Perspectives

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Finally finished with my new novella "Perspectives"!

It didn't become as long as "Alien Forever", the prequel, but it's the building of a mythology and surely one of my favourite stories written by myself.

If "Alien Forever" explored the concepts of ego, hate and darkness this new story explores life after death. Which is not the place of paradise but rather the place of suffering and hell. A territory I have explored in my countless journeys around the globe. To put it in mild clothing...

Submitted: February 02, 2016

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Submitted: February 02, 2016

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PREFACE
 
 
Perspectives is a sunken dream. A project I began to dream about a long time ago. These dreams were always about a reckless adolescent suspecting a great evil in the future. He was into great myths, dead heroes and the prospect of a colonized future. But it was not a world of comfort, of old habits and the predictability of a secure homeland. Rather the opposite.
 
This was a story that never could be told. This was due to the common themes shared by many works of science-fiction. Things I wanted to tell had already been said countless times before (and better) in other works. Science-fiction works by authors like Frank Herbert, Arthur. C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein.
 
I had to go back to basics. The general content had to be reworked, retold and reworked again. I dreamt about it many hours. I never was content. I thought I had solutions but these ones faded in time. I had countless walks in nature, sitting exercises and several moments where I thought I saw beyond. I just knew I had something but the story had to take shape in an original manner. 
 
The story is a natural continuation of my previous novel Alien Forever. Exploring similar themes of ego, hate and darkness. But extending this to an exploration of life beyond death. Which is the place of hell. A nightmarish vision of trials, suspense and horror. 
 
To build on the myths and legends of the past, rewriting history and coming forward with a new vision for the future. A world where realism share space with the sudden burst of the imagination. The second life of my lone intruder Timothy Astor. Now reborn as Adrian Centipede a hundred and fifty years into the future.
 
To open up the gates of hell.
 
 
PART I
ORIGINS
 
 
1
ON THE FAR EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE
 
The birth chamber was cold, desolate. Rows of infants sleeping in their birth-capsules, taking shape by organic feeding devices. One of these belonged to a special infant, an infant growing fast with the seeds of an old breed. Growing with a genetic history of time gone past. Reworked in precision with the help of future science. 
 
What about this boy? What about the history of his ancestors?
 
Nothing could be known. His past was a thick fabric of modulated theories. Theories about his unknown heritage, about the special kind of genetic material he represented. 
 
Screams were heard in the blue crystal light from the interior of the birth-chamber. Rows upon rows of infants waiting to be born. The interiors were shining with the blank surfaces of polished metal. Calls were heard among disinterested workers. Never watching the screens in the kitchen installation where they held ground. Failing to comprehend the importance of the moment.
 
And the infant sank down upon a blank plate. Cut from his feeding device by a robot arm and transported to a sleeping chamber by automatic transport devices. And he saw the white blinding light from a ceiling armature. Screaming again, torn between his will to live and his nightmarish fear of robots.
 
This was the first day of his life.
 
 
2
NEON REFLECTIONS FROM A DYSTOPIAN FUTURE
 
The city was a doomed cupola of green glass. Rays of light bent by the prism of altered frequencies. The buildings were set upon each other bending the rays into different directions. Reflecting the progress of design hundreds of years into the future. Somewhere in this strange cupola a spherical school was found. It had strange cuts and corners decorated by future symbols. Some of them were glowing in red from within. Some of them were yellow. 
 
Adrian Centipede was walking by himself in the future schoolyard. He lived on a remote planetary system colonized by future colonists. Envisioned by a certain kind of post-modern intellectuals. Building on ideas from the past. 
 
The teenager boy watched the tranquil surroundings with a hint of despair. The world outside the doomed cupola was an arid desert connecting to a purple forest with poisonous trees. He was just walking on the school yard with a safe space from other teenagers. The school yard was clean, raised above the lowest level with several pillars. It was almost like the teenagers were completely insignificant. 
 
The bell rang and the students were called back to the lessons. The teachers were talking about the failure of future imagination. About the common myths and stories pushing humans into the far edge of the universe.
 
The teenager boy was dreaming.
 
 
3
A PRE-MEMORIAL DREAM OF DARKNESS
 
The lost teenager was walking in the purple forest. Dressed in a space-suit with a suitable helmet. He was actually walking there, came and went as a skinny ghost. The skin of his body was arid, pale and smooth on the surface. His face was the face of a depressed adolescent. Having inner turmoil. He thought about the pros and cons of future colonization. About the endless possibilities and the dark realities. 
 
The nightly forest came alive with a greenish glow. Glow from plants and blue reflections from strange water. Adrian Centipede was thinking about the myths and stories from the previous lessons. The teacher was talking about the ideas formulated by the post-modern intellectuals. The ones who had lived and died on earth before. In the period after the discoveries of Marillion Sinclair. 
 
Marillion Sinclair had been an extraordinary woman, a post-modern sensation of fluid dreams and dark science. But the ideas of the woman had been tried and tested earlier. She had died a timely death in a black chamber built by the group of Tengram Williams. In inner space. Adrian’s world was different. 
 
The lost teenager sensed with a heightened sense of vision and hearing. But he saw beyond these impressions into the sphere of the unconscious. Into the myths and stories of the previous lessons. 
 
Not many put great effort in understanding these ideas. They were too far-fetched and didn’t work in practise. The post-modern intellectuals had formulated the past ideas of Marillion Sinclair to a coherent whole. Building on the dark science and the forbidden dreams of the lonely outsider. Projecting these thoughts into a revelatory future. To merge with the new frontiers of science. To try and test the bounds and limits of human reason. Settling down in a new planetary system beyond the earth.
 
The idea was not only to live a fuller life externally. But to think about the meaning. About new relations, about other modes of thinking and feeling. A deeper sense of total experience. But humanity confronted the harsh conditions of the future world and fell back to pure survival. 
 
This was the truth of the city reflecting alien light.
 
 
4
THE STRUGGLE OF A LONE OUTSIDER
 
He was walking the outside perimeter of the future school. Light came shining from the transparent glass reflected from the surfaces of the shining buildings. He felt like he was hovering on an alien platform. A platform raised above the ground to project itself into outer space. But the platform didn’t move. Adrian Centipede moved. He moved inside the intellectual sphere of arguments and counter-arguments. As he wished to sense the reality between the physical world and the forgotten mythology. He went back into an occult sphere of the past intellectuals and combined those ideas with his own observations. Thinking of the passionate quest for renewal and the ruling emptiness of the future city. Building on Marillion’s science and projecting her will into the unknown future. It was a desolate place. A place for the wicked outsider. The one loosing grip on reality: Of girls, of group pressure, of the ongoing conflict between the dreamers and the ones of action. 
 
He confronted his sworn enemy minutes later. Watching a guy in black clothing. A guy he had fought with countless times before. This was the thin shape of Ray Fitzgerald. Confronting the lost adolescent with conflicting ideas.
 
“So you think you have fooled the teachers?” Ray Fitzgerald said to Adrian Centipede. “Fooled them with your stupid comments!” Ray said, “You better put yourself together!”
 
“I don’t care about you!” Adrian Centipede said, “I’m into my own thought for my own survival!”
 
“For your own survival?” Ray said.
 
“Yes!” Adrian said.
 
Adrian Centipede was pushed to the ground by Ray Fitzgerald. Overshadowed with the thin but stronger body of the latter. Ray had a striking physical presence. But couldn’t win the fight by intellectual discourse. 
 
“I have seen your free-time discussions with our mythology teacher.” Ray Fitzgerald said, “Are you trying to get a better grade?”
 
“Why do you care?” Adrian said.
 
“Just so I can put your mind at ease!” Ray Fitzgerald said and laughed.
 
The two of them hit each other and wrestled on the ground until the bell rang in the close distance. It was time for a reading of past legends, myths and dead heroes. 
 
A precarious subject for Adrian Centipede but not for many others.
 
 
5
THE OLD MYTHS OF FUTURE HEROES
 
Adrian Centipede read the mythological texts completely taken by surprise. Those were the texts written on earth before the colonization of the planetary system. The past intellectuals were dreaming aloud combining the investigations of occult science with the currents of the time. They knew about the earlier investigation on the artificial construct in inner space. The investigation conducted by Marillion Sinclair and the rich capitalist Tengram Williams. But the whole business of pre-memorial descent ended in the sudden death of Marillion Sinclair. Committing suicide in a black labyrinth of emptiness and a mysterious celebration of future heroes. 
 
Death was a hard subject. A subject subjected to countless nightmares and taboos. But what happened later? When everything was attained?
 
Many speculated. 
 
Adrian Centipede was reading the texts and he started to feel transported to the surface of one of the moons. The intellectuals had envisioned a life very different from the life on earth: To colonize a moon with a horrid environment. Of dust-storms and thick atmosphere. To move beyond the concept of death to arrive at the gates of hell. 
 
The moon was called Apocalypto based on the prospect of a coming apocalypse. It had housed alien life but life had been sucked out of it and the post-modern intellectuals saw this as a chance to explore Marillion’s mode of darkness even further. 
 
“As death could be too easy of a relief.” they said, “A hindrance on the path to a richer life.”
 
“This is insane!” Adrian Centipede said to himself as he read the texts. “They were trying to enter hell but saw no way out as the need for survival took hold in the end.” He continued: “They ended up on my planet, away from the moon, walking on stale legs supported by future technology. As the gravity of the central planet was pulling on their knees.”
 
He read the mythology of the entire collection. Closing in on one special kind of future hero. A hero that would colonize Apocalypto with a large force of others. A hero that was fictional but also later real. Chosen carefully to colonize a real moon in the future. So different from the people inhabiting earth in the earlier days. 
 
He was to be (As the texts describing the real event said) a reckless hero dominating his team of explorers in the colonization of the real Apocalypto. Existing in the outer perimeter of the known universe. Reachable with a sudden space-jump. 
 
At one time the colonists were coming close to a sudden dust-storm. The entire facility of the colonization had been subjected to several storms earlier but the new one threatened to push it into oblivion. The team was going crazy with fear and anxiety. They were trying to find their way into the nearby caves to find shelter for the dust-storms. The hero was out to investigate the caves by common request and the team was pulling arguments between each other. To stay put in the facility or to leave for the caves until the storm had blown over.
 
What was intricate was how the post-modern intellectuals actually had foreseen the coming of such events. It had to be that way as the hardships of a desolate moon would push the intellects of the survivors into new frontiers of clarity and logic. Overcoming the mistakes of the past. 
 
Nothing was to be left to chance and suffering had to be accepted as a key to life.
 
But the team of explorers was left in the facility to fight each other. The prospect of a sudden death made them go completely irrational. As the storm came closer and the facility started to rattle they were hiding themselves in cabins to protect themselves from disaster. A dog was there with them and they were feeling like fearful animals. They were almost trying to end their lives as the future hero entered the facility. 
 
He didn’t preach. He didn’t have a bright prospect or the vision of sage. But he said they just had to accept it. That the problem couldn’t be solved by intellect alone. They had to go out there. Find their way to the cave entrance for better or worse. Confronting death and moving beyond it. It was an irrational choice of innate power. To never abandon the evil undercurrents of the unconscious and to leave the facility for the space of the caves. Saving their lives or ending them.
 
That was the final conclusion.
 
No one knew what happened to the colonists in the end. But this story was said to be true from several accounts. Other said it was pure legend. But somehow the colonization forces had colonized the desolate moon and lost the battle to return to the central planet. “Green Eteria” it was called. Where they had found greater security. A dream cleaned from its true purpose.
 
Adrian Centipede put down the reading device and felt content.
 
 
Perspectives is a cold reflection of unwanted security.
A life beyond travel and mysterious encounters with strangers.
A world I had to leave behind to save my life.
 
It has been an unending journey of work, of investigations into human history,
politics, science, philosophy and art.
 
Connected to the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. 
But transcending his values of the over-man in an attempt to write a clean story.
A story where hell can be seen as the path to transcendence.
 
Finding life in the Dionysian aspect of human existence complemented by the 
Appolonean impulse of the intellect.
 
A dark descent into oblivion.
 
 
6
THE DISCOVERY OF A NEW STUDENT
 
Adrian Centipede had come to his senses. The revelatory power of the stories, myths and legends had pulled him out on frightful territory. He was feeling a great power but this power also kept him isolated from the world of people, objects and sense experience. He found his way around the school yard, meeting his teachers and also an old caretaker that mysteriously went around the place absolutely silent.
 
One day a mysterious girl dressed in black clothing came to the school. She just sat there, amongst the others and no one knew from where she came. She didn’t want to talk about it. She said she had the papers and everything was taken care of. And as the lessons progressed into the disciplines of math, language and logic the girl distinguished herself as a true talent. She knew about the natural sciences but preferred the social sciences as she said they were more revealing.
 
“More revealing?” The teacher asked.
 
“Yes.” The girl said, “Natural science is not about thinking and feeling, only body-consciousness.”
 
As the lessons evened out towards the evening and blue light were shining through the green cupola of glass (As it came from a secondary star in the distance) Adrian Centipede ran into the shape of the mysterious girl. The both of them fell to the floor and Adrian lost a couple of papers he had kept in his hand. 
 
The teenager girl, called Samantha, was not especially angry. Rather dispassionate. She picked up the papers and gave them to Adrian. And as she did she saw the bold imprint of the characters of past mythology.
 
“You read that?” She asked.
 
“Yes, I do.” Adrian said.
 
“You are surely one of a kind!” Samantha said, “As the world of security is coming to an end!”
 
“What do you mean?”
 
“That the world you see is pulled on your eyes as a work of beautiful fabrics.” Samantha said, “It’s a false security leading to death in three continual steps.” she said, “The first step of degression, the second step of recognition and the last step of total annihilation.”
 
“Why?”
 
“Because this world is built on lies.” Samantha said. 
 
Adrian was amazed as Samantha gave Adrian a hollow look and continued down the corridor.
 
 
A WORLD OF BEAUTIFUL FABRICS
 
Adrian had never thought about his world as a world of deterioration. He felt lonely and sad for sure. He wore a mysterious emptiness, a longing for something he barely could understand. But total annihilation was surely to take things too far. From his own perspective.
 
He went by himself into the central part of the future city. Where interconnecting railways took him to strange cuts and corners. To open areas populated by the dark shapes of future inhabitants. Some of them were also dressed in white clothing. Others in red costumes with orange cotton.
 
He came to stand close to a bluish pond with statues of past heroes. Kneeling in front of them as a kind of forgotten gesture. Thinking about the mythologies and hidden knowledge from past generations living on earth. The mystery had ended with the colonization of the planetary system. Green Eteria was surely a monument of human progress. Progress in the arts, the sciences and also great architecture. As the statues he kneeled before wore the history of man and perhaps his future.
 
But was it the truth or something strangely inverted? 
 
Suddenly the caretaker from the school yard approached Adrian as Adrian sat on his knees and prayed. 
 
“Why are you not at school?” The caretaker asked.
 
“I’m dreaming.” Adrian said, “Dreaming of past revolutions but also to watch the monuments of human history.”
 
“Human history?” The caretaker said.
 
“Yes.” Adrian said, “We were living on earth a long time ago.” Adrian said, “But those times have come and gone. I guess it’s time for a moment of clarity.”
 
“I think you are wrong.” The caretaker said.
 
“Why?”
 
“Because the civilization you imagine doesn’t exist.” The caretaker said, “My name is Grape Nemesis by the way.”
 
“Grape Nemesis?”
 
“Yes.” Grape said, “Civilization has come and gone. In a substantial sense. And what you see is your own imagination. This city is just an imaginary shell. And humankind had it better on earth.”
 
“I see.” Adrian said.
 
The two of them were walking into a close by restaurant. They ordered blue dishes from vegetarian descent: Eating, thinking, feeling with a heightened sense of clarity. Much could be said about the fabrication of human history. Of the alteration of the myths, legends and stories that Adrian had read. 
 
“You are a good reader.” Grape Nemesis said, “But a good mind has to be cultivated from the right angle and to be built on facts, not pure mythology.”
 
“But the physical world was too shallow.” Adrian said and looked down on his plate.
 
“It was!” Grape Nemesis said, “But you have to have another angle.” Grape said, “Offering critique of the heroes and the past legends. Not prayers. As those stories never were true.”
 
Adrian was silent.
 
They were ordering a beer and were watching the manners of the male servant. He wore a white shirt and a black jacket. Having a green tie oscillating with yellow buttons. It was a time for a future desert. This desert was having the taste of times gone and forgotten. But was it a real taste of earth or something entirely different? Was it the same as the myths written and rewritten? And what was the truth of man?
 
“I guess death lurks around the corner.” Grape Nemesis said, “The so called civilization you see was dreamt up by past intellectuals. But the actual conditions changed as man saw his own futility. This futility is caused by the impossibility to integrate the mind and the heart. The heart wanting transcendence but the mind thinking in logical terms. One can not live the one life or the other. As the life of the heart reveals great happiness but ends in death and destruction. And the life of logic extends life but ends in boredom.”
 
“But what about to combine the two?” Adrian asked.
 
“This has already been tried and tested.” Grape said, “Surely by the post-modern thinkers. You will realize this in time.”
 
Adrian was silent.
 
 
8
EXAMINATION
 
Adrian Centipede was a lone outsider. He was thinking for himself, talking with several teachers and having arguments with his teenager companions. He didn’t succeed with convincing any others. He made good on tests but were always writing the “wrong” answers. Still he succeeded with good grades. This was due to the intellectual depth he represented. Writing the “wrong” answers but convincing the teachers with his good manners. 
 
Presenting a view of mythology and future possibility in a way nobody ever could imagine. This irritated the temper of his sworn enemies. “Normal” teenagers were never doing homework or thinking like him. 
 
One day Adrian was walking along the corridors of the school in isolation. He thought about the mysterious girl with the dark prophesies. He wanted to check if the lone outsider saw something of substance in his own ideas. But as he came to her room nobody was there. The room was completely empty and a window had swung half-open. Adrian checked the exterior of the room from this elevated position. He saw an empty plateau lit by red armature. A black cabin with first-aid was seen below. A couple of kids played around it. But no girl was seen and nothing was left on the furniture. Adrian felt as if something bad had happened but he couldn’t think in straight lines.
 
As the lessons continued no trace was left of the teenager. The girl had come to the school for a couple of months and left without a trace. Some of the kids thought she had been kidnapped.
 
Adrian felt a sudden rush of panic: A distress signal from hell. But the girl wouldn’t return later. Soon it was time for examination. 
 
Adrian was graduating with the highest possible grade. Highest possible grade due to sharpness and originality of thinking. Never being right, always being wrong, but suspecting, longing, yearning for an understanding of mythology and human history. And thinking about grand visions for the future. Built on these ideas. Never lacking intellectual depth. Also being friendly. Yearning for mutual contact.
 
Adrian had succeeded on the surface but felt a sense of inner deterioration. As if the graduation couldn’t the change the innate yearning of the heart. He would leave school for a journey towards the moons around the central planet later. To settle the question of human mythology and possibility once and for all.
 
It seemed impossible.
 
 
PART II
THE JOURNEY
 
 
9
A DEEP JOURNEY TOWARDS GATEWAY STATION
 
He was leaving the school compound unwary of space and time. It was like his past innocence had coloured his entire consciousness. Striving, bending and projecting his innate ideas towards an abstract goal. This was the goal of the unravelling of myths, legends and past heroes. But these heroes were alive only in the depths of his soul. He thought he knew a few things about the world. He had seen the reality of external Green Eteria. He had seen the turn of events as history progressed further. But when the road towards the space-harbour opened up and closed in on the target Adrian became conscious of a certain panic: A rush of adrenaline and the push of hormones. Leaving the past self of necessity and security behind. 
 
Gateway station was another matter: A place for hardened hermits, restaurant workers and egocentric cooks. People that worked for credits and not much else.  He was met with an overpowering insight into his beginner weaknesses. From the others. The comments from the restaurant workers revealed it: Their penetrating eyes, their smirks and their violent gestures. Adrian was never made for outer space. Only for the city of Green Eteria and the colonists of the central planet. He was instantly rejected by the others. And he stood at a window and looked out on the majestic globe of Green Eteria. A planet that wasn’t green by any means. It had purple forests, strange liquid rivers, mesas and grand canyons. And an arid desert between them in golden hues. The oval shape of the green glass city was seen as a small bulb in one of the protected valleys. 
 
That was the place where he had been born. 
 
The night was spent in a cold transition between sleep and waking consciousness. Adrian couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t think and he felt like he was loosing sanity. So many sounds, so many sights and new impressions. Nobody loved him on gateway station as he never was loved on Green Eteria in turn. For his strengths and weaknesses. But he had had his dreams and the safety of a lonely room.
 
In the middle of the night he arose from his bed and went out into the restaurant again. Not many guests were left. Red lights were seen in ceiling, the “evil” cooks were out and he had a time of his own. Sitting there as an exercise in self-control when an alarm went off moments later. Adrian was struck with a sense of panic: A fire alarm, golden lights rotating in the ceiling and voices of screaming.
 
“What is it?” Adrian screamed towards the waiter.
 
“An exercise!” The waiter said and returned to his business.
 
And Adrian sat down on his chair and looked darkly into a menu with alien dishes. He wouldn’t order any food. Just a couple of beers to calm his senses. And the waiter came out with the hazy liquid and smiled a wicked smile.
 
“Going back to Green Eteria huh?” The waited asked.
 
“I don’t think so.” Adrian said. 
 
He was very angry. Adrian returned to his room to recollect impressions and to calm down from the horrid moments. 
 
“Was this the truth of space travel?” He thought, “An impossibility? A way of life and death? And nothing to be conquered?”
 
The alarm went off again and Adrian put a pillow around his head. And he heard high noises and great screaming. Even a hint of smoke in his half-closed eyes. A fan was rotating violently in the ceiling: Squeaking, calling for attention as the night gave way for hidden nightmares. The opening up of his door by strange police-men. Talking about a violent fire. Of hellish flames in the far end of the gateway-station. And he was led by strong arms in a protected vault. Sitting for hours to wait for the end of the fire. A girl had been consumed by the flames it was said, a lonely girl in black clothing. 
 
A victim on the pillar of flames and the hellish gate of deterioration. 
 
This was the final thought of the teenager before he decided to continue.
 
 
10
A COLD REPLICA OF FUTURE ENFORCEMENT
 
The journey towards Apocalypto was not something Adrian had felt and dreamed about. The travellers were sitting in chair modules. Sunken low into the fabric of future furniture. Wearing belts to compensate for zero gravity.  The looks of the travellers were haggard, tense and barren. 
 
Adrian had to look elsewhere, watching the interior of the miniature space-ship. Closing his eyes to concentrate on the reality of his journey. To find energy, courage and to counter-act the endless thoughts of his fearful imagination. His throat went dry and his stomach had several problems. But he couldn’t do anything about it. He felt as if his inward energy were coming low. 
 
Hours later he was served some liquid from a closed-off bottle. With the help of a thin drinking pipe. And he saw the practical smiles and manners of the serving personnel. Thinking about their positions, housings and wallets.
 
Adrian asked them for something to counter-act his stomach problems. But the personnel said that eating was forbidden. It had to do with the reality of the journey. People were puking in the air which gave rise to many problems. Adrian had to confront the fact that he had entered this zone as a lone intruder. An intruder into forbidden territory. Into a hellish realm of darkness. That realm was not an imaginary dream any longer. Just a surreal descent into alien existence. 
 
Memories of past lives came up to the surface. As he had lost Marillion Sinclair in the black chamber in his earlier life.
 
Confronting disaster. 
 
 
11
THE ARID DESERT OF FUTURE APOCALYPTO
 
The moonish transport vehicle pushed along yellow gravel roads and dunes of sand. Nobody talked aloud concentrating their haggard looks on the arid desert. And visions of haunted animals took shape and reformed in their fragile brains. Remnants of a past in earth forests. Fighting for survival and reproduction.
 
A complex of buildings was seen in the close distance. The transport vehicle slowed down to give way for the passing shapes of men and women. These ones wore space helmets and lots of supplies. Some of them had weapons.
 
The transport vehicle stopped and the group of travellers was escorted out. They were directed to one of the buildings. A torn restaurant was found here and also a hotel with available rooms. Adrian checked the credits of his credits unit. He had the cash but was suspicious of the reality of the thing. “Why?” He thought for himself. It was the anxiety! Without credits no room and without room he would surely have a nightmare and a coming psychosis. The numbers had to be trusted!
 
As day gave birth to night he was sitting by himself to watch the haggard faces of the locals. He had a fresh face but his look had deteriorated due to the past events. Now he tried to hide his fear and anger. An anger that protected him from disaster. As he had to move into the territory described in the myths of old or surely loose his dignity. A couple of men came forward to make a face and ask him about his business. He said he was looking into the colonies long abandoned and forgotten. To reveal the truth of the common stories.
 
“Insane!” One of them men said aloud and condescending, “You will never make it!”
 
“I surely will!” Adrian said to hide his anxiety.
 
“You need lots of supplies and an entire caravan to drive to the colonial centre.” The man said, “And you will only find lots of sand!”
 
“How come?”
 
“It’s deserted and empty.” The man said, “The sand has overrun the entire facility!”
 
“Then I have to see it by myself.” Adrian said.
 
Adrian was thinking about what had been spoken and had fooled himself into believing his own words. “Will I actually make it?” He thought as he arose to take those words very seriously. His options were two only: As nobody went to the remote colonial place. He had to settle for a possible death in the desert or to return to Green Eteria. 
 
He had already conquered death he thought: In pure anger. He lived with death and had seen the futility of a “life” on Green Eteria: “Death as death!” He muttered to himself. Just two identical outcomes of different scenarios.
 
He went out to explore the close by area. Darkly yellow gravel surrounding a metal compound lit by fluorescent armatures. Builders of rocks were found in the area between the outer compound and the inner core of the village. These rocks had a golden hue to them. Like golden spots revealing a kind of metal. They were shining like fool’s gold glimmering like imaginary crystals. Something to be kept for oneself and never for others.
 
Adrian didn’t sleep much that night but lost consciousness early in the morning and was found sleeping by cleaning personnel. 
 
“You can’t sleep here in this hour!” The helper said, “You better move downstairs to the restaurant!”
 
Adrian had to do as the helper said and left his room for the restaurant where he fell to sleep almost instantly. He was pushed awake by the threat of several locals trying to steel the credits in his wallet. Adrian screamed aloud and ran for his room to collapse in his bed sobbing. 
 
He left for the desert the morning after.
 
* * *
 
The journey towards the heart of the desert was an alarming descent into pre-memorial darkness. The alien life that had thrived before the great drought was long dead and forgotten. But the innate suspicion of Adrian’s consciousness gave birth to several theories transcending the ideas by the prior colonists. These aliens didn’t necessarily die involuntarily: They might have followed the path of Marillion Sinclair to end their lives with great clarity.
 
“It’s just a theory.” Adrian thought.
 
But the journey was long and hard on Adrian’s body. Winds came about and swept around his fragile shoulders. Builders of rock and strange surface formations were a staggering sight of alien life. Or completely otherwise. Looking almost like surface inscriptions: The tearing of a claw or something entirely different. 
 
Soon Adrian was caught in a violent storm. He pushed along the winds but was forced to lie down listening to the howling currents. Thirst kept him conscious. But he couldn’t drink due to the low atmospheric pressure. He didn’t know why but he soon found himself in a great ravine.
 
“This must be due to lack of sleep.” Adrian thought. “I must have walked unconsciously!”
 
He sat down on a cliff to watch a spray of water ascending from a crack below. It felt supernatural. He wanted to but he didn’t dare to remove his helmet. So he just sat there and walked up towards the spray of water as he remembered someone had talked about a small shelter. 
 
“A small shelter inside the depths of a ravine.” 
 
He had multiple memories from his visit to the former village. A memory of someone talking to him in his hotel room while he was asleep. He saw it clearer now. He had slept too little and worried too much. And as he turned his face he saw the shelter.
 
* * *
 
Time didn’t mean much. Adrian had been drinking a lot of water and had been having a steady dinner. He walked the desert now calm and free of dust-clouds. And some shape materialized along the steady horizon: A future installation, a colonial installation of staggering sight. This was the place for the dead workers and the future heroes. Something to be seen and beheld.
 
The buildings had been covered with a great dune of sand. Covered, buried but also seen with the naked eye. He walked around as a lone investigator. Fulfilling his dream of the ultimate adventure. And also seeing the great falsehood of past rumours. These buildings were intact. Looking like replicas of past technology. Talking about an era of lost science. A science used and technology mastered by past intellectuals.
 
He was kneeling down in the arid sand, grabbing sand with his bare fists and letting it drop down on the ground like liquid.
 
The interior of one of the buildings was the revelation of times gone by. Dead people lying in glass coffins. With the same green colour as seen in the city of Green Eteria. A green protection from alien air. Keeping the dead bodies intact no matter times gone by. Preferably lacking oxygen.
 
Adrian went about the whole compound exploring building after building. So the mythological “nonsense” where actually true! The place surely existed and the people living there had a special kind of culture! Not much unlike the old Egyptians, a cult of death. Surely also affirming hell! He thought so due to the impact of the green glass coffins. 
 
People had lived there and they had thrived.
 
Until…
 
Until the storms came by. 
 
Until the howling god of the alien environment took hold of their lives, their sunken dreams, hope and aspirations. To pull them in another territory on Green Eteria. Adrian read the colonial texts aloud. He saw the coming of a disaster. A story of a future hero exploring the caves in a final story of redemption. But this story was just a story to keep the colonists hearts alive. A vivid illusion of grandeur design. 
 
To quench their thirst for knowledge.
 
Adrian left the building for an exploration of the alien caves. And he found them. He found their dark entrance and entered the caves as a lone intruder. Seeing the shape of Marillion Sinclair in the space of his own mind. This was Adrian’s turn now. This was his “dark entrance”. The path of blackness Marillion had entered before. 
 
But he had to move beyond death! Beyond the comfortable silence of heroes dead and long forgotten. To enter the realm of life!
 
And he had visions: Visions of the resurrection of the future heroes. Rising from the green glass coffins to greet Adrian on his journey in the land after death. Which was the place of hell! Of evil and nocturnal recurrence! Building a vision of love and hate.
 
Adrian left the arid moon later, enlightened and without a call for help.
 
THE END


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