HURRAN INVASION, CHAPTER 17: EPILOGUE

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     Najé and Raika didn’t accompany Gunis out, although Raika wanted to attend the Welcome Celebration.
He explained, “This is her day, Raika, to be among her people, with the ones she loves. Our presence would only diminish their joy: they would be far more concerned with honoring us than her. Just let them be by themselves.”

     All the ships from Gorkun City went rising slowly into the white-pink sky, while the people down were waving hands.
     Raika said nervously, “I do not know why, Najé, but I do not feel like going back to Gorkun City right now. Let’s wander a little until I feel better.”
     He asked gently, “What do you feel, My Dear?”
     “I feel as if something very dear has ended . . . forever . . . I know it has been such a terrible experience but, somehow, I miss that stress . . . the tension in my body . . . that great purpose that was driving us all.”
     Najé smiled intimately at her, then said, “Yeah, we have been through a few very nice moments together.”
     She explained, “I feel as if I am left empty, without an important purpose in my life, Najé.”
     He watched her thoughtfully for some time, then asked, “How about the Contact?”
     She looked perplexed at him for a few moments, then asked in reply, “What Contact is that, Najé?”
     He motivated, “I believe I told you already.”
     She asked intrigued, “Told me what?”
     He answered casually, “About the Contact.”
     She replied nervously, “Oh, don’t boil me, Najé! What Contact is that?”
     He explained, “We met a new species of sentient beings on the last Planet we have discovered.”
     She asked perplexed, “So?”
     “Aah . . . It is not like us—” started Najé hesitantly
     “It!” interrupted Raika puzzled.
     “Yeah. It is a form of a . . . a spirit. It is an energy-based form of life.”
     She asked suspiciously, “Are you joking?”
     He replied, “No. We believe it is a living being from the first generation of Stars. You know, since the last reconstruction of our Universe, there were two main generations of Stars: we live into the second one—”
     “What happened to the first one?” interrupted Raika.
     “They consumed their natural life, and they died.”
     “Oh . . . soo, we are living into the second generation of Stars?”
     “Yes. You see . . . there were Civilizations in that first main generation of Stars. Most of them have vanished, but it is possible a few beings belonging to those first Civilizations have survived for billions of equ. years—”
     “Billions!” exclaimed Raika amazed.
     “Incredible, isn’t it?”
     “They must be Gods!”
     “Some are for certain, but this one is not . . . Well, not quite.”
     “How come?”
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     He explained, “Things happen this way. When a Civilization manages to exist for millions of years, their people become truly Gods, and they are capable of doing anything they want with their mental powers only. However, the next phase of their development should alienate the individuals; therefore, some of them may decide to return to the primary forms of existence. Their bodies are made of Primary Energies, and they allow their state of logic to become intentionally primitive, because they are looking only for beautiful, pleasing, and interesting things.”
     “Then, they cease to be a Civilization?” asked Raika confused.
     He agreed, “Yes. Each individual starts developing further on his own way. Many disappear, not because something is capable of destroying them; that is, because they want to, driven probably by depression. The ones that are left start on a process of returning to primitivism, and that process continues until they forget everything. That is, they want to forget everything and to become some sort of . . . spirits having the mentality of a butterfly: happy and free.”
     Raika appeared to be touched; she said, “How nice! Are they dangerous?”
     Najé replied, “Yes, My Dear. Subconsciously, they have the power of the Gods.”
     “And you have contacted such creatures?” asked Raika.
     He watched her for a while, appearing to be in doubt as if to tell her or not, then he said hesitantly, “Not yet . . . We have just discovered it.”
     She asked intrigued, “And you intend to contact it?”
     He explained, “It seems to be curious about us. Besides, somewhere deep inside its subconscious there should be memories about history and science we cannot even imagine.”
     “You said it could be dangerous; what does it do?” asked Raika, and she appeared to be captivated by subject.
     Najé smiled gently at her, then explained, “Try to imagine an insect flying from flower to flower, Raika. Our little friend has the same mentality: he goes from place to place in the Universe, looking for things that are interesting to him. His level of logic is not more advanced than that of a butterfly . . . he just comes and goes where it pleases him most.”
     She said with compassion, “Oh, poor thing!”
     He continued, “Yes. The last Planet we have discovered was the home of a very old, past Civilization, and there are many mysteries to analyze—”
     “Mysteries!” slipped Raika surprised.
     “Yeah . . . Our little friend comes there, from time to time, looking for something—we do not know what.”
     “This is so fascinating! Why haven’t you told me before?” asked Raika with a beginning of irritation.
     “You were very busy lately, My Dear,” motivated Najé defensively.
     “What kind of mysteries?” asked Raika nervously, appearing to be well focused on the topic.
     He explained, “If you go to a certain place and touch two crystals, you fall in a trance state, and you see all sort of images . . . incredible ones, with incredible beings—”
     She asked with doubt, “Do you actually SEE those beings?
     “Yes. Then, there is another place which allows your mind to evade your body, and to flow freely throughout the Planet like a spirit—”
     “I cannot believe that, Najé.”
     “Well . . .”
     “I have to experience it!” decided Raika.
     “I do not know if I could take you there, Raika,” confessed Najé troubled.
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     “Why not?” asked Raika perplexed.
     “It is a restricted place, My Dear. We have to be very careful with the people entering there.”
     “Why?”
     “I told you about our little friend. He likes to play with you, when you are in a sprit form, therefore he must not meet a person having bad or violent feelings—”
     She interrupted him in an angry voice, “Do you have the intention, Najé Xallas, to insinuate that I am a person having bad or violent feelings?”
     He replied defensively, “I do not know, Raika, I always wondered—”
     “What?”
     “What are your true feelings,” said Najé.
     “You do not know them?” wondered Raika angrily.
     “I guess, you are the only person who knows your true feelings for certain—” started Najé.
     “But you said that people are transparent to you!” complained Raika with exasperation.
     He motivated, “I am just a man, Raika, and I could be mistaken—especially about YOU. Anyway, I have to leave you for one equ. year or two.”
     “One equ. year or two! Where are you going?” asked Raika surprised.
     He explained, “I told you, that Planet if full of mysteries, therefore we need to study them meticulously.”
     She asked, “What am I going to do all that time?”
     He replied in a casual tone, “Well, you should start giving my money to charities, then there is the Hurran Colonization Plan—”
     She interrupted him with irritation, “I am going to get bored! Two equ. years you said?”
     He replied appearing to be troubled, “Hard to say, My Dear; it could be even five.”
     “Five equ. years! Najé Xallas, you have to take me with you,” decided Raika nervously.
     He asked, “And who is going to take care of my business? You are my Secretary.”
     “I resign,” replied Raika promptly.
     “Come on, Raika, I need you,” pleaded Najé.
     “You need me for what, Najé Xallas? To work day after day inside an office while you have the adventures of your lifetime? Who is going with you?” asked Raika suspiciously.
     “Well, a handful of trusted old friends—”
     “Trusted old friends, you say; for five equ. years!” interrupted Raika sarcastically.
     “You know—” started Najé troubled.
     She interrupted him in a firm voice, “Know, what? Look here, Najé Xallas, we have a deal, if you remember, and I intend to keep it. I think it is the proper time to marry me.”
     “What about the money, Raika?” asked Najé appearing to be troubled.
     She replied with exasperation, “WHO CARES about the money?”
     “You do,” said Najé.
     “Ah . . . That was . . . BEFORE!” replied Raika nervously.
     “On the other hand, we do need to have certain feelings for each other, Raika,” pushed Najé while watching her attentively.
     “But you said you can SEE inside people’s soul!” protested Raika.
     “As I said, My Dear, I could be mistaken particularly about you,” motivated Najé.
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     “All right . . . I . . . I . . . I like you . . . very much, Najé Xallas,” managed Raika with great efforts, while gaining plenty of red colors on her face.
     “Is that all?” asked Najé confused.
     “I said VERY MUCH! What ELSE would you expect?” inquired Raika nervously.
     “How about love, My Dear?”
     “Najé Xallas!” exclaimed Raika in a shocked attitude.
     “What?” asked Najé perplexed.
     “Oh! You know . . .” started Raika troubled.
     He asked again, with veiled desperation, “Know what?”
     She explained hesitantly, with very red cheeks and keeping her eyes down, “My people . . . we do not use that . . . word.”
     “You mean, love?” asked Najé.
     After some time she said timidly, “Yes.”
     “Why Raika?” asked Najé confused.
     She replied in a firm voice, “It is a matter of good education, Najé Xallas! Don’t tell me you haven’t studied the Ancen System cultures.”
     He confessed, “Not in such details.”
     She replied decisively, “Now you know!”
     Najé asked with great suspicion, “Please, tell me, Raika . . . Have I done something that was not . . . proper, according to your . . . education?”
     She replied in a shocked attitude, “Najé Xallas, I cannot tell you THAT!”
     “Oh, I guess I did. Now, Raika, what does your culture say about such things as is . . . your marriage?” asked Najé hesitantly.
     She replied with exasperation, “Najé Xallas, you are impossible! I cannot discuss with you about THIS! You should have studied it!”
     Najé asked with great tension, “Please, Raika, tell me only one more little thing, so that I can start studying it right away. Your education belongs to which particular culture of the Ancen System?”
     She replied troubled, “Najé Xallas, please understand that this is not proper . . . Ooh! In the moment I mentioned the first time the word . . . marriage . . . you should have investigated and . . . and insisted.”
     “Heavens and Skies! Are you telling me, Raika, that I lost precious time?” asked Najé with terrified looks.
     She replied red-ashamed, with her head turned to one side, “Yes.”
     “Aton, take us to Gorkun City RIGHT AWAY!” cried Najé furiously.
     Raika advised him timidly, “You have to be very discreet, Najé.”
     “How long does the marriage ceremonial last, Raika?” asked Najé in a firm voice.
     “Three equ. years,” replied Raika faintly.
     “THREE YEARS!” cried Najé utterly bewildered.
     She said timidly, “Yes, Najé . . . I thought you knew . . . I am sorry.”
     Najé made great efforts to restrain his feelings, then said, “No, My Dear, it is only my mistake . . . And I shall wait for you even ten equ. years if I have to!”
     She turned her eyes away from him, then she confessed hesitantly, “The marriage is . . . is completed . . . after ten equ. years, Najé.”
     “Heavens . . .” slipped Najé in a lost voice.

     [. . .]

GREEN LEAVES




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