Ex Nihilo, Short Stories, The Augmented World

Ex Nihilo – Bear With Me

Bear with me for a few minutes: there is a land far away, on some distant planet if you must have a location, that is based upon loose and unclear foundations. Words are rarely used to speak of these matters, as they lie beneath all expression and forms of thought. Wildly misconstrued, they might be understood as maxims, adages or possible courses of action, usually at the same time. The society that is formed from these precepts is a singular species, somehow maintaining conformity and cohesive lifestyles while still appearing, to the outside observer, as complete loners. Complete in its absolute sense here; no contact, no communication, not even thought or mental objects to support even the theoretical consideration of contact.

“Surely, they must meet somehow!”, cries the onlooker, perhaps orbiting in an artificial satellite meant for just that sort of anthropological spying. See how their habits are the same: they all wear the same blue sashes and robes (which must be replenished somehow, mutters the observer), they all speak the same language when they talk and they seem to carry through the days in an almost exact manner. They sleep lightly and rarely, they speak lightly and rarely and they eat rarely and lightly. Other than the lack of contact, they appear to have a society and a culture to support it.

If they do not meet however, the fevered, scientific mind of the observer burns into its lower processes, how then do they maintain their seemingly ubiquitous demeanor and ritual? The observer is now outraged. This defies everything they have learned, perhaps on some distant, multi-planet focal point, the base of an enlightened/enlightening sub-galactic empire. There have to be meetings, there has to be communication and exchange of ideas and words for society to flourish, they scream as they smash their fist on the dashboard, a burning need for answers now possessing them.

Perhaps, you are still bearing with me you remember, our diligent observer gets lucky on the third week or the fifth or the eighty-second. They get lucky as their ultra-modern, state of the art listening station finally picks up on something new, something different than the inexorable and inexplicable routine of these blue-wearing sociopaths. From one of the magnificent halls, somehow constructed in solitude, emerges one of the denizens. They scan the sky, as if aware of the metallic hawk that even now pierces his body with rays and telemetry, gathering data and what not. They seem to faintly shrug and then slowly, delicately, pace down the winding stairs, softly tainting their legs red with the clay they are made of. The onlooker, that faithful scientist, catches their breath as the figure raises their arm in a salute. Contact! And yes, from the other side of the valley, where a second tower/hall stands, even redder in hue with the setting sun behind it, another hand is raised in acknowledgement.

The observer is at the edge of their seat. Expertly, using skills carefully chiseled from books and data pads on that imagined hub of interstellar learning, they guide their station/ship/metal hawk lower, lower towards the surface of our fabled planet. It is, of course, completely and utterly silent, using all sorts of alien technologies to part the air and still its vibrations. Closer now as well draw the two forms, their sex now discernible: a male and a female. The observer’s pulse sky rockets. Could it be even greater than what they had dreamed possible? Will they now observe that paramount prize for researchers such as they, the all glorious mating ritual? If so, they could be staring down the barrel of a Rosetta Stone Moment, a phrase they know comes from Old Earth but which means nothing in particular to them.  And indeed, it appears as if the figures are now meeting on the plain. The vessel, that mighty piece of technology assembled on fifteen different planets and drawing on the know-how of twenty more, is completely invisible as it brings our gallant observer closer to the scene.

All seems hushed. The birds, orange in color on this strangely tinted planet, seem quieter, the village more morose, as if the world itself is gearing up to deliver this secret and ultimate knowledge onto the outsider, the alien, the analyzer, the intellectual surgeon, our observer. Observe you too, the ritual: first, left hands are raised. Then the right side of each leans forward slightly from the hip, recognizing the other. Then left hands are lowered and a long long moment of silence reigns supreme. This is it, everything seems to say. The wind dies down and the woman quirks her head to the left as if finally considering what she will say. Her lips start to part, air is drawn through the throat, just past the vocal chords, and into the lungs. As it is exhaled, chiming on those same chords, the first words the observer has heard from these unique creatures will also be his last.

They are: “I am so fucking bored“.

Standard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s