“As the heretics attacked hardware systems across the planet, the Four left for the Moon. There they readied their first assault on the heretics in a planet-wide attack. They also readied their contingency assault. The space between spaces no longer needed the planetary hardware.” (Invictus Orb 7:1)
History has a way of repeating itself. It goes round and round in circles that replace people, things, and places but the story is the same. The cycle never ends.
Marθia opened her eyes. She turned her head awkwardly to look at the girl laying on the bed adjacent to her own.
Navî gasped again.
Torak and Johan did not move. Their steady breathing continued undisturbed. Marθia sat up on her bed. The girl still appeared to be asleep. She must be having a nightmare.
Marθia placed her naked feet on the cold white floor. She rubbed her eyes slowly before standing up. She took a couple of steps from her own bed to Navî’s bed and placed a hand on the girl’s forehead. She was warm. Without warning, the girl opened her mouth wide again gasping for air. Marθia shook the girl lightly on her shoulder. Navî did not respond. She shook her again but this time more firmly. The girl still did not react. In fear, Marθia looked towards the two men still sleeping and shook the girl more violently.
Navî gasped again and shot up sitting up on the bed. Her eyes were wide open but glazed over. Distant.
“Are you okay?”
≪It’s so much information≫
“What is Navî?”
The girl collapsed on Marθia without another word. Her eyes closed again.
“Alldata, run a scan on Navî. Is she alright?” Marθia said worriedly. Wait, she realized that Navî didn’t have a transistor on her body.
When she had laid the girl back on the bed horizontally, a compartment appeared. Alldata requested they put a transistor on the girl. Marθia complied and retrieved the silver oval from the compartment and placed it on the girl’s forearm while the girl continued to sleep.
The Alldata’s metallic voice floated through the air, “I am monitoring the girl. She is well.”
“Then what was she talking about and why do her words bounce around in my head without voiced sound?”
Torak was awake. He had been silently listening this whole time while staring at the white ceiling above him. The gentle humming of the blue lights coming from the walls was peaceful. He had never seen something as aesthetically pleasing. The Southern Isle was a harsh place. Uncontrolled, wild. This hallway — this space — was tame. There were no torches. The light was soft and pleasant. Clean. Everything was clean.
Torak finally took a deep breath and said, “it’s the Templar’s Vision.”
Marθia snapped her head in Torak’s direction. He was laying down three beds down from where she sat with Navî’s head on her lap. “What?”
“The Templar’s Vision. It isn’t a myth. It is not discussed in the sacred writings, but there are stories. You must have heard them.” Torak’s accent sounded rough to Marθia’s ears. Indigoans words flowed one into the other. The Southerners’ words cut off brusquely. “They can speak in your head without making a sound. It is — the girl doesn’t know how to use it fully.”
“How can that be possible? The mercreatures have the same ability.”
Torak’s eyes lit up in recognition. “This,” he said extending his palms to encompass the passage, “belongs to the mercreatures? They can walk?”
Marθia realized he wasn’t brought down here by the mercreatures.
Johan laughed, “the mercreatures are human. Their fins, they change into feet.”
“Yes,” Marθia said.
Navî gasped again and started to tremble on Marθia’s lap. “Something is seriously wrong with her,” Marθia said looking at Navî.
Torak put on his boots. He walked over to Marθia and Navî.
“She is sick. She was in a coma for a long time and then she lost lots of blood. The priests were going to sacrifice her.”
Johan made a whistling noise, “human sacrifice, what was going on down there?”
A shadow crossed Torak’s face, “the Dark Night.”
Marθia placed the girl on the bed and stood up. She went to her own cot and sat down. She reached under the cot and grabbed her sandals. As she put her sandals on, Johan stood up and stretched. Torak and Johan’s cots receded back into the wall.
“Yes,” Marθia, “we know it extended across the nation.”
Torak shook his head incredulously, “how? It can’t,” he looked down, “the death toll must be tremendous.”
Johan looked at Marθia and then at Torak, “whoever the yara didn’t kill, the tsunami probably got.”
Johan nodded, “it must have been massive. The ocean literally receded. Gone. When the water returns, I guess it already has, the destruction — nothing will survive. At least, the infrastructure in Indigo Isle won’t survive.”
“I’m sure the priest will survive,” Torak said disdainfully.
Marθia laughed, “they always have a way out.”
Torak looked at the transistor in his arm. Pointing at it he said, “so this thing, it is like a computer?”
Johan shrugged, “something like that but it monitors your body also. It also seems to be connected to the walls and the passages.”
Navî gasped suddenly. They turned to look at the girl. She had large dark bags under her eyes.
“Alldata, diagnosis? Are your test done?” Marθia asked.
The metallic voice replied, “she is stable.”
“Then why does she keep gasping. It looks like she is in pain.”
They waited for an answer but the transistor did not reply.
Marθia finally asked what they all had been thinking, “what do we do now?”
“You will take the girl to Annwn.”
Torak asked, “how far is that from here?”
The metallic voice responded, “a couple of hours. There is less traffic now that the final test has been completed. I can align the tunnels to allow a quicker passage directly into Annwn.”
Torak looked at Marθia and Johan questioningly. Marθia lifted her palms up in a sign of ignorance. They each took a package of food and Johan offered to carry Navî the first part of the trek. Torak agreed. Johan picked Navî up and the bed retreated back into the wall. With all the compartments and beds gone, the tunnel was barren again. The white passage lit by the blue glow emanating from the walls blinked unexpectedly.
As they started walking Marθia said, “wait, Alldata, can you track events on the surface?”
Marθia was about to continue, when Johan, who was walking behind her and Torak, interrupted, “do you really want an answer to that question?”
Marθia stopped for a moment and then continued walking, “you are right.”
They walked to the end of the passage and took a right as the tunnel came to a dead end. The tunnel ended at an intersection; left or right. A light on the floor indicated they should take a right. When they turned the corner, they passed a shimmering light and continued down the white passage hurling forward towards history.