|Public Domain Science Fiction Writer||
|THE ARICO CHRONICLES|
This was a forlorn and miserable planet, thought Corders; it depressed him. He had been here two of their years, and he found it difficult to smile. These ruai had created huge cities with factories and office buildings, and forced the people to live in them. Not only that but they had pushed their people into drugs to control them, and so the people had all but lost their roots with the planet. |
Regularly Corders had to flee these cities before he too got dragged down into their depressing way of life; he understood why these people used the drugs to escape the way they had become. It was so unnatural, Gaia must be cringing.
It was on one of his many trips to the countryside that he inadvertently found the village. In fact he came across the fence first, and started to walk the other way wanting to avoid any contact that would disturb his connection to Gaia. It was only when he was away from the cities that he was able to relax and harmonise even with this forlorn planet.
But from the corner of his eye he saw one of the humans. Instinctively he wanted to walk the other way as he found it difficult being with such unconnected people but this human felt different – that same instinct that wanted to drag him away then was bringing him back. He was so depressed by the state of this planet that he had almost missed what he had been sent here to seek – the humans Gaia is bringing along.
Once his connecting instinct kicked in, he felt a certain elation. He wanted to reach out to this individual but protocol taught him to be careful - he must walk away and observe. So he did. Quickly he got out of sight hoping this human had not seen him, and then went home resolving to come back tomorrow if he had time.
He had decided to blend in as an office worker at one of their many buildings. His training had shown him the pattern of these primitive business infrastructures. The ruai controlled by influence. In order to do this they needed a hierarchical structure where compliance with the higher rung was implicit in maintaining work. He inserted himself as one of the rungs, and simply acted as a conduit between the higher rung and the rung below. Informing his higher – with a little mental persuasion - that he required a roving brief to ensure complicity with these higher objectives Corders had established a routine that had him out of the office most of the time. There was of course the obligatory rec so each day he returned there and pretended to imbibe. This required him to use his mental control to feign intoxication, he had very quickly determined that the ruai’s guardians used some form of mental imaging device. It was equally quick for him to determine what the imaging of a complicit worker was, and he simply provided the machine with those images.
Returning from the village he spent some time at the rec, and then returned home. He had rigged up his own machine at his home that provided the meggers with the images they needed, and this completely freed him up to relax and more importantly to meditate to calm his mind down after difficult days on this distorted planet. He needed to be calm to determine how to proceed now that he had found true mature natives – those actually in harmony with their own Gaia. In his mind these people should be the leaders on this world, and bringing this world through to maturity by their example. But in reality instinct embodied in the greed of the ruai was holding sway.
They had not even learnt the simple lesson that instinct was for survival and insight was the beginning of maturity, he thought sadly depressed at the state of these humans.
It was of course not the humans' fault once a group such as the ruai had become so entrenched it was hard to remove. Their accumulation led them to controlling the money, and then hierarchical structures made sure that everyone was compliant. No decisions were ever made that were drastic and could cause a crisis of confidence, the people compromised on a daily basis, deluded themselves that life was as good as it could be, and became the slaves the ruai needed them to be to increase their accumulation. Being drugged helped of course.
And the ruai they were deluded as well, they looked at the humans they controlled and saw how much better life was for them – in terms of the material advantages of accumulation. They even controlled their own to make sure there was complicity.
In fact Corders first brief was essentially to evaluate whether there were subtle ways in which the structures on this world could be manipulated in such a way that these mature people could become global leaders and were then able to begin to put this world on the Path. His second brief was to determine an effective interventionist strategy if subtle manipulation was not practical. His third brief, one that he tried at this stage to give little thought to, was to determine what measures were needed to prevent this species from impacting on UG if no other strategy was available. He was so depressed with these people that he had almost begun thinking of the dreaded third brief.
But there was now hope – the person by the fence. He had a feeling the fence was significant but that was for another day. Now he would rest and tomorrow determine the best way he could observe these people and determine a suitable course of action in light of the first brief. He rested with some peace for the first night in a long time.
Returning to the fence he established a suitable hide near the gate, and then walked round to see what the fence enclosed. It was a long walk at the end of which he was none the wiser. He could not even determine whether the fence kept people/things out or in. Nor could he visually ascertain what was inside as the fence enclosed such a vast area. At the gate he watched as delivery vehicles came and went. It was clear that the gate had once been some form of security post but now it was just left open – vehicles just came and went.
Occasionally he saw people walking near the fence – even near the gate, but only those in uniform ever walked through the gate – and that was rare; he often saw those same uniformed people walking inside the fence but when they were with others or not in uniform they never left. Apart from the fenced demarcation all visually seemed at peace – especially for this planet. He had two courses of action, both of which made him vulnerable. Make mental contact with one of the walkers inside the fence, or attempt to go through the gate and visually see what was happening inside; he chose the former. But he decided to go home, and reflect whether this was indeed the wiser strategy – or if there was something else. He didn’t think so – he was just experienced enough to side with caution.
It was a rookie mistake – Corders fell in love, even though in retrospect he could never be sure she actually loved him. And he gave up so much. For him he committed to his love – despite his age and experience, otherwise why was it love? Why fall in love? Even when he sat in the prison cell he still couldn’t fault himself, with love comes responsibility that has to be accepted. For her she loved her family, her children – her decisions put them first. Maybe she loved him but how could she allow those decisions to give him such dire consequences – such dire consequences.
She was the one inside the fence he chose to contact. In his vigil he had seen her many times – more than anyone else. He had often seen her walking near the fence – often following the fence, the others didn’t do this. On occasions she walked with her children but it was clear to him they were walking because she was the mother. The one night that he had setup a vigil she came out and was wandering along the fence staring up at the stars, that seemed to comfort her. Just staring up. Once Corders had made the decision to contact she seemed the obvious choice because of this difference, yet his judgement had already been clouded, he was going to contact a mother – what was he thinking?
For Aldris it didn’t happen like that at all. Her husband, Kindo, was watching the kids and she came out for a stroll – Kindo accepted this in her she had a certain distance about her. It seemed to him she needed that balance, it was not that she was looking for escape – how can the stars be an escape for them, but then her life had been in prison as had his. No matter how “normal” things feel that will always be an underlying truth. Aldro felt a contact in her head, “What are you doing here? Where are the kids?” she asked her duty kicking in.
That was not what Corders had expected. Panic, invasion of the mind, fear; none of that. Contact was not alien to her, that was a surprise.
“Who do you think I am?” asked Corders.
“Don’t be silly, Kindo, where are the kids?” she continued “do you need me?”
“I am not Kindo,” he answered warily “I am Corders. Wait a minute.” He stood up from the hide, and told her “Turn around.” She did so. “Good look to the right a bit,” and he waved to her. Somewhat hesitantly she waved back. “Put your hand down,” he told her as he got back into the hide.
“You must stop this connecting,” she warned him anxiously “even though Esthaus and the rest are good people they still have their machines and they still have their masters to answer to.”
“Their machines will not detect me,” he consoled her “who is Esthaus?”
Corders implanted a feeling of trust, a sense that it was perfectly safe for Aldris to say anything she wanted to him. Although he didn’t like doing this it was acceptable at first connect – just. Then she told Corders about the village with its fence and deadbolt, about her children and Kindo – and their connections, about the Guardians, about the stories from outside the fence her father, Arico, had told her about, and about the mating where their parents had all been captured.
“What about you?” she asked when finished “who are you?”
“My name is Corders,” he answered “I am here to help.”
“How can you help?” she asked impatiently.
“I don’t know yet,” he said hesitantly “but I can.” He chastised himself for saying that, careless. “Can you make me a promise? Don’t tell Kindo or your children about me yet. I will come back tomorrow at the same time, and I will tell you what I can do.” Again with the promises, he thought, what was he doing?
“I will try,” she told him “but as far as I know you are the only person we have contacted outside the village. This is very exciting.”
“I understand that,” he answered “but if you take that excitement back the Guardians will sense something. You need training to fool them and their primitive machines.”
Primitive, she thought, who would describe the meggers as primitive? “I will try,” she said simply. And she did.
When he went back home his feelings were mixed. He realised that he had promised some form of interference, why had he done that? He was becoming tainted by this world, it was distorting his perception. For the first time in two years he had connected with someone, and connected with someone who was bright, vibrant and a deep insight. How could such a person exist on this desolate planet, on this planet where all spirit was drugged and repressed. How he hated these ruai and what they had done. Especially now that he had seen the potential in Aldris. But contacting her had given him hope. Her potential was enough to save this planet …. and there were others. What good could be done?
He managed to sleep better with his hope. But his anger towards these ruai had removed his detachment, he did not see what was happening to him.
He returned to see her the next night, it felt good to feel her. There was such comfort contacting her. He was able to explore her mind while their superficial minds touched in social contact. She was so fresh and vital, it spread and invigorated him. Her untrained power was beyond much that he had met on his homeworld, and it gave him excitement. He needed to train her otherwise her raw power would lead to his being detected.
“For me to help you you first need to learn to help yourself,” he began “Think Oneness – Unity. Think about separation. My body appears to be separate but there is only Unity – Gaia. Withdraw from your body, feel your mind in all its extremities of the body and detach. Draw the mind into the heart so that the mind is one-pointed. Visualise that one point leaving your body and joining all the other points that make Gaia.”
He could feel her getting smaller and smaller until eventually he lost contact. And then she returned. “How did that feel?” he asked.
“Good – uplifting. Enobling,” she answered “Why haven’t we done this before?”
“I was guiding you with more than words,” he smiled at her coquettishly. She felt the warmth and slight ambiguity.
“Now do it again,” he instructed “but this time without any help.” And she did losing touch with him again.
On returning he told her “Now leave an image in your brain. Look at your brain, there is an image.” She saw it. “Concentrate on that image, fix on it, hold it in your brain,” he encouraged her “Fashion your brain to hold this image, hold it.”
He could see her holding an image. “Now leave it there, and withdraw to the one-pointedness,” and she did, she was gone again. But the image was present throughout. Corders knew it wasn’t her but machines would never know.
When she came back he said “You can use this to fool the machines,” he assured her “but it will be different with Kindo. I will go now but I want you to practise this on your own. Can you do that?”
“I will try,” she answered.
“I know you won’t like this but I want you to continue hiding your knowledge of me from Kindo,” he asked her. “Only for a short time until I have worked out how to help everyone.” He looked at himself again with these commitments. “Look inside your mind, and focus on me. Collect all your feelings about me, and put them in a box marked Corders. Can you see the box?”
She gave a mental nod.
“Look around your brain,” he told her “Search your brain, are there any other recordings of your contact with me? Any other images?”
“I am looking,” she said.
“Now gather these new images and put them in the box,” his instruction continued. “Good. Well done. I cannot see any connection to me in your brain. Except the box. Now make the box invisible. You know it is there but it is invisible. Visualise painting it with an invisible brush. With each stroke it is less and less visible. …. And now it is gone.”
And it was.
“I am sure you will think about me when I am gone. But after thinking place any images in the box, check the box is transparent, and your husband will not know about me until the right time …. when we have a plan. I know I am discouraging honesty but it is only temporary. Please trust me …. at least for the time being.”
“For the time being,” she warned him “all of us need help.” She could see his acknowledgement.
“I will go now,” he announced finally “I must think about what to do, I will come back tomorrow.” She nodded, and with that he left. Corders went home. There was much to think about but he drifted off to sleep thinking about Aldris.