This is the start of a story that follows on from the end of a previous volume. Until this scene, all the action was on Earth. As the heading shows, we are on a planet in a faraway galaxy.
I’d be grateful for feedback: Can you get into the created reality? Does it make sense? Do you want to read on?
Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
ESO 510-G13 spiral galaxy, 150 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation Hydra
19th planet of a blue giant
Perched on a horizontal branch of his family’s tree at the Four Planet Meeting place, with his Brown partner Cokl-Mother beside him, Cokl-Red watched the duel of all time. Every other tree in the great circle held a family, everyone craning up high.
You can do it, our love, he thought, looking way up, as his Blue partner fought the enemy. He found his own tail whipping forward over his head as Cokl-Blue struck at the foe, and barely missed.
Zlir-Blue broke free and turned in the air, so high that the two blue forms seemed little larger than mere specks.
Then something strange happened. As Cokl-Blue banked for a turn, a line of black light came from Zlir-Blue and went through Cokl-Blue. Cokl-Red saw it continue beyond his partner. The line disappeared in an instant, but then Zlir-Blue pounced, and his tail struck.
He let go, and Cokl-Blue tumbled toward the ground without control.
NO! Oh no! But what was that black line? Cokl-Red’s four back legs gripped the branch so hard they hurt.
Cokl-Mother snuggled against him, shivering. He put a front leg over her, protectively, but what can protect one from tragedy, from defeat?
Zlir-Blue slowly spiralled down, the very stillness of his wings speaking of arrogance. He landed on the Speaking Tree. His Brown and Red partners zoomed over, screeching with triumph. Zlir-Blue started to speak, the crowd-speaker amplifying his voice. “There. The truth-saying has been fulfilled. Many home-years ago, the Higher Power told Xeel-Mother that on this day, at our Four-Planet Meeting Place, the Saviour and the Pretender were to fight a duel to the death, and the winner would be proven the Saviour. You, the 2187 leading families of the Four Planets, have witnessed my victory. I am the Saviour. Cokl-Blue was the Pretender. Has that not been proven?”
Cokl-Red looked at his Brown partner, at the families in the nearby trees. All of them had a body of light. He looked at the three members of the Zlir family on the Speaking Tree. They had no body of light. All three had two short, luminous black things reaching up from their heads, like the horns of a gadger. He had never been close enough to them before to have noticed this.
What was that black line, way up there?
Zlir-Blue continued, “We now need to rid the people of false ideas, of heresy, of divisiveness and conflict. Cokl-Blue’s ideas have been proven false. Does he not lie dead in the dirt? We need to seek out and hunt down all those who defy me and insist on following his proven falsehood. I require, first of all, that his family does so, upon pain of death if they refuse.”
Cokl-Red softly said, “My love, stay here for now. I’ll handle it.” He launched into flight, and gained height with a few strong wing-strokes. He flew around the circle of trees, looking at all the many people there. He saw considerable support, some gleeful hostility, but mostly resigned acceptance. Among those whose gaze was mocking, there were several other families with black light horns on their heads, but no body of light.
Passing over the terribly broken remains of his beloved Blue partner, Cokl-Red saw a black hole burned in the centre of his forehead. That black line of light! He landed on the Speaking Tree, on a branch on the other side of the trunk, to be as far from the three others as he could.
He noted that he was smaller even than Zlir-Red. Being a Blue, Zlir-Blue was huge in comparison.
He bowed to the three of them, then spoke.
“Leaders of all the people of the Four Planets, I greet you. Zlir-Blue is correct. There was the truth-saying. And he is victorious. I therefore submit to his will.
“I also note something remarkable, something that sets him and his partners apart from the rest of us. I am convinced, he won today because of this difference. I am aware that not all people can see what I see every day, so I’ll teach you a skill that can be learned. Then you’ll also be able see this superior difference in our newly proven Saviour. If you can already see a body of light, you have my apology, and I ask your forbearance. Now, look at a person near you. Don’t look at the body, but AT THE PERSON wearing that body. Look. LOOK.”
He was absolutely certain that everyone would learn this skill, and several home-years ago, his Blue partner had taught him that whatever you believe with full certainty becomes true. There was a stirring all around, and surprise showed on many faces. Good. However, the members of a family he’d noted during his fly-by as having black horns seemed puzzled.
“Now, my respected colleagues, look at the Saviour and his family. They, and a few others among us, have no body of light. Instead, they have horns of black light, like the horns of a gadger, but shorter. Since Zlir-Blue was victorious, I must assume that this is a sign of his superiority over the rest of us. I think this superiority allowed him to do something my Blue partner couldn’t do, that none of you here can do, except perhaps the others with these black horns of light.”
He had to be prepared. Zlir-Blue was guaranteed to attack him, as soon as he revealed the secret.
“During my flight here, I’ve seen evidence of that superiority, which I will now describe. Way up high, the two duelled. My partner, Cokl-Blue, appeared to be winning, but then Zlir-Blue broke loose, and a black line of light came from him, and went through Cokl-Blue’s head.”
With a screech of rage, Zlir-Blue jumped into the air, and came at him as expected.
Cokl-Red launched himself at the same time, while shouting, “That was a weapon!”
His evasive flight around the tree took him between the other two Zlirs from behind, still perching on their branch. Following him, the spread wings of his larger Enemy crashed into his partners.
Cokl-Red continued shouting, “My partner has a hole in his head!” He wheeled sharply — at least, a Red is more nimble than a Blue. Zlir-Red was still off-balance, and while he passed, Cokl-Red struck him with his tail, injecting poison. Fighting one on one was better odds than against both of them.
“It was not a fair duel, but murder!”
He dropped for the ground, the big Blue above him. At the last instant, he veered toward the tree.
A black line of light struck the ground just below him, causing an immediate fire in the grass as he went into a sharp left turn, momentarily putting the tree between the two of them. During the instant of being out of sight, he clawed for the sky, working his wings hard.
Zlir-Blue zoomed past, and Cokl-Red dropped, grabbing his tail with both front legs, his six claws digging in.
Zlir-Blue tried to whip him forward, but Cokl-Red was ready, and spread his wings to resist. The big Blue dived for the ground, to smash him there. He let go and somersaulted backward, again hiding behind the tree.
He heard a thump as his Enemy landed, then a black line of light came right through the trunk of the Speaking Tree, narrowly missing him. It left a round, smoking hole.
Cokl-Red desperately worked to gain height, jinking unpredictably from side to side, even though that slowed him.
Just as well — another line of black light passed him.
He folded his wings and dived, straight for Zlir-Blue. Better if they both die than to leave this monster ruling the people.
Zlir-Blue veered, and Cokl-Red managed to claw his left wing in passing. He spread his wings at the last possible moment and banked left.
Zlir-Blue stopped moving, with his wings in mid-stroke. Like a falling leaf, he fluttered to the ground.
The horns of black light were gone.
Zlir-Red’s body had disappeared. Zlir-Mother was no longer on her branch, nor anywhere else.
Cokl-Red felt a terrible weariness, now that the emergency was over, but managed the few wing-strokes to gain a branch of the Speaking Tree. He then noticed, the clothing and harness of the Brown and Red Zlirs lay scattered on the ground, but their bodies were gone. Stinking smoke still rose from the edges of the blackened hole in the grass, and from the hole through the wide girth of the Speaking Tree.
There was a great silence.
Cokl-Red looked down on the still body of the murderer of his beloved partner.
He saw a movement: a Brown launched into flight, and soared to the Speaking Tree. She was Xeel-Mother, the oldest person alive, the Truth-seer.
She landed, and folded her pinions. The crowd-speaker threw her voice all around. “My friends, I’ve been given a vision. Far, far away, there are two galaxies, on the way to colliding. Within the smaller, there is a tiny yellow dwarf star. It only has a few planets, but one of them is blue with water. From its dark side, many lights shine, showing that technological life has developed there.”
As she spoke, Cokl-Red vividly imagined the sequence of views she described, and this continued.
“I see two of the local life forms. One is on the ground, dead, just as Zlir-Blue is lying dead here. The other is active. This one is slightly smaller than a Red of average size. The dead one is larger, almost as large as a typical Blue. They are bizarre in shape: no pinions, so they cannot fly. No tail. Only four legs, not six. The living one stands on only two of these legs, which looks precarious to me, but he is stable enough. The other two legs, up top under his head, are extended toward the dead one on the ground.”
She paused for a moment, looking around.
“An incredible light, white beyond white, shines out of this being. Cokl-Red has just taught many of you to see the body of light. I’ve seen the body of light of our kind for all of my long life, and have seen that Zlir-Blue and his partners lacked such a glow, but had two lines of black light emerge from their heads. Nor are they the only ones among the People, on all four planets. I didn’t know the meaning of this, so I have kept quiet.”
Cokl-Red looked for the nearby family with black horns. They were no longer in their tree. Like the Red and Brown Zlirs, they had disappeared.
Xeel-Mother was still speaking. “The strange faraway being also has a body of light like we do, but the light he is emitting is additional to this. It is enormous, huge, brighter than their little yellow star, brighter even than our blue Sun. It is the light of Life, the light of the essence of the Universe. The being is making sounds I cannot understand, but the Higher Power is giving me the meaning. You shall also hear it. He is shouting with incredible power, so strongly that his message reaches us, in a galaxy far from his.”
Instead of Xeel-Mother, Cokl-Red heard a mighty Voice, as if within his mind:
ALL CONDUITS BETWEEN THE TWO UNIVERSES ARE SHUT, FOREVER!
YOU AND ALL YOUR KIND ARE OUT OF MY UNIVERSE, FOREVER.
Then she continued, “Cokl-Red, my dear, it is your misfortune that Zlir-Blue murdered your wonderful partner, Cokl-Blue, before our distant Saviour banished him. It is your fortune, the good fortune of all of us, that he did so before Zlir-Blue managed to kill you also with his black lightning.” She bowed toward him.
“It was my truth-saying, all those many home-years ago, that set up today. I was given the knowledge that among our number is a Saviour and a Pretender, and that they’d have a duel, here at our Four-Planet Meeting Place. I was told that the one who survives the duel is the Saviour, the one who dies is the Pretender. And I was told the conditions for when the duel should be. Those conditions were fulfilled, and the duel took place.
“This was not the duel between Cokl-Blue and Zlir-Blue, as we all thought, but the second duel, between Cokl-Red and Zlir-Blue.
“I say to all the People, Zlir-Blue was the Pretender. Cokl-Red is the Saviour of our kind. His message is Cokl-Blue’s message. The two Blues are both gone, but their messages live on. Will you choose the message of the black light, of hate, and killing, of endless strife, or the message of the great faraway glow, the message of Cokl-Blue, of Cokl-Red, that of harmony, and compassion for all, and Love?
“I have spoken.”