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    reychop
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Yami no Kotoba ~Mirrors of the Past~ - 3. Chapter 3: Catalyst

-o-o-o-

Chapter 3: Catalyst

-o-o-o-

“Oh great mother earth, watch over your servants! Bring swift judgment to those who seek to harm us!”

“Let not our traditions perish.”

“Let not our knowledge be forgotten.”

“Let not our civilization vanish.”

“Let not the balance be shifted.”

“We pray, we beseech, we implore you...”

“You who guards the harmony of this world.”

“You who reigns over the light.”

“You who pacify the wilds.”

“You who nourish this world.”

“We pray, grant us peace.”

Eerie, esoteric, haunting.

The chanting of the elders echoed throughout the temple. Worn out and dominated by choking vines and towering trees, the temple rests undisturbed in the heart of the Violet Gardens where a small forest thrives.

Rumor has it that the emergence of these violet forest is an act of a warning from the goddess who dislikes outsiders. When the administration started to engage in foreign affairs, the trees appeared and violently destroyed the minor temples and shelters around the goddess' statue.

True or not, one thing is certain. This forest is filled with wonders and mysticism. It's aware of its surroundings and have a sentient mind of its own that selects who to grant passage to the most sacred place.

The temple is round and modeled after an ancient coliseum. Nevertheless, its steel plating, insulated wiring, control panels and padded walls suggest that it comes from a recent civilization. Its origins are deeply hidden. And only the elders and their secretive order seem to know.

Behind its massive automatic doors, is a statue of an obelisk on a floating platform. The obelisk has a jewel on its top. Floating eerily, it became the symbol of power and divinity of the temple. It also became the most important relic of the temple. In fact, it is even revered as the eye of the goddess due to its resemblance to a floating eye.

Its bluish glow contrasted the darkness and purple that reigned over the colony. But it served to provide that mystical beauty to the aging and worn out temple.

Around the pedestal is a ring-like platform where the elders gather. Their hands laid over the jewel as they chanted prayers over the glowing object.

“Elder Alkar, perhaps this is the best time to end the ceremony.” A man robed in black, in his early 30s, whispered to the oldest. His stunning blue eyes expectantly gazed at the other.

“Indeed Elder Zakum. We are already finished with the rites. All that's left is our constant prayer and offerings. We have a meeting with the guards anyway.” A bearded man dressed in purple robes replied as he lowered his hand from the jewel. He is the oldest in the group appearing to be around his 90s.

“True.”

The elders chanted one more verse before rising from their positions. As if on cue, the guards of the colony swarmed in, with the Captain leading the group.

Dressed in their more formal attires, the guards sport dark grey tunics and short pants. They wore boots that reached under their knees. To complete everything, is their sword that rests on their back.

“Glad to see you and your squad on time, Captain Ralam. It pleases me that you brought only your senior members.” Elder Zakum said as he leaned on the railings that lined the outer side of the platform.

“You need to understand though, that whatever is said within this room must only stay in this room.”

Ralam's eyes narrowed. For almost four decades of serving in the army, never had he seen the Elders act so secretive.

“Rin, you better note down everything. Perhaps this might shed some light regarding the mysteries during the past few months.” Ralam whispered to his friend as he bowed to the elders. They know that the elders cannot hear them from the distance.

The others nodded in compliance. After noting the unusual movements within the order piqued their curiosity as well. And if they have to play along to get to the bottom of everything, then so be it.

“I understand, as do all my senior members.”

“Indeed. I know that we could trust you and your squad.” Alkar stepped forward as Zakum bowed to his superior and retreated behind him. The other elders gathered behind Alkar as he started his speech.

“The people of our colony are aware that we, the elders, governed this colony. Yet we do so with leniency. We know that what is being taught here in the temple has been carried out and applied in their daily lives.”

He coughed as he shifted his weight and leaned on his cane.

“That compliance led to our peaceful lives. With the colony closed off to the rest of the world, the colony that our ancestors founded became true to their visions. It became a safe haven for our group- the followers of the teachings of the Druidic Order. But as you have noticed, that peace have been broken. We allowed outsiders to enter our sacred sanctuary. What we told our people is true. We wanted changes. We wanted our traditions to evolve.”

“But this is not of our own doing. It appears that someone broke our code. Someone wandered outside the colony beyond the curfew hours. It appears that the event piqued the outsiders' interests and are now conducting observations around our surrounding areas.” Alkar gazed directly on Ralam's eyes, staring at him with such intensity that the usually composed captain shivered. “I am aware that you know of whom I'm referring to, Ralam.”

The others groaned. Only one mischievous person came to their minds.

“This breach led the outsiders to discover us, to see that we are different from them. A few months ago, these outsiders request that we meet and accept their scientists into our colony and allow them to interact with us.”

“They reasoned that they wanted to promote peace and unity. They want to exchange ideas and forge friendship. Unfortunately, we saw their motives at once. They want to observe us. For you whose age permits, you know what our history with them is. We want to avoid that history from repeating itself. For that very reason, we are forced to use our abilities and technology.”

“With this technology, we will be able to cast an illusion within the colony. By activating the rods on our satellite, we are able to hide most of our secrets. But even that is not enough. This lead us to the second phase of our plan.”

“You will be split in two groups. The first will escort every civilian out of the colony and have them retreat into the mountains. This action will be masked under the guise of a spiritual retreat. The second group will remain here and serve as our escorts as we interact with the outsiders.”

“With the accomplishment of these, we anticipated that they will not suspect anything about our history, thus preventing something that would totally devastate us.”

Ralam raised an eyebrow. There's a serious flaw in that plan. But he dare not raise his hand to question. The elders' words are final.

“We will brief you further about the background of this operation and why we are doing a drastic measure such as this. But again, allow me to remind you that this will be a great secret. And you cannot give away such vital information to anyone.”

“I understand that all of you senior members comes from a lineage of pure bloods. And I am certain that you will be able to digest this information without difficulty.”

“As a start, allow me to begin at the very roots of our history. In the year 2012, one thousand years ago, the world is in an age of curiosity. It is also at its height of technological improvement. Their curiosity and strong desire for survival led them to experiment. But the experiment didn't go exactly as planned...”

The others' curiosity piqued up. This is new. This information have been withheld from them after all. But now, they will have a chance to know- a chance to understand why exactly they are different and why they chose to isolate themselves from the world.

-o-o-o-


Sean woke up drenched in sweat. His breathing is erratic and his body suddenly feels tired.

“Sean! You're finally awake. What happened to you? You suddenly started shouting and screaming. I thought something has happened.”

Sean calmed down as his best friend's face came into view. Sam grinned at him as he handed him a glass of water.

“What? You had a nightmare?” Sean just looked at him and drank the glass of water.

“What? Is my little ol' pal, Sean, afraid of a little nightmare?”

“Shush! I don't even know if it's a nightmare. I guess it's more like a memory. Everything's so real. But... I can't even remember what it's about.”

A sigh came from the other as he sat beside his friend to offer support.

“Whatever it is, I hope it's nothing. The elders are planning something big. And I hate it if we're going to be trust into something so stressful.”

Sean's attention immediately snapped back to his friend.

“What do you mean?”

“Rin told me that the elders have been suspicious lately. The temple have been emitting psionic signals. The signals have strange patterns though. Rick commented that it's so much different than their daily worship calls and prayer signals. In fact, these signals are tied directly to our satellite. The seniors speculated that the worst that could happen is the elders sparking a war.”

Sean continued to stare at his friend. His statements rang a sound of familiarity. And he can't help but feel that there's something more to it than what's been said. But then again, he really shouldn't interfere with the affairs of the senior staffs. Whatever problems they have, it is theirs.

Already forgetting that nagging feeling within him, he jumped out of his bed and smiled at his best friend.

“Well, that doesn't really concern us does it? So how about we have a run through the forest and leave this dump? After all, it is not yet our shift.”

Sam shook his head.

“Unfortunately, it is our shift for today. All senior members are on a meeting with the elders. They left us, the juniors and recruits to stand guard.”

Sean pouted.

“That is simply so unfair. But what's there to worry about, Sam? Those old coots are in there. We're out here. So come on, we have to get out. I'm getting bored.”

“You are so insufferable you know that. I told you, we're being assigned as guards tonight. We simply can't leave our posts. Look, how about I'll allow you to view and marvel at the gates while you keep me company? Isn't that what you want?”

The other sighed. He held a defeating look on his face as he put on his coat.

“Alright, you win. We're staying here.” He shook his head in disappointment. “It's such a shame you can't see that marvelous berry patch I found. I'm sure you would have fun. It had such pretty colors, too. Not to mention the fireflies that lived there.”

Sam perked up.

“Berries? Fireflies?”

“Yep! But I guess you're not interested. I'm actually planning to make a blueberry snack, too. But as you said, we're in guard duty. Oh well, I guess we'll have more chances like these when everyone's away. It's not like the elders call out meetings that often.”

Sean mischievously smiled as he heard a gulp from the other room. He splashed water on his face and headed for the control room.

As he went out of the room however, he found someone pulling his arm.

“Uhmm.. Sean... Would you want to go outside? I mean we're not the only guards after all. And... You could certainly use some fresh air.”

Bingo! He just won. With a victorious smile, he dragged his friend through the gates.

“I'm sure you won't be disappointed, Sam. The outside world is beautiful! Way beautiful than these rotten steel.”

And off they went, not knowing that they'll sooner catalyze the biggest event that will shape the world to an uncertain destiny. As they lived out their naivete, they shall forge many great things. But the real question is, will they allow the change, or will they reject it? Can they even handle the change that will reshape their perception of the world around them?

-o-o-o-

Dr. Ross sat within her tent. She was supposed to study the lake for its regenerative properties. But the events in Saphiro dampened her enthusiasm.

She entered the forest of Yshmir and set up a small base camp accompanied only with two of her best guards. She's not worried actually. The forest itself is a sanctuary and anyone who breach that law will face the wrath not only of the union but of the entire world.

The meeting in Saphiro still haven't been wiped off from her mind. She worries for the world and of the union. She knows what it is capable of. She knows that it can be merciless when it comes to their goals She doesn't know what will happen if it reaches the end of the path it is currently taking.

A beep interrupted her musings and a triumphant smile etched across her face.

“Welcome, doctor. You are now granted top-level clearance. The security network now awaits further inputs.” Her computer's A.I. responded behind the block of codes entered.

Now, she can finally get to the bottom of everything. After pressing some more codes, she was granted access to all security cameras and observation camps owned by the union. She shifted the focus to the three camps that surrounded the Violet Gardens, the supposed “target” of the union.

As the holographic projector activated, she felt something that she haven't felt in a long time. Normally a reserved and calm woman, she found her heart racing and her body temperature rising.

The union is correct after all. As she stared on the screen, it showed the massive gate of block A-1 opening to reveal two teenagers.

Nothing seemed to be wrong with the scenario. The perpetual darkness of the colony, the silence of the environment, the glowing forest nearby and the towering buildings- all normal, all typical characteristics of the colony. But what brought questions to her were the two teenagers emerging from the colony.

As SS-Apollo's cameras zoomed in, Dr. Ross found herself in denial. In front of her appears two grinning teenagers. But they were different somehow. One resembles a panther and the other a leopard. While they are bipeds, just like any ordinary human, they possess furs, tails, ears and claws!

Releasing the breath that she never knew she held, she felt her body shook. The mutants are real! Existent! And she doesn't even know it.

What if the union found out about this? She have to do something or else everything will escalate out of control. She have to do something or else the very balance of the world will falter and all that she and her parents have done so far will be undone.

Emerging from her tent, she turned to her guards.

“Gentlemen, let's pack up. We'll be returning to Saphiro after all. I can only hope we're not yet too late.”

Puzzled, the guards simply shook their heads and proceed as they were told. They know how unpredictable the scientist could be. Questioning her only results to their own humiliation.

Dr. Ross however, is not in her usual stable self. Gone was her intimidating posture. Right now, urgency ruled over her. She turned on her mobile phone and impatiently tapped her foot as it established connection to Dr. Ran.

“Come on, answer it.”

Five rings are all it took and Dr. Ran's cheerful voice rang from the other side.

“Woah, Ross! You called! What? You suddenly decided that you want to get together?”

Dr. Ross inhaled deeply.

“Cut the jokes, Ran. Delay the trip for me. I'm joining in.”

“Really? What changed?”

She sighed. “The union is correct all along. I hacked into their systems. Who knows what they're planning? But I know for a fact that if their suspicions are confirmed, they will unleash something that will change everything.”

“Which I'm afraid, will be confirmed sooner?”

“The trip is merely a disguise. SS-Apollo already captured images of the mutants. I saw it myself.”

“Eh? So you hacked into the system? You do know that they could have you executed for that. You still planned of going?”

“They will not know. I erased the logs and manipulated the data. They will not see their precious mutants.”

“Oh. So I'll be seeing you then?”

“Indeed.”

Dr. Ross turned off her phone as she entered the helicopter. She hope that whatever she's thinking, she's wrong. Or else, huge consequences are to be expected.

Copyright © 2011 reychop; All Rights Reserved.
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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