Chapter 12: The Atharans
The melody coming from the waterfalls was faintly audible, due to the large crowd already gathered, and the loud noise caused by the multitude of people. Drums started beating, and all of a sudden....absolute silence reigned. A noisy mechanism lifted the pavement tiles, in the centre of the square. A platform then slowly ascended, and on the giant platform there was a group of drummers. They were playing a fantastic rhythm, dancing at the same time in tune with the rhythm, occasionally jumping over the drums that were nailed on the platform.
“They are unbelievably short,” Dark Elf whispered to Tuathan.
“They are probably kids...With a lot of talent, nonetheless,” Tuathan replied to the comment.
They could not distinguish their facial characteristics because they had covered their faces with impressive purple butterfly-shaped masks. They had some elaborate bands around their heads, of white and purple in colour, tied in the back of their heads with the final third of each band, free in the air waving wild, at every rhythmical motion.... Their appearance was fantastic.
Every Dezolian was holding a feather in each hand, one of white and the other of purple colour. Instead of clapping their hands, they raised the feathers high, and gently hit them against each other. After the lyricless song finished, a golden cloud appeared in the centre of the platform that slowly took on the appearance of Great Darso .
“Dear citizens of Dezola, some of you may have heard we have some visitors, Dark Elf and Tuathan. A very unusual elf and a wonderful human, who is actually a Druid. Yesterday, it was a very gruelling day for our visitors, however today, we would like to celebrate their arrival, to get to know them better, take a free tour within our city, learn about our culture and civilisation, the culture we call Agatha. Tuathan and Dark Elf, you are free to move around without restrictions and, when you decide to return to your rooms, you just pronounce Buhara’s name three times.”
The crowd started to cheer for a while, hitting their feathers against each other. The drummers took the masks off their faces, and then with great synchronised movements thrust the bands off their heads creating an amazing shaw. It was obvious that the drummers were not actually children, but some strange beings, even if you only saw their heads. They had children’s bodies with huge heads, their hands featured long slender fingers, their skin colour being greyish-green, and gigantic penetrating black almond-shaped eyes.
“Chilling,” said Dark Elf. “Why are these kids like that?” Dark Elf asked Tuathan, turning around.
“I have no idea,” Tuathan responded. “Let’s ask somebody around.” They approached a tall girl with short dark hair and short braids. She sensed they wanted to talk to her, so she turned around towards them first, introducing herself.
“Hi..I am glad to meet you. My name is Lilith.” She extended both hands to greet Tuathan, then she repeated the same movement to greet Dark Elf.
“Lilith, we would like to ask you something,” Tuathan said, then continued: “What are those greenish ...children.... playing the drums?”
“You are not familiar with them? They are a group from Athara. They are extraterrestrials living here in the inner earth. The surface of their planet called Ponaturi was destroyed during a violent conflict with another extraterrestrial race called Taral, and since then they have escaped under the surface of Ponaturi, creating their domicile underground. Throughout the generations, they had to adapt their vision to the condition of the underground tunnels, so they acquired those huge eyes.
Many years later, they came out of the tunnels, only to realise that, due to the use of nuclear weapons, their planet was transported to a different time space continuum because of the distorted electromagnetic field from the nukes. The new location of the planet was close to the constellation of Teral. Some of them stayed there, some moved far away, and they evolved to a new race, the Rimond. The rest came here, close to us.”
“Why do they all look exactly the same?” Dark Elf asked.
“The war they fought was a nuclear war (maybe these are words unknown to you), but what you should really keep in mind is that, during a nuclear explosion, a very powerful kind of radiation is released and, due to its effect on their bodies, they could not reproduce any longer, since they lost their reproductive organs. This forced them to start creating clones of themselves, and that is the reason they all look alike.
Along with their reproductive organs, they lost their digestive organs, as well, and they are now forced to obtain nutrition through the skin. That changed the colour of their skin. The reason they came here on earth is that there is an agreement with the earthlings, however this agreement is known to very few, some kings and some leaders of large countries of the earth, and some powerful forces behind the governments. Their aim is to learn how to regain reproductive capacity. According to the agreement with humanity, they are allowed to abduct some people for genetic experiments, trying to discover a method to regain reproductive organs, as well as the capacity to feel bodily pain and pleasure.
The way they are now, they cannot have those feelings. According to the agreement, the abductees will not have any side effects from the experience, and no memory of the abduction or any traumatic results. In exchange, they provide humanity with certain technologies believed to help the human race, according to what humanity believes.”
“This cannot be happening,” Tuathan said.
“I am getting dizzy,” Dark Elf added, trying to support himself against a small column.
“Many more things are taking place, that the humans on the surface of the earth have no clue about them. That is why we prefer to live right here. From this particular location, we have access to all expressions of time space universes, and lines of the earth. We cannot interfere to change them, however we at least do not experience any abductions, since we have an agreement with the Atharans. We allow them to stay here with us, we allow them to have their own spaceports and, in exchange, they will not interfere with our daily lives, both of us enjoying a peaceful coexistence.”
“It seems they haven’t yet achieved reproductive capacity. They still look exactly the same, still gryeyish-green in colour,” Tuathan said in an argumentative tone.
“ It is quite difficult to explain to you certain facts, when the concept of TIME is involved. What I just described to you occurred in the future. Are you able to perceive the future like it was past? If you can, you will be able to understand. I will try to demonstrate the concept with a hologram. Could you please come with me?” Lilith said.
She started walking. Dark Elf and Tuathan, amazed at these revelations, followed her. They crossed the square, and approached one of the melodic waterfalls. She did not stop, but kept walking through the waterfall. The others hesitated.
“Come on. Don’ t be afraid,” Lilith’ s voice was heard on the other side of the waterfall.
They bent their shoulders to avoid getting wet, while they walked through. To their great surprise, they did not have even one drop of water on their clothes, after they both went through it. They were in the great chamber of a huge cave, very clean and shiny. So shiny, it reflected off the light.
“How is that possible? How come we did not get wet?” Tuathan asked.
“This is not water. These are photon bands, which become visible, using a special technology. It is similar to the phenomenon of diffraction of light passing through a glass of water. The light enters the water, and some of its energy is released into the water, a mixture of light and matter. However, when the light exits the water, it is still in the form of light. This process is similar to the one I described, only more intensified. The light speed is slowed down considerably, allowing more energy to be absorbed than in dIffraction, forcing the energy field to become visible. Using this process, we are able to produce matter from light, matter of any quality we desire.”
“And the music ?” Dark Elf asked in amazement.
“That is another more sophisticated technology, which relates to the physics of particles. The melody you hear has its source from the planetary movements. It is a melody of the universe, but I cannot explain that properly as I am currently being taught exactly this material at the special school of the Atharans. So, I can’ t explain it properly, yet. All this technology is theirs.” They walked to the end of the chamber, where they noticed a minute door.
“If you want me to show you the history of the Atharans, we must enter through this door. Of course, you notice that none of us can fit into this space. Would you be kind enough to drink this liquid?” Lilith asked, while pulling out a small bottle from a purse she had around her neck, containing some strange purple liquid.
“I promise to give the antidote, upon exiting, so you regain your normal size and appearance.”
“I don ̓t really mind seeing their history,” Dark Elf responded, suspicious of the request.
“Dark Elf, I have a way to reverse things if need be,” said Tuathan, sure of himself. “In that case, all right,” DarkElf whispered, trying to demonstrate his faith in Tuathan.
Tuathan reached out and took the small bottle. “Just a small sip is enough,” Lilith said.
He took a sip, and gave the small bottle back to her.
“I don’t see any changes,” Tuathan commented, carefully observing his body.
“Give it some time. Your cells are going through a complete transmutation, and that requires some time,” Lilith answered with a wide smile.
“All of a sudden, Tuathan started changing colours. First, he became purple, like the liquid he had drunk. Then, he turned blue, then turquoise, light green and, finally, dark green, with grey lines appearing all over his body skin, which now was dark green from top to bottom. At some point, his transformation slowed down and stopped.
“For God’s sake...I was supposed to become small to fit through the door. Now, my entire skin has completely transmuted.”
Next, his hands, as he had them out, gesticulating, started to shorten, his face becoming wider, his shape changing, until he became extremely short.
Dark Elf, surprised and terrified at the same time, shouted loudly with a wide open mouth. Lilith took a mirror out of her purse. She placed it on the floor, and ran her hand over the mirror. The mirror started growing in size, reaching that of a full body mirror.
“Look inside,” she addressed Tuathan.
As soon as he saw his image, he jumped, terrified by the view.
“You have changed me to an Atharan. Why did you do that?” he said angrily.
“The Atharans gave us permission to examine their history, without restricting any part of it, but they consider that humans have misunderstood them as a race, so before we enter to examine their history, they want us to take their size and appearance. They believe that, when we ‘step into their shoes’, then we will be able to understand them better. Were they able to understand compassion and understanding, as well as all the different feelings, the way we experience them, they would realise that the hatred we feel is totally unrelated to whether we have their size and appearance, or not. However, they do not have the capacity to understand that.”
“Yes...but why do they hate so much?”
“You will be able to comprehend the reasons, as soon as we enter,” said Lilith. “Dark Elf?” she asked, extending her hand to hold the cute small bottle.
Dark Elf looked at Tuathan, wondering if he should do it. He wanted reassurance that Tuathan would be able to reverse things, considering such a radical transformation. Tuathan asserted his ability by signalling ‘go ahead’. He took a sip, and went through the same transformation-transmutation. He looked exactly the same as Tuathan and every other Atharan. Lilith sipped the liquid, as well, and the door opened by itself. They passed through, one by one. They entered a room full of chairs, and lit by small lights. Someone appearing to be an Atharan was sitting in the first row. Lilith sat next to him.
“You.... are here? I never expected to find you here,” Lilith said and started laughing.
“Sh...The person looking as Atharan, avoiding to give any answer, turned around to give an intense stare at Tuathan. He realised the attention he drew, and looked back very suspiciously. He felt very tired, living through all these experiences, and he could not feel secure, or that he could trust anyone. Suddenly, a voice came through some speakers, however they could not be located.
“Put on the masks hanging off the backs of your chairs,” the voice pointed out.
Tuathan and Dark Elf found the masks on the handle of the chairs. Made of thick glass, they were very large and rectangular in shape, able to cover the eyes from side to side. Lilith put on the mask, and showed them how to do it correctly.
“These masks will give you the impression you are living their history along with them, like you lived it with them at the time. It is called virtual reality.”
Everyone put their masks on and, after a few seconds, the room became completely dark.
All of a sudden, the room was filled with multicolour stars travelling at tremendous speed. The screen was convex, like the one in the star-observatory, the difference being that they felt they were part of the picture inside the screen, due to virtual reality. They all had the feeling they were travelling through the stars at a similar speed. They soon felt slowing down through the stars, until they landed on a strange planet. Over their head, a spaceship was travelling at high speed, producing an ear-splitting sound.
A quite familiar thunderous voice was heard at this point.
“Stop the movie projection,” the voice said.
Everything stopped, they took off their masks, able to see the dark room and nothing else. They saw Great Darso in front of them, and all of them automatically stood up.
“It is improper for our visitors to familiarise themselves with the history of the Arharans. They should be exposed to everything, however in the proper order.”
Lilith, staring at the ground, was obviously embarrassed, like a child caught in the act.
“My apologies, Great Darso. I didn’t even think of it,” Lilith said in a low voice, regretting the initiative she took.
“It’s alright. I will transfer you now into the room of neurosensing extensions. We must bring our friends back to their natural form, so they feel comfortable.”
“Great Darso, what is going to happen with Meril?” DarkElf suddenly burst out. “Everything will be explained to you in time.”
“Will I ever see him again?” Dark Elf asked, waiting for a reply in agony.
“I don’ t know,” Great Darso responded.
“At least, tell me if he is alive,” Dark Elf asked again, obviously furious.
“I don’t know even that,” Great Darso answered, making a simple movement with his hand, everyone returning to their original form. He moved his hand again and everybody found himself covered with a turquoise smoke cloud. The cloud moved them to a larger room, where instead of chairs there were large leather beds, each surrounded by a strong blue light.