The history of tomorrow

As the flaming orange sun sank behind the distant hills, it cast its dying rays across the clouds, painting them glorious shades of peach and purple in a final display of its brilliance.

Against this dazzling sunset two figures sat on top of the rocky outcrop, still and silent, basking in the beauty of the evening.

One of them, the old man, shivered in the first chill of evening and pulled his thick woollen blanket snugly about his shoulders. Beside him, the boy seemed oblivious to the growing cold, absorbed in the spell of the evening.

“Tell me another story, Grandfather,” said the boy, looking intently into the wizened face of his elder.

“Another story, Kumal!” replied Raegar, ruffling the youngster’s thick brown hair. “What will you hear this time?”

“Tell me about the olden times—the days of the deep mystery.”

“Very well,” acquiesced his grandfather, gazing across the valley at the dying embers of the sun. “It is said that in the days of the deep, deep past, man lived close to his neighbours. It was not as you or I could imagine, Kumal. At that time huge tribes of people, as many as the birds that gather at a waterhole in the dry season, lived together, separated by only walls, but very little space. They lived closely together; they travelled closely together and they worked closely together.

“They must have liked each other a great deal,” interrupted the boy.

“Perhaps they did. In any case, so used had they become to this closeness that they could not bear to be separated for even short periods. So they invented ways to help them achieve still greater closeness.”

“You mean they could teleport?” asked the wide-eyed youngster innocently.

“No, lad,” chuckled his grandfather, his grey eyes twinkling merrily. “They invented a machine that allowed them to speak to each other when they were at a distance. With it they could talk to each other whenever and wherever they liked.”

“In the middle of the night?”

“If they wished.”

“So then were they happy?”

“For a while, my boy, for a while. At first people enjoyed the new machines. They were very pretty and using one of them was a sign of power and importance which, at that time, men held to be desirable. They were used very much by very many and people grew to depend on them.”

“They must have been good, then.”

“Certainly they were helpful to man at that time. However, as you know, Kumal, the fabric of existence is delicately woven and cannot endure abuse. Thus, in all things, we strive for balance for we know that if we tread too hard upon this earth, our children pay the price.

“Of course, grandad,” said the boy impatiently.

“The price for the new machines was high, Kumal. You see, they gave out energy and they fed on energy from metal structures that were built across the country. This energy affected people, some more than others and men began to grow sick.”

“Surely then men recognised the mistakes of their ways,” suggested the horrified youngster hopefully.

“Not for a long time, my boy, not before many people became tired and sick. But you know what is the saddest thing, Kumal?” The boy shook his head. “They did not know that they are never really alone and that they are already connected to each other.”

EMRAA News Sept 2001, Vol 6 No 3