2017-07-25 13:00 fiction return-to-ebyx short-story

Return To Ebyx: Miki

It took them a hundred seasons, but they were dreaming the entire time. They dreamed together. They dreamed of a great endless ocean, spanning incredible distances between islands. They did not travel in a ship. A ship could not be built that could make that journey. They traveled in the whale who had circled above in the over-ocean. They were going home.

When they woke up they were gliding towards Ekiqs. None of them had been there before, but they had dreamed it. Their parents and the elders had never been there before, but they dreamed it too. Ekiqs is where they came from, a very long time ago.

Lazily the whale swam once around Ekiqs and they looked down at a world which was said to have been ice and snow. But all they saw were green jungles and blue oceans. This is not what they expected. It did not upset or frighten them, but they wondered what had happened in so many seasons between their ancestors leaving and them returning.

Lazily the whale swam around and across the space to Ckiqs. Along the way they came upon a husk, the carcass of something, something whale-like maybe. It was dead and empty. They looked, they flipped it over, they inspected the insides. They could see once too it could hold people. They swam along side it a while, then pulled away leaving it in the depths to very slowly be picked apart by time. Then they orbited Ekiqs.

The world they left was hard and cold. Their ancestors had arrived there a long time ago, because they believed this is where the dreams came from. They came in a great vessel, thousands of them. And they made that world their home.

Miki began to untangle the long pod from its bay in the whale. After so much time, strands and tendrils grew from it and around it. A fresh mossy scent rose as he pulled them off.

The bay was getting colder as the long pod was being prepared to be expelled. He could see his breath, which made him happy. Signs of life, he thought. Being cold makes you aware you're alive. Warm, tepid air might be fine to recover in, but after a while it saps the will from you. You stop dreaming, you stop seeing.

He worried about the surface. When they looked down onto Ekiqs the green jungles vibrated with life, and the whale said it looked very warm. The poles were cooler, but they'd spotted structures at the equator. It appeared the jungle had claimed them. So far they saw no signs of living people. They hadn't expected to. After all, their parents parents parents had left it for the dreaming world, why would there be people down there now?

Of course there wasn't. They'd spent many seasons on Aok looking and listening for any signs. He would look again, since it had been such a long journey.

He pulled the final grassy bits off the pod. It had already gained a soft sheen, a little glow from within. He could feel it tremble here and there slightly.

Others would wake up soon. There was a lot for them to do. They would wake up and travel down to the surface, their new home, their old home.

It was Miki's job to go down first to make sure and to get things ready. After he checked that the pod was on its own, he worked his way back to the pilot house.