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THE ARICO CHRONICLES

10) The Gathering

The Guardians met for the briefing. The commander began “The scientists have pinpointed our targets, and we each have our own particulars.” She pointed at the face on her pad to illustrate this.

“We have recognised increased activity amongst these perps, and we are concerned as to what this activity is about. Therefore our brief is to watch and report – at present no more.”

“Watch and report. Have a nice day, and be watchful,” she smiled at the pun – as usual “See you tonight in the rec.” At this the Guardians were dismissed, and they left to follow their targets.

It was a big day for the Guardians, it was the day of the Gathering.

Being the first Jumo never saw making contact as being a communal activity. As with all in the Light it became something each had to do, it was their way of dealing with the prison the ruai had created for them. In some ways Jumo was the Light personified, there was no conditioning to break through, no system success to fight against, no job he had to go to, for Jumo the Light was all there was, all there ever had been. In his young days he would go to bed and allow his mind to wander through compassion, through light, through silence; it was just natural for him. After school he would leave the conflict, control his anger and wander. When they made him D-category, he had more time to do this, by this time it was his only expression – they watched him so closely.

He had been D-category for three years when he bumped into Armo – as a hatchling. For Jumo it was tremendous joy, and his emotion drove Armo away at first; but not for long the joy was infectious. They met on the Light, they touched and so connected. That was it, but that was more than enough – at first. But soon the connection turned to questioning, they touched and just felt questioning.

Once Armo returned from that connection, he asked himself what does this mean, whereas Jumo asked himself whether there were more people, his questions turning into a resolve to search. For Armo there was connection, this was something that had to have meaning; that thought never left him seeking meaning in all he met – all he contacted.

Clearly for Morto this Light telepathy was her forte, and contacting Armo she was able to open his mind further – to sense telepathy. Morto was a facilitator, her contact opened up others – she was a primer. It was in Armo’s rec, Morto’s company met with Armo’s and after in the rec Morto sensed Armo. She was thrilled because this would be in person. Before they actually touched her excitement had transmitted itself across the room. There was the sense contact but it became stronger as Morto’s excitement drew them together. It became publicly acceptable in the rec for this to be seen as a sexual encounter so they hid behind such banter. This also meant there could be physical contact, and with Armo and Morto meeting on so many levels there was a high level of Unity – cosmic even, they mused to themselves. Coming together like this was so important for the Light. Public perception required Morto to stay with Armo, and physical consummation of their contact only added to their level of understanding, apart from being the “best” it was if there was some tie on the level of insight, a mingling, a joining that occurred at the point of orgasm. Their exhaustion assuaged and turned to love, a romance that the ruai loved to foster, but this love was revolutionary in the way it enhanced their needs and abilities for change.

Once they left for work the next day, all of this became so clear to both Armo and Morto. Love was the way forward for the Light. Once there was love, there was communication at all levels. No more were they restricted to communication through insight, now it was as if Morto and Armo could have mental conversations. Jumo’s searching had produced more contacts, the joy he exhibited bringing more people into the Light but this new level of understanding between Armo and Morto drove Armo to take over Jumo’s connection one day and insist on a gathering – giving expression to his meaning and the understanding he had gained with Morto – expressing his love. After Armo had pushed for gathering, the next night he focussed on communication; he held communication strong in his mind and connected with Jumo. For the next few days Jumo searched but he too held communication strongly. Amongst the Light there grew the need for more communication, and this eventually surfaced as a need for gathering amongst the rest of the contacts.

For Armo and Morto there was no need to hide – or so they thought, their love appeared to be a standard coupling – encouraged by the ruai. That became their subterfuge, they would gather within one of ruai’s allowed matings. Such matings for most of the Light were horrendous affairs. Morto remembered her first time. There was this man, Martin, not unattractive but so arrogant. As matings had an accepted objective this man simply felt that he had the right to choose, and once he had chosen it didn’t matter how she was treated his objective became a requirement for Morto. As the evening drew on drugs affected Martin badly and his arrogance grew. It became intolerable, Morto could not spend the night with him – he was such an ugly man. It was late. Her only escape was to find another man and leave with him, mating would have happened and there would be no suspicion. There was a quiet man, sat alone, obviously worse for the drugs, but she felt it would be better with him. Going over she forced an introduction, and found the man was well under the influence. It took effort and a certain amount of debased behaviour on her part to eventually waken his sexual interest, and she was able to escape with him. Returning to his apartment this quiet man soon developed an ardour that was uncomfortable for Morto but she made some efforts to respond. Fortunately she was lucky and the influence of the drugs eventually took him to sleep. Never again, she thought, these matings are gross. The ruai did not require everyone to mate – just sufficient for the workforce. Apparently it had been known that the ruai admin would force matings until the woman bore a child – she just prayed that never happened to her. Now of course she would enjoy having children with Armo – she even wanted that to happen.

Over the next week or so they managed to convey to all that could that a gathering would occur at the mating in block 16. Somehow Armo and Morto’s excitement infected the Light, and there was a great expectancy. For the Light this could be the next stage in much the same way as it had been for Armo and Morto. In some ways they were right.

As soon as they arrived there occurred an almost natural pairing off. Although there were many of the Light there there seemed no choice involved in this increased contact. Like with like turned to far more as a bond developed at the mating between so many. Each bond increased the elation, an elation that Jumo could feel from afar. And then catastrophe.

Outside the mating the Guardians were talking. Each had followed their target, and arrived independently. They contacted the commander. Esthaus listened. “They are all here,” Sarto told her excitedly. “We did as you asked and they have all arrived at this mating in block 16.” “Are there any missing?” asked Esthaus cautiously.

“16 guardians, 16 perps,” she answered excitedly “we are all here, they are all here.”

“I get it,” she answered coldly. “There is something going on here. We don’t know what but we must control it. What is happening inside?”

“Undercover, Sarto, go inside and see,” instructed Esthaus “meanwhile I will send a waggon in case.”

Sarto went inside and started to use the MEG. Their megs were off the chart but they had spotted her with the machine. Each couple looked for a way out. Immediately Sarto used her comms and the Guardians moved in.

They all heard Esthaus in their ears “do not kill them”.

The couples were no match for these trained soldiers. They all tried to find different exits but wherever they went were the guardians with these machines. For many at the mating they didn’t realise anything was happening, even if they did they only stepped aside. – you don’t get in the way of guardians. And almost as soon as they arrived the couples were in the waggon.

In his cell Jumo weeped. He could not know what had happened but he sensed the catastrophe radiating through the insight dimension. Then when they were in the waggon they sent the insight “capture”, and it was the last contact he ever made. From that moment on Jumo’s life was finished, he only lived for contact and wherever he looked he was blocked. Eventually he stopped looking, lost the will to live. His meditation had no purpose, he had no purpose, what does his life mean? Eventually he refused the food he was given. To begin with his guardians force-fed him but there was no meg activity. He mattered not to them, and they stopped force-feeding him. Eventually one guardian had some level of pity, and injected him. He was called in, and reprimanded but no more.

This Light had gone out but Gaia had learnt.