I wish I could remember the light. You might not care right now about the light, but when it is taken from you, when you start to forget how it looks, that’s when you realize how important it is. If you listen you may be able to keep this luxury. If not, you may find yourself without it forever.
Light is a gift. The light that sways before your eyes as you rise, or even the sunrise dotting the earth as it wakes – reflections I believe they were called. You really don’t know what light is, how much of a blessing it is until it is taken from you. Imagine. Everything dark. A desolate gaping hole of nothingness. The lack of light fills you with a feeling of emptiness. The darkness consumes you as you try as hard as you can to hold onto anything, even if they are just memories of light. Even if you close your eyes, your mind tries to trick you that it’s still there. With small bursts of blue, yellow, so faint, and the illusion of light it satisfies you just a little. If I could show you everything, it would blind you.
So I will start with the small pieces, the shiny pieces, shimmering with hope until you finish my story. This is the story of Atlia, the blackened, the deserter, the murderer, the martyr, the whatever you would like to call me. To me, I am just a person who has a choice to make, a decision that could change my life forever, and yours.
If I sound different, it is because I am thousands of years beyond your time. I know to your naïve species, this sounds insane, I read your books of saviors from the future that you chose not to believe in. Most of what I will tell you will sound like it is not real. This will happen if it has not already. All of this is real, and it is a warning. If you value the breath you have as you read every word. If you feel your chest going in and out as you breathe reading each word. If you like that feeling, then I suggest you heed this warning. If you are reading this around the world, then good. Someone has listened. But is it enough?
Our language is created by feeling, so I will try to translate the best I can, in an old language that seems full of feeling, but rife with misunderstanding. My life started thousands of years after you destroyed the earth with your people. After all the blood you spilled with your conceited leaders who could not see past war. After saying violence was the only way of life, pretending it was the last resort – when it was your first move. After saying “it is what it is” without trying to actually listen to each other, without trying to even see the humanity in “the other”. When you decided your life was worth more than another’s, or you witnessed others who felt this way and did nothing. When all animals, including your own species, were murdered for the pleasure of a few. I have read about you. How you made something called money, a non-existent item. That you were so untrustworthy of other people, you put their merritt into pieces of paper or “digital currency”. You are known to my people as the brokenhearted, for your hearts must surely have been broken to stoop so low as to treat lives as things. However grave your crimes are, it can change, while I cannot change mine. I might as well be broken hearted too.
I lived in Kalea, a domed state surrounded by a force field. We polished toxic rain and nourished an ecosystem for our city. Since the air was toxic outside, due to the Greatest War, we created the force field to let in all the good elements: sunlight, clean air, and water. Our city was the epitome of peace, just like the rest of the World Collective. I loved my city and all the northern provinces. My people were beautiful and we were all one family. No one human belonged to another person – we all belonged to each other. Our community was our family, and everyone lead with feeling, as was our way. We felt each other’s pain when a community member passed, we felt each others love when people loved one another. There was no such thing as creating a system to value each other – we just did value each other. We chose different projects we would like to do, from intentioneering (the engineers of the telegraphic, the device that connects all of us telepathically), to creationists (those who invent) and so on. We were never at a loss since all of us were different. It puzzles me how your world existed. I could not imagine trying to have a person only fit into one project, one that they may not even care about. For us, we were one. Each had a different culture and tradition, but we all came together to bring peace to the northern provinces. Unified against the Southern Founders who tried to take away our ways of life. The Southern Founders and the volatile state of the earth after the Greatest War kept us strictly inside the dome. If only I had known the truth, it might have changed everything.
I remember how the day that diverged my life began. How the sun had shone through the reflected dome and how the real flowers looked when I brushed past them to read in the garden. I loved the feeling of real flowers, how they felt light and soft, my pink fingers disappearing into the petals. My Prime Avo (my direct mother) insisted on keeping an old English garden, a garden from ancient times. I looked more like my Prime Avo than Avia Carlo (my father). Her curly, fiery red hair, her tight pink lips and pink skin. Her orange freckles that covered her, all over her body. Her blue eyes that were beautiful, they were slitted and sideways tilting. I got the color of my eyes from Avia Carlo, his dark brown eyes that matched the beautiful darkness of his body in contrast to his bright blond hair. He loved the garden as well, I remember his beautiful dark fingers brushing over the flowers when I was little, telling me touch it leafling, it feels like an old cloth from ancient times called velvet.
My Kamma (grandmother) had created the garden and though my Kamma was not to be spoken of, it seemed like my Prime Avo still loved her and kept it to remember the good in her. We had the last of the roses in the entire world here in our garden. My Avo was a child of one of the foundlings of the World Collective. I was very proud of my Avo and her accomplishments. She was one of the leaders of the World Collective, and the Grand Avo of Kalea. The World Collective is made up of four hundred leaders and they had the most important job – sustaining our World Collective rights. Yet all of us were held equally.
We were so fond of our rights that most other nations from the International Unity were not allowed in the World Collective as to not taint our rights. We were taught that the other countries were of no interest to us, and that our nation had real peace because of our rights. Other nations were thought to be fraught with inequalities to this day. But we joined the International Unity as a truce. We don’t impose on them, they don’t interfere with us. Our world rights were sacred, we all believed in the rights and upheld them as a family. We were taught family unity and keeping the utopia we built was more important than connecting with others who would not understand our way of life.
I, too, was extremely fond of our World Collective rights. I believed them so much that I was planning on being a leader myself – until that day. That day, the day that changed my life, I was in the garden reading via eden in my telegraphic. I intentioned my telegraphic to activate a projection, and it shot out from my opened eyes to form a real imprint that only I could see, regardless of my curly red hair that fell into my face. My hair was always impossible to tame, a gift from my Avo’s genetics. By having a telegraphic, you never had to worry about anything, including pesky hair getting in the way of seeing since it was in your mind as well. I could have changed my appearance with my telegraphic, but I never felt it was really that important. We were taught what is important is who you are, not what you looked like.
We connected through our different appearances on a deeper level through our telegraphics, really feeling the unique person behind the outside. Ever since we have had telegraphic technology, it has made us closer. We can see memories, and can do anything our ancestors did on the network machines in the telegraphic. We can do more than they ever imagined.
Telegraphics are biotechnical creations, and are now a part of our human species. They were created with the tissues of a human and other elements that could grow within us. My Dalta (sister), Beleeka, could tell you more about how telegraphics are made. Personally, creationist intentioneering bores me. Though I do love the feeling of my telegraphic.
All humans now have telegraphics and there is no removing them, only blocking. It is as much a part of us as our hands, arms, or legs, but it is most likened to the heart. For there is no living if you remove your heart, yet one can walk around heart-blocked. There is no such thing as shame, as we all know each other’s thoughts and feelings. We can turn on and off different channels if it becomes overwhelming. Relations I intentioned my telegraphic and a map of my family showed before me and where they were. An intention is a thought that we speak to each other and to our telegraphics with. It can also just be a feeling, it does not always have to be a thought, our telegraphic can read us like you used to read books.
I was really torn that day whether I was going to go see my dalta in the eve room or if I was going to spend time with my Avia Carlo in the concealer. Looking back I cannot believe that was even thought of as a “hard decision”. The concealer would be cooler and I would have to change my mask, an image displayed over all of my skin to other people’s telegraphics. Our telegraphics could change the color, and was limitless to create whatever illusion you desired. Our telegraphics also could change the warmth and cold measures of our bodies, so I would have to heighten mine so I could withstand the sheer chill of a concealer. My Avia loved to ski, an ancient practice still around due to my Avia who romanticized the ancient creationists. The concealer was made from inspirational creationists for the benefit of us to enjoy the nature that was once a part of this earth. Those who hated the warmth could enjoy the concealer and all that the white has to offer. I did not like the cold that much, though my Avia was the reason I could be found there. I loved watching him as he was doing showings.
My Avia Carlo was my favorite father and my direct father. It was not typical to be close to direct fathers, since we had so many, but Avia Carlo was everyone’s favorite father. He was fun, bright, imaginative and supportive. He always had a sarcastic humor that put the other Avos and Avias on edge, but he would make us laugh. He made us feel like he understood us and our generation. We cared about the World Collective, everyone did, but our generation wanted to do more. We wanted to explore outside the domes, a risky idea that no one had explored in thousands of years.
Avia Carlo instilled that sense of adventure in us, taught the few of us who loved the old language how to write and speak it, and was always there when anything went wrong. He was the one person you knew you could trust because he loved all of us no matter what we did. When we got into trouble, he would negotiate with the leaders to let us be forgiven, giving us love through our telegraphics. Our leaders blamed him for making our generation more rash and impulsive, but he argued with them that our species was meant to use this adventurous side for good, and that due to the World Collective and its teachings, that we were more than capable to explore anywhere in the universe.
Avia Carlo did not care what the leaders thought and continued to nurture us in the art of adventure, the history of our species from the early creationists to the intentioneers who created the telegraphic, to ways to communicate before telegraphics. My siblings, Beleeka, Nurium, Telepa, and I were always there, wanting to learn everything from him. He would speak in this melodic voice through our telegraphics that had us engaged from the minute he started. He would read us stories of the old world, and teach us about their adventures.
He was the kind of Avia that when you were sick he did not care. He would still hug you while comforting you, feeling what you were at its height to lessen the feeling of being sick. We usually were not sick for that long, our telegraphic being able to heal us. He would still hold us close when others were concerned about catching whatever you had, even if their sickness blocker was turned on. He let us snot all over him as we cried all sick and he would even hold us closer, shushing our sad feelings and lolling us to sleep. I had not seen him for awhile and wanted to visit him in the concealer, but at that moment I was more determined to beat Beleeka at our next game.
I decided instead to go to my dalta’s and maybe play a game with her in the Eve room.
When we played games in the Eve room, it was as if time stood still. Both Beleeka and I were intense when it came to games. It was the only place we could really have a fun competition, since it was banned in most areas of our life. Competition was thought to be a warning sign of becoming a lesser, that is what the people in past who destroyed the earth were called.
One time, when in the Eve room, Beleeka and I were playing a movement game, Fidget. Our telegraphics displayed different color boxes on the floor and each of us would start at one end or the other. The color of the boxes would change and we would have to jump on that box before it changed back. The goal was to get to the middle of all of the squares. I remember feeling Beleeka as she felt me, gauging what each other’s next move was.
What if we turn off all channels on our telegraphics? Make it more interesting Beleeka proposed, her eyes glimmering slyly. Ok I responded and when you turn off your channels on your telegraphic you feel such a loss of sensation, it is scary. What you had been feeling for years, everyone else, that feeling of connection – just gone. It feels as if you are standing at the edge of a cliff, teetering on it, half fun, half frightening. Even though I turned it off, I still felt… something. Odd I thought for a moment and then I had to pay attention to the game.
All of the sudden the color of the box I was on changed, and quickly I jumped to the next one. Beleeka and I were both closing in on the middle. The one to my right then changed and flashed for a second. As I was about to jump, I saw out of the corner of my eye the one to the left and front stayed solid. I jumped across three boxes to it and waved my hands to balance. I saw Beleeka was close to the middle, except she was now in front of me. I had no idea how she got there, it was a great move. Sometimes the game gives you two different paths so you can box out your opponent. I saw her box that she was on change to my color and I smiled at her and jumped. She jumped quickly off before I could push her off, to the right, so elegantly. We looked at each other, now the same distance from the box in the middle, both ready to jump.
It flashed both of our colors. Usually I could feel Beleeka before she jumped, but with my telegraphic off, I had no idea how fast she was. Beleeka and I both jumped, her a little before me and landed on the square holding each other up. Now it was a matter of who jumped there first. We felt the announcement in our telegraphics that Beleeka was the winner with shining sparkling powder bursting from the area around us in our telegraphics. We turned our channels back on both laughing and Beleeka gloating, feeling so excited she won against me. She felt my acceptance, annoyance, and amusement. I felt her excitement and happiness.
The day my fate came calling, after practicing without my channels on in the game by myself, I decided it was time for round two. I had been studying her movements for weeks without my telegraphic on to prepare. I got up and stretched my hands floating to the top towards the dome sky, getting ready to port to the Eve room.
As I rose I heard a rustle in the bushes. I looked, stunned, wondering maybe if someone had lost a pet. I looked closely and something rushed out of it. I screamed and jumped up on the sitting plank. I was then extremely curious and told my telegraphic to go back to see what I saw. When I saw in my telegraphic that there had been an odd mysterious creature that can’t be… I thought and I intentioned my telegraph to pull up what that was. It came up in my ear as Mus musculus BALB/c. I started – that must be mistaken I intentioned. The only living things other than Homo sapiens were gone. The ancients wiped out every living animal and plant except for humans and rare species of plants like the roses. Even the roses were the last of the plants alive – other than the plastic plants. It was impossible. Now I had to go to my dalta and tell her what I saw. As I was about to leave I felt a huge pain in my head and cried out as I landed on the rock pathway.