A Meeting in the Night

Rianth skipped merrily through the buttercup field.

Her long flowing gown matched her golden hair, the light from above glinting off the various filaments of both.

The child playfully kicked the flowers, breaking them off near the roots. Small clods of soil followed the broken plants through the air as she blazed a trail through the patch. A large preying mantis perching on a stalk of timothy close by watched uninterested.

“Rianth Lee Ling Tulburt, stop that this instant!”, shouted a tall, dark blond woman who was picking blackberries from a patch close-by. “You know those flowers are beings, stop killing them!”

The little girl stopped, folded her small arms and stuck out her bottom lip. Her mean old second mother always spoiled her fun! Well, she’s not gonna do it this time!

Dorliss Ling stood up from her labor and looked at the child, studying her stance. The cross look on her visage softened somewhat when she saw the pout. “C’m here hon”, cajoled the adult, “I want to show you something.”

The child stood her ground at first, determined not to give the adult the benefit of the doubt. But when she saw her second mother bring out the bowl of blackberries from behind her back, Rianth’s resolve broke down and she bounded over to the adult, reaching for the tasty morsels.

Mother and child sat down, the woman stroking the long, golden locks of the child’s hair as she stuffed her mouth full of the juicy berries, “Y’know honey, the flowers are beings too and they hurt when you do that to them”, Dorliss lightly scolded, “They perform an important job for us and the Rock dear, you realize that, don’t you?”

Rianth was only half listening to her second mother, her hands and face purple with berry juice. Even at her tender age of twenty ans, she knew the importance of green plants and what they do for the ecology of the Rock.

The girl knew the difference between “alive” and “not alive”.

“I know Mommy. But everything is so alive today, it just makes me happy and it makes me want to run!”

Dorliss chuckled in spite of herself. A child’s enthusiasm is contagious at times and the timeless quality of it to defuse anger is an easy feeling to go along with.

The bowl of berries was almost empty now, the child had eaten her fill. Dorliss was still lightly stroking the child’s hair, who now was snuggled into the woman’s lap, snoring softly. The preying mantis that was watching the family drama from his perch suddenly leaped into the undergrowth.

Dorliss caught the movement out of the corner of her eye, startling her. Somehow, something doesn’t feel right she thought.

At first, she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. Dorliss scanned the field around her and her daughter, sending out mental feelers to sense potential dangers. “Odd”, she thought, “Nothing seems to be out of place, there are no scents of predators and I don’t hear anything out of the ordinary.”

But she was missing the obvious, she realized suddenly. Nothing smelled, heard (sound wise and mentally) wrong, the whole scene started to look wrong. Everything wasn’t bright any longer. There was a deliberate lessening of light, like what happened when one closed their eyes for sleep.

Dorliss’ heart sank when she finally realized what was happening around her. The helplessness of what she was witnessing was bringing her on the verge of madness.

Blessedly, the girl was still napping as the environment around her was changing. The mother on the other hand, was struggling to keep her sanity as the light was getting dimmer and dimmer.

Because for the first time in the one-hundred thousand generations of the People’s history on The Rock, Ancient Night was falling.

________________________________________________________________

The alarm went off in Bryq’s head.

It felt like crystal shattering into billions of pieces.

Bryq picked himself ( he preferred the ancient male form ) out of the null field that assembled the template of his virtual body.

Like he had millions of times before.

It wasn’t getting any easier.

It didn’t matter he was an immortal Transcendental. Each wakening incarnation was more mentally draining than the previous.

Especially when every wakening meant he had to deal with his doppleganger Luc.

He hated Luc with every fiber of his virtual quantumness.

Bryq staggered to the washroom ( an ancient affectation ) that materialized. He looked in the false matter mirror as he splashed water on his haggard face and his mussed hair. “Damn”, I look worse every time I come back to life”, he groused.

He wondered why that was.

Isn’t the neutronium Rock supposed to have an infinite energy source?

“Apparently not”, intruded an unwanted thought in Bryq’s consciousness. “There is a minute power drain on the Rock’s systems. That is why the alarm triggered your regeneration.”

Bryq breathed a sigh ( he didn’t need to breath, but old habits die hard ) inwardly and turned his head toward the voice. An immaculate figure with platinum blond hair seated in a gilded golden divan looked back at him.

Bryq hated that bastard.

For an eternity it seemed.

Bryq finished his regeneration ritual. He knew he really didn’t want to ask Luc why there was a power drain on the Rock, like he knew he didn’t want to know how long it was since his last incarnation.

But he know he must.

Just like he knew that Luc couldn’t help being a smarmy asshole.

They made him that way.

“Any reason for the drain, or do I have to play ‘Ask The Idiot’ Luc?” Bryq felt like he had a hangover the size of a galactic cluster, which didn’t help his disposition.

Not that he cared any.

He also wondered what a hangover was.

“Our trajectory is bringing us near the Temporal Portal like Kirn calculated my Master,” Luc smirked sweetly. “But there is an anomalous energy signature glowing in the infrared and tweaking quantum pairs in the local neighborhood.”

The sound of Kirn’s name grated on Bryq’s nerves like long-tailed cats ( what’s a cat? ) locked in a room full of rocking chairs. He was on Bryq’s shit-list too.

“Kirn sitting in his resplendent glory, eh?”, mocked Bryq. “Feh. That shmuck couldn’t calculate where to scratch a spot on his ass.”

Luc just sat in his chair and shook his platinum head, smiling.

There was nothing more enjoyable than listening to Bryq bitch.

It made the loneliness of passing millenia worth it!

“Is it affecting the Portal?”, asked Bryq.

“No power loss at the Portal, if that’s what you’re asking”, replied Luc, “But the Anomaly is having a gravitational affect upon it.”

Bryq thought on this. If the mass of the Anomaly was intense enough, its gravity could affect their entry point into the Portal.

And throw off their destination point by thousands of years.

Millions.

Billions perhaps.

“What’s its position then?”, Bryq wondered out loud, half asking Luc in the process.

Luc cast his awareness out into the void through the fifth dimension for a quick scan with a distance of two AU. Seconds later he snapped back into the room.

“The Anomaly’s trajectory is tracking away from the Temporal Portal Bryq”, he announced. “And it’s picking up speed as well.”

This is good news thought Bryq. With the Anomaly leaving the Portal’s area, they should have a clear shot to where, and when they have to go.

Then Bryq realized something. “Luc, you said the Anomaly is speeding away from the Portal, right?”

Luc gave him that “of course” look, raising a silver eyebrow, “Yeah, sure. Why do you ask?”

Bryq gulped. “Where is the Anomaly heading Luc?” He had a sinking feeling he knew the answer already.

Luc gave him that crooked, devilish smile he had grown to loath over the many millenia and incarnations he had suffered through. The bastard still couldn’t resist turning the knife in his back when it suited him.

“Oh, didn’t I mention that little detail?”

“Toward us, of course.”

____________________________________

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8 responses

  1. Well… not that I’m exactly sure just what an “Immortal Transcendental” is, (I’m guessing something or someone that deals and dwells in pseudo-reality?) but the Utopian dream still seems to be the goal of these yet future persons… I guess…?

    You know, when you look at the classic evangelical portrayals of life in Heaven, and/or on the post-millennial Earth, it does seem (even to me) a tad corny, and in the many crusades I’ve participated in, I’ve often found myself cringing when those less-than-imaginative portrayals of the future earthly and apocalyptic events were given in their author’s particular presentation. It just didn’t seem realistic. I like to deal in reality, not something akin to it. Lord knows I spent a good deal of my youth trying to escape it, in one form or another. Now, I’m driving truck for a living… get my drift?

    Something as important as our survival as a species shouldn’t be left to wanton and varied speculation. I’ve never shied from a literal interpretation of scripture, and the ancient’s inability to comprehend the scenes of our time in words that would enable us to comprehend exactly what they saw, shouldn’t deter us from believing in the authenticity of what they saw. I mean, this story of yours stretches the limits of my descriptive powers, and I think myself reasonably articulate!

    I will give it value in that it does present a more up-to-date descriptive value in terms of linguistic endeavor, and would sound more modern and viable than say something like: “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.” Nevertheless, I have no trouble interpreting the ancient’s meaning and intended purpose, nor do I place any restrictions on his/her intelligence merely because they lived in a pre-technological era. They saw something that has endured the passage of millennia, and that’s more than one could say for many other literary works!

    Our hero, here, seems drawn to someplace where peace and tranquility reign, and maybe that’s something that we all need to take more seriously, as this desire seems to be as much a part of our inner being as the urge to feed and reproduce. Perhaps, it is the remnant of when we once were in ‘paradise’ and now it calls to us to return. The old adage that all roads lead to the same place, doesn’t apply to salvation, as Matt. 7:14 states. There is a prescribed route, and not all religions or philosophies provide the proper directions.

    This story provides good mental exercise, though, Marine. Now, I gotta see if I can untangle my brain!

  2. As you probably guessed, Richard Jenks, St. John Lamont, Nick St. John and Bryq are the same entities who has survived the ages, trying to redeem himself ( emself? ) by serving mankind and the various agencies he has indentured himself to in order to complete the job/mission at hand, which is ensuring the survival of Humanity.

    Thus, he is a Messianic figure, sacrificing much while asking very little for himself.

    Is this heretical? I don’t think so. This is a modern tale that parallels the most outlandish tales of the Bible and all legends that came before it.

    As for Utopia or Paradise, do you really think human beings were meant to be kept pets in a garden created by a jealous deity to be served by other equally jealous, subservient and dangerous super entities?

    It seems like a recipe for disaster to me, which according to legend is exactly what occurred.

    But these are good stories and I have read them most of my life.

    And I usually have to untangle my brain after I read them!

  3. As you might know, tomorrow is the Canadian Thanksgiving, but my family likes to celebrate it on Sunday, and we received our first snowfall, today, and it is still falling. Travel is not something you do unnecessarily, in a prairie snowstorm, and conditions are pretty lousy right now. We only made it home, tonight.

    “As for Utopia or Paradise, do you really think human beings were meant to be kept pets in a garden created by a jealous deity to be served by other equally jealous, subservient and dangerous super entities?

    I’ve never looked at it that way. I think that man enjoyed a rather close and personal relationship with his Creator, once, and chose to end that relationship on his own. Remember, Who was it went looking for who, after the fall, and no one was made to stay as a prisoner in paradise. And, is jealousy a bad thing? Would you be jealous (and rightfully so) if I were to take up with your wife, behind your back? If you created beings that suddenly (of their own free will, without coercion) took off worshiping images of their own making, wouldn’t you be a little pissed? Why is God always made out to be the bad guy, with all of these other variables present? He could have destroyed us… remember that!

    God, of course, had to have foreseen the fall, knowing the end from the beginning like He does, but remember that we are not the only ones in this universe, and it could just as easily have happened to any of the other unfallen races, too. That, however, is the chance that you take when you create free, moral agents… the chance they may just tell you to take a hike, and decide to live on their own, by their own terms. If God were the dictator that infidels like to make Him out to be, then why didn’t He create robots that couldn’t disobey Him? Why didn’t He compel mankind to obey Him?

    I’m all for a good allegory, don’t get me wrong, as long as it doesn’t defer from the original theme or intention. After all, if the intention is to bolster God’s image and reputation, then He needs to mentioned, once in a while. Good old-fashioned entertainment isn’t wrong, if the message is uplifting. I still like to watch old Star Trek re-runs, even knowing what I know about the universe and reality. Sometimes, like you, I just like to be entertained, and not have to worry myself over things here and now.

    I wouldn’t call our hero’s mission or experiences messianic, but definitely humanitarian. All things work together for good, as the good book says, but we all need to be on the same page where salvation is concerned, if we want to be among those redeemed. I mean, God’s will shall be done, regardless, but it would be nice to be among those accounted worthy to receive life. Earthly authorities and government are supposed to reflect God’s benevolence in their dealings with us, but we both know that isn’t always the case, and increasingly so, as time goes on.

    My first impression of this story is it’s entertainment value. The next, is it’s paralleling the evolutionary paradigm where man is constantly evolving. People like us have some background in theological matters, and can differentiate between a humanist slant and that of a biblical perspective. Many can’t, and they wouldn’t recognize any messianic theme, but would definitely see the other concept, rather clearly, I would add. Since your intention isn’t to promote a theological outlook, there is nothing sinister about it or your intended purpose for the story. Therefore, your defense of it as something acceptable as a messianic teaching tool is unnecessary, as I know you have no agenda other than provoking thought.

    It’s good reading, good entertainment, and thought-provoking. I only wish that people could be as charitable with the Bible and of God!

    😉

  4. I’m glad you like my tales, the only agenda I have is entertainment and maybe some thinking about the future.

    I respect my many Christian friends and I do have many, but I do not follow the philosophy that man is born scum and needs to be redeemed by someone who claims to be a deity. That’s too much like abuse and I can’t abide that.

    But I am not of the mind that there aren’t, or won’t be superior beings who may, or may not be considered supernatural in centuries to come.

  5. I wouldn’t say that people are “born scum”, but they certainly do and have BECOME scum, and that is apparent with the elitists, of all people. Even those we despise are loved by God, so much He died for them, too. Would WE die for the bankers?

    His claim at being God wasn’t contested by the people of 2000 years ago. The written account has been preserved by something more than a casual acceptance of an event that so impressed folk living in that era, that it has withstood the ravages of time, whereas many other literary works haven’t. Something so dramatic and so impressive happened, that it has resulted in one of the largest followings of today. Atheists are a very pronounced minority on Earth!

    The abuse we give God in thought and language dwarfs any perceived “abuse” He gives us. In reality, we abuse ourselves, and you know that’s true. God has nothing to do with man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man, and works to spite it.

    Redemption, by definition, cannot come from within, and since there are no perfect humans, who is left but God? Man was created perfect, but had free choice, and he chose wrongly. We did it to ourselves, just as a baby born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may be innocent, but his mother chose to drink to excess, so there we have it… a mentally and physically deformed baby. Something so finely tuned in our physiology and psychology was damaged merely out of a wrong choice. We are now paying for the wrong choice of Adam, not because God says we’re damaged goods, though we are.

    Well, when the events I’ve written you about in previous emails begin to transpire, you’ll see that the only way I could have known such things is through divine revelation. I hope you saved those emails, my friend!

    I’m off to eat turkey, now!

  6. Hey, I thought you don’t do holidays?

    And you didn’t invite me either!

    I like breast meat and gravy! 😆

  7. I got rain, not snow.
    ‘Original Sin’ doesn’t have to be a character defect. In the balancing act between aggression and compliance, there are bound to be situations where jungle-evolved instinct doesn’t serve as the best guide in a pack society with draconian oversight.
    The much-maligned flogging of religion as moral arbiter often does a ‘cat’s paw’ for society via superstition.
    That’s a poor excuse for an ‘enlightened’ position – but one which the literal-minded remain mired within.
    ‘The Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath’ seems an easy model to emulate as a general principle ; Woe unto him who tries to be faithful unto that idea !
    Besides : part of maturing is putting aside childish rage and finding constructive solutions. Leaving Temper the Master is the only Sin ( variation from an idealized situation ) without remedy.

  8. The characters in this story arc span millions of millenia in the Human story.

    My protagonist, in spite of his many evolutions and transcensions to post-human and nearly god-like abilities, refuses to cut ties to his human heritage totally, feeling that he must maintain that last link in order to complete his mission of preserving the vestiges of pristine Human DNA so the race doesn’t become extinct.

    His sin is allying himself with powers and entities over the centuries who are evil, less than savory and other adjectives that denote or personify “evil” who don’t have mankinds’ best interests at heart, but he must do so in order to perform his self-appointed duty.

    His is a story of redemption and vindication in a Universe where none is to be found.

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