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Eye of Horus

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by Michael T. Hyson


Galdirrr of the 'Sreeth whistles you....
 
.... Long have we swum among you, dolphins of the air. Years beyond counting, we have held the story, a waking dream of patterns, myths, history, voyages, and migrations. All living beings are remembered in our bodies forever. So will it continue 'till the last of the the 'Sreeth have been absorbed in the next tide of life. The time is now ... for an end to mystery....
 
Long, long ago, we came here. We 'Sreeth live by many stars lost in this galactic whirlpool of fiery gases. Many eons we strove across the galaxy's arms, drifting to spread across the sandbars of stars so they could live green with creatures of light, plants gathering photons of the stars, and harvesters, animals and thinking beings, that swim the seas and fly the skies of myriad worlds- a great wave of foaming civilization, dancing and flying, leaping and loving across the nebulae, whistling in joy and splashing. Someday we will leap the dry gulf between the galaxies' star pools and sound new depths.
 
 

THE BEGINNING

 
Millions of years ago in the dense heart of the galaxy, where the oldest of the stars now lie, where new stars were whelped at a high rate, the rocks and clay once spawned proteins near the fiery scorch of volcanos. Eruptions of salt, rocks and liquid fire fought with the waters in the lost depths of our first planet. Steam came from hot water vents. There, atoms swirled in ever more complex eddies of structure until first proteins arose and still later, a nucleic acid system coded their patterns, so that successful ways of living, once found were kept. And so, life arose like ice in a freezing sea.
 
Like ice, life must be protected by swimming against the storms of chaos seeking to drown it. In immense time, the living chemicals learned to surf the waves of chaos and turn the energy to their own purposes.
 
Roiling steam vents under the sea put forth heat and minerals. Sulfides and iron were food and creatures with purple rhodopsin arose in the dark depths of the seas of our Whale Mother world. All in total darkness. Cold water surrounded the vents. All who clung survived, but many were cooked or blown into the black void of the endless seas. Some lived, and grew to be groups of cells.
 
The cells learned to speak to each other with touch and chemical signals. Great cell colonies became the first creatures. Eventually, in the swirls of time, they reached the surface and edges of the seas to cling on the land and breath the gases above the waters of life. They later created the the breath of life - oxygen. Oxygen was a new source of energy, provided by our original sun, companion to the moons that raised tides in our seas. Rocking in the cradle of the tides, plants spread along the shore and floated in the swell, drinking light and spawning oxygen for new swimmers to use. The swimmers returned carbon dioxide to the plants - a cycle of being always requiring the sun and light to prevail.
 
Onward, the algal mats became the first communities, stromatolites, with countless creatures vying and cooperating to grasp calcium from the waters to build the first reefs. The shore was a vast bumpy landscape of living boulders awash in the waters. Eons of sunshine and sunsets passed. Storms ripped the fabric of life and sent parts spinning into the abyss to rain down through the cold depths onto the ancestral steam vents which provided food to the dark depths. Others new beings floated to sea and learned to swim and live free of the shores.
 
Still more Eons of sunshine and sunsets, countless blows and breaths passed. Creatures arose from the algal mats that could move on the land. Plants and trees arose to harvest the sun on the deserts of the land. Without floating in water to protect them, creatures made bags of skin to contain water, and later, legs to walk. They prospered. Some built machines to mimic the comfort of the oceans on land. Others forsook the land and returned to the sea and became air breathing creatures of the water -- our ancestors. The machine tenders flourished and dreamed of the stars.
 
In the seas, our ancestors swam, played and made love. We developed vast patterns of mind yet to be sounded. Using sound in the water was all important, and our brains became larger to use it. Large brain size meant we needed massive bodies to protect the brain. We grew larger. Greater size required food that could only be gathered in the sea. Thinking needed leisure. Mastery of the waters required intelligence.
 
Only groups could survive well in the predator filled waters. Families and groups survived better than loners. As we grew larger, our prey became faster than we could swim. New weapons were needed. Sound, needed to hunt and find each other and our food, became a weapon as well. Food was stunned with a burst of sound. Because of this, our societies became polite. Each member was born armed with a stunning weapon that could kill or maim. The weapon was built into our heads and necessary for living. What law could remove it?
 
Sound provided a way to tell everything about each other. An upset mood or gas in the gut were detected instantly. Emotion and thinking were conveyed by gesture. Lying was difficult. With the need to process sound came thinking. With the need for cooperation came communication. With communication came a close sharing.
 
Sharing became part of life. Life was fun, life was love, life was care. And beware if you dare hurt another - you would, in turn, be hurt. With shared thoughts and experience came love of all. What matter the sex or age? Pleasure was good, love was good. Making love was laughing together in the sea, playing and rolling in the swells.
 
The singing, richness, stories, and gossip were created and remembered. We migrated from cold to warm seas, following the birds, seasons, and currents. We must remember. Too much for any individual. We grew to have culture and libraries. Our history grew and with it the need for more memory. Without hands or physical tools, our brains became our libraries, and the brains grew in size even more.
 
On the land, the creatures of the metal and the machines learned to grow food, build with stone, and travel on the land. Some say that our ancestors were the same, yet some things are lost, even to us, in the dim wash of the time tides. Memories are only ridges in the beach sand, washed and reformed with every crashing wave. Who can know everything? Who can know where facts and legend merge?

 

MIGRATIONS
 
A time came when the creatures of the sea met the creatures of the land. Communications were established. Our great brains could compute differently than any of their machines brains made from sand. The landers made flaming torch ships to swim space from world to world and sea to sea. We wished to come along. The land creatures made machines for us. It was trivial to control them. With sound one could do anything required to tell the sand-brains how to move things.
 
What joy we had while swimming the vacuum of space in ships of metal, carrying with us the seas of our birth. Planet to planet we roamed. We planned a new era, where sea people and land people could live together, a place where seas would be vast, larger than the small puddles of our home. We eventually came to a system with a hot blue sun. This latest star, the one called Sirius in the land peoples language, had a dense, dark companion, with high magnetism, high gravity and vast energies.
 
 
THE BUILDING
 
It was then that the great 'Sreeth Havral - named the plan. A new planet had been found, only 8.6 years time as light swims, near a dwarf yellow star. Because we must soon move on, we needed a new world. This world would be ours. A venture worthy of two great cultures, the sea and the land. A task that would span many generations, followed by a great migration, that our race now imagined swimming.
 
We thought, planned and collected the tides of data and the wrack of equations (the dreaded equations that interrupt the peaceful waves of our minds surfing with history and dream). Yet such was needed.
 
So we collected the dwarf star's energy and beamed the power far away, to the sun the landers now call Sol. We collected mass and threw it into the neutron star. As it fell, the mass was accelerated past vast coils to generate power enough to melt planets. Great comets we hurtled at the new planet orbiting Sol, so far away.
 
Robot ships with brains of sand were sent to push asteroids about. Slowly, so slowly, over generations, comet and asteroid impacts dug the basins of the oceans we would need. Still more rocks were impacted to move the planet to an orbit where seas would be warm and the poles cold for growing plankton food, and the land would be warm for the machine people. More comets were dropped to fill the oceans with water.
 
Still more mass was thrown into the distant sun to stabilize its burning, that we might have steady light and heat to warm our coming home for billions of years.
 
We then prepared to bring life to our new world. The mass falling into the dwarf star drove laser light beams to fill huge membrane sails to drive our ships. The ships pushed by the beamed light brought spores and bacteria to our new home. Generations passed. Soil formed and the spreading whitish strands of fungus mycelia colonized the bare rock. Lichens and mosses arose on the land and algaes were delivered to the seas. Later, ships arrived with animals and plants needed for more complex ecologies.
 
Was there a need to plan everything? Zero. Creatures transplanted to our forming home adapted and changed. Yet such is the wide spread of life throughout the galaxy, we found the same genetic codes here as our home worlds. Interbreeding took place as new strains conjugated with existing ones.
 
 
THE JOURNEY
 
Came the days of travel. Colony ships with seas, land and vast sails were built for the journey. The last of the surrounding mass left was dropped into the dark companion. This fueled the laser cannons filling the sails with light. The colony ships were pushed to the new planet. Enough light to make Sirius look red when we looked back on it -- the "Eye of Horus", sustained for the generations of the migration. Legends of a red Sirius are still remembered dimly by the air dolphins.
 
Oh what sadness when our local home world was finally destroyed and used for fuel to speed our swim in space between the island stars. And what a glorious death, that served to push us on. Needful it was. In but a few millions of years the heating from the star and the perturbed orbits of the dark companion doomed it in any case.
 
It took generations of time to cross the lonely spaces and drift to the new home . Scout ships were sent ahead. Waves of migratory peoples, from sea and land celebrated the next joint leap into the shoals of stars. Generations of building, generations of traveling, wave on wave.
 
We sea peoples controlled the ships and the ecology. Building and repairs were done by the land folk. Learning continued. We studied and captured rogue comets drifting across our path. We drank their water and ate their rocks so the generations on the ships might live, grow and evolve between the stars.
 
We arrived. At last, on the new world! The joy and exhaltation of the pods and people! Fresh tropic oceans beckoned! A stable yellow sun shone in the day, and a beautiful giant moon synchronized the tides and the matings. A perfect world. We grew and flourished. Land animals were added to the continents and the land folk hunted, built towns, cities, civilizations. Generations of happiness as wave after wave of ships sailed and landed.
 
 
DISASTER
 
Then came Disaster! Evil day, horrors and death! The comets! Before the full defenses were up, rogue comets hit our new world. Tidal waves and dust created havoc. Darkness and bitter winter followed; Fire, and Ice. Ice swam over the land. Many land people perished 'til only a few stragglers remained. Sea folk were better off. In time, the machines were gone and we must survive as herders and hunters in the sea.
 
Finally sun returned and the seas warmed again. On land, only small brained indigenous creatures remained of our once far advanced partners. In the sea, were many sea peoples. What loneliness, our land-folk were no more, and we were confined to the waters, perhaps never to fly the reaches of space again, handless and machineless.
 
Eons later, intelligent land creatures re-developed. We might help them. How? Throw our bodies on the land to feed them. Jump and attract them to the shore. Protect them, tempt them to swim, play with them and show them the sea is warm, and the food is good. Show tools and how to break shellfish. Swim with them and touch them. Protect them as they birth their young into water. Make sure they learn. Send fish to their nets.
 
And then Wait, Wait -- so long we waited, for evolution, more intelligence, for a new culture on the land.
 
 
REBIRTH

We swam the seas free of machines. We developed many kinds of bodies, blues and fins, orcas, humpbacks. 'Sreeth (sperm whales) and dolphins. Dolphins, especially, to keep track of our co-species on land. Concerts of the humpbacks broadcast history, song and story. "Sreeth to be the libraries, held in living brains. How can one to tell it all? Sound it out, communicate with rich sound kilocycles in bandwidth. Language and closeness became the same. All shared all data. Maps, weather, history and cultures, designs for ships, legends of our birth on a far star. Aspirations to continue, a complex group mind across scores of our whale species.

Land civilization arose. How to help direct it? Through the religions of the land folk. Our earliest efforts were in the glorious Mediterranean, warm and shallow and near to many islands. With our help, the first new peoples' writing and reason arose. Osiris, Oannes and Krishna they called us. And, at Delphi, people and dolphins lived and loved together, and talked we talked all day. We were sacred to all, fishing together and helping.

Where did it go wrong? Were these people so different than our old friends? How can they kill us? Us! Who gave them their life? Why? ... Patience, friends... maybe can we teach them yet. Now they have nuclear fire again! What a chance and what a chance of disaster. Tell them, show them somehow. They have somehow forgotten the older ways, they think us dumb brutes. Comets can come again. Defenses are needed or we may all drown again.

Do we have the spirit to leap for the stars again? Maybe our sister ships found other worlds. After millions of migrations, to lose it now would be an abyss of pain, a slide to the dark, cold depths perhaps forever. We must see the stars, and swim new seas, WE, who built this world will go on again.

Let us go onward together, gentle friends of the land. Just Love us!!!!

 

INITIATION

Well I remember my initiation. My passage as a leader of the pods. I must best a giant squid, grown large and herded for initiations like mine. Group mind data could be false, many minds and memories combined could easily resemble noise, especially when integrated over a 100 million seasons with tales of multitudes of stars, cultures, and sea-folk. We each must prove to all that we could verify the knowledge and use it. Filtered it must be, errors can always creep in. Each one must live alone, die alone, and transfer what is learned. Each of us is separate yet joined in a single mind.

The day of testing, the day of joining. Seasons had I played with the memories to prepare. I must prove my ability to think and to block and organize, to be a warrior in the dark and cold. I hyperventilate. Breathe and blow, may times. I clear my mind. Block all external signals. Blocks are important, confusion during battle can be fatal. Finally, I face the hour of my possible death.  

Dive!  

Bright clear waters are soon left behind, red goes first, then a deep blue that fades to a dull gray and then to blackness, total, utter blackness only pierced in the days when the comets carved and filled the basins. Slow, slow, to conserve air, pull blood from muscles and send it to the brain. Be careful with the sound beams. Sound can alert the squid. Down, down. Lungs empty, chest crushed by the pressure. Air pumped to my right nostril for making sound. A 500 gallon oil tank in my head focuses and amplifies sounds to stunning powers, helps to adjust my buoyancy as the piezo-electric valproic oils change density with temperature and pressure.

Ready!  

Down, Down, a two-hundred times my length, to the ooze on the bottom. Drop my jaw, drawing it through the ooze, being careful of rocks that have broken many a jaw. What's up ahead? Stay quiet and save the stunning for later.

Are those lights? Glowing? This is the squid mating season and they show off their finest colors. In the clear dark water, they sometimes can be seen. Sometimes they hover over the ooze, sometimes they are buried in the ooze, body vertical with tentacles spread out like a lethal flower. I swim slowly, carefully. Flukes can swish too loudly if you go too fast. Pectorals must have some speed to work. Half an hour now. Still no sign.

Damn the laws of sound. Damn the evolution that made squids mostly water. The only thing that reflects my pulses strongly is the hard beak. A squid five times my length! and the only sign in the ooze is a horny beak the size of my teeth. Always be alert, to run across one by surprise can be deadly. Their suckers are as large as my eye with teeth on their rims. They have less strength yet they can breathe in the water. I must soon return, to breathe or die.  

Air running out!

Stiffness starting in my body, pain beginning in the flukes. Cold seeping into my back. Melon oil at the limit of its liquid state, crushed by pressure. No sign of light, no sign of squid. I must succeed.

["Help us now, there has been a quake near the tropical islands, and our maps are wrong"]

["Help us! we may strand!" ] Later!! I file requests, put them on hold! Sometimes I wish they would all just shut up.

The Blues come in at subsonic frequencies, from immense range. (I bet that is Carmeth and Utherm, finding each other across the southern ocean.) Dolphins chattering. (Always chattering, like snapping shrimp, never anything to say). 

Must risk a pulse of sound. Minimum amplitude, longest range, widest beam, scanning can, phased left to right.  

PHWEET!

(Wait for the echo return) What is there? Zero long wave echoes up, Good! Clear above and the only danger is the prey. There! faint short wave echo off to port. Might be a rock.

Lungs burning. 

Range 100 lengths. Range 50 lengths. Dare I pulse again? Light! Dim, but beautiful, lacy blue and red along shining along the length of the giant squid's body. If I come up from behind, then when he jets, it will bring him toward me.

Current from starboard, must correct.

Pump the rear air chamber, prepare to stun. Range, 10 lengths. Go fast now, breath almost gone, and still more to go. There.... the squid senses my passage, Damn!

Faster, a last burst of speed. I can feel the rete' at the back of my neck giving me a second wind. Endorphins cancel pain. Battle! Pulse fast now, to get range, distance, shape and density. I can sound his last meal! He starts to jet. I veer right and line up.

PHLAAAM!

The pulse cavitates the water and paralyzes the nerve trunk to the mantle of the squid.  

I grab him in my jaw with my last energy. Now, if it just stays knocked out for a while. It wakes up! Tentacles shoot around my head and oil melon and squeeze. Squid suckers are cutting into my skin, blood oozing. I can only stun him again if I let go, and the squid hangs on. I missed the grab so that I failed to crush its brain, so he fights on.

One chance, must go up, must breathe. Up, Up, into the light, into the warmth. Will I see my family again? My dear mates?

How joyful, the spring celebrations of the warm moons, the palalo worms echoing our passions as we mate in the moonlight. Humpback serenades, dolphin voyeurs as we all leap and broach, spy hopping to see the group formations and the ritual swimming around the head females and the old bulls. Will I see this again? I vow to be Galdirrr. I must.

... Or I will join the myths and legends. [Must prepare a high speed burst to the judges on the battle as I surface. My Last breath and a last message to transfer my last thoughts. Maybe my sons will do better. Always get the brain. Always! 

At last, the gray light. Pain in the melon relaxing. The squid becomes limp. Pressure change! That must be it. Oils in the squid membranes dissolve and melt in the lessened pressure. I will live.

I broach and leap clear of the sea, as I blow. Sweet air. Sunlight, and the staccato messages of congratulations. There will be a celebration tonight!

Breathe, pant, breathe.

Victory!

What's this? A buzzing sound. A thrum of low engine noise. A Zodiac circling me. Must be a whaler! After all this, must I too, die at the hands of our experiment?

The Zodiac nears, I hop to see shouting people. What are they saying? Maybe they try to save me? Thrum of the whaler. Thrum, Thrum. Fire, why don't you, you stupid people. Fire and get it over with. Our history will live, I will live, in the grouped minds of the pod, the friends, the whole multi-species whale civilization. A hollow victory. We have tried for 30 million of your years to teach you. Will you ever evolve, or are we stuck in this game forever?

Pain! My back is stung. Where is the harpoon explosion? I'm Still Alive?? What? Screeching near me. It makes sense?? The sounds and phasings are in a strange mode. I send off synch pulses, with a reply to see what happens. The sound -- It's coming from my back!

 

 THE BEGINNING

Look, Buzz, we got him. ", said Fred. "Hope the translator works this time. The others ten before this shorted out. "Fred, we got it this time!" exulted Buzz. "The sea will win, but not today!"

"Hey, look here, I've got a translation lock on him.", said the sound man, "Ready to start talkin' '?  

"This is a beginning", mused Buzz "the largest brain on the planet, 9600 grams, six times the size of ours. What tales could they tell us? I sure hope this finally works!"

 

Finis


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