The Old One's pupil is learning at a faster rate and is surpassing his expectations
Chapter Eleven - Relavations
After the disappointing information from the Old One with different colored eyes, The Old One and Jaz began walking to his cave for solitude and replenishment. He told Jaz about the cave and his previous visits, but did not say anything about what he has done there.
How far is this cave? asked Jaz.
It is about half a cycle. You will learn much as we walk with no interruptions. You will surprise yourself with what you accomplish, said the Old One.
Jaz proved to be a very astute pupil. She understood the morales of the stories and was able to find similarities with her one life and experiences. She also questioned everything the Old One had to offer.
When you were the Supreme High One, why did you think Eternity would change after inviting her to stay with you at the palace? You just stripped her powers and made her silent. I think anyone would hold resentment for doing that. That is like sentencing someone to be One with the Planet.
As I have advised you before, began the Old One, I did feel sickened after doing that. I knew what I was doing and would do it again if the punishment suited the crime. It doesn't, however, mean I enjoyed doing it. I invited her to stay partially because I wanted to try and rehabilitate her. I also felt sorry for her. She did not have a tutor who could foresee the harm she would cause and prevent it with barriers or blocks. In a sense, she was a victim as well. Do you understand now?
I think I understand more from your point of view; however, I feel sorry for what she went through and for being sent to the North Quadrant. Is it as barren and hostile to all as I heard? Jaz asked.
When I left from visiting there, it was barren of sentient life forms as we know it. What is there now is unknown to me.
However, the Old One did not know how much he had affected the Nata. He has been curious about their evolution. He decided after this tutelage is complete, he would go to the North Quadrant to see their growth.
Do you have a story, Old One?
I do have one. Once there was a crystal farmer named Zanni near the mountain range of Hibcl. Ziddit was joined with Qanish for 200 cycles. He was a busy farmer because the need for new power crystals was immense. He and Qanish labored all the time, except in times when they were Out of Phase. Even then, as their replenishment cycles were opposite of each other, the crystals would still be farmed.
One day as Ziddit was the one working, his third eye began to falter and he could not focus the power beam to dislodge the crystals. He became alarmed and notified Qanish He was distressed that Ziddit couldn't work. He had always been proud of the amount of work they would accomplish each cycle. Without his assistance, the workload would fall below 40%, an unacceptable result. His name and reputation would be tarnished.
Ziddit would try to regain his third eye's power beam, but could not. He felt awful. Worse, Qanish would provide verbal disdain toward him. He realized his concern was not for him, only for the number of crystals he could produce. After realizing this, he felt alone.
Jaz inquired, Why would someone who is joined not care for the other? It sounds like Qanish never cared for him, only his labor. That seems like a lie.
Yes, Young One it does. Qanish kept his true feelings behind a barrier so Ziddit would think they were happy. In truth, at first, they were both happy for different reasons. One for material reasons and the other for companionship, advised the Old One.
To continue, when it was time for Ziddit to go Out of Phase and Qanish to return, their ties were severed. Ziddit was advised by Qanish that he would be leaving to find a more suitable companion. Ziddit didn't know how he could continue alone.
During his Out of Phase replenishment, he began to feel his mind becoming more centered on his third eye. He felt an awaking of something he never felt before. His third eye felt recharged. More than recharged, a regeneration of sorts. He did not know where this was coming from, only he began to feel lighter, more content.
When his Out of Phase ended, he went back to his work site. Once there, he did not feel alone without Qanish. He felt at peace with the separation. He then went into the cave and tried to use his third eye. Instead of failure, the eye responded with more power than before. He could produce such an energy beam, he fabricated three times the number of crystals as before.
I know what happens, began Jaz, Qanish came back and they became connected again.
Let us find out. News of the quantity and quality of the produced crystals became widely known. He was sought out as his work became of superior quality than other crystal farms. He gained followers who would work with him to sort and provide the crystals to the Hydranousians and even Elders.
Qanish heard about his success and went to become his companion again. When he approached, Ziddit heard Qanish's appeal. Ziddit stated, 'You left me in my time of need. You never cared for me, only what I could do. When I could no longer produce crystals, you left me. But I forgive you. You were following your need and I was following mine. They were not together. I am very content in my life now. I still love you but do not need you. Go find someone who shares who you are.
This caused Qanish to leave, angry he could no longer be recognized for Ziddit's work in the crystal trade. He wondered if the Collective knew of his betrayal and lies. The Collective did know and Quish was forced to begin his new life as a wanderer shunned, without a companion, and alone.
That is justice, announced Jaz, He did not truly care for Ziddit, only his work. He turned against him when he was unable to produce and then wanted back after he regained his third's beam. That was very selfish and hurtful. Qanish did not respect Ziddit enough to honor him for what he did. What is the moral of this story Old One?
You must be careful who you allow into your life. Everyone has their own agenda and wants. Before one seeks a companion or trade, they need to know themself. The moral is doubled: know thyself, and beware of ones trying to take advantage of your gifts and affection.
That's a lot to think about. How do you know if someone is true to you?
At first, you don't. Only experience can provide the answer, trust your instincts.
On his trip back from the North Quadrant, the Supreme High One knew his Out of Phase needed to start soon. Even though he had more endurance and essence than other Hydranousians, he still need to replenish his deeper essence.
As he traveled, he came across several Out of Phase retreats. He chooses to keep going until he finds one that was more secure and well guarded. He finally came across an isolated village named Srawn. It was well guarded as there were walls around the entire village with posted guards all around. When he came to the entrance, he built barriers regarding being the Supreme High One and his past. Instead, he brought forth his experiences and memories of being an Old One.
As he entered the village, he was approached by several guards and what appeared to be an Officer. Stand there. You have entered the village of Srawn. We do not allow anyone to enter without searching your essence and thoughts. Stand ready.
With this, the Supreme High One felt a gentle, yet strong probe from several individuals. They were very thorough with their search. He could tell they were experienced in searching inner thoughts and, if necessary, breaking barriers. He did not search their thoughts. He knew their barriers were superior to the common Hydranousian and did not need to search. He would be probing all the thoughts of the villagers and guards during his Out of Phase time.
Thank you Old One for allowing us to search. We can not be too careful of who we allow in. We have stopped many travelers who sought to harm either one of our residents or the village itself.
I completely understand. I would not expect less. May I ask if you have an Out of Phase retreat?
We have three. We keep one ready for travelers and guests. Just go down this road and it is the first retreat you find. There are four guards with two more inside to protect your privacy.
Excellent. I shall go now, stated the Supreme High One.
Once he arrived, he discovered it indeed had the four guards outside, one for each side of the retreat. When he entered, he saw the place was empty except for the two guards. He chose a berth closest to a wall. He proceeded to lay down and prepare for the Out of Phase to begin.
The immersion came quickly. The Supreme High One instantly touched the Collective to begin replenishing his essence. While this can be done within a pool of liquid eterinite, the replenishment is not lasting and not as potent as it is when they are in a retreat.
He then began to probe the minds of the citizens of Srawn. He didn't probe past their barriers and most of the citizens did not have barriers to bypass. He discovered this was a village that used to be attacked often by raiders searching for possessions worth something to someone else. The village created the surrounding walls and created a village Watch force. The Watch force used the strongest members of the village and it was an honor to serve. There were several citizens in line for replacing the other guards and to be used if trouble occurred.
The Supreme High One then probed the collective for Sopite, who was trusted by the Supreme High One.
Sopite, are you available?
It is you Supreme High One! I am always available to speak with you. Allow me to increase my barriers so others can't listen to our conversation. The Supreme High One also bolstered Sopite's barriers to maximize their strength.
There, it is done. How may I serve you?
What is the update of the Elders? I have not received any messages as I requested. Have any more Elders become One with the Planet? Any news on who may be responsible for the terminations?
Allow me to answer your questions in order. Four more Elders have become One with the Planet. These were not in Out of Phase. Some were at their places of residence. No guards were slain during the attack. The Elders were terminated in three separate instances. Elders Hacuuk, Osit, Peetorim, and Acmine were the ones terminated. There was no warning. However, two Elders who were walking in the forest, Acmine and Harcuuk, managed to send a final message. They stated, 'Ground Attack,' then we lost all contact.
There is one other piece of evidence that may not mean anything. The dwelling of Osit had a small opening in the rear of the dwelling, about the size of a mature Young One. It is not known how long the opening existed.
On all four Elders, the same crystal shaft and black crystal pointed head was found inserted into the third eye of all four. Termination should have been instant."
After investigating, no clues were found. There were footprints of Young Ones in the forest leading into the vegetation, but nothing else. A broad sweep by the remaining Elders to see if they could find the essence trail could not be established Their barriers are as strong as your barrier, my Lord. It is believed the same individual is responsible for the attack."
Four lost with no trace? We must be missing something. Are the Elders all linked together?
No, Supreme High One, they are not. They are suspicious of others in their mind so they do not create a connection. I have established a connection with ten Elders. We would know instantly if a connection is broken due to becoming One with the Planet.
Be prepared for what I am about to do. Do not take this personally, exclaimed the Supreme High One. He gathered his strength and bolstered his barriers. He then contacted all the Elders at once with an over-powering presence.
You have failed to protect one another with your petty beliefs and suspicion! All of you are responsible for the four lost Elder's terminations. You are all guilty of not being one in the Collective. Their termination could have been avoided or at least, traced. What say you? What petty excuses do you have? Trying to protect your most inner secrets? How about those of you who consider yourself to be above the others?
The Supreme High One was scanning all of the Elder's deep thoughts. He saw the fear of termination or exposure of their past deeds. He knew they were all on their knees with the weight of his telepathic announcement. Do anyone of you feel remorse because of your inaction? What about your lack of cohesion as Elders? I expected more from you as Elders. Maybe it is time for me to choose better Elders as you have become soft, greedy, and pompous of your worth."
He instantly heard their thoughts. Most of them were worried they would be replaced and stripped of most of their powers and essence, to become normal Hydranousians. Others became very afraid because they were not just in their decisions and created animosity among quite a few Hydranousians. Without their protective powers, they could easily be targeted for revenge. A few others felt relief. These were the ones who had connected their consciousness to create a warning device. They were also ones who regardfully treated the citizens and used their powers respectfully.
I will be watching daily for any who refuse to become one with the group. I will also systematically be removing non-followers of my directive. The deaths must be prevented and traced. This is not a suggestion, Elders.
As he started to close the link, he joined the Collective to draw more power and established a link to all the Elders, with their knowledge. He wanted to let them know he is watching.
The Supreme High One thought of some ways the Elders would be safer. He contacted Sopite and explained his ideas and commanded Sopite to carry them out.
As you wish, Supreme High One.
Now, that I have told you a story, it is time to practice your innate powers. Before you protest, know that I am aware of your limitations and will most definitely consider that, announced the Old One.
What will you have me practice? Reading thoughts, barrier set-up, or entering the Collective? asked Jaz.
None of those. For today, I want you to reach into your essence and try to see what your inner self is like. The search for the inner self is difficult the first time you attempt it. Be diligent with your effort and open to what is there. I will be with you, but will not assist in what you are doing. Begin.
Jaz immediately touches the essence that is open to her. As she progressed in her knowledge, her ability to reach her essence increased. The Old One told her she is farther in her training than others her developmental age. When she applied as much will allowed by her consumption of essence, she felt something. It wasn't a barrier. She recognized something hidden just out of reach. She attempted several times to reach for information, but always came up short. She knew this was her inner self, hidden from her.
She began to look at the problem at hand. She needed to gain access to the knowledge, but she was the one blocking that from happening. She then wondered what she needed to do to gain that knowledge. She had passed all of the Old One's tests and trials. She knew she has come a long way in her tutelage. She also felt there was more to her than she realized.
So why can't she reach it?
The Old One was watching her thoughts and reactions. He knew this was a difficult test, one usually used only on Young Ones as they entered the last phase of their time as pupils. He also knew this would be a great accomplishment for the Young One. It would be remembered that she accomplished a very difficult test.
As the Old One watched, he saw the formation of thought within her. Jaz was slowly understanding her accomplishments. She knew she has surpassed the Old One's expectations. She knew she started her training after other Young Ones began theirs and she was learning at a faster rate. She also recognized her mistakes and how she learned to correct them so they didn't happen again. She felt she had all the correct pieces, but could not put them together. She wanted to ask the Old One for guidance, but knew once she is fully grown, she will be on her own and cannot ask anyone about her inner thought or concerns. She would have to use her instincts, knowledge, and experiences to solve problems such as these.
With that thought, she knew how to reach her goal. She already knew what her inner-self was. She was able to touch her goal and opened her inner self. She was amazed at what she felt. Confidence in what she could do. Assured in her knowledge. Wisdom to know she would be able to find answers to her questions when an effort is applied. And, that the Old One's words and teachings would always be with her.
Very, very well done, Jaz. You have successfully contacted your inner self. You relied on yourself and believed you could do it. Your past experiences and your faith in yourself have unlocked your knowledge and commitment to trust yourself. Excellent work! I am very proud of you.
Next, we will test how your powers have already changed and what your future potential may be.