Mageia Geist sat by the window, looking out over the Gathering of Yenzora, a smallish settlement located near the flowing ley lines of the Tescala-Si. Down below, she could see the spindrile Yenzors going about their tasks. There were much larger gatherings than this in her world, two that spanned entire continents, but she preferred the outer areas.
She appreciated the calm, the clarity they brought to her mind. Here on the continent of Norsa-Michga, gatherings were kept to a minimum. This land was too rich in natural splendor, full of energy vortices, to be exploited and drained. That had been the rule after the Second Resettlement: Leave room for nature. And they had. This continent was regarded as a frontier once again. The sky overhead was a beautiful hue that could only be described here as magenta, and it faded to a calming violet at the horizon. There were no rains scheduled for this period, and so the sky reflected all of its colors off the crystalline structures below, a few of which reflected back small spectrums at their edges. Placed at the center of the Tescala were the three pyramids of Yenzora. They were the largest structures in this part of the world. There were smaller pyramids around the edge of the city, out by the rows of bactohuts of the local Yen, but they were ziggurats, and Mageia had always preferred the smooth, perfect sides of these central structures. They appeared perfectly four-sided, but everyone knew that there were actually eight sides, nine if you counted the base. The beams of plasma light blazed from the capstones from time to time, making the entire gathering look like it was made of pure light, reflecting multi-layered rainbows, not all of their splendid colors visible to every eye. She wanted to go down to the Citadel water wells and meditate today, perhaps communicate with friends far off, but she was waiting to see her brother, Rabiem, and he always seemed to enjoy making her wait. She needed to tell him about recent developments with Adriel’s encounter on the other side of the veil, and to let him know that they were bringing over a candidate for the Glazier Project. Rabiem had little hope for Adriel’s mission. He felt that no real intelligence could be found on the lower side of the veil. As far as he was concerned, everyone there was told what to think and how to think it, as it had always been, and that the whole frequency was dead to original thought. Mageia was inclined to agree with him, but still, she had seen enough irregularities there to give her hope that it wasn’t a completely dead frequency. Dying, certainly, but not entirely dead. Her question was one of causality – did the frequency kill thought, or the other way around? Everyone on that side had always been fairly negative, and the few that weren’t didn’t tend to survive long. And did they even originate there, or did they fall?
There was a chime, and she turned, waving her hand at the far wall, where an opening appeared. On the other side was Rabiem. He was alone. She had worried that he might bring Dryden Kole with him, but he had not. That was a good sign.
“Hi, sis!” Rabiem greeted her. He entered as the opening in the wall sealed itself. “That’s the traditional greeting for our relations in the lower frequency, yes?”
She smiled and stood up to greet him. “It will suffice, I suppose. How are you, brother?”
“Ah, you know,” he said, extending his arms as if for a hug, his sidare walking stick flashing in the soft lighting of the room, “just trying to open as many worlds as I can.”
This was their family’s business. Opening worlds, or rather, consciousnesses, and from their perspective, they were one and the same. They were scientists, explorers, and they were trying to rebuild the Continuum, a sort of open frequency that connected all frequencies – above, below, beside, in between. The synapses of the mind were reflected perfectly in the cosmos, as they said: ‘as above, so below.’ Their family, their Sect, had dedicated themselves to reconnecting all of those frequencies, all of those synapses. There really is no way to explain it, other than to say they were trying to create a God-mind, just as the ancient Philos had described. In short, the idea was that each individual mind incarnate resembled the very network of the universes, each a separate consciousness cut off from the whole, the way a drop of blood contained the DNA for the entire organism. But here, rather than the building blocks of the body, they were connecting the building blocks of a mind. And each of those universes represented a frequency that also connected to all of the other frequencies, from the lowest to the highest. The dark entities of the lower frequencies had made tremendous strides in pulling other frequencies to them, but the Geist clan and their scientific Sect, a very old order carrying traditions from before the Severance, wanted to reconnect everything to the higher frequencies. To those on the lower side of the veil, it would be thought of as a tug-of-war between Hell and Heaven. It was their goal to create a connection with the higher realms, and to get their help pulling the lower frequencies in line with the highest. An ability between two minds to share a consciousness was a gift, but for entire universes, which could also be sparked to consciousness, to share one great consciousness – that was a God. They saw themselves as cells in a womb, trying to pull together the spark of life to make a fully conscious entity. Again, as above, so below. God was a life force, and like all life forces, God procreated.
They sat on the palosh, a sort of round, cushioned sofa that would move to support whichever part of the frame one wished to lean on. It was uncommonly comfortable. It was like furniture in which you could swim.
“Any news from Adriel?” Rabiem asked.
“Yes, and I am hopeful.”
“Possibly. Either way, an immensely powerful mind.”
“Very. She seems to be able to broadcast but is unaware of her own ability.”
“I see. And how did he come to find her? Bright?”
This was the hard part. “Dark,” she said.
Rabiem’s jovial demeanor vanished. “Dark? She’s useless to us, then.”
“Not necessarily. She is dark because that is her perception. As I said, she doesn’t know of anything else, she reacts out of influence.”
“Don’t they all?” Rabiem scoffed. “She had been broadcasting this strongly, but for the darker frequencies? She’s more harmful than beneficial. She should be eliminated.”
Mageia shook her head so slightly that only one with Rabiem’s eyes could have noticed. “That’s your response to everything dark,” she said.
“As it should be! We’ve seen what those forces are capable of. They are the epitome of abandonment. Their existence may be necessity, but we should keep our distance.”
“She could be taught,” Mageia suggested, “shown there is more to her life than the suffering she has endured. She can shine, I am certain of it.”
Now it was Rabiem’s turn to shoot her a subtle yet disappointed glare. “Certain of it? Have you met this woman?”
“I have seen her, and I have heard Adriel’s experience.”
“How does he know she is powerful?”
“She lit up brighter than any single we have seen from that side.”
“And where is she?”
“Pittsburgh,” Rabiem said in a disdainful tone. “That says it all, doesn’t it? Pittsburgh? It sounds as though it was named to be lost.”
“If we are to succeed, nothing can be lost.”
“Not so. Every mind has a dark side, a subconscious. What matters is which side holds sway over the mind as a whole.”
“She has an Akashic record that goes back longer than anyone’s I’ve seen. We believe she may have fallen and forgotten.”
“Sister,” Rabiem shook his head openly now. “No one forgets.”
“These entities do,” she retorted. “You know this more than anyone.”
“Only because they are dark and stupid, and they will not be brought up, no matter how we have tried.”
“This one is different. Adriel –”
“Adriel is treating this as a holiday, isn’t he? He’s interested in the girl, not the goal.” He spoke before he thought, and he could feel the flash of anger that came from his sister as though she had slapped him across the face. “I like Adriel, I do,” he countered. “But he does not know enough about that population. They are doomed to failure.”
“Perhaps, but we do not feel she is truly one of them. If you could see her…”
“No!” Rabiem stood up.
“Rabiem, has Adriel ever misread anyone before?”
Rabiem paused. “Perhaps only you.”
Mageia smiled. “Well, I am a hard one to peg.”
Rabiem smiled with his eyes. He was in a good mood. This might be the only time to tell him before he reconnected with Dryden Kole. That one would never allow this conversation, let alone for her to proceed. Now, however, when it was just she and Rabiem, he was open to her.
“This girl, we cannot discount her record,” she said. “She’s been here before. She reflects more than mere chance could explain.”
“It is a waste of time to traverse the veil just to visit… Pittsburgh.” He practically spat the name.
“You won’t need to,” she said. “Adriel will be bringing her over.”
“Tomorrow. She needs to see everything. She needs to remember.”
“She needs to be left on her side of the veil until we know what she is capable of!” Rabiem hissed. “Bringing her here now, in her state of mind, is dangerous. If she is as powerful as you say, but she thinks in darkness, then she will do far more harm than any good we could ever hope to train her to produce.” He closed his eyes. “It was very careless of you to accept her crossing without consulting the Sect. If Dryden Kole —”
“Minister Kole would hear nothing of it unless he sees it for himself,” Mageia stopped him. “And besides, I don’t think we will need to train her,” Mageia said. “Her record, that power, she’s done this before.”
“When?” Rabiem said. “We haven’t lost anyone to a lower incarnation in millennia.”
“Not now,” Mageia said. “Not within our program.”
Rabiem turned a derisive look upon his sister, but she was already gazing at him with an expression that told him what she needed him to know. He stopped.
“Brother,” she said. “This woman has a power that must have been developed over ages, lives. And her record reflects that.”
“Perhaps,” he conceded. “But where, and for what purpose?”
“From what Adriel has seen in her, I am wondering that she might have been with the last Continuum.”
Her words hit him like a supernova. He had not known his sister to show interest in the ancient thoughts. This had apparently been building for a long time. This had Adriel’s hand to it.
“How long have you watched this one?” he asked.
“Long enough. Right now, she is trapped in the mind she was born into, but she remembers so much more. How else could someone from that side shine so bright?”
“Can she do it willingly, or is it sporadic?”
“Sporadic, from what I can tell. When Adriel tells her of the frequencies, she seems to adapt to these concepts immediately. She even reflects memories that he did not plan to trigger. She just picks up on them, as though reminded. If she sees that Adriel is telling her the truth, she may well remember more than we could have ever known.”
Rabiem studied his sister. She was fully committed to this course of action, he could see that clearly. She must have been working at this longer than she was admitting. He also knew that once she set her mind to something, it was folly to get in her way. Even dangerous.
“Still,” he said. “If she is dark, whatever she may have been before, she will be a great risk.”
“Too great to consider?”
They thought on this together for some time. Finally, Rabiem was the one to relinquish. If Adriel was right about this, and, Rabiem had to admit, he usually was, then this woman may be one of the keys for which they had been searching. They needed abilities like hers. And time was running desperately short. The darker frequencies were growing stronger every day.
“She may cross,” he said finally. “But keep her controlled. The moment she even looks to flash dark, whether she means to or not, she must be destroyed.”
Mageia smiled. It was a rare occasion that her brother acquiesced. It was both empowering and worrying, as it reflected just how desperate they really were.
“Accepted,” she agreed, “But I do not think this one will stay dark for very much longer.”