Gashan decrypts an enemy message, causing the Tayamni to forget who they are.
Gashan sat in a laboratory at Luna Station. Leaning over the display, she looked again at decrypted text. Taking a deep breath, she sighed with the anxiety of knowing what this meant. She turned around to talk with someone, but she was alone. She double checked translations. She hoped there was time to prevent it, but there it was in front of her, too late. Sensors at the outer moons intercepted the messages that took days to decrypt. The communications used a more complex algorithm than expected.
She was tired. Organic calculating devices also needed rest. She stood, and looked around the empty room. She must send this information to the Elders. Why did she wait? Why was she hesitant? Could this be an intentional effort to delude them? There were already too many threats for the few numbers of Tayamni available. Could the Potacas be tricking them, causing them to waste unnecessary resources?
She lifted her wrist and spoke to the communicator, “Message to the Elders.”
Within a few moments, the display above her desk activated. The face of Meketre materialized. He looked as if he had been sleeping.
“Gashan?” he spoke.
She turned her palms upwards. “I have decrypted a message.”
He raised his eyebrows.
“…from the Potacas to the Tlalocs,” she continued.
His facial expression changed to concern.
“…a colony at Titan.”
Meketre leaned forward, passing his hand across his face, as if to wipe the sleepiness away. “What?”
“There’s a colony at Titan,” she answered.
“Let me rouse them, we will meet you in Conference Room Enlil.”
She nodded. Sighing again, she realized her memory would be prodded. She was tired, but she knew, after such probing, she would be more exhausted. This is why she was reluctant, the probing. She hated it. It left her feeling violated.
She arrived at the appointed room early. “Good,” she thought to herself, “I can collect my thoughts, find balance.” But, before she could begin, they entered.
Meketre walked in with Sagar and woman she did not know. As they entered, she bowed her head and turned her palms upwards. The Elders were nervous, apprehensive.
She received a telepathic message from Sagar, “Give us the information you have.”
Before Gashan could organize her thoughts, she felt an intrusive presence. Meketre had entered her consciousness. This was what she hoped to avoid. His presence was strong. She could also feel Sagar. The other woman seemed to be content to receive her information packaged and organized.
Gashan sat down, feeling dizzy. She sat passively on the orange, curved chair, and allowed the probing. Unwilling, she saw images, words, prior conversations, and felt feelings from her memories. The re-emergence of some images was unbidden and unwanted. Few of the memories contained relevant information, but she knew she had no choice, so she simply sat there. Then, as if coming from far away, she heard a voice. The voice repeated, and became a shout. Abruptly, the intrusion was removed. Gashan sat calmly in her chair, looking at the three Elders. The other woman was standing and angry. She looked at Meketre. He closed his eyes and nodded.
The woman turned to Gashan. “I apologize for Elder Meketre.”
Gashan looked at her in wonder.
“He has forgotten his position, and our traditions.”
Now, she spoke aloud, “If we are to allow these threats to change us into something we are not, we have already lost.”
Sagar focused on Gashan, and spoke aloud. “Please accept my apology, Gashan. I should not have allowed Elder Meketre to be so intrusive.”
Now, they both looked at Meketre. He sighed, stood, and nodded to the women. He looked at the floor with embarrassment. Then, turning to Gashan, he began, “It is not our way to intrude into the minds of others without permission.” He swallowed and looked down at his hands. Then, looking back up at Gashan, he continued, “I will remove myself.”
He turned and walked towards the exit. Then, looking back at the unknown woman, he bowed, “Apologies, Berenib.” He turned and exited the room.
The other woman, Berenib, a tall, thin, African woman with locks of hair turned and braided over her head, turned towards Gashan and spoke again, “My child, please forgive our rudeness.” She looked at Sagar, whose eyes had widened with surprise. Berenib then turned back to Gashan, calmly. “You may gather your thoughts, and present your information to us after you have rested.”
Sagar stood, looked at Gashan, and bowed, “Please forgive us.”
Both women left the room.
The unwanted intrusion left Gashan breathless, but she was surprised. Who was Berenib? Whoever she was, she certainly had more authority than Meketre. Had the Tayamni here at Terra become so afraid of the enemy that they were allowing themselves to become just as savage? She was aware that a people under attack must take care while protecting themselves, not to lose the sense of who they are, their traditions, their morality. Was this happening to the Tayamni?
Gashan stood and walked to the door, tired, but happy to wait till the next day.
As Berenib cautioned the Elders to remember their traditions, something else was happening at the newly constructed Potacas colony.