THE SOWING TIME
Copyright (c) Victor Darnell Hadnot
"Above the star pricked by the last peak of snow" Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Vargas stepped up to the edge of the mount-it was cold and there was a wind coming from the East-he was dressed in super warm clothing-he had to be for this time of year and for the climate level he was at. Just behind him was his colleague and wife-Isabelle-she like him was dressed to the hilt in warm clothing. A century ago-people wondered what it would be like to explore another star system-a century ago people were wondering how to get to the nearest star system-but a lot can happen in a hundred years.
It wasn't until the discovery of the ancient scrolls on Mars and their deciphering-they were blueprints-plans for building something that included something called translaser technology. It worked with subgravity fields-black-gravity links and translight continuum-anti-space arrays and non-conducting parametric sequencing of unique particles. The theory was simple-all matter and energy in the universe was unique-like snow flakes-no two pieces of matter were exactly the same. Like the snow that was all around them-the icy cold and the deep bone aching bitter cold-that seemed to sink into the very essence of what was man and woman-on this giant planet-the eighth planet from the star that gave out light and heat. All the other planets were either too close to the star or too far away-this one was just right-it could support life-even though snow covered the entire planet-it was made of the same stuff that snow was made of on Earth Prime-Earth Prime...
That was what Mother Earth was now called-Earth Prime! Why Earth Prime? Because as the name implies-there is a Central Earth and then there are many others-it all went back to translaser physics and the subgravity conduits of what was once thought of as space and time. But time was like an gigantic flowing river-flowing throughout the entire universe-in some places-causing predictable actions of interacted matter-and in others-like the tiny eddies of water that flows in a river or stream-upturning and tossing and twisting matter-but all of that was linked to something called black-gravity. Everyone knew about gravity and everyone understood the laws of physics that stated that F = MA-but it was with the discovery of the Martian Scrolls-those now famous plans and glimpses into a culture now long gone-yet more advanced than anything imaginable-that black-gravity was brought into full light-and the role it played on our own perceptions of time and space. Even something as simple as dirt and water-were now subjected to a new and complex structure and order of things-gone were the once foolish ideas of chaos theory-even evolution had to bow its head to the New Order-because black-gravity explained everything about our known universe-in three simple equations-and then it ripped our minds away from our faces-by adding nine more equations-that explained everything else-both seen and unseen-and there was more unseen than seen.
Isabelle spoke through the communicator that was part of their life-suits, "I think we've been out here long enough-I'm starting to get movement on my sensors..."
Vargas' voice was weak from exhaustion, "Okay, Isabelle, I guess we'll call it a day-we've been out for hours."
Isabelle's voice mirrored the same physical stress, "Will do-instructing the robots..."
Tar-lik observed the times and the days-the rising of the sun and the calling of the three moons of Yo'gesha-the mist of the marsh was thick as he rode on his steed named Wind. Several entities of the forest seemed to take interest in him for a good while-as he rode on-they flew about him and his horse-great puffs of warm air came out of his horse's nostrils. There was a Wayland not too far from his ride-but he was fixed on a certain quest-there were things that had to be done.
The Land of Ujesa was filled with the spirit of magic-throughout the Forest of Emit-most magical creatures lived and played and did what most would do-it was a special place. Far off in the distance-up on a giant hill was the Castle Ragon-it had been there for over three hundred years-and in all that time-inhabited by the royal family of Gaytos. Now the royal family was split up into two sides-those who loved the creatures of the forest-and those who feared and hated the creatures of Emit. As a result-there were times of great wealth and happiness-and then there were times of great sadness-for often in the past-the royal family had waged war against the magical creatures of the forest.
In those days-they were dark times-and most of the creatures were forced into magic coves of existence-because they feared for their lives-hunters would come into the forest-with the then ruler's blessing-seeking to hunt down any and all that they could find-killing the entities of the forest when they could. They would send in the Hell Dogs-massive creatures-some said that these animals were actual breeds from a dark and awful place-they came from deep within the pits of Lajkkan. These creatures were evil and smelled bad-teeth long and fang like-they were reported to have brains the size of an ant-but to Tar-lik's thinking-an ant was smarter.
The three moons rose over the marshlands-casting their eerie light upon the wetlands-strange bird like creatures could often be seen flying in the moon light-they fly a dance of magical tempting-it was said that if a man and a woman were caught out in the marshlands when these strange birds were flying their dance-that a spell of lust and passion would come over them and that they would begin to engage in all manner of lustful and sexual approaches with each other.
But tonight was a different night-the dragons were out to play-and they flew through the darkness which was accented by the moon light-there was an eerie glow off the wet marsh-it seemed to cast a spell of dreamlike consciousness-all those who were caught up in their spell seemed to be drawn to the mating dance of the flying dragons-for it was time that they came out-and did their flying. Dragons were strange-in that they could only mate while in flight-perhaps that was why there were so few of them-imagine having to engage in such matters while in flight-Tar-lik let those thoughts fill his mind while his body fought off the cold and chile of the wetlands.
A few magical creatures that were flying about him-even though he was riding hard-seemed to call out to him-he heard his name being called-as if to distract him-perhaps to make him fall-or just to acknowledge that they knew it was him-he could not tell. That was the problem with the magical folk of the forest-often they were kind and very wonderful-offering help to children who had wondered too far and had gotten lost in the forest-but often there where those who liked mischief-and would do things to hurt or mislead the normal folks. It was those who gain the greater reputation-when things were bad at the castle-they were used as an excuse for the hunting of the magical entities of the forest. Tar-lik cared only to get home to his cabin-and find the warm embrace of his loving wife-Alaia-to rest finally in her warm bosom.
The window was slightly fogged but Vargas could see through it enough to tell that there was something out there-some semi-formless figure-floating about just outside the facility window. They were a long way from home-in fact-if not for the invention of the lightning impulse engine-they would still be on their way-but the journey was made possible with the lightning engine-the idea had come to a scientist named Dr. Everet T. Pystrum-to go back to the old ways of thinking-when it came to space travel. It was pretty obvious when the history of science looked back at the concept-there was really only one thing in nature that could benefit the space program so widely-and lightning was a natural occurring phenomenon in nature-but the only thing powerful enough to propel a space craft at light speed.
By generating artificial lightning at the tail end of the craft-the laws of cause and effect played quite well-the massive discharge of lightning out the back of the craft-pushed the ship forward. The craft was populated with robots of all sorts-specialized and general-they were mostly for the time when the craft got to where they were going. These machines-under the supervision of two humans-in this case-Vargas and Isabelle-would set up the facility-using the space craft as basic building material-but also it was suppose to make use of the natural environment-in order to extend the concept beyond the basic materials that they came with. In this case-there was only ice. After having done extensive scans of the twenty-nine some odd planets in the solar system-it was determined that this big ice planet-was best suited for colonization.
Did it look like Earth Prime-no-not unless you considered only Earth's poles-was there plenty of water-the ice and snow on the planet was scanned and found to be hundreds of miles deep. The planet was thirty times the size of Earth Prime-the massive amounts of snow accounted for most of it-and there was a solid land component to the planet-but it was closer to the size of Mars in that respect. The atmosphere was thick-a little thicker than Earth Prime-but the gravity was somewhat equal to the gravity of Earth Prime-even though the planet was considerably larger than it.
So-the robot machines-when the craft finally landed after doing extensive surveys of all the planets in the system-got to work-they used the ice-which was all around-to build the infrastructures that were going to be needed-for the first of the colonist-who were in this case-Vargas and Isabelle-but more were due to come. They had the task of building a transdoor link which would connect this planet-to Earth Prime-crossing vast distances and time. Once the robots finished building the transdoor-from components that had been brought with them-then Vargas and Isabelle were expected to crossover-walk through the triangle shaped machine-which worked on the principle of black-gravity. They would walk back through time and space-exiting out of the transdoor back on Earth-hours after their flight had left. This transdoor link-was how mankind would colonize the stars.
Though you make you habitation amongst the stars-I shall gather you back-Earth was always suppose to be the home of mankind-but the very nature of people-is to explore-to seek out-find new ways and wonders-this was what people did. The risk of sending hundreds of souls to colonize was minimized-a highly trained couple-scores of robot machines-they ventured forth into the blackness of space. But if all went well-and a planet was found-then mankind could crossover-and come through the triangle shaped transdoor-so that what might have taken hundreds of years-or even thousands-once the transdoor was completed-the original colonist could walk through both time and space-back to a moment in time-just after they left.
Aberus sat back under the shade along with his girlfriend Valana-they were now on their seventh day of their vacation. They were kicking back resting and unwinding-letting the stresses of the mega-city blues wash off their shoulders and their minds. The rules were simple-no communication with the fast paced world for a blissful seven day vacation-but tomorrow they would have to leave. The robot waiter came over and enquired as to their needs-after having topped off their drinks-some strange drinks with swirling colors streaking through it-obviously meant to please the eyes as well as the mind and senses-the two relaxed and watched the tropical ocean course in and out-gently-the rhythm pulsing like an expensive made clock-there was something hypnotic about the whole thing.
They had a wonderful time on Plexux-it was a tiny planet-in a small star system that had a majority of its planets that were habitable to humans-the system only had five planets and four of them were perfect for human colonization and just right for vacationing. Each one offered a different experience-one was a desert paradise with all the amenities-several were just right for a forest like vacation with all sorts of wild animals both strange and familiar. For the most part-mankind-when they colonized these planets-brought forth animals and the like-the very act meant to familiarize the ecosystem with its new human inhabitants. Though in the past-some planets in other systems had trouble adapting to foreign animals and such being introduced into an already thriving ecosystem-even to the point of wreaking some very potential planet's environment-after time-the science of animal terra-forming-which was a less aggressive form of changing a planet to suit mankind's needs-had advanced greatly.
Was there a problem with introducing animals and smaller organicisms into an already thriving ecosystem without very drastic changes-some good but mostly-in fact-almost always bad consequences. It wasn't that science hadn't learned from mistakes made on Earth Prime and other planets that had been ecoengineered to suit man's whelms-it was the fact that most expositions were funded by huge super corporations-and though the government played a vital role in space colonization-over the centuries-less and less fell on the shoulders of the government and more and more became privatized.
Could this had been foreseen-yes it was-way back in the day-when venturing out in to the blackness-as those in the know liked to call it-was so expensive and dangerous-most companies that were involved in aspects of space travel-couldn't find proper insurance-but all that changed. More and more companies merged with a diverse base-and what happened was that the corporation that wanted to explore and more often exploit a newly found planet or other heavenly body-owned the insurance company that was to insure the expedition. Was it an oxymoron to have the company that was funding the expedition also the one that insured the thing-well yeah-dah!
But things had to be looked at from a global perspective-if mankind hadn't found a way of reaching out to the stars-world population on the planet Earth would have reached a critical mass. What did that mean to the future of the human race-well-though it was postulated in many theories as to why other species on Earth rose and thrived-and then disappeared-as if over night-it became abundantly clear-that all planets that harbor complex life-that wasn't to say mammals and such-for microorganisms can be very complex-face it-large organisms are just a compilation of smaller organisms-so complexity really becomes a relative term-and does not always apply to the so called larger and more evolved creatures. Terra-forming was not an exact science-no-not by a long shot-it was more of an art-that sometimes rendered paradise.
The whiteness of the snow was all about him as he struggled to finish connecting the power couplet-he was about a mile from the compound that had been painfully assembled in the months that had passed since he and Isabelle had arrived on the planet. Most of the work was done by specialized robots that had change of the construction and assembly of the compound and the vital equipment that was need to support life. The building of the transdoor was high on the list of things to do-because in doing so-it most assured the establishment of a colony on the planet.
In the past-it was left up to the original explorers to name the planet or moon that they came to colonize-and this case was no different-but Vargas and Isabelle had been struggling on a good name for the planet. For Isabelle it was hard to come up with something appropriate-largely due to the fact that the entire planet was covered with snow. This was a problem for her-she kept coming back to the point that she was against colonizing on the planet-in her humble opinion-it was too cold to properly support human life...
Life? Was there something out there? Just beyond the mind's ability to properly perceive-what was that they had been seeing out of the window? A wispy figure just off their ability to fully comprehend-yet they were not alone-for while Isabelle and seen several of them at once and Vargas seemed to have one in particular that haunted him-the robots had also reported sensing something out there-while they worked. Like they were being watched-but never bothered with-so often hauntings like this involved tampering with the machinery-but for the most part-whatever these things were-a little more than their imagination perhaps-they didn't seem interested in destroying any of their projects.
Vargas was just finishing up on the work he was doing-they had calculated that they could work out in the exposed environment for an hour while wearing their environmental suits-which kept them very warm-even though the cold was very cold. Vargas had in his mind that the planet might one day become a giant resort-with all sorts of winter sports-it seemed most suited for this. Other colonist could come from all over the Dynasty-the colonized planets-and play and vacation here. It was his dream and goal and that was what he was putting in his report. However-none of that was going to happen-unless they were able to get the transdoor up and working properly.
They had been having problems with several key components-and he was out today to oversee the project-he had watched while the robots went about doing their various jobs-did he have to be there out in the cold-no! The machines were very capable of performing their assigned task-but he was hands on whenever he could be-at lease in a supervisory capacity. Isabelle had been monitoring everything from within the safety and warmth of the compound-had been urging him to come on back inside-he'd been out for awhile-she was worried-slightly frightened for some reason that she couldn't explain to herself.
Then it happened-for some reason part of the apparatus gave way and came crashing down on Vargas. The lights in the control room began to flash a warning and emergency-Isabelle's fear had become true. She desperately tried to make contact with her husband-dispatching robots from other duties to help Vargas. What was that wisped across the screen? Something. Those things again-not now-she didn't have time for this-had they attacked her husband-knowing the difference between him and the robots that routinely worked out in the harsh environment? She suited up and quickly started out taking one trusted robot with her but when she got to the outer part of the compound exit-she was shocked even more-there was her husband-lying on the cold snow-and hovering above him-the apparition...
The night was hot and the lovely maid danced the Hamniphho-a dance that was hot and full of hidden sexual gestures. The crowd in the open bar were mostly tourist with a small contingent of the locals-they were trying to hustle the tourist-as do most locals in most ports of call. The music was just a little too loud and the dark spots within the bar were just a little too dark-but that was how they all liked it. If you looked really hard-you might find several shifty dealings going on-but no one seemed to care-they were all there to have fun-enjoy themselves-it was a great night for mischief.
Away from there-on the other side of the village-the atmosphere was very different-Cref-lei was a gun dealer-and he was in the middle of doing business with some surly folks from off world-they were interested in starting a revolution somewhere-or was it the current revolution that they were trying to resupply? People were always interest in weapons-and the newest weapons seemed to garner the top price. Cref-lei was a big guy-and there was something about him that caused most people to notice him-it wasn't that he had anything outstanding about him-in nature or speech-it was just that he commanded attention. This was something that he had crafted over the years-it was his signature presence-his way of doing business.
The Dynasty was very complicated and the planets that were under the control of the Dynasty didn't always agree with policy but those that did manage to find common ground-were always pushing the envelope of political patience. Most planets just went along with everything that was going on-they didn't want to incur the wrath of the Dynasty-so they paid their taxes and did whatever servitude was levied against them and went on with their lives. These planets didn't need the weapons that Cref-lei was selling-no they were too complacent. Then there were those on the outskirts of the Dynasty-they were the ones always aching for a fight-or if not a full out revolution-something in between-a dirty little revolution that was just an annoyance-not enough to send a full military command to utterly squash them in their tracks-and not enough for the Dynasty to completely ignore them either.
So-it was dirty little planets like that-Cref-lei loved to deal with-were the people he came in contact with dangerous-well of course-did they try anything with him-not very often-he had a way about him-a well crafted way. Start off first with an elaborate introduction-get to know the crazies that he was dealing with-did they really have the money that was needed to do business-this was probably the most important thing of all-do you have the funds to buy what I got? Then came the safety issues-but this was on many levels-there was the safety of Cref-lei-first and foremost-then just as important was the product-he couldn't let the nut cases get hold of the product before he got his-more elaborate planning and staging. After that-well the obvious-local and imperial law enforcement-one couldn't have the Dynasty coming in and spoiling all the fun-now could one? So-Cref-lei dealt with people very gingerly at first-getting to know them-these were the type of people that were below the radar-they didn't have identification chips implanted in them-and those that did-the chips were most always stolen-from some poor dead guy-the rebels loved to kill innocent tourist if they managed to stray too far-get the identification chips-sell them on the black market-you'd be surprised at who was in the market for a new identity. Oh-you might think that the lowest of the low and the most horrible scoundrels were the ones looking for stolen ID-chips-no-there were business people who had gotten in trouble and needed to change their identification-house wives and lawyers and Indian chiefs-yeah-people from all walks of life-there was no way to profile that lot. One day you are mister and misses upright-then a few failures and a few wrong moves-and there you were...
There are the trying times and the times of time when all seems unsure
With the passing of grace and the fields of illusions the efforts go on
But the lasting features of moments not sure seem to increase always
For the pulse of the land is upon the minds of those who must refrain
Deep in the land of Mygol lived a king who was constantly at war with
His neighbors and the Spells of Anita were cast upon him so that his mind
Became that of a beast and he roamed up and down the hills of the castle
Grounds all while the principalities looked in wonder at the mishap unfolding
What greatness is the universe with the stars and the planets that shine down
On lowly mankind and what wonder are the signs of the coming of things not
Yet told in full but only whispered in the ears of the educated to the seasons
And the awareness of the passing of events for the future of the humble reign
There was once a queen who ruled the seventh Realm of Shinar and the mystical
Awareness of the Forest of Femgust where the people were happy in their own
Ways and the rivers flowed towards the Great City where the hunters gained
And the farmers did do the gleaning for those were the times of the Harvest
It was a world that was filled with ever-most possibilities and the rains did come
In their due seasons and the crops did grow and the vines were filled with the
Fruit of the land for there was singing and dancing and happiness of heart in
Those most careless days for the kingdom was filled with the wisdom of Unja
But there came a time when all that was would be put in danger as the dreaded
Nassacdora began to explore the outer realms and found the was into the minds
And hearts of the people and then began the subversion of the hopes of the once
Happy land as the darkness of the Dread began to overcome the Willows of Hope
What hapless events were yet to come as the once quiet kingdom was now made
Into the ugliness of the Dark Lord for the two kingdoms were now set at war and
The Towers of Maplain did sound the bells and the banner did fully rise for the
Quickening of the metal was all that could quiet the storm as the untold did unfold
Low to the hearts of Everlasting Peace was the aching pain that the ways of the
People had been compromised by the Wanting Ways of an invading spirit and the
Witches of Rylock cast their spells and the wizards of Quodome did make their
Magic as the sword crossed across the once fair and happy land only to accost
For there were bells ringing in the towers until dawn and the amble of the music
Did make to the outermost parts of the kingdom but the stars seem to sway in the
Heavens and the times of times seemed to wane and fade towards Nevermore
And the Almighty voice of Lord Jesus Christ recanted yet another majestic lore
The biggest question was why did mankind feel the need to explore the blackness-what was out there that drew the species into what was obviously a very perilous place? Was it the sense that we need to know what was there-was it the timing of the times-the blackness was there and we wanted to know what was its secrets-there was a known fact that while most exploration was started by the prevailing governments-it was the private sector-the greed and the wonting-as ugly as it sounded-those are the things that fueled the dreamers dreams-looking for gold and diamonds and the ultimate power source.
Whatever were the real reasons for exploring where one probably should not go-history taught mankind well-that when the people could not be persuaded to fund the expedition on the pure recommendations of the need to know what was out there-explorers quickly and not being entirely stupid--came up with the next best thing-treasure. Now when they had whomever's attention that they needed-they lay out their plan-setting the possibilities-perhaps expanding on the claims or embellishing on the facts-it was what men and women of the exploratory nature did.
Spin the tale and add some flash to the truth-make the eyes of little boys and girls widen and make the minds of greedy corporations salivate-with the hope of things to come-what maybe or could be-just around the next corner.
Isabelle sat next to her fallen husband-she reflected on what might have been and it was too horrible for her to imagine-what if he had died? There she was-on a world so far away that it took centuries just to get to and then-with the aid of machines as smart of humans-but stronger and more hardy than any man or woman-to build and construct according to preplanned programs and operations-the first settlement on the new planet-what folly had she allowed her and her husband to be overcome by? Isabelle was a beautiful woman. She was as intelligent as she was beautiful and as resourceful as she was intelligent-still she found herself-sitting across from the sick bed of the first of the fallen on this world that they had decided to land on and make their claim. But perhaps all of that was premature-she really hadn't wanted to choose this planet to colonize-she was against it-but the master computer which was as intelligent and wise as any human--chose this planet for whatever reasons it had-but the real blow came when she and it were in the heat of enlightened discussion-Vargas picked a side and it wasn't her's. Well-she was angry to say the lease-maybe a little more than just angry-pissed off probably fit the bill.
Just look at the facts-she had two PhDs-one in astrogeology and another in planetary physics-was she brilliant-yes! But that wasn't the real question to be asking now-no-it wasn't even the real question to be asking at all-because she had managed to fall in love with this man-this poor hapless soul before her. The robotic medical machines had managed to surgically repair his body-so why wasn't he getting better? Her mind kept wandering back to memories of when they had first met-she was a professor at Harvard and he was a graduate student-one of the most passionate towards the subjects that she had ever had the privilege to meet. There was something in his voice and in his eyes-a thirst to know and a will towards adventure-that will would enrapture her heart and she'd follow him to the stars.
But her beloved was dying now. And there seemed to be nothing that she could do about it-what were the limits to science and technology? She had a heated argument with the master computer-there had to be something that they had overlooked-damn those machines! Why hadn't she insisted that if he were to have her love that they remain on a civilized world-safe and sound?
Why? Because she loved him so deeply and so much and he loved her even greater-they were of the same soul and spirit. And she wept--as her tears poured over his face-she was unconsolable.
The hallowed chambers of the Grand Parliament which had partial responsibility of the policies that went forth throughout all the civilized Dynasty-seemed to shimmer with political energy. The way the government was set up-there was a King and Queen-but this was not in the traditional sense. While their titles seemed to suggest a traditional monarchy-it was more of a position than a continuation of the traditional. The King and Queen were voted into office by the elected officials who were chosen from each planet that was a member of the Dynasty. Now-there were offshoots of the Dynasty-those planets that were in league with the Dynasty-they were members of the League of Worlds or the League of Planets. Once long ago the Dynasty went as the United Planets-there were ten active today-one planet was and one was yet to come.
Caldorph seemed to be almost foaming at the mouth as the railed against one of the members of the senate-Dr. Space who was part of the High Council-a lesser body that was under the Parliament of Planets. The way that things got done was through presentation of issues and the vote-while the King had one vote and the Queen had one vote and then there were the Governing Machines-each of the ten ruling planets had a governing machine-and all the planets in the civilized Dynasty had extensions of the governing machines on their respected planet-the link allowed for issues to be directly considered by the ten Grand Governing Machines-part of the United Planets originally-but now just absorbed into the bigger and more complicated government of the Dynasty.
When an issue managed to make its way to the chambers of the Grand Parliament-after being voted on many times-step by step-though in times of emergency-these procedures could be greatly shortcut-the final decision was made by both the King and Queen of the Dynasty along with a third vote cast by the Governing Machines collectively. So in essence-there were three votes that counted-the King's vote and then the Queen's vote and finally the collective decision of the Governing Machines with all its lesser combined into one vote. This was good enough for the system to work-because each planet wanted some autonomy to rule themselves-yet the collective protection and sharing of technology and wealth was important to the Expansion-which was what it finally came to be called.
The High Council floor was where most issues concerning the state were hashed out-one planet wanting this or that--or issues concerning how much of a tributary a certain planet should pay to the Expansion. In this case Caldorph was arguing against a certain tax that had been levied against all the civilized planets in the Dynasty. His people were angry and the reason was because Caldorph represented a poor planet-Ygsef-a planet on the outskirts of the Dynasty. Most planets on the outskirts didn't feel that they should be made to carry the full burden of taxation-because they were mostly leagued through one of those political bodies-but they fully wanted all of the benefits of being part of the League of Worlds or the League of Planets. And there in rested most of the really good arguments--when they finally reached the High Council on their way to the Grand Parliament. Dr. Space while not totally unsympathetic to the cause that Caldorph was arguing-had a job to do-and that was to put forth the political reasons of the Dynasty. Eventually the King would have one vote and the Queen would have one vote and the collective body of governing machines would cast one vote-if need be. For if the King and Queen agreed-which happened from time to time-then the issue was resolved-two out of three-however-if the King felt one way and the Queen another-then the tie breaker was the vote cast by the Governing Machines. Every ten years according the transdoor time-a new King and Queen were elected by the Grand Parliamentary. There was much pomp and circumstance-celebrations Dynasty wide.
There is an awareness that seems to permeate the consciousness of mankind-a type of knowing that goes beyond mere feeble attempts at learning and teaching-call it a form of hyperlearning or metaintelligence-all generations posses it-but with the advent of higher forms of abstract learning-artificial learning-came the suppression of such knowledge. This wasn't to say that some people didn't retain the ability to access this wealth of innate knowledge-in fact-in some societies it was encouraged and in others-feared and hated. In essence-it was a matter of perspective-a matter of wanting to accept the fact that there were forces greater and beyond the purview of our conscious minds. These were secrets known throughout the ages and kept buried deep within the ground of our unconsciousness-buried like the dead-and often lost or forgotten to the collective consciousness of humankind.
Isabelle had tried all that she had been taught and still her beloved lay there in a coma-his life neither improving nor leaving-yet she sensed that it was just a matter of time-and more and more of his functions-that kept him living would have to be substituted by machines. Was this what it was all about? Did she travel all this way with him-only to loose him in the aftermath of the arrival? What kind of folly and what fate made her an utter fool-as she sat across from him-wake up Vargas-wake and tell me that this all-everything that we've been through-is just a dream...
But he didn't-or couldn't. His injuries were too great and even with the most advanced technology available-mankind still had their limits. Perhaps the best that could be done was to sit with him and hope and to do the most human of thing-pray. When all else is lost-the most basic and primitive of emotions seemed to flood back into the consciousness-hoping for something that can't be seen-wanting for something not touched by the physical hand-yet reaching and grasping as if it were just a few inches beyond our reach.
What was it about dying that instantly erased the falsehoods of the culture and greatly reenforced the mores and customs of one's own self?
She was deep in thought and didn't notice at first as the wisp entered the infirmary-but the room began to glow with an eerie light-that seemed to emanate from the entity-this planet was obviously inhabited by a race of beings. Were they corporeal? There was no scientific evidence to that-and while robot and human could perceive them at some state of consciousness-for the robots that were with them were advanced enough to ultimately be called self-aware in their programming-the living had trouble accepting the truth. Isabelle began to understand now-maybe it was her deepened state of emotion that triggered the response-but she was open to the possibility-and the wisp seemed to float across the infirmary room towards Vargas. Her first reaction was to try and stop it from further hurting her husband-but there was a quiet communication starting to develop between Isabelle and the wisp. She could hear a small and calm voice speaking to her-telling her to-let me help him...
Isabelle watched the medical monitors and while she did not give full quarter--she did not entirely get in the wisp's way. The entity is female? There is something about it that seemed less male and more female-yet-the ghostlike being was less distinctive. Was it an act of love? Had this being fallen in love with her husband-perhaps on his many excursions to the transdoor site-had there been opportunity for some relationship-purely spiritual in nature to have evolved? The wisp slowly began to heal Vargas before Isabelle's eyes. And frankly-all Isabelle wanted was what this female being was doing-would the future colonist come to this planet-she now would name Wisp-and discover a race of beings already living-in the freezing cold-warmer than themselves?