We See and Learn
There was much joy in this reunion at first and my sisters and I felt welcome but I little out of place. Ahi Adra felt much the same. After all the main greeting happened Tess took the time to invite us and Ahi Adra to stay in the home of her father Griffin and her. Pythia began to spent personal time with those closest to her, beginning with her father Kether and then with Zephyr and Calypso.
Kai and Arachne had been staying in Pythia's old room with her friends Mira and Zed. Mira and Zed were quite taken with them and with us after we all met. They were so gracious showing us places in Genesis, explaining things and also introducing us to other people daily. These other people eventually also took time to teach us about Genesis. It did not take long for us to be absorbed into Genesis and we felt like citizens. Our presence was not considered strange because we learned that Genesis had many visitors and we were introduced to their official ambassadors, Tillers Pilgrim and his wife Rumor. They live in and administered a place called Omnes Enim Accipiuntur which means “All Are Accepted” People call it simply Omnes. It began in the days after the Great Turning as a refugee center for wandering survivors and those the Guild chose to bring to Genesis.
One person we met has become a very good friend to Josie. His name is Rolo. He is a Tiller and very close to Tess's father Griffin. They found that they have a similar sense of humor and understand each other's off color sarcasm. And Tiller Rolo is a very knowledgeable and wise man who cloaks his wisdom in famous parables, quips and quotes from the days before the Great Turning. Tiller Griffin relies on his counsel. People call him The King With The Ax. In a deck of cards the kings hold swords, except the king of diamonds. He holds an ax. The ax that Rolo holds is his quick and sharp wit. Thus the nickname. He once told Josie a quote from a man named Arthur Koestler. “The Jester Is Brother To The Sage.”. One last thing about Rolo is the fact that he has a robotic right arm and is what they call a cyborg. He was once a soldier and lost that arm it in a war.
It would take many pages to tell what all we learned in just three days at Genesis about those we have been traveling with and the city itself. But I will tell you what we learned on the third day since our arrival. Some before and some after a special meeting we were invited to attend. The meeting was with what we were told is called The Committee.
We learned that it was a little over a year ago they met for the first time. Originally The Committee consisted of Pythia, Zephyr, Pilgrim, Rumor, Griffin, Rolo and Tess. Also a Tiller named Eva. Kether was not there because he was in a coma at the time. That is a tale in itself.
This original meeting is considered by Pythia and Tess the main beginning of this extrodiary journey we are now sharing with them. A few days before this meeting they gathered to discuss an unusual event in Genesis. Citizens had been seeing a spectral appearing and disappearing all over Genesis. She has come to be known as the Woman in White. Reports were coming in daily and so they met to discuss the matter. Some citizens also had been falling into brief comas (Kether among them) and had amazing tales to tell of what they had dreamed. While having this meeting an talking about this phenomenon the doors of the room were opened by Griffins personal android ZieKir and sitting on a bench in the waiting room to his office they all saw the Woman in White themselves. Only for a moment and she was gone.
It was after this meeting they met again the next day and first called themselves The Committee. It was in this meeting that they decided to go on a spiritual journey together to ingest a drink they called the Sacred Amrita. To do this they traveled to what they call Sanctus Orbis a few miles from Genesis. This is where those known as the Gatekeepers live. That is where Kai and Arachne are from. We have similar sacred substance but the one that most is like the Sacred Amrita, they sometimes call The Nectar, is the Pixie-Dust I mentioned before. It produces powerful visions. The Gatekeeper were guides for the The Committee. It was during this ritual they met many gods and goddesses and where Tess met her guide Ptah for the first time. There are writings in Genesis with detailed accounts of this experience for all those in The Committee including Pythia's.
And so it was that we came to this meeting. It was the original Committee minus Tiller Eva, who we met later. Also new this this gathering besides my sisters and I were Grigori, Ari Adra, Mani, Gawonii, Kai and Arachne. Mani had come to another meeting before with the Committee and it was he who first reported about Alexander.
Griffin was the person who was in charge of this meeting and after greetings and introduction he asked Pythia,Tess and Ira to give an accounting of the journey they had been on. Mani was then asked to tell of what he knew of Alexander's army and their whereabouts. Much of this was already known. Griffin and Mani mostly were then speaking about the plan for Alexanders arrival. This lasted until mid-day.
Not everyone had eaten and a group of robots came in carrying trays of food and drink. These “robots” are very integral to Genesis. They are called the Dragoon. They are much different than the androids ZieKir Kisler, Zero-One and Maria. The Dragoon are workers who run the many machines, grow food, maintain infrastructure and keep the city clean. They perform other functions like bringing those meals to us. After we ate Griffin asked us to follow him.
We followed him on a walk to his labs on the edge of the city. It was a half hour pleasant trek and along the way Tess told us there had been many changes said his lab area was different from when they had left, having two extra large domes added to the two that were there before. We entered one of the new ones and in the middle of the area, surrounded by desks and equipment was an unusual looking vehicle, different than the ones we had seen before. One we were all inside Griffin spoke to us. I listened intently but much of it what was said and shown I did not understand.
“Since you have been away, besides the Devil's Dust, I have been working on a new traveling machine which I wish to put into production in the future. This will necessitate longer excursions by the Guild to salvage materials to accomplish the task. There are three more of these completed and they will greatly speed up the work of further salvaging. As you can see besides being larger and having more sitting and storage capacity I have adapted the Dragoon battery technology for them making the need for the solar charging no longer necessary. Please, take some time to examine this one. For a start I will have one started so you can hear how quiet it is. It also travels faster and easier over rough terrain. It was a choice we made to manufacture tires by logging and use of other biological methods to create these tires. Tiller Squeaky led this effort being a biologist with the help of the Dragoon.”
Motioning to one of the lab workers she started the vehicle. Everyone gathered around it as the lab worker showed some of its other not so noticeable features. She told us Griffin had improved the communication devises and one was installed in the machine. These new communication devices have the capability to transmit and receive at very long distances because they had accomplished tapping in to satellites that had been used in the years before Waterfall (the Great Turning). She told that this technology had already resulted in connection with new survivors and even some other continents. We have seen and been told that this communication has transformed Genesis in ways that increase every day.
Before all of this could be fully absorbed Griffin asked us to follow him to the other new lab dome. When we entered Pythia and Tess reacted, Tess more that Pythia. She was overjoyed at what we saw. This was the first time we had seen and met the androids ZieKir Kizlar, Zero-One, and Maria. We have been told that Tess had a special affinity with ZieKir because she had been around him her whole life and he was a helper to her just as he has been to her father. She consider ZieKir more than an android but a friend.
We were told a brief history of ZieKir Kizlar, Zero-One, and Maria later but I shall give you some of it to help you understand as we do now. It was told to us that Zero-One was Griffins first android and has been with Kether for many years. The androids are much different than the Dragoon. Next he created ZieKir. We learned that android technology and long life genetic research have been Griffin's main passions his whole life.
Zero-One looked very human but his skin was not quite like the real thing. ZieKir's skin was better still. But one would find it hard to tell Maria from a real human. Griffin told us that he had been working on Maria for many years and just the week after Pythia left she became activated. Her mind was more sophisticated than either Zero-One or ZieKir's. Griffin said that he had not even touched on what she was capable of but the arrival of Alexander has left him little time to do so. My sisters and I were and are totally enthralled with ZieKir Kizlar, Zero-One, and Maria. We are gaining understanding of this next thing Griffin said and others understand. “Maria is Awake!”
Now moments after we entered this room Pythia collapsed and went unconscious. It was Grigori who first appeared at her side followed by Ira. Grigori picked her up off the floor and Ira cleared a nearby table as Grigori laid her down upon it. The rest in the room were still and silent except for Griffin and Kether who joined Grigori and Ira at her side. For us this unconscious state lasted just a couple of minutes and Pythia regained consciousness. But for Pythia it was a much longer and different story. It was later we learned that she had a mental connection with that of ZieKir since the first time she was in his presence for any length of time. She told us that at this time all that was in his mind was transferred into her mind and it overwhelmed her senses for a moment.
What she told us happened next for her was amazing. As the mind transfer was happening she was aware of herself in two separate forms but of one mind. One form was standing near the table where her other body was laying. Time seemed to be moving very slow with this awareness. She looked around the dome and her eyes of Eglow. All the people were glowing in that familiar colorful light. Many of the flasks were also glowing and she knew they contained living organisms. Her awareness was drawn toward ZieKir, Zero-One, and Maria. They were looking at her in her other body also, not the one on the table. ZieKir and Zero-One had patches of glowing skin like her human friends but Maria was totally vibrant over every inch not hidden by clothing like the humans. There were also two Dragoon in the room who were not glowing but they too were looking at Sadie.
She also told us that at this time she had received from ZieKir a familiar yet long unheard voice echoed in he mind that said, “I AM Rufus. I am here.”. My sisters and I did not understand this at first until it was explained to us. It is a voice that has been with her since she first started to be a student of Zephyr and it is echoed in ZieKirs's mind. This explains what happened next.
When Sadie fainted within seconds Kether also fell down. Mani and Gawonii picked him up and cleared a table like Grigori and Ira just had. For Kether he heard the voice of Rufus also. He later told us in addition as he fell he saw his teacher Shadow standing behind the others in the room. As he drifted in his unconscious moment Shadow spoke to him. Shadow said, “Follow the path Pythia has chosen for the next while. When the time comes, and you will know it, your path lies with Grigori. When you have gained new knowledge and wisdom you will find it is time for you to choose a new path of your own. Now, wake up.”
It took a few minutes for Pythia to sit up but she soon did. It took Kether a bit longer. When all seemed well Griffin said the presentation was over for now and Kether and she should go rest. We all left the dome. Griffin had the Guild bring a vehicle and it took Pythia, Kether and Ira back to the Hallow. Griffin, Grigori, Mani, Rolo and Pilgrim decided to go back to Griffins office and talk more.
Tess escorted my sisters and I as well as Ahi Adra in exploring more parts of the city. Important things Grigori, Griffin, Mani, Rolo, and Pilgrim talked about was more detail of what preparations the citizens had made. Griffin told them that the citizens were ready but after they learned more about Alexander's soldiers and their guns and killing they were a bit frightened and apprehensive for his arrival.
What else was spoken of, which we were told of later, is very important to the Battle of Inktomi. Griffin had sped up production of a weapon to alleviate the problem of Alexander's guns. It was designed to assist in capturing and not killing Alexander and his army. The history of this is long but unimportant at the moment. What is essential is the weapon itself.
Griffin originally wanted to share this information at the next meeting of the Committee but things had changed. The citizens know this information. Basically, to adhere to the founding values of Genesis of non-violence and hearing the tale of how Pythia and Tess have changed the hearts and minds of captured soldiers, the scientists went to work. They had created three of what they call “ sonic devices” that were were put on vehicles. They are designed not to kill but to incapacitate and confuse like the Devils Dust via sound in hope that Pythia and Tess could change them. This weapon is called K-Hertz-20. We are told the name was chosen to “reflect the safest frequency to use as to do the least damage and still deliver the desired effect.” More things we do not fully understand. But the effect is much like the Glamour we used on Alexander's soldiers before. The citizens were all supplied with special ear protection in case they found themselves near where the weapons were to be used and each were supplied with what are called zip-ties used by the Guild to tie up the captives and house them. As you shall see it was these weapons, along with other events, that helped save us.
It was the next day something else very significant occurred. My sisters and I had come to the placed called the Wheel. Tess, Ari Addra, Kai and Arachne were already there. The Wheel is a large area where people come to eat, drink and socialize. We were talking for a while when we saw Pythia coming our way. She did not see us or had wished to sit alone. She got a hot drink and found an empty table where she sat.
We all became aware of a commotion coming from the edge of The Wheel. There was a small group of Guild pulling a wagon which had a large cage on it. We were told the cage is normally used to collect and haul salvaged items but today it contained an animal. The animal was a cougar.
It was later told to us that the Guild were contacted bu citizens saying that the cougar had been seen and reported to be in the city, which was an unusual event becaue they say often animals such as this avoided humans. The Guild cornered the cougar in a place called the Meadow of Nine Muses and captured him. Pythia stepped up in her authoritative voice and I said, “I will attend this this.”
As Pythia looked into the cage the cougar shapeshifted into its human form. He was naked and shivering curled up in a fetal position. As you can imagine the crowd was astonished and word of what had happened spread though Genesis at an alarming rate. We sisters knew it was her brother Jessie. We also heard her say, “Jessie, do not be afraid. I will help you.”
A Guild member unlatch the cage as Pythia took off her coat and grabbing his hand she helped him out of the cage and put her coat on him. Together they slowly walked toward the Hallow with Pythia's arm around his shoulder guiding him. The crowd did not follow but watched until they walked into the building.
We did not see what happened next but were told that she asked for food, drink and blankets for Jessie and this was when Pythia said to Kether, “Father, I would like you to meet your son, my brother, Jessie.”
We were told that she spent the rest of the day and night getting Jessie settled fed and clothed. She told him he need not talk but listen. She relayed all she could from the first day that Kai had told her of his existence until that day. Those in the Hallow always near to assist Pythia. Zephyr and Calypso had a large special room prepared for Sadie, Kether and Jessie to share indefinitely. It was learned that night that the clothes that Jessie had were given to him by our new friend and roommate Zed. We all went to sleep for the night in wonder of all we saw and learned that day.