Category Archives: Relationships

How I got from There to Here

[  ~burning woman~   explains herself]

In which I explain myself because I sense the necessity of doing so.

To begin: Lo those many years ago, in a different age, (well, about 4 decades ago actually!) I became the recipient of information from a world quite other than this one. I got visitors from far out, outer space; indeed from outside the confines of this universe. These people, there were eventually three, took on the task of helping me change my mind about many things, including how things work here on earth. Most of what they taught me I already knew, but not in ways that were empowering, or could be of much use to anyone else. I only knew how to propagate ideas through channels acceptable to the powers that be. The death trap of all change agents.

Such methods, as we all know them so well, consist of getting together a group of like-minded individuals and registering such group with the proper authorities, usually under the societies’ act. That done you would then proceed to the most important task of fund raising through your ways and means committee. Bottom line, if you wanted to do anything of any significance within the system, you had to be an adjunct of said system or you were anarchists and if you ruffled the wrong feathers, you were considered enemies of the state. To guarantee you stayed within the acceptable bounds, you were held to account by your need for money and recognition, either from notoriety or celebrity.

One thing you could be sure of, there were no “independents” operating within the hegemony of the system because even “independents” so-called received money from entities who had their own agendas, and who operated as part of the greater system. They wanted to be sure their donations were to a registered party to claim their tax credit. That’s how the system stays in power.

That by way of introduction to the following, which may, or may not, be of interest to many but which explains the “method” I have been using to communicate a single idea. That’s right: one single idea.

The first thing I had to learn was, nothing is ever truly accomplished through collectives and organizations. By “nature” all groupings, from the husband/wife/nuclear family to an empire, belong to an umbrella power organization called variously, the Matrix, the Establishment, the Illuminati, the Military Industrial Complex, the Status Quo and more commonly, the System. Therefore whatever these groupings or organizations seek to accomplish, if it goes contrary to the goal of the umbrella organization (UO) it will never, ever, attain its goal. If the group is powerful enough, driven enough; it will be allowed to proceed with its revolution until enough corruption has been inserted in it that it can be turned 180 degrees to serve the UO once more.

The Teaching was straight-forward. If I would be a change agent, or agent of change, I would have to divest myself of all connections or attachments to any organization, from marriage and family, to religious, political or other organizations. Divest completely. Stand alone. Become an individual and if it comes to fighting, fight alone. That means self empowerment. That means thinking my own thoughts. That means bootstrapping myself from the ground up. That means reshaping everything I had been taught; everything I knew or thought I knew and bringing it to bear upon one single purpose for my life. Complete detachment, no compromise.

No compromise. I wasn’t sure at first what that entailed but three times in divorce court certainly made the concept perfectly clear: a self empowered individual is not a comfortable person to hang around with, let alone sleep with. I did learn. I discovered that what I had grabbed by the tail was real enough whereas what I had been living before was one of millions of soap operas people live comfortably (or not) with because they cannot conceive of a different life, or way of life. I had been asleep.

The point of the exercise was simple enough: become an agent of change; a catalyst for change, without the corruptible format of any collective aggregation. Simply put, only the “go it alone” method has any chance at all of creating real change within the all-encompassing UO. Only a self empowered, completely detached single individual can penetrate the workings of the machine undetected, unobserved, and bring about totally unexpected change.

The UO doesn’t usually acknowledge an individual working alone. It only gets alarmed when such individual takes the fateful step of creating an organization of her or his own shaping; makes the decision to “form a power group” that would oppose the working of the machine, the status quo.

The Teachers (YLea, El Issa and Phaelon as principal three) had no difficulty convincing me of this. I knew enough religion, politics and other aspects of history of earth to realize the fallacy that power units or collectives can force ever-positive change within any greater system. It had never happened. When something has a one hundred percent negative result for accomplishing what it was supposed to accomplish, it’s not difficult to say, “Well, that didn’t work, did it.”

For example, one of the greatest fallacies of all time: World War I: the war to end all wars. Imagine the amount of collective force and organization that went to fight that war. Imagine the level of propaganda used to convince millions of the absolute necessity of fighting that war. So pervasive was the propaganda that “Armistice” is still celebrated to this day. That so many died isn’t a joke but to celebrate such useless carnage and such a blatant lie… really!

I knew the “why” then. What I did not know was the “how” and that, the Teachers pointedly avoided giving me. It was something I would have to work out for myself, based on some seriously “deep” thought and successful completion of a few difficult assignments. I have written about those before so won’t repeat the history here, just the highlights.

There were three major assignments: Forgiving enemies without equivocation; offering my life in exchange for that of another, a total stranger I would never meet; having my “soul implant” legally removed.

Upon completion of these tasks I then had to choose a single life purpose to which I would give myself unreservedly, irrevocably. There were many tempting choices. I went through the mental market of interesting goodies a change agent could use and having learned some of what works, what doesn’t, I rejected all of them.

The catalyst I needed had to be incorruptible and one that had never been seriously tried. There was only one: compassion. I didn’t find it in the market place of catalysts; I found it in my own mind quietly waiting to be awakened. I began exploring the concept and saw that it had never been considered as a force, or power that could change a world and over which the Matrix or UO had no power at all.

It was the Force that sustained and changed a self empowered individual. That would suit me and I gave myself to this Force, much as a Jedi gives itself to the Force in Star Wars. The difference between compassion and the Force of Star Wars, as I have alluded to before, is that compassion does not have a dark side. It does not emanate from the duality principle that rules this universe. Therefore it is correct for the compassionate to speak of “no compromise” because all of duality operates through compromise.

Perhaps that is a perfect ending. No compromise. No dalliances with any aspect of the Powers or the UO. The goal is to become.  Having lived long (enough) without compromise, what use then is one’s dualistic human nature? I will become compassion, of that there is no doubt. I will not know myself in any other form. That is both, the price to pay, and the gift to receive.

And that pretty much explains me and my choices.

Thank you for reading this.

~ burning woman ~ 



Thoughts on Change

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

“We cannot fight change because we are a part of it.”

Doesn’t that read like a great thought? It reads as if change will happen without fighting for it, just because.

But what if the change spoken of is retrograde, what then?

If we cannot fight such change precisely because we are a part of it, then does it not behoove us, as intelligent, sentient, self-aware beings, spiritually and mentally aware, to separate ourselves from such retrograde change?

Must we ever remain victims of forces we believe are beyond our control?

The price we must be willing to pay if we would renounce our collusion with destructive, if not murderous beliefs, forces and powers, is to become self-empowered.

Did I just conclude that last sentence with a swear word?

Every religious; every political, every financial; every belief system, by nature of being a system, has stood viciously opposed to Earthians ever daring to become self empowered. Every teaching; every public education system has one refrain: study the accepted, recognized authority figures. You, as an individual, have no voice.

Self-empowerment equals the end of every controlling system on earth. No system can exist without our willingness to offer ourselves, in chains, upon the slave auction block. We’ve done this since we became what we proudly think of as homo sapiens sapiens. So long have we dutifully followed this path from conception to death that we’ve come to believe it is a sign of superiority, of power and great intelligence.

We love to be enslaved. We want to be led, no matter where, just as long as we don’t have to make that decision.

The opening quote comes from the movie, “Belle” based on a true story. It addresses the problem and horror of the slave trade in England circa 1750. A bit of a slow start – I almost turned it off – but it finally picks up to a mighty grand finale.

An intelligent movie. A great story.

Part 2 – Message from Tara

(Time being of the essence today, without preamble, here’s part 2 of the message from the future.)

To continue, then. Those who fail to contribute the necessary data they are capable of are measured on their performance and can have their corporeality revoked since it is not functioning according to the contract made with the City. These then become free minds seeking and sharing information based on their mental abilities. They  function fully as individuals but can no longer perform physical tasks, nor experience the material world except vicariously. Since they are not taking up material resources, no one bothers them as long as they do not go rogue and commit serious infractions, for example by telling lies or using corporeal entities to commit crimes.

They cannot seek to return to corporeality unless they apply for residence on newly terra-formed worlds, or re-activated worlds where their basic skills may be of value and where no current corporeal entity wishes to exercise such function or is available. They are then given a vacated body, or one is cloned to their specifications (function needs apply). I cannot tell you how this works here, partly because it’s not my area of expertise and partly because that information is privileged to our time.

Back to my day: When the agency calls, it gives me all the information I need to carry out my function – what to wear, where to go and how much time I am to function at the place.  For example, I query “wear” and am told to wear, say #5 – a simple short translucent dress that wears as comfortably as a second skin, very appealing, both for the wearer and those who are inclined to look. I query “weather” and am told it’s light drizzle and to wear # 12 – a light, transparent cape with a large, comfortable hood where my naturally grown very thick and long wavy auburn hair can be tucked in without messing it up.  Query “transportation” and I’m advised that walking is good exercise today. Most people choose to walk barefoot now.  Body enhancements have made wearing shoes an affectation that is discouraged as it adds to waste and body odour. Synthetic deodorants, though still available on the open market, are frowned upon. As are most items of make-up.

Except for the morphs (temp or permanent) it is considered socially unacceptable and akin to lying, to hide one’s body. Part of our social evolution has made us proud of our bodies and we take good, natural care of them. There are no “ugly” or “turn off” bodies any longer. The more we accept one another, the more beautiful we become to each other. Beautiful minds are naturally reflected in beautiful bodies.

I don’t carry a bag or purse or other personal luggage of basic essentials. The agency arranges all details of client personal preferences in hygiene needs and those are sent directly to the client and await me in a sealed container. For I.D., implants, through my torc, communicate my status, function and purpose to the checker at the entrance to the client’s residence. If the checker is a male he will usually escort me to the client’s apartment. Knowing I am a provider and if he is interested, he can be as personal with my body as he wishes while we travel together. If he interests me I can reciprocate the pleasure. If he is more interested in information sharing which is usually the case, he will seek out new information from my mind and likewise I will query him. Any information not yet available on the infonet, usually gathered from my clientele, is highly prized and when I provide such I’m guaranteed future first class service wherever he (or friends of his) may be functioning. Word gets around.

Believe me when I say this: being “informed” (even if only theoretically) is rated the highest goal. Information and understanding can eventually get you off the planet and unto other worlds. That’s our dream, our passion: to create and experience the future. Imagine yourself being able to do that; how you could fulfill your greatest dreams instead of living in the dread of coming disaster, totally at the mercy of madmen and psychopaths as is the case for you in your time. (More on that)

Any new information can be traded or “sold” for future consideration. This is not stealing – it is encouraged. The more known and demanded you are, the better your chances are of not only retaining your right to your corporeality, but of moving ever higher into the strata of society. Not that you want this to lord it over others – it’s the opposite. The “higher” strata are those who possess greater awareness and openness thus able to receive more information. They also carry the greatest responsibility.

The highest echelons one can reach are engineering in planetary development, space travel, communication, bionics and bio-genetics as well as mind-enhancement. To your day, such things sound scary – Brave New World sort of thing. To us, it means greater acceptance by other humans and means of advancement beyond earth. As I said before, we now readily and consciously sacrifice what we have if there’s a chance we may gain what we desire. We have become “upwardly mobile spacers” in our thinking. We are no longer “arriving” – we are forever “leaving”.

Our great plan is to develop a fleet of transports that can take the entire remaining human population of earth out into space, beyond this galaxy, perhaps (and likely) never to return. We envision an earth devoid of human life – except for a few observers, anthropologists and non-biological self-maintaining androids and monitors – its life left to re-develop as the planet sees fit, without any pressure from any other mind but its own.

We are in the process of re-programming surface inter-species behaviour on the planet to a totally non-predator/prey relationship. When this is complete, probably in a hundred years or so, it will be interesting to see how planetary life finds its own balance again.  Many predict the “wildness” will eventually choke on itself and the planet become barren of life. I totally disagree with that assessment.

I think that a great intelligence which we still refer to as “Gaia” lies within earth. That is what we have not yet learned to communicate with properly (on the basis of equality). I personally believe, and have said so in many meetings, that when we leave for the stars this world will surprise everyone – or just itself if no one is here to see it. So often we judge “others” (including non-human entities) on the basis of our own follies, foibles and limits.

Explanation of the torc: I must back off a bit. There is one item, apart from implants and function-wear that everyone wears practically all the time, often even in sleep. It is a multi-purpose torc (look up torque for your day) that can be disguised in many ways, collar, necklace, scarf – my choice is the choker. My choker has a small diamond shaped attachment equipped with several micro-chips in constant communication with my implants. The purpose of this torc is to be able, for example, to communicate thought-forms in symbols or images – a personal short-hand we call picting – so that large numbers of people can “speak” simultaneously without interfering with the conversations of others, breaking the silence or interfering with music or verbal communications, as during a dramatic performance.

The torc also serves as a flood light if I find myself in some darkened building or need to temporarily blind a potential attacker (sadly, that can still happen). It also detects warm-up of any inimical laser activity and can diffuse the most powerful beams of personal laser weapons. I have yet to see this – and I hope never – but it does happen that non-corporeal rogues “escape” and by manipulating a bodied entity, attempt to steal bodies by attacking corporeal entities, or (extremely rare) throwback deviants and aberrants attack and a woman to rape her.

Not a perfect world, but: So, as I said, not a perfect world. But remember this: no one is exploited, oppressed or kept in prison (except as noted above regarding discorporate deviants). No one is tortured, no one lacks basic necessities. No one is without help from the community. You will appreciate this: no one knowingly dies of preventable causes – and that should make you feel validated.  We have no poor, no homeless, no addicts, no habitual criminals. Any such entities, if they refuse treatment or fail to realize the necessity of change, are sent to memory storage and their corporeal parts re-cycled or passed on to someone who can exercise proper responsibility for physical expression and can perform a needed function.

If I seem to make much of corporeality, it’s simply because we have only so much space and so many resources that can accommodate corporeal entities. We have reached our current limits to physical growth and we must recycle even ourselves as physical beings.

We are currently attempting many new ways to increase body availability for those in mind space. Tiny bodies is one way; several minds inside one body is another. Human minds in androids, another.

Another idea being experimented with that stems from your times though without any proof of having ever been done successfully is called “breatharianism” or the ability of a body to exist normally and healthily strictly by breathing. It’s always made sense to me that we can do this but so far, no success. This would not help in the matter of space but would go a long way in alleviating food availability.

The ‘no private property’, ‘no hoarding’ and ‘instant sharing’ has helped to alleviate resource restrictions but no more normal size living bodies can be added to our population. I would say that perhaps fifty percent of our supracity population exists in mind-space. That, to me, is neither a good nor acceptable situation. However much vaunted our parity and equality, mind beings retain an aura of second class citizenry – another point I have brought up often. The point is now recognized: we just need to find a solution to this glaring problem. So far, that solution means space: we need to find, or create, more space!

From your viewpoint I suppose there is callousness about this approach. But think of the alternative. Look at your world and project yourself 200 to 300 years into your future. “See” the Great Death swallow up an entire planet, destroying most life and not just human life.  Sense the horror of from five to seven billion pseudo-humans and countless billions of other life-forms as they die, some in excruciating pain, some of horror, some from despair, most from lack of sustaining necessities of food, shelter and protection against elements, including a complete break-down of medical intervention. See in your mind simple diseases decimating entire cities and nothing to stop them.

That is what the vaunted “freedoms” of your time managed to accomplish. Only by turning away from those lies did we manage, if barely, to survive and re-build – with help from our galactic friends.

Back to my day: When I’m ready, I palm my way out of my apartment and into a grav-well (what you would call an elevator) that drops me down the 35 floors in seconds without giving my body any discomfort. The non-cabin adjusts automatically for g-pull, maintaining a constant 1-g. I step out on a street that is bright (even in rain) and silent.  Traffic slips by unobtrusively. It too moves at high speeds and like the grav-wells, compensates for change in g-force.

Grav-wells or gravity wells are force fields contained by traction beams that you can step into and stand – in what appears to be emptiness, yet holds you more securely than any physical object ever could. It is, of course, frictionless. A gift from the stars – very handy.

As I walk I put my face into the light misty rain. We have weather control and clouds are engineered for maximum efficiency. Storms are controlled and electrical discharges are funnelled automatically into our energy grids. Today the clouds are almost translucent. You can see the solar disc through them. The rain is warm and soft. I like the feel of the pavement on my bare feet and the rain running off my cape onto my thighs and down my legs feels alive. You can feel the cleanness of the water and the air. Try to imagine this: I am breathing pure, clean, natural air – no man-made pollutants in it!

I pass many places of business with clear unbreakable plazed windows that absorb reflections while providing light and heat for the building, revealing all that is contained in the interior of the shops.  Throngs fill the streets yet we never feel crowded. Our implants are ever scanning any presence and automatically compensate our movements to the available space. No one is accidentally bumped or shoved. This may put you in mind of your current obsession with self-driving cars, a silly, pointless invention, one of so many useless and wasteful technological foolishness of your times that was used to blind us to what was happening behind the scenes.

Of those who walk past me, some, male or female(!) eye me appreciatively (remember I’m wearing translucent skin covering, or what you call clothes) and smile, picting hellos or more suggestive greetings. All know my function by my dress and torc signature. I smile back and activate my torc in response. A man picts a symbol for “encounter” and I reply with the symbol for the agency. He thanks me, giving me an image of an oversized cartoon smile as he slips gracefully into a grav-transport.

I chose my purpose and function so well, I believe. It fulfills the physical me.

End of Part 2


Message from Tara

[as transcribed by Sha’Tara]

{For the blog reader: the following I call a “letter from the future” as I received it from my future alter ego some time back. I had to think about it before I offered it for public reading – and had to remove some of the more personal aspects of the “letter”. I offer this missive from future “Tara” in 3 installments.      This is part 1} 

Introduction: Well, here goes and I hope I can write this to express what it meant to me when I received it.  This is not a story but an actual message from “me” – as Tara from approximately a thousand years into my future.  This is not “science fiction’; it’s what my future; earth’s probable future, looks like a thousand years from today.

The information I am sharing here was downloaded to my mind in thought-forms which I had to translate, like opening a zipped file to be manually reconfigured. I had to trust my memory to record what I was being told in a way that could make sense to anyone else reading this in this particular time. I realize that not all of what is in this “message in a bottle” from the future is acceptable to the antiquated mindset that rules this day and age but I’m willing to take a chance on the feedback.

I’ve often wondered how it would affect the run-of-the-mill human mind if it was ever brought face-to-face with a probable, or very likely, future. If it could be convinced that such a future is in fact an inescapable reality if nothing of what is currently determining that future is substantially changed.

This tiny increment of a future I am sharing with you is the most likely unless the direction indicated by our historical past, and our inconvenient present as we are shaping it, isn’t seriously nudged to one side or the other. Simply put, continue with “this” recipe and “that” is what you will bring out of the oven.

Message from Tara – greeting and authentication:

Hello to you. This communication is being pulsed from approximately 1000 years in your future. My name is Tara and my code name is “Tess” – from our initials, as I have continued to use the title “Earth Star” in our name.  Therefore Tara Earth Star – TES or “Tess”.  That is the name my function uses (explained later).

I have attached a code to this message to authenticate it to be me as future you by the feelings (felt as a tingling) which it will cause in your head. You will hear yourself say, “I know this.”  That’s how we authenticate time communications here. It’s like a spoor, or scent. You just know. If it doesn’t carry the code your acceptance implant blanks out the message – no, not yours, mine.  Sorry if I confuse you at the beginning: you don’t have any implants as yet. I remember well that we, that is you, had the wisdom to cancel out the brainwashing soul implant in your current time. That move has served us well in coming incarnations.

I am “you” or “us” and you can think of me as yourself in a future a thousand years from your now time. It is my hope this message will be received by you in the spirit it is being sent: as encouragement for you at a critical point in life choices and also as a glimpse into who we are, how we live and how we see ourselves as Earthians to the rest of the worlds we have come to know; perhaps more importantly, how we got from your time, to what I am about to reveal to you.

Since you will be unable to reply to this message, I will attempt to anticipate some of your questions and answer them in a way that should make sense to you. I know that after you decipher this you will have at least two obvious questions.

One, are we happy?

Two, in leaving the old ways, have we lost too much in relation to what we have gained?

I will leave these here for now and go on with my message. Perhaps the questions will answer themselves, and if not, I will attempt an explanation at the end.

Residency: I reside in the supracity of Angeles, Independent Territory California (ITC for short). You will recognize this as the city of Los Angeles, California, United States of America of your day. There are no longer political units you know as nations.  We use “region” or “territory” to describe our primary residency, but mostly we are known by the megalopolis we reside in. Angeles is the only city in the territory. This is where people live. Those who do not live in the city are in small enclaves of specialists and bio-engineers with their phalanx of helpers working with the environment – on soil, water, plants, animals as well as weather control.

No one just “lives” out there, whether on land or on water, who is not performing a function deemed necessary to the polis – the sum-total of all of us (exceptions noted and explained later). Their other, more critical function, is to repair the damage done to the earth by previous generations.

I am going to tell you about me by touching on parts of my day-to-day life, and supply whatever information needed so you will understand a bit of how we live; what we are up to. Many things I can’t explain – have no idea how they work, only that they do – amazingly and unbelievably well – and many of our technological abilities we simply cannot, and will not, share with the past. Your world would destroy itself completely if it were permitted to access and back-engineer many of our technology. I know only too well you do not possess the evolutionary or experiential maturity required to function on our intellectual and technological level.

I remember your time, not only as past lives memories but from scanning the data memory records of our many passages on this world.  There is a gap during the Great Death where we were on one of the stacked worlds doing what we’ve always done best –  and it worked.  We now have gender parity without need for legal enforcement. The misogynist patriarchy is dead and gone. We made it – we’ve got the world we dreamed of, well, almost.

After all, you’ll remember how you insisted that perfection was unattainable in the created order. You were right. So we no longer strive for things like perfection or freedom or love. We know they exist as absolutes and we know that the totality of a good thing destroys it. We strive for balance. However we are not “moderates” – far from it. We are full of passion but ours is of a new kind – almost frightening even to us.

We are much more understanding and accepting now and these are truly exciting times to live in.

Personal: I live on the 35th floor of a downtown apartment square.  You’d like it, it’s bright, clean, basic simplicity. I live alone – friends or visitors are not permitted here. Music awakens me at 6:00 AM. (We still use that same day time) and I’m prodded to get up and do my basic exercises. I speak to the agency (what you’d call an employer) or rather the agency speaks to me, while this is going on.  We don’t use phones – the apartment talks to you, wherever you are in it.

A built-in medi-scanner scans my body for any signs of stress, lack of rest, detects and makes notes for repairs needed for any minor imperfections found. Minor repairs and enhancement upgrades are done in situ by “the machine” – a sophisticated but unobtrusive auto-surgeon installed and programmed by the agency. The medi-scanner provides me information for changes I must make to diet, times spent exercising, studying, functioning (what you call work), morphing issues (explained later) and rest. I shower, then make my own breakfast. Not that I need to do this normally, but my city-defined function requires I practice this obsolete skill – more of an art actually. I enjoy it! (More on that later.)

My basic function as a corporeal entity:  I’m part of what you would call an escort service – though my function bears no resemblance to what would come to your mind.  By choice, I’m a provider. Such a function is now extremely important in a world that is less intimately earth-natural, though more challenging as we probe ever deeper into possibilities of corporeally reaching worlds beyond our solar system. To gain the greater it is necessary to sacrifice the lesser – but know that any sacrifice is from choice. We are evolving at a much faster rate than in your day. We welcome, we long for, the future; we do not fear it for it is drawing us.

In our heady plunge towards galactic and possible inter-galactic travel many old ways had to be abandoned. They were never practical anyway. Monogamous relationships, the nuclear family, these no longer exist.  Utterly impractical and full of old feelings that could easily drag us back into your dark ages through atavism. Adults with corporeal functions can have children – are encouraged to do so – and a child can have any number of parents, of either gender, depending on what “function” is desired of the child. Minds and bodies as well as personal genealogical history are probed, the results given to the prospective parents and details are sorted out.  From the results, a living mind is engendered and trained. When it reaches the age of self-sufficiency it is (usually, not always) given a body grown for its purpose.

The body may be perfectly human in shape, or not, again, depending on what the grown child has chosen as a function which could be other than what the parents initially chose. Those who choose non-human shapes are usually referred to as “neo-morphs.”  They would look very strange to you but are not thought of as being strange here.  After all, to us what matters is the mind.  In mind we are all human, or strive to be. A typical neo-morph could be a tiny human with several arms and elongated fingers or toes to move among computer terminals and service them, or install upgrades. It would be designed to be unaffected by electrical charges, yet it would be human, not android or cyborg, although these, as the neo-morphs, are a necessary and accepted part of our society and hold the same rights as any typical human.

The cooking thing – and other old-fashioned performances: Some agency clients practice old-fashioned tastes and expect their hired provider to cook.  Home cooking however quaint and decidedly wasteful is part of the pleasure I give to men who have no female partners by choice or necessity.  Sex isn’t the ultimate experience that people still seek from it in your time.  Now it’s the transient overall pleasure of present, corporeal femaleness that males, and also many females, seek.  Sometimes even children are supplied to create the illusion of a family.  These are not original beings, of course, but “partials” (morphed) supplied by an original in search of new experiences.  Then I become a “mom” to the child as well as “wife” to the man.  I enjoy that role but it’s a dangerous game. My feelings get aroused and mixed up. Amazing how quickly one can become attached to a human child or to a particular man! After say, a week (usually that is the extent of the “gig” as you’d call it – beyond that it gets prohibitively expensive for the client and emotionally draining for the provider) I need deep cleansing to release residual emotions. Deep cleansing is done at the agency and can take as long as twenty four hours to complete. It isn’t wasted time: it is turned into a time of study and exercise.

Please note here that I can only speak from a female perspective. The same role of providers are taken on by men. The agency probably has as many males “on call” as they do females. You could call it parity. The other thing to remember, it’s actually important for you to note this, is that some of us, like myself, have chosen our purpose for life. We are considered “permanents.” If I want to change my status, I have to earn the change or conversely I can do something unbelievably stupid to lose my position. For example, stealing something of value from a client, or resorting to cold, ignorant, abusive performance or refusing to comply to a demand that is clearly stipulated in the contract between client and agency.

There are many providers who choose to do this part-time, usually otherwise too occupied to engage even temp personal relationships, or who return from orbit on extended furloughs. There is choice; there is flexibility, yet there is control to prevent chaos.  All providers, permanents or temps, are registered with an agency, for convenience in making contacts and protection.

I am in demand because there aren’t as many “available” females as in your day.  Many who would normally be female choose to transgender to ease the problems of loneliness in off-world exchanges on alien ships or long-term orbiting station maintenance.  We have become waste-conscious and practical to a fault. Androgyny is common and trend is for hermaphrodite bodies now. Personally I chose a normal-bodied humanoid heterosexual female. I chose (past tense here) that form with the specific intent of using it to provide physical pleasure to equally “normal” heterosexual humanoid males who still have the same basic needs for full contact with females as they do in your day.  That male attribute, so twisted and denigrated in your day is now considered a great boon! My choice however is often overridden by the agency if a female wishes to have me for company.

I certainly do enjoy my function in society. I know I get at least as much from these energy sharing as do the clients. It may surprise you to know that often the sharing expected by men is of an intellectual and mental nature – problems that elude solutions are brought into the gentle intimacy of the temp relationship and I look at it from an individual female’s point of view – and feelings. There are episodes when “sex” does not come into play as we can become absorbed working with mind-images.

Socially, as females we are no longer underpaid corporate slaves or indentured “wives” tied to monogamous (monotonous!) relationships. We think of them as terribly unsatisfactory, oppressive and limiting, particularly for the women of your times and before. Women no longer bear children except in certain preserves or enclaves which are like your “native” reserves or wildlife zoos.  For example, there remain socially insignificant reactionary religious communities that are frozen in the old ways prevalent at the time of the Death. These are permitted to exist outside the City but not allowed to exceed a quota of procreation. Their activities are strictly monitored. We don’t care what they believe, or believe in but we certainly do care what they do. At this time the discussion is whether to sterilize them since their way of life is not only obsolete but no longer in accord with the aims of the City regarding earth.

There are isolated islands in the oceans where people live natural lives, growing their food right off the land and building shelters from raw natural materials.  These perpetuate humanoid mammalian behaviour for seed pools should something terrible happen (not as likely now) and for anthropological studies conducted from and by other *ISSA worlds.

In all of these “preserves” we have established safe stations where anyone who is abused or wishes to leave can escape to.  Once the safe station is entered, it locks and rises about one K and hovers until the occupant is removed by a shuttle.  The station then returns to stand-by on the ground.  We do not have permanent police on the preserves or islands; we only monitor, but any resident of such places who steps outside delineated boundaries is taken into custody and brought to a city’s evaluator to determine the cause and seriousness of the infraction and what is to be done. Serious infraction results in violators relegated to city memory; lesser ones may result in some limited mind purging and permission given to return to the preserve, particularly if they have attachments to a biological family.

Even though we have quantum technology and some limited faster-than-light transportation, many off-worlders still frown on us and limit our access to space beyond our solar system – they fear us.  So they study us, in great depth and with circumspection.  And so they should – always that danger of recidivism or atavism lurking on this world.  The history of earth as recorded on some worlds and seen through their eyes makes one cringe.  We have a joke about those who come here to study us: “Don’t worry, they won’t take you for a pet.  They know our bite is poisonous.”

For what it’s worth to you, let me assure you that as a species we have left a less than enviable track record for other ISSA beings to study. For many galactic ISSA species we remain persona non grata; dangerous, untrustworthy, murderous. Let me repeat it for you: we certainly did everything in our power, through our murderous and intransigent ways, to earn the fear and distrust of our galactic neighbours: not something to be proud of. It is of record that our termination as a sentient species was discussed and considered several times. Remind anyone with ears to hear of this for it is a reality of your times!

Back to my day: As I said, my apartment is clean, bright and basic. Every item here belongs to the agency.  Every piece of clothing or jewelry (if any is asked of me to wear in public) is categorized and identifiable by scan code from an implant. All my needs are met as they arise. Mere wants for physical objects are discouraged. If, without pre-authorization I bring home an item of no specific or immediate use, it is removed (you’d call it vaporized, it disappears) – recycled. Nothing of what I have belongs to me, not even my body. So you learn to not waste valuable energy uselessly, not to become dependent on gadgetry or even relationships that you own or that have the potential to own you.

They even scan your thoughts – not to keep you from thinking, but to the contrary – to evaluate and demonstrate how much “space” you are wasting in your memory and how you can improve it by not filling in the blanks with useless thought-junk. Yes, thoughts are energy and negative thoughts or lazy thoughts, are entropic. We can no longer afford that path.

Thinking progressively is what matters, not what you think about. New ways to improve your own performance greatly encouraged. Interaction with city facilitating, planning and design expected (the only kind of government we now have) and your input is logged into a special file within a mega department for the improvement of corporeal residencies and overall function.  Working out ways of making yourself more appealing, more understanding, more aware of your client’s needs and desires, this is good too.

You are expected to contribute meaningfully any talent you have to education, the arts, facilitating (governing) and general engineering. Your involvement determines your suitability when applying for your next performance level. It is also expected that I, as a provider, visit those non-corporeal mind-beings “stored” or held in City data for serious infractions. Such visits allow the incarcerated to be in proximity to a corporeal provider from whom they can derive a certain amount of vicarious pleasure and with whom they can share information.  Thus you provide up-to-date information for them to work with – think of it like bringing books or newspapers in a prison – and they feel less like *prisoners. If you are wondering what percentage of the mind population exists in storage, it is less than one percent and dwindling as atavism and recidivism is on the decline. I am hoping that with time, say a couple hundred years(?) we can do away with City data storage altogether.

I must point out here, or make it clear, that discorporate minds not in City data are free to go about wherever without any restrictions on their movements. Do we have a “mind police” should one of these is reported to have gone rogue? Yes, we do. Unfortunately, they are still needed and busy.

The other question you probably have is, how can you separate “minds” from “corporate entities”? With alien help we were taught how to separate minds from bodies. Much of it has to do with a new type of deep meditation. For rule-breakers who must lose their bodies, brainwashing and drugs are used to create the separation since it would never be done voluntarily.

Even our most die-hard materialists had to finally admit that a “mind” is not part of a physical body but is that which uses the body for its own purposes and ends. Thus we learned, when interacting with others, to address their minds, not their bodies. I do not own my body, it belongs to the agency, first of all, then to the City and by extension, to the world I live on.

What I am is a mind. My mind is me, always will be me, a recognizable individual with or without a body, living eternally unless for whatever reason, I choose annihilation in which case that which is ‘me’ and ‘I’ would no longer exist at all.

Why should we object to being minds without bodies? After all, we have been without bodies uncountable numbers of times between incarnations. We existed as individuals in non-physical astral realms and none the worst for it. It’s just that with bodies we can experience sensations and that is huge!

Are you wondering “who” it is does the monitoring, judging, expecting?  Well, we do – as a thought unit. We have become quite a body, and like a body, where we itch, we scratch. Sorry – bad joke.  Just call it species empathy. We inform ourselves, we feel, we experience, ergo, we know. Knowledge after all, is simply made up of two things: information and experience brought together. That tells you why minds so eagerly seek to join with a body: for sensual experiences.

End Part 1 of 3


The Sword, the Bow and the Staff – Part I The Calling

(Continuing then with the story…)

Chapter 17
More history; how Lo came by the sphere

Lo came over to Nal when she entered the large room now filled with people, tables and benches stacked against the far wall, rush lights stuck in sconces burning in their holders all around, casting a warm glow on happy, sweating bodies.

“Come with me to the butchering room, I need to talk where no one will intrude on us.” They entered the cold, rancid room and bolted the door.

“I heard you Nal but I chose not to intrude on your sorrow, it is how it is with us. We are not like the humans who feel a need to run to a lover or a friend for support in times of personal inner turmoil. For us as you will remember, it is necessary to withdraw, find a place alone, and work out the problem until it is eliminated, as it must be. Unlike humans who can carry such as grief, sorrow, sense of loss, anger, hate or their sensuous loves for years, even for an entire life, we clear our minds of such things, constantly refreshing ourselves. Only our goal, purpose and quest remains a constant reminder that we are forever moving, forever changing, forever self empowered. If we lived as humans we would soon drain each other of all energy and fade away.

“I love you from purpose, not from feeling or need though of course there is deep feeling in it, but as a result, not a cause. My vow to destroy the Betrayers is also purpose driven and goal oriented. I follow a vision of perhaps removing a great evil from this world so it may have a chance of, how do I put that, evolving itself, of changing also for the betterment of all. You would suppose that after all the millennia of wandering this world, observing its ways and doing whatever in my power to make significant changes with so little if any results, would have put me off my purpose but it hasn’t. It is not how we are made.

“You will remember eventually of those times when we were young in spirit and we volunteered for this assignment. How we applied ourselves to the study of alien worlds, to understand the mindset behind a world’s mental, emotional and physical change, or evolution. How carefully we chose the forms we would inhabit on this world. We planned so carefully! We were so naive, Nal. When we arrived here all our plans were useless. That is because we were the first and there was only intellectual knowledge of earth in our databases we relied on. We knew the biology, the physics. We knew size, land to water ratios, weather patterns, seasons, temperatures. We knew about the basic races of its human life and the violence we came here to tame and in time bring to an end. We knew the number of people already on this world.

“What we did not know; what our own teachers could not give us, is an intuitive awareness of evil. It came at us with such force it overwhelmed us. It seemed the indigenous life was more or less adapted to it and accepted the horrible trade-offs of their situation. Well, it appeared at first it had no other choice.


“But we could not accept it; our natures rejected the concept of evil and we were stymied over and over in our efforts. We would teach and demonstrate and give lessons and for a short time some of the people would grasp the concept of peace and compassionate interaction but within a few years these people were overwhelmed in turn and often martyred for their beliefs.

“We learned two things: that the humans could accept new, non-traditional ways of doing things and begin acting in such new ways but that there was a programming running here that kept a violent, predatory status quo operating. This programming came from a source similar to our own, a powerful energy or group of beings not of earth, controlling its sentient life through its feelings, its hopes and desires; its thoughts and emotions.

“We had no defence against evil, no mental armour against it, no mental or spiritual immune system to draw upon. We were naked to its attacks and it infiltrated us. The rest you know, and here we are, again, thinking that logically we should be able to defeat this force. First though, we must destroy the Betrayers so we can then apply what we have learned up to this time to discover the source of this evil that is eating this world. You were thinking about why we are here, why try to intervene, and when will it end, some time back?

“I believe it will end soon after the Betrayers are defeated. We will be recalled to give an account of what befell here. Do not fear this great evil we are about to confront, nor the losses of friends through death or necessary separation. Remember the lesson of detachment we had to learn when we had to spend so many long years apart from each other on opposite sides of this planet. Much of your power is tied to the effect of detachment. If you care personally for someone, that caring will weaken your powers. It will cause fear and doubt.

“When we encounter the Betrayers, we must work together but only as if we were alone. Each will bring in his or her skills to bear independently. They will not expect that because they have been corrupted and have fallen victims to the false earth belief that in the many resides the more power. That seems to be the case but it is a massive lie. The many produce less usable personal energy because on one hand the collective takes from the individual to maintain itself and on the other hand the individual is less likely to rely on himself, seeking empowerment from the collective, from the hope that the power that was taken from him is increased when turned into group power.

“You see how subtly debilitating that is? A percentage of energy is stolen from the individual to maintain the collective but of course the collective cannot give back as much energy to the individual when it needs it to fight for it, or to support it because it needs a large percentage of that stolen energy just to maintain itself and its supporting apparatus. It’s a net loss all around and the greater the collective, the more entropy or energy loss is created.

“Conclusion: the collective, any collective is less stable than the individual; more prone to corruption and unlike the individual who can change through self-sacrifice and personal empowerment, the collective that becomes corrupt cannot, ever, be cured. Its purpose is not to serve but to maintain itself and increase its own power. The result is simple: though it eats more and more of its supportive energies, it becomes incrementally weaker, unsteady, reprobate then collapses into a myriad of separate parts. What the people of this world fail to see is that none of the personal energies poured into the collective, the organization or group, can ever be recovered. All of it is lost forever, to man, to nature, to the world and to the concept we Alas call Life. That is what our teachers called entropy.’

“Ah, Lo, yes of course I understand it now. I sincerely thank you for this lesson; for reminding me of things we used to discuss. But what about Deanna and her werewolf? There is attachment there, surely?”

“I am no expert on those races Nal. An Elven maiden shapeshifter and a Werewolf, also shapeshifter, that is something new for me to have encountered. Thanks to my ignorance in this matter I am obliged to not interfere in that relationship. Those people have their own ways; their own powers which are quite effective. I think their “attachment” has a different interpretation than what I put on the analogous human interaction since they lack human feelings and emotions. Let me tell it to you this way, Nal: I sense a kind of innocence at play in them, but for all that, focused and deadly. Contrary to human collectives, their community, be it of two or more, is empowering to them, not dis-empowering or disruptive and draining of personal power.

“Like us they possess a power that does not belong to this world, but theirs is quite different from ours. I sense they were sent to us, that we are not alone to face the coming trial. I also sense we are about to learn much, not only from Wolf and Deanna but from our human friends, particularly a couple of young shepherds, one of whom seems to have disappeared, and from the girl-woman Genti who was introduced to us as a priestess of the old ways.”

The celebration or festivities were drawing to a close when they returned to the main room. They were greeted enthusiastically, Nal hugged by the men, particularly the younger ones, Lo clapped on the back or given the powerful handshake. There was happiness here, and acceptance of something the people had long needed, something that had been taken from them so cruelly in the endless wars of conquest and debilitating retaliations. Any conquered indigenous people know what this is saying.

It was close on to midnight when Nal and Lo were finally able to retire to their upstairs bedroom and enjoy some privacy. Neither had had much time to enjoy the food and Nal particularly felt the emptiness in her stomach but chose to focus on the happiness of being alone and together with Lo. ‘My husband of forever’ she thought and smiled as she undressed and slipped in the hard bed. “Lo? Are you joining me?”

Lo, being of the full Alay did not have the same needs as those of earth. He could go days without eating or sleeping, able to override the demands of a physical body. He motioned to Nal that he would be with her presently, opened their window shutters and listened to the world. Predictably from the distant woods came the call of the Werewolf followed by that of his mate. He sent a quick thought of the inner language that could not be read by the Betrayers for it did not carry beyond a few miles:

‘So, all is well out there?’ He caught a touch of a mind message from the Werewolf: ‘We greet. All well.’

Lo decided it was time to introduce Nal to his sphere. He called Nal to join him at the window which she did though yawning and hugging her naked body with her arms. He opened his great coat and she slipped into it, leaning against him, waiting for whatever he wanted to show her.

He opened his hand to show her the small white sphere he held, barely visible in the darkness. She reached for it but he caught her wrist and held back her hand.

“If you touched it, it would hurt you. You have not been introduced yet so it would take you to be someone intent on controlling or harming it. This is one of those instruments we used in our training before we came here – soon you will remember. We were not allowed to bring them here but one of the Betrayers did. You remember Tel’Madan don’t you? Remember how over time he changed towards us, becoming secretive? Remember his inappropriate, even lurid advances towards you in front of his own partner Miriel who was your closest friend among the Alaya? He possessed this sphere and used it to access information we could not know about, or have. He learned about power over rather than power for, from this very thing.

“Long after everyone had been killed and I was the only one left to counter the Betrayers’ evil, I met with Tel’Madan in a neutral space, on a trireme in the Mediterranean sea. We had both agreed to hire on as sailors and to discuss our impasse. We were sitting in the prow, wary of each other, talking low. Then he said something disgusting about you, how they had enjoyed taking turns raping and torturing you before they killed you. The malice in his voice was so intense I knew then I’d never be able to speak to him of the times before. This was pure evil. Then he made one mistake: he showed me the sphere he had stolen and brought with him to earth.

“In one swift move, I was always the fastest of us, I grabbed for it and jumped overboard, diving deep, inducing a trance that put my body to sleep, not even a heartbeat to locate. I remained under water until dark came, then I surfaced slowly. There was no sign of the trireme or any other ship so I floated, waiting, pondering. I had put the sphere in a pocket and now I carefully reached for it, remembering the burning pain I received when I grabbed it.

“We were familiar with these devices, though you may not remember. Each was programmed to one person only. This one however had been mucked with, probably shared between the two Betrayers so it was a bit flexible, its security having been compromised. I engaged it with my fingers closing in on it slowly. I confused it and finally took it in my hand and closed my hand on it as we used to do. At first there was no response and I didn’t mind, glad that I had removed one important weapon from our enemies. With nothing else to do but floating with the waves and feeling the great sea all around, I kept focusing on the sphere, asking my questions. Finally it responded. It threw out a weak light in answer to some of my questions, turned dark and refused to answer others.

“How were you rescued from the sea?”

“A trader sailed close enough I was able to grab a rope dangling from the side and in the cover of night, climb aboard and hide until they reached port. Disguised as a sailor I grabbed some bundles and followed the others onto the quay, dropped my bundles and disappeared in the crowds.

“But about the sphere, I’ve had over a thousand earth years to reprogram it to my own touch and mind; to make it my own. It has served me well.

“Now I wish to make it accept you as the only other who may hold it.”

“Could we not just make a duplicate for myself?”

“I doubt it. If it could have been done the Betrayers certainly would have done so.”

“Thanks for showing it to me Lo but I’m too tired to deal with that now. Come to bed?”

He mentally locked the device, put it back in its hiding place and followed his wife to bed. She was tired but still she turned to him for the sex. She had always possessed a powerful need for it and he certainly did not mind accommodating that need.

Morning came, bright and sunny, a typical harbinger of spring when hope for an end of winter rises.

There was no sign of Deanna or her Werewolf. Lo and Nal found many things to do around the cottage and barns, repairing, reinforcing, feeding the animals, enjoying a few moments of normal earth life on a farm. The shepherd boy Giles found endless numbers of excuses for leading or following Nal about the yards, explaining things that she did not need explaining and proudly introducing her to his own pig, “Rumpf.”

“I saved his life when he was just a piglet and a fox had grabbed him. With his burden the fox couldn’t run as fast as usual and I was able to catch him and beat him with a stick to make him abandon his prize. Master MacGruder was so taken with the story and laughed so hard that he gave it to me. “That’s my pig, Nal” he said proudly. “I own my own animal! I am a man of property.” She acknowledged his pride with a hug that made him feel as if his feet had left the ground. “I’m proud of you, Giles,” she said, then, “and perhaps later you and I can do some sparring, what say you man?”

With his heart thumping so hard and loud he thought she’d hear it he said,

“T’would be my honour to spar with ye, lass!” and thought himself quite the complete man for saying so. Nal smiled and chuckled. She certainly didn’t mind the boy’s attentions and she knew neither would Lo. ‘He’ll learn my boundaries soon enough and his broken heart, if it must be broken, will lead him on to a suitable partner.’


The Sword, the Bow and the Staff – Part I – The Calling

(Continuing with the saga in which many thoughts are expressed and many things are learned. This is chapter 16. There are 25 chapters in Part I and 25 more following in Part II. I’m writing this because some of you may want to know how much longer you have to suffer through this, others how much more to expect of a journey and adventure through the unlikely possible, or should I say, the possible unlikely.)

Chapter 16
Return to the Cottage – Introducing Genti

Nothing much had changed at the cottage when the travellers returned after their days on the trail. The barn was partially re-thatched but the rest of the long roof would have to wait another season for grass to be harvested for the thatching. Sheep wandered about or slept in the lower field. Pigs squealed and grunted in their pens. Chicken and geese wandering everywhere presented more of a cacophony. Apart from the noise of the animals reinforcing the fact that things had more or less returned to some normalcy, more logs and branches had been dragged in and stacked in ingenious ways to shed rain and provide dry firewood.

They saw men, women and children about, intent on their various duties or their games.

“Why aren’t they acknowledging our approach?” Asked Deanna.

“I’ve cloaked us in a semi invisible veil. I want to test how close the three of us can get to them before they notice us. Advance silently and quietly.”

They were almost among the people and still no one noticed, not even the dogs. A young boy lobbed a rough-sewn pig skin ball and Lo reached for it and held it in the air. The children stopped running and stared at their ball stationary in the air. One girl screamed and the adults turned to see what was the matter. Lo dropped the ball and gradually made the three of them visible.

Children, women, men, all stared at the three travellers mouth agape. Lo addressed them and explained.

“As you probably already suspected, and talked about among yourselves, we are more than we at first appeared. I used this little trick to prove the point, beyond our fighting abilities and speed which you have observed and wondered about. All three of us are in fact wizards or sorcerers as you will. We are of those who fight for what is right, good and just whereas there be some of us who work on the opposite side of it. Now let me reintroduce ourselves to all of you if you would call out anyone near enough to join.”

They waited while the people of the cottage were assembled to hear what Lo had to say. He could tell they were eager for this revelation, very eager, but perhaps not as much as the priest in Glowmere would be if ever appraised of this. Would there still be a wedding or would that change to a public execution by burning?

The people being assembled and Ian MacGruder having nodded his assent, Lo explained.

“Some of you remember the old tales about certain wizards called the Alas, do you not?”

There were nods and “Aye, there be stories still told of such!” from some of the older people.

“Two of us here are of these. I am the ancient Alay Lotharic, hence my nickname, Lo. This woman is the ancient Alaya called Nah’La and is my bound and eternal wife, as I am her bound and eternal husband. Together now after a very long time apart, we seek out two evil wizards we have dubbed  the Betrayers that we may destroy them before they do more damage here, or cause more wars and plagues.

“This third member of our group, this young woman, calls herself Deanna. She is of the Elven race and possesses powers similar to ours and some that are quite, how shall I say it, unique. She met with us and joined us when we went down to that fortified village that is called Torglynn. She has voluntarily chosen to join our quest and to fight for the defeat of the Betrayers.

“That is basically the long and short of it. We intend, if it pleases you, to stay with you for a few more days during which we will discuss our strategy and learn more about each other and our combined powers. There is another powerful member of this group but he prefers to remain anonymous and unseen. You will however hear him howling in the night when he turns himself into a werewolf. I say this because should any of you encounter him you need have no fear and he will be able to speak to you. As long as he is nearby, allowed to roam freely and no attempt made to molest him, you and your animals are fully protected from either man or beast.

“If for reasons of your own you wish to meet with this person, Deanna will lead you to him. Be aware that if your intent is treacherous, all of us including the werewolf can read your thoughts. If the wolf senses betrayal he will kill instantly, without qualms or remorse. The same is true of the woman, Deanna, for she and the Wolf have a bond that only the Elven people and the Wolf Clans can understand.

“I leave you to think upon these revelations. Realize that I have just taken you back into your old memories, traditions and ways. Remember what you once were before you were enslaved by these new ways, by the new Roman God and his violent religion of conquest and enslavement. Remember and perhaps you may regain some of the pride in what you once were.

“If you wish, you may appraise your village priest of our presence. If he is wise, he’ll do nothing about it. If he is as ignorant as most are, and I suspect he is, he will seek to do us great harm in which case the harm will go to him and those who side with him and try to harm us. If our lives are threatened, know that we will fight and kill those who attack us, however many there be. Would you mind giving a little demonstration, Deanna?”

The young woman looked over the rag-tag group with her flashing green eyes, tossed her hair back, raised her arm and pointed at a large stone near a line of trees that defined the edge of the common yard. The stone measures in the neighbourhood of eight feet in diameter, and partially rose from the ground to the  height of a man. She opened her hand palm out. Two heartbeats and the stone violently shattered, it’s debris scattered over an area of several hundred feet, leaving a hole waist deep to a man in the ground.

A collective gasp escaped from many open mouths accompanied by silence. Looks of confusion, of fear and of certain admiration if not actual worship were turned to the three wizards. It was Nal who broke the spell.

“All right, all right! Look folks, I’m still Beanna here. I’m your friend, not a stranger. These things that have come to pass, I knew nothing of them when I lived with you some months past. I thought myself an ordinary lass then and except for my skin tone, my dark almond eyes, black hair and small size compared to you, I would have been the same as you. That hasn’t changed. My powers are not meant for any of you, though I do have a new ability to heal, as does Deanna. This we will do while we are with you. Bring us your sick, your lame, those who have chronic pain and I will heal them, I mean we will heal them. Now, we be starving after so long on the trail, is there food available?”

There was cheering at that. MacGruder came over to Nal and grabbing her, hugged her in his powerful embrace. After releasing her he said,

“Aye lassie, ye and yo’re companions air welcome among us. No one will tell the priest anything I swear, we hold our secrets well in these parts, o’ necessity. Ye were not braggin’ about the healin’ then? ‘Tis true you can do this?”

“Aye sir, we can, and we will.”

“Please call me Ian. An’ I forgive ye fer the meddlin’ in my affairs afore ye left. What ye said needed sayin’. There be new weapons being forged from those we took from our attackers an’ I understand the need for ‘em. I thank ye, lass.”

Nal could not reply. She was choking and tears gushed from her eyes. Apart from her mother, Lo and Deanna, she had known so little kindness or respect through her short years that any amount overwhelmed her. MacGruder noticed and added,

“Ye be a fine girl, Beanna. If ye be half as much a wizard as ye are a good woman, this world owes ye a great debt o’ gratitude already and will owe ye much more. Come, let’s find ye some food.”

He took her small hand in his huge one and led her into the dining area where many had already gathered and were standing and sitting, or busy serving. Lo was on a long bench with several men discussing who knows what and Deanna was engaged in what certainly seemed to be a very serious talk with two tall strangers. A tall young blonde woman was sitting quietly and primly next to the lady of the house. The food came her way and she decided her hunger took priority. She waited for a perfunctory grace to be said then fell to.

The meal was boisterous as such things go but most of the conversation was of the common sort. People’s health, the animals, the weather and in that respect much about the powerful storm that had passed so violently and quickly to the south, bringing lighting and thunder, a thing seldom seen in winter. Several looks were cast at the travellers at the mention of the storm but these said nothing more than acquiesce to the general consensus, that it was unusual.

When the meal was over, Ian MacGruder asked the travellers to join him in a separate and private part of the house.

“First then, I wish to acquaint ye with me own daughter just returned to us from the north where she attended a special kind o’ training place for some chosen young women o’ the clans.”

The tall, slim and quite blonde young woman entered the room accompanied by her mother, Jen and solemnly bowed to Lo and Nal but said nothing, just straightening up and standing as still as if she’d been a guardsman on parade duty.

“This here is Genti, our daughter of whom we are beyond proud. She has been training in secret to become a priestess against the edicts of the Church. Despite the dangers, she chose to enter into this vocation, stating that she did not want to see our old ways die while she could do something about it. Genti is a strong and very disciplined woman who has twice refused a very good match in order to pursue her vocation. I’ll not say more but leave the rest of her story for her and her mother to tell.

“Now I wish to discuss the matter of the healin’ ye said ye could perform on our people and that ye would. We be in serious need of this gift. Is there some particular procedure ye need done for this?”

Nal answered, “No Ian, just take us where we are needed and we will do what we do. I will go with someone you choose. Deanna, will you go along with someone else that we may double up on our efforts for our time may be short?”

“Certainly I will do that. Someone lead me on.”

It was Genti who spoke, in a low but penetrating voice,

“If I may an’ it please ye, I would accompany ye to t’ sick, m’lady.” She said to Deanna.

Though the words spoke of a deep humility they could not hide the power and authority in them.

That is the “healing time” that would be talked about for long years thereafter when a greater, more eventful thing took place at the MacGruders and surroundings of the cottage than had been the cowardly attack that had killed three of their people. The story would also speak of how a daughter of the clans became a great healer in that time.

Sick, lame, those hurt or maimed in accidents, all were cured, including one young man of eighteen summers who had never been quite right in his head and a blind child of three summers who received her sight.

We often speak of how joyful people are when they are delivered from an enemy, when a war is won and the fighters return home in victory. But nothing can surpass the joy of those who receive their people cured from terrible diseases for which they thought there would never be a cure.

Imagine the joy of that mother of the three year old blind child, to realize her child could see after the Glowmere village priest had accused her and her child of having sin in their lives and pronounced the child’s blindness as a just punishment from God.

Imagine if you can the relief also from the many who were dirt poor, when they discovered that the wizards would take no payment, either in gold or in kind, for their healing services. Yes, it was a time of great rejoicing at the cottage that led to three days of feasting, music and dancing.

When the celebrations began and it looked as if they would go on for some time, Deanna confessed to Nal that she longed to join up with Wolf whose lonely calls she had been faithfully following.

“I need to go to him and run with him. I want to find out what he has learned and done about his own powers and how he can help us since he insists on coming along with us. Of course, he would never leave me.”

“Go then Deanna. You’ve done a great service to all now and it’s time for you to enjoy your own life. Talk to me when you are ready to rejoin us. Now listen, you can’t just shuck your clothes here for me to look after and walk away. You’ll need to find a dry place to hide them and you’ll need to wear them when you return. You will remember the human taboos on nakedness, will you not?”

“I will try. It’s silly but it is their law. Warn me when the festivities are coming to an end and I will return.”

Hidden from any prying eye, Nal and Deanna hugged each other and kissed passionately, chests heaving with desire for each other.

“Go, go before we do more. I know you cannot regret but I might and I don’t want to. I love you and you know that. All of us are caught in our own love triangles with you as the fulcrum and it is a terrible burden but I feel it has its purpose and that will be revealed to us soon. Go, find your mate and play. I return to Lo and the things of men and women and wizards while you deal with those of wolves and elves and wizards. Ah, what a motley bunch we are.”

Reluctantly she turned and walked away, back towards the cottage. When she turned, Deanna had disappeared. She scanned the sloping land and saw the large black werewolf and his huge light grey mate running across an open area then plunging into the woods. Then came the distinct calls as both went about performing their territory claiming rituals. Nal felt her heart grow heavy and began to doubt that Deanna would ever return to her as a human being, if at all.

‘I am being a foolish girl, letting love confuse my thoughts. I must be to the things that now concern us most, to the great confrontation that awaits us.

‘O, Lo, I fear for us. Perhaps it’s because of what happened to me before that I harbour this fear, but it is in me. The fear of unavoidable pain and of death. I feel it coming, Lo.’

Did he hear her thoughts? Did he sense her loneliness and emptiness? There was no response from him as she walked slowly and deliberately back to the feast. She heard the music, then the laughter. Night once again began to claim his rightful share of time and Nal stopped to watch as the huge fire lit as a welcome beacon threw its baleful glare up the walls of the great stone building, drawing portentous shapes upon them.

‘Fire’ she thought. ‘Fire, I have seen so many fires already, too many and their colour drains me of life.’



The Sword, the Bow and the Staff – Part I The Calling

[I know, it’s been days since I posted a section from the fantasy novel. They’ll come a bit faster now as the novel at approximately 300pp, is essentially finished. I’ve got enough material swirling around in my mind for at least an entire sequel but for now, it’s going to be “the big edit” for a day or so.  I still need to design a cover, then learn how to publish on “Smash Words” I think it’s called. Meanwhile, enjoy. If you’ve lost the thread,  previous sections are here on the blog. Enjoy! Feel free to comment, ask questions, point out discrepancies, whatever!]

Start section 15 (fifteen)

They played with each other for a while then remembering their quest, went galloping down the trail in search of Lo’s scent. The trail was wet and very slippery and in places cut through with rivulets created by the mega storm that would now be but a memory if not for the many broken branches and dislodged stones that lay across the trail. They hardly paid that any mind, intent on their quarry and the pleasant sense of their togetherness and the thrill of the night hunt.

After a two hour run which to them was nothing but a short romp they smelled Lo. Crouching, moving forward silently, they inched up on his hiding place and shelter. They listened and sniffed. He breathed normally and the accompanying packs indicated that his journey had been a success. The wolves backed away and silently retraced some of their steps up the trail until they saw a shooting star across the skies. Normally the wolf wanted a moon to howl at but it was the she-wolf who stopped and began to howl, then yap, then howl again. This was her first night and she was laying claim to her hunting territory and pity any other hunter who disregarded her warning. Wolf gave his own guttural howl as an additional warning. At those sounds all night noises fell silent except the cascading tumbles of storm-fed streams.

They touched noses and leaving the trail plunged eagerly into the broken countryside, simply to enjoy their freedom and the wilderness that was theirs this night. At critical points in their apparent rambling, both Wolf and his mate left scented signals of their passage. ‘You may pass through here but you may not hunt without our permission’ is what it meant. Their signalling would be strictly obeyed and they knew it. It was the law.

Some time later a hare shrieked, then another. Sated then, the wolves continued to explore their territory, once in a while bumping playfully into one another then chasing each other over rocks, streams and fallen trees. They breathed deeply of the night air full of animal joy until the time came to return to the cave and each transform back to their previous state.

Nal was already up and standing outside the cave when she saw the two wolves emerge from the shrubbery. She saw the monster black werewolf with a mane that made him look twice the size he normally was and the sleek light-grey she-wolf trotting lightly beside him, playfully nibbling at his ear. Some moments later Deanna rose from behind a boulder, stunning in her human nakedness and fullness of life while the grey wolf, turning his head but once trotted away to disappear behind a talus.

“Good morning, Nal! How are you today?”

Nal noticed a strange animal scent on Deanna, and her hair spread wild and disarrayed but nevertheless extremely attractive, giving her an animal sensuousness. She reached for the tall girl and encircled her waist, then stood on tiptoe, raised her face to hers and kissed her to share in her wildness. She knew this was a rare moment and such would end much too soon. Plus she missed Lo and was now confused by her feelings, something she had not been a couple of days before. Deanna took her in her own arms and lifting her off the ground, held her up to kiss her also. There was no fear, no shame, nothing to indicate that any of this was in the very least unusual.

‘Go with it, flow with it’ thought Nal. That made it all right and she knew that Deanna or whomever this creature now was, would never again experience any of the deep human sensations of love, shame, sorrow or regret. For the woman she-wolf Elven sorceress was now but imitating human likeness and human feelings; they did not belong to her any longer.

“Would you care to get dressed, Deanna?”

“Dressed? Oh no, thank you. Much too constricting. I’ll wait until Lo arrives, he’s on his way but has quite a load to carry and mostly uphill. Or we could head down and meet him halfway or so and help?”

“Yes, I’d like that. I can’t think straight now anyway and I wouldn’t know what to do. I know I should go hunting but we’ll probably sight something along the trail. I’ll pin something then.”

She stuffed and tightened her pack and weapons and carefully placing them down through the entrance, she slipped through, loaded up, and joined Deanna.

“You’re going to go down naked?”

Deanna had appeared pensive and far away in her mind. “Am I? Oh, yes I will. It’s so much more comfortable this way. Does it matter?”

“Yes, no, I mean fine. I don’t mind. What were you thinking of?”

“It’s selfish. I was following Wolf and thinking about tonight. I’m rather between worlds, Nal and today will be a difficult day for me to focus on anything. I’ll get better at it, I promise. Just give me a few days to adapt. From this vantage, it’s a big revelation I’ve just received and a big step I have taken.”

“That has to be the understatement of the age, girl. From being a normal daughter of a servant woman in a fortified village about to be given in marriage to some lout and no say in it, then captured, raped, tortured and left for dead, to becoming a human Alaya, then discovering she’s after all an alien from a different world, an Elven woman, then deciding to become a shape-shifter to become a she-wolf to roam the wilderness at night with a werewolf of her own creation basically? Hm. ‘Nothing to see here?’ I think there might be. While we’re walking and talking, I need to know, how did you manage to ‘see’ our Betrayers in that far south country?”

“Actually that was very easy. Once I decided that the storm was artificially driven, I focused my projection energies unto its far edge to locate those energies that drove it. I followed those to their source and there were your two very bad people. By the way, did you know they are very ugly? In my opinion anyhow. I watched them so to speak and I could see the sparks of energy that fed the stream that grew and pushed the storm. They were working intensely at that.

“I don’t know anything really about the Alay but I’d say their powers have dwindled, not expanded. What they’ve lost of their natural energy heritage they’ve replace with various aspects of hate, using fear and torture to get information, adherents or sycophants and to drive armies to their death. I didn’t observe them long, I didn’t know at what point they’d notice my energy floating near so I withdrew once I had the information you needed. Plus I’m sorry but I had other things on my mind by then.

Mockingly “Trying to cheer me up again, Deanna?”

Seriously, not catching the drift, “No, I was stating facts. You wanted facts, I gave you facts.”

“I guess my friend and lover Donna is truly lost to me, and also to Lo now, hey?”

“I’m sure I don’t follow. I’m here aren’t I and we are going to meet with Lo and help him with his load? Is it because I’m naked as a human, without my fur that you…”

“Oh, forget it. I’ll find some non-emotional method to communicate with you, she-wolf.”

“I like being called that. Thank you.”

Nal snorted, partly in frustration, partly in disgust and partly in sorrow at the emotional loss of an intimate companion who now chose a wolf to wander with. ‘I guess that’s what comes of mixing worlds. None of us non-Earth aliens should be here; none should have ever been able, or allowed, to come here. We just don’t belong and no matter what choices we make, either nothing will come of it or if something does, it will always go wrong!’

It was in a very down mood that Nal and Deanna encountered Lo. The sight of the naked Deanna, whom he still knew only as Donna, quite surprised Lo.

He looked at the young woman standing in front of him and asked, “Is there something I should know, or someone might wish to tell me?”

Before Nal could make a reply, Deanna said, “What would you like to know, Lo?”

“What’s going on? Why are you naked? Aren’t you cold?”

“Three questions. Many things are going on, as always. I am undressed because I am in my human form and I did not like the tight clothes I had to wear and I can’t be in fur when in human form. I am not cold.”

“Nal, explanation?”

“Oh, Lo. So much has happened in the three days you were gone, I don’t know where to begin. Donna is not Donna. Her name is Deana at the moment, but she is now a shape-shifter and she spends time as a she-wolf roaming the wilderness with another wolf whom she transforms into a werewolf. She accidentally discovered that she is not human either, but a cross over from the Elven worlds and at least her father is an Elf. When we shared Alaya energies, her own Elven nature awakened very abruptly and she developed powers I have never seen.

“Her mind is quite different today, caught up in the wolf world but she thinks she will find a way to re-balance herself. As to clothing, she may, or may not wear any unless forced by circumstances as she is more wolf than human now. I’ll tell you more as we return to the cave, we should keep moving to get there before nightfall.”

Lo gave Deana the clothes and boots he had purchased for her along with her share of the load. He had thoughtfully bought her a trail pack similar to their own, a mid-sized but light sword with a wonderfully flexible blade and a good dagger that was already stuck in its sheath in the left boot – he’d noticed that she favoured her left hand. Deanna tried the boots first and liked them. She tried a shirt and jacket and found she could stretch in them. She was truly thrilled to discover that he’d gotten her a leather kilt rather than pants. How had he known she hated pants? The kilt had a large wide belt that held loops for staff or stick. The sword of course had its own sheath and a body harness to hold it on back or side, so as not to clash with a pack. She put the kilt on and did a lively dance, feeling the freedom it gave her legs.

“Oh, thank you Lo, I can wear these, I can.” She approached him and kissed him lightly. “I do love you, I do. I love all of us. I love this land, this world, everything! I’m in love! Crazy in love, Ah-oooh!” she yelled into the hills to hear them echo her call back to her. “It’s all so wonderful!”

She gave her wolf imitation again and there was a reply from above them. They saw the grey wolf looking down at them and both Nal and Deanna waved at him.

With Lo shaking his head in wonder they stepped lively back up the trail to the cave. The wolf was sitting down in his usual place waiting for them, far enough to be safe if the humans threatened him. With Deanna there however he didn’t feel threatened, just a bit jealous. But night was on the way. He nodded his big head and trotted off.

“So that is your friend, Deanna?”

“He’s my mate, Lo, not my friend. He’s Nal’s friend, she introduced us two days ago and we hit it off. He’s wonderful, so young and alive. Wait ‘til you see his werewolf shape, so big and powerful with eyes that literally glow in the dark. In his werewolf shape he will speak the inner language to you, but not the thought forms. There is no danger of being overheard and he doesn’t say much. We use a very simple and specific language.”

They eagerly set to sharing the new rations, and the story of the storm was told. Lo was filled with gratitude to Deanna for discovering the current whereabouts of the Betrayers as he and Nal called them. That name would stick. Bits and pieces of Deanna’s story came out during the meal and he thanked her also for making the water baskets when he drank from her new one. Then he said to her,

“Before you go off with your wolf mate, could you demonstrate for me your powers of projection? If possible, would you share them with us?”

“I will show you and of course I will share them with you if you are able to absorb them and use them. See?” She stretched her arm, opened her left hand as if she were pushing something and some distance away a pile of rubble exploded in all directions. The large old stump that had held the rubble was gone, vaporized.

“That Deanna is truly impressive. I exhausted and it’s getting dark. You will want to go off with your mate, and I certainly want to spend the night with mine. Tomorrow morning, when you return, can we try the transfer?”

“Yes certainly. Now let me shed my clothes here and I’m gone.”

Nal picked up the pile of clothes, the boots and the pack and while holding them began to cry again. Lo came over to her and held her.

“I think I understand. I feel heavy too, as if we’ve lost her, but it’s a part-time thing. She’ll be with us for a while yet, she will not back down from her promise to help us. But I love her and so do you and this is a heavy loss which of course she cannot feel nor even notice. I gather she no longer shares our feelings and emotions. But girl, we have each other do we not? More for us then!

He picked her up, carried her to the entrance, lifted her through the opening and followed. She placed Deanna’s belongings on one of the many rocks that lay around the cave, stirred the fire and joined Lo in their bed.

The earth turned for the two of them as it had done over millennia and for hundreds of millions of times. Satisfied finally they went into a deep sleep.

They were awakened in the early morning by the naked Deanna whistling as she threw an armful of dry wood into the cave, slipped in and stoked the fire. Nal and Lo got up reluctantly and after standing by the roaring fire for a time while holding each other with their eyes closed so as to feel each other more, finally got dressed along with Deanna.

“I’m sorry but in all the things happening to me, I forgot to give you my little bundle of laurel roots to take to the village. I can’t find them now. The storm must have washed them away.”

“It did not. I remembered and took it with me. Your old friend was very grateful and he says thank you and to make sure you do take good care of yourself. It’s fine, he promised not to tell anyone that you were alive and leaving. ‘Right good move that.’ he said. ‘She’s much too smart a girl to let her heart die in this place. I wish I could be with her, but I wish her well.’ he also said.

After the attempted transfer of energy, and time would tell how well that worked, as they stood and hugged by the fire they decided the cave had served its purpose and to leave that morning, heading the way they’d come back to the cottage. The packing was swift and efficient. Deanna did hers also in record time; they said goodbye, thanking the stones, the land, the waters and the air for according to Deanna it’s how the wolves did it, and they moved on quietly and swiftly with their augmented speed. Once in a while the grey wolf showed himself as if to assure the travellers that they were being watched over and protected. Deanna would raise her hand and wave a certain way and the wolf would nod his head and disappear.

One night and two days on the trail passed without any incidents and they arrived at the cottage late one afternoon as the sky was darkening with clouds again. Deanna had decided to remain human for the entire coming stay at the Cottage, or as she said, at least hoped she could contain herself that long, explaining to Wolf that she would not be shape-shifting and doing any hunting with him for some time. She also warned him to remain carefully hidden for there were wolf hunters and hounds here and she could not protect him.

‘Stay far enough away to be safe but give me the inner talk in my head at night, and let me hear you howl. Try not to be too lonely. Find some friends, play, hunt, enjoy. We will be together forever very soon. Our time here is coming to an end and I will be taking you home where you will be recognized, accepted and loved. Remember also about the ordeal I mentioned and that I will need your help and protection soon. Practice to be your werewolf self. Learn what powers you have and use them. I love you, always.’

The grey wolf did not understand ‘time’ or ‘always’ but it didn’t matter, he understood ‘love’ and that was enough. They touched noses and she held his big paw in her hand then let him go. He vanished, blending in with the low shrubbery.

End of section 15 (fifteen)