Tuesday, March 5, 2013
D.S. Brown - AFTER THE LAST DAY CHAPTER 7
Minister Shirra and Kantootha assumed their places in the Great Hall. The sphere of the Galacticum AI brought the Trantken’s mind into joining. In the reality of the meeting of the minds, the avatar of the sentient that was Malachi stood. He appeared proud and utterly without fear. He had yet to speak a word, yet Shirra felt derision among the other Ministers. Surprisingly enough, none of it was aimed towards him.
By the time they had arrived, the image from Sol was already being debated. The majority had discarded it as non-pertinent to the proceedings. Some said it was Shirra’s keen interest in the missing race’s history clouding his judgment, the very thing the Minister wanted to avoid. He silenced his thoughts and minimized his presence to the others. After the present debates were completed, the Galacticum would turn to Malachi.
Sentients revisited the issue of dimensional migration. Proof was posited debunking the theory entirely. There was simply no way the entire Human race could vanish from the Galaxies of the Local Group in such a manner. They would have made too much noise. Such a population, each individual filled with such vast energy, be they corporeal or not, trying to leave this reality for an adjacent one at one time would have had disastrous results on both continuums.
Several officers and agents of the Fleet reported findings from all corners of the cosmos. Searching the various levels of hyperspace would take more time than there was of it. The chaotic reality just underneath this one was still over eight-five percent uncharted. Its physics allowed for shortcuts in travel, but its dimensions seemed to comprise more space than real space.
It was true Humanity could have vanished among one of hyperspace’s many levels, but even the powerful form of Humanity to which Shirra’s friend Randolph belonged required a conveyance to navigate that realm. It was far more hazardous than travel by portal and the Fleet reported every registered vessel belonging to Humanity was still present. Even if they weren’t, there was still more Humanity than ships available to carry them.
Scientific inquiries of all types abounded until an errant thought from an Umiate Minister inquired about the Humanoid at the center of their joining. The Galacticum AI immediately seized hold of all thoughts and directed them towards Malachi.
“THE GALACTICUM RECOGNIZES THE SENTIENT MALACHI, A HUMAN/ZATAI HYBRID.”
The Galacticum listened as Malachi spoke.
“My name is Malachi. I am of the race Human/Zatai,” he said, intentionally correcting the AI’s appellation. “I hail from the world Purgatorio, in the Israel System. On that world I followed the tenets of a religion, which existed when the Conjoining was but a young thing.”
The sentients of the Galacticum gasped in thought. First, the hybrid said religion. Second, it said a religion was active among their galaxies and older than the Conjoining.
“Yes, it is true. Though religion is not at the core of your society, it is in mine. And yes, it is ancient. It is as old as some of the very worlds many of you were birthed on. Know me and the Lord I serve. I am Malachi the Jew, Malachi the Christian, and Malachi the Muslim. In the star system of Israel, the Lord’s chosen people retained the ways of their forebears, their likeness as well as their love for the
Lord our God.
I see you Ministers of the Galacticum. I know your thoughts. You think me a fool, but the proof is in front of you, in the Universe you think you’ve mastered. But the Lord is all powerful and he has shown you his strength.”
Minister Shirra smiled. He was a bright star in the dark sea of Galacticum thought. Malachi was joy personified as he addressed his audience.
“In Israel, we remembered the old ways. On Purgatorio we worked, worshipped, and waited. The world of the in-between, it was our crucible. There we burned away all our inadequacies in preparation. In the intervening years we have received signs. God has made himself known to the faithful.”
The tumult was growing. The Galacticum was still listening intently, but most of them were beginning to dismiss Malachi’s testimony outright. A minority was wondering if something beyond the realm of present knowledge had indeed occurred. Findings had already indicated as much, but now they were entertaining ideas beyond the supernatural. It was supranatural.
Shirra would rally behind the minority. For he felt the truth of it in the electrons of his breast. The disappearance of Humanity went beyond them. To believe Malachi’s story required faith. Shirra had known Humans of all types, not just Randolph’s. There was no more thought to it, no more debating, he believed.
“Great Ministers of the Galacticum. It was written I would come here to herald the end. Most of you have forgotten the religions of old. You will not believe it, but the undercurrents have often been the same. You just don’t remember. Know that the Lord God has called home Humanity! They were the first in a long line of many. The last days of this Universe are upon us.
Do not search for those who have already gone. They are in a place none of your science can reach. I know, still you do not believe my words. But I am strong in the Lord and he has sent another to validate my testimony.”
Minister Shirra watched through the eye of his mind, fascinated. Events such as this had never occurred. Now Malachi stood rigid in the middle of the minds. He stretched out his arms and held his face to the artificial, mental sky. Suddenly the impervious, impenetrable sanctum of the combined minds of the Galacticum … was penetrated.
“ALIEN PRESENCE DETECTED! ALIEN PRESENCE DETECTED! ALL SECURITY MEASURES HAVE BEEN NULLIFIED! THE GALACTICUM IS COMPROMISED! I REPEAT, THE GALACTICUM IS COMPROMISED!”
Before anyone could answer the AI’s pleas, the alien presence manifested. It was beyond anything anyone could describe. It pushed back the mental boundaries of the Galacticum, making room for its presence. It was so bright it blinded the mind. The image of Malachi was engulfed and in his place stood a giant beyond giants.
The light dimmed and a being similar to the image Shirra saw at Sol stood before them. It was unimaginably tall, but apparently shrinking for convenience. Shirra reasoned it could easily stand astride three of four star systems. His mind pained with all the other Representatives of the Galacticum. The presence was testing even their vaunted mentalities, their powerful intellects. Its like had never before been recorded in any Nexus data-cluster, or so he thought.
This was no mere alien. Just as Shirra had that thought, it spoke.
“Behold! The angel of the Lord! I am Metatron!”
His words were like a powerful song stampeding through their minds. They made the mightiest beings of the Galacticum tremble, beings who to lesser races in the cosmos were like gods themselves.
“The Lord thy God has sent me, one who exists near the true center of all things, to bring you the truth. Look towards the wisdom within, feel the rightness in the words of Malachi, God’s prophet. For the end of creation is at hand and soon God will call you all home, believer and non-believer alike. And there, all will reside with Humanity, and others, until the Lord decides it is time to begin again.”
And with that, he was gone.
The minds of the Galacticum bounced back from the mental distances they had been stretched to accommodate the strange being. Only Malachi was left at the center, calm, collected, serene.
An august Andromedan was the first to speak.
”Can you explain what just happened?”
There was a pause, another something unprecedented. Never had the AI been at a loss for words.
“NO MINISTER,” was its only reply.
Shirra let his thoughts come to the fore.
“It seems fellow members of the Galacticum we have our answer. God exists and it is with God that Humanity resides.”
Malachi looked upon the presence of Shirra’s mind and smiled. Shirra smiled in return. Then it started. Discussion among all the members exploded to a fevered pitch. This was no less than what Shirra expected.
He had thought the investigation into where Humanity had gone would last far longer then it had. But no, he had his answer, as did they all. Now they would have to see who believed. Some would categorize it as an attack from an unknown alien entity. Some would discount it all together. These would continue searching for humanity along other lines.
Shirra sensed the mystery of this new event would quite literally break the Galacticum into. He felt it implicitly and was sad. But it was the way of the Universe, one thing makes way after a time for another. Perhaps it was just their time.
Shirra disengaged himself from the link. “Come Kantootha.”
“It is time for us to leave.”
“But Minister, the Galacticum has not yet adjourned. What of…”
Shirra raised a tentacle, silencing his aide. He looked back at the sphere containing the purported center, the might of Galaxies.
“No, I believe it has adjourned Kantootha, perhaps for the last time. Yes, I believe it has.”
They walked through the disc and caught a portal on the other side.
“Are we headed home Shirra?”
“Yes Kantootha. We are headed back to Nexus-Septum.”
“What will we do now?”
“I have some research to perform Kantootha and you will help me. I seem to remember something from our races’ past, from a time to us immemorial, a legend Kantootha. A legend of an ancient, wise Trantken prophet, and the God she claimed was her father.”