two alien races are facing extinction but neither knows it.
Chapter One - A History
"Come young one, it is time for your lesson for today. It is a long tale, but we have all the time in the world," said the Old One sitting on a prism rock.
"I would prefer to hear about how growing an appendage works. I wish to create a smaller me to do my chores and sit through these stories," complained Bzebulite. "What I meant to say, is I would create a new appendage so they can listen to these wondrous stories."
"Telling falsehoods is not allowed, and not warranted or wanted. You forget I can see your thoughts," the Old One announced telepathically,
"You know I am yet untrained to reach my Core to be able to use telepathy."
"I am aware of your limitations. I am also aware that you can not see your potential."
"Please tell me. I want to know my future," said Bzebulite eagerly.
"We can discuss this after the tale," began the Old One, "This tale contains valuable information regarding our world and us," he got more comfortable and began his story.
"When creation began about 13.8 million years ago, all possibilities began. Universes, stars, planets, and eventually inhabitants were created due to that event. For example, our planet, Hydranous, is millions of years old."
"How do you know it is that old?" queried Bzebulite.
"We analyzed the mountains and ground, we have looked to our suns for clues of our age. We have looked back in time and saw the beginning. Now is the beginning of my tale."
"I thought you already started? How can you start a story twice," asked Bzebulite?"
Ignoring the question, the Old One began.
"Hydranous was created with different components, such as fluorite, glass, helium, phosphate, and liquid eterinite. The sky at that time was hazy red-orange due to the atmosphere. The atmosphere is what creates the color of the air around the planet, depending on what elements are floating in the air. This determines what bands of light get through, creating the mountains, ground, and to some extent, us.
"So I am made of light?"
"Let us walk a bit. My old legs need to move." As they walked, the Old One began to speak again, "when you were being formed, you received a specific color. While others may share your color, you are different because when the suns shine on you, they create a different color, as we are made of fluorite, phosphate, and liquid eterinite." Bzebulite thought why they needed to walk, it was comfortable sitting. "The mountains, hills, and ground were made of fluorite and glass of wondrous colors. This helps sustain all life forms."
"How?" asked Bzebulite.
"The light all around provides warmth, nourishment, and, also allows us the go into Out of Phase."
The Old One continued, "As you know, there were 12 phases in a Hydranous year. The planet's rotation is a helix with each year the planet would revolve around one of its suns. The liquid eterite would change color in each phase."
"I already know this. It's boring. Talk about the growth of the appendages," grumbled Bzebulite.
The Old One began his story where he stopped, "Our evolution took millions of years to create the sentient fore-fathers. When physical animation occurred, the Hydranousians were created from prisms, phosphate, and liquid eterinite. They each were of different colors and shapes. Through evolution, early Hydranousians developed a way to communicate without speaking aloud. This occurred, we believe, because of our planet's atmosphere, we can only be out in the open for 30 to 40 minutes at a time."
"What happens if we are out longer than an hour?" asked Bzebulite curiously.
"Because we're made up with prisms, the intensity of the suns creates heat within us," advised the Old One, "This heat increases the likelihood of us using too much energy to cool down. At first, we were afraid to go out because of the heat. When creating Phase buildings, it took four times as long as it should have been due to the heat."
"I think I already know this, but it was told by someone using big words and long explanations," said Bzebulite.
"Let us talk about something else now then. Oh, I have just the story to tell you," explained the Old One.
The Old One slowed down his pace so they could walk together instead of Bzebulite walking behind.
"Long ago, there was a small one much like you. Her name was Eternity. She was a brilliant student but also had a stubborn side which prevented her to see others' views or even sharing information. She learned to mask her thoughts and feelings by using her will alone. Being young, the elders didn't pay much attention to her, which was a mistake," the Old One stated while looking straight ahead.
"I am not like that. You can read my thought, you do all the time. She sounds like a fully formed Hydranousian, but wasn't? I do not understand how that is possible."
The Old One continued the story, "The Hydranousians never suspected a young one could accomplish such a feat, let alone keep it a secret. As she progressed, she became more powerful, all the while her Master was unaware. After a lesson regarding the stars' names and their movement, Eternity decided she had enough of the boring information and wanted the secrets of life, becoming more powerful, and sending our people to be One with the Planet. This was forbidding information. Only the Supreme High One knew this information. They knew this in case someone became a renegade and tried to upsurge the hierarchy. Of course, Eternity did not know this. She had mistakenly thought this was only her thoughts and ideas, and by looking for the information, she would become the Supreme Being, Master of All."
"She sounds like one who is going through the madness, from what I know of it," observed the Little One.
"Yes, she did. Even though she was still a Little One, Eternity began questioning the rules of the Supreme High One. This brought attention to her. However, she was not taken seriously. Who could this girl be and why is she acting so strange the Collective thought. Why was a Young One acting like an Elder? This got the attention of many of the real Elders and, eventually, of the Supreme High One. He could break through Eternity's blocking thoughts and see the real truth behind what she wanted. He sent just her a telepathic message. He told her he knew her plans and she would not succeed and to go back to being taught by the Old Ones."
"Did he get a response? Did she try to blast him? Please continue, I will be quiet."
There is no shame in asking good questions, Young One. The Old One reassured. The Supreme High One did get a response. It was the form of a telepathic attack. The Supreme High One found it amusing. Eternity did not have any followers so her strength was very low compared to the Supreme One. He responded in kind and attacked her by telepathy. He overpowered her like you could squash a Meebee. He did not use his full power as that would have destroyed her consciousness. Instead, he just nudged it.
Because Eternity was not fully developed nor had actual defenses, and for the fact that no one had tried to challenge her, her telepathic powers were destroyed. She could neither send nor receive any communication: she was now deaf telepathically.
The Little One stopped walking and started to cry. He knew what that meant. She would never be in the Collective, she would never be able to draw any power from anyone else, and she is sentenced to silence.
Do not shed a tear over her. She broke our most sacred rules. She attempted to overthrow the Supreme High One, and, most importantly, she was planning to Silence the Supreme High One and the Elders," began the Old One. "if that would have happened, there would not have been a today, or yesterday, or tomorrow. Eternity, at first, attempted to regain her lost power. She failed. She then went to the Supreme One and begged for her powers. The Supreme One looked into her consciousness and found a seed of revenge and hatred toward not only him but all the people.
After much contemplation, and with wisdom, he knew he could not return her powers. He also knew where this would lead. He advised her of his decision and then invited her to be his guest at the palace. She did not understand his offer. Was he mocking her? Was he trying to get her so angry she would eventually physically attack him? He knew these thoughts and advised her he wanted her as a guest and would not be treated poorly. He did warn her, however, that if she tried anything unlawful or mistreated his staff or him, she would be exiled to the North Quadrant. Forever
"The North Quadrant? I thought that place was a myth. It really is a place? Has anyone who went there ever come back?"
"No," is all the Old One said aloud.
After arriving at the destination, they proceeded to find an Out of Phase building. "We are here and in time for your next lesson, some of which we have touched on before," the Old One stated.
The Young One was still thinking about the morale of the story: Do not presume you know more than the collective mind and be careful what you say and think, because the truth will always come out.
"If I may ask, what happened to Eternity?" the Young One queried.
"She could not stop her cruel ways and was teleported to the North Quadrant without her powers. She was lost to the Collective," the Old One stated sadly. "Let us turn back to your studies."
"Our hierarchy is based on our prism bodies' different colors," he began. "The rarest color is called, Highest Peak of the Mountain, gray. For example, if one of us was the color Ground Shake, violet, as compared to the color of the Sound of Running Liquid Eterinite, the former would be below the latter. The person who is born with the final color of the Highest Peak of the Mountain becomes the Supreme High One, the ruler of our lives."
"Where do you rank? Where does The Smell of Rock stand in the hierarchy."
"My color is not rare. There are many who have the base of this color, the Color of the Hole of a MeeBee. I am slotted as an Old One as I have been around for a long time."
"But we don't have a Supreme High One now. Who is leading us? I volunteer to be the Supreme High One. Maybe, I will have the final color of the Highest Peak of the Mountain. Then I can tell people what to do." wishfully stated.
"The Elders are leading us. They have a collective awareness of all things and govern justly. They wait for a new Supreme High One." The Old One stated, "Besides, you have already received your final color."
"How?" asked Bzebulite."
"Another good question. I will get to how to tell if a young one has reached their final color."
"Let us continue where we left off before our walk. As you are aware, our physical forms are solid. Over time, we have developed a large, squared-off head containing our powers and amplifying them, and have three eyes, with the middle eye the conduit for our power beam. Through evolution, we developed telepathy and telekinesis. Our telepathic communication abilities, allow speaking with different life forms, analyzing their needs, and communicate within the stasis of Out of Phase individuals. This allowed the sharing of thoughts and experiences as they happened to the Out of Phase members."
"That sounds incredible. I can read some thoughts, but mainly emotions. I have wondered about when we developed these skills. I thought they were always just there all the time," announced Bzebulite.
"A mistake many of us thought," the Old One began. "Adult Hydranousians can create a powerful blast. They use it to cut into the fluorite mountains. It also allowed the sharing of life energy among individuals. This would increase their mental capacities and energy output. We can move, lift, or destroy matter by sheer thought. This enabled us to create structures, meeting circles, and stasis chambers."
"I want to create energy blasts so I can shoot little critters, pew, pew pew pew. I got them all!" Bzebulite stated happily.
"Yes." Changing the subject, "All of us can go Out of Phase, or stasis. Multiple stasis phases occur to each of us yearly. Stasis begins when we reached maturity. During stasis, aging is delayed, causing us to live more than a millennium. It would be possible to go through a life span never seeing familiar Hydranousians while in stasis. However, speaking with them was easy."
"It's because we are telepathic, right?" asked Bzebulite.
"Correct! You are paying attention. Your questions are well thought out. If you keep this up, I shall reward you."
"To gain sustenance, we go to our ocean, ponds, or streams of liquid eterinite. We stand in it, and by osmosis, refresh our life force. This occurs right before an Out of Phase period. If we can not gain access to eterinite, we use our mental abilities to sustain ourselves until we could reach the eterinite. Once you are an adult, you will need to visit our ocean."
"As you are aware, all of us can read the thoughts of others from any distance. Our Elders would have many Out of Phase individuals feeding them the energy to make it dominate among the others, while the Supreme High One has hundreds of Out of Phase individuals feeding energy to him. We are careful of where we expend our energy. When more energy is given, the shorter the life span.
"The creation of new life forms occurs with everyone."
"About time we got here. Are you going into detail or are you leaving them out? Oh, how I wish I could read your mind," explained Bzebulite.
"As I was saying, twice in our lifetime, we form an appendage during our Out of Phase period. This appendage grows into a smaller version of its creator, though not of the same color. Our miniatures will change colors during the formation cycle. It doesn't signify the status of the formation, just that they are maturing. After the final color is present, which is unknown how it decides, miniatures detach from the host and leave. Once in society, miniatures are on their own. They will make contacts, explore, and discipline their mind for when they reach adulthood."
"That was boring. Nothing exciting happened. I thought maybe people gathered around to see me fall off, or I received gifts from everyone. I guess I don't know if that happened. I do not remember what happened when I fell off. I was just broke, you know."
"It is good you are questioning yourself. It means you are thinking outside of yourself and into the community. Very good," praised the Old One.
"To continue, there exists a condition where we can become susceptible to early termination of our life force. It causes us to go into madness that affects our use of mental abilities. Our thoughts can be uncontrollable and disconnected. When this happened, the others in our community stop feeding the afflicted one's energy and ignore them. This isolates them causing a type of conscious depression to the point of self-termination. The lifeless body would be taken to liquid eterinite to become One with the Planet.
The Supreme High One changed the topic before the pupil could ask a question. "There is a theory that throughout our history, the planet and its inhabitants would experience the pull from the place of the color One with the Planet. Because of the pull of both our suns and the distance of the place of the color One with the Planet, time anomalies frequently occur."
"Let me get this straight. Everyone on our planet experienced time anomalies, or shifts in time, right?"
"Correct. Time could jump forward, backward, or completely stop. All life would not feel these changes b new reality would be written. It would be as if our original history never happened. When reality moves forward, all memories leading to that moment are gone: present reality is all that exists. Because of this, time and reality changes were never noticed."
"So, if that happened now, I would not remember this story or all information? Would it also make me not know what happened?" asked Bzebulite.
"Correct. You are learning well. If time-shifted forward, backward, or just changing reality itself, something like this incident could have large-scale consequences. Whole villages would be erased. They would simply cease to have existed and no one would know. They would simply not become."
"You mean if my creator had this happen to them? I would cease to be me, I would become One with the Planet?"
"Good question, you are thinking. It means you, too, would be erased from time. Everyone who met you or knew you would have the memories erased because there is a new timeline and reality that did not have you.
"Despite the influence of the place the color of One with the Planet, our society prospered. Our collective intelligence allowed us to create stellar observatories using rare power crystals from the crystal mines. The most potent of all crystals were the Smell of Silence, yellow, the Sound of the Suns, green, and the Vision of Forever, blue. With the combined energies of all the inhabitants and crystals, we can open one-way dimensional windows to other planets and realms. While our physiology does not allow us to enter the new worlds, we can observe the individual planets to gain knowledge that is useful to become a stronger society. Some of the planets are barren of sentient life forms, most have societies very different than ours. Hundreds of the different worlds display peaceful habitats, some have destruction, and ruin, with many becoming one with their planet."
"That window they made, can I see it? Do you need your full powers to see it? That ending was sad," observed Bzebulite.
"You are now becoming aware of our culture and the concern for all our people," the Old One offered.
"Through the window, one planet holds our attention. It appears to be smaller than our planet and to have large amounts of prisms because the planet was the color of the smell of silence, the sound of the sun, and the Vision of Forever. There was also a color on their planet we did not know. It appears on the planet's axes and a few other locations. When we focused on the axis of the planet, we discovered it was all colored the same. The air had small falling prisms the same color as the unknown color. We need to do more research on this phenomenon.
"When we began looking at the life forms, we discovered millions of different life forms. Some were simple life forms, others were complex. One species was the most complicated. We were amazed at the diminutive size, and lack of prism bodies. We did notice, however, that they came in different colors. Despite the variety, no one had a brilliant prismatic color as we do.
"While looking, we noticed smaller versions of the other inhabitants. We surmised these were the appendages that formed and had joined the society. We became alarmed and surprised when the smaller versions were being carried by larger ones and did not seem interested in separating from their host."
"That is very odd. I certainly did not want my creator to carry me around like that. I have feet and hands. I do not need that sort of thing," Bzebulite shared.
"While viewing the inhabitants, another individual intrigued us. It had three legs, though one was much smaller and connected to the upper appendage. The body was bent and did not move as fast as the other inhabitants, even though it had three legs. A collective thought occurred that this was an inflicted one, soon to be One with the Planet."
"While they were looking through the window, a sudden gasp occurred from half of the population present. The Supreme High One, who was controlling the window, suddenly felt a great wrong was occurring. Then a giant power surge hit him. His thoughts and control were almost gone, all he felt was a great power flowing through him toward the window. Then an idea flowed from another linked to the Supreme High One. The Power Crystals can help. With much effort, he brought up the crystals and pointed them at the window. Three blinding lights shot out and through the window. The restraining frame began to glow.
"Then half of the people disappeared."
"...Is that true? I thought you said no one can remember the time-changing thing? If you remembered it, it must be a story." Bzebulite stated.
"True or not true, that is for you to decide," proclaimed the Old One. "Our time is up for today. You need to go explore the western portion of the Valley of the Prism. We will talk about that tomorrow."
After the Little One left, the Old One remembers that day long ago. He remembers channeling all that power and holding the crystals. He remembers seeing the power crash through the viewing window and hitting the three-legged man. Then, all the power destroyed the window. As he recovered, he remembered the people disappearing. He lost contact with all of them. After they vanished, all the other Hydranousians collapsed. Except for the Supreme High One. He remained. He scanned the survivors to check if they still lived. He was relieved to see they did. However, he noticed a change occurring in their minds and memories. Every single Hydranousian was having their memories changed. They were experiencing a trauma unknown to the Supreme High One.
As he helplessly watched, he saw the erasure of the Hydranousians who disappeared. He did not understand what force caused this. He knew it was powerful, more powerful than all of the Hydranousians.
But, why was he still there and untouched by the erasure? Was it because he was channeling all that power and it kept him immune? He did not know and did not like that feeling. As Supreme High One, he is to know all. Could a force outside of this planet cause this? But who or what could be this powerful? Had this happened before? How many Hydranousians have perished not to be remembered? When this occurred, he did not feel the touch of a sentient being. Could it have been caused by nature or something else?
He began to walk the vast field of victims. He passed many Hydranousians he recognized. He saw others who he recognized by their mental signature. He noticed half of the Elders were gone.
How do you explain this to the remaining Hydranousians? They would think he is going into madness. How could he go on knowing half of his people were gone? He needed to go somewhere where there were no Hydranousians. He needed time to think, to process what has occurred, and if it happens again, will he remember or be wiped of his memory.
After checking all the thoughts of the remaining Hydranousians, he knew they would be waking up with no memory of what happened. He decided to step down as the Supreme High One. No one has ever done that. He needed to disappear.
He could not. His coloring would alert people of his status. He needed to change color. He wondered if he could. With the Hydranousians' waking soon, he had to act now or not.
With all the concentration he could muster, he visualized his grey color turning the Color of the Hole of a MeeBee, Brown, a very common color. He used all the energy available to him and focused like he never had before. Time seemed to slow and the exertion was incredibly painful. When he could no longer channel because the pain was interfering with his concentration, he reluctantly stopped. He was afraid to look. He did not feel anything happen, so he believed it did not work.
After finally preparing to look, the other Hydranousians woke. He did not know what to do, so he just stood there. He quickly masked his thoughts from everyone. He was still allowing thoughts to come to him but guarded the thoughts about the disappearances and his attempt to change color.
A known friend came over to him and queried if he was ill. The Supreme High One answered he was not. The individual asked what he was doing in a field and how did all these people come together and fell asleep. He answered he was wondering the same thing, maybe it was a walking sleep, an uncommon event that happens when many minds are linked.
"I do not know. That sounds plausible." He felt a probe being done. He increased the blocking technique. "Is there something you are looking for?" he asked.
"I did not realize I was so obvious. I apologize. I was wondering who you were as we have never met," answered his friend.
The Supreme High One glanced at his arm. It was not gray, but a dark the Color of the Hole of a MeeBee. It had worked!
"Tell me, what was your last thought?" he inquired.
"Going to a meeting held by the Supreme High One with my friends." said his friend. "I do not remember what happened, but an explosion occurred, I do remember that. I came to look for him, we are friends."
He remembers me, but not the disappearances of the others. Selective memory loss. This was indeed a powerful force. Before anyone else would question him, he needed to leave. He needed to blend into his society.
"Ho, Old One, did you suffer the fall like everyone else." Getting closer, he said, "I apologize, I thought you were an Old One."
Picking up quickly, "I am an Old One. May I ask your name?"
"I am called Zantis. Well met. We are looking for the Supreme High One. Have you seen him?"
"Not since the explosion."
"That is what we are wondering. We can not feel his presence. It is hoped he is not One with the Planet. We will continue our search."
The Supreme High One left. He did not rush, as to not garner attention. He did not know where he was going, only his new life just started as an Old One.