Little Cherine Book 12 - BPost066
Cassie put on a show of being upset and asked to go on a trip on her own to find a species to love her as their best friend and the imps soon had us laughing. More importantly, they helped break Samantha out of the mood (blue funk?) she was in and when Robert saw her happily playing with the girls, he quietly asked Freddie to give her a few hours before we return to our void. Our friends also saw to it that the leaders from Terra do not come to the taverna until they sensed we are ready for them.
As Sam has said, I’m not much of a joiner when the girls play and I sat back, against Robert, as I watched them have fun and kept tabs on the undertones of all the teasing so as to nip in the bud whatever might go wrong. I notice them taking turns to secretly (or not so secretly) glance at me and as long as I smile or giggle when someone says or does something funny, they’re happy. I don’t recall Sam mentioning the changes in Dommi, Wendy and Meli. In the early years, they did not take part in the games or teasing very often. Although Dommi made herself younger, it took a few years for her to let go and feel comfortable with being silly and childish. Once she did, she would not let the others stay apart or out of the fun and games. I do enjoy playing with them, but I also love lying against ‘my’ Robert, feeling his hearts beating, his hands touching me here and there as he speaks or sits lost in thought. I still can’t get enough of him and I’m so grateful to whatever force of nature that mutated me so that I can spend forever with him and my loves.
About two hours before Freddie was to jump, we invite the Terran leaders for a drink at the Club Joie de Vivre. They preferred to use their CT’s (Cherinian Teleporters, that is, Cherinians employed by Normals to teleport them) so we waited for them in the club. Their CT's brought them and then departed. Freddie can call them when they’re needed so there is little point to them waiting in a room when there is so much for them to see.
Michael welcomed them. He grinned. “Sometimes my fellow-Ipohin don’t know quite what to make of me. They know that my beliefs are within what we call the Ipohin range and yet, as son of the Teller family, I’m often seen behaving as if I’m a Cherinian. I’m only mentioning it because, on this very special occasion, I could not feel prouder of my father and mothers if I was a Cherinian. What a signal honour for them, but also for all Terrans.” He raised his glass and toasted us and then stepped aside for others to speak - and they did, for the full two hours we had. When we all went to the balcony to watch the jump by Freddie to the void on the screens, we could sense that all our guests felt proud of Samantha and the girls and there was, underneath that pride, a feeling of fondness - especially for Sam, the one we’d have thought they would be least fond of after having confronted her at least once on some matter or other. It is as Alki, our pappou tells us. Earn their respect and the liking will follow, if you are likeable and not arrogant. The way Samantha laughs, with a childish gaiety, she could never be thought of as arrogant. As for her being likeable, it is not necessary for me to comment.
We almost had a heart attack! As we entered the void and the screens showed the Worlds and the Sparklers in their billions, the anonymous guest dipped, touching Michael. As he responded by laughing, a sound of pure joy, it darted away, travelling through the shields of Freddie as if they did not exist and we suddenly saw it on the screens as it danced its way across the void, from World to World. Hours later it was still doing so as now it had many more Worlds than we’ve ever had in our part of the void for it to greet and - hopefully, exchange information with. Later we saw it dancing among the Sparklers and they too dance-communicated with it and all of us were entranced by its easy and never-ending joy. Michael turned to look at his father and we could still see and sense the joy he’d felt. “It kissed me with its happiness! Dad, I think it loves me.”
Sam looked at him without smiling and then suddenly she grinned. “Of course it does! It saved your life, in a way it must think of you as its son.”
Michael looked at her with wonder in his eyes and then he pretend-groaned. “Oh no, I’m already different to most people, having so many mothers. Now I not only have a male and females as parents, I have an ‘it’!” Ahní and Zenon thought he was hilarious. Most people don’t realise it, but when we laugh, that is one of the times we are most open to others, our DNA uncurling, and anyone capable of sensing us can reach deeper without really trying. It is the same within relationships. As they laughed with each other they were open to me and I sensed how closely bonded they are and I could even feel like a ghostly echo the bonding enclosing and including Simito, Zwithinia. That is what I ask for, most of all, for my son. To feel that he is deeply loved. I am happy.
Cherine must have embarrassed herself by exposing how she feels about Michael and us girls, so she told me she has done her bit and I must take over again. I’m glad she did help with the diary as I would have found it too much like bragging for me to write honestly. After all, my idea for bringing together the Worlds was not brilliant like everyone pretends it is. I was trying to find a way to help the Reggheri elders and it was obvious that since their Worlds must not be easily accessible, I had to find a different part of the void for them to visit…and what more natural place than our own neck of the woods? Still, since it has made so many people happy, I have not protested and once the Unation Council realise they made a mistake, I’ll find a way to make it easy for them to get rid of me tactfully.
We sent a message to Adam that we’ll visit after everyone has settled down. It is just as well we did so as many entities popped in for a quick visit - not to visit us, but the people of their species. Still, their presence could be felt and I’ll tell you, having a dozen or more entities in Freddie left us feeling punch-drunk. It seems they could also feel each other so they took the opportunity to meet while out of their Worlds (couldn’t very well say ‘out of their bodies’ since they have their ‘entity bodies’ when out visiting).
As if things aren’t crazy enough, we had 2,615 Normals ask to be linked - sixteen asked Michael to link them as Ipohin. Campbell had none, but he understands that the experiences have been too intense and he is likely to have some of ours ask to transfer to his group once they’ve calmed down and are frightened by the high standards we expect them to expect of themselves. We only had to refuse one of them, but it saddened us. Assimé asked her to stay in Freddie with us and she is determined to be her ‘special’ friend so as to help her change and be linked. The name of the woman is Trudy and she is American. She is very pretty and Assimé told us, in all earnestness, that it is her beauty that made her unfit for linking. If she was a little girl we might have had to worry about Robbie as she is small (petite), probably is of about a quarter Asian blood, dark-haired, big chocolate brown eyes…as a six year old she would probably have snagged his heart when teardrops sparkled on her eyelashes when she was refused. At first she turned away from Assimé (who often ‘keeps’ herself at the body age of six), withdrawing to her Freddie home. A day later she came back to apologise and agreed to stay if Assimé thinks she should. Agreeing to do so because a ‘six’ year old child asked you to stay and be her friend, I’d say that either she is very calculating or else she has just taken her first step towards being linkable. We better keep an eye on her.
Okay, I’ll add a comment as it is overdue. I’m sorry but I will have to keep it vague and hope that you can read between the lines. When we judge whether a person is ready to be linked, we take into account what they are like, how they behave, but we also judge them on another level, which is deeper and often is nothing like the person knows of him or herself, which makes it almost impossible for us to explain why we refuse some of them. It is one of the reasons we do not link often, preferring to let others do so. Telling someone that they are not ready to be linked is always painful for them and for us and not being able to give a reason makes it even more painful. As for our Cherine, for the reasons given a long time ago, it is very rarely that she links…which is why we mention it when she does.
Once Freddie returned to normal space, in orbit around Earth, the news spread and we were soon being treated like celebrities again. Unfortunately much of it was concentrated on me because of my being appointed to the Unation Council. Whatever time I could find to be on my own or just with my loved ones, I grabbed. This afternoon I sacrificed some of my private time and visited the elders to apologise. “Every time I decide to return to your home, something happens to send us elsewhere. As soon as we can leave, I promise we’ll go to help your people.”
Riivjii obviously spoke for them as they all gestured they agreed with him. “We are not incapable of recognising the importance of what happened, Samantha. Bringing our Worlds here was a good idea and with it being extended to all species, it means we, our entities, will grow even faster.”
I had barely returned home when Hettie called and Robbie invited her. She cut short our greetings, emoting a sense of urgency, took my hands in hers and said, “Samantha, our United Nations has voted you onto the Council. They decided not to ask first as they were certain you would refuse. They will be announcing it on the news tonight.”
“As what? Representing what, which country - the Cherinians?”
“No, they held a secret ballot and changed their rules, creating a new Council for representing all the Terra United Nations or their equivalents of all the realities. You are on that Council.” I was too stunned by their presumption to think properly, so I inanely asked, “T.U.N?” just so as to say something.
Hettie tried to smile. “Actually, I hear they are calling it the Terra U.N. Some ambassadors are playing with the ways they can indicate it is a multi-reality organisation.”
When returning here, Robbie and Freddie automatically skip August because they know we don’t enjoy Athens when it is so hot. This time they did not as we had to arrive in time for sharing in the joy of Worlds arriving, but we spent so much time in the void that it was almost the end of September when we returned to normal space. Somebody came up with an idea which is wonderful but also worries me - it could end up causing us other problems. A group of Normals were fascinated by the idea of so many Worlds being in ‘our’ part of the void but they could not work out how to visit the void for a look. Someone asked a Cherinian and within days millions of Normals were taking courses run by Cherinians, learning how to leave their body to go to the void. They also had to learn how to return without causing themselves a shock that steals the memory. Soon the internet was filled with articles and comments about their visits and the awe it made them feel. The problem it could cause? I’m afraid that many of them will want to become Cherinians or open into being Talents.
By the time we were in the mood for leaving again, it was early November and for Dommi’s sake we want to be here, so we won’t leave until end of January. Since we are staying this long, it only seemed fair that Roula stays with her ‘foster’ adopted parents, Sonja and Socrati. Whenever she does, she always returns feeling more thoughtful, calmer and more self-confident. This time she returned with the need to do something to help children. She needs to do so on her own, not as part of our family, not even as a Cherinian. We’ll have to take her to an alternate Earth.
Diana and Claudia often have conversations where they discuss the latest published in the fields that interest them. Last night their conversation strayed and they wondered what it will be like for us after hundreds or thousands of years. It led them to the question, how do those of the Unation who are in the millions of years old manage their memories? We’ve seen they do not forget the early years.
This morning they told us why they would be visiting Freddie, and Cassie grabbed the opportunity to tease. “Why would you need to go all the way to Freddie since you have a Unation Councillor sitting here with you? Don’t you trust her to tell you the truth?”
Jade quickly added, “I know, you think she’s not clever enough to explain it to you.” I listened with a grin as others joined in and wished I could join them, there was so much material for them to use! I had to refrain from doing so as I would have only come across as a smart aleck.
We were not at home when Diana and Claudia returned but we sensed their arrival and their astounded excitement, so those of us who could, returned home. The last to arrive was Sheena and then we all looked at the girls expectantly.
Claudia started, “Twelve million years makes for an awfully huge number of memories, no brain can hold them all, not even one like Samantha's.”
“Funny!” I was too eager to learn how they handle it for me to be creative.
She let Diana continue and that in itself showed us how much she loves Diana. “The answer is so simple and obvious, but they admit it took them nearly three thousand years to think of it. What part of us already has to deal with holding many lifetimes of memory?” I drew a blank and she was not going to miss out by giving us too much time to think it through. “The soul!” It was like a shock; it was sooo obvious!
Robbie asked, “But how do they access the information whenever they need it - do they have to go to the void?” It did not sound practical so we looked to the girls with interest, hoping there is a good answer.
Diana nodded at Claudia, so she continued for them, “When you are hypnotised and reverted to a previous life, do you go to the void?” Her answer embarrassed us, for it was so obvious. They told us the technique for recalling even the oldest memories with ease can be taught and it does not mean we’ll be in a permanent state of self-hypnosis. I’m assuming the lessons will teach us how to be more aware of our soul while still in our body and that is the most exciting development for years!
Robbie whispered to Dommi, she nodded and he spoke up. “I’ll ask the Unation to keep quiet about this for a month or two so that we have time to consider how we present this to the Normals. I have a feeling that hearing we have one more advantage over them will not sit well with most of them.”
Meli added, “We’ve experienced too many wonderful changes recently - look at the way we responded to hearing this news, we should have been overwhelmed and hardly able to wait one more second. I think the delay will be good for all Cherinians also. It will give everyone time to adapt to the changes already happening.”
I wanted my first time to start off with a smile, but I guess I better get down to the serious stuff.
RT is not a copy of Freddie. The basics are the same, but the terraforming makes it a different environment. We had the experience of primo Robert and the scientists in Freddie to guide us so we hopefully will not have the same problems they do with water pooling under the land. Another cause for differences is due to our Robert asking us for our preferences and we chose to have a landscape far more rugged, with many steep hills and sharp cliffs. We do not have a faërie-land (I also want to know how that is done) but our river has the most splendid waterfalls. Many of them have hollows for me to use for meditating. Freddie only has one ‘highlands’, there where his home is, whereas we have three. On the other hand, we only have two Trees and two ecological niches, for our Anadir and Inguel friends. We are hoping the Unation will agree to send scientists and a spaceship to us. If they do, we will let them design their own niche. We may not have many aliens living with us, but we have a number of mini eco-niches for plants from a variety of solar systems. We also have five alternates of the Sparklers, which means their Worlds travel with us.
As may have become obvious from Freddie, not all aliens species need their own eco-niche. Some are able to adapt to ours or else they are so alien that our buggies can’t hurt them and theirs can’t affect us (e.g. in Freddie: Akiards, Elipians, Wirms, Duirphon, Kinytians etc). We have such a species that live in our rivers and lakes. They are sapient, very loveable but they are not deep thinkers. There is little point in trying to hold a philosophical debate with an Tuklacjaxdyr (we call them Tuklas, for short), as they’ll quickly lose interest and either curl up on our lap to sleep or they will run off to eat, swim and play. They love building, but are not interested in creating anything that will last longer than their interest in it. They form friendships and can be quite devoted to their alien friend if they feel loved. It is very easy to hurt their feelings but they don’t hold a grudge for long and if we apologise, they want to be cuddled on our lap as they weep. That can become a problem as other Tuklas will want to join in, squashing themselves against the one crying so that it feels loved. They’ll do the same for anyone, of any species, so there is not much crying in RT, it drains us having so many of them wanting to empathise and give us love, which we then must reciprocate as polite and empathic creatures. They have a rudimentary telepathic ability which is how we mostly communicate - they enjoy verbal exchanges and we know when they are trying to tease us because they try to sing what they say. My close Tuklas friends are Giggiwxordun (Giggi) and Fadxotnazxat (Fadxo) and they’ll call me Samantha, Sam or Tha - Tha is mostly used when they are playing. Our Cherine is Che to them, most of the time and she moans about it.
Just as we are almost the same as our primo family but also different, so is it with RT. I’d hazard a guess that the Reggheri elders found it and us strange because of us being so similar. When dealing with aliens for the first time, it is those aspects we consider similar or understandable that end up causing most of the confusion.
Perhaps a good way to illustrate how small differences are important, primo-Sam only mentions Faiiis/Riivjii and Liisutsii by name. When I met them, I noticed one who is shorter than all the others and if my reading is correct, I saw a twinkling in his emoting that suggests he has a sense of humour. It did not take long for us to become friends and his name is Rarlii. I explained about us Terrans, how too many novel experiences that require an adaptation in our thinking can affect us in negative ways, paralysing us in the same way shock does. I think I did a good job for they seemed to understand and expressed their willingness to wait.
“You have a choice. The Samantha you know does not feel it is right to make you wait so she asked me to take her place. I know exactly what she planned and what you wish to do so it is only a matter of you deciding whether you trust me. If not, I’ll do what I can to make your wait more interesting.”
Sam thinks of them as being senile children. I think she sees them that way because of Faiiis. I agree that they have damaged themselves, but they are more than they seem to be. Like a star twinkling in the sky of a polluted city, now and then I sense a wisdom that time and dying dreams has fractured but not obliterated. It is there, but not available all the time, yet it does influence their choices at critical times.
Liisutsii answered for them, “If the Samantha we know has chosen you, then we accept. Will we travel to our home planet in Freddie?”
“Our Freddie is named RT and we will transfer there as soon as you have collected your possessions.”
“We have no possessions, even these bodies are not needed if they are a problem.”
My heart lurched, but I dampened my automatic reaction and answered, “It is not the time for discarding your bodies. After you have helped your children and it is time for you to create your Worlds, we’ll discuss what should be done with your bodies.” A question came to me, so I asked, “Have you chosen the numbers and persons for each group making up a World?”
This was when Rarlii spoke to me for the first time. “Robert has explained how your Worlds belong to family members. It is not so for any other species so we would appreciate an explanation should there be time for it. Three are the minimum souls required but more souls per World entity help it grow and mature so we need to choose what the optimum number should be for spreading the risks by having a large number of Worlds, while also maximising the growth of each World entity and its souls.”
“The Anadir should be part of the discussion - may we hold it in RT?”
We took with us five Terrans from each reality we know, with an additional twenty of each species - including the full Ivgos family with his two friends, Craig and Bryce. We do not want RT to become as heavily built as Freddie so we can’t invite the same numbers - when we do need to carry more they can stay in the Sparkler Worlds. The only exception up to now was when we carried guests for the birthday inter-galactic splurge for primo-Cherine. Even with food machines, the amount of rubbish we had to dump was amazing! That could be used for defining sapience? The more rubbish we produce, the cleverer we are?
Because primo Robert has already done the same, none of us protested or feared for our Robert when he told us what he planned. Once we had adapted to being a new family and our Robert had strengthened himself for splitting his soul, he created our own Freddie - only, we write his name as Freddy so as to differentiate between the two of them. Just like I also like to call my Robert by the name Robbie, but I won’t while writing in her diary.
The elders were told we will take about twenty days to get to their planet as we want to get to know them. They explored RT and settled on a plateau that has grassland, but also pockets of trees around ponds. They often stand at the edge and stare down at whatever can be seen of RT from there. Our taverna is too far away for them to see us so they must feel like they are alone. As they would not like to have a building on their plateau for housing their food machines, we visit each day to carry their food to them. It is the right time for visiting as they also enjoy talking while eating. The drink we take to them, they don’t touch until we are gone.
Now that they know they are on the way to implementing their decisions, there is a sense of urgency as they go over all the arguments for and against doing what they agreed with Samantha and Solomon. I’ve taken to sitting close enough to hear them without them feeling I’m there to intrude. Not that they seem to notice my presence, even though they know I’m there. From what I hear, they are not happy about giving up their presence and influence with their people, but they cannot ignore the fact that they are damaging their future. I was pleased to hear Rarlii worry aloud that if they do not go ahead as planned, it is likely their species will be extinct within a dozen generations. The others agreed with him but they cannot seem to rid themselves of their fear of dying.
I’m not happy about them forcing themselves to continue with the plan. Logical reasons are not enough, they must want to do it - otherwise they will feel like martyrs and the more sensitive of their people will sense them. I always confide my worries to Aganthi and she sometimes realises my telling her was not enough and she finds an answer that helps or says something that sparks an idea in my mind. Hoping she could see a way through the emotional morass, I laid my thoughts out for her. At moments like these, I don’t face her as I talk, or share thoughts. I sit with my back to her, between her feet and on the carpet, while she plays with my hair, braiding and un-braiding or else brushing it. Even once I’ve stopped talking she’ll continue until she is ready to speak.
“Sammy mou, if they are the same as us, they will react the way you fear. What they must do is right and must be done - is there no way to rid them of their fears?”
Meli broke out of her reverie. “I cannot believe Samantha did not notice. What do you think she planned?”
I had already looked and knew she had not noticed. “There is no plan Meli, we have to find our own answer.”
Claudia ticked off on her fingers, “One. They know they will live as souls so they should not fear dying. Two. The Sparklers can create bodies for them whenever they want to visit their planet. Three. One and two are not true for them because they don’t believe all the way.”
“How do we help them believe?” I asked.
Meli grinned. “Remember what that company sent me - a simulation of how their AI program would help my writing? Is there a way to simulate the experiences so that they stop fearing them?”
Claudia’s mind lit up. “I know, let’s hold a practice run in the Sparkler World. Their bodies will be kept for them so they won’t be afraid of trying it.”
“Robert,” I called, hardly able to conceal my excitement. “Can their bodies be kept alive by their Worlds?”
“You mean to allow each of them to take their bodies in and out of the void?”
“No.” Hearing him say it made me realise how scary it was, not everybody has the same respect for the laws of the void. “What if the Sparklers hold the bodies for them in their World, using a stasis shield so that no time passes for it? Whenever an elder wants to use it, the Sparklers bring the body to their planet and help them reconnect to it. I’ll ask Solomon.”
“No Sam, don’t. Give the idea to the elders and tell them to ask. You must not hand it to them on a platter, they must know the obligations are theirs.”
I nodded my agreement, my mind already elsewhere. “I hope this works. If it doesn’t, all that is left is that we explain to all the Reggheri and let them work out a solution that suits them as a species. Maybe there are some instincts at play here that we don’t have.”
Both the elders and the Sparklers agree to the trial run. The Worlds of the Reggheri will not be simulated nor will they be created, but we’ll have our World waiting for them in the void and they’ll be sent to the island - which will be adapted by our entity to suit them. The Sparklers will hold their bodies in a stasis shield so that the run is as realistic as possible. RT will have to take the place of their planet. I’m glad Samantha has taken them to the Sparkler World as it simplified our job. However, this time the Sparklers created an eco-niche for them…a very good copy of what their planet is like in our period, in other words, no cities. The elders were so fascinated that we had to leave them there for a few days, postponing our trial run. I’m going to spend some of this time meditating so that I return to them fully relaxed.
I thought the practice run went well and was about to ask RT to jump. Cherine stopped me. “One time is not enough, ask them to practice a number of transitions so that they learn to feel comfortable with it.” The elders did as we asked and as they changed they also sensed we were right and lost the tiny spark of resentment, making it easier for them to change and accept the new way of life being offered them. Then Rarlii dared to experiment and the result changed everything and the practice runs had to start all over again. This time there was joy and even laughter, for Rarlii had asked the Sparklers to provide him with the body of a male child. Being a child he did not try to block the way he felt about everything and the elders were amazed when they sensed how the body of a child had altered him so that he became in many ways a true child. They all then wanted to try it and we enjoyed their emoting and the degree of sharing they allowed. As they opened to us, I came to understand why Samantha feels so strongly about Faiiis.
We waited another three days, spending them with the elders and we came to know more of them by name and various friendships flowered. This is the way it should always be, even if it is the harder road to travel. As primo-Samantha likes to think of it, she enjoys the feeling of having a multitude of friends all over the universe and in many realities and claims that the sorrow of leaving friends is more than compensated for by the knowledge that she’ll be seeing them many times during a long life that grows richer with new friends every year.
We have arrived and the elders have returned to their home planet. We wait, as they asked of us, but we are able to see and sense some of what is happening. Mostly we are battered by feelings of grief and fear from the new-lifers. I don’t know whether it is a weakness or not, but I could not bear to feel them this way, even though I knew it is necessary, so I suggested we let them know we are their friends and will visit them often. Claudia grinned and for the first time ever, I was named ‘Friend of aliens’. I had not known how proud it would make me feel.
The second stage was begun the day we were asked to visit. The real reason was supposed to be for teaching them how to visit the void safely but we are delaying, for they must first come to know and trust us or else there could be accidents because of their fear of the unknown - us and the void. What I’m about to say is true of many species. The first time a thinking being is confronted with the ability to leave the body and visit the void, a large number of them find the experience terrifying. When terrified to the point where we do not remain in control of our minds, then instinct takes over. When the person is being ‘guided’ by a friend they feel comfortable with, it is easier and sometimes the conscious mind remains in control. To the planetbound Reggheri, we are strangers and the little they have learnt about us from their elders does not qualify us as friends. We have to earn their trust and friendship and that means spending months with them. I don’t think it will be as easy as the elders think; knowing that strangers have come to help condemn those you love and venerate, those you depend on, to death, it must block them so that they don’t hear the message as the elders have tried to tell it. We can only hope that time and familiarity will help them stop fearing.
To be certain there are no misunderstandings, we arrived on planet in the shapes of our species, apart from the Sparklers who cannot be seen by them in their natural ‘energy’ forms. After visiting them over a few days, we explained that we find them beautiful and want to take on their form so as to make it easier to understand them. When we arrived looking like Reggheri, we sensed no difference in them. It seems they derived joy in examining what is different about us and perhaps they find us more ‘bland’ now? We’ll take turns in going in our natural form and as Reggheri. For me, the truth is that I find their planet far more beautiful when I view it through Terran eyes, but I find them, as a people, more attractive when seeing them out of Reggheri eyes.
I have not written for a while, for we have had to withdraw - and change our minds about following the plan laid out by Samantha. As the day of their first visits to the void drew closer we found ourselves with a population turning psychotic and we had to pull back. The Reggheri number less than two hundred thousand. An entire planet rich with life and they are dying out! When Freddie visited in their past, none seemed to pay attention to the fact that they never totalled more than one hundred and sixty million. A technological civilisation with a city that seemed to be three times the size of our biggest city and yet they only farmed and mined the land close to it, never touching any land not part of the ‘mountain’ they live on. Most of their planet, it seems, has never been farmed or populated by the Reggheri. The elders are not responsible for them concentrating on one area only and any people who have the curiosity to reach a high level of technology should not ignore the challenge of exploring and utilising the entire planet. We must understand them and empathise with whatever drives or blocks them before we make plans for them again.
At our request, the Sparklers have brought scientists from a number of species in Freddie to help us. It is not only an evolutionary history of the species that we must study. The planet has only one plateau rising above the cloud levels and it has never flourished with any kind of life. Why are the Reggheri limited to living within a specific area around it? While scientists will analyse their reactions to visiting the other side of their planet, I cannot help finding myself more puzzled by the fact that they enjoy visiting RT. How is it that Faiiis was able to live on Earth and then, later, in Freddie for years without it affecting him? Did it affect him in ways that were not sensed? If instincts are what drive them to remain within proximity of their city plateau, why don’t their instincts react to them being off planet? The only answer I can think of is that they are not driven by their instincts; they are frozen for cultural reasons. Maybe religious(?) - not that I think so. Whatever the underlying reasons, they are surely psychosomatic.
Five weeks later: the last two weeks, our scientists have been holding lengthy discussions with the elders. It took some time to convince them to join such a discussion in earnest as they are feeling guilty and only want to concentrate on their own guilt. Nearly everybody thinks they are being self-indulgent and it irritates them, but I have spent this time trying to put myself in their shoes and the fact that I cannot, tells me that something else is to blame, they are not just being childishly selfish.
The Anadir came up with an interesting idea that we’ve agreed to try. The Sparklers are creating an eco-niche that is a copy of RT, down to the trace minerals, plants, insects, animals and so on. All the Reggheri will go to visit there and they will be monitored. It is hoped they will not have to stay for long and once we have identified what affects them they can be returned home. It means we will have to skip to another reality so that they are not absent from their home planet for more than a day. After that, we hope to convince enough of them to be a valid study group to stay on the other side of their planet for a specified length of time. After that the doctors or mind healers as some of them now call themselves, will have to aim for a kind of selective catabolism that releases the ingrained fears. Nature abhors a vacuum so we’ll have to replace their fears with positive drivers that open them to new ideas and those emotions that make us mature humans. Successful synthesis, anabolism, is far more difficult but with so many of us willing to spend years helping them, I have an almost insouciant feeling we are going to succeed. In a sense we will be their guardians during the time they will be most fictile and we’ll have to monitor each other so as to point out those moments any of us give in to temptation for rational reasons, wanting to protect them from making the same mistakes we’ve paid for. Even within our family we still find ourselves doing so without realising at that moment that we are trying to turn our loves into puppets. The effort of evolving the Reggheri is going to do much to help us (of all species) evolve as Cherinians, which reinforces the axiom claiming that doing good unto others reflects the same back unto us.
The elders, historically, left behind them the segregating of people by family. Through rebirth after rebirth they have come to see and feel that phratry is not just a theory. We all know, even Terrans, that go back in time far enough and we’ll find we come from a common ancestor, but the elders have lived it, for they were not reborn to the same families each time. Consequently, certain unplanned alterations to the way they think should have been obvious. For instance, not belonging to a family I would have expected would make them more committed to their species in general. However, depriving the heart of part of what is natural to it does not always cause logical reactions. To love your species, nation or tribe, there must be a sense of community. Where species never had family units, they evolved ways for the species to become important, but where species had families, they must have love of family for them to expand from the smaller unit to the larger. The elders know that species survival and growth is important because it affects each of them, but they do not feel it that strongly.
I guess, what I’m struggling to say is that not only do we have the one-lifers who are like children and must be parented, the same applies to the elders - only, they are far more touchy and difficult. When writing the above we came to the realisation that we’d made a mistake and Robert returned to Freddie to invite the Muyzith to join us. At first, they were not pleased and felt affronted when they understood why we wanted them with us, but now that they are becoming more and more involved each day, they are absorbed by all they are learning and even daring to use some of what they see in the Reggheri to highlight their own weaknesses.
I know that Samantha will not be amazed by the effect Ivgos is having on the Reggheri one-lifers. Our Wirm friends have done much to help break down the barriers between the Reggheri and the various species trying to help, but Ivgos has not needed any help and seems to win their love within minutes of them looking into his eyes. The scientists are even more flabbergasted by the fact that we can sense the love is not one-way, Ivgos reacts to their love with love, despite the number of times it happens per day. Cherine has withdrawn from the team she was part of and concentrates only on Ivgos. He has given her permission to share directly from him and she has reached in deeper than the scientists do and yet she has no answers and like the rest of us is only left with a sense of wonder and love for him.
Ivgos helped reduce the fears of the Reggheri by confiding that he will be waiting to meet them in the void. He gives them the impression that he cannot wait to see them as souls, hinting that he fears they might be so beautiful that they’ll hurt him. The wiser ones can see through him and know it is more likely his beauty and love will hurt them, but what he says makes them love him even more. I dread the day when we have to leave and they realise they are about to lose their Ivgos.
An event I’d like to record:
“It is that you make love all?”
Ivgos turned his eyes upward, as if fascinated by the side of the mountain that loses itself in the clouds. He is convinced - at least he hopes so, that Vovnii, the one-lifer male he’d just met is not propositioning him and it is a language problem. “Not all Vovnii.”
“You make love Elders and One-lifers, what species not all Ivgos?”
Seuria was amused by his dilemma. She could sense Ivgos was not using his Cherinian abilities to sense the true meaning of what was being asked and was floundering. She clarified the question with a teasing tone to her voice and Ivgos laughed with her at himself as he understood. “Vovnii, I cannot answer your question because I do not understand why it happens. I do not try to make it happen.”
“I try with Puiquaa but it not happen. Must not try maybe?”
“Who is Puiquaa?”
“Puiquaa One-lifer female. Not meet?”
“I…no, I have not. I have only met males, no females.”
“Maybe it is not good you meet Puiquaa? Maybe she love you, but maybe she make you love her and you not happy?”
“The more people I love, the happier I am Vovnii.”
“I will speak to Puiquaa. Ivgos, you One-lifer?”
“Yes, this is the only one I recall.”
“Good, then maybe you can help? I bring you Fezvii and you make him love you, not Puiquaa?”
By now, thanks to Seuria notifying Ahram and us, we were listening in and trying to hide our amusement. It was obvious that Vovnii is a conniving young male in love with Puiquaa, who in turn, loves another male called Fezvii. It is amazing that Vovnii had come under the spell of Ivgos and yet, despite being inundated by feelings of love for Ivgos, he was able to come up with a scheme for using Ivgos to secure the love of the female he wants.
I hope Samantha copies into her diary, for Arthur, excerpts from a book written by a team made up of various species in Freddie. It has become a best seller in all the Earths we’ve visited - and probably on many alien planets. It is titled, ‘Love Beyond The Stars’ and is made up of short stories describing love, requited and unrequited, among the sexes of various species.
For instance, we sort of presumed that species where a family is made up of more than four sexes won’t have the same problems as us with regard to falling in love; imagine what the likelihood is of five or six or more people of differing sexes all falling in love. There is a species where the one sex (it is considered the ‘main’ sex, the alpha, the cornerstone of each family) falls in love with a collection of seven individuals of differing sexes at the same time. It sounds like the odds against it happening often enough for a species to survive are too slender, but the seven sexes, while still unloved, have a compulsion to remain in gender mixed pools so that an ‘alpha’ sex can see them together and fall in love. As their civilisation and technology evolved, the seven changed and started to make their own plans for ensuring they love the right people - people they can also like. They look for those they feel comfortable with and like, and from then stick together in a group in the hope an alpha will see them as a unit and fall in love with them. When an alpha falls in love, he/she/it (we are not certain) normally does not fear not being loved in return as the pheromones the alpha emits are somehow tailored to suit those seven and they instantly fall in love with the alpha and with each other. If an alpha falls in love and is not loved, the alpha does not survive. There are times that this can happen and they write beautiful poetry and songs about such alphas.