The science fiction rollplay for members of Flight of Fancy.
Trine looked at Zalla in silence for a few minutes. Softly, she spoke at last, "Do you remember your visit to the Oracle?"
Zalla looked startled for a moment. "Um," she wondered exactly how much she should confess, how much she should admit. They were forsaken, after all, and INS was probably going to be a void dream in a matter of hours. Trine's face did not alter as she waited for Zalla to speak. "I guess I should tell you exactly what happened."
Trine tilted her head and smiled softly. The Oracle was a required visit for every living being on INS. Trine remembered all the ageless woman had spoken to her, though she'd rather not have to. According to the Oracle, Trine, Chrysth, and Zalla were the hope for continuing humanity. All those that were not on INS at the time of the enfolding stood before them now and that had been spoken of by the Oracle as well. Trine moved and sat beside Zalla, taking a piece of food and holding it in her hands. She had no intention of eating it, but she wanted Zalla to feel comfortable.
The Oracle met with each person completely alone and each person brought their own orb to record the words of the Oracle. The orbs were kept as sacred treasures to each person and were only shared in the most extreme of circumstances. The words the Oracle spoke to each person were personal, speaking of the future of the person and their value. The only thing made public was if they were called be become Blessers.
Zalla sighed, "I was only fifteen when I was sent to the Oracle." Trine nodded. It had been a rare thing for Zalla to have been called by the Oracle so young but now, sitting where they were, Trine understood at last. "I was frightened, you see. Why would the Oracle call me so young? It had to be a bad thing. I approached the Hall of Future's Sight with a heavy tread. I could imagine all the dark things she would speak to me. However, I knew that no one ignores the summons of the Oracle and so I entered, sending the orb into the air before me.
"The Oracle spoke my name and I halted my steps. 'Fear is unbecoming of a Blesser, Zalla,' the Oracle said and I shook my head. 'Then I am to be a Blesser?' I moved toward the door. 'That is all I want to hear for now. I don't want to know what lies behind the future's curtains.' I had reached the threshhold and was nearly outside. 'I understand, child. Leave your orb...I will speak to it for you...and someday, you will need to listen to all that I have said. Today, however, is not that day. Today, child, is when you begin your life as a Blesser...and the need is urgent.' I turned and fled. The orb remained in the room for a short time and then returned to me. I had no desire to listen then...and the desire has never been born in me...for I am the maker of my own life."
Trine set the food down and studied Zalla's profile before speaking. "I am assuming that you carry the orb with you." At Zalla's silent nod, Trine breathed a sigh of relief. "Believe it or not, most people go to the Oracle with fear in their hearts. We are always older and are expected to face the fear, and the future, without trembling. We do. Now, you must do the same, Zalla."
"I don't think that I care to," Zalla said softly.
"Come...we will do it together." Reluctantly, Zalla stood as Trine rose and together they walked into the ship.
Mystic leaned against the inner-cabin wall as Zalla and Trine placed the orb in the dock. Zalla was terrified, Mystic knew her sister well enough to see that, and Chrysth standing behind the pair of them didn't help matters.
"Is it so necessary to do this right this moment?" Chrysth asked as he crossed his arms and frowned. Mystic wondered if he was worried about Zalla's ability to stand up against the future's promise or if he was truly irritated about something else entirely. Maybe that he hadn't thought of it himself.
"Yes," Trine replied, leaving no room for argument. The screen before her came to life and the Oracles' words were heard by all.
Zalla Strongwind. Fear is unbecoming of a Blesser, Zalla.
"Then I am to be a Blesser?" Zalla's voice trembled on the recording. "That is all I want to hear for now. I don't want to know what lies behind the future's curtains."
I understand, child. Leave your orb...I will speak to it for you...and someday, you will need to listen to all that I have said. Today, however, is not that day. Today, child, is when you begin your life as a Blesser...and the need is urgent. A slight pause. Blesser Zalla, you are so very important in the lives of people you have never met. When the time of the enfolding has come, you will be forced to do things well beyond your years and your actions will spare the lives of many...including your sister. It is here, Zalla, that I must speak of something that is in the past, not the future.
Talla started and reached for the orb to stop the Oracle's words but Trine stayed her hand, gently but firmly. Mystic clenched her jaw but otherwise remained unmoved.
Though it is hard for you to accept, I will say that it was not your fault. Listen well, Blesser Zalla Strongwind, it was not your fault. Life has a way of making things appear to be the fault of certain individuals, and while that is the case in some souls, it is not the case in yours. You are innocent of wrongdoing in the very thing that has divided the remaining members of your family and left you terrified of the future, of the voice of the Oracle. It is this fear, Zalla, that will prevent your healing and Mystic's as well. The time has come for you to leave behind the guilt of things unavoidable. You will save your sister's life but forgiveness won't come from her so easily. Time will heal all things but time is something you no longer have. INS will be destroyed. There is no hope for the planet nor for the people enfolded. It will soon spread to all the planets in this small galaxy if Blesser Trine is enfolded. I have seen the strength within you, Trine, and Chrysth, the forsaken, and I know that you three are the hope of all our futures. The Oracle will cease to exist once INS has been completely enfolded. I am the enemy of their reign. They will see to the end of me. Zalla, the time has come for you to be the woman you are meant to be. You are the one that decides your fate, Zalla, all that I reveal is one path. By fleeing INS, you have already altered the course of life here. After your landing on the planet named by Chrysth, I see no more. I believe that I die then. I am not afraid. Do not be afraid, Zalla. It was not your fault. You are a Blesser and there are no errors in who is called.
Zalla and Trine stared at the orb as silence fell. Slowly, Zalla reclaimed her orb while Chrysth shook his head. "The Oracle dead? That brings chaos to the soul."
"And," Mystic said, "to everything else."