Berenib explains her role to Gashan
Gashan sat across from Berenib and Sagar, telepathically sending images from her work. Thrilled to have decrypted and translated a significant message, she sent images from screens, computational algorithms, and communications from devices. She wanted to show, in detail, the process that led to the successful decryption effort.
Sagar pretended to be interested, but kept reminding herself to pay attention. She found herself looking towards the door, thinking of her next meeting.
Finally, Berenib deflected Gashan’s messages and reached over. “My dear,” she began. “We are convinced of the integrity of your methods. This is why you were brought here.”
Gashan was surprised to have been stopped mid-stream. She looked at Berenib with wide eyes.
“Please send us the message. That is all we need,” Berenib continued.
“Of course,” Gashan responded. Her face flushed red. She realized she was wasting their time. Looking down at the surface of the table, concentrating, she located her memory of the image as it first appeared on the display in front of her. Then, she sent it, “Tecpatl at moon of sixth planet. Genetic modification complete. …more candidates. Human creatures beneath…conducting research.”
Berenib looked at her questioningly and asked, “But, what is Tecpatl?”
Gashan looked into Sagar’s face, and spoke, “The message was short. It contained two gaps, but I believe it was significant. It originated from Titan, a moon at the sixth planet.”
She turned to Berenib face and continued, “Amun has travelled back in time to June.”
Berenib was not aware of Amun’s journey, and raised her eyebrows.
Gashan continued, “He engaged a Tlaloc battle cruiser over the Arctic. They were brought down over a glacier. The Tlaloc commander was called Tecpatl.”
Berenib sat back in her chair, and looked towards the wall in front of her, analyzing the information. “Candidates for genetic modification,” she said, almost absent mindedly. “His punishment.”
“We have no information about humans under the surface of Titan.” Gashan said.
Sagar and Berenib turned, simply looking into each other’s faces. Gashan realized they were communicating telepathically.
Berenib looked at Gashan. “Thank you, my dear. We will send a probe. A scan will show any activity underground. Conditions are brutal above.”
Gashan stood, and sent a message asking about Berenib’s role with the Elders. She explained she was relieved that Meketre had been removed from the effort, but she did not understand how, with a word from Berenib, he would resign.
Berenib also stood, and responded to her in voice. “I can understand your question, and why you would be curious. She looked at Sagar, then, back at Gashan. “I am of the House of Mammasi.” She breathed in deeply, as if she were annoyed at having to answer the question. But, she looked at Gashan pleasantly, and continued, “You may know of my House. As one of the first to embrace Compatibility, we have been entrusted with preserving our traditions.” She looked towards the door impatiently, as if she wanted to leave. She continued, “In times of great stress, we may lose sight of our purpose and return to destructive, patriarchal practices. I was brought here to monitor.”
She looked more directly into Gashan’s face, “Your war may have consequences for the future of the Orion Transit. We must respect our traditions for the sake of this sector.” She turned and moved towards the door. The door opened and she turned around to face Gashan again. “After pointing out the significance of Meketre’s uninvited intrusion into your mind, he realized his error, and resigned from the project. He allowed his anxiety over winning to override who he is, who we are, to suppress his values. He has been sent back to Mussara for additional training.”
Gashan nodded, realizing that Berenib was from one of the most ancient houses. It was families like hers that kept them focused, reminding them of why they are here, reminding them to focus on the powerful, life-giving force of Love.
Sagar walked behind Berenib like a schoolgirl following her favorite teacher. They were in the presence of a family whose importance to their way of life was unequaled. The House of Mammasi were, in many ways, the human equivalent of the most royal family. Every Tayamni knew of the goings on of the House of Mammasi, of births, deaths, missions. Berenib was here to save them from the greatest danger they could face, turning away from their traditions.
The next day, Gashan awoke from a pinging sound. “Activate,” she spoke aloud. The face that materialized on the rectangle of blue light was that of a young man. From his attitude, she could tell he was young.
“I have a message from the Elders,” he offered.
She nodded affirmatively, as she drew her robe over her shoulders.
“A probe was sent to Titan over-night.”
She moved closer to the display, in order to see his face more clearly.
“It detected three Potacas colonies on the surface,” he continued.
From the way the sentence ended, she knew there was more. He breathed deeply, as if he was reluctant to explain further. “But, there was only one life form.”
She drew her brows together in confusion. He continued, “And, it is human.”
She gasped audibly. He pushed his lips together with nervousness. “They are going to send another probe,”
She looked at her reflection in the mirror seeing circles under her eyes.
“…and a mission to rescue the human,” he continued.
Then, looking back at the display, she saw that the transmission ended.
“One human life form?” she asked herself. “How can that be?”
Being small and completely mechanical, having no need to maintain an environment for living creatures, the probes could travel much faster than a ship. The second probe would arrive at Titan and begin sending messages before the end of the day. But, one life sign? A human?
Gashan dressed and took a transport to the banquet hall. She walked through the opening and took a table near a man dressed in a human costume, a jacket, T-shirt and jeans. She sat down, and whispered words into her wrist display, calling up the information sent from the most recent probe. The information contained only text, numbers and statistical data, no photos. The Potacas had been industrious, building three colonies, each with a system of laboratories.