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J Hart F

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Changed Earth (Part 4)

Through eyelids stained red by the warmth of the sunlight, Ethan saw the shadow of a slender person step over him; hearing the body sit next to his head in a muted rustling of fabric. Allowing his senses to expand along the flow of life on the tiny island, Ethan started to know his visitor. He immediately realized Alexis sat patiently with news eating away at her quiet reserves. Worrisome news, information she could not divulge to anyone except her mentor, the only person she trusted anymore. Ethan's curiosity blossomed in his energy causing Alexis to stir slightly, dropping her hand to the grass and feeling her way into Ethan's thoughts.

Eyes opening gingerly against the sun's light filtering through the pink shield holding back deadly fumes, Ethan raised himself to a sitting position, keeping his back turned to his former student. The beach and sea greeted him, putting a vision to the soft cadence of waves pushing against sand. Three days of constant debate, it seemed, with the human's new congress brought a great appreciation for peaceful moments alone. However, this moment was over, and Ethan knew subconsciously he would never come to this spot for comfort again. The Eastern Sea was now an ominous scape to regard, even before Alexis' news could be heard.

"What is it you have come to tell me?" Ethan asked quietly.

"I have discovered something that Gaia has left obscured for quite some time now." She stopped to allow the gravity of the statement to sink in. "I believe I only came across this information on accident as my mind wandered while meditating."

Ethan kept looking out over the sea. The white capped crests of the larger waves drew his attention farther out; the white an odd shade against the backdrop of charred smoke. Such a small glimmer of purity upon the vast flowing body carrying the sands to their resting places.

Alexis hesitated. "There is another group of survivors."

Excitement did not enter Ethan's heart. Only questions. Why is Alexis worried about this? Why had the Mother kept this from Alexis and the others? Why hasn't there been communication between the two groups?

Most importantly, What does this mean for our group of survivors?

I had those same questions when I stumbled upon this information," Alexis said with a shaky voice. "They were quickly answered for me."

Ethan turned to regard his colleague, breaking the final bond with the Eastern Sea. "She answered these questions?"

"Yes, Elder. She answered as soon as I wondered."

"And this is why you've come to me first?"


"Then we must gather the council and discuss this together." His voice was measured, for he saw the worry in Alexis' eyes.

Tears welled and her head dropped to cover her fear. Brown hair obscured her angular face, still youthful despite her age. "I need to plan before we can convene. Gaia is fearful for us, fearful for the survival of life on Earth. I agree wholeheartedly with her now."

"Tell me..." Ethan waited before pressing a little more firmly. "Tell me everything."

She revealed her enlightenment to a more complex world than either Ethan or Alexis had envisioned possible after the recent circumstances.

The other survivors had escaped to Antarctica, using the natural separation of the great island as part of their defenses against the onslaught of devastation. They had transformed the landscape to better suit human sustainability and had nearly three thousand survivors. However, the number of sages was quite smaller: only six ensuring the survival of their contingent of life. The most heartbreaking revelation was the anger.

Charles Sadhin led the group, and his blame centered around Antoni Eytinge's failure to secure peace. Somehow, Charles had decided Antoni was the force that started the war, somehow concluding Antoni wanted the world to start anew with a different set of standards and beliefs. Fostering this misinformation, Charles persuaded five others to his cause as soon as the war started and they evacuated as many humans as they could gather to Antarctica. Once situated, they began planning for their superiority and survival on Earth. They had knowledge of Ethan's group, knew the intricacies of their structure of life and figured they had time to plan a civilation separate and apart.

However, Ethan knew beyond a doubt, that Charles' longterm goal was to illiminate Antoni and anyone who might harbor similar feelings towards Antoni's ideal culture and goals. Charles prefered dictatorships, and had formed one centering his absolute rule over his civilization. He would therefore not tolerate interference from another and would do anything to destroy another way of life, for he thought his was best. Ethan was familiar with Charles becaue they were mentored by the same person around the same time; Charles a little after Ethan.

"If he starts training more Sages, he will outnumber us very soon and may declare war on Elder Eytinge."

Ethan shook his head. "There is no doubt of that. He already has declared war in his mind, though I doubt he has told anyone about it yet." Looking down, mind racing, Ethan took a deep breath. Should they build different defenses or should they consider moving and concealing themselves from Charles' abilities. Ethan could do this for their group; but anywhere else they went would be chaos. They were lucky to find an island unscathed by the war and would be hard pressed to quickly find or create such a haven again. "We cannot keep this from the Council. If you are to lead us, I will speak for your cause as leader. Now that I have the trust and ear of the humans, they will be ready to listen to my justifications for you to lead. There will be dissent, but that will be dealt with quickly." He looked back into her eyes. "What do you see that we need to do."

Her answer came quickly, as her decisions usually did. "We cannot leave this place, but we must continue with preparing Earth for habitation regardless of Elder Sadhin's plans. However, we must prepare defenses and a possible army. Ask humans to be trained quickly and in masses, if need be. The gifts of Gaia will not tolerate war right now, so we must always be ready to defend, not attack."

"I agree."

Alexis took a deep breath. "I must communicate with Elder Sadhin and try to calm his temper."

"I am not sure you are the best one to do this. No offense meant... I am his superior, by however short a span, but I shall reason with him, if he shall be reasoned with." Ethan prepared to stand.

"Gaia doesn't think he can be reasoned with," Alexis said while standing, reaching out to help Ethan raise off the ground.

Taking her hand, Ethan pulled himself straight. "But it must be done." A moment later, their eyes locked and an understanding passing between which Ethan voiced suddenly. "And must be done in person."

The slightest of nods, barely perceptible, greeted this statement. Alexis said, "I shall gather the Council so we may discuss this and forge ahead."

Alexis released Ethan's hand and bowed. Shoulders relaxing as she turned, her breath leaving in a quiet sob of discomfort, Alexis walked away slowly, heading towards the sanctuary a short distance away. Ethan watched, feeling the breeze shift from east to west. The smell of the sea changed, becoming more salty than earthy, hampered instead of fresh. Stalks of green grass swayed violently, peacefully waving hello to a new set of conditions by which the world played.

The face of the Earth is changing.

"But why is it so? Why must we struggle like this?"

The face of the Earth is changing. I am the Earth. You are the change and its face. Is this not humanity?

Ethan wanted to argue, and could only understand. "But humanity desires peace."

How can it desire something for which there is no opposite?

"But now is not the time for dichotomy! Now is the time for rebuilding, for connectedness, for collective understanding!"

There came no response. Ethan sat down again, suddenly too exhausted to keep his legs under him. Pain spread through his chest, constricted his throat, filled his ears. "Brother," he whispered to himself, "when will we stop fighting each other?"

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