by MA Basil
What happens when a society walks the wrong path, will things be remade or lost forever.
The afternoon storm had finally cleared and the stars were now shining brightly in the night sky. The gentle evening breeze added to the peacefulness. It was the perfect setting for the events to come. This evening the citizens of Ligo would get the rare opportunity to witness the takara shinning. Every 50 years Ligo’s moons aligned just right to create the gravitational effect necessary for the coloration of particles in the atmosphere. Beautiful multi-colored lights shooting up from Ligo’s surface, dancing whimsical like a rehearsed ballet. The lights floated upward as if carried by a random wind, all the while shimmering. Sometimes they would cross each other’s paths, pause, and then move off in another direction. The ending of takara shinning came as quickly as it started, the millions of lights would reach the top of their destination, hover for a brief moment, and then speed downward until they raced across the surface of Ligo, then diving into the planet. It was truly a magical moment for those fortunate enough to witness the tarkara shinning. No one had completely understood why the colorized particles behaved this way; there was a random appearance to the motion and yet visually there seemed to be a deliberate pattern to the particles motion.
Not that long ago it was believed the takara shinning was magic, a timeless mystical event with no known beginning. Even in Ligo’s oldest archives there are records of the takara shinning. Early historical recordings by all of the races note the importance to culture, spiritualism, and science of takara shinning. The Taweens believed it was Ligo’s way of cleansing the planet, and a refreshing of one’s spirit with a renewed wholeness. They would celebrate takara shinning with a sun cycle of fasting to cleanse the body. The Aearians honored takara shinning with a sun cycle’s worth of prayer & mediation then with a final celebration of community giving. Each Aearian would commit to giving a week’s worth of labor to one other person. If you were a potter, all of that weeks finished pottery would be given to person you chose. The Lentsians and humans civilizations had a more barbaric view of takara shinning choosing either sacrifices or war as a way to celebrate.
Recent times have brought a more pragmatic view of takara shinning; it has become known simply as an astronomical event. It was a sign of the times, the surge of scientific knowledge had literally abolished Ligo’s religious and mystical believes. With the creation of the council of races the last 100 years the citizens of Ligo have bonded more closely together. The races bonding had spawned a flurry of scientific, technological & medical advancements. The growth of technology has growing exponentially in almost all areas of Ligo’s culture.
The zenith of Ligo’s cultural and scientific growth occurred when the council of races adopted hierarchical reasoning as the prime method for determining all cultural, historical, scientific and political goals. This was the final dagger in the heart of Ligo’s religious and mystical believes. With hierarchical reasoning decisions were based on science and process, there was no room for spiritual interruptions. After the final vote by the council of races it was at this time the prophet Wentu retold the ancient saying “When all is silenced, In the midst of the quiet will be the whisper of the One”.
Wentu was renowned for his defense of Ligo's spiritual past. He frequented the Halls of leaning, science and government discussing the importance of spiritualism and Ligo's rich history of mystical traditions. No one really recalls the date or events leading up to Wentu’s disappearance. It was not announced in the news, nor talked about in the council halls or centers of learning. Like a vapor of steam, Wentu just quietly vanished. With all of the celebration regarding the Council of Races vote for hierarchical reasoning there was no room for concerns about a prophet of ancient mysticism.
Yula sat quietly under the cloudless sky, taking in the silence she had learned to cherish. Her days with the 5th circle of charen were tiring; absorbing so much information each day was very taxing. She enjoyed her recent advancement, now in a role with a higher security clearance, reviewing critical data for the science center. Yula spent her days processing information, categorizing it and then filing it in an appropriate data container for review by her superiors. She was one of 6 people in the 5th circle of charen, their bio implants connecting their thoughts to speed up the information processing. It was at home when she truly felt at peace, her thoughts were her own.
As she sat and absorbed the silence, the stars were clear and bright, she appreciated the clarity they brought to the dark evening sky. Her thoughts wandered, to memories of her first takara shinning.
She felt fortunate to be able to witness the takara shinning twice in a lifetime. Thinking back her memories flooded in, Yula was 8 years old when she first witnesses the takara shinning. It was a joyous occasion for her family, many of them had traveled from distant cities to gather together and celebrate the day. First there was a simple meal of grastin leafs, berries and blueberry juices. These were foods known to help prepare the body for the cleansing, a day of fasting. Taween’s celebrated the takara shinning with a day of fasting. At this meal it was customary for each family to have one person speak during the family prayer of thanksgiving and say one thing they were thankful for. When Yula’s time came all she could think of was “I am thankful for the new paints my Papa gave me for the long journey here”. From sunrise of the day of tarkara shinning to sun rise the following day, Taweens fasted. An age old tradition; the cleansing of the planet, and the cleansing of the body.
In this modern time some families still celebrated the age old Taweenian tradition, not Yula, her job didn't allow for the time off so for this Takara Shinning she sat in solitude. As she gazed off in the distance the Takara Shinnin began, on the horizon she observed the dancing lights come up from the planet surface, amazing how they spun and weaved as they climbed up to the sky. The particles were everywhere, what a beautiful display of colors.
She noticed one of the particles floated over to her, held out her hand and it landed in the palm, the moment seemed like an eternity. She felt a warmth flow through her body, unexpected as if the particle was life . The warmth made he face flush, her senses heightened and an awareness was awoken within her. Suddenly there was a connection with her surroundings she couldn't explain, she could feel and sense life all around her. Yula had never felt so alive, so full of life and energy. She realized the life around her had purpose and meaning -- she was apart of something larger than herself. She focused harder on the particle noticing the shape, stunned at what she saw, a fragile body, antenna's and tiny wings. In the blink of an eye Yula's whole world was turned inside out; what are these creatures, what purpose do they have,where did come from? The tiny wings fluttered, it rose up to her face, landing on her nose. This close Yula could see its' face and watched the tears fall from its eye's. In that moment she felt the creatures sadness. She felt an impending doom and knew the citizen's of Ligo had made a huge mistake by walking down a path that abandoned the essences of their nature. Yula felt more than heard the roar, a deep rumbling coming from deep within the planet. The creature hovered for a fraction of a second then bolted off, downward into the planet.