giving them to me to put together and take apart, so I do that a lot. I made a tiny little doll of Esmet but when I went to show it to him Eza was talking to him about wanting to contact the other tribes and find stuff. Esmet gets angry when I talk to him while he’s talking to someone so I’ll wait until tomorrow.

Day 19
Eza left yesterday and came back today with a bag full of little metal things. Napnap said they stored the lightning energy and could make small machines work. Eza told all of us they were from the Nooba, and they wanted to share with us if we shared for them. I like that we share with the Nooba now.

Esmet got up after that and gave a speech, I get bored when Esmet gives speeches. All I remember was that he said we would share with them. But then he said that we need to stick together, and that our tribe needs to stay a tribe.

Day 25
Napnap said they’re called baterees, I love baterees. Elder Esmet had to split them up so it would be fair, so I only have 3. I used one of them on a machine that makes light, it’s called a flashlight, it helps me see when it’s dark. But Esmet says I can’t shine it outside at night, and that if I keep doing it he’ll take it.


Day 32
Eza has been in charge since Elder Esmet left, she ignores me unless I do something bad. Elder Esmet left to go talk to the other tribe leaders, they’re having a big meeting. Also my baterees are all dead so I can’t use the flashlight anymore. I asked Eza if she would go get more. She just said we would see, and that we needed to use them less if we get more.

Day 48
I can see the wall from the roof now, the humans are making it big and tall. Some of the Commercial buildings have lights now, they look so pretty in the sky. Elder Esmet has been trying to trade for a generator so we can have lights too, I really want to have lights here. Esmet wouldn't let us light fires until days ago. Taat said not to leave my book too close to the fire or it would burn, and then said that I should protect this book because it could be important for history. Lights don't burn books, I want lights.

Day 74
The wall keeps going higher. When I asked Rak how tall it was going to be he told me it would be tall enough that the humans could forget about us. I asked him how building a wall would make someone forget something but he wouldn't talk to me after that. Elder Esmet keeps leaving for days and coming back, Taat says that he and some other tribes are planning a big festival to celebrate 100 days here. I never liked festivals, they were loud. Taat says this one will be very loud, and that he'll take me to a more fun part of the city when it happens.

Day 81
Others from other tribes keep coming into the building and talking to Elder Esmet and Rak and then leaving. Rak has been drawing things for days. He also traded his bow away for a weird metal stick, which he keeps pointing at the wall. I keep hearing loud noises outside, I don't like them. Taat says they're just fireworks for the festival, then Napnap laughed. Why did Napnap laugh?

Day 100
Taat woke me up very early, I don't like when someone wakes me up early. But Taat said that the festival was starting, and asked if I was sure I didn't want to stay for it, but Elder Esmet said that I wasn't going to stay for it, and told Taat to do his job. Taat said that we were going to go to the Commercial Area while they had their festival here. Rak wasn't there, and when I asked Taat said that he was going to help lead the festival. Napnap and Eza and everyone else had the long metal sticks too, and got into a line while me and Taat left. I heard Elder Esmet say "My sons and daughters today" and then something else but then I couldn't hear him after that.

I saw others as we went down the street, from other tribes. A lot of them had the metal sticks, which they pointed at walls and shot fire from, making those boom sounds I hated. A lot more of them had bows though, and spears, and they were all walking towards the wall, while we walked away from it. The tall buildings in the sky got bigger. When Taat told me that we had entered the Commercial Area, I didn't believe him because it didn't look very different. He told me to read the signs on the buildings, which were all for different things now. It didn't look Commercial until we went further, and the buildings were taller. The tree tribes don't use the big black paths like we do, they make bridges between the buildings up high, which I liked. I asked Taat how far we would go, Taat said that we might see the sea, which I wanted to do. Then I asked him where all the tree tribes went, and he said that most of them had gotten an early start on the festival. Philae 436 was quiet, and I liked that.

I loved the tall buildings, but it wasn't night so there were no lights. I asked Taat if we could stay until the night, and he just said we would see. But after he said that a big loud bird came, and there were humans in it. It was shouting something in a bunch of languages I didn't know. I understood some human words, like "Return" and "To" and "Fire." Taat grabbed me and tried to take me into a building, but I dropped my book so I went to get it back. Taat was yelling and when I grabbed it back I heard loud noises. Taat grabbed me again and took me back into the building until we heard the big bird go away. Then Taat screamed at me and kept asking me why I ran out. I said that he told me to keep the book safe for history, then Taat sat and started crying. I've never seen Taat cry.

Day 101
I had the best night. It was when Taat was crying that I looked around and saw that the building we were in was colorful. It had bins of these colored blocks that I could push into each other and build things with. I loved them so much that I played with them all night long, and I even made a statue of Taat with them. Taat didn't play with me though, he looked out the window and didn't say anything until morning. The place had some boxes in the walls, with pictures and books inside telling me how to put bricks together into what was on the box. I took some with me when Taat said it was time to leave.


The ones that were coming back from the festival didn't seem happy. Some of them had bandages and were bleeding, and I heard some of them talking healing spells like we had back at the cave. When we got back to our tribe I couldn't wait to tell everyone about the cool bricks I found. Napnap didn't want to see them, she had a bandage around her eye. When I looked for Eza and Rak, Napnap told me they were gone. I wonder when they'll come back.

Elder Esmet wouldn't listen to me when I tried to show him how the blocks worked. And then he hit me, so I hit him. Then Taat pulled me away and told me to go play in the corner. I did that for the rest of the day until Elder Esmet came to me, and said he was sorry.

Day 125
I built everything in the boxes I got from the Commercial Area, and asked Taat if we could go get more, but Taat said that the tree tribes in the Commercial area are blaming us for what happened at the festival. Elder Esmet keeps saying that it's bad that the cave and tree tribes are angry at each other.

Day 148
One of those big birds flew over during the night when I was on the roof, and it dropped down a big box, with metal parts and instructions inside. Just like the brick boxes! So I put it together even though I didn't know what it was, just that it was tall and made of metal. It was hard to describe so I drew it instead.


When the sun came up and everyone came out, Elder Esmet yelled at me to get away from it, but I had already finished it so it was okay. I asked him what it was and Elder Esmet just said that it was dangerous. He asked me where it came from and I said it fell out of one of the giant birds with humans inside. Then he told us all to go back inside while he talked to some of the other tribes.

Day 150
Taat says they're like big fireworks, with a lot of stuff inside that can go BOOM. He said that I shouldn't have put it together myself, because I could've gone BOOM. There were a bunch that fell out of the sky from the birds all over the city, and others are putting theirs together. Other tribes want to point theirs at the Commercial Area with the tree tribes. Elder Esmet says that it's obvious what the humans are trying to do, but that nobody wants to listen to him.

Day 172
A big fight happened between the tree tribes and cave tribes. Elder Esmet doesn't like when they fight, he says that the humans want us to use the fireworks to make the job quicker, I didn't know what he meant. Then he told me that some of the other cave tribe elders want to use them against the tree tribes in 28 days, as revenge for something that didn't happen.

Day 189
Elder Esmet keeps trying to say that our enemies are outside the wall. Outside the wall is the cave though, I miss the cave. When I told Esmet that I missed the cave, he told me he knew a place like the cave, one that he would take us to if the worst happened.

Day 200
It was during the night that Elder Esmet woke us all and said that it was happening, and told us to follow him. We went outside and I saw the fireworks. I wanted to watch but Elder Esmet yelled at me to follow him. He took a big piece of metal off a hole and told us to go in, I didn't want to because it smelled bad and Esmet yelled at me. I didn't like that so I sat down and made noises, but that just made him yell more. He tried to grab me, and Taat did too, so I hit them both and screamed. Then I saw Napnap come to me holding something in the air and then my head hurt and I was underground with everyone. It was like the cave but it still smelled. I asked Elder Esmet if I could leave but he told me to sit down. I heard some loud noises and the cave shook a few times, I kept wanting to see what it was but Elder Esmet told me to go to sleep.

Day 214
I don't like being down here, I hate being down here. It always smells and it's dark. Taat and Napnap keep talking to Elder Esmet about leaving but he won't let them either. When I woke up Panaket and Akem were gone, and Elder Esmet said that it was good for us and less mouths to feed.

Day 219
Esewer was gone when I woke up today. Elder Esmet yelled at us that if we wanted to go that we could go. I wanted to leave the smelly cave so I started going but Taat said I shouldn't, and that if I stayed he would take me to the Commercial area and get me colored bricks. Esmet said that I didn't need colored bricks, and that if I had helped as much as I wrote in this book then we could actually have a history that was worth writing down. Then he told me that he wanted to throw my book in the fire if it got me straight. Why would he want me to be straight? Should I try standing straight more?

Day 220
Elder Esmet tried to take my book from me, and yelled at me. I didn't like that. Taat grabbed him and threw him down and told him that we're supposed to be a tribe and started crying and told me to run. So I ran. I didn't want Elder Esmet to take my book so I decided I'm going to hide it under bricks from the wall until Elder Esmet stops trying to take it. I'll do that when I finish writing this part, so I wanted to say hi to me when I open it again, wouldn't that be cool?

Hi Akhom.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License