Kurum remembers encountering The Children
They converted the desolate cavern into a paradise, large enough for gardens, animal husbandry, for laboratories and for living quarters. Large, leafy palms grew abundantly, fern-like plants from distant systems, pods, grains and fruit. And, the lighting, electronic orbs devised to absorb energy from the soil on the surface high above. Light mimicked sunlight from their home planet, giving them morning, afternoon, and evening.
Some analyzed the growth of vegetation, taking measurements and collecting data, while others worked in newly upgraded laboratories. They communicated with few words, easily understanding each others’ intentions and motivations. Sometimes, their work consumed them so ardently that they slept only briefly. Recently, they began to plan a colony on the fourth planet in this system. They discovered the oceans there were almost dry, and the magnetic fields had diminished haphazardly. They wanted to save the planet; to convert it to a duplicate of the one on which they had evolved.
Unseen, Kurum sat on a boulder, high above, and observed. He observed their capacity for cooperation, the loving feelings they communicated, their optimism. They had none of humanity’s failings, no greed or selfishness, no need to control. Humanity, on the other hand, was corrupted, whether by the Tayamni, or the Potacas DNA, the human race was lost.
He thought it odd that with each increase of intelligence he gave them, the evolving structures in their brains did not allow them to remember the previous stage. It was as if, each time he increased their powers, they awoke as new beings, constructing relationships with each other as if with strangers. Seeing them evolve, peering into their thoughts and feelings, seeing how they maintained original traits, occupied him so thoroughly that he rarely thought of anything else. He found himself constantly planning for the next phase. Strategies for these creatures, his children, consumed him. Each time they evolved, they used a different name for him. At first they called him Cloud-Man, then, He-Who-is-the-Wind and She-Who-Teaches. Now, after many evolutionary stages, they simply called him the name he called himself, Kurum of the Si’lat.
Watching them go about their industry, he found himself remembering the time he first encountered their leader. Looking down at the floor of this cavern, Si’lat could see him at one of the laboratories. Now, he wore protective clothing, woven from synthetic nano-fibers, but then, he had no need for clothing. Kurum still smiled at the name they gave their leader. One day, when he was a boy, he had been so absorbed with observing birds flying through the sky, that he didn’t realize he was standing on an ant hill. He suddenly began hopping up and down, slapping the ants from off his feet, screaming as they bit into his ankles. The others mad fun. Kurum remembered how they held their abdomens, shaking from laughter. After that, they called him “Ants-on-feet.” He thought it was unfortunate that they couldn’t remember those more innocent times. Although, he sent them these images in their dreams, they didn’t understand that it was their own histories they dreamt of. Now, retaining only fleeting, subconscious memories of those times, they called their leader, Foot, or Sepu.
Uncountable millennia ago Kurum discovered the gateway from his dimension; the exit that led him here. There were more obvious doorways to other universes, but few he could enter and experience.
He had seen and felt the patterns on his home world. But, one day it occurred to him the patterns were a gateway, a slit in the texture of space. Standing in front of it, he imagined it opening and it did so. He walked through and it closed behind him, leaving him in an entirely new reality, one in which his thoughts became real. Instantly, he could feel everything, life forms on moons and planets, climates, oceans of liquid water, ice, the fiery sun at the center of this system…and, a thinking creature…a creature that analyzed and was endlessly interested in and delighted by his environment. There Kurum stood, on a moon orbiting the sixth planet, at the closed slit that brought him here. He stood on a moon captured by a world with crystalline thin, icy rings. Insulated from the environment, he was protected and sustained by the power of his mind. From here he detected The Children, the feeling creatures, the loving creatures.
Kurum felt it emanating from the third planet, the planet from which life-energy radiated. He imagined himself there, and suddenly, he was there, only a few meters from the creature. He squatted down over a termite hill, dipping a stick and withdrawing crawling insects. Kurum felt the tactile deliciousness the same as the creature felt as he sucked the insects into his mouth, crunching them between his teeth, enjoying gooey textures and crunching sounds.
Kurum disguised himself as a gust of breeze, so he could observe without influencing. He followed the creature back to its tribe, its family. They were travelers, like him, but they were limited to travelling around on a small patch of land. They travelled from place to place to find food. After living with them he made himself known. Transforming into a pillar of fire, he sent his thoughts to them. They were terrified, and fell to the ground in fear. But, over time, he chose a more appealing appearance, one of their females, gentle, nurturing, a teacher. He showed them where to find the best and most abundant food. He was saddened by their limitations, so he gave them more intelligence. Slowly, incrementally, he gave them more and more intelligence. He adopted this group of 25 creatures as his. He stopped their aging processes. He nurtured them, helping them to use their new intellectual gifts. They learned to grow their own food, to build structures, and vehicles. They created duplicates of themselves, until there were hundreds. They built cities.
While the others like them remained the same, this group, his children, his humans, created miracles. They built cities on the Moon, colonies on Mars, and travelled to distant galaxies.
Kurum cast into the future and foresaw the emergence of more intelligent humans, mixed with Tayamni DNA. He saw others like his humans, the humans of Si’lat, would eventually die out, to be replaced by the more intelligent, more physically robust ones.
It was then, that he decided to give The Children intellectual gifts equal to the most intelligent creatures in this galaxy. Kurum was determined to protect them, to nurture them, and help them spread throughout this universe. Eventually, they would return to this system. The technology they left behind would be too advanced even for other space-faring begins to comprehend.
His humans, the humans of Si’lat would create a device with an intelligence enough to monitor conditions on their planet, to protect it from hostile forces. They would leave evidence of structures on the surface of its moon, structures that would confuse both more advanced humans and aliens alike. And, the various cities they created on the fourth planet, would be abandoned and left to the elements; ruins of a more advanced culture, but with no evidence of those who had built them or lived within their advanced architectures.