CROSSROADS ( II)
TOMLYN shook his head trying to clear his vision. Wow! Now that was a kiss! Or was it? He could hardly remember a thing – everything started to spin and the sky came tumbling down. The Crossroads has disappeared, as well as the Cross, Fountain, Foreigners, Market, caravans, wagons, counters… and Maegan, too. “Where the heck am I?” He wondered, looking around. It looked like a garden, maybe a clearing in the woods. Rosy smog surrounded him, cutting his view short. The shadows could be trees, perhaps. He could not see the sky, but the sun was warming his brow.
“You can call it the Edifice,” he heard a voice behind him. “But it is not.”
“What is not?” asked Tomlyn turning around. A man that was not too tall but strong – somewhat similar in form to him – dressed in a long blue coat, was a few steps behind him. He looked like his grandfather only his long hair was sparkling white, not blond. He couldn’t see his face because it was kept in shadow.
“He is not your grandfather, boy” he heard his Grandma’s voice. “Take great care, they like playing too. Your only chance is if your good one is willing to help you…”
“The edifice” answered the stranger. And don’t call me a ‘stranger.’ I’ve been around for almost eighteen years now. It is not a garden, either. But I made it look like one, so that you would feel more comfortable here. Well, I have to admit that it is your Edifice.”
“The ruins? The dirty muddy ruins?”
“Eh, in fact they are not so dirty. Nor muddy. And they’re not at all ruins. But We had to dissimulate them one way or another, didn’t We?
The rosy smog dissipated a little, and Tomlyn could see that the shadows were not trees after all, but some kind of smooth stony walls surrounding him on all sides. Above, the smog remained, and the sun too.
“Who are you?” he asked the foreigner.
“Well, sometimes you call Us Foreigner, don’t you? But you gave Us many names in the millennia we began together.”
“Are you a Foreigner? What’s your name?”
“It’s not that simple. I wore different names in different times. You can call me Prometheus, Oanes, Ossiris, Wottan, Oberon, Faustus, Lucifer…”
“Are you Satan?” asked Tomlyn, now really afraid.
“Satan. Or Michael, if you prefer. Personally I prefer Oberon. Is Oberon alright with you?”
“Are you a devil?” Tomlyn was more concerned about his fears.
“Only if you wish it. As I told you, We have been given all kind of names by different people in different times and places. Devils and angels, fairies, werewolves, goblins, harpies, centaurs, nymphs and satyrs, orcs and elves, gods, dwarves… even saints!”
“But who are you in fact?”
“Oh, it is not that simple to explain all that to a man from the Past.”
“I am not from the Past! I am from… now.”
“Yes, I know, you are so young! But your vocabulary misses so many words. Just believe me, you are from the Past. From my Past, that is. Well, just let me adjust you a little bit, activate some more of your brain, give you some understanding. Trust me, it will make it easier and will not harm you. Now, is it OK?”
“Never mind. Let me show you something. Somebody in your future will say that an image says more than a thousand words. He will be right, you know? There.”
On the stony wall an image started to flicker. After a while, Tomlyn could discern different forms, some of them tall and light, other small and dark. The landscape was a reddish plain, without grass or trees or mountains. He could not see the sky.
“Yes, do you see?” asked Oberon. That form is Us. The light ones are Luminati, the dark ones Raptor. What are We? A kind of… cloud, let’s say. An entity formed by myriad of entities.”
“What do you eat?” asked Tomlyn seeing no green stuff.
“Well, how can I put it? Ourselves. A kind of cannibalism – but it is not. We nurture on feelings that we generate Ourselves. But that was a bad thing, in the long run. Look.”
The image now showed many more dark forms than light ones.
“Yes. The Luminati were disappearing. A few millennia, maybe a few million years, and We would have been only Raptor. Probably by now, it is. So, a part of Us, mostly Luminati, decided to look for a new home.”
The flickering image changed again. Now it showed a reddish-brown globe that diminished to a point and disappeared, being replaced by a fiery globe that became in short time a star, which got lost in a starry summerlike night sky. Then, an ellipse replaced it, but soon a spiral appeared and grew into stars and a star and a globe… And again, and again…
“We traveled and looked for a home in different places, and for so long, but we didn’t find it.” Oberon’s voice was gloomy. “Of course, we traveled some centuries only. You wonder how that could be. Look.”
In Oberon’s hands appeared a square of cloth about one foot across, with a knot in each corner.
“How far do you think is one knot from another?” asked Oberon.
“One foot, I’d say.” answered Tomlyn.
“Of course you do, but look!” Oberon folded the cloth and the two opposite knots touched each other. “You see? We could fold the time-space. Don’t ask me how, but we know how to do it. We are an old and very wise regnum. The biggest brain in the Universe! Only the Creator knows more than We do. So, We used this… object, the one that you know as the Edifice, to transform Our brain energy into Power and folded the Universe. But yet, it took Us so much time and energy. We were almost extinct when we got here. But We were lucky! Maybe you too…”
“Our luck was them, the good ones,” mumbled Grandma’s voice. “Boy, I feel a change in you, don’t let them take you.”
“You see?” Oberon went on, “I don’t think at that time We were able to leave Gaea. We recognized her as a sentient entity. We asked her to allow Us to stay here because We felt the potential. Oh yes, the bio-life on this planet has potential! We could see that everything here has feelings, and that is our food. How can that be, you ask yourself, but even a plant has feelings. It feels fear when someone wants to cut it, and its neighbor plants feel sadness when it dies, but a plant feel joy when someone admires it, takes care of it, even when the sun and rain nurture it… Those higher on the scale of evolution have so many more feelings, above all, the man. But when We came, there was no man, of course”
“Do you mean you feed on us, men?” asked Tomlyn.
“Yes, I do. But it is not your exploitation by Us. Is more like a… symbiosis. You see, like that between a flower and the butterfly that pollenizes it, You cannot say that the butterfly hurts the flower, that it is bad for it. Both regna benefit from that symbiosis. The flower attracts the butterfly through its smell and color and gives it nectar, but without the butterfly and bees, the flower will cease to exist.”
“So, you are our butterfly?”
“Well, you can say that, but only in part. The Man will cease to exist – but not the Adamite. OK, let me return to the history. So, We tried to evolve different species – to provide Us with more, higher quality feelings – but that project didn’t succeed. One after another, sepia, dolphin, elephant, ape evolved until they got their right place in their habitat, at which point they symbiosed with Gaea. They were perfectly adapted, and did not need to evolve further.”
“At that time there was no man. There were some kind of apes, which were sometimes called primates. We learned from the other experiments, so we decided that it was vital to enter in symbiosis with them, before Gaea kicks in. And that our Chosen one doesn’t have to be adapted to its environment, but to be ready to create one suitable for its needs. We tried with several primates, until the One, the Adamite We call it, proved to be the right one. Well, the other experiments didn’t survive Our separation, they just died.”
“You mean if you decide to separate from us, we will die?”
“It could be. Maybe you will just return to your Adamite condition, although We doubt it. But, you see? We have to depend on this relationship as well. We cannot separate anymore! We are here to be together. We are Human, together. This symbiosis proved to be a trap for Us. Of course, we can try a different symbiosis with other bio-life, but there are not many choices left…”
“Still, I don’t understand what Maegan has to do with this story.”
“Oh, Maegan is one of Us, of course. But her form evolved a lot, maybe because of the symbiosis. She is kind of independent from us, although still a part of us. Her kind saw that being only Luminati or only Raptors was a limitation. It can only feed on what it gets. But the independent kind, let name it ‘Maegan,’ learned to create conditions to produce food. Oh, let me take a step back. What differentiates a Luminati from a Raptor? The kind of feelings it nurtures on. The Luminati prefers good, elevated, pure feelings. Love is the most important one but also hope, admiration, friendship, respect, compassion, mercy, faith, humility, joy. The Raptor prefers the negative, low feelings: hate, selfishness, envy, arrogance, fear, hypocrisy, ambition. While Luminati don’t need much pure feelings to feed, Raptor need great quantities of evil feelings, intense even, to satiate it.”
“You are devils, after all!”
“No, We are not. Only if you decide We should be. We give you only the opportunity. We make you know the Good and the Evil. You know the old story about the fruit, hmm? We do not tempt you. We show you both paths – you decide which one to take. And most often you decide to take the evil one!”
“Why is that? Not because of you?”
“Don’t point your finger at Us. We made possible Buddha and Manchu, Jesus and Mohamed… and other great philosophers and human spirits. You know what you have to do, only you decide to do otherwise.”
“The Raptors made us to do that?”
“No. The instincts of an animal are to survive as a species. The evil feelings are more suitable for survival, therefore, you prefer them. And from that, the one that benefits is Raptor. We, Luminati, suffer.”
“Why don’t you destroy the Raptor, then?”
“Because We are not animals. We have no survival instincts. But the truth is We are Luminati and Raptor at the same time. The one that makes the difference is the Human.”
“Now who points the finger?”
“But it’s true. You see? when a new human being is born, even in its mother’s womb, a part of Us enter it. It will be its Soul. The decisions the human makes during its life will determine if the Soul will become a Raptor or a Luminati. Any wonder that the Raptor is more numerous than Luminati? Just look around. Look at yourself!”
“And what about me?” Tomlyn changed the subject, uncomfortable by the course it took.
“Oh, you are one of the worst. You have shallow feelings – tepid, lukewarm. The indifferent type. But you have potential, Maegan saw it. Not by making you suffer, but making other humans, mostly females, suffer for you. Love you, hope for you, pity you. I told you, it is the new type, the ones that provoke the Adamite in order to enhance their feelings. A time will come when Humans will have no feelings of their own, but what the ‘Maegan’ will induce in you! It will be like it was at Home, but this time We cannot leave. We have to take a stand!”
“What does she intend for me?”
“You will be put in a fountain. Females will be able to see you, but you will not know.”
“Is there any way to escape this fate?”
“Maybe… Your Soul will try to help. It depends on some other Human choices. But yes, your fate can be reversed.”
“Why do you tell me all this?”
“I told you, you have potential. If everything goes the right way, a Luminati will be with Us. Every Soul has a chance to attain Nirvana, become a Luminati. When We will be Luminati only, the Kingdom will come. There will be no possibility for new Raptors. The evil feelings are mere nurture, the good ones are Ambrosia!”
“You do not fear I will tell people all about what you told me?”
“I do not feel fear, ha ha ha! And who would believe you? A new story, a new myth, a new superstition. Of course We can always make you forget.”
The face of Oberon was now in full light. It was Tomlyn’s.
(to be continued)