‘How shall we enact this proposal of yours? What should alter our plans for them?’ Hezzeb reclined in her sumptuous throne awaiting the other Elders to be seated.
Arien sat with the Sceptre of Ascendancy in his right hand, the Orb of Deliberation in his left. Merely acknowledging the comment with a nod, he waited for Charystan to sit. ‘I have been considering our connection with the humans. It occurred to me that we are not aware of them as we once were: they have evolved.’
Charystan’s Coronet of Ages vine motif moved and flourished, blossoms and leaves eternally budding.
‘We set them on that path and thusly they have proceeded. What propels you?’ Arien said.
Charystan said, ‘I am concerned they may not continue evolving.’
Arien sat up slightly. ‘Sometimes the natural end of evolution is extinction.’
‘What are you suggesting?’ Hezzeb’s Crown of Tenacity glowed as she focussed on Charystan. ‘The logic of allowing them to die eludes me. We ought to take action to prevent catastrophe. Or would you simply have them all die?’ Her hair mimicked the vines.
‘Of course not. What do you intend?’ Sumptuous throne or not, Hezzeb fumed.
‘Please elaborate’, said Arien.
‘As we have lost comprehension of these creatures, we deploy envoys to act as witnesses. These entities may then relate to us their human perspective’, Charystan said.
Arien glanced at Hezzeb’s blank face and said to Charystan, ‘This act of creation may not be sufficient to the task.’
‘Insufficient? To what task?’ Charystan leant forward.
‘The humans now number just over four billion. The task is to ensure they avoid extinction’, said Arien.
Hezzeb’s eyes flashed. ‘What if the humans take our creations with them?’
‘We must ensure they don’t’, said Charystan.
The three Ageless Elders sunk in thought. Constellations formed spirals as they wheeled across the domed ceiling, tracing their predestined tapestry through the universe.
‘A small group rather than one entity would achieve success’, said Arien.
‘They shall walk among the humans, in that guise, and return hence. Interaction ought be limited’, said Charystan.
Hezzeb gripped the arms of her throne, ‘No! They must be able to function as the humans do. They must be able to breed and interact like them and with them. We will otherwise still be out of touch with the vitals of that existence.’
‘I concur,’ said Arien. ‘They must breed as the humans do. Once they have engaged in mortal experiences, they may elucidate us upon return.’
‘The humans may not be receptive’, said Charystan.
‘Ha! Certainly not as they already stampede toward self-extermination. I see no loss in this experiment either way.’ Hezzeb shifted on the plump cushions.
‘Four shall suffice’, said Arien.
‘Four shall not suffice. Six is the number; no more, no less’, said Hezzeb.
The three entities rose from their thrones, forming three tips of a triangle in the centre of the room. A circle appeared within and glowed. The deities reached toward each other. The circle rose up, forming a cylinder, power pulsing upward.
Arien pointed His sceptre at the centre and the orb followed. The vines from Charystan’s coronet grew toward the orb and up the pulsating cylinder. Two manacles appeared on Hezzeb’s wrists from which blood dripped down to the floor, forming a pool. It ran toward the base of the cylinder and trickled upward.
They chanted as one:
These beings we call:
save the humans from their fall.
Take no life; let no life be taken
whilst yet the humans are forsaken.
Give these beings ways to endure
yet let them not be pure.
The cylinder shrank to a beam which then coalesced into six pinpoints.
Arien and Charystan called, ‘Astyren!’ The uppermost winked out.
Charystan and Hezzeb called, ‘Burne!’ and the second disappeared.
Hezzeb by herself called, ‘Varchwiq!’ The other Ageless agape as the third disappeared.
Hezzeb called, ‘Mallax!’ joined by Arien. The fourth light vanished.
Charystan, Arien and Hezzeb called ‘Tempiz!’ and: the fifth went.
Hezzeb murmured, ‘Yugga.’ Arien and Charystan whispered the name just as the sixth pinpoint faded away.