Chaicauhtli sat on the dusty ground of a hut in the Nagan mountain kingdom. Alosaka, the high Magus, had brought him here to speak to the king's counsel. A fire popped and crackled, casting shadows on the thatched walls of the hut. There were a dozen Nagans seated here, their scales illuminated by the dancing flames. Through the thatching and vines of the hut, Chaicauhtli could see the sun rising, casting a red glow over the surrounding jungles. He returned his gaze to the counsel members seated around him.
"Chaicauhtli's memories have been taken from him," Alosaka stood as he addressed the gathered Nagans. "He does not remember any of us. The sky spirits have done this, in order to communicate with him. They granted Chaicauhtli the ability to communicate with them, but in so doing his memories were lost. While he was with the spirits he learned valuable information. He is here now to share this with us." Alosaka sat down amongst the others.
The group turned their heads toward Nahimana, the high adviser. "You may speak now, Chaicauhtli." Nahimana motioned to Chaicauhtli. "Though your memories are gone, your spirit remains. You have always served our people faithfully. We welcome you with open ears."
Chaicauhtli rose to his feet. His eyes ran across the group. Deep in his subconsciousness he felt the importance of this place and these people, though he did not remember them. He strained his memory for a moment, then, failing, put those thoughts aside; that is not why I am here, he thought. He had a chance to protect his people: not just those on the mountain, but all Nagans. His mind churned as he considered how to deliver his message: the last words he would speak on this world before returning to Blue Sky.
"Your world -our world- has been visited by beings from another: aliens to our home. You have called them sky spirits." Chaicauhtli looked to Alosaka. "But these are not spirits. They are material beings -worldly beings- like you and I. We are not alone in the universe." Chaicauhtli spoke slowly as his gaze swept across the group. "There are many other intelligent beings among the stars, and many worlds filled with creatures who speak and create, who craft tools, and who wage war." He was careful to make eye contact with each of them as he spoke. "It is necessary for you all to revise your understanding of your place in the universe. This world is one among a great many."
The crowd stared at Chaicauhtli in rapt attention. He did not remember their faces, but he knew their protocols. They must listen until he sat, and once he did, it would be presumed that he had said all that was needed. He composed himself and continued. "I tell you this because, very soon, in only a few moons, your world will be changed forever. As we speak, there is another species -the Mangeroma" -Chaicauhtli improvised the closest match in his native tongue- "who are preparing to settle on this planet. They will most likely land here, on this mountain. They will build structures here. They will take our resources, and they will have no concern at all for your welfare. If you are in their way, they will remove you -in whatever way is most expedient."
As he spoke, Chaicauhtli wondered what would happen to his people. They were strong willed and intelligent. But faced with a threat so technologically advanced, their survival was by no means assured. "The warriors among you will want to fight. If you do, you will surely be destroyed. Let there be not a doubt in your minds: you cannot win a war with the invaders. When they arrive, force is not an option. You must find a way to tolerate their presence and to coexist. The invaders will send emissaries to establish communication with you. They will bring a tool to learn your language: a universal language translator. It will take take time, but eventually you will be able communicate with each other. It is vital that you work towards achieving peace with them. Do not aggravate them. You must understand that they will view you not as equals, but as a nuisance. This is the position that you must bargain from if you are to survive...
...The aliens now on your mountain," Chaicauhtli motioned out to the Muramasa, "are from another group. They have your interests in mind. They are now at work on a tool that you may use towards achieving a peaceful coexistence: a communication beacon. It is the one threat you can hold against the invaders. The location of this world is a secret to most other species, and the invaders value that secrecy. They will seek to maintain it. If they should violate their terms with you -if they should commit violence or other transgressions- you may activate the communication beacon. This will send a signal alerting others of the location of this world, and by that means destroy their secret." Chaicauhtli paused. "Be aware of the implications. You have one chance to use this device, and if you do, your world may well become the center of a wider conflict. It is a threat to the invaders, but it is a threat to you as well. It is a tool that must be used with good judgment. Hide it well, and use it only if absolutely necessary. When the device is ready, it will be brought to your mountain. I will show you how it is used -" he paused "- before I leave."
"Leave?" Wapasha asked, breaking protocol.
"Yes." Chaicauhtli nodded. "When I have taught you how to use the communication device, I will be going with the aliens. I will be returning with them to their world." Chaicauhtli's gaze drifted across the scaled faces of his audience. Beneath their stoic expressions, perhaps somewhere behind their eyes, he could see a mixture of surprise, confusion, and sadness.
He thought to himself, their fate is in their hands now, and sat.
YOU ARE READING
Angels and WormholesScience Fiction
A star-faring religious cult has created an army of robotic zealots designed to follow holy scripture. As the robotic menace spreads across the galaxy, it takes prisoners to be 'excommunicated': hooked into a neural simulation of eternal torment. Ca...