“Starry Messenger “
The crystalline chamber opened and the male emerged from his rest cycle. He sat upright, swung his feet out of the hollow compartment and put them down firmly on the glass like surface. He stood up in the center of the room and performed a self-inventory and found every part of his body was functioning at peak capacity. The results were pleasing and somewhat surprising to the male because he had little time to heal from his last mission.
The familiar feeling of anticipation swept over the male. He thought about his masters and why they needed him so soon after his last undertaking. The twelve beings known as the Synod had summoned him once again and they would only do that if the task was a very important one.
The male was a Vestigare. Part of an assemblage of 1,656 interstellar investigators and defenders. Each of these beings was a carefully selected individual from the large group of united planets called the Collective. The appearance and abilities of each Vestigare varied but they were all dedicated to the same cause: The protection and advancement of the Way of Yar.
Yar was a being of incalculable power and unknown origins. He was said to reside in the Beyond, a place outside of the universe and home to the Engelas, Mondjina, and the Suntis. Yar was also leader and the architect of the Collective. Billions of beings who were under the care, protection and some would say rulership of Yar.
From the Beyond and through the Synod, this all powerful being spread his influence and philosophy throughout the universe.
It was Yar’s doctrine that it is the responsibility of the more advanced race or civilization to provide assistance to those that are not and one day lead them to the stars. From there, the civilization will join the ever expanding Collective. This became known as Yar’s Way.
The Synod was twelve beings from the Mondjina race entrusted to speak for Yar. The Mondjina were tall, thin creatures with large, black, oval shaped eyes that never blinked. Their faces did not contain a nose, only two small slits on opposite side of one another; with unmoving mouths that were a darker shade of brown than the rest of their bodies. The smooth, hairless heads were encircled by a nimbus that was usually yellow in color.When they spoke, it was only through thought conveyance. The Mondjina did not believe in unnecessary body movements.
The Synod had reached out from the Beyond with a thought wave communicating to the male that he was needed once more.
There were to be no delays.
The male activated the refresher and moved under its green light. As the green rays bathed the male, he found the feeling of anticipation being replaced with his sense of honor and duty. He had lost track of how many revolutions he had been serving the Synod, and of all the places he had been. This servitude had become his life. He was considered first among all Vestigares and because of that distinction, missions had been virtually nonstop for as long as he could recall. Planets were always in need of vigilance and protection from threats.
His life mate shared his devotion to the Way, for she had accepted an assignment in a far off solar system, knowing it would take many revolutions to complete.
Loathe as he was to admit it, the time apart had weakened the link which seemed unbreakable at the time of their bonding. Now there was very little trace of her in his thoughts. The male thought it was strange that he was not saddened by this. He was confident she felt the same and he knew a severance of their bond was imminent.
Decisions on their link would have to be answered on another cycle. The green light shut off and with it, all personal musings and worries. The male stood in the center of his room and thought once again about the Synod. The room shifted and moved and then became aglow in the dimly translucent field of blue and green hues. The entire dwelling was replaced and the male found himself in the presence of the Synod.
The Synod watched the male but said nothing. The light around their heads were blinking rapidly, and the male knew from experience they were speaking amongst themselves.
And most likely about him.
The dark skinned male with coal black eyes stood and waited patiently for the motionless figures in dark green robes that stood in a semi-circle to communicate their wishes.
After several moments, the Synod finally spoke.
“Are you well?”
Always the same question.
“Yes,” was the standard answer.
It was immediately followed with, “Is there anything that will prevent you from successfully completing this latest mission?”
He was the most accomplished of all the Vestigares, yet the question was asked each time he stood before them.
“You will go to the blue planet known as Earth. That world has not progressed as we originally planned. We wish to know the reason for this. Other planets have advanced with far less aid, yet after centuries of assistance and encouragement, this planet has not had a single being advance past their own moon. Do you know of this world?”
“Every Vestigare in the Collective is aware of the planet Yar most favors.” The male said.
The nimbus encircling the heads of the Synod seemed to shift to a bright red.
The male knew that particular color around their heads meant a high level of stress for his masters. Failure was not an option for this undertaking. But then for the dark skinned male, it never was.
The Synod continued.
“Numerous procurators descended on this planet and bestowed upon them all that is necessary to succeed and join the Collective but they have not. You will go forth and learn what has kept them in darkness and savagery. But beware; humans are still primitive in their behaviors. You must walk among them to learn their customs, as we the Synod did centuries ago. Once there, you will find the cause of Earth’s stagnation and report back to us.”
“When I find the cause, do you want me to eliminate it?”
“No. Violence on the planet is to be avoided. For now, we merely desire information.”
The male found the command odd. He sought clarity by rephrasing the question.
“You wish me to take no direct action once I discover the source?”
“Your mission is to observe and report.”
This directive was strange to the male. The Synod had never concerned themselves about conflict in the past. It was expected. The Way of Yar was to be advanced at all costs was what they once told him. Battle was commonplace in the life of a Vestigare. Why now and why this planet? What if he discovered Degans on Earth?
Despite his numerous reservations, the male gave his own standard response.
“May Yar be with you. We bid you success.”
With that, the glow around the twelve heads shone a bright yellow and the male found himself alone in his room again. His superiors had spoken. Time to go. They had given him perhaps the most important mission any Vestigare ever had.
The familiar feeling of anticipation swept through his body once more.
A new world to see.
A new world to advance.
End of prologue