This is an extract from a science fiction – fantasy book I am writing. It’s well into the story, so a few things may be puzzling, but I think it does make sense by itself. Let me know, either way.
Relaxed in her home-tree, Xeel-Mother sent the wish to join with the other truth-seers of her galaxy. They formed the Mind, and her Mind sent a request for contact to that much larger Mind, the joining of the truth-seers of a huge number of galaxies. She couldn’t even imagine how many.
The Higher Power spoke to the Mind, as always without words, so she experienced the meaning within. “All life forms need a truth-seer.”
The greater Mind separated, leaving her with “only” the truth-seers of her galaxy, perhaps billions of them. She sent a thought to them all: “Seek life forms who do not have a truth-seer as yet.”
Trusting the Higher Power, she allowed her mind to roam without control…
Fifth planet of yellow dwarf, ESO 510-R13 spiral galaxy
Shoeets awoke, deep in his burrow, to see water dripping off the roof and walls. He stretched his long, flexible body after the hibernation. At last, for the second time in his life, the world was approaching God. Eagerly he licked up the water, then very, very cautiously slithered toward the entrance, sealed with a thick plug.
He listened, and just as well. He could hear faint scratching sounds above. Terror gripped him as he imagined the attacker as old enough to be twice his size, experienced, the winner of many battles. He’d need to think about how this enemy found his lair. He’d have to be better at camouflage next autumn, in the unlikely event that he lived that long.
But he blessed Mother. Before letting him and his siblings face the dangers of life, she had emphasized the family secret: dig an alcove beside the entrance. So, now he squeezed into his alcove and waited, holding his spear with two of his three tentacles.
The stealthy sounds didn’t get any louder, but a few clumps of soil and small rocks fell past him, then the attacker’s spear plunged down. Shoeets grabbed it with his free tentacle and pulled hard. The attacker fell, right onto the point of his waiting spear. It entered his mouth and went right through, purple blood spurting.
To his surprise, this fellow was only slightly larger, probably three years old. Shoeets freed his spear, and pushed the still-wriggling body aside to grab the other one. Having a second weapon was treasure.
Very cautiously he slithered outside, leaving the burrow to his dying enemy, and welcome.
In God’s light, purple plants already covered everything, and he fancied he could see them grow. Every sense alert, he grazed steadily until he was full.
He knew there was a small river to the north, and cautiously, always cautiously, he moved that way, carrying his two spears in a tentacle. The river was flowing well, and what would soon be tall, bushy trees already rose about twice the thickness of his body. He changed his skin color to exactly match their lighter purple, and wound himself among them while drinking.
Hunger and thirst satisfied, now it was time for a female. Last year, he’d mated with Raeel three times. Hoping the big old female was still alive, he slithered that way, and soon smelt her invitation.
Sounds of battle became increasingly obvious as he approached. Shouts, grunts, thuds both disturbed and excited him, then there was a scream, cut short.
He reached the top of the slight rise, and peeked over. One male lay still, multiple wounds still leaking blood, while two others were attacking a third. But, for one, the attack was a feint: at the last moment, his spear plunged into one of the tentacles of the other attacker. This one dropped his weapon, and the previous lone male stabbed him just behind the head, through into the ground. Before he could free his weapon, though, the other one thrust his spear into his mouth. It clearly pierced his brain.
The victor was not even wounded, and much bigger than Shoeets. Facing the other way at the moment, he reared up and gave a victory roar.
Shoeets did something completely new and unheard of. He also reared up, raising one of his spears above his head with two tentacles, and hurled it into the other’s back. He then rushed forward, and thrust the second spear into the other male’s neck from behind, into his brain.
He didn’t bother with a victory roar. Why invite trouble?
Raeel said, from the mouth of her burrow, “Congratulations, little boy.”
“Little, yes, but growing. Want some fun?”
She laughed as they descended into the warm, female-scented darkness. He rubbed against her body, which was twice the thickness and one-and-a-half times the length of his. She was also a survivor. Last year, he’d seen her defeat and kill three other females, two while defending her young, one when attacking another’s.
Drunk on her scent, he wound around her, and eagerly they coupled. When she was sated, she idly said, “Your children turned into fine young people. I hope they survive. But that was a great trick, throwing a spear!”
“Thank you. I had two, and wasn’t going to rush at a champion like that big fellow. Only, a full-length spear is awkward. I’m thinking of an improvement.”
“I’m starving after our exercise,” Raeel said, and started toward the entrance.
He followed, also hungry. There were only three dead bodies, with a hole next to them. A kobang had obviously taken one. Shoeets controlled his instant terror, and they skirted widely around that spot, then cropped the plants, Shoeets watching, listening and smelling in every direction, carrying his weapons in one tentacle each.
Emergency! A flyer plunged from the low-lying cloud, swooping for Raeel! She was quite a distance from him. Shoeets didn’t know how, but he was instantly beside her, thrusting up with a spear, stabbing one of the animal’s four wings.
Big multi-toothed mouth agape, it shrilled with fury, and flapped off, the spear falling to the ground.
“Shoeets, you’re amazing. Thank you! I thought I was dead meat then!” She was panting with terror and shock. “I’ve had enough of outside.”
“Don’t you need some water?”
“I’ve got several half-shells of brifruit full of it inside. Saved it from last year.”
What a good trick, he thought. I must remember that. He said goodbye, and, ever cautious, slithered off toward the river again.
By evening, the vegetation near the river was thick enough to hide him well. Trouble was, of course, it hid other males, and predators too, and most males were larger than him.
He kept thinking about making it easier to throw a spear. In the morning, he found an outcropping of sharp flint, and used it to cut his second spear in two. Then he spent the second half of the day sharpening the point of the half-spear that needed that, in between eating and drinking, despite occasionally smelling female invitations, and hearing the sounds of other males fighting. Let them kill each other off!
Just before finding a hiding spot to sleep in, he saw a movement. A male was moving toward the river. Shoeets snuck up behind him, noting several wounds. No doubt, this fellow was thirsty after a mating. Well, it’d be his last one. He grasped one of his half-spears in two tentacles, reared up, and hurled true.
He returned to the flint outcrop, and instead of sleeping, used half the night to cut his new, third spear in two, under the light of the many stars. In the morning, again he sharpened the point that needed it. He now had the problem of carrying four half-spears and a full-length one. So, he hid three of them, and taking one half-spear and the long one with him, went seeking a solution while grazing.
God was well beyond the center of the sky when he saw a large holber nest. It was a solidly woven, long web with one end closed off, colored exactly to match the foliage it was anchored to. Perfect, with his new trick, he could now kill the poisonous animal inside without being bitten.
Lying as far from the nest as he could, he tapped on the closed end with his spear. The nest stirred. Shoeets tapped again.
The holber emerged awfully fast, on its many long, multi-jointed legs. Its body was larger than Shoeets’ head.
He reared, and hurled his half-spear through the holber’s body, nailing it to the ground. Then he felt his tentacles shaking. He hadn’t realized how scary this was until now.
He paused a moment, listening and smelling, but everything seemed safe. He peeked inside the nest. It was empty, so he unraveled the lines holding it to the vegetation, and fashioned these lines into a harness. His half-spear nicely fitted inside, and he used one line to pull the opening almost closed around it. He positioned the new bag onto his back, handy for a tentacle to snatch the weapon.
Time to find another female.
Four days later, he’d killed five other males, used his new weapons to successfully defend himself from a large wroff, and mated twice more. At the end of the day, he found a safe nest in the elevated fork of a riverside tree, now tall and thick with leaves, and settled for sleep. Looking up between the leaves as they gently moved in a slight breeze, he admired the many stars twinkling above. The myths said, they were holes in a solid barrier, and the light was God’s light shining through, but Shoeets doubted this. If that was true, why did God hide to the west and come out again to the east?
He didn’t think he was asleep yet, but had a dream, if it was a dream. A warm feeling of safety, comfort, and being held close came to him. He’d never experienced anything like this. The closest was his memory of Mother licking him clean after the cracking of his eggshell. The air seemed to shimmer with a light of its own. As this amazing feeling intensified, a bright brown person stood in front of him, although he was high up in the tree, and there was nothing to stand on. This huge person looked completely different from any animal Shoeets had ever seen or heard of. It had six muscular legs, a forwardly protruding head on a stalk, two very large, partly folded wings, and a long tail that flicked side to side. This being wore various coverings over parts of its body, something like Shoeets’ spear harness.
Its mouth had big, sharp teeth, visible as it spoke, but the wonderful feeling of being cherished obviously came from it, so Shoeets was not frightened.
The being’s words were incomprehensible sounds, but, surprisingly, Shoeets also received the meaning within his mind. It was saying, “God has selected you to be the truth-seer of your kind.”
“Who are you? What’s happening?”
“My name is Xeel-Mother, and I’ll be the mother of your spirit. I am the truth-seer of my kind. I live on a world that’s very different from yours, very far away.”
“But… is there another world? I’ve never…”
“Just before I appeared to you, you were thinking about your people’s beliefs about stars. Now, you need to be ready for the truth. Every one of those stars is a great glowing globe like the one you call God, only they’re so far away they seem mere dots. And what you call the world is one of seven smaller globes that go round and round your God. Each time your world does one circle, it goes out such a long way that even the air you breathe freezes. Then it comes in, and everything warms up. And your world spins around also, and that’s why you have days and nights.”
“And… and you’re on a world that makes circles around another God?”
“I’m dreaming this.”
Loving amusement came back. “No. I’m talking with you by using power I’ll teach you to use also. What you call God is a part of God, true. But there is a lot more to God. Everything that is, which is a lot more than your kind have imagined, is God. And even more. Everything that is can only be because God thinks of it.”
Shoeets felt completely confused.
The brown being again sent amusement. “Think of the Higher Power, of God, as life energy. All that lives is a part of God. And It is always One, but has different parts with different tasks. My life energy’s task at the moment is to teach your life energy. Yours is to understand, and later to become the truth-seer of your people. Your body, what you think of as yourself, is only a home for the real you, and the same is true for every living being. So, when you kill another male, or any animal, or even a plant, you’re cutting a piece of life energy from its home. So, all killing is wrong.”
“But… but… all life is killing on my world.”
“Yes. That’s why your people need a truth-seer, to teach them to do it differently.”
Oh, to be free of constant fear! What a wonderful idea! But it was impossible, of course. He explained, “When we wake up, males must battle each other to be able to couple with a female. The earlier in the season we can do that, the more chance our children have of growing to a size that’ll survive in the next year. And females must battle each other to give their children the best chance of survival. If a female manages to kill the children of other females, then they won’t grow up to kill hers. And each female has as many eggs as possible, from as many males as possible, to give them more of a chance.”
“That’s your reality now. It must change, because God wills it so.”
That feeling of being cared for, cherished and protected grew. Shoeets felt himself squirming from pleasure. It was far more wonderful than a coupling.
Xeel-Mother said, “What you’re feeling is the effect of Love. That means, whatever you are, whatever you’ve done in the past, whatever you will do in the future, I’m as a mother to you. And I need to apply this attitude to all parts of God, therefore to every living being. This is the essence of God. At the moment, I’m the focus of such a huge number of truth-seers that you can’t even imagine the number. We’re combining our being into One. We are now inviting you to be part of us. Welcome.”
Instantly, Shoeets grew. Oh, his body stayed the same, but within it, around, it, attached to it, he was HUGE. He felt larger than the world, larger than God, as large as what his teacher said Everything was. He was aware of being One with Xeel-Mother, and uncountable numbers of others, each unimaginably different, each on a different world, but all showering him with this Love.
And he focused his mind, this combined Mind, onto all the people of his kind. All the males he had feared and wanted to kill, even the ones many years older, were his precious children. All the females were not objects for mating, but his children also. And the many animals that hunted his kind, and the plants he ate, were there for him to cherish and protect.
“Thank you, oh, thank you,” he thought, knowing he didn’t need to say anything aloud, and felt this Love increase even more.
Xeel-Mother said, “You’re worthy of your role. I’ll teach you one more thing about the way things are. It is something I also learned from other truth-seers. If you completely, truly and deeply believe something, it will be true. Know that it has happened, and it does. Now, design the reality you want for your people, and we shall empower you to make it so.”
For days, Shoeets hid, and grazed on plants, carefully so he wouldn’t eat too much from any one of them. He was no longer interested in killing other males, or even in mating.
Deep in a hollow under a now towering tree, he kept worrying over his task. What should the world be like if everyone shared this Love, and no one killed at all? It would be wonderful, but… but he needed details. At last, in desperation, he imagined the appearance of the wonderful brown being. “Xeel-Mother!” he called. Nothing happened. “Please come!” he said, over and over, but without success. Obviously, it was one way.
In the afternoon, he gave up, and slithered off to the river for a drink. Heavy rain was falling, which reduced the effectiveness of his sense of smell, so he was startled to see another male charging at him, spear point first. He’d prepared for this possibility, and put his plans into action. He swung his long spear with two tentacles, knocking the other’s spear to the side, then, instead of counterattacking, he reared up and almost jumped forward, pressing the center of his spear against the other fellow’s throat.
The other male was bigger and stronger, but Shoeets held him with desperation. He said, “I don’t want to kill you, but to talk to you.”
His pressure must have eased, because the other one slipped free, then held his spear again. Before he could use it, though, Shoeets snatched one of his half-spears from the holder on his back, thinking, Nail a tentacle to the ground!
He was as surprised as the other male. Before he could throw, the half-spear was out of his tentacle, through the male’s middle tentacle, and into the soil.
With a second half-spear immediately ready, Shoeets said, “I can do things you cannot. I could now kill you, but won’t.”
“You’re crazy,” the other fellow said, hoarsely, no doubt because of damage to his throat.
“My name is Shoeets, and God has sent a teacher to me.”
“Mothers are the only teachers. You’re crazy.”
“This person is a Mother, and she told me many things I want to teach you.”
“She gave me that task. Look, do you like having to worry about being attacked, all the time?”
The other male grasped the half-spear with his two good tentacles, and tried to pull it free. “That’s the way life is. If I don’t kill, I can’t mate. So, I need to kill you.”
Meanwhile, Shoeets was thinking about how that spear had hit his opponent, and also about his first day out, when a flier had attacked Raeel… That must have been what Xeel-Mother meant about believing something and then it would happen. He said, “My spear has come back to me, NOW.” It was in his tentacle, and the hole it came from spurted purple blood.
“Heal!” Shoeets commanded, then did his best not to show his surprise as indeed the wound was gone. Suddenly, he felt very tired. All the same, he held two throwing spears ready to fly, and the long spear in his middle tentacle.
“You may be crazy, but… can you teach me to be crazy too?”
Xeel-Mother, please come! Shoeets thought, but stayed with his task. “I can. I didn’t need to kill you, because I can do these things. You’ll be able to do them also, but only if you decide, deep within your being, never to kill anyone. No other males, no wroffs or fliers or any living thing. As soon as you have the intention to kill, these abilities will disappear.” He made this up while speaking, but that sounded like a good way to have reality. “Oh, I asked you your name.”
“Breets. But I do want to mate. Is that allowed?”
“Yes. Let’s visit a friend of mine. But remember, no killing anyone or anything.” He led the way through the continuing rain toward Raeel’s nest while thinking, If he does attack me, I need to disappear from in front of him, and be behind him. After his previous bizarre experiences, he was confident this would happen.
He heard the sounds of fighting as they approached. “Come on,” he said, and hurried forward.
Raeel was battling an even larger female, and clearly losing. The other one was choking her with all three tentacles.
“Neither of you has any strength. You can’t even move,” Shoeets shouted. The big female fell off Raeel, and both lay in the mud, immobile. He continued, “I’ll release you so you can both move, but if either of you attacks, she will freeze again.” He sent the wish. He hardly had the energy to keep hold of his spears after this.
“Shoeets, what… how…” Raeel said. “And you’re with another male, and not fighting?”
“He is Breets, and is now my friend. I have a new task, which is to end all killing in the world.”
“You’re crazy,” the big female said. She suddenly lunged toward Raeel–and fell back into the mud, immobile. Raeel took the opportunity to jump on top of her, but of course flopped across her body as if she was lifeless.
“I told you!” Shoeets said, feeling triumphant. It worked! “You can move again, as long as you don’t attack.”
Raeel slithered off her enemy, and moved some distance away from her. “Can you explain?” she demanded.
“We have always thought that there was only this world. That’s false. There are incredibly many worlds, with different kinds of people on them, all very different from us. And all of these people have somebody who can see truth. One of them appeared to me. Her name is Xeel-Mother, and she is training me to be like her. That’s why I can do these amazing things.”
Breets said, “He threw a short spear! I’ve never heard of anyone throwing a spear! But also, he threw it without even moving a tentacle. Then, when I promised not to fight him, he had the spear back, and he healed the wound just by saying so.”
“I don’t believe you,” the big female said, and started to slither away.
Spear in ground, right in front of her, Shoeets thought, and hey, there it was!
The female stopped, and looked back at him.
Spear back in my tentacle. Again, it was. “See?” What else could he do to convince her? He said, “You smell like a male, NOW.” He noticed though that he was getting even more exhausted, and also very hungry.
Indeed, she smelled like an old male. “Please change me back,” she asked, subdued.
“You can do it for yourself, but only if you decide, deep within your being, never to kill anyone ever again. Form the intention to stop killing, and you can return your own smell.” She can do it, he thought, sending her all his Love. “Raeel, please decide also never to kill again, and you can also do things like this.”
Breets interrupted, “So, you meant it, I can, too?”
“Know with your whole being that you can, then you can. Do something, now.”
Breets looked at the spear in his tentacle, and suddenly it became two half-spears like Shoeets’ throwing spears, both with a point. The second half of course fell to the ground, and he picked it up with a second tentacle.
“Amazing,” the big female said. Her scent returned to being an old female’s.
“Oh, what’s your name? I’m Shoeets, the female you were fighting is my friend Raeel, and as I said, my new male friend is Breets.”
“I’m Quarat. But what now?”
“All three of you are older than I am. I need advice. Xeel-Mother gave me the task of designing a new life for our people, one without killing. We shall live without male killing male, female killing female, animals hunting us and each other for meat, and us killing animals or even plants.”
Quarat waved a tentacle in contempt. “Stupid. It can’t work. Look, it may be fine for one year, or two years, or a few more, but then there’ll be so many people that we’ll eat all the plants and everything will be a desert like there is a long way away, up north. And what will flyers and kobangs and things eat?”
“Oh.” Shoeets hadn’t thought of that. “Thank you. That’s why I need advice. Any ideas?”
Before anyone could answer, the ground shook, and a terrifying, many-toothed head erupted. Did she have to mention kobangs?
Breets shouted, “Kobang, freeze!”
Half out of its hole, the fearsome hunter became motionless, like a short tree trunk.
“Well done!” Shoeets said. “See, you can.” I need to speak with it. Kobang, you can understand my thoughts, and the other three hear them also. NOW. Kobang, you will never hunt people, ever again. Only, he was now exhausted to the point that he felt a need to go to sleep.
Quarat spoke, but within his mind, without making a sound. “Kobang, you can eat plants like we can. From now on, you’ll hate the taste of meat.”
Raeel said, aloud, “And when that’s true, you can move. Climb out of the hole, but don’t even dream about hurting us, or you can freeze again.”
It was huge, maybe three times Quarat’s length. Shoeets distinctly experienced its thought, but not in words: “My teeth cannot chew plants, you idiot slitherers!”
Shoeets said, aloud, “I’m very tired from all the things I’ve done, and want to try something. When Xeel-Mother spoke to me, she combined with many other beings. So, please, the three of you, feel about me like a mother about a new hatchling, and send me that thought.”
It was working! His tiredness eased, and he felt much more powerful. Kobang, your teeth, your insides, everything is just right for eating plants and enjoying them like we do. NOW.
He actually saw the teeth in the big, gaping mouth change to resemble his people’s. Still feeling the Love from the other three, he said, aloud this time, “Kobang, you can speak with us so we all understand each other.”
The huge animal said, in a deep, deep voice, “Don’t call me kobang. I’m a person, and you are animals. We call you slitherers.”
Breets laughed. “Big person, do you also speak with each other? Do you have a name?”
“I’m Garblobondiag, and of course we speak with each other. Actually, I was going to capture one of you as the delicacy for a party.”
“Garb… oh sorry, I’ll need to get used to such a long name,” Shoeets said, “if you’re a person, then you and your kind are also part of what I need to do.”
“Garblobondiag. Say it.”
The other four laughed at him. Breets said, “Garblobondiag!”
“Well done, slitherer.”
“Our leader is the little slitherer, and he is Shoeets. This female is Raeel, and the big one is Quarat.”
Garblobondiag looked scornfully at Shoeets. “Why are you the leader?”
“I don’t know. A mighty person from somewhere else than our world appeared to–”
“What do you mean, from somewhere else than our world? There is no such place.”
Xeel-Mother stood in front of them, twice as large as the kobang. Shoeets felt that wonderful Love enfold him, and looking at the others, he saw they did, too. Although it was daylight, and the rain still fell, again the air glowed. She said, “Shoeets is right. It’s time the people of your world know the truth. God has chosen him to be your truth-seer.”
“Not fair. Why a slitherer and not a person?”
Shoeets asked with a silent thought, “Xeel-Mother, please give me that power.” He felt the Love intensify, and said, “Kobang Garblobondiag, you’re up in the air, higher than the treetops!”
There he was, making a terrified roaring sound, then, “Put me down… please!”
He lowered to a soft landing. “My people live on the ground and under it, not like some flying beast.”
Shoeets answered, “You could have chosen to enjoy the new experience. But now, we have something to do. Xeel-Mother,” He waved at the big female, “Quarat found a problem with the reality I want, of no killing. It is that after a few years, there will be so many people that we destroy everything to stay alive, and if the other people like kobangs, who now eat meat, also eat plants, it’ll be even worse.”
Garblobondiag’s deep voice interrupted him. “I know how you slitherers live. You breed, breed, breed, and kill, kill, kill. That’s why we have always thought of you as stupid animals. We people only have a young one when we want to. If somebody dies, the person who loves him the best has a baby. I have a child, though he has grown now.”
Raeel asked, “Don’t you have male and female?”
“All of us are both. That’s much better.”
“Well, I like male and female,” Shoeets answered. “Mating is fun, and I wouldn’t want to stop it.”
“I don’t care what you slitherers do, but it’s unfair, changing my teeth and insides and things without my permission.”
“So it is,” Xeel-Mother said. She looked at the kobang, and his teeth were once more that of a meat-eater. “Garblobondiag, my dear, you are not permitted to kill these people although they are slitherers, but we do need your advice on how life on this world should be.”
“Every year, there are about the same number of slitherers. Many are born, and many die. Every year, there are the same number of my people. We never fight among ourselves, and no animal is powerful enough to hunt us, and we move around underground so we can go anywhere except through rock or water, so we live long lives. Surely, our life is much better. One of us should be the world’s… this world’s truth-seer.”
“Since there are two kinds of intelligent people, each can have one. Are you volunteering?”
“What’s that mean?”
Shoeets said, “Xeel-Mother, may I try to explain?”
“My dear, please do.”
“God, not the one Who shines on us which is only a small part of the whole God, but God is made of this feeling.” He still had the wonderful Love from Xeel-Mother, and sent it to Garblobondiag. “If you are the truth-seer for the kobangs, then you feel like this about every kobang. And if you’re a real truth-seer, then you feel like this about every living thing, even slitherers.”
“Oh. That feels wonderful. But when I came, you slitherers could do things to me. How does that work?”
“If deep within your being you decide never to kill, then you can do such things. If you slip back into wanting to kill, it stops.” Then Shoeets gave a squeal, finding himself above the treetops! He looked around in wonder, and said, knowing the others heard his thought, if not his voice, “I’ve never seen anything so beautiful! Oh…”
Several voices shouted warnings in his mind, then he felt himself rapidly lowering. When he reached the ground, a large flyer thumped down right next to him, but frozen with its four wings spread, and sharp-toothed mouth wide open. Its six bulbous eyes looked terrified.
Quarat said, “Flyer, you can understand our speech, and speak to us so we understand.”
“Wh… what’s happening?” There was a tremble in the big, savage animal’s voice. It looked at Xeel-Mother, who was of course a much bigger flying animal. “Are you going to eat me?”
Xeel-Mother gently laughed, and Shoeets felt the blast of Love. “I don’t hurt anyone, ever. These people don’t either. You’re safe.”
“People? They’re animals.”
Garblobondiag laughed. “So are you. What I’ve learned just now is that slitherers are as much people as my kind. I’ll accept you as a person, too, if you accept me as a person.”
“But I can’t move!”
Breets said, “I did that, and these other people helped me. I’ll release you if you promise not to try to hurt any of us, but please stay around. We need to talk with you.”
“All right.” The flyer folded its wings, and with some effort rose onto its four legs with their clawed feet. “Talk.”
Garblobondiag asked, “How do your people breed?”
“When a person has grown big enough, it spins a nest in the safe hollow of a tree, and splits in two. That takes some time, but when we come out, we’re ready for anything, and have all the memories of the original person.”
This was new, and amazing, to Shoeets. He asked, “Do your people have names?”
“Names? What is a name?”
“I am Shoeets, different from every other person of my kind. He is Breets, she is Raeel, and she is Quarat. And this big underground person is of a kind we call kobangs, and his name is Garblobondiag. That shows others of his kind who he is.”
“You mean, you always talk to each other with noises, like you made me do? We don’t do that. All of us know everything any of us know. All people are actually one. A long time ago, there were many other kinds of flyers, but we could act as one, so we killed them all. And now, many many people are coming here to help me.” It looked at Shoeets. “And not long ago, you hurt a person who couldn’t work out how you did it.”
Shoeets gathered the Love Xeel-Mother was still sending, picked a spot on the flyer’s other side, and thought, I’m there, NOW. From his new location, he said, “That’s how I did it.”
Quarat asked, “Would you like to be able to do things like that, too?”
Suddenly, the sky was dark, God’s light completely blocked, as a huge flock of flyers came plummeting down. Shoeets visualized a half-bubble you could see through around the small group, and made the wish. Instantly, the rain stopped wetting them.
Flyers bounced off his half-bubble from above, and zooming in from every direction. He noted that despite the great crowd of them, they never got in each other’s way. He said to their flyer, “Tell them that they can’t hurt us, and we won’t hurt you, or them.”
Many many many flyers landed on the ground all around, and on the branches of every tree.
Shoeets continued, “We are changing how things are on our world. From now on, no one will kill anyone. If you flyers decide never to kill, then you can do all the amazing things we can.”
“Ridiculous!” the flyer answered. “When I eat you, you die. How can I eat then?”
“I have the same problem,” Garblobondiag said.
“Xeel-Mother,” Shoeets asked, “you have the teeth of a meat-eater. How did your people handle this problem?”
“Watch.” Xeel-Mother looked at an outcrop of rock. Instantly, the top of the rock was sheared off flat, and the top part was neatly between the flyer and Shoeets. Then it turned into a dead animal, lying on its side. Instead of being purple like the plants and most animals, or black like the kobang, or light blue like the flyers, it was a sandy color. Like Xeel-Mother, it had six legs and a head on a stalk, but no wings, and only a short tail. Two long, sharp things stuck out of its head.
“This is one of the animals we used to hunt when we still killed. This one I made has the same amount of material as the rock I used, but meat I can eat.”
Garblobondiag asked, “Xeel-Mother, may I make it into meat I can eat?”
“Please do so, my dear.”
Shoeets gasped, and moved away until he bumped into his half-bubble: two huge, dead slitherers replaced the strange animal!
Garblobondiag looked at the flyer. “One for you and one for me.”
“Excellent,” Xeel-Mother said. There is only one thing. Living beings are made from different substances than rocks. If this happens all the time, soon there will be too much of one kind, and too little of the other, which will cause terrible problems. So, any leftovers, and the wastes your body produces from the meat, and even what you breathe out, should be transformed back into the rock material. That can be done. But then there is another problem: your plants probably need the wastes from your body. So, Shoeets my dear, you also need to devise a way of looking after the health of the plants.”
The touch of the half-bubble behind him reminded Shoeets of something. He removed it.
Raeel said, “I liked that rock! Please, when you’re finished with the meat, can I have the rock back the way it was?”