The Gift

Reads: 345  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: April 11, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 11, 2016

A A A

A A A


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gift

 

by Christopher Caplette

 

 

 

 

"Should not the giver be thankful that the receiver received?

Is not giving a need? Is not receiving, mercy?"

-Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

Do you believe in evolution? Of course you do, I suppose there is no believing in facts - belief is left to things of uncertainty. But, if I'm going to tell my story, I need you to understand that evolution is a constant, and always has been. I admit, this is more of a confession - a testimony, one of greed but also for reasons greater than myself. I don't have much time to tell it so you'll have to try and be understanding of my rhetoric, and if I don't go into great detail. You're bound to be left with questions, but I'm okay with that; nothing worth having ever comes without a little work.

First of all, we're not alone in this world. I'm not referring to aliens, they're another story that I'm not going to get into right now. No, we're not alone, we're not the smartest and we're not the oldest. Humanoid species have lived a long time, we have evidence of that, we know this. There was once a species that lived before, nearly as old as the formation of the Earth. While our solar system was finding its rhythm, and Earth was slowly shifting and changing to the habitat which later accommodated different life, the planet was a more harsh environment. The land was rugged and mountainous, but everything else was mostly oceanic, which bore harsh sea winds, carrying corrosive salt among the shores. There were many active volcano, though most were under the ocean, forming new and rising masses of land. With the introduction of new land, the ground would split, introducing devastation without a moments notice. This is the Earth that this first species inhabited.

I asked you about evolution, because it plays pivotal role. Evolution is the process of adaptation - to be altered, shaped by your environment, in order to survive it. These beings had to adapt quickly, but it was costly process. They did not have the luxury of time and choice and leisure. They were forged by the world that made them cunning and diverse. With the changing of time, the Earth pushed them to their limits, and in change they pushed the Earth to its.

Eventually they had adapted to a "transcendental" state, if you will. They started to evanesce somehow from our physical realm. They still existed on this planet, with us, among us; but despite us and our limited plane of existence. We cannot see them, or touch them, unless they allow it. They, on the other hand, can see us, hear us, walk among us like living ghosts - if ghosts were a thing. They even have the power to interact with us, but their society has learned to incorporate certain laws for their kind which restrict their involvement with humans. Though, just as with humans, laws are created because of their apparent need for them, and there are always those who will test them. This is how my part in the story comes into play.

I used to be an average man. Well, that's embellished, you could have called me.. simple. I was not stupid, but also no very bright. Education was not my ally, and I abhorred things that told me what I assumed I already knew. I didn't have many friends; well, real friends. For that, I had one good friend, Jensen, who was more like family than family ever really was. After a lifetime of 34 years together, we dolorously departed when Jensen was in a fatal car accident. His vehicle was struck by a drunk driver operating at a miscalculated, reckless speed. Both died as a result of the impact, though the drunkard was ejected from his vehicle as a result of throwing caution to the wind in operating a large, engine driven machine without the safety of a seat belt. A decision he would not get the opportunity to regret, as the skin was filed off of a large portion of his body from the momentum of ejection which chucked him onto the pavement.

Depression had found its way into my laborious breath. After a night of plying myself with much libation in toast of Jensen's life, and grief of mine, I had drank myself to making sense of ending my own life. To join my friend, my brother, Jensen, to wherever he now calls home. I prepared a rope, I figured hanging leaves little mess, and once I'm strung there is no opportunity to back out in fear. There I stood, on a stool, saying my short, bitter-sweet goodbyes, when something happened. One of the old people appeared to me. It came to sight as if it just walked into the room from beyond some threshold. Perhaps it rounded the corner, my mind struggled to comprehend the imminent arrival, which struck me was a shock of sudden fear, considering my position. This being appeared questionable in its very apparent nature. It seemed to lack a distinct physical body, yet existed as a tangible silhouette before a brilliant radiance that emanated from where its form would be. Humanoid in shape, but about 7 feet tall and skinny in form, and without features, just a mix of radiant hues of luminescent blues and whites. This being stood before me and spoke to me, though without sound, from within my very mind. The voice began as a choir of screams before quickly filing into one distinct sound and echoed voice, "Perfect."

I shook instantly out of fear and confusion as great that it felt like pain in my chest. I stumbled back, falling off the stool and kicking it over in the reflex to catch myself from the fall. My hands instantly clawed to the rope around my neck as I swung in chocking suspension. The entity placed its hands on both sides of my head, and I heard it say, "This is going to hurt. But your momentary death will offer reprieve." It's radiance flowed into my body, my thirsty skin absorbed it quickly. I ached, I felt like a damn about to break, my mind swelled. Then it released me. Two more of the same kind of beings appeared behind the first one. It turned to the others, who stood still for the moment. Suddenly the two new arrivals lamination turned into a deep, dark fire, which looked like it could only have come from pure magma, then projected the flame at the first being. I could hear it wail in a moment of agony, as it writhed in the dark fire. I saw it reach for me as I then blacked out from the lack of oxygen to my system, and I then met with the void.

I woke up, coughing and greedily sucking in air. I frantically looked around for any evidence of what had just occurred. The only thing I found was that my rope had snapped due to something weakening the integrity by burning a specific section. I'm not entire sure what happened. The burning entity used its fire washed hand to burn the rope? There was no other evidence of the conflagration. All I knew for sure was that I was alive. I removed the rope from my neck, then noticed that my skin began to give off a soft radiant glow. The light grew brighter, then my head began to ache as a flood of knowledge started to erupt into being, like the crash of a tidal wave. After a moment the wave ceased, and the glow from my skin softened to a dim radiance, as if the sun was washing me. I then realized that I knew.. a vast amount of things. I had been granted insight, but incomplete. Only fragments of knowledge, mostly history. About the old people, who they were, where they came from.

They hadn't need for words, but went by many names. They called themselves the Hazzchieet They called the exclusive plane which they walked in this world as walking, "sinus in medio umbrae" (between the folds of shadow). Through history they have had individual instances of Hazzchieet present themselves to humans. Because of their natural luminescence and amazing abilities, of which different Hazzchieet possessed based on their complex DNA they were regarded as spiritual beings. Sometimes angels, sometimes Gods, religion was founded because of their involvement; ironically since they are purely scientific beings. I don't know why they've historically regarded humans as a species worth becoming involved with. My new memories and knowledge was far from complete. Perhaps they were just bored. For that matter, I don't know why I was given this gift. If I was meant to fulfill some destiny, or finish some business for the one who gave this to me, then I think I have failed, because I have been too intrigued to care. Humans have always remained truly ignorant of the Hazzchieets existence, except for in tales of angels and boogeymen. So, perhaps it simply bestowed its life into me, hoping I'd change that. Then perhaps that is what I'm doing with this document. With the instillation of the Hazzchieet's memories, I also obtained its genetic power to manipulate my inner radiant energy to create an energetic bond in the air in order to manipulate objects around it. Something that could be misunderstood as telekinesis, but operates more like a muscle interacting with the atmosphere. The introduction of such knowledge and memories changed my psyche, I had an immediate and lasting thirst for knowledge, and now possessed the aptitude for examining and capacity for retaining it. I also possessed the ability to walk "between the folds of shadow" to their realm. But time had made the Hazzchieet placid, and they appear ambivalent of me, seeming to notice that I'm different, but not quire sure why or how? In spite of that, they typically ignore me, even when I attempt to telepathically communicate with them. Which left me curious if I actually knew how to. I have the memories telling me I'm doing it "as I have always known how to", but do I possess the power? Regardless, I have clearly left humanity as a species, yet I am certainly no Hazzchieet, but my residual human nature left me tortured with questions.

Conventional second hand knowledge was highly dissatisfying and could not be considered reliable, even if presented from an otherwise reliable source. Reading books and exploring the internet as a wellspring of information, as majority of human society does, feels like dirt and grime. It grates at my mind how people can live their life, accepting nearly any input (mostly consisting of disinformation), rather than living to experience and learn and know with absolute certainty. This compelling desire to understand made me inquisitive, daring, ad at time reckless, in order to experience my queries first hand.

My shared knowledge from my transaction with the Hazzchieet made for a proper guide to most of my explorations. The Hazzchieet were a scientific people with an advanced understanding of this world. My new memories go back so far, I am curious if the Hazzchieet can sync memories collectively, at will; or if the particular one who had shared this gift had actually lived that long. Ultimately, my greatest question came to wonder why humans were so fascinating to the Hazzchieet to the point that some would end up breaking their laws and wind up forfeiting their life to interact with them. I had to investigate, it had to be scientific, therefore observable in some way. Humans weren't a highly intelligent breed, or superior to the Hazzchieet, but it had to be something in their ecology, something to do with their relation to nature. I needed to study one with my new scientific mind. This would require breaking the Hazzchieet law, but my conflicted nature compelled me, and there is little threat to a man who already had committed to death.

I searched and discovered a man who was out one morning, hunting and alone. Being able to shift and walk between observable planes made it easy to approach him entirely unnoticed. But, to interact, I would have to shift to that 'physical' real as you know it. I appeared before him, to use the shock of my appearance to stun him, as it had with me the first time. However the reaction I was met with was fear so great it sparked an accidental fatality as the hunter dropped his rifle to the ground, causing a misfire that struck him right under the chin and exiting out of the back of his head. I was surprised, but in a more amused way than any other. I certainly wasn't startled, I feel I've mostly lost the capacity for that reflex. This turn of events was fine, considering it was my intent to dissect the man, for science, not out of malice. But, it was at this time that I learned that the radiant luminescence that permeates from the Hazzchieet responds like an aura, changing its hue based on intent. This information has come to my aid in time for survivals sake. Using my natural ability to essentially manipulate the environment, I seized the man's Bowie knife he carried on his hunt, from his belt, and with minor motions from my wrist and hands, used it to carve into him and study his biology.

After some time, I came to a fairly solid theory. I was thinking over the implications of my theory, when I heard a voice within my mind.

"You have broken our law."

I turned to face my addresser, "I've had.. so many questions. But no one ever dared to communicate with me" I spoke telepathically.

"You have defiled our nature. You are not Hazzchieet. We have allowed you to live as we are a peaceful people. But you are an anomaly."

"This has never happened before? Its part of your nature, it can clearly be done. Am I really the first?"

"We do not know how it was done. Or why. Nor do we care. We are as we should be, and do not seek change. We are beyond the inevitability of change as we have evolved to a sense of perfection to necessity."

"That is way too naive. I cannot comprehend that you people would believe that."

The time for talk was clearly over, I noticed the Hazzchieet's luminescence cloud and turn to an angry red. I took heed and responded to the threat before could only react. I used my ability defensively to strike its body into a quarter rotation. Just as it had turned, it released a wave of liquid fire from its radiance The fire struck a nearby tree, dissolving its base and engulfing the rest. I caught it off guard and I knew I wouldn't be able to so easily again. I took my transient opportunity to charge it swiftly, meanwhile using my ability to bring the hunters Bowie knife to my approaching hand. The instant it reached me, I took hold of it and thrust the knife into the sternum of the Hazzchieet. All 6 inches of the blade entered its chest, it was a fatal wound, and honestly I was surprised with how easy it had been, considering all their countless years of evolution. I suppose that goes to tell you the effects of time in a more easily habitable realm. Change was inevitable, whether you accept it or not.

The Hazzchieet did not grunt, or moan, or seem to react. I held the knife there in its chest for a moment, then it carefully started to lurch forward. Feeling its weight, I grabbed the Hazzchieet's shoulder with my free hand, and helped ease it down onto its back. I pulled the knife out of its chest, which opened a damn of dark blue ichor from the wound. The radiance from the body dimmed, then faded out completely. From beneath the glow, it looked nearly human, except for an eerie paleness, as if the sun never touched it, a lack of eyes, no hair, a long, thin mouth, and no sex organs. The body quickly began to decompose before my eyes. The skin was softening and the surface looked like it was turning greasy.

I wasn't sure how it found me so quickly just after breaking their law. For that matter, I was concerned how long I'd have until more would show up, especially if they knew somehow that I took the life of one of their own. Despite that, I had questions, and this body could provide some answers, I hoped. Time was not on my side, so I decided to risk myself and take this opportunity while it still presented itself. I took the knife and put it to work once again, carving into this being, flaying and extracting all that I could with my precious little time. The labor of the blade was easy as everything was losing its solidity, but the examination was messy and quite unpleasant. Also, I have no idea what bacteria cultures were having their way with the body at such a rapid pace, but the smell was horrid; I imagine it being close to down right toxic.

The dissection yield little results, but enough to form some new hypotheses, and also potentially strengthen my first. I would have been able to be sure of some things if I had scientific equipment, but whilst conducting my research in the woods rather than a lab, many things are based on inference and experience. Of my examination, most interestingly, they do not posses the apparent means of reproduction, unless they produce through a form of binary fission, asexually. But, considering the vast memories I obtained, my current hypothesis on that subject is that these beings live a real long time, rather than sharing their memories. Perhaps the fear of not being able to procreate is what motivates their fear of change. Their life span being prolonged, yet losing the ability to have offspring, so they refuse to change while they feel safe, hoping they will not lose anything more. I don't know, still feels naive for such and old and scientific race. At any rate, I'm at a loss of solid answers, and now I'm being hunted.

I could run and hide, the old me most likely would have. But, I am not afraid of dying, and I have grown so very curious of many things. If I am alive, I'll use that life to figure these secrets out. This provides me with purpose, this occupies me, this indulges me. Should I be executed and fail to learn, then nothing lost from the man who was once hanging from that rope, and the world would likely not notice. This way, with this, the world may take notice.

Since that encounter in the woods, I gathered my resolve to continue my research. I decided on examining another human subject, a female this time, for diversity. I sought and chose a woman that I figured no one would much miss, though I didn't use any time to confirm that suspicion. I suppose I only told myself that in some semblance of a conscience, or so you would not think me so cruel. Just as with my first subject, shortly after finishing with my examinations, I was pursued and provoked into combat for survival. This time I was caught off guard and suffered second degree burns on about 50% of my left arm. The Hazzchieet seem to prefer fire manipulators as executioners. But, the altercation revealed some insight. I discovered that the Hazzchieet could track one another, myself included, by the evocation of their active radiance It just so happens that since I am not pure Hazzchieet, my resting luminescence is quite soft unless I harness my powers or walk between the folds of shadow. Which then reveals me as a sort of beacon. That information alone has saved me on another occasion, where I was forced to try and lose some new pursuers. The longer I evade their retribution, the more aggressive and tactical they become.

The Hazzchieet track me quickly now. While not entirely accurate, I cannot hide for long, and continuing my research has become very difficult. So, I have to leave my hypothesis as just that and hope to test it. I believe that the Hazzchieet are interested in humans because of their ability to procreate. That procreation offers a natural means to observable evolution, despite the choices humanity make to preserve and nurture to the very genetics that stunt evolution. The Hazzchieet are envious of them, yet also see hope in them, and now so do I. I should be capable of blending these genetics, and provide a possible leap in human evolution, should I be able to find a suitable mate. I think that the Hazzchieet fear that possibility. They have been in a battle against nature for a long time, and I imagine that has made them a little condescending, and perhaps a little greedy with their choices. Which is why I imagine they do not wish to share what they have with humanity.

I have to move now. They are always at my heels before long, and I have spent some time here. I hope this finds the willing eyes of the open minded. Should I achieve my goals, I will leave more evidence again. If I fail, then it'll be just as if I never left that rope, perhaps as if I never even put that rope up in the first place. But, I received a gift; and a gift if given to be used. 


© Copyright 2019 Exile. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Science Fiction Short Stories