Sorry, Cherine is breaking free of those I have watching her, so I must leave you now to stop her from killing herself. . . . . . .
If you wish to read from an earlier book, from Book 01 to Book 08, use this link button to open the LC Book Index:
As I arrived he spoke tersely to us, “Later my loves, help those who need you.” Even as I dried my eyes and dashed off with Lucy to the Elipians, I realised Robbie was not helping anyone, standing alone without moving and there was a feeling to him of fragility, as if he were about to shatter. I was about to return to him when I sensed Cherine arrive (I had not realised till then that she was absent) and I knew he was in better hands than mine.
We were given a few hours to recover and then Freddie, who had moved into normal space, warned us that an unknown spaceship was approaching and they were requesting permission to visit us. Robbie flared up for a few seconds, but Cherine stared into his eyes and he sagged.
“Ask them to wait half an hour.”
“Samantha, share.” Obediently I entered her mind. I was only too glad to do so since I’d been curious about where she’d gone to and how she’d left - and why the hell Alexander is in Freddie!
“Robbie, they must wait until Christós and the others arrive.”
“If they were coming they would have been here by now. Something must have gone wrong for them.”
“Even so, they will come - Christós would not abandon us.”
A group of about eight thousand people materialised around us. Christós sent us a smile as he took a few paces towards Robbie. “We apologise for the deception, Samantha was right, but also wrong. We arrived as the last shock hit you and Freddie re-stabilised. We remained here secretly in case you need allies. I hope it will not cause you further problems at home Robert, but there are another eight new alternates of mine with us and two of Abraham and one each of Moses and Mohammed. I suggest introductions wait until after the visit by the Muyzith.”
“You are all welcome and thank you for coming.”
Arthur, a note for you: I will only be writing about the Muyzith at the end of our stay here. If you want we can chat then, I’m switching off.
Here goes my secrecy, now you will learn why I switched off.
The Muyzith left their spaceship in normal space and entered Freddie in a smaller one that looks like a work of art. Colours flowing into colours, merging and creating new colours and designs that confuse our eyes. If Jade, to name just one, could have spent the whole time they were here examining and learning how they do it, she would have been happy. Even Wendy said it is like finding a new way to write music.
The Muyzith resemble us in that they have a torso, two arms and legs and one head but they look nothing like us. They are between seven to nine feet tall, incredibly slender and yet do not look fragile because of the ridges muscles form at their shoulders and other joints. Their skin tones range from an almost pure black to a reddish brown, dark pink to a very dark red and so on. We were told they enjoy the variety and choose the colour of stability at puberty, though they do have cosmetics for altering their skin tone whenever they wish.
Robbie was still simmering and had no intention of being the gracious host and stood without speaking, waiting for them to first explain themselves. A floating salver loaded with small but beautiful gifts floated next to them and as they came to a stop before us it floated ahead of them and came to a rest, a few inches above the ground, close to Cherine. It hardly wobbled at all as it reversed direction and returned to them. One of them glanced at it and it came to rest, settling on the ground beneath it.
“The interpreter has made it possible for us to understand each other?”
“The interpreter has made a lot possible, but actual understanding depends on much else.”
“That is true. Our gifts are not satisfactory?”
“With us, gifts are exchanged between friends or as a sign that both parties wish to become friends.”
“It is generally the same for most species, you do not wish us to make such overtures at this time?”
“We need you to make a different offering for us to consider the possibility of becoming friends.”
“We see you have brought a number of Eqkee with you. What of their souls, how have they survived the rending?”
Robbie tensed up. “You come to us with questions but no answers?”
I was itching to interfere, but I felt they owed Robbie and he has the right to handle them his way.
“Ask your questions.”
Robbie’s turned cold. “We should not have need of them, honour should have demanded the responses from you without need of words from us.”
“You wish to know whether we interfered with the Iktrians? The answer is yes, in a sense they are descendants of ours. Not of our flesh, but in that we foresee they will inherit from us all we know so that they can take our place when it is time for us to leave. We could not be certain you would arrive in time.”
Robbie was on the verge of erupting. “You do not consider yourselves accountable for anything else?”
Their leader stared into Robbie’s eyes. “What criteria did you apply to decide we were worthy of you travelling to us? Why did you not arrive armed and ready for an attack? Something convinced you we are worthy and to be considered friends? Is your universe that friendly and easily misled?”
“There are those who react with hostility to strangers. Why should we have presumed you would, you invited us here and provided us with a star chart and an interpreter.” He made a last effort to give them an excuse. “What we experienced on arriving, it was a test of some kind?”
“It is part of our defence system, but still at the experimental stage. We assumed that uninvited guests will leave as soon as they can.”
“Nonsense! Any species would be forced to stay to investigate what could be a threat to the existence of their home worlds.”
“You only experienced the first level. Our instruments informed us two beings left just before we ended the experiment. That is not supposed to be possible, how did they manage to break through our mental blocks?”
Robbie turned away from them in disgusted frustration and with a glance at me gave me permission to take over.
“I am Samantha, named ‘friend of aliens’ by my kind. My father is angered by your inability to sense what he needs from you, so I will converse with you in the hope of settling our differences without causing further hostility.
For all the species we know, your actions would normally be considered hostile and insulting. Would it help us understand why you thought they were necessary if you explain your reasons? What was the test? What were you hoping to learn about us?”
“The dream reality was real to you? You felt you faced death?”
“Final death. Normal death would not have frightened us.”
“You must explain that.”
I was amazed at how naïve they are. “Once we are friends.”
“I thought you claimed you are? Are we not aliens to you?” I felt a ripple of nervous giggles begin from Athia in her mind and spread out to the others.
“I am a negotiator, searching for understanding, and I try to do so without causing offence to species who have different rules and instincts from us. Becoming friends is not just a matter of negotiation, we both have to prove that our intent is to offer friendship.”
“But we have already done so, did we not leave a message with the Eqkee and a map?”
“Your actions thereafter were not friendly. What was the purpose of the test?”
“But it is so obvious! Did we not set a condition that at least one of you must become as ‘family’ to the Eqkee? Did that not indicate our intentions?”
I nearly sighed from vexation. “Treat me as an ignorant child who needs the obvious to be explained.”
“For you to achieve the first step you would have to be without fears of those different to you. So many species have a fear of strangers. It was what made the Eqkee our friends; they have no such instincts of hostility or distrust. Friendship would have been easy to be claimed falsely, we needed to know you are capable of empathising with a different species to the point where love is possible between individuals. You must have convinced the Eqkee that you had.”
“The next important step was your reaction to the Iktrians. We were pleased with the results. The last test was your reactions to your own perceived impending death. We examined your reactions, searching for proof that you consider your own lives more important than those of your friends or loved ones.”
“We do not wish to know if there were any such ones, the majority of us passed the test?”
“Not the one of the two who departed. He thought he was saving the female, but it was not for selfless reasons, he hoped to benefit by saving her.”
“Oh lord!” I was careful to keep my face serious, but I knew they could sense my urge to laugh. I found this to be such a delicious irony. Christós remained calm and interested, but his alternates were not amused. “You have misunderstood, his action could be construed as the most unselfish of all of us, he was not saving her for himself, but for all of life.”
They became visibly excited. “Please explain.”
“We have not reached that stage yet, there are other points to clear before we talk as friends. I will not speak for my people, only for myself. I am deeply offended by your last test. If we had responded by destroying your planet, it would have been too late for you to explain it was a test you chose to implement without asking us. From our side, as far as we are concerned, you nearly cost us the one life we all treasure above every other. You are arrogant in your thinking that you have the right to test us without securing our permission. Regardless of custom differing according to species, you have shown disregard for our rights as sapient beings who are not subject to your laws and interests. You have done the same to the Iktrians. From your own admission, you did not interfere with their lifecycle for altruistic reasons, but to serve your own purposes, causing a terrible injustice. I regret your explanations up to now have not brought us closer, but instead have driven us further apart. It is time we examine ways for us to settle our differences, perhaps by understanding what motivated you so as to reverse the hostility you are causing us to feel for you. Give me a moment to consider the matter please.”
*Don’t carry it to extremes Samantha.*
*I’m missing something important dad, a clue they gave us. Let me think.*
Cherine spoke in my mind in a voice devoid of emotion. *Ask them why they are leaving and where they intend going.* I could have kissed her.
“Is the need for your species to depart urgent?”
“It is. Not all members of our species Samantha, but our first teams.”
“Perhaps it is the key to our clearing the misunderstanding? Can you explain without jeopardising your species or mission?”
“Close to a thousand years ago we came to the conclusion that our universe does not make sense, there are too many inconsistencies. As we experimented and explored, we discovered ours is only one of a myriad realities and that made the problem even more acute. Now very little made sense.
About four hundred years ago we decided to search other realities for the key. We came across the concept of gods. The answer became obvious, a god created us - perhaps from some prime reality, but it is an ignorant god and it did not think things out fully, causing the inconsistencies we’d noted. We searched for clues in the hope of finding that god, but it was neither in, nor communicating with any of the realities we know and we had reached a dead end. Nearly three score years ago we sensed it communicating in some other reality and our quest became urgent, we must find it before it stops.
Something new has also developed over the last few years. We presume it is a direct result of the god interfering with its creation. A new power is awakening and it will alter all of life. We need to find it and confirm it is benign, or else destroy it before its powers cannot be dealt with.”
Too many people of Freddie were giving away our excitement at his words for me to pretend. I had one more question though. “Do you intend travelling through realities and from galaxy to galaxy, subjecting all species to your tests?”
“What for? We had to test you, for we intend handing over to you all our knowledge in case your minds are sufficiently different from ours and you are able to find the answers before we do and save all of us. We had to know you are worthy.”
I felt a knot of excitement build in me. “You had to, past tense?”
“Would it surprise you to learn that the god you speak of has been communicating with us and that we came to you in the hope you could help us find him in his own reality?”
‘Surprised’ was hardly the word.
I thought they did a fair job of describing you. Keep quiet please, you are disrupting the time-line of your story.
I felt I had done my job and had my fun, so I asked Robbie to take over. He laughed, saying I’d laid a minefield and now wanted him to blow himself up in it. He told me to handle it until he feels it is time for him to take over again.
I don’t know why, but we’ve felt all along that the Muyzith could be holding a key to knowledge that might help us find Arthur and bring him here, before he sacrifices his soul. My theory is the original mother soul existed and so will exist at the beginning of time, whatever we do. If we collect Arthur, then it means the mother soul will not be of him, but it will exist, there can be no alternate at that time. The fact that he is with us should prevent time branching off. The obvious thought was that since they do not have an Allan, the fact that they can sense our communicating means they have found a way of identifying some kind of energy. If that is true and they teach us, then we can look for ways to follow it back to him.
I had secretly been hoping they have the knowledge that would make it possible for us to crossover into Arthur’s reality, but I was willing to settle for just one more step forward. Despite the teasing, I am not a politician, so I saw no reason to hide my excitement and joy. I was about to give them all the information they needed when Cherine spoke up.
“All discussions are at an end for now. Hettie, please take over from Samantha and see to it that nothing further is said about Arthur. Robert, please ask Maria to prepare us a banquet - all the help she needs will come from our family. Meli, get your team together and prepare for a telling tonight. Please keep it to the essentials and limit it to five hours tonight, four in the morning and four in the early evening tomorrow. Samantha, we will talk with them afterwards.”
“Yes ma’am.” She gave me a dirty look and turning to Robbie raised her arms for him to pick her up. They jumped to his ledge and we got blocked from them. I do not need to be a Themi to guess she needs time alone with her special love to cry or get angry in privacy from our guests for a while.
Hettie arranged with the Inguel to prepare apartments for our guests and she then took them on a tour of Freddie. I’d been so keyed up with excitement, questions bubbling through my mind, that my dismissal was an anticlimax I needed help recovering from. Behind my waterfall I visited Hesina and allowed her to distract me for a while. She made me laugh when she created a vision of me walking with a short, pot-bellied and balding man. The little Samantha walking (waddling) with him was about six; had a potbelly and her legs were bowed outwards, like some of the elderly woman in Greek villages. I just might do it to you.
When we gathered for the official supper, Hettie first introduced our guests by name and then named a few of us. Their names are atrociously long and they do not like abbreviating them, but I’m going to do so for the diary. The leader is called Amsiu. His two companions (same sex, male) are Qeubo and Sint. The rest of the group are dignitaries and scientists with only four females included among the sixteen. I concentrated on the one female because she did not hide her interest in everything she saw and heard. Her shortened name is Msito.
“How were the members of your group chosen? Are you the leaders of your people?”
“We are chosen, according to tradition, from among our scientists. We could assume the position of leaders if we wished, but it is not a popular choice. It would signify we have reached the end of our productive life in our own specialities. I flatter myself that it would be a waste.”
“I do not have a speciality, apart from interfering in matters that should be handled by wiser minds. My name is Samantha.”
“We are aware of you. I am Msito. Philosopher on alien gods and doctor of troubled minds.”
I grinned. “I don’t know if this comes under the heading of forbidden for tonight, but would you like to hear an anecdote told to me as experienced by Arthur, the one you think is a god?”
“He is not?”
“For our own sanity it is sometimes safer to think of him as one. You do know what cities are? He told me he lived in a city when he was young and needed to find a specialised doctor for a medical problem he suffered from. He could not recall the name of the doctor he had previously consulted and was in a twenty-storey building filled with doctors. He took a guess and going to the seventh floor looked at the names on the doors. He did not recognise any, but since one of the doors was open, he entered to ask the woman at the desk if she knew of any specialists in the field he needed. As he talked with her the doctor came out and asked why he was there. Arthur explained and the doctor insisted he enter his office. He was a doctor of the mind and told Arthur that he had not come to his door by chance, that his mind had sensed he needed help and had sent him. Poor Arthur ended up spending many hours over the following months in consultation for problems he could not discover.” I smiled. “Would you interpret my choosing you to speak to in a similar manner?”
“I would interpret your question as being an expression of your sense of humour, but if you like we could try to analyse you. For instance, the reason you have gathered so many species within your spaceship.” Oh goody, I had someone interesting to tease and spar with. With a brief warning I touched her and jumped us to a ledge.
“Freddie, please present yourself to our guest.”
A ball of energy gathered before us and taking the shape of a man, Freddie appeared. “I am pleased to meet you Doctor Msito. I am Freddie, the spaceship you referred to.”
Deliberately I explained without explaining, “He is the mind that controls our ship.”
“Your artificial intelligence science must be ahead of ours, none of ours could assume a body created out of energy.”
I cut him off before he could spoil my joke, “Yes, you could say he was artificially created. Freddie, do you dream?”
“Of you? Sometimes.”
“Oh Freddie! What would a big spaceship like you dream of doing with a little girl like me?”
He teased me back, “I’d hold you safely within me and take care of you.”
“Msito, would you say Freddie has a sense of humour? Does that mean he has an ego?”
She was puzzled. “It would seem so.”
“While he stands here with us he is controlling the environment in a number of ecologies for our friends and guests, he watches out for us to prevent anyone being injured and probably is doing dozens of other activities for the purpose of taking care of us. Does he sound like a god?”
“No. A god can create life. Surely he cannot?”
“If he inseminates a female, would that make him a god?”
“That is impossible! Surely his body is not real?”
I projected a knife from my hand and sliced his arm. “He bleeds and feels pain. The DNA his body is made of is as human as mine.” Freddie reached out and steadied her as he closed his wound.
“I apologise, I was shocked. Why would you create artificial life with your own genes?”
“Perhaps the question should be, why would we give part of our mind and soul?”
Freddie was not enjoying my joke, “Samantha, it is rude to cause a guest distress.”
“Rude? Msito is excited Freddie, she thinks we are far advanced scientifically. Wait until she learns the truth.” I giggled. “Msito, scientifically we are far behind the Unation and almost all the species within Freddie.”
“Then the god you are communicating with has done this for you, provided you with a spaceship that is aware, for your protection while you spread his name throughout galaxies?”
I frowned. “Actually, it is the name of another we are spreading, wherever we find good people. Arthur only becomes embarrassed when we talk about him, he does not like being thought of as a god.”
“Your anecdote suggested that in his reality he is not an important entity?”
“Correct. He only has one gift that sets him apart. He is a dreamer, a man with an overactive and childish imagination who sometimes gets us into trouble and sometimes gets us out of it. Mostly I would say he is just a friend, the same as Freddie.”
Freddie grinned. “Samantha, I would not like to be in your shoes when Cherine gets hold of you.”
“She won’t mind, all I’ve fed her are a few teasers to get her thinking. That is what philosophers are supposed to do you know.”
She looked down at me and I sensed she had regained her equilibrium and sense of humour. “You are claiming to be a friend of an alien?”
“Robert will love you, he adores playing with words. A serious question Msito, do you have a soul?”
“The mutations you caused among the Iktrians do not. We need help to enable them to acquire a soul. Can you?”
Her thin fingers grabbed me and I nearly cried out in pain as they dug into me. “What are you speaking of! How can it be!”
“Can you sense souls within others? If you let me go I will give you proof.” I jumped and brought Sheena back with me. “She is part of our family now, but is ignorant of what I told you. Sense her.”
“Why is she so desperate for love?”
“It is a side effect of the mutation you induced in them. It is also her way of showing fear.”
She knelt and gently touched Sheena’s hand. “Do not fear me, you are loved.” Sheena stared into her eyes as if she were in a trance. “She has a soul. It is unaware, but waits to be called.”
That ended our private conversation, for all the family jumped to us.
“You are certain?” Robbie asked.
He could hardly contain his joy and taking Sheena to him, he sent all his love to her in one long flood. She burst into tears and would not be separated from him for the rest of that day and night, her adoration of him affecting all of us.
The crowds had gathered, always eager for another telling. Our guests were seated together as a group and no one sat close to them, as otherwise they would keep on whispering questions. Meli walked to the front of the platform and addressed our guests.
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
21st February, 2020
- posted: 21st February, 2020
If you wish to read from an earlier book, from Book 01 to Book 08, use this link button to open the LC Book Index: