Well, I would never normally do this but I figure, “Hey! It’s Meaningless, Pointless, and I Must Share it.”
I have written a few short stories as of late, and most are just average stuff, but this one has gotten tremendous reviews from people so I thought I’d post it here for my fellow dopers to read. Actually, it’s based of a wonderful show called Farscape that airs on the Sci-Fi channel(I know there are fans here), but people unfamiliar with the show seem to like it too. Anyway, here it is(it’s quite short).
The New Delvian Life
** In the final moments before Zhaan was dispersed, two thoughts ran through her head. She feared that John may feel responsible for her death, as it was his own motivation to return home that has caused this situation which now required her own self-sacrifice. Secondly, and more frightening to her, she questioned the faith that had brought her through so many struggles. What is the goddess? From what “stuff” is she made from and why has she revealed herself exclusively to Delvians? And most importantly, are there severe consequences for doubting one’s faith in the final moments of life?
And just as these questions flashed through her mind, she was dispersed, her energy being ripped from within her and spread out into the vacuum of space. The beautiful blue priestess was dead.
At first, nothing but silence and darkness. Her mind immediately registered that she did indeed still exist, though this did not provide her with much comfort. Zhaan felt as though she were floating in a black sea of nothingness, somewhat similar to being in open space. There was no air and she was not breathing, but at the same time, she noticed she no longer seemed to require respiration in order to be alive. In fact, she had no body at all and only seemed to exist as a singular consciousness, no longer bound by a body or a mind.
There was a rather large whooshing noise that Zhaan thought sounded very much like a starburst mixed with the sound of a waterfall. Suddenly, she was blinded by bright light and was forced to through her arms in front of her eyes. It was at this moment she realized that she had received a new body; it felt identical to the one she had during her “before life”, only now her body was free from the deteriation that had been consuming her before her death. As her eyes adjusted to the light, she began to see that she was in fact somewhere real. There were several other female Delvians who were congregating not too far in front of her. They seemed to be talking about her, as they were pointing and looking up occasionally in her direction. Finally, one of them approached her.
“Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan, priestess of the 11th level?” she asked kindly.
“Yes, that is I,” she replied.
“We were just discussing the events leading up to your death. May I ask you some questions?”
Zhaan was flustered and found it difficult to speak. She finally said, “You may ask me whatever you like.”
“Did you consider it noble to sacrifice yourself on that ship?”
She paused for a moment. “I considered it necessary. Whether it is noble is not for me to deem. Nobility is interpreted by those who receive the impact of an action, not by she who does it.”
The other Delvian grinned. “Indeed, Zhaan, you were a wise priestess. I’m sure your friends will miss you greatly.”
“As I will miss them,” she replied. Her thoughts then turned to her immediate situation. “Is the goddess here? Is this… our paradise?”
Now the other Delvian laughed quietly. “The goddess is everywhere, Zhaan . But yes, she is here in the flesh, so to speak. You may see her if you wish.”
“I would like that.”
Zhaan and the other Delvian females joined together and began to walk down a long road. On both sides of the road ran fresh water, though there seemed to be no source from which it came. She quickly learned that her current companions were all former priestesses, though they had lived their lives many thousands of cycles previous to herself.
“You see, Zhaan , time matters very little here. While it may sound incredible to you that we lived thousands of cycles ago, to us that makes very little difference. We will live here for eternity, so even a billion cycles is a relatively inconsequential period of time,” Josora, one of her companions, pointed out.
When Zhaan was alive, her understanding of the afterlife was very limited. She had heard that there was some sort of heaven, but was surprised to learn about the differences in the real thing. First, there were many levels of paradise, each reserved for different classes of Delvians. It was explained to her that the goddess existed in each of these levels, but the main part of her body was on the highest level of paradise, which was where Zhaan was.
After walking for about an hour, Josora stopped the group and grabbed Zhaan ’s arm, pointing ahead of them.
“You can see the very outer edges of the goddess from here.” She made a arc movement with her finger. “Do you see what I am talking about?”
Zhaan squinted to look into the distance. It was difficult to make anything out, especially since she had no idea what to expect. In fact, her wonder as to what the goddess would look like was the chief thought that had been flowing through her mind during their walk. Now as she looked, she became even more confused as to what the goddess is.
“I don’t see anything particular,” Zhaan started, “I only see what seems to be the top of a forest, but even that is difficult to make out.”
Her companions smiled. Josora leaned toward Zhaan and said, “That forest is the goddess.”
There was a pause that allowed Zhaan to take in the shock. “Our goddess is a forest?” she asked.
“Actually, she is just one tree that is the size of an entire forest. You see, she is the tree of life, the tree from which all Delvians have come. Many, many, cycles ago, it was an offspring of that tree that developed into the first Delvian. From there, the rest of our race developed, including those who remain alive today.”
Zhaan was shocked, both by the audacity and simplicity of the truth as it now stood before her. It was extremely unexpected that her goddess was a tree like the one before her, but at the same time she knew it was true.
The group walked the rest of the distance toward the goddess and Zhaan became enraptured by the beauty of this old, elegant tree. Its main body was before them, but it’s roots delved deeply into the ground, where they were visible on the lower levels of the Delvian paradise. The more she looked at the tree, the more Zhaan was overwhelmed with the honor she had to look directly at it. Even though this tree had to have been billions of billions of years old, it had no dead parts to it; every part of it looked as if it had the vigor of a newly grown tree.
Josora approached Zhaan . “We will leave you now to be alone with the goddess. I encourage you to meditate here, in her presence. Perhaps she will enlighten you even more than she already has.”
Her companions left and she remained alone with the goddess. She walked for a bit into the thick of the tree until she was surrounded by it. She sat on the ground and closed her eyes. She was immediately in direct communication with goddess, in a much more clear and direct manner than she had ever experienced.
“Welcome, my daughter.”
Zhaan was overcome with fear, anxiety, and joy. “I never imagined,” she said.
“You have done well. You have struggled greatly in your life, while at the same time remaining faithful. I have always been able to hear you, even when you thought you were alone all those years in prison.”
Tears streamed down Zhaan ’s cheeks. “I have let you down, also, my goddess.”
“All that is gone. All that remains is love and forgiveness. Even in your darkest moments, your heart was pure. Your purity shown through like a light in the darkness.”
It was at this moment that Zhaan ’s thoughts turned just briefly away from her present situation.
The goddess commented on this immediately. “Why do you turn your thoughts back to your past life, Zhaan ?”
She tensed in fear for a brief moment, then relaxed. “My thoughts turn back to something left unknown to me. I think of one called John Crichton, a non-Delvian I was close with.”
“Yes, what about him?”
“I fear he may feel responsible for my death, something with for which I do not believe he would ever be able to forgive himself.”
“This bothers you?”
“I simply wish there was a way to see how he is, that is all.”
“In order for your relationships to develop here, you must be finished with your previous life. If you must take one last glimpse into the past in order to resolve it, you may.”
Zhaan was shocked. “I may look back at my friends again?”
“You may look back at John Crichton one more time to see how he is. You must understand that you will not be able to interact, but will only be able to look in.”
“I understand. It is the uncertainty of John’s state that is bothering me. Even if he is blaming himself, I will be able to deal with that in a reasonable way.”
“Then let me send you back, though it will only be for a moment.”
There was another whooshing sound, and Zhaan was startled by the dimness of the lighting where she was now. She saw nothing at first, but then she saw what she had hoped to see. She was looking through a mirror in Crichton’s quarters and she was him sitting by himself.
He was gazing emptily at the wall, lost in his own thoughts. He looked sad and heavy-burdened. Zhaan stared at him, looking for a sign about what he was thinking. Was he blaming himself for her death? Or was he merely mourning her death?
Then, John spoke aloud to himself. He said, “Why is it always the gentle ones that pay the price for everyone else’s ambition? Hmm?"
He threw his fist up and down in anger.
As soon as she heard this, she was swept back to the goddess, where she was still in deep meditation.
“Indeed, he does blame himself from my death,” Zhaan said.
“And he will never forgive himself,” the goddess added.
She remained quietly in meditation, not responding to the last statement by the goddess.
“Will you be able to move on, to separate yourself from that life?”
“With your help, I’m sure I will.”
“Your past life is now over, Zhaan. Soon, you will find that you do not remember that life at all, that it has faded into a distant blur. Those times were given to you in order to prepare you for your eternity here. All your struggles, including this final one, were intended to purify you. I can see that they have.”
There was quiet for a moment, then Zhaan stood and walked out from under the goddess’ cover. It appeared to morning in the Delvian paradise, for there was dew on the grass and a thin mist rose from the streams. Zhaan walked up a hill and found her companions there, still waiting for her. She rejoined them and they began the walk away from the goddess.
As they walked, Zhaan began to feel a great joy well up from within her and with it came a quiet knowledge that she had indeed arrived at the location she had been searching for her entire life. She was home.**